Translating your military experience is often one of the most challenging transitional tasks to accomplish. You have been told on multiple occasions that you need to translate your experience when you are building your civilian resume. However, when you are developing your initial online application for the Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification, the translation can be equally vexing.
The good news is that during your operational, training and exercises involvement, you gained valuable project experience while deployed and in garrison, in the areas of leadership and management. Now you need to translate this knowledge and experience to Project Management Institute (PMI)® vernacular.
Many project management terms are nearly synonymous to military terminology. We already understand how an operation or a mission is a project. Further, an operations order is comparable to a project plan, which describes how a project will be executed, monitored, and controlled. Most of you have led After Action Reviews (AAR). Within project management, the similar activity of capturing lessons learned takes place during the Project Closing Process Group. Just like an AAR, this effort is conducted for the purpose of improving future performance.
Which leads me to, one of your first steps to getting the PMP® certification is completing the online application. As you complete the application, keep in mind that many military activities you led at different levels have direct translation to the project management world. You just need to be able to articulate this information to the reader of your online application.
A method to providing this information correctly would be to read and understand the Project Process Groups from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)® prior to filling out your online application. This will force you to think about the alignment of your military work as it relates to project management, while giving you the proper terminology necessary for the application.
Finally, if you desire to learn more about the PMP® application process, a great resource is the white paper by Margaret Meloni, “Are you stressing out over completing the application to take the PMP® Exam?”
Wishing you the best with your translation!
"The Transitioning Military Project Manager"
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