Some ugly truths about career.

Some ugly truths about career.

One of the best sessions I have had in my training career was my PMP weekday class in June this year.

In the class was a HR Manager of one of the leading banks in Nigeria, a retired Oil worker who worked with an Oil major for 20 years.

While we were treating project human resource management, the retired Oil worker shared with us that in the corporate ladder, high performing talent is not enough. He stated that technical skills can only get you to an extent and that to go further, you need to know how to play office politics, build cross functional relationships and the proverbial a** licking. Guess what, the HR Manager corroborated this assertion. So I did a study around this and came up with some ugly truths about career. find below.

1. You don’t have to be the smartest or best at what you do to get to the top

Have you ever talked to a senior executive and wonder how in the world did this person ever get so high up in a company. They have no idea what they are doing.

Well there is a common misconception that only the smartest or most qualified make it to the highest ranks of a company.

In reality, it is the people who are the best at understanding corporate politics, building cross-functional relationships, and developing high performing talent that makes their way to the top.

Once you start progressing into the ranks of senior manager or director, high performing individuals start being defined by their people and soft skills. The hard skills that you pick up earlier in your career as a specialist in an area matter less because you hire people to do that work for you.

I have seen many people get frustrated when their careers plateau as middle managers and feel cheated when their peers who seem less qualified get promoted. Most corporations aren’t places of meritocracy.

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My PMP Story. Emenike Ezekwesili PMP

My PMP Story. Emenike Ezekwesili PMP

I started this journey during my Executive MBA in 2016 where I had to choose an elective and chose Project Management. It was then I decided I was going to learn more. In the process, I got to know about the PMP® Certification. I dragged my feet between then and 2018 when I decided to take this seriously. I then began to research the criteria for the PMP® Certification, which included extensive project management experience, classroom time and the certification examination. I began to study, but it was like I was hitting a brick wall as a lot of it seemed too complex.

A colleague of mine who was a student of Mr Obalim at Ciel Consulting highly recommended his training school and I came over and made enquiries. The team advised on the specific materials to get and how to go about preparing for the exams. I registered for the classes in December 2018 with the plan to take the exam in March 2019.

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How I passed my PMP Exam. Gerald Ifeanyi Onyemize

Gerald Ifeanyi Onyemije PMP.  Contact on LinkedIn.

Gerald Ifeanyi Onyemije PMP. Contact on LinkedIn.


Hi Obalim.

 

This is how I passed my PMP exam.

 

After the 35 Contact hours training at Ciel Consulting, I immediately went into study mode.

I read Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep a whole lot. Twice completely.

I also read Headfirst PMP Exam Prep Book, but for clarity on certain areas, I didn't understand with Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep Book. it was the old version of headfirst and it didn't have the updated facts so I selected chapters consistent with older fact.

 While reading the two, I also breezed through the PMBok Guide. But stopped doing that after the Quality Management knowledge area.

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 I practised a lot. I average 400 questions per day. That means after studying I did two practise exams in a day. I never repeated any instead I learnt from my errors.

 I took Rita's advice and did not practise questions after each knowledge area immediately until I was certain I was ready for the exam. It was then I attempted all... A total of about 379 questions. It was mentally demanding. I utilized the whole 4 hours for that.

I also listened to YouTube videos from Obalim on these two concepts,

1, the difference BTW configuration management and change control

2, quality assurance and quality control.

Pmbok did not do justice in defining these terms but Obalim did. He has videos on YouTube that explained these concepts that aid answering questions correctly on the exams.

I also used apps from the Playstore at my free moments to ensure the brain was always working.

There are good ones that are free and have good questions to checkmate your knowledge on each knowledge area and process group. They even analyse your progress.

 

 I read a lot.

Which is the best business analyst certification, PMI, PBA, or CBAP?

Which is the best business analyst certification, PMI, PBA, or CBAP?

PMI offers PMI-PBA certification which recognizes an individual’s expertise in business analysis. This examination measures and evaluates the specific knowledge of a candidate to function as a business analysis professional.

From IIBA viewpoint business analysis is all about understanding how a business solution will align with the day-to-day operations of a business. This is not to say that PMI has no interest in helping organizations to improve their core business operations, or that the IIBA has no interest in supporting the program/project management. It is that both these organizations have a different emphasis on business analysis.

For those individuals who mainly work on projects and programs, and for those who perform a dual role of a Project Manager / Business Analyst, the PMI-PBA is a good certification to possess.

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What made me Pass my CBAP Exam.

What made me Pass my CBAP Exam.

Hello Obalim,

I completed my CBAP on 9th April 2018. I wanted to share my story so as to motivate others willing to take the exams.

I went over Babook V3 ~once and Watermark CBAP Exam Prep Book 3-4 times understanding concepts and breaking it as below:

Intro+BA Concept+6 KA: spent more time on reiterating concepts putting them to real examples, mind mapping : KA and there Inputs,Task,Elements,Guidelines/Tools,Outputs

Techniques and Underlying competencies: spent less time on theory and more on practical questions. I spent little to no time on Perspective.

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Sample Primavera P6 Interview Questions.

Sample Primavera P6 Interview Questions.

If you plan to work as a planner or scheduler, you may expect two major forms of interview.

The first type is Oral Interview and the 2nd could be Practical interview.

Some recruiters have been known to use both. In this post, I have given a breakdown of some likely interview questions during an interview.

I have also attached a Primavera P6 Practical exercise for the Practical style interview scenario.

Sample interview questions

1. What do you understand by WBS?

2. What is a float and explain the types?

3. What is your greatest achievement and what did you learn from it?

4. How would you fit into a team?

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10 Essential Project Management Skills

1. Leadership

We have to start with the big daddy of them all – leadership. It’s a bit of a slippery skill in that some believe you’re born with leadership skills and that they can’t be taught. But we think everyone has the potential to learn how to apply proven leadership skills and techniques. After all, what’s the alternative? As a project manager you’re responsible not only for seeing the project through to a successful completion, but you’re leading a team to achieve that goal. This requires you to motivate and mediate when necessary. Remember that project leadership comes in different styles, one of which will suit your personality. It’s more than managing tasks; it’s managing people.

2. Communication

Communications really go hand-in-glove with leadership. You can’t be an effective leader if you’re not able to articulate what it is you need your team to do. But you’re not only going to be communicating with your team, you’ll need to have clear communications with everyone associated with the project, from vendors and contractors to stakeholders and customers. Whether that’s through reporting tools or fostering collaboration with chat, file sharing, and other means to tag discussions at the task level, you’re going to need both systems in place to facilitate communications. These tools also help connect people one-to-one and in group settings, such as meetings and presentations.

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(RADIO INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT) IMPORTANCE OF CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS TO YOUR CAREER

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Radio Presenter: Good morning. Today we are going to be discussing Importance of Certification in Career Development.

With us are Mary Adebusoye, she’s the General Manager of Ciel Consulting. Also with us is Obalim Esedebe - Senior Consultant of Ciel Consulting. Ciel Consulting is a Globally recognised training and certifications firm, with portfolios covering training, certifications, and consulting in Project Management, Business Analysis, Safety Courses, HR courses and IT Courses like ITIL, CEH and CISSP..

(Turns to the Ciel Team and asks)

So Mr. Obalim, I hear a lot about professional training and certifications. The trend and enthusiasm about these training have been on the increase in the last 5 years. Why the mad rush? What exactly is the value of these training and certifications? Why should I invest my time, effort and perhaps effort to get these certifications?

Obalim: Firstly, you would agree with me that having an ordinary university degree is never enough in today’s competitive world. In your career, you’ll be in stiff competition with people with advanced degrees, certifications and even foreign degrees of all sorts. The question is “what “extra” do you have to give you the advantage in your career?

When you consider the opportunities the world offers the certified professional, you’ll understand why a lot of people go for these certification programs. Firstly, there’s the income advantage. Certified professionals earn 20 - 25% on average more than their peers in the same industry. Then there’s more employment and promotion opportunities, not to talk about job security. You get to execute your work more effectively and efficiently, and become more noticeable to management. Then there’s international/global recognition for your certification, anywhere in the world. This would come in handy if you decide to relocate or migrate to any country of the world.

Radio Presenter: You raised a very important point. Speaking about global recognition and migration - I know a number of people who traveled to the US or Canada and had difficulty getting good jobs. Would you say not having a certification caused this prolonged period of difficulty?

Mary: Honestly, you cannot totally remove that factor. It’s unfortunate that our university degrees in Nigeria are not globally recognized. According to the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, there’s no local Nigerian university in the list of the top 600 universities in the world. This means that holding our degrees translate into more difficulty securing good jobs overseas. So basically, it would be to your advantage to have a certificate, academic or professional, that is globally recognized. Anywhere in the world, if you hold a PMP, or a CBAP, or a PHRI, professionals in that field instantly recognize you. The international labour market instantly recognizes you. These professional bodies have networking communities that can form the foundation for your networking activities. What’s there to lose? And we’ve not even started talking about the “Hot Cake” factor.

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Radio Presenter: The “Hot Cake” factor? What’s that?

Obalim: There are numbers of awesome certification programs that pay wonderfully well in Canada and other Western countries. Business Analysts for instance earn between 80, 281 to 136, 400 Canadian dollars a year. Certified HR Managers earn as high as 130 000 Canadian dollars. They earn this much because these certifications - like business analysis, project management, human resources management and a number of these IT courses are very much in demand, owing to the nature of the business environment there. In fact, in the last 3 years, when we looked at data from our training programs, about 73% of training and certification participants were doing it, because they had plans or arrangements to relocate overseas. So a certification becomes a plus factor, and added attractiveness factor on their profiles.

Radio Presenter: Oh I see. So tell me; if I want to take a certification program, why should I come for Ciel Consulting. What is it I’d get from you that I can’t get from the numerous consulting outfits scattered around Lagos?

Mary: Firstly, our training and certification package is full and considers the end-to-end needs of our clients/participants. Yes, we provide training, but that’s just a small part of the package. And then you receive first-rate examination preparation materials (totaling about N60000 in value), you get to learn introductory Primavera, Project and Visio on the last day, depending on the program you applied for, you get a study program to maximize your study for the exam, and then exam preparation tests or boot-camp where we introduce you to as much past questions from the PMP/BA so that you are familiar with exam scenarios, and we also help with examination registration, career advice and CV rewrite.

Radio Presenter: Wait a minute. All of this is in one package?

Obalim: Yes. And there’s the added promise that if you come in for our classes and you’re not satisfied with what you get, we will give you a 100% refund of your money. That’s guaranteed!!!

Radio Presenter: Wonderful...so how much does this package go for?

Obalim: It goes for only N69, 999 - the classes, the materials, including and examination preparation book, the career consulting, CV rewrite, examination registration, study program, Primavera, MS Project. For the Project Management package, it’s N69, 999. There’s also a package for Business Analysis, HRM, HSE, Facility Management and so forth. All of these can be accessed on our website, www. Cielgr.com, or you could call our helplines: 08091592389, or 08072678355.

Watch out for This Weeks Edition, Thursday 28th March. Thanks for listening in.

Why you should know CPR

Why you should know CPR

Did you know that CPR saves 92,000 lives every year? That’s a staggering number and is just one of the many reasons why you should know CPR. You don’t need to be a doctor or health care professional to know CPR or how it can save lives. It is a very useful skill to have and can help you in many different types of emergency situations. It is also a skill that anyone can develop without professional training or a medical degree.

According to the American Heart Association, CPR can double and even triple a person's chance of survival after cardiac arrest. This is just one of the many reasons that you should consider learning CPR. Not only can you help save a life, but you can learn a valuable life skill, expand your knowledge, and do your part in making a difference.

What is CPR?
CPR, also known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a type of life-saving, emergency procedure which is

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9 Important Documents created by every Business Analyst (Part 2)

Documentation is one of the integral job functions of a business analyst and he, throughout the course of a project, prepares many documents. These documents are created to fulfill the varied project needs and cater to audiences belonging to different spheres of a project.

The type and specifications a business analyst is expected to create in an organization depends upon many parameters like organization’s processes and policies, need and expectations of the business, and the stakeholder requirements. Detailed below are the common documents a business analyst is expected to create and they are extensively used throughout the course of a project. Each of these documents has a specific template and it’s a part of the overall project documentation. The documents are:

  • Project vision Document

  • Requirement Management Plan

  • User stories

  • Use cases

  • Business Requirement Document

  • Requirement traceability matrix (RTM)

  • Functional requirement specification (FRS)/ Functional Specification Document (FSD)

  • System requirement specification (SRS)/ System Requirement Document (SRD)

  • Test case

Let’s discuss the second part of these documents in details, as we discussed 4 of these important documents last week.

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9 Important Documents created by every Business Analyst (Part 1)

Documentation is one of the integral job functions of a business analyst and he, throughout the course of a project, prepares many documents. These documents are created to fulfill the varied project needs and cater to audiences belonging to different spheres of a project.

The type and specifications a business analyst is expected to create in an organization depends upon many parameters like organization’s processes and policies, need and expectations of the business, and the stakeholder requirements. Detailed below are the common documents a business analyst is expected to create and they are extensively used throughout the course of a project. Each of these documents has a specific template and it’s a part of the overall project documentation. The documents are:

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What is a Work Breakdown Structure?

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is often seen as the foundation of the project. Why is this so? This is because the Work Breakdown Structure reflects the entire scope baseline of the project, such that deliverable not incorporated into the WBS will not be part of the project.

What then is the WBS?

The WBS is a deliverable-oriented, functional decomposition of the project scope of work into hierarchically grouped work elements. The WBS shows the breakdown of work components (deliverable) into hierarchical levels resembling an organisational chart, but don’t be confused; it is NOT an organisational chart.

It serves a much different function from an organisational chart.

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