10 Important Points for PMP Exam

By Vinai Prakash

Dear Friends, The PMP Exam is not easy.  But it is not hard too, specially if you understand what they want to test you on.

To pass the PMP exam, you need to have some key points ingrained in your mind forever. These points are used again and again in the PMP Exam Questions. Nothing difficult… Just simple principles, and once you understand them, you will be better prepared for the revised PMP exam.

Here are 10 Very Important Points to remember for your PMP Exam:

  1. The project manager is empowered and has ultimate authority and accountability for a project. Therefore, the Project Manager must always be proactive, and look for areas of improvement, and communicate all the time, with all the key stakeholders. Be prepared to make decisions quickly, proactively, and solve problems quickly, directly, and effectively. People look upon you for direction and leadership.
  2. Projects should be strategically aligned with the high-level strategic objectives of the organization. This improves the chances of the project success. Do not include any changes to the project, which do not align to the corporate vision, as they will take up valuable time and resources. Get clarity from the Change Control Board (CCB) if required. The Sponsor or Client should be part of the CCB.
  3. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) forms the basis of all estimating and project planning. This is part of Scope Management. Many people confuse the WBS to be part of the Time Management Knowledge Area. Beware! The WBS is an extremely useful tool in clarifying the scope of the project. Because it is like a org chart ( and looks like a picture), it is easy to find any missing areas, are identify blind spots in the requirements.
  4. Project Managers spend almost 90% of their time in communicating. It will not do you or the project any good if you simply hide in your cubicle and communicate using email alone. It is important to go out, and meet the team members, stakeholders, and understand what is going on in their world. Communication has to be a 2 way thing. Not only Written, and not just one way.
  5. Planning is the most important of all the Project Management processes. Projects don’t fail at the end, they fail at the beginning – if they are not planned properly and accurately. Of the 47 processes in the PMBOK Guide, 24 belong to the Planning Process Group. And 48 questions out of the 200 come from Planning processes alone. So study this carefully. There is a proper sequence of doing the planning work, and it is not listed in the PMBOK Guide. Let me know if you need help in this area…
  6. The Project Team must be involved early in the Planning process and in all major decisions concerning the project. The earlier you can onboard your project management team, the better it is. Do not attempt to do everything on your own. Get your project management team, who can assist you in the tasks. Remember that Project Management is an art, and you do not have to be a domain expert to manage projects successfully. You should be good at managing people, communicating, negotiating, motivating, and have leadership qualities, which are more important than technical expertise.
  7. Lessons Learned and Historical Records are essential inputs to just about every Project management process, especially Planning. For the sake of the PMP Exam, assume that you always have access to the Project management office (PMO), who will be able to provide you with the required templates, checklists, procedures and policies. They also have a complete archive of past projects’ project files, templates, checklists, risk registers, milestone list, assumptions, constraints  etc. You can easily get access to this handy resource for this project, just by asking the PMO.
  8. Project Stakeholders and their needs & expectations are very important and should be well managed and balanced from the early on. Remember, the cost of making a change increases as time passes. So the early we can get the stakeholders involved, and see their inputs, complete requirements, the better it is for the project (and lower cost too). Stakeholder influeconnce is highest in the beginning of the project, and comes down as the project reaches completion.
  9. Quality Control is an internal affair. It takes the completed deliverables coming from the Executing Processes, and converts them into validated Deliverables. These deliverables are then tested by the customer in the Verify Scope Process, and converted into Accepted Deliverables. Both of these processes happen in the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group. Many questions arise from the close relationship between these 2 processes.
  10. Adding out-of-scope extras (also called “gold plating”) to please project stakeholders adds no value and is strongly discouraged. You  must always be on the lookout for “scope creep” and “gold plating”, as they can take up valuable time and cost on the project. Remember also that adding scope increases risk and impacts time and cost too. So beware of adding any extras. Only deliver what is expected of you.

Understanding & memorizing these key points, and applying them to PMP exam questions will assist you in getting correct answers.

Remember, when in doubt, go by the PMI PMBOK Guide, 5th Edition. Do not apply only practical project management knowledge or else you will fail the PMP exam.

If you need more articles, Tips, Trick on passing the PMP Exam, check out PMCHAMP.com.And if you need any help in coming out with a systematic Study Plan for the PMP Exam,  check out this article.

Study for the PMP Exam anytime, anywhere, at your own pace!
We also offer Online PMP Exam Prep Training. Currently, we have students enrolled from 57 different countries, including USA, UK, Canada, UAE, India, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Germany etc. Next online class begins this week. It gives you the flexibility to study for the PMP Exam anytime, anywhere, at your own pace.

Cheers,
Vinai Prakash, PMP, ITIL, MBA, GAP
Founder: www.PMChamp.com

PS: Did you get the Free Questions on Quality Management at our website? Help Yourself!

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  • Mohammed Ziauddin

    Kindly send me “Proper sequence of doing the Planning work” which is not covered in PMBOK as you wrote in your article. Thanks in advance.

  • Kindly send me “Proper sequence of doing the Planning work” which is not covered in PMBOK as you wrote in your article. Thanks in advance.

  • Great point that you have mentioned is that analyze which process group and knowledge area any question is referring to .once you get that correct 90% of the work is done and rest becomes bit easy

    Thanks keep it up

  • Toni Parks

    Please send me the proper sequence for doing planning work that is not covered in the PMBOK guide.

  • Thank u so much for sharing these beautiful thoughts and well coordinated. I am a PMP exam seeker and I believe this artical resume the overall roots of PMP exam objective.
    Keep up the good work.
    MO

  • M.B

    Please send me the proper sequence for doing planning work that is not covered in the PMBOK guide
    alot of thanks

    • Hi M.B.
      You may wish to join the PMCHAMP online coaching, where we cover the sequence, and many other things required to pass the PMP exam easily. Check it out at http://www.pmchamp.net/pmpguide
      cheers – Vinai