Recently I have been studying for my APMP qualification which has taken up quite a lot of my time. It is a globally recognised qualification for project managers and carries a lot of weight when proving your project management credentials. I have spent most of my career managing large IT projects in one form or another, so for me the motivation was to get some validation on where my skills are at the moment.
The course syllabus was extremely interesting broadly covering:
- Project management in context
- Planning and strategy
- Executing the strategy
- Business and commercial
- Organisations and governance
- People and profession
My experience is exclusively in IT so it was very interesting to see how engineering and other large scale building projects are managed and the different constraints they have on their execution.
I did a classroom course as this for me is the best way to learn with Aim Academy in London and the training was first class! We had a 4 day workshop followed by a weeks break and then a revision day the day before the exam. This format worked really well as the break gave you time to digest the content and let it bed down in your brain.
The exam was held by an invigilator in London. It was a three hour exam where you have to answer 10 out of 16 questions, which are all written answers. Typically each question requires about 2-3 pages of A4 paper so my hand was very tired by the end as I am not used to writing on paper these days! The exam was very well structured to test your knowledge and all the questions seemed to be reasonable and not there simply to trip you up.
I came out of the exam feeling quite confident as I had prepared well and had been attentive during the study sessions.
I will get the exam results in 8-10 weeks so fingers crossed I passed. When I get the result I will let you know.
Overall the APMP is a superb course for anyone looking to validate or improve their project management expertise. I would have no doubt in recommending it. You will need a few years project management experience in order to understand what is going on, we had one person who came on the course with little experience and quickly found they were well out of their depth.
I would say that it is well worth attending a training course, I know some people who passed by just studying the notes but I think you miss the point that part of the qualification is to expose yourself to new ideas and different approaches and this can only be done if you put yourself in an environment with other excellent project managers from other industries.
The next step for me is to perhaps take a course in a structured project management method such as Prince II, where as the APMP is about knowledge Prince II is about application. People who know me will know that I love learning and hate to stand still so I think some new course will be on the horizon soon.