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Getting Certified in MS Project
In 2007, Microsoft launched a new certification specifically for project managers, their assistants and key team members - Exam 70-632, Managing Projects with Microsoft Office Project 2007. The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) designation you receive upon passing this exam verifies that you can "build, maintain and control well-formed project plans.
Although this type of project management certification is ideal for experienced project managers, it is also becoming increasingly popular among project team members. The exam's popularity among other crucial project players is due in large part to the wide-range of skills the test questions ask you to exhibit to demonstrate your project management skills. In order to successfully pass Exam 70-632, Managing Projects with Microsoft Office Project 2007, you will need to demonstrate your ability to work through the entire project management process including developing, updating and managing successful project plans.
This means that the ideal candidate for this exam is any person who is involved in or accountable for all aspects of managing a project using Microsoft Office Project 2007. This new certification adds credibility to your work experience showing that you are experienced using Project 2007 to schedule, estimate, coordinate, control, and budget and staff company projects. Toward that end, you should also be familiar with key project management concepts, theory and industry lingo.
Like many Microsoft certification exams, it is recommended that you study prior to jumping in to take the exam. For this certification, you will need to be versed in all areas of using Project 2007, including:
- Configuring Tools and Options
- Setting Up a Project
- Estimating, Scheduling, and Budgeting Tasks
- Resourcing Project Plans
- Updating and Reporting on Project Performance
In order to help test-takers prepare to take Exam 70-632, Managing Projects with Microsoft Office Project 2007, Microsoft Press has published a few books with step-by-step instructions for using Project 2007 to complete many project management tasks.
Released in Spring 2008, the MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-632): Managing Projects with Microsoft Office Project 2007 is 600+ page book with 200 practice test questions. This book assumes you are a project management professional with a solid understanding of PMBOK's project management methodology.
Another book option is Project 2007: Inside and Out. This book is really more of a reference manual intended for professionals in project management and includes hundreds of Project solutions as well as tips and workarounds.
A third book option geared towards a more beginner-level is Microsoft Project 2007 Step-by-Step. With this book, you can move through the text at your own pace using real-world practice exercises along the way.
Each of these resources as well as a course in using Project 2007 and links to practice tests can be found on Microsoft's Preparation Guide for Exam 70-632 page.