Top 5 Ways PMP Training and Certification Improved my Personal Life

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When people speak about the benefits of being PMP certified, it’s easy to say things like 20% more pay, job security, professional recognition and so forth – all of which are facts, but also career related.

 It’s rarely ever discussed that professional training and certification programs may have benefits that go beyond the office. But this is often true, considering that the skills we learn at the workplace are often times carried over into our personal lives to make for a more effective living.

 Today, I decided to share the Top 5 Ways the PMP Training and Certification Program Improved my Personal Life.

 1.       Planning: Let’s start with this. Most people do not develop skills for rigorous planning required for corporate success domestically. Often times, we learn the ropes from a boss, supervisor or colleague.

 The PMP program however takes this further. Beyond teaching you how to plan, it teaches you holistic planning. Having to plan for scope, plan, quality, time, risks, procurement, stakeholders – all differently, taught me how to consider all aspects of my life and personal projects when planning.

 This proved to be more effective that one-size-fits-all plans I used to make. And that wasn’t the worst part of it.

 2.      Risk Management: If you’re entrepreneurial, you’re by nature a risk taker. Another aspect of entrepreneurs that makes them successful is the “Can-do” attitude that manifests in optimism and an ability to see the good in bad situations. However, the flip side of optimism can be a sunny approach that doesn’t “think negative” at all or acknowledge risks.

The Risk Management processes in project management taught me to move from optimistic planning to realistic planning, taking into considering all possible risks, and working out a plan to avoid, mitigate, or transfer them – even in my personal projects.

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3.      Goal Setting: If you’ve ever written down personal goals that you forgot about only to remember them when you were dusting up your room two years later, because you saw the paper, you’ll understand what I am talking about.

Project Management through the planning and monitoring and controlling process groups taught me to break goals into objectives, and milestone. I learned to divide my goals by the number or days and activities required to complete them and I learned to collect data to check my rate of progress. Perhaps more importantly, I learned to perform simple Earn Value Management processes to tell whether I was ahead or behind in my plans, and to what degree. It has increased my effectiveness by at least 80%.

 4.      Decision Making: Decision making is a tough thing for most people. Having to choose something over another can be quite tasking and stressful for some. Project Management made this simple by introducing me to the Multi-criteria Decision Analysis process that helps me rank my options based on criteria I consider useful to me.

This simplifies my decision making process by logically analyzing my options, and helping me choose the best option for be based on my predetermined criteria, and the value or weight I put on each criteria. It’s something you’ll love to be introduced to.

 5.      Stakeholder Management: If you’ve followed the politics of Lagos in the last few weeks, you’ll understand how important stakeholder management is for gubernatorial candidates. It is also important for project managers, professionally and personally.

Stakeholder management knowledge area taught me to inform those who would be affected by my actions/projects, as well as closely monitor people whose decisions can have tremendous impact on me. I class stakeholder in my personal life into those 4-quadrants and it’s been effective, smoothing out misunderstandings and giving me more opportunities to interact better with friends and loved ones, as well as fulfill my goals.

 I hope you found this helpful. I also hope you’ll apply the lessons you’ve learned from work and PMI to be more effective and efficient, both on the professional front and your personal lives.

 Thanks a million