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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Adventures in PMP Certification - Bootcamp Review

As mentioned in the previous post, last summer I attended the PMP prep bootcamp in Vancouver put on by Corporate Oasis. So in today's blog article I'll give you some feedback on my experience to help you make your own decisions.

First off, I quickly learned that the PMBOK materials are extensive. Perhaps that's not the right word... massive? Either way, there is a LOT of material to cover, even for someone like me who has been managing IT projects for many years. 

The main reason that your years of experience may not be as helpful as you'd think is because the exam itself is based specifically on the content of the PMBOK (R) Guide, and not necessarily the "common sense" approach you've learned through experience. 

Now that all said, in previous discussions with Paul Robinson of Corporate Oasis, I learned that the materials used for the bootcamp and subsequent self-study are varied and pulled together into a comprehensive learning program. The first mark in favour of this particular bootcamp was Paul letting me peruse the materials before signing up for the class so I could get a sense of the quality.

Corporate Oasis leveraged the Velociteach program, which uses a textbook, audio CDs, flash cards, a quick reference guide (read: cheat sheet format), and a customized student workbook. All these materials are extremely helpful as we all have different learning styles and you can work with what works best for you. That would be the second point in favour of the bootcamp.

Thirdly, the bootcamp ran for three very full business days. This accelerated program reduces the workplace impact, but all the material still gets covered, including some in-class quizzes to test your learning pace.  That all said, you can't be distracted by work or other things during these three days so you'll need to plan your time accordingly.

Paul led the classes and has an excellent instruction style. He was highly interactive with the class, measured the pace of delivery based on the progress of the class, and had intentionally kept the class on the small-side of sizing to enable us to get to know each other and learn with and from each other. So I think that's points four and five in favour of this bootcamp. 

Due to the compressed schedule, there isn't time to teach you how to use the learning materials themselves - but the assumption is that the class is being taken by adults who've learned how to learn, and understand their own optimal learning styles. So be aware of that going in, but it's not so much a mark against the bootcamp, as it is a warning if you are expecting to have your hand held through the process.

There is homework during the bootcamp period, but again, to accommodate the compressed schedule that's necessary. 

So in summary, I would strongly recommend if you are pursuing your PMP certification to take a recognized bootcamp to ensure you get a necessary immersion in the PMBOK materials. And if you are looking at your PMP Bootcamp options, I would suggest you take a good look at the Corporate Oasis offering.

If you'd like more information on the Corporate Oasis PMP bootcamp feel free to contact me through Twitter @itManageCast or my itManageCast@gmail.com email, or contact the team at Corporate Oasis directly at:

Calgary: (403) 456-3402
Vancouver: (604) 282-7898
Toronto: (416) 855-0292



  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Adventures in PMP Certification - Where to Start?

I thought I'd start a new series of posts to follow my personal journey in obtaining my Project Management Professional certification (the PMI PMP certification), as I get a sense this is an area where many can learn from my experiences and avoid their own mistakes!

Very brief background to set the stage - I'm a 20+ year veteran of IT, primarily IT infrastructure and IT Service Management focussed, with 10+ years of project management experience. Currently I'm looking for my next role but I never did "bother" to get my PMP certification. So now I am.

Getting the PMP cert has always been in the back of my mind, but never made it onto my career roadmap as I figured my experience & education in the area outweighed the need for the three letters to put on my resume & business cards. Well, this particular certification has been well accepted by the industry in general and having the experience PLUS the certification is what employers are looking for.

So my journey started by having coffee with friends and associates who currently hold the designation and asking them about their journeys, and where to start. There are nearly as many approaches to this as there are people I spoke with, but in the end I chose this approach:

Research

  • Then go to the Certifications page and read up on the range of certs available to decide which is best for you. If you are reading this, likely that'll be the Project Management Professional (PMP).
  • You will also learn about the Application Process for your PMP certification. That's a detailed form you'll need to fill out. I've only just started mine, but follow this blog for any advice I have for you as I progress through my application.


Learn


  • Start with self-study unless you have the time/money to take a full-on PMP course. Then once you are comfortable with the basics, take a PMP exam bootcamp and study until you're ready for the exam.


Certify


  • This part I haven't gotten to yet, but if you follow my posts you'll hear how it goes and any advice I have for you.



So those are the high-level quick steps I'm following toward my goal of PMP certification. I'm looking forward to continuing my path to certification and sharing what I learn with all of you.

If you have any advice or input from your experience I'd really love to hear about - feel free to contact me at itManageCast on Twitter, Gmail, or Jason J Kennedy on LinkedIn to share your thoughts and experiences.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

itManageCast Episode 8 - PMP Best Practices and Certification

This week on the itManageCast podcast we were fortunate to join Paul Robinson of Corporate Oasis at his home on Mayne Island, and sit down for a great chat that ranged across a few topics but included the value proposition of project management knowledge, the importance of and how to apply an interdisciplinary framework of best practices, and various certifications, particularly the PMP.

We hope you get as much value out of listening to this as I did spending the time with Paul, and encourage you to contact him directly or via our show if you have any further questions or feedback.

In addition we discuss a new Internet of Things (IoT) enabling technology from Chinese chip manufacturer RockChip, the HP Discover 2015 conference, and how to access webinars on IT Security and Privacy.








To download this weeks podcast, click on the link below:
itManageCast Podcast Episode 8



Links from our show notes are:
Paul Robinson's email: Paul.Robinson@corporateoasis.com
Corporate Oasis Website
Project Management Institute
RockChip
HP Discover 2015
Vivit Worldwide
SANS Webcasts

Listen on Stitcher Internet Radio:



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

itManageCast Episode 7

For episode 7 we didn't have any guests for you, but we did cover a variety of IT news and events of interest to our listeners.




Host Jason Kennedy discussed the Procurify brand launch event he attended a couple of weeks ago, and most notably shared about that cloud-services innovator's bold move of launching a trade magazine - weird eh? But cool, and a good read.
Company website 
Procurify blog articles
Procurement Sense magazine downloads

Click the link below to download the audio for this podcast.
itManageCast Episode 7 

We also discussed the recent NDP majority election in Alberta, CA and are interested to hear from YOU what ripple effects that may have in the energy and tech sectors in Alberta and beyond.
Send us your feedback via email itManageCast@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter! @itManageCast

Then we spoke about a few conferences and events of interest to IT professionals including:

ITSM High Performance Service Management Workshop
Thursday May 28 in Vancouver BC
http://www.itsmf.ca/events/

HP Discover
June 2-4 in Las Vegas Nevada
discover.hp.com

The 15th Annual Healthcare Summit
June 22-23 in Kelowna, BC

SANSFIRE 2015
June 13-20 in Balitmore, Maryland
Registration: http://www.sans.org/u/464
Event Information: http://www.sans.org/u/464


The itManageCast podcast is available for download on Stitcher Radio by clicking this link.

Friday, April 24, 2015

itManageCast Episode 6 - Vivit Worldwide with Rocky Pisto

Have you heard about Vivit Worldwide? Well apparently 30,000 of your peers around the globe have and are using the HP Software User community to hone their skills and knowledge - not just with the HP software products but with the workflows and practices that make the use of those tools into a business solution.

Rocky Pisto, the Engage Coordinator for Vivit Worldwide joins us to discuss the user community, how people can leverage the knowledge and experience of 30,000 peers, and the value you get with a free membership to this group.

All this and more in 30 minutes of fun and informative audio perfect for the commute of any busy IT professional.


Click the link below to download the audio for this podcast.
itManageCast Episode 6 - The Vivit Worldwide with Rocky Pisto

For feedback on this or any episode of the itManageCast podcast, or to recommend topics or guests for future shows, please contact us via Twitter @itManageCast or email us at our GMail account. 

Links:

email Rocky at: rocky.pisto@vivit-worldwide.org

Vivit Worldwide HP Software User Community

For more information on Rocky's paintings:


roccopistoart@gmail.com
www.roccopistopaintings.com

Monday, March 2, 2015

itManageCast Episode 5 - The Quality Assurance Consultation

Listen in to learn more about how to engage your business and support your development teams with deeper insight into the function of Quality Assurance with guest Christopher Scharer, in today's podcast.

Christopher holds deep experience in software development and automated software testing, working in the field since 1980. With experience in data-driven, keyword-driven and hybrid methodologies, Christopher has helped companies achieve testing success in a wide variety of business applications in the banking, finance, & healthcare industries.

In our conversation we define in clear terms what the expected function of QA (Quality Assurance) within the Software Development LifeCycle (SDLC) is, contrast that against Quality Control, and look at implication of different development methodologies and the application of QA.

At a higher level, we also explore how to engage your IT function and business units in the support of developing QA skills or functions, discuss the merits of in-sourcing and out-sourcing QA, and discuss the most important skills and traits to seek out or develop for Quality Assurance professionals in today's IT marketplace.

All of this in 30 minutes of engaging conversation that will appeal to any IT or business professional.

Click the link below to download the audio for this podcast.
itManageCast Episode 5 - The Quality Assurance Consultation

For feedback on this or any episode of the itManageCast podcast, or to recommend topics or guests for future shows, please contact us via Twitter @itManageCast or email us at our GMail account. 

Links:
To contact Christopher Scharer directly please email: Christopher.Scharer@Vivit-Worldwide.org




Monday, February 16, 2015

Podcast Episode 4 - The Disaster Recovery Discussion


In episode 4 of the itManageCast podcast, Tom Wahl joins host Jason Kennedy to provide insight into Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity planning for the IT professional. 

In this 30 minute conversation Tom and Jason explore the essential aspects of disaster recovery and business continuity, where they are the same and where they are different.  

We also discuss where the IT professionals responsibility for these services should ideally begin and end, and how to engage the other business functions in your organization into ownership over them.



Last but not least, Tom provides some insight into where to start if you are tasked with providing a disaster recovery plan for your organization.

Click the link below to download the audio for this podcast.
itManageCast Episode 4 - The Disaster Recovery Discussion


For feedback on this or any episode of the itManageCast podcast, or to recommend topics or guests for future shows, please contact us via Twitter @itManageCast or email us at our GMail account. 

Links:
to contact Tom Wahl directly email: tom@twltd.com