Passing the 70-348 Microsoft Projects and Portfolio exam


For as long as I remember (14 years with PPM in total), Microsoft have had a set of Project specific certifications, which allowed you to test your skills, and become a Microsoft Certified Professional. I have personally taken all exams, and was happy when I learned, that I could now sign up for the latest exam “70-348 Managing Projects and Portfolios with Microsoft PPM”. This exam is currently in beta, but already now you can sign up and take it. The downside of beta exams are that you wont get the results until some weeks after the exam is out of beta state.

This post is about sharing my personal experience with the actual examination.

Sign up

To sign up for the exam simply go to this page: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-70-348.aspx

Taking the exam online

For the first time, I wanted to try out the online option, when signing up for the exam. This allows you to take the full exam in a room as long as has no windows, whiteboards or other kind of text materials hanging on the walls. Before the exam starts, set aside some 20 minutes for a room check, as the contact person will need to ensure who you are, approve the room and secure proper recording quality. The entire time you take the exam you are being recorded. You also need to install some basic software, but you will receive an email on this after having signed up for the exam.

exam-70-348

The actual exam

This particular exam felt a bit different than others I have tried in the past. This test was much more about “doing the right thing” than simply testing you ability to memorize a lot of functionality – I like it! You have 120 minutes for the exam in itself and are given 56 questions, which are all different in their way of answering them. For some, you have to work out a solution from within a Project client, for others its about setting the right sequence of actions to achieve a certain objective. With this exam, we are talking Microsoft PPM, which in other words could be referred to as Project Online = CLOUD only. For that reason, many of the questions on the reporting side relates to PowerBI, Excel, ODATA etc.

The exam mostly tests your skills from a user and PPM administrator perspective. This means, if you haven’t tried the full functionality of Project Online as a user, you would probably struggle with passing the exam. So in other words forgot installing stuff and focus on how to use the tools.

The key areas that Microsoft will be monitoring are as stated below. If you go through the entire list, and feel comfortable with each functionality, you would have a very high chance of passing the exam.

CREATE

  • Define strategy
    • Define business drivers, create multiple driver prioritizations, analyze consistency ratio
  • Optimize portfolios
    • Capture project requests and ideas, rate projects against business drivers, determine primary cost constraints, determine resource constraints, set project dependencies, create a portfolio analysis, review and modify prioritizations in an analysis, force projects in and out of analysis, determine hired resources, compare and run simulations for project portfolio selection, add additional constraints
  • Create a new enterprise project
    • Create a project and manage workflow, use workflow approvals, import projects through Project Professional, create and manage project schedules using Project Web App, save and check in projects, import projects from Excel
  • Create programs
    • Insert sub-projects, create cross-project task dependencies, calculate sub-project summary fields, associate programs to portfolios, associate projects to programs

PLAN

  • Define deliverables
    • Add deliverables, set dependencies on deliverables, synchronize deliverables with project, link related items
  • Create tasks and a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
    • Create and modify summary tasks and subtasks, rearrange tasks, create milestones, create manually scheduled tasks, set tasks as active or inactive
  • Schedule the project
    • Set date constraints, deadlines, dependencies, links, duration equations, effort-driven tasks, and formulas; choose task types; enter duration; set or change the task mode (manual or auto); display warnings and suggestions; use estimated durations and user-controlled summary tasks
  • Manage resources and teams
    • Edit resources with Project Web App, edit resources with Project Pro for Office 365, create team resources, create team assignments, add a team task to a task page or timesheet, map resource roles (Portfolio analysis)
  • Perform resource engagement
    • Submit, accept, modify, and reject a resource engagement request; build a team for a resource plan; build a resource plan for a project; set resource utilization; use committed versus proposed assignments
  • Build a project team
    • Build a Project Team through Project Pro for Office 365 or Project Web App, build a Project Team through Project Web App, replace generic resources, work with proposed assignments
  • Resolve resource over allocations across projects
    • Level resources using leveling methods; plan resource allocations using Team Planner, Task usage, Resource Requests page, and Resource Utilization
  • Build a financial plan
    • Plan program financial requirements using the resource rate table, cost per use, cost resources

TRACK

  • Baseline enterprise projects
    • Set a protected baseline, set a baseline from Project Web App and Project Pro for Office 365, clear and copy a baseline
  • Select tracking method
    • Use percent complete, hours per period, actual work remaining, freeform, done, and not done fields
  • Manage task assignments
    • Publish assignments, select a status manager, select an assignment owner, set the published values for individual tasks
  • Update tasks and timesheets
    • Submit and recall timesheets, insert and remove tasks, reassign tasks, submit updates from My Tasks, submit updates from a mobile app
  • Approve tasks and timesheets
    • Accept task updates from tasks or timesheets, view impact of updates on a project, reject updates, approve and reject timesheets, manage delegations
  • Update the project plan
    • Reschedule uncompleted work, update cost resources, publish schedule changes, utilize task update history, update schedules with protected user updates, close tasks for updates
  • Collaborate and communicate projects and programs
    • Create a project site; add Document Library; add Lists, Calendar, and Folders; modify site layout; create program (master-sub) structure using subsites; add risks and issues

CONTROL AND REPORT

  • Customize Project Web App views and reports
    • Create a portfolio report using Excel; create dashboards; copy and edit views; set default views; rename field names; group, filter, and sort views
  • Advanced Reporting
    • Load the content pack with Power BI, create reports and dashboards, ask natural language questions, leverage filters, pin results to the dashboard, create views with tiles from multiple datasets and reports, create reports using the out-of-the-box reporting capability
  • Manage configurable enterprise objects
    • Create and manage enterprise project templates, define enterprise custom fields, define Project workflows, define enterprise global objects, extend with Office Store apps, add social elements
  • Implement a security model
    • Change between SharePoint Security mode and Project Security mode, create users, create and modify security groups and categories, set up Project Site permissions

 

 

 

…so did I pass? I dont know officially yet but I am expecting a very strong YES in a few weeks from now! 🙂

 

 

 

4 comments

  1. Greetings. I am going to take the exam 74-348 on Oct 7. I would like advice in how to prepare and if there is any reliable books or source for this exam demos. Thanks

    1. Hi Muhammad,

      Sounds great that you are going for the exam. I think the best way to prepare for this is to follow the bullet list of learning items I shared. You should try “hands-on” experimenting with each topic in your own Project Online environment. Its 100% about real life experience and knowing Best Practices in each area of the exam. If I should recommend any reading it would probably be the Administrator Guide made by the PPM partner “Sensei”.

  2. Hi Peter, this was really helpful for me to sit the exam. I did late december and I was wondering if you would have any information on the release date of the exam? it is quite frustrating to sit and do not get the results! it’s been about 10 weeks you sat yours. you must be as eager as me.
    cheers
    Jerome

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