Tuesday, July 10, 2018

PMP Success Story: Smart Preparation Helps

PMP has always been a glorious tag which I looked upon with respect since the beginning of my career. As I started getting involved in many projects in my current role, I thought it would be right to go ahead and do my PMP® certification as it helps my work life. 

PMP Coaching Experience
Once I decided to go ahead with the certification, I wanted to finalize my coaching centre. I was very clear on having a good coach as it becomes a decisive factor on my learning. Satya’s classes had good reviews and it didn’t prove wrong at all. Classes were realistic and cleared many of my concepts. He also provided guidance on PMP application methods and several tricks which were crucial for the exam. 

Own Study
I was aware of my main constraint – Time. I started off by reading a book. Then I attended Satya’s coaching. I became PMI® member and submitted my PMP application. 

Bingo – my application got selected for audit, which takes some applications randomly. 

The whole process of audit slowed my preparation down. But, I had started with reading the PMBOK® Guide. I read PMBOK twice completely and then picked topics to read at random which I thought I need more clarity. (Meanwhile I cleared PMP audit). 

I used to practice questions from Satya’s "I Want To Be A PMP" book at the end of each chapter. I ensured that I do my preparation daily even it’s for a time as less than 15 minutes. I did not want to lose the continuity. I also practised mock questions, including Knowledgehut’s preparation materials. 

My simple motto was - utilize all the available time for preparation. This included my cab commuting time, waiting time in queues, weekends! 

Book Review - I Want To Be A PMP
I did not prefer too many references or Google (to be frank) as it might confuse me and I knew my time constraint. However, when my application was selected for audit, I thought, I need to be more cautious as I proceed, luck dint seem to be favourable ;-). 

I was so relaxed by the content of “I Want To Be A PMP” –  because it’s exactly what I needed with sample application forms, practice questions, videos, highlighted tips. The practice questions did help me to embrace the bigger one.

PMP Exam Experience
I never got a 4 hour stretch opportunity to sit down completely and do a mock test. Hence, I used to split and take questions within the set time. My scores used to be in and around 70 %. Hence, I had planned to finish off each question as early as possible. 

I chose afternoon slot as I am never a morning person. Prometric location was familiar, I kept munching food until I reached the centre as the very thought of going hungry and loosing concentration was frightening. I was very nervous, fear of losing had gripped me. However, it just vanished as I started my test. I took a break and returned and had to undergo the same security check again. I finished in 3 hrs 15 min and was quite confident of passing, again mock tests helped. 

When it appeared ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Above Target ‘, I thanked Almighty and near ones for their prayers. 

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  • Choose a book that suits you. Choose wise and minimal.
  • Do lot of credible practice questions in time frame.
  • Be physically prepared to take 4+ hours test and be ready to take breaks if needed.

  • Choose right practice questions. PMBOK Guide is the Bible, I feel nothing comes outside of it. Do not spend time practicing questions if its out of context of PMBOK. It helped me. 
  • Do not panic, keep calm and take the test as it comes. 

I feel proud to be PMP certified and wish to leverage the same in my career for bigger opportunities. These are really good project management practices which needs to be imbibed in organization. It was not achievable, if not for you both - Reyansh and Sandeep! 

Brief Profile 
Shreya A.S, Senior Analyst, Lowe’s Services India Pvt. Ltd.
7+ years of experience in Change, Release, Operations Management. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Change Request Flow (PMP) - PMBOK 6th Edition

Change request is a key topic to know if you are preparing for the PMP exam. It is said - change is the only constant in life. In project and project management too, changes will happen. It is inevitable. In fact, certain life cycles thrive on changes. In the real project world, you as a project manager, will definitely face change requests. 

The earlier post of Change Request Flow, was one of the most read articles in this blog. In the new edition of the PMBOK® Guide 6th edition, the flow of change request has changed. PMBOK 6th edition doesn't explicitly inform on Change Requests (or simply CRs) flow across 10 Knowledge Areas and 5 Process Groups in a combined way. But CRs are there in many of the 49 processes. If I take all the processes where CRs are inputs or outputs (part of ITTOs - Inputs, Tools an Techniques and Outputs), it will be quite complicated. 

Let's simplify. In the below diagram, the key processes from "Integration Management" knowledge area are shown along with one process from "Quality Management" knowledge area. CRs coming from other monitoring, controlling and executing, planning and initating processes from rest of the 8 knowledge areas are simply shown as inputs to "Perform Integrated Change Control" (PICC) process of "Integration Management" knowledge area.

Overall Change Request Flow

As shown above, various control process areas such as "Control Scope", "Validate Scope", "Control Schedule", "Control Costs", "Monitor Communications", "Control Procurements" - all will have Change Requests as their outputs. All of these are fed to PICC of Integration Management, from where the "Approved Change Requests" will be coming as output.

There are 11 key points to note in the flow of change requests. 

11 Key Points to Understand Change Request Flow

  1. Change Requests can be of these types – “Preventive Action”, “Corrective Action”, “Defect Repair”, and “Updates”.
  2. No Change Requests are created in any process/process area (out of 49) under “Initiating” (except 1), “or “Closing” process groups. The exception is for "Identify Stakeholders" process in Stakeholder Management knowledge area.
  3. Change Requests are typically not outputs of planning processes under Planning process group, except 4 processes. The exceptions are - Define Activities, Develop Schedule (first two in Schedule Management knowledge area), Plan Risk Responses (in Risk Management knowledge area), Plan Procurement Management (in Procurement Management knowledge area). 
  4. All Control/Monitor Processes (all of them, except 1), e.g., Control Scope, Control Schedule, Control Costs, Monitor Risks, will generate “Change Requests”. Most of the Executing processes will also have change requests as outputs. The exception is for "Perform Integrated Change Control" (PICC) process in Integration Management knowledge area.
  5. All these “Change Requests” will be fed to “Perform Integrated Change Control” process to have “Approved Change Requests” as outputs.
  6. Changed Requests are approved by the “Change Control Board” (or Customer Control Board), operating under "Perform Integrated Change Control" process of Integration Management. 
  7. All “Approved Change Requests” have to be executed so that they are part of the Product/Service/Result and hence fed to “Direct and Manage Project Work” process in Integration Management in Executing process group.
  8. During Execution, further Changes and/or new Change Requests are likely and hence it also will result in Change Requests, which will be again fed into “Perform Integrated Change Control” and follow Step – 5 and Step – 6.
  9. All “Approved Change Requests” are also fed to “Control Quality” process in Quality Management as “Approved Change Requests” are not only to be executed, but also have to be Quality Tested. 
  10. In Control Quality process, the implementation of “Approved Change Requests” is verified, confirmed for completeness, re-tested and certified as correct. In other words, the Approved CRs are fully verified for correctness and completeness in this process.  
  11. During “Control Quality” process, new Change Requests are likely, too! For example, fixing a defect, resulted in another defect. Hence, they will be again fed into PICC. In such a case, they will again follow Step – 5 and Step – 6.

The change requests can also be shown with cross knowledge area and cross process group functional flow diagram as shown below. This is drawn with MS Visio.

As shown above, cutting across the process groups and cutting across the knowledge areas, the CRs are flowing seamlessly to be "Approved CRs", which are implemented in "Direct and Manage Project Work" process and quality tested, confirmed for completeness, retested and certified as correct in "Control Quality" process. 

There are certain other processes where Change Requests/Approved Change Requests as part of ITTOs. However, from PMP exam perspective, you need to understand the above simple points to be able to answer many questions. 

[1] I Want To Be A PMP: The Plain and Simple Way To Be A PMP, 2nd Edition, by Satya Narayan Dash
[2] Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide, 6th Edition, by Project Management Institute (PMI)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Book for PMP Exam Prep: "I Want To Be A PMP", 2nd Edition

It gives me a lot of pleasure in announcing the public availability of the book for Project Management Professional (PMP®) examination preparation:

'I WANT TO BE A PMP - The Plain and Simple Way to be A PMP'.

This book is in its second edition and is based on PMBOK Guide 6th edition. It has been internally published, within inner circles, since April this year. It has gone through couple of iterations with feedback from successful PMPs who have already used the content of this book to clear the exam. Many aspiring PMPs are currently using this book to prepare for the exam. This blogpost is a formal declaration of the book going fully public. 

The PMBOK Guide 6th edition brings a number of new concepts, particularly changes in the process flows, process invocations and heading sections in every knowledge area. Many approaches are possible in the life cycle spectrum – from predictive to iterative, incremental to adaptive to hybrid. Certain knowledge areas such as Risk Management, Procurement Management, Resource Management have seen significant changes in the way the processes are invoked in the overall flow. A number new project documents, which are used in the real project world such as Risk Report, Quality Report, Final Report etc. are now available. A new chapter of “Role of Project Manager” has been added. There are also subtle changes in the way ITTOs work in every knowledge area. This book incorporates them all.

Over a year and half have passed since the first edition of the book came up. There were no marketing, no book opening ceremony, no book deals or book publishers. However, YOU - the aspiring PMPs, have succeeded. In the end, that is what truly matters. 

It has been a humbling experience to see people writing on this book – how it guided them, how the videos enabled to answer complicated questions quickly, the importance of flow diagrams, Yogic Tips and Yogic Revision Tips, which they say don’t even let them forget the concepts. 

Writing a book is not easy, but your feedback and encouragement enable to write. In gratitude, special thanks to Sathish Babu, Vipin Radhakrishnan, Tina Jose, Abhinav Tiwari, Ajanta Behera, Alok Jain, Rangu Dutta, Asad Abbas, Manas Das, Sahana Mukund, Manjunath R, Chaitanya Araveti, Krishnadas Kovilakath, Sandeep Meloth, Satyajit Jena, Shikhar Vaid, Naveen Kumar, Priyadarshi Samal,  Kiran Patil, Karthik Hongalkar, Suresh Kota, Manu Devadas, Nidhin Sasi, Sindhu Pillai, Deepti Prahalad,  Srikanth SubbaRao, Vikas Shankar, Koyel Mukherjee, Hemanth Thimmappa, Rituparna Sahoo, Prithwish Banerjee, Rajeev Ranjan, Rizwan Khan, Kamal Farooqui, John Oliver and Vignesh Radhakrishnan. 

All of them are successful PMPs today. Not only they have been gracious to give their feedback in the earlier edition of this book (and/or related material), but they have also publicly shared their success stories so that one day you can become a PMP. 

There are many professionals, whom I have never met personally as they are spread across the globe, but have read the book, succeeded as PMPs and have given their feedback to make the book better. 

Thank You - to all of you for making this book better and enabling others to realize their dreams of being PMPs. 

Key Features of This Book - "I Want To Be A PMP", 2nd Edition
  • Inline with PMBOK 6th Edition with all its new additions and changes related to processes, knowledge areas, key concepts, trends and emerging practices, tailoring, and adaptive/agile environment considerations.
  • 100s of Yogic Tips to crack the PMP exam. This includes inputs from the many successful PMP, who have shared their PMP Success Stories
  • Over 800 practice questions, including 3 full length questions with detailed, explanatory answers.
  • Over 50 videos in complex areas, where concepts are not easy to grasp such as Critical Path Method (CPM), Eared Value Measurement/Analysis (EVM/EVA), Point of Total Assumption (PTA), Change Requests (CR) etc. 
  • Numerous flow-diagrams to clearly understand the PMP concepts.
  • Highly simplified content and language. The book focuses on what you need to know for the PMP exam and written in an easily understandable way. 
  • Many real-life examples with usage in the real world as well as in project management. It is aided with with practical tools such as MS Project, Oracle Primavera P6.
  • A Transition Guide particularly for aspirants who prepared in PMBOK 5th edition, but could not give the exam and planning to give in the new PMBOK 6th edition. 

Overall Content of the Book
  • Number of Chapters: 15 (+2)
  • Number of Pages: 936
    • Excluding pages for questions, number of pages: 596
  • Number of Questions: 816
  • Number of Videos: 59
  • Number of Full Length Question Sets: 3 (+1)
  • Three full length question sets, each with 200 questions and detailed answers (total 600)
  • One additional question set, 4th one with 75 questions and answers, refers primarily the Examination Content Outline (ECO)

To know the breakdown content of the book, please check the below index (partial one). The detailed index is part of the book. 

Index of the Book

The partial index of the book is shown below (Embedded Document).

If you are want to buy or have any queries on  this book, please send a mail to managementyogi@gmail.com

Earlier Reviews by Successful PMPs:

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