Review of the BVOP Certified Project Manager program

BVOP Certified Project Manager is a modern Agile project management title following its teachings. In this article, we share the answers of a candidate for project management certification at the beginning of its preparation. The questions are related to the professional experience and background of the candidate. They are not directly related to obtaining a certificate. All BVOP documents are obtained after successfully passing an online exam. This interview only presents the motivation, experience, and goals of the candidate. The questions are not real sample questions from the certification body

Which project management certification did you choose and why?

I chose to fight for a BVOP certificate because this program is more detailed than the others. I found out that in addition to the classic project management practices and theories, Agile also presents. I believe that these real and useful practices and skills for modern software projects and teams will be especially useful for me.

This is what the BVOP Certified Project Manager looks like
This is what the BVOP Certified Project Manager looks like

Why do you want to study project management, what motivates and motivates you?

I am motivated for the training by my current job as a Project Office Manager, in which in practice I do not deal precisely with project management, but rather with the coordination of our strategic projects.
I went through such training about 10 years ago and I think it’s time to “adjust my watch”.
I will consider the materials you will introduce to us as an opportunity to adapt to the project management methodology we are working on.

What qualities or skills do you think will be useful to you in the project management profession?

  • Organizational skills
  • Analytical and strategic thinking
  • Good communication skills
  • Striving to understand the essence and logic of the activities
  • Quickly switch between different tasks and projects
  • Assertiveness and self-control
  • Initiative
  • Responsibility for commitments

As a future project manager, what qualities do you think will hinder your work?

I find it difficult to maintain my motivation if I do not believe in something (approach, product). Naturally, the result of the work done by the force is different from the one in which you invested all your energy and for which you worked with inspiration.
I tend to tackle too many things at once – mine and others’, and sometimes I overstrain and stress over expired deadlines and piles of unfinished tasks, which I don’t want to delegate because I already see them in my head in a certain way.

Name three qualities that best describe you

I think over the years I have developed or suppressed many of my qualities. But what describes me so far are determination, curiosity, analytical thinking.

What would you work on to develop or change it?

I would make an effort on my purpose. I am ambitious by nature, I like to see the result and it benefits everyone I have worked for. At the same time, I am emotional and sometimes I put in more emotions than I sometimes lose, they are useless. I think that by developing my professionalism, studying constantly (and I even like that a lot), I control these emotions more easily and successfully. Based on facts, relying on my experience over the years, both professionally and personally – I feel more confident in any new situation I find myself in. I notice that this immediately reflects on the people I work with. So I just keep looking for new challenges, gaining new knowledge and skills. I like this and it benefits everyone.

List one achievement you are proud of and why

I found myself in an extremely difficult situation, starting my first job as a Team Lead. The team of programmers has halved in the last six months of my appointment. 1 week available for a handover from the team leader I inherit. I do not know the software of the project, for which I am also responsible. Heavy delivery rhythm – once a week. An extremely complex technical system as a whole. Teams we work with – diverse and from all over the world. The client we worked for had already started to form a backup team from another company, as a reserve, given the events in ours.

The people from my team were crushed, and from the very first days, I realized that they didn’t know the project they were working on at all (some of them for more than 2 years now) or the whole product, part of which was our project. I will not comment on whose mistakes it was and how it got here. When I started I had the attitude – now in 1-2 weeks I will study the code, and then I start developing the people, the project, etc. But on the 2nd day, I realized that this would not happen. The five people entrusted to me had worked piece by piece, fixed mostly bugs, and I couldn’t count on anyone pushing the release that was waiting for us next week.

So I started collecting the pieces from the other technical teams for the whole system, relying on my experience just to understand what our “code” does. When I learned something, I said it out loud. In reality, during this project, I did not program at all, contrary to the notions of the team lead. 3 months later, my people took the initiative and implemented the new features themselves. I took care of the deliveries, I reflected the feedback from the QA team, I knew all the teams we were involved with. I extinguished conflicts, escalated problems to my boss, hired 2 new ones, offered 2 more of the old ones to look for another job.

They did not close the team. We stayed, and not just that. My people became enterprising, we even had time to plan improvements in our work.

One year later, when our contract with this client expired, I first went through the interviews for the next project that the outsourcing company we belong to had found us. All 5 of us moved to the new place. I am proud to have preserved and built a team of quality people. I kept the authority of the people and proved myself as a good manager, achieving results, even in critical situations. To this day, my team works together, they are developing successfully. I learned a lot of lessons about myself, unfortunately on the go, on a trial-and-error basis. Apparently, I did well.

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How do you communicate with the team about a failed project task?

In any case, I discuss such topics personally or if it is a whole team – I try to make it a meeting with everyone. The most important thing, I think, is to hold this meeting as soon as possible, not to leave it on time. First I would discuss the situation with my manager and tell the case from all aspects. I would also like to share my opinion that I will talk to the team that is affected. At the meeting with the team, I would tell you what happened. If, say, the fault was not in the team, I would assure them that they did everything with quality and professionalism. I must not lose their motivation and loyalty. Nor should I discredit the “culprit” of the incident. If we assume that this was another external team with which we are connected in the project, I would clearly explain the situation with them and I will say that either the delivery is postponed (for example) or we will not develop it anymore. But the knowledge gained so far remains in the team and we will use it in any way.
And third, if the reason is really in the connected team – I will schedule a meeting with their manager. I would explain to him what the loss is if we fail to secure delivery, even with a delay. We will compromise all stakeholders. And what can we do to turn the current loss into a benefit shortly?

How do you manage to outsource teams involved in your project?

I admit that this would be a big challenge for me. Simply because personal contact with people cannot be replaced by any video connection. The conversations between the people leave a reflection even after the end of the meeting, and I will not be able to see/feel it. This is the great difficulty. But all personal or team meetings will be held. Some I will initiate without official warning. I will take care of all web resources for sharing work, software tools that are needed to be accessible to all, and the necessary rights for normal work by everyone on the project. I will require those responsible to update the shabby documents they care about. It is a challenge, but having the necessary project tools, without missing a single nuance of talking to people, I will manage.

For each quality that you think will hinder you in some way, make a short action plan on how to change it in your favor or eliminate it. Set an indicative deadline for any planned change in your qualities or skills. Mark each indicative deadline for each action plan.

Personal motivation – I could put more effort into finding out exactly what manages to convince the client that it is worth the effort. I could also, before embarking on the task, try to find as many positive things as possible for me – for example, what I could learn or practice, etc., to change my attitude from the beginning.
I will try these tactics at the first opportunity – by the end of 2020.

Overload – On the one hand, I don’t want to say goodbye to multitasking, because strange as it may seem, I’ve noticed that the busier I am, the more concentrated and motivated I am and I do well.
On the other hand, I would not be able to endure this regime for a long time, so I intend to learn to delegate more. I start this week and will delegate several tasks each week in the following month, after which I will analyze the result and assess whether this helps or a change in the plan is needed.

By Samantha Rhine

Samantha Rhine, Editor-in-Chief of