PMP for iPad: Transcender’s PMP5ED flash card app now in iTunes

October 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Posted in PMI, Study hints, Transcender news | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

Good news for those of you in the Apple ecosystem: the iTunes store now carries an iPhone/iPad compatible version of our PMP5ED Flash Cards mobile app.

Here’s a quick feature list:

  • Over 1,000 questions covering all exam objectives
  • Simple and intuitive flash card interface
  • Easy self-grading
  • Answer history tracking and reporting
  • Customizable based on your reading preferences
  • Supports iPads and iPhones running iOS 7 and later

The app costs $3.99 and is available for download today.

Transcender’s PMP5ED Flash Card mobile app released for Android in Amazon Market, Google Play

August 5, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Posted in PMI, Study hints, Transcender news | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

Do you need help memorizing all of those tricky project management terms and concepts? Do you want to keep your flash cards handy for studying on the go? Try our new Transcender Flash mobile app to study for your PMI Project Management Professional 5th Edition certification!

Click here to buy on the Amazon Appstore.

Click here to buy through Google Play.

For now the app is compatible with all Android devices running 4.0 or higher. Our iPhone app will be released later in the year.

Our app features:

  • Over 1,000 questions covering all exam objectives
  • Simple and intuitive flash card interface
  • Easy self-grading
  • Answer history tracking and reporting
  • Customizable based on your reading preferences
  • Supports Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and higher

Check out the video demonstration on YouTube!

The Path to Project Management Mastery

March 21, 2014 at 10:02 am | Posted in Certification Paths, CompTIA, PMI | 2 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Project management is needed in almost all fields and includes both commercial and non-commercial projects. Many colleges and universities offer degrees in the field of project management. Search any job Web site, and you will find project management positions available with  many companies.

But what if you want to prove your proficiency in project management? There are many popular project management certifications that you can obtain. In this article, I want to discuss three of those certifications: CompTIA’s Project+, PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP).

CompTIA’s Project+

Of the three certifications, CompTIA’s Project+ certification is probably the easiest to take. Like most CompTIA certifications, there are no prerequisites or qualifications to take this exam, although CompTIA does recommend one year of managing, directing, or participating in small- to medium-scale projects. The certification also does not require an application process. To take the exam, you simply register for the exam through Vue and pay the examination fee of $261 U.S.

The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. You are given 90 minutes to complete the exam and need to obtain a score of 710 (on a scale of 100-900) to pass the exam.

Currently, this certification does NOT have an expiration date, meaning you will be Project+-certified for life.

PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

To take the CAPM exam, you must first complete an online application. To qualify for the exam, you will need to have a high-school diploma (or equivalent) and 1,500 hours of professional experience on a project team OR 23 hours of formal project management education. Once the application is approved for completeness, you must then pay the exam fee of $225 (PMI members) or $300 (non-members).  (If your application is selected for audit, you have 90 days to submit the audit materials.) You have one year from the application approval date to take the exam.

The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that focus on the material covered in the PMBOK 5th Edition. You are given 180 minutes to complete the exam. PMI does not publish the minimum score that you need to receive to obtain the certification, but you will receive a report when you complete the exam that lists your score and proficiency in the topic domains.

Currently, this certification expires five years from the date you originally passed the exam. You will need to re-take the exam to re-certify.

PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP)

Like the CAPM exam, the PMP exam requires the completion of an online application. To qualify for the exam, you should have either of the following:

  • High-school diploma, associate’s degree, or equivalent
  • 5 years of professional project management experience
  • 35 hours of formal project management education

OR

  • Four-year degree or equivalent
  • 3 years of professional project management experience
  • 35 hours of formal project management education

Once the application is approved for completeness, you must then pay the exam fee of $405 (PMI members) or $555 (non-members) for the computer-based exam.  (If your application is selected for audit, you have 90 days to submit the audit materials.) You have one year from the application approval date to take the exam.

The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice, scenario-based questions based on the PMBOK 5th Edition. You are given 240 minutes to complete the exam. PMI does not publish the minimum score that you need to receive to obtain the certification, but you will receive a report when you complete the exam that lists your score and proficiency in the topic domains.

To maintain the certification, you must complete 60 professional development units (PDUs) within three years to renew the certification. If you do not obtain and report the PDUs, this certification expires three years from the date you originally passed the exam.

Certification Suggestions

If you are new to the project management field and only have a one or two years of experience, I suggest that you take the Project+ exam first. This exam will be a great start in your career path and will help you to gauge your knowledge of project management.

If you have several years experience in the project management field but do not have enough formal project management education to take the PMP exam, you should take the CAPM exam, which is also the next logical step after the Project+ exam.

As far as formal project management education goes, most college courses or training courses from a reputable training provider qualify. While PMI has a list of approved training providers for CEUs (the training credits required to maintain certification), the educational requirements for taking the certification exams are usually not as strict. However, you may need to provide a transcript or proof of completion. Find out the latest on education, certification requirements, and more on the PMI web site.

Once you have enough experience and formal education, take the PMP exam. This is one of the most highly respected certifications in the industry today.

While experienced project managers might choose to jump right in and take the PMP, newbies should probably start at the Project+ level.

If you are still undecided on whether project management certifications are the right way to go, consider this fact: According to salary.com, the median expected salary for a typical project manager in the United States is $107,056.

For most of us, that salary statistic may speak volumes and help to solidify our resolve to pursue the certifications.

Here’s hoping you achieve certification success in 2014!

-Robin

PMP: Another Perspective

February 20, 2014 at 11:58 am | Posted in PMI, Study hints | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

If you have been following Transcender’s blog for a while, you know that we write a lot of posts about the PMP certification. We’ve blogged about the PMBOK changes, the application process, and even our test-taking experience.  And, sometimes, we find other sources that we feel are worth sharing with our readers.

Heather Christian recently blogged about her exam experience. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t perfect. But it was a pass! And although she didn’t use our exam preparation product, we felt what she had to say about her overall experience was important information. So we decided to share the link to her blog with you, hoping that it might help you on your journey: http://heatherchristian.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/journey-to-pmp/.

Here’s a quick sample:

 I had been given the advice to read the last two sentences at the end of long questions and figure out what they are trying to ask before reading the whole thing. . . . I was only really caught out trying to over complicate a question once.  I quickly realized that calculating the paths given me in one of the network diagram questions was a fools errand that would take me 20 minutes.  A quick re-scan of the question revealed information that made the hairy seeming question very very simple.

Incidentally, if Heather’s blog inspires you, our PMP practice test has been updated to the PMBOK 5th Edition.

Happy testing!

-Robin

PMBOK 5th Edition: Changes to the Closing Process Group (9/9)

February 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, PMI | 4 Comments
Tags: , ,

This is the ninth installment of my PMBOK 5th Edition overview. With this post, we bring to an end our review of the changes in the PMBOK 5th Edition.

The previous posts were:

The Closing Process Group has two processes:

  • Close Project or Phase
  • Close Procurements
Changes to the Close Project or Phase process

No changes were made to the inputs or outputs of the Close Project or Phase process.

Two tools/techniques were added to this process: analytical techniques (which includes regression analysis and trend analysis) and meetings.

Changes to the Close Procurements process

No changes were made to the inputs or outputs of the Close Procurements process.

One new tool was added to this process: procurement negotiations.

Wow, that was short and sweet – kinda makes the four posts on the Planning phase look incredibly large, huh?

We plan to do an article in the coming days that compares/contrasts the three main project management certifications for which we offer products: CompTIA’s Project+, PMI’s CAPM, and PMI’s PMP. We think many of you will find this article valuable.

Drop  me a line if you have any questions! I would love to hear from you….

-Robin

PMBOK 5th Edition: Changes to the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group (8/9)

January 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, PMI | 4 Comments
Tags: , ,

This is the eighth installment of my PMBOK 5th Edition overview. The previous posts in the series are:

The Monitoring and Controlling Process Group has a few changes, including one new process and four process name changes. This post will cover the following processes:

  • Monitor and Control Project Work
  • Perform Integrated Change Control
  • Validate Scope
  • Control Scope
  • Control Schedule
  • Control Costs
  • Control Quality
  • Control Communications
  • Control Risks
  • Control Procurements
  • Control Stakeholder Engagement

So now let’s get to the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group changes!

Changes to the Monitor and Control Project Work process

The Monitor and Control Project Work process has four new inputs. The inputs to this process are as follows:

  • project management plan
  • schedule forecasts – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • cost forecasts – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • validated changes – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • work performance information – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • enterprise environmental factors
  • organizational process assets

This process has three new tools and techniques: analytical techniques, project management information system, and meetings. The analytical techniques include regression analysis, grouping methods, causal analysis, root cause analysis, forecasting methods, failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA), fault tree analysis (FTA), reserve analysis, trend analysis, earned value management, and variance analysis.

One new output has been added to this process: work performance reports.

Changes to the Perform Integrated Change Control process

The name of one of the inputs to the Perform Integrated Change Control process has been changed: work performance information is now referred to work performance reports to better reflect the state of the data when it is used by this process.

As I mentioned in the Executing Process Group Changes article, the terms work performance data, work performance information, and work performance reports have been better defined and separated in the PMBOK 5th Edition. Work performance data is raw data from the project. Work performance information is the work performance data combined with some technique or tool to produce usable conclusions or metrics. Work performance reports is the work performance information that is arranged into a project report (usually based on some reporting template).

One new tool was added to this process: change control tools. The name of one tool was changed: change control meetings is now referred to meetings.

Two new outputs have been added to this process: approved change requests and the change log. Change request status updates has been removed as an output of this process.

Changes to the Validate Scope process (formerly the Verify Scope process)

In the PMBOK 5th Edition, the Verify Scope process has been renamed to the Validate Scope process.  Somewhat confusingly, the input previously named the validated deliverables (of the Verify Scope process) has been renamed the verified deliverables input (of the Validate Scope process). Work performance data has been added to this process as an input.

One new technique has been added to this process: group decision-making techniques.

One new output was added to this process: work performance information.

Changes to the Control Scope process

The Control Scope process only has a couple of changes. The work performance information input has been changed to work performance data. The work performance measurements output has been changed to work performance information.

Changes to the Control Schedule process

The Control Schedule has two new inputs and one input name change. The inputs to this process are as follows:

  • project management plan
  • project schedule
  • work performance data – referred to as work performance information in the PMBOK 4th Edition.
  • project calendars – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • schedule data – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • organizational process assets

This process has two new techniques. The full list of tools and techniques used by this process are as follows:

  • performance reviews – includes trend analysis, critical path method (CPM), critical chain method (CCM), and earned value management (EVM).
  • project management software
  • resource optimization techniques – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition. The techniques listed include resource leveling and resource smoothing.
  • modeling technique – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition.The techniques listed include what-if scenario analysis and simulation.
  • leads and lags – referred to as applying leads and lags in the PMBOK 4th Edition.
  • schedule compression
  • scheduling tool

One new output was added to this process: schedule forecasts. The work performance measurements output was changed to work performance information.

Changes to the Control Costs process

One input to the Control Costs process was changed: work performance information was changed to work performance data. Reserve analysis was added as a new tool/technique for this process. Finally, the name of two outputs was revised: work performance measurements was changed to work performance information, and budget forecasts was changed to cost forecasts.

Changes to the Control Quality process (formerly the Perform Quality Control process)

In the PMBOK 5th Edition, the Perform Quality Control process has been renamed to the Control Quality process.  The work performance measurements input was changed to work performance data. Project documents were added as an input to this process.

In the PMBOK 4th Edition, there were ten tools/techniques listed. In the PMBOK 5th Edition, seven of these tools were combined under the heading of seven basic quality tools, which includes cause-and-effect diagrams, flowcharts, check sheets, Pareto diagrams, histograms, control charts, and scatter diagrams. There are now four tools/techniques assigned to this process:

  • seven basic quality tools (cause-and-effect diagrams, flowcharts, check sheets, Pareto diagrams, histograms, control charts, and scatter diagrams)
  • statistical sampling
  • inspection
  • approved change requests review

For this process, there is one new output: work performance information. The validated deliverables outputs was changed to verified deliverables.

Changes to the Control Communications process (formerly the Report Performance process)

According to PMI, a name change occurred in the PMBOK 5th Edition for this process: Report Performance was changed to Control Communications. However, there were so many changes to this process that I feel we need to review this process in its entirety.

The Control Communications process has five inputs:

  • project management plan
  • project communications
  • issue log
  • work performance data
  • organizational process assets

The Control Communications process has three tools and techniques:

  • information management systems
  • expert judgment
  • meetings

The outputs of this process are as follows:

  • work performance information
  • change requests
  • project management plan updates
  • project document updates
  • organizational process assets updates
Changes to the Control Risks process (formerly the Monitor and Control Risks process)

In the PMBOK 5th Edition, the Monitor and Control Risks process has been renamed to the Control Risks process.  The work performance measurements input was changed to work performance data. The performance reports input was changed to work performance reports.

The status meetings tool is now referred to as simply meetings.

Work performance information was added as a new output of this process. Risk register updates has been removed as an output of this process.

Changes to the Control Procurements process (formerly the Administer Procurements process)

In the PMBOK 5th Edition, the Administer Procurements process has been renamed to the Control Procurements process.  The inputs to this process are as follows:

  • project management plan
  • procurement documents
  • agreements – referred to as contracts in the PMBOK 4th Edition
  • approved change requests
  • work performance reports – referred to as performance reports in the PMBOK 4th Edition
  • work performance data – referred to as work performance information in the PMBOK 4th Edition

There are no changes to the tools and techniques for this process.

The procurement documentation output was changed to project documents updates because the broad category better describes the possible documents that can be used. Work performance information was added as a  new output of this process.

Introducing the Control Stakeholder Engagement process – NEW IN PMBOK 5th EDITION

The Control Stakeholder Engagement process is a new process to the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group and the Project Stakeholder Management Knowledge Area. This process controls overall project stakeholder relationships and stakeholder engagement.

The Control Stakeholder Management process has four inputs:

  • the project management plan
  • issue log
  • work performance data
  • project documents

This process has three tools/techniques: expert judgment, information management systems,  and meetings.

This process has five outputs, as follows:

  • work performance information
  • change requests
  • project management plan updates
  • project document updates
  • organizational process assets updates

That covers all the processes in the Executing Process Group. Watch in the coming days for the posts covering the changes to the Closing Process Group.

Drop  me a line if you have any questions! I would love to hear from you….

-Robin

PMBOK 5th Edition: Changes to the Executing Process Group (7/9)

December 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Posted in PMI, Study hints | 2 Comments
Tags: , , ,

This is the seventh installment of my PMBOK 5th Edition overview (and we’re finally finished with the Planning Process Group):

The Executing Process Group has quite a few changes, including a (sorta) new process and changes to the names of two processes. This post will cover the following processes:

  • Direct and Manage Project Work
  • Perform Quality Assurance
  • Acquire Project Team
  • Develop Project Team
  • Manage Project Team
  • Manage Communications
  • Conduct Procurements
  • Manage Stakeholder Engagement

So now let’s get to the Executing Process Group changes!

Changes to the Direct and Manage Project Work process

In this PMBOK 4th Edition, this process was referred to as Direct and Manage Project Execution.

The Direct and Management Project Work process has no changes to its inputs. However, the introductory explanation for this process has been expanded and includes a great explanation of the three types of changes that will affect this process: corrective actions, preventive actions, and defect repair.

One new tool has been added to this process: meetings.

One output of this process has a slight name change: work performance information has been changed to work performance data. Note that both of these concepts (data and information) have been retained in PMBOK 5th Edition; they were simply rearranged among the processes. Work performance data is raw data from the project. Work performance information is the work performance data combined with some technique or tool to produce usable conclusions or metrics.

Changes to the Perform Quality Assurance process

The Perform Quality Assurance process now has five inputs:

  • The quality management plan – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • The process improvement plan – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • Quality metrics
  • Quality control measurements
  • Project documents – new to this process the PMBOK 5th Edition

While this process still lists three tools and techniques, the Plan Quality and Perform Quality Control  tools and techniques was renamed Quality Management and Control Tools. For all of you project management professionals out there, just keep in mind that any quality management or control tool can basically be used throughout the Project Quality Management Knowledge Area. In the 8.2.2.1 section of the PMBOK 5th Edition, the following tools are specifically listed:

  • Affinity diagrams
  • Process decision program charts (PDPC)
  • Interrelationship digraphs
  • Tree diagram

But while these four tools are specifically listed, the seven basic quality tools from the Plan Quality Management process (which are included in the Planning Process Group Part 3) and the tools and techniques from the Control Quality process (which will be covered in the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group post next week) can also be used in this process.

Exam pro tip!

I, for one, think that this can make some of those questions asked on the exam quite tricky. Project managers will have to analyze HOW the tool is being used to determine which process is actually being performed. For example, if you are using the tool to create performance baselines, you are probably working in the Plan Quality Management process. If you use the tool to measure actual performance for comparison against the baselines, you are probably working in the Perform Quality Assurance process. Finally, if you take the results from using the tool and adjust certain work areas to eliminate poor work, you are probably working in the Control Quality process.

The outputs of the Perform Quality Assurance process have not changed.

Changes to the Acquire Project Team process

The Acquire Project Team process still has three inputs. However, the project management plan input from the PMBOK 4th Edition has been changed to the human resource management plan to more properly reflect the subsidiary plan that is actually used by this process. This process also has a new tool: multi-criteria decision analysis, which selects criteria on which the prospective team members should be analyzed. The criteria usually include availability, cost, experience, ability, knowledge, skills, attitude, and international factors.

The outputs of this process have not changed.

Changes to the Develop Project Team process

Like the Acquire Project Team process, the Develop Project Team has only a single change to its inputs list: the project management plan input from the PMBOK 4th Edition has been changed to the human resource management plan to more properly reflect the subsidiary plan that is actually used by this process.

The new tool listed for this process is personal assessment tools, which includes surveys, assessments, interviews, and focus groups.

The outputs of this process have not changed.

Changes to the Manage Project Team process

The Manage Project Team process has several major changes to its inputs and one minor change. The inputs to this process are as follows:

  • The human resource management plan – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition. This input replaces the project management plan that was listed in the PMBOK 4th Edition.
  • Project staff assignments
  • Team performance assessments
  • Issue log – listed as a tool for this process in the PMBOK 4th Edition
  • Work performance reports – referred to as simply performance reports in the PMBOK 4th Edition
  • Organizational process assets

This process has the same tools and techniques. However, the conflict  management techniques have been edited a bit to expand the explanation of each technique. In addition, each technique now has two names. For example, the compromise technique is also referred to as the reconcile technique, and the force technique is also referred to as the direct technique. Finally the collaborate technique was combined with the problem solving technique.

One new output was added to this process: project management plan updates. It includes updates to the issue log, roles description, and project staff assignments.

Changes to the Manage Communications process (formerly the Distribute Information process)

According to PMI, a name change occurred in the PMBOK 5th Edition for this process: Distribute Information was changed to Manage Communications. However, there were so many changes to this process that I feel we need to totally review all of this process.

The Manage Communications process has four inputs:

  • The communications management plan (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • Work performance reports  – referred to as work performance information and work performance measurements in the PMBOK 4th Edition
  • Enterprise environmental factors (EEFs) (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • Organizational process assets (OPAs)

The Manage Communications process has five tools and techniques:

  • Communications technology (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • Communication models (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • Communication methods
  • Information management systems (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • Performance reporting – referred to as reporting systems in the PMBOK 4th Edition

The outputs of this process are as follows:

  • Project communicationsnew in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • Project management plan updates (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • Project document updates (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • Organizational process assets updates
Changes to the Conduct Procurements process

The Manage Project Team process has one revised input and one new input. The project management plan listed as an input in the PMBOK 4th Edition has been changed to the procurement management plan, which is the subsidiary plan that actually affects this process. Procurement statement of work is a new input to this process.

The qualified seller list and teaming agreements inputs were removed from this process.

The Internet search technique for this process was changed to analytical techniques, which broadens the types of analytics that can be performed to obtain possible vendors.

The procurement contract award output is now referred to as agreements in the PMBOK 5th Edition. All other outputs are the same.

Changes to the Manage Stakeholder Engagement process

In this PMBOK 4th Edition, this process was referred to as Manage Stakeholder Expectations and was part of the Project Communications Management Knowledge Area. The Manage Stakeholder Engagement process is now part of the new Project Stakeholder Engagement Knowledge Area.

In the PMBOK 5th Edition, this process now has four inputs:

  • The stakeholder management plan (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • The communications management plan (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • The change log
  • Organizational process assets

No changes were made to the tools and techniques used by this process.

This process has one new output: the issue log.

That covers all the processes in the Executing Process Group.

We’d love your feedback…

With the popularity of our project management blog posts, we are considering following  up with a few more PMBOK 5th Edition posts (after we finish this series, of course.) Some of the possible subjects include: 1) using the critical path method in the Develop Schedule process, 2) using earned value management in the Control Schedule process, 3) using earned value management in the Control Costs process, 4) using forecasting in the Control Costs process, and 5) measuring the to-complete performance index (TCPI) in the Control Costs process.

Are any of these of interest to you? Please feel free to comment on this post and let us know, or suggest your own topic. In the meanwhile, watch in the coming days for the posts covering the changes to the Monitoring and Controlling and Closing Process Groups.

Drop  me a line if you have any questions! I would love to hear from you….

-Robin

PMBOK 5th Edition: Changes to the Planning Process Group (Part 4 of 4) 6/9

October 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Posted in PMI, Study hints | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , ,

This is the sixth installment of my PMBOK 5th Edition overview (and we’re still on the second Process Group):

Because the Planning Process Group contains 24 processes, I broke this overview into four posts to cover all of its processes in smaller, more easily digestible chunks.

Part 4 (this post) will cover the following processes:

  • Plan Risk Management
  • Identify Risks
  • Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
  • Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
  • Plan Risk Responses
  • Plan Procurement Management
  • Plan Stakeholder Management

The rest of the processes are broken down as follows:

  • Part 1 covered Develop Project Management Plan, Plan Scope Management, Collect Requirements, Define Scope, and Create WBS
  • Part 2 covered Plan Schedule Management, Define Activities, Sequence Activities, Estimate Activity Resources, Estimate Activity Durations, and Develop Schedule
  • Part 3 covered Plan Cost Management, Estimate Costs, Determine Budget, Plan Quality Management, Plan Human Resource Management, and Plan Communications Management.

Let’s launch into the final seven processes of the Planning Process Group!

Changes to the Plan Risk Management process

The Plan Risk Management process now has five inputs:

  • the project management plan – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • the project charter – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • the stakeholder register – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

In the PMBOK 4th Edition, the Plan Risk Management process included the cost management plan, schedule management plan, and communications management plan as inputs. In the PMBOK 5th Edition, these plans are all subsidiary plans of the project management plan, so they are no longer considered separate inputs.

This process has three tools and techniques:

  • Analytical techniquesnew to the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • Expert judgment – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • Meetings – renamed in the PMBOK 5th Edition. It was referred to as planning meetings and analysis in the PMBOK 4th Edition.

The output of this process is the risk management plan.

Changes to the Identify Risks process

The Identify Risks process now has 13 inputs:

  • the risk management plan
  • the cost management plan
  • the schedule management plan
  • the quality management plan
  • the human resource management plan – new to the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • the scope baseline
  • activity cost estimates
  • activity duration estimates
  • the stakeholder register
  • project documents
  • procurement documentsnew to the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

There are no changes to the tools and techniques used by this process. In addition, this process still has a single output: the risk register.

Changes to the Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process

The Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process has two new inputs. The five inputs to this process are:

  • the risk management plan
  • the scope baseline – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • the risk register
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs) – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

The project scope statement is no longer listed as an input because it is part of the scope baseline.

The tools and techniques used by this process have not changed.

The output of this process is project document updates. Risk register updates are no longer outputs of this process because the risk register is part of the project documents.

Changes to the Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis process

The Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis process now has six inputs:

  • the risk management plan
  • the cost management plan
  • the schedule management plan
  • the risk register
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs) – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

The tools and techniques used by this process have not changed.

The outputs of this process are project document updates. Like in the Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process, risk register updates are no longer listed as outputs of the process because the risk register is part of the project documents that can be updated during this process.

Changes to the Plan Risk Responses process

The Plan Risk Responses process was not changed very much. The inputs, tools/techniques, and outputs of this process are the same. The only changes I see in this section of the PMBOK is an expanded explanation of the strategies for negative and positive risks.

Changes to the Plan Procurement Management process (formerly the Plan Procurements process)

For this process, there was a name change in the PMBOK 5th Edition: Plan Procurements was changed to Plan Procurement Management.

The Plan Procurement Management process now has nine inputs:

  • the project management plan – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • the requirements documentation
  • the risk register
  • activity resource requirements
  • the project schedule
  • activity cost estimates
  • the stakeholder register – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

There are two new tools used in this process. The tools and techniques used by this process are as follows:

  • make-or-buy analysis
  • expert judgment
  • market research – new to the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • meetings – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition

Contract types, which was a tool listed in the PMBOK 4th Edition, is now discussed in Section 12.1.1.9: Organizational Process Assets.

This process has one new output. The seven outputs of this process are as follows:

  • the procurement management plan
  • the procurement statement of work
  • procurement documents
  • source selection criteria
  • make-or-buy decisions
  • change requests
  • project document updates – new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition
Introducing the Plan Stakeholder Management process – NEW IN PMBOK 5th EDITION

The Plan Stakeholder Management process is a new process to the Planning Process Group and the Project Stakeholder Management Knowledge Area. This process creates the stakeholder management plan that is used to develop the management strategies to effectively engage stakeholders in the project.

The Plan Stakeholder Management process has four inputs:

  • the project management plan
  • the stakeholder register
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

This process has three tools/techniques: expert judgment, analytical techniques,  and meetings. The analytical techniques include stakeholder engagement assessment matrix and other techniques.

This process has two outputs: the stakeholder management plan and project document updates.

That covers all the processes for this post and completes the Planning Process Group. Watch in the coming days for the posts covering the changes to the Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing Process Groups.

Drop  me a line if you have any questions! I would love to hear from you….

-Robin

PMBOK 5th Edition: Changes to the Planning Process Group (Part 3 of 4) 5/9

October 25, 2013 at 9:29 am | Posted in PMI, Study hints | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

This is the fifth installment of my PMBOK 5th Edition overview (and we’re still on the second Process Group):

Because the Planning Process Group contains 24 processes, I will be breaking this overview into four posts to cover all of its processes in smaller, more easily digestible chunks.

Part 3 (this post) will cover the following processes:

  • Plan Cost Management
  • Estimate Costs
  • Determine Budget
  • Plan Quality Management
  • Plan Human Resource Management
  • Plan Communications Management

The rest of the processes are broken down as follows:

  • Part 1 covered Develop Project Management Plan, Plan Scope Management, Collect Requirements, Define Scope, and Create WBS
  • Part 2 covered Plan Schedule Management, Define Activities, Sequence Activities, Estimate Activity Resources, Estimate Activity Durations, and Develop Schedule
  • Part 4 will cover Plan Risk Management, Identify Risks, Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis, Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis, Plan Risk Responses, Plan Procurement Management, and Plan Stakeholder Management.

Without further ado, here are the six processes of the Planning Process Group that I am covering in this post.

Introducing the Plan Cost Management process – NEW IN PMBOK 5th EDITION

The Plan Cost Management process is a new process to the Planning Process Group and the Project Cost Management Knowledge Area. This process creates the cost management plan that is used to define, validate, and control project costs.

The Plan Cost Management process has four inputs:

  • the project management plan
  • the project charter
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

This process has three tools/techniques: expert judgment, analytical techniques,  and meetings. The analytical techniques include payback period, return on investment, internal rate of return, discounted cash flow, and net present value.

This process produces one output: logically enough, it is the cost management plan. The cost management plan is an input to the Define Activities, Sequence Activities, Identify Risks, and Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis processes.

Changes to the Estimate Costs process

The Estimate Costs process now has seven inputs:

  • the cost management plan – new to the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • the human resource management plan – called the human resource plan in the PMBOK 4th Edition
  • the risk register
  • the scope baseline
  • the project schedule
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

This process has one new technique: group decision-making techniques. This is actually a group of techniques that include brainstorming and Delphi or nominal group techniques.

The outputs of this process are also unchanged from the PMBOK 4th Edition, and include the activity cost estimates, basis of estimates, and project document updates.

One section of this process that has been expanded a bit is the reserve analysis section. This section now contains a more comprehensive explanation of reserves, including contingency reserves (known-unknowns) and management reserves (unknown-unknowns.)

Changes to the Determine Budget process

The Determine Budget process has three new inputs. The nine inputs to this process are:

  • the cost management plan (a new input, and an output of the Plan Cost Management process)
  • the scope baseline
  • the activity cost estimates
  • basis of estimates
  • the project schedule
  • resource calendars
  • the risk register (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • agreements (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

The tools and techniques used by this process have not changed.

The outputs of this process have one very small change: the cost performance baseline output from the PMBOK 4th Edition was renamed the cost baseline in the PMBOK 5th Edition.

The Cost Baseline section of this process has been expanded quite a bit to include the contingency and management reserves. A new figure (Figure 7-8) named Project Budget Components was also added to show how the budget components make up the project budget.

Changes to the Plan Quality Management process (formerly the Plan Quality process)

For this process, there was a name change in the PMBOK 5th Edition: Plan Quality was changed to Plan Quality Management.

The Plan Quality Management has two new inputs. The six inputs to this process are:

  • the project management plan (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • the stakeholder register
  • the risk register
  • the requirements documentation (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

There are two new tools used in this process. One new tool is meetings. The other new tool, called seven basic quality tools, actually contains (as its name implies) seven tools, one of which was previously listed in the PMBOK 4th Edition:

  • Cause-and-effect diagram
  • Flowcharts
  • Checksheets
  • Pareto diagrams
  • Histograms
  • Control charts – included in PMBOK 4th Edition
  • Scatter diagrams

The section on the seven basic quality tools includes an illustration (Figure 8-7) that gives examples of the seven tools.

There are no changes to the outputs from this process.

Changes to the Plan Human Resource Management process (formerly the Develop Human Resource Plan process)

For this process, there was a name change in the PMBOK 5th Edition: Develop Human Resource Plan was changed to Plan Human Resource Management.

The Plan Human Resource Management process has one new input. The four inputs to this process are:

  • the project management plan (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • activity resource requirements
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

The Plan Human Resource Management process has two tools/techniques: expert judgment and meetings.

While the output of this process is the same, its name has changed from human resource plan to human resource management plan.

Changes to the Plan Communications Management process (formerly the Plan Communications process)

For this process, there was a name change in the PMBOK 5th Edition: Plan Communications was changed to Plan Communications Management.

The Plan Communications Management process has one new input. The four inputs to this process are:

  • the project management plan (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • activity resource requirements
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

The Plan Communications Management process has one new tool/technique: meetings. However, two of the existing tools, communication technology and communication models, have undergone some fairly extensive edits/additions. So an experienced project manager may want to read this section just to get familiar with the new content and terminology. The complete list of tools for this process is:

  • communications requirements analysis
  • communication methods
  • communication technology
  • communication models
  • meetings (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)

The outputs of this process have not changed, and remain the communications management plan and project document updates.

That covers all the processes for this post. Watch for Part 4 of the Planning Process Group in the coming days.

Drop  me a line if you have any questions! I would love to hear from you….

-Robin

PMBOK 5th Edition: changes to the Planning Process Group (Part 2 of 4) 4/9

October 23, 2013 at 11:20 am | Posted in PMI, Study hints | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

It’s me again. For those of you just tuning in, I have already released three blog posts:

Because the Planning Process Group contains 24 processes, I will be breaking this overview into four posts to cover all of its processes in smaller, more easily digestible chunks.

Part 2 (this post) will cover the following processes:

  • Plan Schedule Management
  • Define Activities
  • Sequence Activities
  • Estimate Activity Resources
  • Estimate Activity Durations
  • Develop Schedule

The rest of the processes are broken down as follows:

  • Part 1 covered Develop Project Management Plan, Plan Scope Management, Collect Requirements, Define Scope, and Create WBS
  • Part 3 will cover Plan Cost Management, Estimate Costs, Determine Budget, Plan Quality Management, Plan Human Resource Management, and Plan Communications Management.
  • Part 4 will cover Plan Risk Management, Identify Risks, Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis, Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis, Plan Risk Responses, Plan Procurement Management, and Plan Stakeholder Management.

Without further ado, here are the six processes of the Planning Process Group that belong in the Project Time Management Knowledge Area. Let’s get to it!

Introducing the Plan Schedule Management process – NEW IN PMBOK 5th EDITION

The Plan Schedule Management process is a new process to the Planning Process Group and the Project Time Management Knowledge Area. This process creates the schedule management plan that is used to define, validate, and control project time.

The Plan Schedule Management process has four inputs:

  • the project management plan
  • the project charter
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

This process has three tools/techniques: expert judgment, analytical techniques,  and meetings. The analytical techniques include rolling wave planning, leads and lags, alternatives analysis, and methods for reviewing schedule performance.

This process produces one output: the schedule management plan. The schedule management plan is an input to the Define Activities, Sequence Activities, Estimate Activity Resources, Estimate Activity Durations, Develop Schedule, Identify Risks, and Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis processes.

Changes to the Define Activities process

The Define Activities process now has four inputs:

  • the schedule management plan – new to the PMBOK 5th Edition
  • the scope baseline
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

The tools and techniques used during this process have not changed and are as follows: decomposition, rolling wave planning, and expert judgement.

The outputs of this process are also unchanged from the PMBOK 4th Edition, and include the activity list, activity attributes, and milestone list. All of these outputs are inputs to the other Project Time Management processes in the Planning Process Group.

Changes to the Sequence Activities process

The Sequence Activities process has two new inputs. The seven inputs to this process are:

  • the schedule management plan (a new input, and an output of the Plan Schedule Management process)
  • the activity list
  • activity attributes
  • the milestone list
  • the project scope statement
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs) (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

The Sequence Activities process has two small changes to its tools/techniques: applying leads and lags has been renamed to leads and lags, and schedule network templates have been removed.

The outputs of this process have not changed.

I would like to highlight some great new information that is included in this section in the PMBOK 5th Edition. The Precedence Diagramming Method section (6.3.2.1) has been expanded to better explain the different relationships. Also, a new figure (Figure 6-9) has been added to demonstrate how the relationships are displayed in a diagram. In the Dependency Determination section (6.3.2.2), a new dependency type, internal dependencies, has been added. In the Leads and Lags section (6.3.2.3), a new figure (Figure 6-10) named Examples of Lead and Lag is given. Finally the Project Schedule Network Diagrams section (6.3.3.1) includes a new project schedule network diagram figure (Figure 6-11).

Changes to the Estimate Activity Resources process

The Estimate Activity Resources has three new inputs. That means the complete set of inputs to this process is:

  • the schedule management plan (a new input, and an output of the Plan Schedule Management process)
  • the activity list
  • activity attributes
  • resource calendars
  • risk register (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • activity cost estimates (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

There are no changes to the tools/techniques used in this process or to the outputs from this process.

Changes to the Estimate Activity Durations process

The Estimate Activity Durations process has three new inputs. The ten inputs to this process are:

  • the schedule management plan (a new input, and an output of the Plan Schedule Management process)
  • the activity list
  • activity attributes
  • activity resource requirements
  • resource calendars
  • the project scope statement
  • risk register (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • resource breakdown structure (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

The Estimate Activity Durations process has one new tool/technique: group decision-making techniques. This includes brainstorming and Delphi or nominal group technique. The complete list of tools/techniques for this process is:

  • expert judgment
  • analogous estimating
  • parametric estimating
  • three-point estimating
  • group decision-making techniques (new)
  • reserve analysis

The outputs of this process have not changed. The outputs are still activity duration estimates and project document updates.

Changes to the Develop Schedule process

The Develop Schedule process has four new inputs. The thirteen inputs to this process are:

  • the schedule management plan (a new input, and an output of the Plan Schedule Management process)
  • the activity list
  • activity attributes
  • project schedule network diagrams
  • activity resource requirements
  • resource calendars
  • activity duration estimates
  • the project scope statement
  • risk register (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • project staff assignments (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • resource breakdown structure (new to this process in the PMBOK 5th Edition)
  • enterprise environmental factors (EEFs)
  • organizational process assets (OPAs)

The Develop Schedule process has two new tools/techniques: resource optimization techniques (which includes the resource leveling technique from the PMBOK 4th Edition and resource smoothing, a new technique) and modeling techniques (which includes what-if schedule analysis technique from the PMBOK 4th Edition and simulation, a new technique). Also, the applying leads and lags technique has been renamed to leads and lags.

Two new outputs have been added to this process: project calendars and project management plan updates. The complete list of outputs is schedule baseline, project schedule, schedule data, project calendars, project management plan updates, and project document updates.

Again, the PMBOK 5th Edition has added some very useful information to this section. The description of the Critical Path Method (6.6.2.2) has been expanded to better explain the method, and a new figure (Figure 6-18) has been added to demonstrate the critical path method. All activity boxes in the diagram have been expanded to include the ES, EF, LS, LF, duration, and slack of the activity. If you are unfamiliar with this method, I would strongly suggest that you look over section 6.6.2.2 and seek out other learning tools to familiarize yourself with this technique. I can guarantee this will be on the live exam in some manner!

The Critical Chain Method section (6.6.2.3) has also been expanded and includes a new figure (Figure 6-19) that is useful. Resource leveling is also demonstrated in Figure 6-20, another new figure.

That covers all the processes for this post. Watch for Part 3 of the Planning Process Group in the coming days.

Drop  me a line if you have any questions! I would love to hear from you….

-Robin

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: