PMP Exam Cram Session - PMBOK Guide, 6th Edition
- 7 hours on-demand video
- 1 article
- 1 downloadable resource
- 1 Practice Test
- Full lifetime access
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- Certificate of Completion
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- Final push to prepare to pass the PMP exam
- Discuss complete coverage of all exam objectives
- Everything you must know to pass the PMP
- Experience managing projects
- Thorough understanding of the PMBOK Guide
- Project management processes
Ready to pass your PMP exam but need a final boost to get you there? This is the course for you.
This short, but accurate, PMP course focuses on the most important processes you must know to pass your PMP exam. Focus on these topics and you’ll be in great shape for earning those three wonderful letters: PMP. This course covers the most essential components of the PMI PMP exam. We'll also review all of the project management processes you should know for your PMP exam. We've also included our popular PMP Memory Sheets to help cram more efficiently.
The PMP Exam Cram includes a test-passing strategy that focuses on what you'll be tested on - not just what's in the PMBOK Guide, Sixth Edition. We've pared down the fluff and drilled down into the exam objectives. If you're serious about passing the PMP exam and need a final push for exam day - this is the seminar for you.
In this PMP Exam Cram session we include:
A test-passing strategy for the PMP exam
Specific guidelines on what you need to know for PMP exam success
In-depth explanations for PMP topics like float, EVM, and charting
Every PMP exam topic explained and defined
PMP Memory Sheets to print and memorize
Complete walk through of the 49 processes
135-practice exam questions
30-day satisfaction guarantee
- PMP exam candidates
- Project managers
We're going to hop right into the success strategy by first discussing the mechanics of the PMP exam. In this section I'll discuss:
PMP exam question details
What to expect at the ProMetric Testing Center
Exam duration details
What you can (and cannot) do in the testing center
This lecture is all about qualifying for the PMP exam. I’ll walk through the qualification requirements, the cost of the exam, and the exam application.
No one wants to take a test and fail – that’s not going to be you with the PMP. You want to study the PMP specifics – what you’ll be tested on – and you want to study in proportion to the exam details. This lecture covers everything you’ll be tested on according to PMI.
Great job finishing this first section in our PMP Exam Cram session. This first section discussed:
Reviewing the test details
How to study according to the objectives
Implement PMP exam-passing strategies
Now that you've completed this first chunk of the course, let's move into the specific PMBOK topics you'll see on the PMP exam.
Every three or four years the Project Management Institute (PMI) issues a new edition of their book A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, which they call the PMBOK Guide and the rest of the world simply calls the PMBOK (pronounced pim-bok). PMI didn’t invent the contents of the PMBOK Guide – they may have collected the information in their book, organized, and sold it, but it’s not something they’ve invented. The PMBOK is a guide to the best practices of project management and, over time, the best practices evolve and so the PMBOK is update to reflect this evolution.
PMBOK 6 has 13 chapters on project management. You’ll need to be somewhat familiar with these as you prepare to pass your PMP exam. Here are the chapters and topics:
• Chapter One: Introduction to the PMBOK Guide and Project Management
• Chapter Two: The Environments in which Projects Operate
• Chapter Three: Role of the Project Manager
• Chapter Four: Project Integration Management
• Chapter Five: Project Scope Management
• Chapter Six: Project Schedule Management
• Chapter Seven: Project Cost Management
• Chapter Nine: Project Resource Management
• Chapter Ten: Project Communications Management
• Chapter Eleven: Project Risk Management
• Chapter Twelve: Project Procurement Management
• Chapter Thirteen: Project Stakeholder Management
There are several business documents you’ll need to recognize and understand for your PMP exam. These business documents affect the project selection, management, and closing of a project. It’s important to understand these terms for your exam – and for your role as a project manager.
Do you work with a PMO? A PMO is a project management office and there are three types of project management offices you want to recognize for your exam. Questions may define the type of project management office and then you’ll answer based on the PMO characteristics, so it’s important to know these for exam success.
The project manager’s role is to get things done by leading the project team through the challenges of the project to achieve the project goals and objective. Most often, project managers get involved with a project after the vision of the project has been created. Consider a project to build a house, design some software, or to move employees from one building to another. All of these projects and their objectives can be defined well before the project manager is involved.
By earning the PMP, you’re showing that you have both project management experience and project management knowledge. Once you’re a PMP, you’ll need to maintain your certification with continuing education by earning Professional Development Units (PDUs). Your PMP certification is actually a three-year cycle, in which time you’ll earn 60 PDUs to maintain your PMP. If you fail to earn the 60 PDUs, you’ll lose your PMP status and must start the entire journey over – not a wise decision.
Leadership in project management is about helping the team and business succeed. It’s about doing what’s right for the project, for the project team, and the stakeholders. You’ll work to focus on what’s most important by prioritizing work, needs, and wants. Leaders act, make decisions, and are flexible, courageous, and can go directly to problems to rectify issues and keep the project moving forward.
As a project manager, you have a wide circle of influence on the project’s success, the people on the project team, the management of your organization, and stakeholders that can span your organization, region, or even the entire globe. The project’s sphere of influence describes the parties affected by the role of the project manager. Your project can have ripples into all areas of your organization: resources, monetary constraints, politics, and many other factors can all be influenced by you, the project manager, and the project you lead.
All the different chunks of the project (scope, time, cost, quality, resources, communications, stakeholder management, risk, and procurement) are linked together. If you do a stinky job in any of these areas, it’ll likely affect the other areas of the project. Do a poor job in time management, for example, and think of all the negative things that’ll happen in the rest of the project. Project integration management is the coordination and consideration of how all parts of a project are linked together.
A project charter is a document that authorizes the project to exist within the organization. It defines the high-level goals of the project, names the project manager, and communicates the role of the project manager and the associated authority of the project manager. The project charter should be signed by someone with enough authority in the organization to direct the resources to the project. The project sponsor is usually the person who signs the charter, though some organizations may call this person the project champion. No big deal. Basically, you want the person who sends out the project charter to have authority over the resources needed in the project. This isn’t the project manager, but someone higher up the organizational chart.
Projects get selected to solve a problem or seize an opportunity. Projects are going to fix something, adhere to a new law or regulation, or they’re going to attempt to earn a profit. Understanding why a project exists can help you and the project team reach the primary project objective. All projects must support the organization’s business objectives; an accounting firm isn’t likely to initiate a project to build bicycles. Projects must be in alignment with the organization’s strategic goals and mission.
Project selection is often, but not always, done without the project manager. A project steering committee, upper management, or just a meeting with your company’s stakeholders can all be reason enough to select a project. Project selection can be complex and cumbersome with multiple formulas, analyses, business cases, and feasibility studies, or it can be a quick conversation and a handshake. The culture of the organization, the size of the project, the cost, risks, and confidence in project success all affect the project selection.
The project management plan can be on a whiteboard, the back of a napkin, or in a massive collection of tables, charts, and directions. Your project management plan can be as detailed as the project (or your organization) demands. But what do a plan on a whiteboard, a napkin, or that massive collection of directions all have in common? Ah, yes – they are documented plans. For your PMP exam, though not always in your job, you must have a cohesive, documented project plan that communicates what the project will accomplish.
You need a documented project management plan to communicate your intent for the project deliverables. The larger the project, the more detail, the more planning, and the more documentation you’ll need. Think of the largest project you’ve ever managed (or want to manage). By taking the vantage point of a large project, you can see why you’d create all of the components of a project management plan.
Integrated change control is one of the most important processes within project management. When a change is proposed in the project, the project manager must examine the change for its full affect on the project scope, costs, schedule, quality, resources, communications, quality, risk, and procurement. If the change is approved, this process ensures that the necessary documents and plans are updated and managed throughout the project.
The two favorite days in the life of a project manager are the day the project is launched and the day the project is closed. Closing a project is usually a happy event – you have a well-earned sense of accomplishment, you’ve taken a vision from the project customer and project sponsor and made it into being. You’ve led and managed (and sometimes cajoled) the project team to creating the work with quality. Sure, there will be ups and downs throughout the project, but the closure is almost always a satisfying experience.
I say “almost always” because sometimes a project is cancelled due to poor performance, lack of funds, or the business need has gone away in the organization. Even when a project is cancelled, the project manager should still go through the closure process to document what the project did, update the lessons learned, and put all questions about the project’s existence to rest. It’s not nearly as fun as actually closing the project with a deliverable that has benefits for the organization, but it’s still needed.
All of these different chunks of the project (scope, time, cost, quality, resources, communications, stakeholder management, risk, and procurement) are linked together. If you do a stinky job in any of these areas it’ll likely affect the other areas of the project. Do a poor job in time management, for example, and think of all the negative things that’ll happen in the rest of the project. Project integration management is the coordination and consideration of how all parts of a project are linked together.
Of all the documents and processes you must know for your PMP exam, the most important, in my opinion, is project scope management. All projects, from construction to technology, are nothing without a project scope. The project scope and its surrounding processes are the reason why the project exists, and all questions and decisions in the project should be compared to the agreed-upon scope document. If you want to boost your PMP exam score, know everything there is to know about project scope management above and beyond any other project management processes.
The project scope is a document that defines everything the project will create. The project scope defines all that’s in the project and everything that’s outside of the project – it creates boundaries for what the project manager and the project team are responsible for doing. You need time to gather the project requirements, confirm with the project stakeholders that the requirements are accurate, and that the project scope is in proportion to the amount of time and the amount of money you have available. If the scope, schedule, and costs are out of balance, your project will be heading towards failure. This is why you need a scope management plan. The scope management plan explains how the project’s scope will be created, controlled, and verified.
Now that you have the project scope created, it’s time to create the work breakdown structure (WBS). The WBS is a decomposition of the project scope into subcomponents. Each chunk is broken down over and over until you reach the smallest item in the WBS, the work package. The work package is a thing that equates to labor between eight hours and eighty hours. Basically, you breakdown the project scope to see the parts of the project that you have to create in order for the project to be considered done.
The WBS is a cornerstone of project management planning as it helps you define all the project deliverables which, in turn, will help you define the associated activities to create the project scope. This helps you, the project manager, determine how much labor, what type of labor, costs, scheduling, quality concerns, and even risks to be managed are lurking in your project. If you do nothing else in project planning, at least do the creation of the WBS.
Scope validation is about the customer accepting the project work.
While most project managers think that closing the project is the end result of the project management work, you can also close out a project’s phase. When you do scope validation, especially on larger projects with multiple phases, you can pause at the end of the phase and go through the same closing processes you’d do at the end of the entire project.
When it comes to project management, the one constant thing is change. Changes happen, or try to happen, all the time in projects. The project manager must have a reliable system to track, monitor, manage, and review changes to the project scope. Change control focuses on three things:
It facilitates scope changes to determine that changes are agreed upon.
It determines whether a scope change has happened.
It manages the scope changes when, and if, they happen.
In this section, we discussed the project scope management knowledge area. One of the first things you’ll have to achieve in your role as the manager of a new project is to define the project’s scope management plan. Now, your organization may rely on organizational process assets (OPAs) in the form of a template for all projects, but it’s possible that you’ll be creating this scope management plan from scratch. In this section, you’ll learn both approaches that you can apply to your projects and your PMI exam. This knowledge area included:
Relying on project information
Using templates and forms
Creating the Project Scope Management Plan
Performing product analysis
Using alternative identification
Interviewing experts and stakeholders
Schedule management is an important topic on the PMP exam. Time (schedule) is one of the triple constraints of project management. In this section, we'll discuss:
Schedule Management Plan
How to Find Float
Schedule Management - leads, lags, crashing, fast-tracking
Planning schedule management is the process of defining how you will create the project schedule in consideration of when the project is due, the amount of resources you have available, when the resources can work on the project, and the best approach to scheduling the work. This plan is part of the overall project management plan.
The visualization of the activity sequence is called a project network diagram (PND). A project network diagram visualizes the flow of the project work, shows branching among activities, and shows predecessors and successors of each activity in the project. A PND helps you see the order of the work, but also identify problems should an activity be delayed; for example, if an activity with lots of successors is delayed, you can assume that the successors will be delayed, too. A PND helps you find solutions to project delays, shift resources, and rearrange project activities.
The critical path also reveals which activities can be delayed without affecting the project’s completion date. The activities which are not on the critical path can be delayed without affecting the project end date. The possible delay for these activities is float (some software calls it slack). For example, you have an activity that’s not on the critical path, but requires materials from a vendor. The vendor reports that they’ll be late with the materials delivery. You can check the float for the project and see if there’s enough time to delay the activity, complete the work, and not affect the project end date. Knowing where you do and do not have float helps you plan and control your project better.
Project cost management is another angle in the triple constraints of project management. Stakeholders will always be concerned with the project costs and this section will discuss these topics in cost management:
Cost Management Plan
Earned Value Management
The cost management plan defines how you will complete the other cost management processes. This plan can be based on historical information, organizational process assets, or enterprise environmental factors. This is a subsidiary plan in the overall project management plan.
Part of the cost management plan, and a planning activity, is creating the cost estimate for the project. Assuming your project doesn’t have a pre-defined budget, you’ll need to predict how much the project scope will cost. There are lots of different ways to do this, but I’ll share the most common:
Rough order of magnitude
Every project needs a budget and you’ll need a plan on how you’ll stay within the budget. Some organizations leave the project cost estimation up to the project manager, while other organizations will assign a budget to the project manager to operate within. In either case, a cost management plan will help you identify the costs within the project, the feasibility of the budget in proportion to the project scope, and create techniques to control the costs of the project. You’ll also need to address how you’ll manage any cost overruns, track expenses, and measure project performance in relation to costs spent.
You will have a few - not hundreds - questions on earned value management on your PMP exam.
Earned value management is a suite of formulas that help the project manager forecast the project’s overall performance. There are lots of formulas and variations of formulas for earned value, but I want to share just the major ones to give you some insight into the approach. First, earned value requires that you take the percentage of the work completed multiplied by the project budget and that’s what the work completed so far is worth.
For your PMP examination, you’ll often have to assume that your organization has policies about quality and the products your company delivers. This might be packaged into a quality assurance program, a Six Sigma program, or just a quality policy for all projects. You’ll be faced with questions about the quality management plan and the quality policies in scenario-based questions. The quality management plan defines how your project will adhere to the quality policies of your company. You may have to address special software, metrics, or forms you’re required to use as part of the project’s adherence to the quality program your company utilizes.
In this section we'll discuss:
Seven basic quality tools
Quality management plan
Process improvement plan
Planning quality management determines the quality assurance activities and the quality control activities for the project. Plan quality also directs the process improvement plan and its execution in the project. This process creates the Project Quality Management Plan as part of the overall project management plan. In this lecture we'll compare and contrast these two plans.
Quality, when you boil it all down, is about meeting the project scope and the project requirements. Quality is a conformance to project requirements and it’s creating a project deliverable that's useable by the customer. The easiest way to achieve quality is to plan the project work in detail, make certain the project customers have signed off on the project scope, and then make certain the project team have the correct time and resources to do the work as promised – and then execute the project plan accordingly.
Probably the toughest part of a project is managing resources. Human resource planning focuses on roles and responsibilities, team building, and issue escalation. Roles and responsibilities define the different roles on the project: developer, framer, technical writer, producer, and jack-of-all-trades. Responsibilities describe the activities and things the roles will do. Usually, these two things are represented in a responsibility assignment matrix. My favorite matrix for this is the RACI Matrix – which uses the acronym RACI for responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed for each responsibility.
This knowledge area now includes the management of other resources, such as tools, equipment, materials, and facilities. This is a switch from previous versions of the PMBOK Guide – so know this for your PMP exam.
You’ll need to know several management theories for questions on your PMP exam. There are many theories on why people do the things they do. You’ve probably heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and how we need basic things, like food and water, before we need more advanced elements like friendship and self-esteem. But there are some other interesting theories which can affect how you, the project manager, lead your project team.
The resource management plan defines the rules, policies, and management of the project team.
While a project can technically be completed by just one person, but that’s not likely to happen very often. The project team has to be managed, to some extent, by the project manager so the project manager must know the rules, internal policies, and the amount of authority he has over the project team. It’s important to understand the amount of autonomy over the project team before you go and fire someone or give them a raise.
If you’re working with people that already have working relationships with one another, you’ll still need to take some measures to promote team performance. If you’re working with a new project team, or even a project team that has some new team members, you’ll have challenges to build the project team. The goal of team development isn’t to be a cheerleader; it’s to foster an environment where the project team feels comfortable relying on one another in the project. We all know that people play stupid, petty games, and politics. Your goal, at least one of your goals, is to strip the project of this nonsense. Don’t tolerate it and certainly do not participate in it. Gossip, infighting, envy, and other games do not promote team performance and can pull away from the project’s goal of being successful.
Conflicts often happen in the project and it's not always the role of the project manager to resolve them. That's right! Sometimes the project team needs to work through their conflicts to find the best solution. In this lecture, we'll examine:
How conflict is natural
Openness resolves conflict
Focus on issues, not personalities
Focus on the present, not the past
The project manager must oversee and coordinate the efforts of the project team. Managing the project team means that the project manager leads, directs, and guides the project team through issues, conflict resolution, and project execution.
In this lecture, we'll review:
Relative importance of the conflict
Time pressure for conflict resolution
Positions of each person involved
Motivation to resolve conflict for short-term or long-term
HR and staffing management plans
If you want to do one thing to improve your project, you should communicate accurately and frequently. The communications management plan defines who will need what information, when the information is needed, and the expected modality for the communication. Communications in a project can go awry quickly, so a communications management plan is the ideal method to document the communication needs of all the parties in the project.
You can use a matrix as a guide to communicating only what’s needed to the correct person and among the stakeholders. Of course, you don’t have to use a matrix or spreadsheet at all – you can create a communications management plan that just describes the types of communication, such as status reports on the project, and then define who’ll need the information. Whatever approach you take, you should first clear it with your key stakeholders – such as the project customer and the project sponsor – to make certain you’re meeting their expectations for communications.
You’ll need to know the communications model for your PMP exam. The larger the project you’re managing, the more communications management you’ll need. In smaller projects, the communication demands are smaller, more shallow, and you’re probably more accessible among the project team. The complex projects with management, project team members, and even customers spread around the globe obviously are going to have greater communication demands. Set communication expectations during planning. Tell your stakeholders when you’re available, especially if there are different time zones represented in the project, and keep your calendar up to date.
You and the project team will distribute the needed information to the stakeholders b. Recall that the communications management plan defines who needs what information, when the information is needed, the correct modality, and the responsibilities associated with the communication.