For the last 3 years I have been thinking I should take the Sure Step Methodology Exam MB5-858. True, we use parts of the Sure Step Methodology for project management here at CRM Innovation, but I have never taken any official product training on it. I have sat in on two webinars several years ago and watched some of the free partner resources on the topic.
In February, our Partner Account Manager said she had a free exam voucher that we could use to take the exam. Being an entrepreneur the word ‘Free’ is magical so I immediately said sure send it on over. I printed out the email and put it in my good intentions pile on the side of my desk. About the 20th of April when I was going through the pile I came across the voucher and discovered that it would expire at the end of the month. I immediately panicked at losing a free voucher, went out to the Prometric site and scheduled the exam for the last possible day – April 30th at 8:30 AM.
The weekend prior to April 30th I went to the Sure Step Online site, reviewed several of the documents we use in our project proposals for work breakdown schedules, scoping, change management and project closeout. Read up a little more Sure Step theory and re-familiarized myself with the formal naming conventions for the various phases. I then went through one of the sample test exams that I had received when we purchased an online training course a while back. That along with a cursory view of several blog postings on tips and tricks on how to study for the exam completed my formal exam training.
So on Tuesday the 30th I went to the testing facility first thing in the morning. Sat for the test which is 70 questions and got out 90 minutes later just in time to get to my first client appointment at 10:30. I didn’t score as high as I thought I was going to as I moved pretty quickly through the questions at about 1 minute per question. The questions are your typical Microsoft exam format – 4 choices, 1 is wacko, 1 could be it, 1 is almost correct and the last one is definitely it and the one you are supposed to select. Add to that for this exam there are a lot of questions that ask you to select the two or three best answers out of the four which actually makes it harder. Definitely trying to use the high school strategy of just pick choice C, won’t cut it.
The interesting thing for me on my test score is that the lowest scoring section was the part of the process we do the best and are known for in our marketplace. Diagnosing customer requirements and coming up with the solution. Just goes to show you that a test doesn’t always map to the real world.
In any event in the Microsoft exam world a pass is a pass and at the end that is all that matters.