If you’ve taken a PMP exam preparation course and/or you’re working toward your PMP certification, you probably know that the most time-consuming element of the PMP application is recording the experience you have gained in leading and directing projects. The PMI requires details about your experience to validate that the application requirements have been met in every instance of experience that you cite.
We’re going to walk you through an example that shows what filling in the experience section of the PMP application looks like. We hope this example will help you gauge the time and effort it will take for you to complete your application.
Before You Begin …
… think about tracking your experience in a spreadsheet or table, something like the one below. Ideally, you can be building this sort of tracking tool at the same time you’re working on the projects.
When you’re ready to start filling out the PMP application, you have 90 days to complete the application once you’ve started. This seems like a long time, but it could be quite a chore pouring over your resume, the project archives, etc., to convert your project work history into the application format.
Keep in mind that your application may be selected for audit by the PMI. If it is, your contact information is expected to be current, and you will be asked for supporting documentation as well. You may want to collect the relevant documentation as you are working on projects – not only for potential audit, but it could also help you fill in some of the information required by the application.
We’ll use the first experience example listed above as our “test-drive” for filling in the experience section of the PMP application. This example represents a project that was directed and led by the PMP candidate for the entire duration of the project, through all domains (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing.)
The second example represents experience gained by the candidate as the Team Leader for the Executing domain only. We won’t show the application entry in detail for this example, but we’ll show you how it appears once it has been entered.
We’re assuming you’ll use the on-line application process. Download the application form if you wish to submit a paper application.
To access the PMI’s on-line PMP application, you will first need to register for a PMI account Username and Password. This link will take you to the PMI Log In screen where you can register for a new account or log in to your existing account if you already have one.
NOTE: You do not need to be a PMI member to register for an account.
The first screens of the on-line application capture your contact info and history.
The next screen is the Eligibility Worksheet, which displays your progress in reaching the requirements for PM experience (months and hours) and PM education (hours). The Worksheet also navigates to PM Experience and PM Education.
Example 1: End-to-End Project Experience
Let’s get started with the first example. Here’s our tracking table entry for this experience:
You will first enter project and organization information.
Project Specific Information:
Note that the Project Title must clearly name the project. The Project Role is the role you performed on the project. The Primary Industry is the primary industry in which your organization as a business was engaged.
Organization Details and Phone Number:
In this screen, you enter your Job Title within the organization, and the organization’s contact information.
Note that the Job Title is the title of the position you held at the time you gained this project experience. Our PMP candidate was the Operations Supervisor by position title in the organization, and held the Project Manager role on the project.
Organization Contact and Phone Number:
Enter the organization’s contact for the project–this is the individual who would be able to verify your experience on the project.. This should be a manager or stakeholder within the organization, or perhaps an external client.
The Contact Relationship is the relationship of the contact to your role as you directed/led on the project.
Then you will enter your experience in hours by domain.
Our PMP candidate worked nearly full-time on this project for its seven-month duration, and gained experience in all five project management domains.
Note that you will record the hours for each domain, and they must be logical when considering the overall duration of the project.
Finally, a brief narrative description of your experience:
The narrative description can only be 550 characters long, so keep it concise but meaningful.
Note the guideline that is included in this section. Also, remember that the Responsibilities and Deliverables must be pertinent to your role on the project – in other words, what you were responsible for and what you produced. Look back at the previous screen and review the descriptions of the domains to understand what types of activities and deliverables would be considered relevant under each domain.
Review Your Experience Submitted
Once you click Save and Continue on the last Add/Edit Experience screen, the application will automatically display the Experience Worksheet. You can see a summary of the information you just entered and how your experience is totaling up toward your minimum hours (4,500 or 7,500) requirement.
The first example experience is done! Now on to the next …
From here, we move on to the next experience, which is the Office Space Expansion project.
The steps for entering this experience are the same, so we won’t repeat them.
Note that the project management experience for this example is only relevant to the Executing Domain. All other domains will have zero hours recorded.
You may include experience for one or more domains for any given project experience, but the sum of all of your experience hours must cover all five domains.
When this example has been entered, the Experience Worksheet looks like this:
Now your summary includes the second experience example. Your “Still Need:” numbers have decreased.
When you have submitted all of the experience you need to satisfy the months and hours of your requirement, all you have left to do is record your PM education (such as a PMP exam prep course) and your application will be ready to submit!