The Project Management Professional certification (PMP) is often referred to as one of the most important industry-recognized certifications for Project Managers, it is also one of the most difficult certifications to achieve. Successful applicants must not only pass the exam, but also put in a significant amount of time working on projects directly. The PMP Certification is highly regarded across multiple industries, not just within the construction management field.
JBC Associates congratulates John Zawaski, one of our project managers, on achieving his PMP Certification! We sat down with John to learn more about his PMP experience. Also in on the conversation is Scott Schaeffer, Vice President at JBC, who completed his PMP certification several years ago. Below they explain exam requirements in greater detail, offer words of wisdom for future applicants, and discuss the benefits of being PMP certified.
JBC: How’s it feel to be PMP Certified?
John Zawaski: I feel a sense of pride knowing that I have been able to achieve a professional certification that upholds a very high standard.
JBC: Why did you decide to pursue the PMP?
John Zawaski: I decided to pursue the PMP at the urging of Scott Schaeffer. I have never been someone who is content to stay in a single position within the vertical hierarchy of an organizational structure. Scott holds a PMP Certification and he recommended that achieving a PMP Certification would bolster my standing within the transportation construction community.
JBC: What requirements did you have to meet to take the exam?
- Minimum five years/60 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience.
- 7,500 hours spent leading and directing projects.
- 35 contact hours of formal project management education
JBC: Would you encourage other JBC staff to pursue it?
John Zawaski: I would absolutely encourage other JBC staff to pursue the PMP Certification. I learned a lot about the project management process through earning my PMP that is useful in my day to day activities. By the second time through studying the PMP Official Guide, I implemented several practices on the projects I manage that were taken straight out of the Guide. I would recommend reading and knowing the PMP Project Management Standards, even if you are not yet technically qualified to sit for the exam.
JBC: How will our clients and projects benefit from you having gone through the PMP certification process?
John Zawaski: There are many ways clients and projects benefit from project managers having a PMP Certification. Two specific examples I would like to mention are ethics and experience. A significant amount of the PMP testing requires the person sitting for the exam to answer situational questions. The PMP Certification emphasizes proper ethics, with trust and integrity at the core of ethics. In order to pass the exam you have to answer situational questions that display your knowledge and application of proper ethics. By having attained a PMP Certification the clients of JBC will know that the project manager leading their project has at least the minimal experience and education required for the certification process. By seeing the letters PMP following a project manager’s name, the clients can feel a sense of ease at knowing their project is in the hands of an ethical, experienced leader.
JBC: Do you have any words of wisdom for someone planning on taking the exam?
John Zawaski I would tell others to read and understand the most up to date version of the PMP Guide, and the Rita Mulcahy PMP Exam Prep Book. I recommend reading through each at least three times. Another necessity is to answer as many PMP exam simulation questions as you can before you sit for the exam. There are a number of websites that have practice tests available. The last bit of wisdom would be to know that passing the exam requires more than just memorizing technically correct answers. A lot of the questions on the exam will have 2 and sometimes 3 correct choices out of 4 options. The key to passing the test it to choose the most correct answer. The only way to know the most correct answer is to develop the mindset of a Project Management Professional. The correct mindset means that you are able to break down situational questions to understand what part of the project management process you are in before you choose your answer.
On encouraging others to pursue the PMP Certification, Scott Schaeffer, shared the following.
Scott Schaeffer: I would highly recommend pursuing it. I’m a strong believer in professional certifications because I think they show professional commitment, a specified level of knowledge, and a presumption of technical expertise; all of which gives our clients the confidence that our staff has the proven ability to manage a project to a successful completion…..which in the end, is the ultimate goal for all of us.
There is huge value to this certification not just in the transportation industry that we work in, but also many industries such as Aerospace, Energy, Oil, Gas, Healthcare, IT and Telecom, Pharmaceutical and Utilities. All these industries have one thing in common; they all have projects that have similar phases of Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing. Having the PMP Certification gives clients and customers the confidence that you have the experience, education and real life experience to guide any type of project to a successful completion.
I just want to personally congratulate John on obtaining this certification. I know firsthand he was extremely committed to obtaining this, as he is with all things, and that he put the time and effort into the preparation. I’m very proud to see him reach his goal and have another PMP on the JBC team.
Well done, John!
JBC is the Prime consultant providing construction inspection services during the $65 million replacement of seven existing structurally deficient bridge superstructures over the Vine Street Expressway, SR 0676 PAB, in Philadelphia. The replacements, which were planned to take place over a four (4) year period, take into account the needs of motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. The project was designed to be completed in two stages. The first stage began in March 2015 and will be complete in time for the City’s planned Parkway Centennial Celebration starting in July 2017. The first stage includes four of the seven bridges over Interstate 676 in Center City Philadelphia; the 20th Street /Benjamin Franklin Parkway Bridge, the Pedestrian Bridge connecting Logan Circle and Vine Street at the Philadelphia Free Library, the 19th Street Bridge, and the Pedestrian Bridge connecting Logan Circle and Vine Street at the former Family Court Building. It also includes the realignment of Winter Street. Stage 2 was scheduled to start after the completion of Stage 1 and was to complete by November 2019. However, the Contractor has proposed to start Stage 2 early and agreed to advance the completion of Stage 2 to November 2018, one year earlier. Stage 2 includes the superstructure replacements on the 18th Street Bridge, the 21st Street Bridge and the 22nd Street Bridge.
Under a separate agreement with the Construction Management team for the project, JBC is providing the CPM Scheduling services during construction. Associated project work also includes new bridge approach paving; landscaping improvements; new traffic signals; new drainage; ITS elements; new pavement markings and signing; and other miscellaneous construction.
It’s no secret the City of Philadelphia has a rich history. Think 1776, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, to name a few. But did you know that our history expands beyond our founding fathers? It appears in local architecture and area bridge structures. For example, let’s take a look at the 110 year old Walnut Lane Bridge, located in Northwest Philadelphia. The bridge, which runs over the Wissahickon Creek, connects the neighborhoods of Germantown and Roxborough and dates back to 1908. At one time it was the world’s longest concrete bridge. Another local bridge is the 116 year old Adams Avenue Bridge which carries Adams Avenue over Tacony Creek in the Tacony Creek Park section of Philadelphia.
Thanks in part to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) commitment to restoring and preserving historic bridges, both bridges recently underwent multimillion dollar renovations in 2016. The six-span Walnut Lane Bridge built in 1906 received a new deck, sidewalk, sidewalk supports and balustrade railing. The concrete arch was repaired along with support abutments and piers to match the architectural line and texture of the preexisting structural abutments and piers. New lighting was also installed.
Work also began on the structurally-deficient stone-arch Adams Avenue Bridge which was built in 1901. JBC provided the sole on-site Construction Inspection of the project. Repairs included strengthening the three-span structure by resetting and repointing stones and reconstructing portions of the stone masonry walls. Other repairs included removing fill inside the structure and replacing it with lightweight concrete; repairing bridge foundations; rebuilding existing wing walls which extend from the support abutments and widening the right turn lane onto Crescentville Road, which will improve traffic flow within the intersection. Scour protection was also added around the support abutments and piers.
The $14.7 million Walnut Lane Bridge project was financed with 100 percent federal funds, while the Adams Avenue Bridge rehabilitation was 100 percent state funded.
PennDOT received the 2017 Preservation Alliance Grand Jury Awards for the two projects at an awards ceremony held on June 7. Thanks to PennDOT’s bridge preservation efforts, we will be able to enjoy these historic structures for years, or shall we say centuries, to come.
JBC Associates, Inc. was honored to receive the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Mid-Atlantic Chapter 2017 Project Achievement Award for LEED/ Sustainable project for the new Pennsylvania State Police Philadelphia Headquarters and Garage. JBC Associates was the Construction Manager on the project for the Pennsylvania Department of General Services. The new facility was designed by architects, Buell Kratzer Powell, and incorporates a variety of sustainable features including ground-sourced heat pumps and a ventilated curtain wall system, an advanced storm water management system and green roof resulting in zero storm water site impact.
The awards ceremony was held at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden on June 6th and also recognized Dr. Ali A. Housmand, President of Rowan University, as the Chapter’s Person of the Year for his leadership during a period of unprecedented growth and opportunity at the University.
The CMAA’s annual Construction Management Project Achievement Awards Program recognizes outstanding achievement in construction management. Designed to recognize and promote professionalism and excellence in managing the construction process, the awards are given to construction management firms for projects and programs that reflect this mission. View Project Details
JBC Associates is providing Construction Management and Construction Inspection Services on behalf of PAID (Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development) for the Langley Avenue Reconstruction project at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia. Part of a larger comprehensive redesign of the Broad Street Gate, the $10 million project involves the reconstruction and partial realignment of the eastern portion of Langley Avenue from Broad Street to 26th Street for approximately 1 mile. The realignment culminates in a new 4‐way signalized intersection at Broad Street and League Island Boulevard, just north of the Navy Yard Main Gate. The project incorporates drainage and utility improvements, an electrical duct bank, an outflow headwall, 12” PGW gas main, streetscape items, sidewalk enhancements and other miscellaneous construction. The project began construction in March of 2017 and is anticipated to last 18 months.