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Would love some feedback on my work experience in the context of the PMP experience requirement. I have an M.S. degree, so I need 4500 hours. I have a background in audit, IT audit, and then database programming during software implementations.

Experience:

  1. Performing government audits as the team lead or solo auditor - 1200 hours
  2. IT audit - either audit project lead or responsible for initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing IT portion of larger audit - 1800 hours

Total from audit: 3000 hours

I now work as a consultant performing database programming/reporting in the context of software implementations. It's a mix of converting reports from legacy systems, configuring default reports to work for that client's setup, and building new reports as needed.

For about 1/3 of my tasks, there is a PM who is involved but basically only records development, testing, and sign-off dates based on dates I give him or her at a 2x/month meeting. The PM basically knows none of the details of what I do other than the name of the task and whether they have dates for a few milestones. For the other 2/3 of my tasks, I am the sole overseer. A client sends specs, which are frequently sparse. I work with them to nail down more detailed specs. Research. Plan. Build. Validate. Test. However, these tasks - a task usually just means building a report but might mean multiple reports - can take as few as 2 hours but sometimes take up to 100 hours. Not conventional 1000-hour projects to be sure.

I usually mentor 2-4 other programmers but am not responsible for closely monitoring or reviewing all their tasks.

Any feedback regarding whether my current job as a database programmer/report writer contains acceptable PM experience? My boss gave me a training plan for next year that includes a project management class that is basically a PMP review course. I would love to take the exam as well. Would mean small but worthwhile annual pay bump.

Thanks for any responses.

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4 Answers

welcome to pmse!

I'm not a PMP, but as far as I know, you'll need to prove you have project management experience before applying for the exam.

As you pointed, the minimal required worked hours as a project manager is 4500h, but is strongly suggested to have more than this to avoid denials on the submission for the exam.

When applying to the PMP exam, you'll have an interview (PMP folks, correct me if I'm wrong!) where you'll need to explain them how was the management tasks you conducted, so be sure (and especially, confident!) that what you've done are really PM tasks.

My personal suggestion in your case would be to take first the CAPM exam. Although it may not give you this bonus you're looking for, studying for CAPM can be considered the 'first step' to become a PMP.

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The criterion reads managing projects, not necessarily serving as the project manager on record. It used to read leading project tasks. PMI states that the change in language was to provide more clarity but not to change the original intent of the criterion. So the quality of your hours you claim needs to really be about managing the work from cradle to grave, watching your risks, controlling resources, controlling your schedule, managing quality, delivering something, etc., whether you were a PM or not.

The only way you will know if your experience is relevant it to complete the application and submit it.

And I second Tiago's suggestiong about the CAPM. It won't hurt you to get that out of the way as you accrue more time.

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I agree with David but you are missing the biggest point of being a project manager.

I usually mentor 2-4 other programmers but am not responsible for closely monitoring or reviewing all their tasks.

You need to decide why you want to do PMP? Is it for career advancement or you seriously are interested in this field. If you seriously want to go for PMP my suggestion would be to read the process areas of project management and see where you fit in and what needs to be done more.

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Yes. The experience I submitted was similar to that which you are offering. My understanding of the requirement is that you have to show that you have experience in the skills that are critical for project management. From what you say, you're initiating projects, and monitoring / controlling work. Implied in your description is that you're doing informal planning and some form of closure. You'll want to review your work in more detail, map the activities you currently perform to project management best practice, and possibly including more project management techniques. That will help you submit the experience, and will incidentally help prepare you for the exam.

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