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Item Writing in Chennai
PMI India held an item-writing workshop in Chennai from 9 to 11 February, in which close to 100 subject matter experts (SMEs), who are PMP-certified practitioners from across India, took part. This is the second time that practitioners from India have had an opportunity to contribute to this unique volunteer event.

PMI holds item-writing events in cities around the world where certified practitioners work with the PMI examination content development team to draw items (questions) for its certification examinations. This exercise helps PMI ensure that the questions at the examinations are relevant, current, and globally applicable.

Mr. Raj Kalady addressing volunteers
at the item-writing workshop.
The event began after a welcome address by Mr. Raj Kalady, managing director, PMI India, who spoke about various PMI India initiatives, tie-ups, and events. He also highlighted the key volunteering opportunities through which practitioners can contribute to the project management community.

Mr. Karthik Ramamurthy, president, PMI Chennai Chapter, spoke about the Tamil Nadu Project Management Conference in February that was a precursor to the PMI India Project Management National Conference to be held in Chennai in September 2012.

Ms. Nathalie Collautt, examination content supervisor, PMI, provided the overall agenda for the next two days of the itemwriting event. Mr. Victor Carter-Bey, manager, PMI Certifications, spoke about certifications and their benefits, the growth story of PMI, highlights of various research studies, and the value of PMI membership. The evening culminated with a reception and networking dinner for the workshop attendees.

The next two days were dedicated to the exam development workshop. SMEs in groups of three worked on a set of questions that was later reviewed by members from the other groups. They also peer-reviewed questions set at previous item-writing sessions.

Mr. Victor Carter-Bey speaking about
the benefits of associating with PMI.
Volunteers from different parts of India participated in the event. Kailash C., Gurgaon-based director in a technology giant, enjoyed the experience. It was a great networking event. The event was conceptualized and executed in a highly professional manner and brought a pool of very talented SMEs with diverse skill sets, experiences, and age groups. Moreover, it quelled my perception that PMP item writing was done by a selected set of SMEs from academia or industry. I now appreciate the fact that item writing is a rigorous process with a regular review mechanism that incorporates inputs from multiple geographies with diverse skill sets and domain knowledge.

Another volunteer, Srinath B., Hyderabad-based director in a technology giant, said, It was a very well-organized session in which PMI tapped into the knowledge and expertise of a diverse group. It was a great opportunity for networking and furthered the cause of project management.

Sanjay R., a project manager from Hyderabad, is delighted to have participated in the event. It initially seemed easy but over time I understood that preparing for exam was an easier task than preparing items for an exam. The three days I spent in Chennai was worth the effort. Im grateful to be a PMI volunteer. Being a practitioner means not only applying project management knowledge at work but also sharing experiences with other colleagues, while developing and mastering your skills in a friendly environment.

(PMI keeps the identity of volunteers who participate in item writing confidential. Names of volunteers that appear in the article have been changed.)
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