The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, may very well have been the first book dedicated to project management. “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity” sums up exactly what being a project manager is all about.
When a project is in its initial stages a project manager is the one to organize the chaos. It’s no wonder that one of the best ways to get project management focused training courses is through a bootcamp. While it doesn’t require a uniform, a yelling sergeant, or a haircut, it is an intense and concentrated way to receive the requirements necessary in order to become a Project Management Professional (PMP). So what is the best PMP boot camp? Let’s dive in with today’s article.
PMI – Project Management Institute
Companies around the world recognize Project Management Institute’s (PMI) PMP certificate because it is obtained by project managers that have studied the tools, techniques, and management principles in order to increase and maintain their knowledge of the profession.
By requiring experience as well as education and formal training, PMI provides you with the credibility, commitment, and competitive advantage in the ever growing field of project management.
Project management is a profession that spans the spectrum of occupations. From manufacturing to information technology, PMP certification is the way to continue your goals to be that professional.
Look at the process like going from an enlisted private to becoming an officer. First you have to meet the criteria set out by Project Management Institute (PMI).
Transitioning to PMP
If you have a bachelor’s degree or higher you will need to have three years (4,500 hours or thirty-six months) of field experience.
For those who don’t hold a bachelors’ or higher, a secondary degree (high school diploma or equivalent, or associate’s degree) and five years (7,500 hours or sixty months) of field experience.
You should note that the amount of experience necessary doesn’t require that you hold the position or title of Project Manager. If you have led a team within the scope of a project, or assisted the Project Manager in assigned tasks, those items count towards that field work.
This goes back to PMIs standards. By confirming that an applicant meets the conditions set in order to sit for the exam, PMI has become the professionals standard for Project Management.
Once those requirements are met, you can be sent to bootcamp to receive your intensive 35 hours of training, or contact hours. Without these verifiable contact hours you can’t continue your enlistment and your ultimate goal to become an officer.
What is the Best PMP Boot Camp
“Plan for what it is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.”
Bootcamp for PMP certification is the fastest and most intensive training you can take for the exam. Much like Officer Training School, it is a strict, project management targeted course that immerses you in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), usually across just 4 or 5 days. By creating an intensive training course, and determining what the best PMP boot camp is for you, it allows an initiate to focus on the entirety of the PMBOK, knowledge areas and processes. For individuals that have the ability and can schedule the time, the extreme instruction might be the best way to go.
Contact hours are hours of education that pertain directly to the field of project management. Each hour of education counts as one hour of contact.
Courses should provide:
- Expert Instructors
- Cover all the material needed to pass the PMP exam
- Good Feedback and Testimonials and
- Be upfront with pricing
Take the time to research the course provider. Check reviews, talk to colleagues, past students, even your employer, to see what courses they may recommend.
A PMP bootcamp provider should:
- Satisfy the minimum 35 contact hours
- Provide structured content and material
- Provide a Certificate of Completion
- Provide realistic sample questions and answers
- Have positive feedback from past students
- Provide you with material you can use once the intensive 4-5 day course is completed
Contact Hours don’t expire and shouldn’t be confused with Professional Development Units (PDU) that are required for renewal. These contact hours are for learning the core knowledge for becoming a Professional Project Manager, passing the exam to do so, and receiving that coveted PMP certification.
An Outline of the PMBOK 7th Edition
The 7th edition of the PMBOK, which was released in January 2021, is organized into the following main sections:
- Introduction – provides an overview of the PMBOK and the project management profession.
- The Standard for Project Management – describes the six aspects of project management (scope, schedule, cost, quality, resources, and stakeholders) that must be balanced in order to successfully deliver a project.
- The Project Management Framework – outlines the five process groups (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing) and the nine knowledge areas (integration, scope, schedule, cost, quality, resources, communications, risk, and procurement) that are used to manage the project from start to finish.
- Project Integration Management – describes the processes and activities required to ensure that all aspects of the project are properly coordinated.
- Project Scope Management – covers the processes and techniques used to define, plan, and control the scope of the project.
- Project Schedule Management – describes the processes and techniques used to plan and control the project schedule.
- Project Cost Management – covers the processes and techniques used to plan and control the project budget.
- Project Quality Management – describes the processes and techniques used to ensure that the project meets the specified quality standards.
- Project Resource Management – covers the processes and techniques used to plan, acquire, and manage the project’s human and non-human resources.
- Project Communications Management – describes the processes and techniques used to manage the flow of information to, from, and within the project team.
- Project Risk Management – covers the processes and techniques used to identify, assess, and mitigate the risks associated with the project.
- Project Procurement Management – describes the processes and techniques used to acquire goods and services from outside the project team.
- Project Stakeholder Management – covers the processes and techniques used to identify, assess, and manage the stakeholders involved in the project.
- The Standard for Portfolio Management – describes the standard for portfolio management and it’s integration with project, program and operation management.
- Tailoring Considerations – provides guidance on tailoring the PMBOK to the specific needs of a particular project or organization.
PMP bootcamp sessions breaks down the information in a way that allows you a fast, concentrated course, with tips and tricks that can help you connect the information in order to pass your PMP certification exam.
- Bootcamps can be in person instruction in a classroom setting or online with a live instructor.
- Bootcamps are generally 3 – 5 days in a row.
- Bootcamps can be from 12 to 6 hours for the day.
- Some Boot Camps provide you with a pass guarantee on the actual exam
- Bootcamps have a strict attendance requirement. If you miss or sometimes if you are late for the course you will have to start back at the beginning.
- If you have to start the course over you will have to pay for the course again. Make sure you have the time allotted before signing up.
- Bootcamps cost much more than self-paced learning programs and sometimes more than courses that go over a period of weeks or months.
- Bootcamp is the quickest way to achieve the 35 contact hours necessary to sit for your PMP certification.
In Person versus Online Boot Camp
Some individuals prefer the in person classroom study. It allows you to have more personal interaction with other students as well as the instructors. It is often less distracting and can give you more insight into what others are struggling with.
Online courses provide you with the ability to schedule the class when you are at home, or in some cases, at the office. It gives you access to a wider range of course providers and there’s no need to commute to class every morning.
Of the online courses available, we strongly recommend Brain Sensei’s PMP Exam Prep course. They include a pass guarantee, money-back guarantee, and access to their entire self-paced course with 1,500 realistic practice questions for an entire year. They provide the guidance of a live instructor and the ability to work with your peers through social media study groups. Their course is provided in bootcamp form, as well as 2-nights/week for 5 week sessions online and their self-paced courses are very reasonably priced.
Becoming a PMP “Officer”
No matter the training you choose, you have to have the 35 contact hours. Once you have that certificate of completion from your bootcamp and have met all of the PMP prerequisites, you can send in your application to schedule your exam.
PMI randomly audits applications to ensure the quality of those taking the exam meets the standards of the organization. Keep all of your documentation, especially your certificate of completion, ready in case of an audit.
Once your application is accepted you have one year to take the exam. You can, if need be, reschedule the exam but you may be charged additional fees to do so. If you don’t sit the exam within the year you will need to reapply, but remember, your certificate of completion and your 35 education hours don’t expire.
If your exam is scheduled at a later date, take time and advantage of the sample exams, sample questions and answers, and notes you took during Bootcamp. Get with other students to help you prepare, asking each other questions that focus on the areas you may need additional preparation for.
There are 180 questions and 4 hours between you and your PMP certificate. All of the steps up to this point have prepared you to answer the questions by applying your understanding of project management and project data. Bootcamp has provided you with tips to remember the key knowledge areas and processes.
Most online training courses, including Brain Sensei, offer you the ability to work with exam simulators. These simulators teach you how to answer so you can get through the entire 180 multiple choice questions. You have a little over one minute to answer each question. Plenty of time.
“If you do not take the opportunity to advance and reward the deserving, your subordinates will not carry out your commands, and disaster will ensue.”
The best PMP bootcamp will provide you with the tools to become a Project Management Professional Certificate holder. PMP is the most recognized project management certificate in the world. It provides its holders with credibility and boasts their profile ahead of their peers. A PMP certified can gain a 20% increase in salary in comparison to a non-certified professional according to PMI latest salary survey.
Project Management is one of the most consistent as well as growing fields. No matter what industry, if you seek to elevate your project management career, get off the bus and into bootcamp. The haircut is your choice.