The Application for PMP Certification

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I will not go into all six pages of the application form. Most of the form is straightforward except for the experience section and possibly the education section. For experience you are required to have 4,500 hours of project management experience over the last six years. The same process applies to those who do not have a bachelor's or equivalent degree from a university, only the number of years is increased to eight and the number of hours is increased to 7,500. There is, of course, some confusion for people from countries other than the United States. PMI has included in the application a list of the equivalent degrees that are issued by various countries. If your country is not listed, then you should contact PMI and ask about the validity of the degree that you have earned.

As part of the experience requirements, the number of nonoverlapping months of experience must be 36 months for those with a bachelor's degree and 60 months for those without it. This requirement needs some explanation.

Let's take our applicant with the bachelor's degree. The requirement is for 36 months' experience over the last six years. During this time you must have accumulated 4,500 hours of experience. The easiest way to see whether you qualify is to make a bar chart listing the projects you worked on over the last six years. Show each project bar starting and ending in the month that it started and ended. Of the 72 months in your bar chart at least 36 months should have one or more projects occupying the month. If you go from one end of the time scale to the other, and you can count more than 36 months where there is a project that you worked on, you are qualified. Do not count a month more than once. That is, if you worked on two projects at the same time in a given month, you can count the month only one time.

For example, our candidate works on a project from June to November 2002 and works on another project from August to December 2002. He can count June, July, August, September, October, November, and December for a total of seven months of experience. August, September, October, and November should not be counted two times even though two projects were being worked on at that time.

Be careful that the hours of experience you claim match the start and finish dates of the projects they come from. Do not say you worked on a project for three months and claim 1,000 hours. Even the best of us would have trouble accumulating 1,000 hours of experience in thirteen weeks, so be careful not to do this. It should be perfectly clear to the PMI reviewer that the experience you claim is indeed matched to the projects.

PMI also requires that you separate the experience into the project management process areas. There is really no requirement for this, and you could have all your experience in the project execution area and still qualify. I don't know why PMI requires you to separate your experience hours into the process areas, but as long as it does, you should separate them as instructed. Be careful that the totals also equal the number of hours that you have put on the other pages.

If you fill out the experience sheets of the application carefully, your application should be accepted. By no means should you lie on the application. If you do not have enough experience, then you will have to wait to get your PMP certification.

The last sheet for each project is an explanation of your experience on the project. You should list the deliverables that you were responsible for on the project in some detail. One page should be sufficient for each project. Be sure that the deliverables that you are explaining match the type and hours of experience that you have put on the previous page.

This is the only section of the application that is tedious. You must fill out two sheets minimum for each project you have worked on. For some of you this could be a lot of projects. Take the time and be careful. Put yourself in the mind of the reviewer.

Make the whole application consistent, and be sure that all the hours add up to the same totals. Make sure that your narrative on each project matches and supports the number of hours you are claiming in each domain.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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