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 Assumptions (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. 
  • 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 PDF) You can scroll or open in larger screen by clicking the arrow on right in the embedded frame, to see the content. 

If you are want to buy or have any queries on  this book, please send a mail to

Earlier Reviews by Successful PMPs:

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Tuesday, June 05, 2018

PMP Success Story: Focus, Plan and Execute with Confidence

By Saurabh Raj Sharan, PMP

For some years, I had an aspiration to get PMP® certification, due to a simple reason that I wanted my career to take shape and personally I wanted to grow my managerial skills by managing a project. I started My career as SAP consultant and lately (after 10 years) started managing small upgrade/migration/test projects within my organisation.

PMP Coaching Experience
Once I decided I need to get PMP certified, I contacted my colleagues and friends who have done PMP or were in process of doing it. I came across KnowledgeHut PMP® Certification Training Course as one of the best coaching institutes for PMP. As it is mandatory to attend 35 contact hours of project management before you apply for the PMP exam, I enrolled and came across Satya Sir and the 4 days of the weekend batch was very interactive and fruitful. My classes happened over two weekends.  

Satya Sir's tips for sequencing the processes and knowledge areas were very helpful to me. The charts for knowledge areas, process groups and processes have been sequentially numbered, which becomes very easy to memorize. Once the logic for the numbering is understood, it became easy to understand further. Also, the way he told us to calculate free floats and total float, was helpful in understanding. 

After completing the course, I got 35 contact hours needed to register my PMP application.  

Own Study
Books, I referred: PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition. 
I read this new edition 3 times and would highly recommend reading only the PMBOK guide as your main reference book. I made my own notes using my readings from Sixth Edition and re-read it twice in the last week. 

I studied PMBOK guide for 2 months, made notes and in last 10-15 days, I just did the revision. Since this was a new format, there were very few question banks and online tests available. I completely avoided reading questions and attempting Mock test based on PMBOK fifth edition, this was done just to avoid any confusion with Sixth edition. 

I joined LinkedIn PMP group which was helpful in knowing the trends of PMP and I came across one question set, which was an online test. This is the only test I gave to test my skill and be more confident about my preparation. I scored around 72% during initial attempt. Later I verified where I was wrong and improved my score.

PMP Exam Experience
I scheduled my exam on 22nd May at the Prometric Centre in Whitefield, Bangalore. I opted for the morning slot as I wanted to finish the exam at the earliest and avoid the infamous traffic of Bangalore. On the day of the exam, I reached the venue 30 minutes early. The moment I entered there was no one and the centre asked me if I can start my test early. I went to the restroom and sat for the exam.

The exam is for 4 hours and quite tiring.  I took only one break as the exam hall was very cold.

My strategy was to read the questions at least twice and make sure I also read all the four options even when I knew which one was right, just to make sure remaining 3 are not valid. This helped me save time to review or use of Mark options. By this way I was able to finish 50-52 questions in an hour. I finished my exam with 15 minutes in my hand. I didn’t want to confuse, hence I didn’t go through a review and submitted well before. This is because I am a fast reader but to plan 50 questions in an hour is very achievable.

  • I got many mathematical questions based on Variances. I put the formulas on the scratch sheet as soon as I entered in the room. 
  • I also got lots of question on Quality Management process areas, Change management and role of Project manager.
  • I didn’t get any questions on Agile nor “Manage Project Knowledge” process.
  • Got 3 questions on CPM - Critical Path Method.
  • Few questions on resource levelling, crashing, resource smoothing and fast tracking.
  • There were many questions where the trick was in the last line, so I would request you to read all the lines before attempting answers.

My Score was Above target.

I got three Above Targets and one Target. So, try to focus on getting 3 Domain “Above Target”.

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  • Read PMBOK sixth edition at least two times.
  • Make your own notes- I used Google docs and handwritten.
  • Do revise at-least twice in last week of preparation.
  • Do file your application and schedule the exam to bring seriousness and the exam date will act as a milestone to plan your study and activities.
  • Give at least 4-5 hrs every day for PMP study.

  • Don’t read too many books.
  • Don’t revisit the questions, try to finish them in one go.
  • Don’t opt for free mocks and too many easily available online tests. They are not as per the PMP exam and may not guide you properly
  • Don’t lose the confidence. 
  • Don’t memorize tools and techniques but try to understand why there are used and how they are used.

All the effort and hard work were worth in the end. It was a pride moment to get the PMP certification. Your outlook towards your work will also change.

Brief Profile
Saurabh Sharan. I work with Walmart Labs India as a SAP Product manager in Manufacturing domain. I have over 11 years of Project Management, Test & Quality Management and SAP consulting experience in multiple domains.

Monday, May 14, 2018

PMP Success Story: Definitely Attainable If You Are Determined And Dedicated

By Vignesh Lodiya Radhakrishnan, PMP

I have been managing IT project for last few years and wanted to gain formal knowledge in Project Management to improve my performance as a project manager.

I enrolled for PMP classroom training in mid-January, 2018 in successive weekends of Jan 19th, 20th and 26th, 27th. I completed the exam on March 14, 2018.

PMP Coaching Experience
I googled for best PMP coaching within Bangalore and shortlisted “KnowledgeHut” for following reasons. Very good reviews on Coach (Satya Narayan Dash), dates availability, competitive 35hrs course fee and good infrastructure (Classroom and Course material) 

Classroom Experience
Satya is a fantastic coach if you are serious about attaining PMP certification. He gives you the narrative of complete PMP course in first few hours. His 4-day session will give you all essentials required to start exam preparation. His coaching focuses on inter relationship of 5 process groups and 10 knowledge areas which I felt very helpful as the exam questions are all situational. 

As an aspiring candidate, I immediately understood his expertise and willingly accepted to follow his instructions like “Always revise the day’s learning for at least 2 to 3 hours if you want to follow the next day class,…Be attentive and raise doubts at appropriate time and so on”. 

Own Study
I had set 6 to 8 weeks target to attain PMP certification when I enrolled for the course. I knew it’s a tough target to achieve and so decided to be very attentive during Satya’s 4-day classroom training and always spent 3 hours to revise the day’s learning. By the end of 4th day over two successive weekends, I was confident to achieve the 6-8 weeks target with adequate preparations.

Immediately after classroom training, I submitted the PMP application for review and it took five working days for PMI to accept the same. Luckily for me there was no audit. It would have delayed my target date. 

Post classroom training, I spent studying 4 hours during work day (2 hrs in the morning and 2 hrs in the evening) and nearly 8 hours during weekends for 6 weeks. Fortunately, my family was out of station and so able to completely focus on studies.

First 2 weeks, I read “I Want To Be A PMP” book authored by Satya at least 3 times and learned all processes and work flows in real projects from initiating to closing. 
Week 3 and 4: From third week, I starting reading PMBOK guide for deeper understanding on various Input, Toot & Techniques and Outputs (ITTOs) and why a specific input / output is fed to a process and more details on tools and techniques. 

The PMBOK guide is too detailed to start with, but otherwise explains the concepts well and clears-off all ambiguities with examples. My good fundamentals due to Satya’s 4-day classroom training and “I Want To Be a PMP” book made PMBOK read easy and informative. One pager overview of each KAs (Knowledge Areas) in PMBOK is really helpful to understand how each process within KAs interact. Also, the PMBOK guide’s definitions section under glossary is really helpful in revising my understandings.

Mathematical Concepts: Classroom attentiveness and revision post training are enough for all mathematical lessons. I spent a day to understand how formulas are derived and practised few exercises to back up my understandings.

Week 5 and 6:  Practised 6 full 200 questions like PMP exam i.e., 4 hours ( 3 each from KnowledgeHut  &“I Want To Be a PMP” book. ). Post every practice questions paper, I took a day or two to review all 200 questions with PMBOK guide and understood why a specific option is better (correct) than others.  On average I scored above 75% on all 6 practises. 

Book Review - I Want To Be A PMP
Book Media: PDF in Google Platform. It includes video content for vague and important concepts.

Readability: Very Good! Simple English words, Lots of flow diagrams and Video contents.

I purchased “I Want To Be A PMP” book on day 1 of my classroom training. As I knew, it is very critical to revise the concepts post classroom sessions and get ready for the next day class. Again, it’s very tough to follow any trainer if you don’t revise and practise. Satya has structured the book very well and the book follows similar approach to classroom sessions and this enabled me to revise immediately and start preparing for the certification from day 1.

The book shares lots of tips for better understanding with simple daily life examples. Video contents are really helpful in understanding mathematical and difficult workflows.

PMP Exam Experience
Exam Centre: I booked for Bangalore Prometric centre (PSN) in ITPL Road.  I work in same IT park building and hence locating the place was easy.  Visited the place 2 days in advance of the exam date to confirm the documents required. They requested ID Proof with photo & signature and Prometric Hall ticket (exam date confirmation print-out). 

On examination day, I reached the centre an hour earlier and Prometric agreed to start exam immediately and didn’t waited for the stipulated exam time. Prometric has systematic exam process and it was very easy to follow, i.e., document checks and followed by physical checks.

About Exam: I practised full question papers without break and so followed the same during the exam. Question were relatively easy when compared to practice questions and I finished the exam 10 mins before the stipulated time and submitted after reviewing the marked questions. The system took me to a survey screen to get feedback on exam process and it hardly takes 5 mins to complete and get your results. 

I saw a congratulation note with details of how I have done in each process groups and overall result. 
My Overall result: Above Target (4 Above Target and 1 Meets Target [for Closing]) 

Questions Outlines 
  • Few Mathematical questions on Leads/Lags, EVM, CPM, and Communication channels: Around 20 Questions
  • Change Request and related process flows: Around 50+ questions
  • Conflict Management/Conformance/Power – Interest Grid, RAM – RACI, Delphi Technique, Risk Responses Strategies - around 25+ questions.
  • Few straight and simple questions on ITTO and work flow – around 25+ questions
Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  • 35 hrs classroom training is very important and so try to be very attentive.
  • Revision after daily classroom training is very critical to follow next day’s class.
  • Buy 1 quality PMP book as early as possible (It will help to revise the day’s learning) 
  • Read PMBOK guide at least twice (usually after going through PMP book)
  • Practice quality full question paper at least 4 times and then revise the reasoning behind your answers with PMBOK. – Revise all questions and its answers irrespective of you being correct.
  • Avoid free questions on internet, it’s a waste of time and may mislead you.
  • Don’t panic during examinations if you get few difficult situational questions, it’s fine for few to be wrong. 
  • Do not follow the timings closely, keep a target for every 1 hour. 
I am sure PMP knowledge will help me in improving project deliveries but attaining PMP certificate has given me more confidence to pursue interests outside of my comfort zone. 

Brief Profile 
Name: Vignesh Lodiya Radhakrishnan
Current Role: Service Delivery Manager, Credit Suisse.
Brief experience details: IT professional in financial services industry with more than 15 years of experience in various roles across development in project management.

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