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PMP Certification for Dummies Print

The tear-out cheat sheet behind the front cover gives a clear indication of the book's objective.
The cheat sheet - probability of events, triangular distribution, risk, earned value and more.
The book's objective - to prepare the reader for the PMP or CAPM examination.

 

Authors: Peter Nathan, PMP, MBA and Gerald Everett Jones

 

Book review by: Jeb Riordan, PMP

Soft cover
approx 190 X 235 mm
approx 400 pages
ISBN 0-7645-2451-8
first published 2003
Includes CDRom

The book is organised to maximise time investment and minimise the effort expended in examination preparation.
The book includes:
- Chapter quizzes to help master the type and format of questions in the exam and also to identify weak areas that require further study,
- practice test questions in the book and on the CDRom, as an aid for cramming before the exam.

The format of the book is similar to other books in the ...For Dummies series. Paragraph headings, bullet lists, margin icons for warnings, tips and 'memorise this bit' and the conversational writing style all make for easy reading.

The content of the book follows the structure of the examination content published by the PMI®

The first page of most chapters discusses the exam content covered in the chapter, along with a brief description of the subject. If you have a good understanding of the subject you can skip the chapter or speed read through it to top-up your memory banks.

This is followed by a quick assessment test of the exam content covered in the chapter. Again if you score high, move on, or, identify gaps in knowledge for special focus.

The chapter ends with a prep test, designed to look and feel like the real thing, which will help you determine how well you know the material.

Chapter 1 discusses the PMP® Certification Examination.
It explains why project management is important, who the PMI® is and what the PMBOK® is all about.
Exam prerequisites are discussed along with information on how to apply to take the exam as well as an analysis of the examination itself.

The whole book is focussed on preparing the reader for the examination and chapter 2 must be the most important. It identifies exam essentials and gives tips and tricks for the exam. the types of questions are discussed as well as the question breakdown structure (don't confuse with WBS but concept applies). Also included are learning tips and hints on studying the basic material.

Only in chapter 3 do we start to discus project management. In this chapter we read about the jargon of project management, the 5 process management groups, the 9 knowledge areas, the 39 component processes and how they all interact.

Chapter 4 tells us about professional responsibility. The need to enhance individual competence, follow the Professional Code of Ethics, respect intellectual property and the importance of not compromising professional judgement

"The Professional Responsibility area of the exam contains approximately 29 questions. Of the 6 domains, this area ranks as the fourth most important and contains approximately 14.5 percent of the total exam questions. It's tougher than other areas because almost all questions are situational."
- PMP Certification for Dummies, Peter Nathan, Gerald Jones.

Chapter 5 - determining goals, deliverables, scope and the initiation processes.
An underlying theme throughout the book is that you perform the tasks needed to manage a project by preparing a study plan that matches the methodology you need to know to pass the exam.

And as this chapter kicks off the initiating processes, you are encouraged to draft a sample project charter using a template found on the CDRom.

Chapter 6 discusses identifying stakeholders, managing expectations, setting milestones and quality standards and coping with organisational structures

Chapter 7 opens the project by appointing the project manager, publishing the project charter, establishing constraints and assumptions and keeping project records.

Chapter 8 refines the project by developing the project plan, defining the scope of the project and discusses the time value of money.

Chapter 9 creates the Work Breakdown Structure, relates the WBS to the activity list, creates a resource matrix, establishes a budget, and discusses earned value management.

Chapter 10 establishes project controls. In this chapter the project plan is developed, and a communications plan is described. Also discussed are quality management and risk management.

Chapter 11 - Procuring resources, managing and reporting progress.
Executing the project plan is the main topic under discussion in this chapter. Solicitation and the administration of contracts is covered as well as managing the all important human resources and the importance of communication.

Chapter 12 covers the controlling processes of overall change control, quality change control and scope change control.

Chapter 13 continues the discussion of controlling processes and describes risk control, schedule control, budget control and performance reporting.

Chapter 14 is the last chapter that discusses project management and closes the project by discussing the repeated closeout at each project phase, evaluating works packages, handling administrative closure and contract closeout.

Chapter 15 focuses back onto the objective of the book and gives tips on exam preparation, including, taking care of the examination administration process, defining a study plan, staying motivated, understanding question patterns, memorising terms and developing strategies for the different question types.

Chapter 16 continues on the same track by giving good down to earth advise for the examination day.

Appendix A extracts all the important formulas into 34 pages of mind numbing equations, charts and definitions.

Appendix B contains a practice exam of 49 questions. And as a benchmark figure, closed book, 35 minutes, 69 percent to pass!

Appendix C describes the attached CDRom

About The CDrom

Part #0555003922
CD ID 3MD00970a

The CD, found in a plastic wallet attached to the inside back cover of the book, is simple enough to use.

Just insert, run start.exe and a menu screen appears from which you can install the sample exam questions or the templates or the included software.

The practice test contains over 200 questions similar to what you will find in the exam.
The test engine is easy to use. The answer review is particularly useful. Wrong answers are highlighted and reference made to the section of the book where the right information can be found.

Many generic sample templates are included which can be used on any project.

The MSProject project plan is a comprehensive bar chart showing the complete examination preparation project and appears to be very useful to keep you motivated and to track your progress.

Overall

The book achieves it's objectives in an easy to read, concise way. If the reader has a good understanding of project management principles, this book is all that is needed to pass the PMP Certification Examination.

However, proof reading doesn't appear to be one of Wiley Publishing, Inc's strong points. On the Practice Test and Templates screen they even spell 'dummies' incorrectly.
We are also told in the text to install WBS Chart Pro from the CD.
Well, unless the writer is doing something terribly wrong, it is not included in the CD that came with this review copy of the book.

The authors have also published a web site to support the book as well as other things. www.projectmania.com. Well worth a visit.

PMP Certification For Dummies
receives a PROJECTmagazine rating of
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4 bananas out of maximum 5

2003 © Jeb Riordan

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