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Preparing for the Exam with PMBOK Guide—Fifth Edition (Part 9): Communication Management

by Bruce Garrod

Do you need to study how to communicate in preparation for the PMP exam? Really? With only three PMI processes based around the function that every project manager does every day of their life, it may feel that studying this chapter in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)—Fifth Edition is a waste of effort. Not so fast...

PMI Credentials: The Last Decade...and the Future

by Mike Griffiths

It's been a long time since the PMP credential debuted in 1984. Here we take a look at how the number of Project Management Institute credential holders has grown over the last 10 years--and speculate where they might go in the future.

PM Skills: Shades of Grey

by Ian Whittingham, PMP

If uniqueness is the mutable metal of our projects, then repetitiveness is the forge on which we temper those specialist skills that give it shape. But what kind of repetitiveness tempers those skills? And how long does it take to temper them? What really counts is the quality of the experience--and not just its quantity.

The Journey from Idea to Implementation: A PMI Volunteer’s View on the Development of a New Certification
(Part 1)

by Beth Ouellette

In this article series, Beth Ouellette talks about her experience working on PMI’s Requirements Management Steering Committee. This group helped to perform the work that eventually created the PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)SM certification, which officially launched in September, 2014. As Beth explains, the work and planning that goes into the creation of a PMI certification begins long before it’s made public. In Part 1, she shares her background with PMI.

My Journey to Passing the PMP Exam

by Neil Thompson, PMP

A few years ago, this current PMP had no idea what project management even was--but after being thrown into the role of project lead, that all changed. His journey to project management was not a typical one...

How to Develop Your PM Continuing Education Strategy

by Bruce Harpham

Your attitude toward professional development units (PDUs) says a lot about your professional aspirations. Learn how to navigate the world of continuing education in 2014 and beyond. Read on to get help finding flexible continuing education options to suit your budget and learning style.

Preparing for the Exam with PMBOK Guide—Fifth Edition (Part 7): Quality Management

by Bruce Garrod

Many project managers are not required to build a quality management section into their project plans. PMI knows that and sometimes exploits the lack of practical experience during the CAPM-PMP exam. This article continues the theme of comparing getting physically fit with getting ready for the certification exam.

Preparing for the Exam with PMBOK Guide—Fifth Edition (Part 6): Cost Management

by Bruce Garrod

The latest in the ongoing series of articles helping you get “PMP fit” explores the often avoided Project Cost Management knowledge area. To paraphrase a well-known company, just get at it. When you have read this article and completed your studying, you may well be asking yourself why you were so concerned about it…

Topic Teasers Vol. 43: Benefits Management Is Hard!

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: How much more can they heap on a project manager? Now I’m being asked to handle the benefits management for this project. There was nothing about this in my PMP prep course, or on the exam. Is the latest trend that anything no one wants to do becomes the responsibility of the PM? How do I proceed when I don’t even understand what this is?
A. Benefits management is now often asked of the project manager, but you should position yourself as the process facilitator, not the “responsible party”. Otherwise, they’ll blame you if the project benefits aren’t realized.
B. Benefits management has to do with salary, union contracts, insurance, 401K plans, sexual harassment concerns and training classes. It is rightly positioned in the human resources department, not in a project environment.
C. Since the outcome of your project is the sole indicator of whether or not the business objective will produce revenue, tracking benefits realization logically fits into the responsibility of the project manager.
D. Tracking benefits management is a time inhibitor in a project plan. For that reason, if your project is to finish as estimated, benefits management should be outsourced to a third-party organization.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Preparing for the Exam with PMBOK Guide—Fifth Edition (Part 4): Scope Management

by Bruce Garrod

It’s time to continue working on self-improvement. This fourth article in a series exploring A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)—Fifth Edition through a lighthearted comparison to personal fitness improvement explores the Project Scope Management knowledge area.

Agile Advocacy

by Mike Griffiths

We all need some help sometimes when introducing agile methods into a traditional organization. Fortunately, a new guide to ease the transition is available. The recently published Software Extension to the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition acts as a Rosetta Stone for mapping and replacing traditional approaches with their agile alternatives.

Preparing for the Exam with PMBOK Guide—Fifth Edition (Part 1)

by Bruce Garrod

This practical article re-launches the popular series of “getting in shape” to write either the CAPM or PMP exam. Self-improvement in today’s stressful business climate is critical to your overall health. This is the first step to the new (certified) you!

Exploring Exam Design

by Mike Griffiths

When studying for a new credential, a certain amount of "knowing what you are up against” information is useful to help study smarter and prevent worrying about certain things that don’t matter. So along the lines of “know thy enemy”, let’s dig into certification and examination design (but you still need to study!).

Topic Teasers Vol. 26: Agile Construction

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: I work in the construction industry and am under some pressure from management to make my projects “more agile”. It makes no sense to me that IT processes would be of any use when building actual residences, industrial sites and office buildings. What am I missing?
A. You are correct is thinking that building a tangible construction is very different than creating a software application that is only electronic bits. The methodologies for each are at odds with each other.
B. If you change the wording, such as “customer demos” to “site inspections” and “constant quality testing” to “meeting technical requirements”, you will find that SCRUM, TDD and other IT methodologies can be used in construction and have extensive training available to you.
C. It is a mistake to believe that agile IT practices are the entirety of what the methodology has to offer. If you investigate the true methodology, you will find there is much to blend with your current processes to add to construction project success.
D. You can use part of the agile philosophy in your construction projects, but plan for extra time and cost to accommodate the changes the customer is now entitled to add as you go.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

The Importance of Consistent Studying

by Cornelius Fichtner, PMP

Consistent study is the key to passing the PMP exam--this approach will help you improve your project management skills for the whole of your career. Here, an IT consultant shares his tips after passing the exam.

Getting Practical About Improving Certifications

by Mike Griffiths

In a way, most of today’s project management qualifications are like driver’s licenses. They both demonstrate a certain level of competency at a point in time but do not guarantee effectiveness. But most project management exams don't have a practical part--an idea that is at least worth discussing.

Tips to Passing Your PMP Exam

by Matt Patee

Obtaining the Project Management Professional certification can be a daunting task for even the most seasoned project managers. One coach shares some tips that are sure to help you obtain your PMP.

Do You Really Know What You Think You Know?

by Andy Jordan

It’s inevitable that we tend to take things that we are familiar with for granted. Let's look at how each of us can recognize those areas of our knowledge that are stagnating--and what we can do to avoid losing that knowledge altogether.

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"Four be the things I am wiser to know: Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe."

- Dorothy Parker