How to record 36 months of experience in the PMP® Application Form?” Today, I am addressing this frequently asked question by PMP® aspirants. Before getting started on PMP® journey by enrolling in a PMP® program, the question of eligibility criteria is of utmost importance.

If you have 36 months of experience in last 8 years in leading and directing, you can do PMP certification. You need to provide this experience by providing a typical description of projects in the PMP® application.

You may get confused by the term “leading and directing project”. I am quickly explaining what leading and directing project work means, if you want to have an in-depth understanding, do refer to ‘PMI® Examination Content Outline.’

These two terms, ‘leading and directing’ are identified and explained under 5 domains, the 5 important roles a PMP® professional is required to perform.

  • Initiating– Project initiation is the first stage of a project lifecycle; you need to document your role in defining the project opportunity, creating the high-level scope, preparing a business case, identifying stakeholders. You may also include the effort you put in for team selection and set up the project office.
  • Planning– This is a critical activity of a project manager which begins with a high-level scope, preparing the detailed scope statement, creating work breakdown structure, once the scope is documented you are also required to identify task/activities to be performed. Other activities like, allocating resources, schedule analysis, critical path analysis, planning to recruit more human resources to get some part of the job done, Also, Procurement Planning, communication planning all falls under this domain.
  • Executing– Now, it’s time to get the work done, since you have sequenced the activities, allocate them to concerned people. You ensure the exact execution of the plan in adherence to quality and scope planning. You also perform conflict resolution, and individual performance assessment under this domain.
  • Monitoring & Controlling– This is all about ensuring that we are working as per our planning. Change management is the most important activity of this domain. Controlling scope, maintaining risk register and keeping an eye on the vendor that he is adhering to his contract falls under this domain.
  • Closing– This the act of final acceptance, documentation of all the learning during the project, archiving documents, updating organization process assets, taking final acceptance from the customers. Whatever legal formalities are required to close the project falls under this domain.

Now, comes how to fill Work Experience Details In PMP® Application Form? It is a very simple 3 step process.

1. Project Information– Title of the project, start, and end date, Project budget, Team Size, Project approach or life cycle, and your job title.

2. Organization Details– Organization name, your functional reporting area, and organization primary focus for the project as follows:

  • Functional Reporting Area – This refers to the team you are part of.

    For example, you are working in the Information Technology (IT) Department of an Insurance Company, so IT is the ” Functional Reporting Area”.

  • Organization Primary Focus – This means the industry in which the organization operates.Insurance is “Organization Primary Focus ” (From the above example)
  • Project Budget – If you are not aware of the exact budget, you can put it as classified, but try to put some close numbers, an accurate number is not required.
  • Team Size – Avoid selecting “classified”, because the project manager must be aware of the team size. So there must be a number to it.
  • Approach / Methodology – You need to select from the dropdown. In case it is both agile and predictive, then please select Hybrid from the dropdown.

In case you select Agile or Hybrid then please ensure to reflect the same in the project description.

3. Project Description– Try to pick activities from all those five processes where you have spent work time and summarize them under this head. Following are the guidelines for better present your experience:

  • Start with a project goal: The very first step in all projects is to recognize its outcome expected from the business. So, start the project description with a one-sentence final project outcome, which is “what” will the project accomplish? Like a hospital management system may have a goal that patients will not wait longer than 30 minutes to see a doctor.
  • Think, in each project, what you did process group wise: It is crucial that you invest time to deeply think what you did in the project and in which process group these activities belong. Afterward, snap up your thought with the description.Please note, project management experience is required in each of the process areas when all projects are totaled, but not on each project. It is entirely acceptable that you are not showing experience from all process groups in a single project. Just try to make sure, that overall you are presenting your expertise in all of the process groups out from all the projects. If your application is mentioning one or two activities from all process groups, your application is good to go.
  • Start writing project description: Once you listed down tasks for each process group, mention the description in a way that communicates your experience well using appropriate tools & techniques and outputs in aligning with the PMBOK® and PMP® content outline.

When you are writing the project description, you need to use the maximum available space for a better-presenting experience. Though you have enough space having word limit from 200 to 500. But avoid writing words that are not adding value. and eating space unnecessarily. Like I was Involved…My responsibilities were…I was involved in each phase of the project…. , and any description which is not understandable who was not involved in the project or which is industry-specific. Focus more to align with PMP® content outline tasks.

  • The format of Project Description: Now come to the format of the description which is given and recommended by PMI:
    • A brief, one-sentence objective: as mentioned in “Start with a project goal”
    • Your role and responsibilities: Here you need to mention your responsibilities aligned with tasks of Process Groups (mentioned in PMP® content outline). Also, as I described in “Start writing project description” section. No need to say explicitly like my responsibilities were…You can just start after one sentence project objective.

You need to summarize deliverables by process groups (Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing) – abbreviations are acceptable – IN, PL, EX, MC, and CL.

When you describe process group wise tasks description, it should also communicate the output of that activity, like Worked with Stakeholders in the workshop for Requirement Document. Here in minimum words, you mentioned many things like you did not create a requirement document in silos. You worked with stakeholders. By naming tools and techniques, you increased the weight of the description. Here, Requirement Document is the output.

Based on the above guideline, a project experience summary look like the following:

Goal: One sentence project goal as mentioned in “Start with a project goal” section
IN: mention initiation process group activities which you did in the project including the outcome of that activity.
PL: mention planning process group activities which you did in the project including the outcome of that activity.
EX: mention execution process group activities which you did in the project including the outcome of that activity.
MC: mention monitoring and controlling process group activities which you did in the project including the outcome of that activity.
CL: mention closing process group activities which you did in the project including the outcome of that activity.
Once again, I am emphasizing that while mentioning your experience in IN, PL, EX, MC, and CL, please take care guidelines which are discussed in “Think, in each project, what you did process group wise” and “Start writing project description” sections.


Following is the PMP® experience example for your reference:
The good news in the new application format is that your Description must be between 200 to 500 words, so no need to use short forms or abbreviations now. You can mention your tasks in detail.

Goal -Automate the Process of Cheques submitted to reduce the overall time of customers

IN- Involved in the writing of Project Charter. Worked very closely with the IT team to Automate the Process of Cheques submitted by Customers to the same are credited in their Accounts. Created Business Case and identified the key stakeholders by conducting workshops.

PL- Defined scope by performing product analysis. Identified risks doing a SWOT analysis. Collected requirements using interviews and facilitated workshops. Created WBS using decomposition techniques.

Developed the project schedule using the critical path method. Plan Communication Management as per stakeholders’ needs. Involved in Stakeholder’s analysis. Prepared Project Management Plan

EX- Performed quality assurance with quality audits. Developed project team by organizing training. Managed the project team by resolving conflicts. Implemented Risk Responses after analysis. Carried out Retrospectives at defined frequencies. Worked closely with stakeholders and project implementation teams to avoid bugs and rework.

Arranged an internal IT training for the relevant Team
MC- Controlled quality by reviewing approved changes. Conducted procurement using proposal evaluation techniques. Actively Involved in CAB (Change Advisory Board) Meetings. Participated in CCB (Change Control Board) to control scope.

Controlled risk by carrying out risk audits. Update the risk register. Communicate project status to relevant stakeholders at a regular frequency. Ensured quality is met.

CL-Documented and Archived the lessons learned & final signoff from key stakeholders

Output – Successful implementation of Application which reduced the time by half from the actual. It serves the most important parameter of the financial domain which is Customer Satisfaction.


I hope this blog has sufficiently answered your all queries related to how to fill in Work Experience Details in PMP® Application Form. Good Luck with your PMP® Certification Exam.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does the PMP® application take to process?

Answer: PMI takes 5-10 calendar days to verify your eligibility criteria with respect to your submitted experience and/or education.
In case upon PMP® application submission, your application has been selected for an audit it is up to you to close this process ASAP. PMI® gives you 90 days to submit the supporting documentation. Once PMI receives your documents, they usually take 5 business days to complete the audit

Can I take the PMP® exam without experience?

Answer: You can start preparing in case you have not earned a minimum of 4500 hours or 36 months (if you have a degree) of experience to 7500 hours or 60 months (If you have a secondary degree). You can earn 35 contact hours and start preparing, once you have sufficient experience, you can submit the PMP® application. Many candidates do it in case they lack a couple of months of experience for eligibility.

Note – You only need 24 months of experience if you have a bachelor’s degree from GAC accredited program. Also, you can use the GAC course work to fulfill the 35 education contact hour requirement.

Can I get a PMP® certification without a degree?

Answer: Yes, in that case, you need to show more experience compared to degree holders. You need to fulfill 7500 or 60 months hours of experience. This can be earned in 5 years of work experience.

Should it be a continuous experience of 36 months? How does PMI treat Gap?

Answer: You need to earn these 36 months within the last eight consecutive years prior to your application submission. For more details, please refer to the following blog: I Am Experienced, But Unemployed. Am I Eligible For PMP® Certification?

I do not have a formal project management role, but I did PM work in bits and pieces. Am I eligible to apply?

Answer: PMI® is not expecting a formal project manager role for this certification. For more details, please refer blog – My Designation Is Not Project Manager – AM I Eligible For PMP® Certification?

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