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Topic History of : Writing project descriptions - Advice for fluid roles

Max. showing the last 6 posts - (Last post first)
6 months 1 week ago #18194


Matt32's Avatar

A quick update in case anyone was following: I did apply for the exam, verbatim as above, and just got notification that my application passed.

I'm targeting a couple months' worth of studying next. I'll post another update once I take the exam.
6 months 2 weeks ago #18103


Matt32's Avatar

Hi folks,

I just wrapped up my PrepCast lessons (great material) and I'm on the verge of applying for the PMP exam.

For career experience, I'm going to be drawing on two large, multi-year projects I've worked on. These had changing circumstances and my role on both evolved over time.

I'm pausing here to make sure I'm capturing my experience properly for the exam application. I wonder if I might be able to lean on some of the folks here who have developed a good eye for the project descriptions.

Project 1: 30 months, 3000 hours
Objective: Refactor and migrate a package of strategic applications to the Cloud.
(I): Led strategic assessments and cost-benefit evaluations with stakeholders to select appropriate applications for migration.
(E): Directed refactoring & cloud compliance tasks; executed on communication plan to maintain stakeholder awareness & engagement.
(M&C): Selected & leveraged tools to benchmark progress; led & implemented change controls.
(C): Upon successful production launches, transferred operational support to appropriate parties.

Additional background: I joined Project 1 as a junior coordinator and took over some PM tasks quickly. Over time the existing project management staff rolled off and I took over in full. To abide strictly by the PMI definition of the Project Manager role & responsibility I looked over my old notes and time tracking and came up with around 60% of my lifespan on this project that fit the bill.

I shared this with my reference ahead of time and got his buy-in (in fact he thinks I'm underestimating my qualifying hours by quite a lot).

Aside from the evolving role, I also want to make sure I capture the phase of the project appropriately. By the time I joined it was up and running, so my hours primarily fit into Monitoring & Controlling. There is not any Planning, and the small portion of Initiating has to do with expansion of scope as the project succeeded.

Project 2: 21 months, 1800 hours
Objective: Launch integrated trading, accounting, and data platforms.
(I): Identified major deliverables; performed analysis of stakeholder landscape and selected & leveraged approach to gain stakeholder acceptance.
(P): Decomposed key requirements into deliverables; led kick-off.
(E): Managed hiring, coaching, and allocations for team resources; executed on stakeholder reporting.
Outcome: Multi-year project moved from planning to implementation work and I transitioned to a new role, handing responsibility to implementation Project Leadership.

Note: Right now this comes in at an even 549 characters B)

Additional details: Project 2 was sort of the inverse of Project 1 for me. I joined it early in Initiating/Planning with a very hands-on, drivers seat role.

As the project progressed into implementation I maintained a leading hand in many an Execution cookie jar, but my role evolved more towards a PMO "foundational best practices" type charge. Some, IMO, of this qualifies under the PMI "leading & directing" definition, some does not, so all told my 1800 qualifying hours comprise about 55% of my total time on Project 2.

When Project 2 wrapped its quasi official Phase 1 and slid into full fledged implementation mode, I took a new, non-project job offer elsewhere. I'm limited in my ability to qualify its final outcome, therefore (in fact, it's still not done yet). Here, too, I've proactively shared my write-up with my reference and confirmed his comfort.

Caveat is that these are still WIP as I think I can benefit from applying a little more "PMP speak".

That said, I want to leave nothing to chance, and be sure I'm properly conveying my roles - it's in harmony with the "all aspects of the project for the life of the project" definition - except in both cases my fully-fledged PM tenancy didn't overlap 100% with the soup-to-nuts lifespan of the project (but across both projects I do have experience in all five process groups). I think this is particularly relevant to my last sentence for Project 2, which might be overexplaining it.

Thanks so much in advance to anyone who takes the time to read this.

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