Jessica Parklanes asked:
Admittedly, the four-hour rigorous PMP examination is a multiple choice type of test. However, you will re-learn three skills necessary to become a successful Project Manager during your PMP exam training, if not in practice then at least in theory.
You will re-learn these skills precisely because you have to re-visit the five areas of expertise and the nine knowledge areas during the PMP exam training, which touch on these three skills.
During your PMP exam training, you will encounter sections dealing with interpersonal skills. Your skills with people are a very vital component of your success as project manager because you deal with people, first and foremost. It will indeed be an easier world for you if only you do not have to deal with human emotions and vagaries! Then again, with easiness comes boredom and stunted growth.
Your people skills should occupy the highest level of priority. There are many aspects that you need to develop before you can say with a certain amount of confidence that you are the leader of your people.
First, there is serving and helping. This does not mean that you have to reverse roles with your people; instead, you have to help them align their personal goals with the project’s goals. Second, you have to communicate. Indeed, it is said that as Project Manager, you will spend 90% of your time communicating to the team! During PMP exam training, the need for communication cannot be overstressed.
Third, you have to persuade and negotiate. These people skills are important to your success because a certain amount of compromise will have to be reached on the finer points of the means to the end. Fourth, you have to supervise and instruct. Though you can expect minimum supervision for people, you also have to provide for clear instructions and supervisory approaches to achieve the desired goals. Fifth, and arguably the most difficult of all, is mentoring your people. You have to provide a role model, and like it or not, it will be you.
Information is the lifeblood of any project. Without it, you and your people will be operating on blind faith, a classic case of the blind leading the blind. The process of analyzing the information and acting on your analysis lies entirely in your hands. You can re-learn the processes and rationales behind information skills during PMP exam training, too.
These will include coordination among multiple sources of data, creation of innovative approaches to problem-solving, and data synthesis. Though you probably encounter practical applications of these skills everyday, revisiting theory can be a new experience.
Your skill with things, tools and other thingamajigs for decision-making comes least in the order of priority. This is not to say that you should disregard tools for decision-making. Rather, you have to see these tools in the context of their assistance towards developing your people and information skills.
During PMP exam training, you will be exposed to tools and techniques like quality audit and weighting systems. You have to take note of these tools since the PMP exam contains sections on them.
These skills are used everyday in your job as Project Manager, though you might not consciously label them as such. The fact that you can re-learn the theory behind the practice during PMP preparatory training is an added bonus.