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Helping you earn and maintain your PMI certification. Passing the PMP Exam is tough, but keeping your PMP Certification alive is just as challenging. Preparing for the exam requires an in-depth study of the PMBOK Guide and dedicated study discipline. And once you are PMP certified, then you are required to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every 3 years to keep your certification alive. Let me help you make this journey easier with tips and tricks on how to prepare for and pass the exam as well as efficiently earning your PDUs once you are certified.

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Recent Posts

PM Podcast 338: Successful Project Management Depends on the Business

PM Podcast 337: Internet of Things (IoT) Projects may Fundamentally Change Project Management

PM Podcast 336: The PMP Exam is Changing on January 11, 2016

PM Podcast 334: PMP PDU Program Updates are Coming On December 1st 2015

How to Prepare for the PMP® Exam in 30 days?

PM Podcast 338: Successful Project Management Depends on the Business

Categories: PMI Global Congress

Listen to this free interview and earn 0.25 PDUs (Category C):

(Click to download MP3...)

Frank Parth

This interview with Frank Parth was recorded at the 2015 PMI Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Successful Projects Depend on the Business". Here is the paper's abstract:

This paper looks at the literature on successful critical projects and examines the impact of decision making on project success. When are the most critical decisions made? Who makes them? Where are the sensitive areas that can have a huge impact on project success? Research in this area shows that the only part of the effort where traditional project management approaches makes sense is in the later stages, the engineering and EPC stages. The earlier stages require a different approach to ensure success.

While all projects are dependent on decisions made outside the project, large projects are particularly susceptible to this because of the increased number of stakeholders and increase complexity. This paper will focus on the pre-project decision process for large construction, engineering, and infrastructure projects. We will examine how these projects are most effectively divided into several stages and compare the approaches promulgated by both academic research as well as by private industry. They are all consistent with each other in where the critical decision points are.

We will examine those critical points, the data needed to receive a “go” decision, and who should be involved in those decisions. We will see that the data needs to be increasingly complete and accurate the later in the life cycle the decision is made. Giving the engineers and the contractors bad data will ensure cost and schedule overruns as well as claims. Yet the most critical decisions are done when we have the least amount of accurate data, before the project managers ever get involved.

We will look at four areas and provide recommendations for the project manager at the end:

  1. The business environment
  2. Current research
  3. Approaches to assessing the adequacy of the early planning
  4. Proposed Development stages for program

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: November 21, 2015 03:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

PM Podcast 337: Internet of Things (IoT) Projects may Fundamentally Change Project Management

Listen to this free interview and earn 0.50 PDUs (Category C):

(Click to download MP3...)

Wanda Curlee

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems.

Internet of Things (IoT) projects are the projects that you and I will be managing in order to make these devices a reality, and according to Wanda Curlee (www.wandacurlee.com) these type of projects have the potential to fundamentally change project management.

The way that an IoT project is changing project management is not just because anything and everything can be and will be internet enabled, but also because the project management software we use will be more interconnected and developing these IoT devices will require us project managers to get a better handle on research and development, which can be extremely nebulous in the internet of things.

In a nutshell, Wanda Curlee says that IoT project management is heading our way and even if your projects are not internet related today, they will be in the future, She has no doubt that you will be managing an internet of things project.

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: November 21, 2015 02:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

PM Podcast 336: The PMP Exam is Changing on January 11, 2016

(Click to download MP3...)

Simona Fallavolita, PMI Product Manager

Are you studying for your PMP Exam, and did you know that the exam is changing soon? And maybe you are wondering about one of the following questions:

  • Why is the PMP exam changing in 2016?
  • Wait... wasn't it supposed to change in 2015?!
  • So when exactly is the PMP exam changing?
  • What exactly is changing with the PMP exam?
  • Do I have to study new topics?
  • Is there a new PMBOK Guide?
  • Are my study materials still OK after the PMP exam changes?

We have the answers to these and many more questions about the upcoming changes.

This interview with Simona Fallavolita (Program Manager, PMI) was recorded at the 2015 Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We review the upcoming PMP exam changes, how this affects training companies, what PMP students can do to prepare for this change, and look at some of the detailed changes that are coming to the PMP exam early next year.

Spoiler alert: The PMP exam changes were originally scheduled to go into effect in 2015 but were later moved to early 2016 for scheduling reasons, and no there is NO new PMBOK Guide.

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: October 30, 2015 10:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

PM Podcast 334: PMP PDU Program Updates are Coming On December 1st 2015

Categories: Career, PDUs

(Click to download MP3)

Victor Carter-Bey, Director CertificationsDo you have a PMI certification like PMP, PgMP, PfMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP or PMI-PBA?

If yes, then this interview is extremely important to you because the rules on earning PDUs are changing on December 1st, 2015.

In a nutshell: PMI is introducing the Talent Triangle, which has Technical Project Management, Leadership, as well as Strategic and Business Management on its three sides. Going forward you must earn PDUs in each of these three areas.

This interview with Victor Carter-Bey (Director Certifications, PMI) was recorded at the 2015 Global Congress in Orlando Florida. We review the Talent Triangle, the details of what exactly changes with the PDUs, the timeline of implementation and how to report them going forward.

Please visit the PMI website for all the details on these changes...

(This interview was originally published on The Project Management Podcast.)

Posted on: October 16, 2015 07:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

How to Prepare for the PMP® Exam in 30 days?

How to Prepare for the PMP Exam in 30 Days

You are asking yourself right now, “Where do I start to guarantee I pass the PMP® exam in 30 days”? Be patient, stay calm, and continue to read this quick article to understand the steps of this process – how each step leads to the next. So remember – finish one step before starting the next to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed. Preparing for the PMP exam will take daily dedication to studying and understanding the material.

Preparing for the PMP exam takes time and while I do NOT advocate a fast approach, sometimes there are “legitimate” reasons that require you to sit for the exam within 30 days (or sooner). Perhaps your employer has established this deadline for contractual reasons, perhaps you have found a highly desirable open position you would like to apply to but need the PMP for highest qualification, or perhaps you signed up to take the exam nearly a year ago but then you procrastinated and now you only have 30 days left before your eligibility runs out.

What follows are key steps, processes, and resources that, along with your dedication, will allow you to prepare for and pass the PMP exam in 30 days (or less). Let me begin with some general thoughts on how to get started:

How to Get a PMP Certification Fast?

So you have decided (or been told) that you will get your PMP done in a very short period.

First, read my article, 10 Steps to Becoming a PMP to establish your eligibility, lay a foundation and start a preliminary plan. A key statement to remember during this process is that attaining the PMP certification shows your commitment to the project management profession and demonstrates credibility allowing for higher salaries as well as raising your resume above non-PMP certification holders. So don’t get discouraged during this process.

Now that you have verified your eligibility to sit for the exam, Don’t Panic! Relax, take a deep breath, and begin to focus… the first important fact is to not become overwhelmed as there is A LOT of information to understand and many types of training opportunities.

As part of your initial planning – start clearing your calendar to allow for sufficient daily study time, and understand this will not be an easy path to success. In addition to studying A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), you will also benefit by reading through lessons learned from others who have prepared (and passed) on a “fast track” method.

Here are my key tips and resources to allow you to start on the fast path to get the PMP certification and attaining the coveted PMP certification.

How to Pass the PMP in 30 days?

As I said, while I do not recommend trying to study and pass the PMP in 30 days, sometimes there are legitimate reasons that you may find yourself in this situation. First and foremost, start with my article, Creating Your PMP Study Plan – The Complete Guide. This provides a very clear process to effectively create your own customized study plan. Don’t stress – this article also provides PMP Study Plan templates to help you get started.

There are many study plans – it’s important you design the one that best fits your learning style and continue to modify it as you take practice tests and establish the areas you need to focus your attention.

One method you could establish as a framework for your study time is to divide your available study window (in this case 30 days) by the percentage for each of the five Domains on the test. This table demonstrates this method:

Percentage on Test
Study time
3.9 days
6.2 days
9.3 days
Monitoring and Controlling
7.5 days
2.1 days

If you total these days up – it actually equals 29 days – which allows you one optional day that you can spend on review.

Within this 30-day window, you will also need to take practice tests – perhaps at the 15-day, 21 day and 29-day marks or more often. To learn more about the exam content, visit the PMP Examination Content Outline on the PMI® website.

How to Pass the PMP in 10 days?

But what if you have been told you have to pass the PMP in a 10-day window – what do you do now?

About the only real approach if you have less than two weeks to prepare and pass the PMP is to attend a PMP Boot Camp. There are two major disadvantages with a boot camp:

·         The expense associated with the Boot Camp (usually in the range of $1,500-$2,500), and

·         How well you absorb the material (memorization versus true absorption).

The PMP Boot Camps do offer the advantage of time – most boot camps are three to five days long and the PMP test is available on the last day of the boot camp. However, the boot camps do require significant “self-study” prior to and during attendance, which can be confusing to plan and organize yourself in a short period.

Need your PMP Fast? Think again!

If you have the option to study for more than 30 days – take it! Slow down, take your time, and ABSORB. The best way to pass the PMP exam is through methodical study, review, and application.

This additional time will allow you to learn the material in a manner that allows you to understand and implement the standards and theories – instead of just memorization to pass the test. The discovery of information for better understanding allows you to understand how the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs interrelate. Taking a slower approach will allow you the opportunity to effectively absorb the information and learn how to apply the knowledge to any of your projects.

After nearly a decade as a PMP exam trainer, I advocate this slower approach, which allows your brain enough time to absorb and retain the information for easier recall in the future. The key is to allow yourself a lot of hands-on practice and review time to become comfortable with the information.

So, what is the Best Way to Pass the PMP Exam?

What is your learning style? Are you a visual, auditory, or tactile learner? Do you learn best in groups or individually? Knowing your learning style is important to understanding how to approach your studies for the PMP exam.

To learn more about your learning style, see question six in my article 7 Questions Every Student SHOULD Ask Their PMP Coach When Preparing for the PMP Exam. This understanding over memorization, slower over rushed methods allows for less anxiety, becoming a better project manager, and learning new techniques with the intent of using them on your projects.

No matter how or when you decide to sit for the PMP, The PM PrepCast will be an immense resource to guide you through your studies. At a minimum read the Lessons Learned Forum with experiences from others who have passed the PMP exam.

Now that you understand the value of allowing yourself time to study, spend an hour and review our free series of 8 videos on YouTube that walks you through the detailed and “time consuming” step-by-step PMP Exam preparation process: www.pm-prepcast.com/8videos

About the author: Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a noted PMP expert. He has helped over 35,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast at http://www.pm-prepcast.com/pmprepcast and The PMP Exam Simulator at http://www.pm-prepcast.com/simulator.

This article originally appeared on The PM PrepCast and is reprinted by permission of the author.

Posted on: October 01, 2015 01:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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