Thursday, October 24, 2013

I am a Certified Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)

By With 15 comments:
I am proud to say that I am successful in my effort to obtain my second PMI credential. Yes, I am a Certified Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP).

PMI Risk Management Professioanl (PMI-RMP) Examination Report

The thought of taking up the RMP exam crossed me sometime in early June. But, I didn't pursue that because of the change in examination syllabus from PMBOK 4 to PMBOK 5. I thought that the time was too short to achieve the goal.

Then, sometime in June itself, I came to know that only PMP exam changes by end of July 2013 whereas RMP exam changes only by end of August. So, I wanted to give it a try. Even though I know that there were insignificant changes from PMBOK4 to PMBOK5, I was reluctant to wait. (A known devil is better than unknown angel, right?).

You may also be interested in:

I did some research to find the contact hours required to fulfil PMI's requirements. I purchased one month of online access to VTC. They have several online courses, which you can access during the period of subscription. If you complete watching the videos for a course, you will get the certificate of completion for that course.

Resources used for RMP exam preparation

1. VTC.com: PMI-RMP Risk Management Professional bundle (Author: Vanina Mangano)
2. Risk Management Tricks of the Trade for Project Managers + PMI-RMP Exam Prep Guide by Rita Mulcahy
3. Study Guide For the PMI Risk Management Professional Exam by Abdulla J. Alkuwaiti
4. PMBOK 4
5. PMP Exam Prep, Seventh Edition: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam by Rita Mulcahy
6. Risk Management chapter from Head First Pmp: A Brain-Friendly Guide to Passing the Project Management Professional Exam by Andrew Stellman
7. Several free online resources, some of which are listed below:
7a. PMXCEL: PMI-RMP Sample Questions
7b. uCertify.com: Trial Copy of PMI-RMP Course
7c. SimpliLearn: Free PMI-RMP Practice Test

Advice for PMI-RMP aspirants

Even though I have listed lot of resources above, I didn't use all of them to the full extent. Here is how I have used them:
  • I listened to most of the video content from VTC.com; they were quite useful and informative. I answered all the practice questions and mock test given by VTC.com and compared those answers with the author's answers.
  • I used Rita's Risk Management book and Alkuwaiti's risk management book only to try the end of the chapter questions; I did not find it necessary to go through the entire book.
  • I went through PMBOK's risk management chapter (in my opinion, this is the most useful exercise you should do); and a quick review of other chapters like quality, communication, human resources, time, cost and procurement.
  • I used Head First PMP book also for only trying end of the chapter questions in risk management
  • I find most of the online resources not that useful for PMI-RMP exam

Conclusion

If you are a PMP credential holder, you will not find PMI-RMP exam too difficult. The approach is similar; but get ready for a barrage of questions primarily around risk management. You should be thorough with all the risk management processes, the tools and techniques, and concepts like secondary risk, residual risk, contingency plans, work arounds and so on. Wishes for your success in PMI-RMP exam. If you need any advice/ suggestions/ feedback, please leave a comment below.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Project Cost Management: Video

By With 2 comments:
Project Cost Management includes those processes involved in planning, estimating, budgeting, monitoring and controlling costs. The ultimate goal of project cost management is to complete the project within the approved budget.

Below, you will find the four project management processes covered under project cost management knowledge area:

Planning Process Group
1. Plan Cost Management
2. Estimate Costs
3. Determine Budget
Monitoring and Controlling Process Group
4. Control Costs

Project Cost Management Video from Whizlabs

I would like to share a video on project cost management developed by Whizlabs. This video is a part of Whizlabs PMP Certification Self Study Training. The video explains the concept of Project Cost Management under the guidelines of PMBOK - Fifth Edition.


10% Discount on Whizlabs PMP Certification Self Study Training

If you liked the above video, you may consider signing up with Whizlabs for their training program. You can visit their page by clicking here: 10% Discount on PMP Self Study Training. Don't forget to use the Coupon Code JUSTGETPMP while you check out. This discount code is offered exclusively for Just Get PMP readers. So, go ahead and use it.

Please share your opinion/ feedback in the comments section so that other readers would also benefit from this offer; alternatively, you can mail your views to manick.pmp@gmail.com.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

PMP Lessons Learned #4

By With 9 comments:
PMP Lessons Learned
Further to our interviews with Mr. Dayanidhi Dhandapany, PMPMr. Ramakrishnan Jayabalan (Ramki), PMP and Ms. Sangeetha, PMP, here is an interview with Mr. Thiruvalluvan, PMP.

Thiru is basically a Civil Engineer with lots of experience in Construction and project management. Here, he shares his views and opinions on his successful journey towards the coveted PMP Credential.

Start of Survey

Personal Details

1. Your name?
Thiruvalluvan

2. Your Qualification?
PG Degree in Engineering

3. Your Industry?
Construction

4. Years of Experience
More than 15 years

Details of Training Attended

5. Where did you attend PMP training?
QT&T, Singapore

6. What is the mode of your training?
Class room based

Details of Exam Preparation

7. How long did you prepare for the exam?
45 - 90 days

8. In your opinion, which is the best book for PMP exam preparation?
PMP Exam Prep, Rita Mulcahy

9. Did you take part in any online forum during the preparation?
No.

10. Most useful online resource for PMP exam preparation
Sridhar Pedisetty's Notes on PMBOK V4

11. How did you prepare for the exam? What would you like to change if you would revisit the exam preparation period?
Listening the PMP audio during travelling times really helped most. Complete Mock exam paper preparation (4hrs) few times practice also helped a lot.

Opinion on the PMP Exam Content

12. Easiest knowledge area?
Communications Management

13. Most difficult knowledge area?
Integration Management

During the Exam

14. Time taken to complete the exam?
Time was just enough

Final Word

15. One last piece of advice for candidates preparing for the exam?
Listen to Audio tapes, prepare your own notes and it is a must to read PMBOK few times.

End of Survey

I sincerely thank Thiru for taking time out of his busy schedule to send this feedback.

If you are interested in sharing your experience, you can use my PMP Lessons Learned form. Your valuable lessons learned will be shared on this blog for the benefit of other PMP aspirants.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

PMP Lessons Learned #3

By With 4 comments:
PMP Lessons Learned
Further to our interviews with Mr. Dayanidhi Dhandapany, PMP and Mr. Ramakrishnan Jayabalan (Ramki), PMP, here is an interview with Ms. Sangeetha, PMP.

Below, you can find her views and opinions on her successful journey that fetched her the coveted PMP Credential.

Start of Survey

Personal Details

1. Your name?
Sangeetha A

2. Your Qualification?
Degree in Engineering

3. Your Industry?
Construction

4. Years of Experience
5 - 10 years

Details of Training Attended

5. Where did you attend PMP training?
Green International, Chennai

6. What is the mode of your training?
Class room based

Details of Exam Preparation

7. How long did you prepare for the exam?
45 - 90 days

8. In your opinion, which is the best book for PMP exam preparation?
Head First PMP, Andrew Stellman

9. Did you take part in any online forum during the preparation?
PMstudy.com

10. Most useful online resource for PMP exam preparation
PMstudy.com, Head First PMP

11. How did you prepare for the exam? What would you like to change if you would revisit the exam preparation period?
No response.

Opinion on the PMP Exam Content

12. Easiest knowledge area?
Communications Management

13. Most difficult knowledge area?
Integration Management

During the Exam

14. Time taken to complete the exam?
Time was not a problem

Final Word

15. One last piece of advice for candidates preparing for the exam?
Start studying along with the course progress and try to take up the exam within 3 months of course completion. Practice lot of mock test and at least 2-3 full exam in a exam kind environment.

End of Survey

I sincerely thank Sangeetha for filling up this questionnaire. I hope to get few more PMPs to share their experience here. If you are interested in sharing your experience, you can use my PMP Lessons Learned form. Your valuable lessons learned will be shared on this blog for the benefit of other PMP aspirants.

Monday, June 10, 2013

PMP Lessons Learned #2

By With 1 comment:
PMP Lessons Learned
Further to our interview with Mr. Dayanidhi Dhandapany, PMP on PMP Lessons Learned, here is the second interview with Mr. Ramakrishnan Jayabalan (Ramki), PMP.

Ramki is an enthusiastic project management professional from the IT industry. Ramki attended one of my PMP training programmes; and, that's how I know him.

Below, you can find his views and opinions on his successful journey that fetched him the coveted PMP Credential.

Start of Survey

Personal Details

1. Your name?
Ramakrishnan Jayabalan (Ramki)

2. Your Qualification?
PG Degree in Engineering

3. Your Industry?
IT

4. Years of Experience
10 - 15 years

Details of Training Attended

5. Where did you attend PMP training?
Green International, Chennai

6. What is the mode of your training?
Class room based

Details of Exam Preparation

7. How long did you prepare for the exam?
180 - 365 days

8. In your opinion, which is the best book for PMP exam preparation?
PMBOK

9. Did you take part in any online forum during the preparation?
Not during the preparation, but I would recommend this group which is very active http://groups.google.com/group/pmp-cert-online-study-group/topics

10. Most useful online resource for PMP exam preparation
Nothing specific, but i would suggest to grasp as much as possible.

11. How did you prepare for the exam? What would you like to change if you would revisit the exam preparation period?
Time management is more important; need to practice more sessions, better to go with multiple topics instead of going single threaded.

Opinion on the PMP Exam Content

12. Easiest knowledge area?
Communications Management

13. Most difficult knowledge area?
Procurement Management

During the Exam

14. Time taken to complete the exam?
Time was just enough

Final Word

15. One last piece of advice for candidates preparing for the exam?
Stick to the timing.

End of Survey

Nutpam: Project Management
I sincerely thank Ramki for filling up this questionnaire, in spite of his busy schedule. And, forgot to tell you. Ramki is also a passionate blogger. You can read his blog on project management (in Tamil language) at Nutpam.

I hope to get few more PMPs to share their experience here. If you are interested in sharing your experience, you can use my PMP Lessons Learned form. Your valuable lessons learned will be shared on this blog for the benefit of other PMP aspirants.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

PMP Lessons Learned #1

By With No comments:
PMP Lessons Learned
I thought of sharing some lessons learned during the PMP exam preparation. As you know, PMI puts lot of emphasis on lessons learned and historical information for the success of any project. Since the entire process of getting PMP credential certification is also a project, all the lessons learned by the current PMP holders would be extremely useful for new PMP aspirants.

So, I framed a set of questions as a survey with an idea to collect lessons learned from PMPs I know. Here is the first such survey answered promptly by Mr. Dayanidhi Dhandapany. Daya, whom I know personally too, attended one of my PMP training programmes and cleared the exam in a short period of time.

Below, you can find his views and opinions on his successful journey that fetched him the coveted PMP Credential.

Start of Survey

Personal Details

1. Your name?
Dayanidhi Dhandapany

2. Your Qualification?
PG Degree in Engineering

3. Your Industry?
Construction

4. Years of Experience
More than 15 years

Details of Training Attended

5. Where did you attend PMP training?
Green International, Chennai

6. What is the mode of your training?
Class room based

Details of Exam Preparation

7. How long did you prepare for the exam?
45 - 90 days

8. In your opinion, which is the best book for PMP exam preparation?
PMP Exam Prep, Rita Mulcahy

9. Did you take part in any online forum during the preparation?
PMPSTUDY.COM

10. How did you prepare for the exam? What would you like to change if you would revisit the exam preparation period?
I already have working experience in project control field, so I have to tune myself to PMI way of project management in approaching the exams for which practicing of 1000 questions and attempting to take exams for more than 6 hours per day continuously gave me the comfort of sitting for the real exam under 2.5 hours to complete the 4 hours exam duration.

In simple terms the more the practice less the pain you will take in the real exam because your mind is tuned automatically to cope up with time. Of course one has to understand the concepts, processes etc in PMI Way only.

Opinion on the PMP Exam Content

11. Easiest knowledge area?
Time Management

12. Most difficult knowledge area?
Procurement Management

During the Exam

13. Time taken to complete the exam?
Time was not a problem

Final Word

14. One last piece of advice for candidates preparing for the exam?
Try to take as much Mock up exams to achieve the speed to complete the exam in 2.5 hours and your scoring in the mock should be 93% then you can go for real exam.

End of Survey

I sincerely thank Daya for filling up this questionnaire, in spite of his busy schedule. I hope to get few more to share their experience here. If you are interested in sharing your experience, you can use my PMP Lessons Learned form, which will be shared on this blog.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Free E-Book: How to be a great project manager?

By With 2 comments:
Free e-book: How to be a great project manager?
I came across an e-book on project management at ProjectManager.com. The book is titled “How to be a great Project Manager?” The book title was attractive enough for me and I straightaway started reading it. Since the book is available FREE for everyone, I thought of sharing the information here.

Review of the book

The book starts off like this: “Whether you’re a novice or an expert, you can always improve the way you manage projects.” This is what we call it as continual improvement; the core concept of ISO 9000 Quality Management System.

It’s a simple book on project management, not really rocket science. It’s not as voluminous as you would normally expect books on project management to be.

I would consider it more as a handy reference tool, touching on basic concepts of project management. After all, in our pursuit to excellence, we often lose track of the project management basics. Right?

I like the simplicity of the book. The limited concepts covered in the book are very well organized and presented in a way that’s pleasing to the eyes.

Contents of the book

The book provides several tips, tricks and techniques to put you on the right track to become a better project manager. In this book, you will learn how to:

  • Set goals and achieve them
  • Improve your decision-making skills
  • Write great project documents
  • Deliver fantastic presentations
  • Manage day-to-day tasks
  • Boost your personal confidence
  • Improve your learning
  • Get a work-life balance

Where to get the book?

If you are interested, you can download the book for free here: How to be a great Project Manager?

Conclusion

If you are preparing for the PMP credential examination, then this book may not be of any help to you in the exam preparation. But, it would be a good guide for you as a project manager. If you managed to get a copy of the book, please share your opinions on the book.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

3500+ Free PMP Exam Practice Questions

By With 37 comments:
Updated on 31 Dec 2016: 700 Premium PMP exam questions were added; the updated list now contains 3500+ Free PMP exam practice questions. Invalid links were removed from the list.

To succeed in PMP Certification Examination, you need to follow three golden rules, which are listed below:
  1. Practice
  2. Practice and
  3. More practice
999+ Free PMP Practice Questions

Got it? Yes, PMP is one examination where you can succeed only by getting some hands-on exercises. It is difficult to clear the examination just by reading PMBOK or attending some training. You need to try as many questions as possible, monitor your performance and control your study before going for the real PMP exam. I have touched about this approach in my earlier article titled How to Pass PMP in First Attempt?.

So, the next step is to find relevant resources. You can buy question banks or mock exam softwares available in the market, if money is not a constraint. But, if you are worried about spending more money on PMP, don't worry. There are ample PMP questions available online, free of cost.

In this article, I have listed some of them for your reference and use.

3500+ Free PMP Exam Practice Questions

  1. Just Get PMP - PMP Exam Questions and Answers - Free
  2. PMPExamForFree- Premium PMP Exam Questions (700 questions)
  3. GreyCampus - Free PMP Practice Exam (200 questions); requires you to share your e-mail to receive the test result
  4. Just PMP - Free PMP Practice test (200 questions); requires you to like and share JustPMP facebook page before you enroll for test
  5. BrainBOK - Mastering PMBOK Exam (50 random questions displayed from a pool of 100+ free questions); requires a sign-in with Google Account
  6. Oliver F. Lehmann
  7. PMP Links - PMP Practice Exam (200 questions)
  8. Project Management Academy - Free PMP Questions (50 questions)
  9. iZenBridge
  10. CertChamp - PMP Sample Questions (200 questions)
  11. The Certification School - PMP Free Mock Exam (100 questions)
  12. MyPM
  13. Head First Labs - Free PMP Practice Exam (200 questions)
  14. Voight Project Solutions – Practice PMP Exam (Removed the link on 13 Oct 2015 as it is not working)
  15. PMStudy - Free Sample Chapter Test on "Project Management Framework" and "Project Integration Management" (151 questions)
  16. tutorialspoint – PMP Mock Exam (200 questions)
  17. preparepm.com
  18. Threon - PMP Test Questions
  19. Project Management Test Bank -  PM Test Bank (480 questions)
  20. PMTraining - PMP Exam Demonstration (10 questions)
Remember that PMP is not only Project Mangement Professional, but also stands for Practice Makes Perfect.

You may also be interested in:

Disclaimer

I have not tested or reviewed the above links. So, I cannot vouch for the content provided in those links. It is up to the individuals to ensure the relevance and accuracy of the questions. However, we would welcome your feedback on those questions banks which would help other PMP aspirants to choose the better question bank for their exam preparation.


Revision History

  • Dec 31, 2016: 700 Premium PMP exam questions from PMPExamForFree were added
  • Nov 24, 2016: Free PMP practice exam from GreyCampus was added
  • Nov 16, 2016: Free PMP practice test from JustPMP was added
  • Jan 16, 2016: My own PMP exam sample questions (10 questions) were included
  • Jan 09, 2016: 10 sample questions from PMTraining were included
  • Jan 08, 2016: 175 Prep Questions from Oliver F. Lehmann and 200 Free PMP Practice Questions from PMP Links were included
  • Nov 26, 2015: 50 Free PMP/CAPM Sample Questions from BrainBOK were included
  • Nov 16, 2015: 50 Free PMP Questions from Project Management Academy were included
  • Nov 14, 2015: PMP Free Practice Test and Earned Value Management (EVM) Quiz from iZenBridge were included
  • Nov 04, 2015: PMP Sample Questions from CertChamp were included
  • Oct 29, 2015: PMP Free Mock Exam from The Certification School was included
  • Oct 13, 2015: PMP Practice Exams from MyPM were included; Practice PMP Exam from Voight Project Solutions was removed
  • May 28, 2013: First published

Monday, May 27, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Part 1

By With 1 comment:
PMP - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I get lot of questions from PMP aspirants. Most of them are not related to the PMP content, but generally questions of administrative nature. Several questions were repeated; primarily out of anxiety from candidates.

I thought of putting together these questions on PMP examination here. This by no means is a comprehensive list of questions. I would add more questions as I come across them.

Question #1

I got the training of 35 hours in Project Management 2 years back which was conducted by PMI-Chennai chapter and now I am waiting for the PM experience to get completed in mid of this year. Whether I can apply for PMP with this training hours or I have to take a new training?
Manick: PMI states that you should have at least 35 contact hours of specific instruction that addressed learning objectives in project management. You are allowed to record all education hours regardless of when they were accrued. The only condition is that the course work should have been completed at the time you submit the application.

So, it is not necessary to attend new training. Your previous training would be sufficient, irrespective of the fact that it was two years old.

Question #2

I am planning to go for online 35 hours contact training now based on PMBOK 4th edition. However I would like to take the exam on PMBOK 5th edition after 4 to 5 months from now. So my question is the contact hours I gained on PMBOK 4th edition are eligible for taking PMBOK 5th edition exam also?
Manick: No problem. You can attend the training program based on PMBOK4; and the same contact hours can be used to take exam based on PMBOK5.

PMI requires that the contact hours should address learning objectives in project management. The course hours may include content on project quality, project scope, project schedule, project budget, project communications, project risk, project procurement, and project integration management. It does not state that you have to go through any specific training based on PMBOK only.

Question #3

I had taken the PMP 35 PDUs training for PMP 4th edition in Nov 2012, and due to some personal problems I was not able to prepare for this PMP Exam and have not taken yet, i,e till 5th May 2013. Now, I came to know that PMP 4th edition exam last date is 31 July 2013. I have not started preparation for this PMP exam, so can I prepare for this exam within 2 months?
Manick: The time required for the exam preparation varies depending on the individual’s learning capability, other work load, the level of training obtained and various other factors. From my own experience, I believe that anything between 6 to 8 weeks should be sufficient for exam preparation. But, you have to dedicate your full attention during this period.

I note that there is a long break since you attended the training session. I would suggest you to attend a refresher programme. This should not be a problem since most of the training institutes allow you to attend repeat classes. Please check with your respective training provider.

Question #4

I have done my 35 hours PDU and I am in the process of completing my profile. Please advice whether I should take PMP4 exam or PMP5 exam. I just did the 35 hour PDUs last weekend.
Manick: We still have about two more months before the exam changes to PMBOK5 (PMP5). You have just enough time to prepare and appear for the exam based on PMBOK4 (PMP4). As such, I would suggest you to go ahead with PMBOK4.

Since you have completed the training, its easier for you to study PMBOK4. Moreover, the amount of study material available for PMBOK4 is plenty. To get study materials based on PMBOK5 would take some time. So, I prefer to go ahead with a known devil rather than waiting for the unknown angel.

I would strongly suggest PMBOK5 for any one who completes their training after mid-June. Its too difficult to prepare for the exam in less than six weeks.

I hope the above clarifications would help to cool down some of your anxiety. Do you have any other questions? Please feel free to shoot them.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

How to renew your PMP Credential?

By With 5 comments:
PMP Renewal Process
As you may know already, PMP Credential is valid only for three years. And you need to renew your PMP Credential after three years. To renew your PMP Credential, you should have accumulated 60 PDUs in the three years cycle.

I reported some time back that I have completed the 60 PDUs accumulation for my PMP renewal. If you are interested, you can see how did I earn 60 PDUs.

In this article, I am going to explain step by step how I renewed my PMP Credential.

PMP Renewal Process

1. Go to https://certification.pmi.org/default.aspx.
2. Enter the username and password to log in to the system.

Begin the PMP Renewal Process

3. Click “Begin the renewal process”.
4. Agree to the PMI Certification Application/Renewal Agreement.
5. Complete the billing address.
6. If you have been given a Company Code to pay for this renewal, please enter the company code. If not, select “No, I do not have a company code” and click Next.
7. If you have been given a Voucher to pay for this renewal, please enter the voucher number. If not, select “No, I will be paying for this online” and click Next.
8. You need to enter your credit card details for the online payment. The PMP credential renewal fee is $60 (U.S.) for PMI members and $150 (U.S.) for non-members.

PMP Renewal Fees

9. Finally, review and submit your payment.
10. Your application for renewal should be approved. You can print the receipt.

And guess what, now, you are a PMP credential holder in good standing for the next three years. What happens next? Start collecting the PDUs for the next renewal ...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Doubt in Conflict Resolution Techniques

By With 2 comments:
I got the following question from one of the candidates in my PMP training programme. The question relates to "Conflict Resolution Techniques" from Project Human Resources Management. Let us see the question below & our conversation/ discussion regarding the answer:

Conflict Resolution Techniques

The Question

Choose from the following combinations, the combination that shows the most preferred and the least preferred conflict resolution techniqes:

(A) Smoothing, Withdrawal
(B) Problem Solving, Withdrawal
(C) Confrontation, Forcing
(D) Compromising, Forcing

You may also be interested in:

Discussion on the Answer

PMP Aspirant: "Manick, I chose answer (C). But, the correct choice seems to be (B). As per PMI, least preferred is forcing right? I don't understand. Can you please explain?"

Manick: "The answer is (B). The most preferred conflict resolution technique is problem solving/ confrontation; the least preferred technique is withdrawal.

In withdrawal, there is no resolution. You are running away from the solution. Whereas, in Forcing, you have a resolution arbitrarily; through force and power. But, the point is, in Forcing, at least you have some solution whereas in withdrawal the conflict still remains."

PMP Aspirant: "Ya I agree ..but during our class I remember u saying generally withdrawal is least preferred but as per PMI forcing is the last option...so the confusion:("

Manick: "As per PMI, forcing should be the last resort if other conflict resolution techniques like Confrontation could not work. What it means is, you can use forcing if everything else fails; but, withdrawal should not be used at all. So, in the hierarchy of preference, forcing comes before withdrawal."

Is that clear to you? Are you with me? You can share your opinion or comments for further discussion on this issue.

PMP Training Programme - Photos

By With 8 comments:
I am sharing here some more photos of the PMP training programmes conducted by me. All these training programmes were conducted in Chennai, India.

PMP Training Programme in Chennai
PMP Training Programme in Progress
Group Photo of another PMP Team
Group Photo of another PMP Team
PMP Training Programme Certification Distribution
PMP Training Programme Certification Distribution
PMP Training Programme Certification Distribution
PMP Training Programme Certification Distribution

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

PMP Training Programme - Photos

By With 4 comments:
Thought of sharing some photos taken during one of my PMP training programmes. The photos displayed below were taken during the PMP training programme conducted in Chennai, India. I conducted the PMP training programme for 4 days between 31 January and 3 February 2013.

PMP Training Programme in Chennai
PMP Training Programme in Progress

PMP Training Programme - Group Photo
PMP Aspirants with me

PMP Training Programme - Certificate Distribution
Certificate Distribution

PMP Training Programme - Certificate Distribution
Certificate Distribution

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Doubt in Estimate At Completion (EAC) Calculations

By With 4 comments:
Today, I got a question from our friend, PMP aspirant. He wanted me to explain the answer to the PMP question. He said that his answer is not matching the right answer given. The question is given below:
You are the project manager of a $5 billion dollar construction project. Your project is doing extremely well in terms of cost performance, which is indicated by the Cost Performance Index value of 1.25. But, you have reasons to believe that the current variances were due to extraneous factors, and you do not expect similar variances to occur in future. The original estimated budget at completion is $250,000. What should be the estimate at completion (EAC) for your project if AC = $ 100,000 and EV = $ 125,000?
OK, before going into the question, I would like to explain the various ways of calculating the Estimate At Completion (EAC). There are three different scenarios you will encounter in the EAC calculations. They are:


1. Current project performance is typical; you expect the project to perform similarly till end of the project
EAC = BAC/ CPI
Let me give you an example. Say, your original budget is $1000. The actual cost as of now is $200, but the earned value is only $100. It means that you are spending $2 for every $1 of work. So, if the same performance continues till end of the project, you would be spending $2000 instead of $1000.

In terms of calculations, CPI = EV/ AC = 100/200 = 0.5
So, your EAC = BAC/ CPI = 1000/0.5 = $2000

2. Current project performance is atypical; you expect the project to perform to original expectation from now on.
EAC = AC + (BAC-EV)
Let us use the above example in case 1. You have spent $200 so far for an earned value of $100. So, you still have $900 (BAC-EV = $1000-$100) worth of work to be completed. Since you are expected to fall back in line with the original estimate, you need only $900 to complete the project from now on. Add the amount you have already spent on the project ($200).

So, EAC = 200 + (1000-100) = $1100

3. You need to complete the project in time, irrespective of what has happened so far.
EAC= AC + (BAC-EV) / (SPI * CPI)
Let us again use the example from case 1. You have spent $200 so far for an earned value of $100.  But, as per schedule, you should have completed $400 value of work.

So, PV = $400, EV = $100, AC = $200
SPI = EV/PV = 100/400 = 0.25
CPI = EV/AC = 100/200 = 0.50

EAC = 200 + (1000-100)/(0.25*0.75) = $5000.

EAC = 200 + (1000-100)/(0.25*0.50) = $7400.

The revised estimate now is too high compared to the original estimate; this is because of the very slow progress (SPI =0.25). You may have to spend more money (using schedule compression techniques) to bring back the project on schedule.

You may also be interested in:

Solution to the given problem

I hope you understand the different scenarios given here. Now, let me come back to the question sent by our friend, PMP Aspirant. The project manager believes that the current variances are not typical and does not expect similar variances to occur in the future. The scenario given falls under case 2. So, let us the relevant formula to compute the EAC value.

EAC = AC + (BAC-EV)
In the given problem, AC = $100,000; BAC = $250,000; EV = $125,000

EAC = 100000 + (250000-125000) = $225000

Is that clear? Do you still have any doubts? Please feel free to share your thoughts. If you need help on any other problem, I would be glad to help.

Doubt in Schedule Network Diagram

By With No comments:
Network Diagram is the most interesting concept in project scheduling. But, it can also become tricky if you do not understand it clearly. Today, I got a query from one of my PMP candidates. He sent me the following table of activities.

 Activity  Predecessor  Duration (days) 
AStart6
DA8
BStart3
EB5
CStart9
EC6
EndD3
EndE4

He was confused why activity E is appearing twice in the table with different duration. He also wanted to know the critical path, duration of the critical path and the total float of activity B.

Solution

Now, let us look at the solution for the above problem. I will draw the network diagram using Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)/ Activity On Node (AON) diagram. To avoid confusion, I will just draw the relationship without showing the duration of the activities.

Schedule Network Diagram without duration

So, we have no problem in drawing the network. You can check the relationship against the table and everything looks fine.

Now, let us start including the duration for each activity. This is where it gets troublesome. Activity E's duration is shown as 5 days in one row and as 6 days in another. Why does activity E appears twice with different duration?


Since activity E appears twice, this problem cannot be represented using Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM)/ Activity On Node (AON) diagram or even Arrow Diagramming Method (ADM)/ Activity On Arrow (AOA) diagram. In both approaches, the activity appears only once. So, we need to interpret the problem a little bit differently.

Instead of reading that duration of activity E is 5 days, let us read it as the duration of activity E-B is 5 days. Similarly, let us interpret that the duration of E-C is 6 days. With this interpretation, I am going to draw the network with a combination of both PDM and ADM. The activity is placed in the node as in PDM while the duration is placed on the arrow as in ADM. Let us see how the network diagram looks like.

Schedule Network Diagram with duration

So, I believe we have correctly represented the problem in the network diagram. Now, it is simple to answer the questions.

Question 1: Identify the Critical Path. What is the duration of the critical path?
We have three paths in the network, namely Start-A-D-End, Start-B-E-End and Start-C-E-End. Let us find out the duration of each path.

Duration of Start-A-D-End: 17 days
Duration of Start-B-E-End: 12 days
Duration of Start-C-E-End: 19 days

So, it is clear that the path Start-C-E-End with the longest duration of 19 days is the critical path.

Question 2: What is the total float of activity B?
We know the duration of the critical path is 19 days. Activity B appears in only one path, Start-B-E-End, which takes 12 days. So, the total float of activity B is 19-12 = 7 days.

That's it. Hope the above explanation gives you a better picture of the problem and its solution. What is your opinion? Is it clear? Do you have any other doubts? Please feel free to leave your comments.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Earn 8 PDUs FREE

By With 4 comments:
Today, I got a mail from Synergy School of Business Skills, a division of CADD Centre Training Services located at Mylapore, Chennai. They are organizing an event called Synergy Fest 2013. The objective of the programme is to enlighten working project management professional with current industry trends.
Synergy Fest 2013

Topics of the presentations
Path pavers from respective fields will present on the following topics:
  • Vital role and importance of statistical methods in management - Dr. H.K. Lakshman Rao, Former GM MFL and Prof. & Head of Management Department-CEC
  • Why Kaizen is tool to transform? Transform through true Kaizen - Mr. Jayanth Moorthy, Director of Kaizen Institute, India
  • Why credential? - Mr. Vasudevan, PMP
  • What's new in Primavera 8.2? - Mr. Kishore Kumar, Project Management Consultant
  • PMBOK 5th Edition : An overview - Ms. Sowmya Lakshmi, PMP, Business Head, Synergy
  • Panel discussion on "What exactly a project manager requires today?"
  • Closing speech by Mr. Karaiadi Selvan, Managing Director, CADD Centre

Earn 8 PDUs FREE
Number of PDUs
Synergy website informs that the participants will be able to obtain 8 PDUs for the whole day programme.

When?
9 February 2013, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Venue
Synergy School of Business Skills
#25, Radhakrishnan Salai
Mylapore
Chennai 600004

Whom to contact?
For registrations, you can contact Synergy school at 044-4591 8900 (or) you can send a mail to ctg.chennai@synergysbs.co.in with the following details:
Name :
Email :
Current Organization :
Designation :
Contact Number :
Total Experience :
Industry :

I will be there. How about you?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

10 Knowledge Areas

By With 7 comments:
Note: This article is based on PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition

This is my first post based on the latest edition of the PMBOK Guide. I managed to get a soft copy of the Fifth Edition as part of the PMI member benefits. If you are still preparing for the PMP exam based on PMBOK Guide Fourth Edition, then this article may not be applicable to you; there are only 9 knowledge areas in PMBOK Guide Fourth Edition.

10 Knowledge Areas of Project Management
The 47 project management processes identified in PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition are grouped into 10 knowledge areas. A knowledge area basically refers to an area of specialization like Time management or Cost management. The knowledge area includes a set of concepts, key words and activities specific to that particular field of project management.


You may also be interested in:


10 Knowledge Areas

The 10 knowledge areas that are used on most projects most of the time are listed below:
  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Time Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Human Resource Management
  7. Project Communications Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management
  10. Project Stakeholder Management
As you can see, the last knowledge area "Project Stakeholder Management" is the latest knowledge area to be included in PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How did I earn 60 PDUs?

By With 5 comments:
60 PDUs for PMP Recertification
As you may know, it is a requirement to earn 60 PDUs (Professional Development Units) over a period of 3 years to maintain your PMP credential. While it may seem a huge task at the beginning, its not so difficult after all. I could easily accumulate 60 PDUs without spending too much money on it.

I managed to complete the required 60 PDUs; in fact, I have earned 7 excess PDUs which I can carry forward to my next 3-year cycle. So, how did I earn these PDUs?

The following is the breakdown of how I earned my PDUs:
  • 10 PDUs Free from IIL (International Institute for Learning) for attending the Virtual Conference held as part of the International Project Management Day 2012. In fact, I could have earned 15 PDUs; but, I could not find time to watch 30 videos required for the 15 PDUs.
  • 17 PDUs from PMI Chennai Chapter, by attending the regular monthly knowledge sharing sessions and the Annual General Meeting (AGM). I became a member of the PMI Chennai Chapter in February 2012; their knowledge sharing sessions are very useful to earn PDUs. I would recommend you to become a member of your local chapter. Considering one knowledge sharing session per month, you could easily earn 24 PDUs per year. So, you need not think any other source beyond this for your 60 PDUs.
  • 18 PDUs for attending India's 4th annual Project Management National Conference held in Chennai. I got my company to sponsor me for this event; so, I did not spend any money for earning these 18 PDUs. But, on hindsight, I would not have regretted if I had registered for the Conference from my own pocket. You rarely get a chance to attend such huge conference right at your door steps.
  • 6 PDUs Free for attending the online seminars conducted by PMI Pune-Deccan Chapter
  • 16 PDUs for attending a two days course on project management. This course was sponsored by my former organization in Singapore.

How about you?
So, that's how I earned/ accumulated my required PDUs. Most of them falls under Category A: Registered Education Provider/ PMI Component. I only spent for the PMI membership and the $10 fee for the PMI Chennai Chapter membership. How about you? How do you go about accumulating your PDUs?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Enterprise Environmental Factors: Internal or External?

By With No comments:
Enterprise Environmental Factors and Organizational Process Assets are the terms that you would come across quite commonly in the PMBOK Guide. They are inputs to most of the project management processes. Enterprise Environmental Factors are those factors that could potentially affect or impact a project’s success.

Enterprise Environmental Factors

These factors determine how a project manager manages a project. So, it is important for a project manager to have a good understanding of the enterprise environmental factors that could potentially affect his/ her project.

For example, stakeholders risk tolerance is an enterprise environmental factor. If the stakeholders are aggressive, then a project manager would be allowed to take risks that could potentially have a high impact on the project. On the other hand, if the stakeholders are not tolerant to high level of risks, then the project manager has to handle the project in a different way.

Enterprise Environmental Factors: Internal or External?
The enterprise environmental factors could be internal factors to the organization like organizational culture, existing human resources, work authorization systems, project management information systems (PMIS), organization’s established communication channels and so on.

They could also be factors external to the organization like Government standards, industry requirements, market place conditions, political environment and so on.

So, if you are a project manager, it is important to ask yourself or to throw the question to your project team. What are the enterprise environmental factors that could impact/ affect the success of our project? The earlier you find the answer, the better the chances of a successful project.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

PMI Membership: Economic Exception Program

By With 3 comments:
My PMI membership is coming up for renewal in February 2013. The good news is that I would be eligible for a lower PMI annual membership fees based on the Economic Exception Pilot Program.

PMI Membership: Economic Exception

What is this Economic Exception Pilot Program?
PMI is testing whether offering a lower membership fees would increase the retention rate of the PMI membership. The regular membership fee is US$129 whereas under the Economic Exception Program you need to pay only US$65. That's almost a 50% discount from the regular membership fees. The program is applicable only to existing PMI members from Brazil, India, Mexico and Nigeria. New members are not eligible for this discount. They still have to fork out the full fees.

What is the downside of this Economic Exception Program?
Economic exception membership rate of US$65 includes all rights and privileges provided through the PMI regular membership. The only difference is that your membership publications will be delivered electronically to your e-mail box rather than hard copy publications. If you prefer to receive hardcopy publications sent to you via postal mail, then you still have the option to retain your regular membership at the price of US$129.

A short flashback
I took the PMI membership when I was preparing for the PMP examination; simply for the fact that there was no  obvious advantage of taking the PMP exam as a non-member. Once I cleared the PMP exam, I was not actively using any benefits of the PMI membership. So, I did not renew my membership when it expired after the first year.

This is the period when I shifted from Singapore to India. And I was occupied with more important things like getting settled down in my new company, new job and new project; don't forget that I was away from India for about 15 years. The family also needed time to settle down in a new place & so on. So, you get the point that I had no intention to renew the PMI membership.

This is the period when I got an e-mail from PMI seeking an appointment to discuss & get the feedback about PMI. I agreed and an appointment was fixed for the survey through telephone.

The survery call lasted close to about an hour. I could sense that the survey was mainly to find out why I did not renew my membership. So, I told them the reasons why I took it & why I did not renew it. I also pointed out that it was easy to pay US$129 in Singapore. But, in India, it looked a big amount to spend (US$ has to be multiplied by 55 when it comes to INR). Probably they got similar comments from majority of members from India.

What do you think?
Ok, cut short. Back to the present. I am getting my membership renewed soon with the economic exception discount. What is your opinion on this program? Will you take this offer? Share your views in the comment box or at our facebook page.