Celebrating 30 Years of PMP Certification: William S. Ruggles, PMP #133


(Newtown Square, PA, USA - October 21, 2017)  Today, one of the pioneers in project management professionalism -- William S. ("Bill") Ruggles -- marks the 30th Anniversary of having received his Official Letter of Notification from Dr. Lewis R. Ireland, Ph.D., PMI's then-Chair of the Test Maintenance Committee for the PMP Certification Program. 

That letter, dated October 21, 1987, states in part: "Congratulations, you have successfully demonstrated the knowledge required for certification by passing all six parts of the examination.  The Executive Director of PMI will soon provide you with a certificate that attests to the fact that you are a Certified Project Management Professional."

Two weeks later, that PMP Certificate arrived in the mail with the number "133" on it.

Bill recently reminisced: "Back then, the Project Management Body of Knowledge document (PMBOK) contained only six (6) Knowledge Areas: Project Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Human Resources, and Communications Management, with 40 questions per Knowledge Area (240 total questions) on what was a paper-and-pencil exam. It was divided into two parts: 2 hours 40 minutes in the Morning (3 Knowledge Areas) followed by 2 hours and 40 minutes in the Afternoon (3 more Knowledge Areas) with a 1-hour lunch break in between."  

"On top of that, you could take the Exam and, if you passed at least four of the six sections, you got credit for them and, then, you could sit for the other 1 or 2 sections that you failed but only ONCE.  If you failed it/them the 2nd time around, you had to take ALL SIX SECTIONS all over again!"

"If that wasn't intimidating enough for you, PMI had just released a new PMBOK version which had two (2) more sections added:  Project Risk and Contract/Procurement Management in March, 1987.  As a result, they announced that the new PMP Certification Exam would have 80 more questions and would take 3 hours and 20 minutes in both the Morning and Afternoon sections, beginning January, 1988."  

"NO WAY I WAS GOING TO PUT OFF TAKING THE EXAM UNTIL 1988!"

"So, in early 1987, I decided to mount up my own Self-Study Program since there were very few Exam Prep Courses available back then.  I purchased the "PMP Exam Prep Book Bundle" from PMI and began reading and studying the Body of Knowledge during the evenings and week-ends while working as a Consultant/Trainer for ABT Corp supporting its product called Project Manager's Workbench at client sites throughout the USA and Canada."

"By August, 1987, I felt confident enough in my preparations to apply and, as soon as I was approved to sit for it, I decided to fly to Milwaukee, WI to take it on October 4, 1987 at the PMI Annual Seminars/Symposium there. However, as a "final burst" on my preparations, I registered for two 1/2-day "crash-course" workshops the day before the Exam:  one on Project Quality Management (the morning) and the other on Project Cost Management (the afternoon)."

"The next day" he concluded "I sat for the PMP Certification Exam and, the rest, as they say is history!"

(Author's Note:  The Cover Photo shows Bill with PMI Fellow R. Max Wideman at the PMI North American Congress in Vancouver in 2012 displaying their PMI shoulder bags from the 1994 PMI Seminars/Symposium which was also held in Vancouver.  Both of them served PMI as volunteer leaders in the same roles of Vice President for Technical Activities, President, and Board Chair in the 1980's and 1990's.)


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