Failing The Exam

Here comes the rant

One of the things people know about me is I'm always willing to help them out.  I've been in the business of Project Management for 15 years.  I've lived the life as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and as a Certified Scrum Master (CSM).  These days, either certification will get you either praise or disdain. It just depends on the company you keep.  Some out there have heard me rant about people who I don't believe deserve to say they have a certification, based on their motivations.  You should get a CSM or a PMP as proof of a minimum level of competency; that you support what they represent.  I see them as mere indicators of where you are on the path of mastering your craft.  Some have also heard me rant about certification boot camps that will guarantee a certification or your money back.  Ask yourself, why do/did you want that certification?  My holier-than-though attitude kicks in when the response is/was "because it looks good on a resume".

Where am I going with this

I was approached a while back by someone looking for assistance in prepping for his PMP.  He is not a project manager (never was; never will be) and does not want to be.  But, his company told him to get the certification.  He got his membership with PMI, which his company paid for.  He then hit a wall when completing his exam application.  He didn't have the experience.  There are ways around that, right?  Just get someone to agree with your stories or pray like hell that you don't get audited (or both).  When he approached me, the first thing I asked was "what's your goal?"  His response was "to not get audited".  Um, ok.  Let's try this again.  "What's your long term goal?"  His response was " to get Corporate off my back."  I felt betrayed by PMI, the day I found out he registered for the exam and was not going to be audited.

The update

After attending a week-long (he needed the 35 hours of project management education) money-back-guaranteed PMP bootcamp last week, he sat for the exam.  He failed.  He failed badly.  Now, I'm not going to be mean.  I feel bad for the guy.  He now has to explain this to those who were paying him to take the exam.  I am relieved, however, that there is one less unquantified PMP out there.  But, when I asked him if he thought the exam was hard he gave me a very good answer.  He admitted he didn't even understand half of the terminology or formulas, let alone when and why he would use them.

And that is the broader lesson I want people to understand.

You need to understand when and why you do things.

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