Securing Organizational Support to Help PMP Aspirants in Exam Preparation
Case Study Abstract

At a time when the demand for project management is growing and organizations are looking for highly skilled professionals, there is a need to create organizational frameworks to help project managers get certified.

However, preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification examination, which is an endorsement of a project manager's project execution skills, is a daunting task. Project managers often go through a few ordeals before finding the best approach toward getting PMP certified.

PMI India Champions at Hewlett Packard India identified the lack of a well-defined, repeatable process in the organization that simplified the approach toward PMP certification as a significant pain point for aspirants. The other challenge was the prevalence of misconceptions about the value and applicability of the PMP certification. The Champions felt the need to create awareness about PMP and help aspirants embark on a smooth journey toward certification.

The approach
PMI India Senior Champions Sowmya Narayan and Sumanth Shampur, along with a team of project managers in the company, drove this project.

As a first step, they worked toward creating senior management buy-in by explaining why an organizationlevel framework to facilitate certification was required. Once the senior management and the company’s learning and development (L&D) department provided the endorsement, the execution became easier.

The team then worked on the best possible days to hold training workshops and identified trainers who were volunteers with passion for project management. Each member of the training team was assigned a Knowledge Area and tasked with developing training material on it. To make the presentations effective, the team looked for ways to simplify the concepts, used multiple sources for each Knowledge Area, picked crosswords, tests and quizzes to make the learning easy to absorb, used analogies to explain concepts, and developed a risk management plan to ensure the training program went off smoothly.

The Champions worked with the company’s L&D to select the right set of participants for the workshops.

They designed the workshop structure in such a way that participants could apply the concepts in the context of conducting projects in today’s highly volatile and uncertain world. To sustain interest, the team organized a number of activities such as crosswords and quizzes. In the last workshop, the Champions provided participants an overview of the benefits of PMI membership and a study plan toward the PMP certification exam.

The outcome

Four trainers each in Bengaluru and Chennai collectively organized around 15 workshops in the span of two years. Close to 100 PMP aspirants received training, of which over 80 have got certified. The program has received appreciation from participants, with over 96 percent saying they would recommend the session to others.

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