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Episode 434: The PMP® Exam is Changing on 1 July 2020 (Free)

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Sierrah Hampton-Simmons
Sierra Hampton-Simmons

As a project management trainer, I have always focused not only on teaching my students how to pass their exams but also on how to become better at what they are doing. Yes, of course, I want you to pass your exam and become certified but I always strived to ensure that what I teach helps you to better lead your projects and deliver them successfully for your stakeholders.

And that is why I think the changes that the Project Management Institute (PMI)® is making to the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam on July 1st, 2020 is a good change, even though they could have managed the roll-out a bit better.

With this update, PMI® is moving away from the five current and somewhat ‘technical’ domains and shifts the focus of the exam to test a candidate’s knowledge of, and experience in the skills necessary to actually lead and manage a project. Specifically, the three new domains are People, Process, and Business Environment.

But why am I telling you all of this when we have a guest for you who is much more qualified than I am: Sierra Hampton-Simmons (LinkedIn Profile). Sierra has nearly two decades of experience as an expert in Certification Management and joined PMI in late 2013. Currently, she serves as the Portfolio Leader/Head of Certification Products. This means that she is responsible for the entire portfolio of Certification Products including the PMP® exam. So she’s the perfect person to discuss both the background and nature of the changes. You’ll even get to hear that PMI is making changes to the type and style of questions a candidate will see during the exam itself.

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Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: In this episode of The Project Management Podcast™, we talk about all the changes that are coming to The Project Management Professional (PMP)®, that’s the PMP® Exam on the first of July 2020.

Podcast

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com. This is Episode 434 and I’m Cornelius Fichtner. It’s good to be with you again.

As a project management trainer, I have always focused not only on teaching my students how to pass their exams, but also on how to become better at what they are doing. Yes of course, I want you to pass your exam and become certified. But I always strive to ensure that what I teach helps you to better lead your projects and to deliver them successfully for your stakeholders.

And that is why I think that the changes, the Project Management Institute(PMI)®, that PMI is making to the PMP Exam on July first 2020 is a good change. Even though they could have managed the rollout a bit better.

With this update, PMI is moving away from the five current and somewhat technical domains and shifts the focus on the exam to test candidates’ knowledge and experience in the skills that are necessary to actually lead and manage a project. Specifically, the three new domains are People, Process and Business Environment.

But why am I telling you all of these when we have a guest for you who is much more qualified than I am, Sierra Hampton-Simmons. Sierra has nearly two decades of experience as an expert in certification management and joined PMI in late 2013. Currently, she serves as the Portfolio Leader and Head of Certification Products. This means that she is responsible for the entire portfolio of Certification Products including the PMP Exam. So she is the perfect person to discuss both the background and nature of the changes and you’ll even get to hear that PMI is making changes to the type and style of questions that a candidate will see during the exam itself. Well then, let’s hear what’s coming to the PMP.

Hello, Sierra and welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™!

Sierra Hampton-Simmons: Hi there!

Cornelius Fichtner: Now we have done an interview on the changes that are coming to the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® Exam. But please do remind us, what is your role within PMI?

Sierra Hampton-Simmons: Okay. I am the Portfolio Leader for Certification Products, which means I’m the head of the whole Certification Products group. Cornelius Fichtner: Right and as we have previously identified, you have the overall responsibility for all the certifications at PMI, correct?

Sierra Hampton-Simmons: That is correct.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah! And how are you and were you involved in all the changes that are coming to the PMP Exam?

Sierra Hampton-Simmons: Oh yes. Well I’ve been involved with those changes from the very onset including identifying the research companies we work with and helping pick out the subject matter experts who formed the research, as well overseeing all of the changes with the staff.

Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! And before we jump into the details here and all, I think it would be helpful for our listeners to understand how three PMI Publications relate to the PMP Exam and that’s of course the PMP Examination Content Outline, the PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition, and the Agile Practice Guide. Would you give us sort of an overview what and how these documents, these publications influence the exam.

Sierra Hampton-Simmons: Sure. That’s a really good question. So one thing to know is that PMP Exam is really based solely on the content in the Exam Content Outline. This is a document that outlines each section of the task, which we refer to as domains, as well as the respective task and other content that will be covered in the test.

The PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition, as well as The Agile Practice Guide are references that are used by the writers of the exam, but they aren’t the only references. There are more than 30 in total that we use to write that exam. The exam itself is not based on the content. It’s just that we leveraged those pieces, those two publications as references when we are writing questions.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, and I think that is probably a very popular misconception that PMP candidates think: ‘All that I have to do is study the PMBOK® Guide and I’m good to go’ because they think the PMP Exam tests the PMBOK® Guide, which is definitely not the case. There are so much more that one needs to know.

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

PMP, PDUs: Not Applicable

Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Going beyond Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®, and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®

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