by Sergio Andreozzi

Although I’ve been working in projects for more than ten years, from small to large size, I’ve never went through a formal training except for some crash courses from experienced colleagues or introductory workshops. I’ve mostly learnt from peers or by reading some reference books on the subject.

 

As I got to know the PMI and the Netherlands Chapter, I started following some of their monthly meetings and I got interested in studying the PMBOK and obtaining my PMP certification. The main motivation for me is the desire to align with a well-established toolbox of processes that can improve project management “interoperability” and efficiency, and enrich my CV with a widely recognized certification.  As I have a full-time job, I kept postponing this wish until I learnt about the opportunity to attend coaching classes that combine self-study with face-to-face group meetings where PMI volunteers support the preparation for the certification. Coaching classes are organized in a cycle of 4 Saturdays that is offered twice a year. I subscribed to the autumn cycle and went through the first lesson last 19 October in Utrecht.

 

A group of 15 people gathered together in a nice U-shaped conference room. The background was quite heterogeneous in terms of nationalities and business area although most of the people were involved in IT-related projects.

 

Margo and Jolanda were the PMI volunteers who decided to spend their Saturday to support PMP aspirants. They made clear that their goal was to keep the session open, interactive and fun… and they managed to do so. The 6 hours slipped away very smoothly, there was good rhythm in the leading of the two coaches, and the approach was very effective. Beside some quick overview on the topics that we were asked to study in advance, we got two set of 25-questions to answer in 30’ each. Then, we received the correct answers with the explanation of why only one was right, while the other not. After that, each of us went to a whiteboard and noted the wrong answers. The whiteboard became a focus point of the gaps of the group and the learnings that were used by Margo and Jolanda to start a discussion bringing in real-world experience that helped us understand the PMI view on the situation.

 

Overall, I found the day very pleasant and fruitful. I met a good set of people and I’m looking forward to the next classes and, last but not least, “to measure the impact” of this learning through attending the PMP certification.