Take my advice, I dont use it anyway !

takemyadvice

I saw this poster among the poster collections of Rosanna. It sounded funny and at the same time, it was connecting me to some of my life experiences.There is something very unique about this, which was preventing me from forgetting it.

We come across many people who is very good in providing advise, and at the same do not practise any. In many occassions, I am no exception to this. This is one of the easiest things to do. This is very evident when we get into a book stall. The tiles may read like this and my immediate response is in the brackets;

I am OK, you are OK (Are you OK?:-)

Think and grow rich  (Are you a billionaire?:-)

Good to great (Are you great?. How many great organizations did you build?. I think those who did, do not have the time to write a book:-)

Life beyond coding (How many kilo lines of code did you write first?. If Bill gates says it I understand it. I think he does not have the time ūüôā

Google story (Larry and Page did not have the time ūüôā

The list is pretty huge. The current trend is to write something controversial. Jesus christ lived in India :-))

Sometimes I feel that I should be a stupid, to read some of these crap, where the author have not experienced anything about he/she is writing about. They are writing about other’s experiences.

This pattern is even more prevailant among managers. They expect lot of things like timeliness, quality, capability…..etc…etc from all their team members, customers, superiors¬†and when it comes to themselves, they have enough reasons for not being there on time. They have one standard for themselves and another one for others (majority do not fall into this category and at the same time, a sure 20% falls into this).

Very often as a trainer, the majority of the participants will be waiting for a few. Then the dilema is, ‘should I punish those guys who are on time, becuase some one is not on time’.

Still recollect those days, when¬†my team members¬†wishes ‘Hi Aby’ when I am on time to office, and a special ‘Good morning Sir’ on those days when I am late to office. That was the time when I insisted my team members to reach office on time and leave atleast by 7 p.m. It was part of a corrective action, when my colleague’s wife came to our office at 6 a.m in search of her husband, and started screaming at me, when we were busy working to make a release happen (this colleague of mine left his job within two months) !

Take my advice, I dont use it anyway !

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Which one is better? PRINCE or PMBOK

This is a question one of my workshop participants asked me yesterday, and the reply is;

‚ÄúAll models are like parents. They treat you like children. They keep telling you the ‚Äėwhat,how and when to do s‚Äô. We must listen to parents, and at the same time bank on our own learning and experiences. There is a very high degree of intersection among PRINCE2, PMBOK, Agile methods, CMM, ISO, ITIL etc. Understanding the common thread, cutting through these models , will make life easier.¬†As an Asian, I am previleged to look at these methods, models, frameworks with the same degree of attachment or detachment, becuase I dont adore any of these models completely. Everything has their own merits and demerits. What works for my project‚Äôs sucess is the best for me, because my professional life is dependent on the success of the project. Then my personal life is also tightly dependent on my professional life. For me, my project is more important than following just one framework or method from the purist’s view.”

Knowledge of all models helps one to choose the most appropriate for the project under consideration.

SEASONAL magazine

Yesterday from the Bangalore airport I picked up the complementary copy of the seasonal magazine. I liked this magazine for the high standard and usefulness of it’s contents. The contents of Issue3 May-June reads like this;

  • Five inspiring role models – Talks about Sam Pitroda, Azim Premji, Kiran MAzumdar, Captain G.R.Gopinath and Dr.Abraham George.
  • Cool schools – Festuring the best of the schools in India
  • How exercise fights ten diseases – A very useful article on the value of exercise in preventing, controlling diseases
  • Sleep and wellness – the five connections
  • 7 organic myths – talks about biodynamics in organic foods and farming
  • Keep Kalam going – About Abdul Kalam
  • Done in by stardom
  • Lessons from Munnar

The presentation is excellent and very userfriendly. In India it is priced at Rs.50/copy. For more details visit their site at www.seasonalmagazine.com

Freedom lost and found

Nightmare is over!. I lost my passport at the Dubai airport on the 16th, and ever since, it was a night mare till yesterday, when the Dubai police called me and told me about them receiving it. In fact I lost at the Dubai international airport. While checking in at the hotel, I realized that I lost it. Since I am a known guest, the hotel guys gave me a room, otherwise it would have been impossible even to get a room at Dubai without a passport. Then it was a mad rush to the police, court and immigration offices. Without my passport there was no way to even go back to my home country. It was as if Iam imprisoned in a foreign country.

At this stage, the techings of Prof. Morrie helped. I just accepted the fact that I lost my passport and I cannot get out of the country without one. I was mentally prepared to take what it takes to resolve. I lodged a complaint with the Dubai Police. To my suprise I found the Dubai police as very nice people. They infact even made tea for me. This was in full contradiction to the image of police I had. In my native land, when kids dont eat well, parents threaten them by saying ‘I will call the police’ and almost every kid grows up with a feeling that ‘Police’ as bad guys and Police stations as the place for bad guys. So whenever I enter a police station I am very nervous and in this case, I found a set of very friendly and helpful gentlemen at the Dubai airport police station. My special thanks to them.

I knelt down and prayed to Mother Mary and St.Antony and to Jesus. The very thought of my 83 year old mother and the possibility of her health deteriorating further and my inability to get out of the country had a compunded negative effect on me. It was draning me out of my peace and energy. I kept on praying, and at the same time was getting the paper work for a new passport done with the help of Mr.Bali, my friend. In Dubai, without a vehicle it is very difficult to get things done and in many places it is very difficult to get a taxi. Mr.Bali accompanied me to all these offices, proving once again that ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’!.

I did not communicate this bad news home, to avoid¬†them getting anxious about all these. Finally one day I decided to call them¬†tell them all that is happening to me. I picked up my mobile and dialled my home number. The call did not go through as I did not have sufficient credit. Within seconds I got a call from the Dubai police informing me¬†the good news….’someone has deposited my lost passport at the lost and found section of dubai police at the airport’. Oh dear, the nightmare is over.¬†¬†

This experience made me realize the value of freedom.¬†Now I understand much better the agony of the¬†masses who do not have freedom. It is miserable.¬† Now I understand better the power of prayer, when there is no hope….¬†

If you loose ypur passport, the key steps to be done immediately;

1) Lodge a compalint to the police. This will help to avoid others misusing your passport and at the same time, police will be able to contact you, if they receive the passport.

2) Advertise in the local news paper about the loss of your passport

3) Get a letter from the police department, stating that you lost your passport

4) Contact the embassy of your country, in the country where you lost your passport. They will guide you with the subsequent formalities.

5) As far as possible, try to get a new temporary passport.  Another option available is to get an outpass. Normally outpass is used for deportation, and can make your re-entry to the country difficult, hence it is always better to get a temporary new passport.

6) In case you get the passport back, after lodging a police compalaint, ensure that there is no block on your passport by neither the immigration authorities nor the police, before you leave the country. If there is a block, then you will be stopped at the airport by immigration.

7) Wherever you go, carry all the documentation, pertaining to the lost passport.

Parent,Adult,Child and professional evolution

Do you remember your earlier bosses?. May be the first one?.

When all of us entered the corporate life (first job), professionally we all started as a ‘child’, carrying IAM NOT OK – YOU are OK life position. The first boss was acting as a corporate PARENT, and telling us what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in corporate life, and we believed whatever he said and did, and we we were totally dependent on him. Our position was of a ‘CHILD’, totally dependent on the ‘PARENT’. During this phase od career development, our life position was ‘Iam NOT OK, and YOU are OK’.

Then, our own experiences in the corporate world taught us lot of things and we slowly started filtering out what is right and wrong, some of these in conflict with our earlier PARENT (first boss) teachings. As a corporate adult, we develop the capability to compare the reality with the teachings of the ‘PARENT’ and merge it with our own learnings and experience as adults to arrive at our own decisions. Here slowly we move from ‘Iam not OK and You are OK’ to I am OK, and you are OK or not OK’ positions, based on situations.

Very often people ask me, whether PMBOK is better or PRINCE2 is better?. As far as Iam concerned, these are just bodies of knowledge, which in turn is nothing but a group of ‘parents’ telling me, what should be done, and what should not be done, in project management. If our corporate position is of a ‘CHILD’, we follow these blindly, as we dont have our own experiences and learnings to validate these ‘PARENT’ view. May be, that is the smartest thing to do, till we develop a life position of ‘Iam OK and You are OK’. ¬†Once we gain enough expeience and insight, we take the position of an ‘ADULT’ and will learn to arrive at our own decisions after synthesising the teachings of the parents and our own experiences and learnings.

I know the rules and TWM

In the Emirates flight from Bangalore to Dubai on the 16th of May, my next seat was occuppied by a middle aged Indian lady. She was talking about her career as an air hostess when she was young, and her son in laws job in the airlines Industry etc, which was of least interest to me as I was totally lost in ‘Tuesdays with Morrie -TWM’, which I wanted to complete in one go, which I did. I completed reading that book in one go.¬† At this point, the air hostess requested the lady next to me, to exchange her seat with another lady, who had a small child to take care of, and wanted to sit in the aisle seat. By all standards it was a very polite request and to my surprise, my co passenger exclaimed ‘I AM COMFORTABLE HERE… DONT DISTURB BE…. I KNOW THE AIRLINE RULES…… I WAS AN AIR HOSTESS……..I AM A FREQUENT FLIER………. YOU ARE RACIST………’ etc…etc… and there were some passengers to support her also. They complained to the flight supervisor about the arrogant behavior of the air hostess. Oh dear, Who was arrogant…?

Holding ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ between my hands, and thinking about the wide gap between arrogance and humility and Morrie’s teachings, I continued with my reading….. Is there any reason for people to behave like this. Is it envy?… Is it hopelessness?…. Is it fear of getting older?…….. Is it just an upstart?…..

tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie

I bought this book by Mitch Albom yesterday from landmark bookstall at Bangalore, and I read only one page so far, and I cannot wait any more to share how different it is, when compared to so many other books;

” The last class of my old Professor’s life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed it’s pink leaves. The class met on Tuesdays. It began after breakfast. The subject was meaning of life. It was taught from experience.

No grades were given, but there were oral exams each week. You were expected to respond to questions, and you were expected to pose questions of your own. You were also required to perform physical tasks now and then, such as lifting the professior’s head to a comfortable spot on the pillow or placing his glasses¬† on the bridge of his nose. Kissing him good-bye earned you extra credit.

No books were required, yet many topics were covered including love, work, community, family, aging, forgiveness and finally death.

and it goes on like that……….

The price of this priceless book is Indian Rupees 176 and the total number of pages is 210

Alignment

Inorder to create, an individual must be in true alignment within and with the external world in which the individual is operating. Only a person who has internal alignment can be in perfect harmony with the external world. I am not saying that creation is not possible, without true internal, then external alignment. Without alignment, the effort involved towards goal attainment is very high than otherwise. Prayer and meditation can play a major role in internal alignment. When all our activities are aligned to truth, we experience joy and peace, which is the starting point for creative work.

Once we have true internal alignment, then we can align with the team goals very easiliy. Empowerment within teams is possible, only if the team is aligned first, otherwise empowerment of non aligned team members will pull the team in different directions and will make team management a very difficult and complex task.

So remember, the recipe for great team work;

1) Internally aligned individuals (have seen organizations starting the day with a prayer)

2) Team alignment to the team goals (vision)

3) Empowerment of the aligned team members

So near yet so far

Sometimes whan I am about to achieve something, I loose interest in it and I dont complete it. A typical example is my book. I got a publisher to publish it, the content is almost ready..I need to do only the last round of editing, then I get introduced to orkut by my daughter and my entire focus moves away from my book to chatting with friends at orkut. The same pattern can be seen in some teams also. When they are about to win, they start doing all sorts of foolish things and loose the game. I can see this pattern happening in many of my project management workshop participants. When they are about to achieve their objectives, they get distracted and moves away from the goal.

Most of us hold one of two contradictory beliefs that limit our ability to create what we really want. The most common is the belief in our powerlessness – our inability to bring into being all the things we really care about. The other belief centers on unworthiness that we do not deserve to have what we truly desire. If we accept this as a working premise, it illuminates systemic forces that can work powerfully against creating what we really want.

Fritz uses a metaphor to describe how contradictory underlying beliefs work as a system, counter to achieving our goals. Imagine, as you move toward your goal, there is a rubber band, sumbolizing creative tension, pulling you in the desired direction. But imagine also a second rubber band, anchored to the belief of powerlessness or unworthiness. Just as the first rubber band tries to pull you toward the goal, the second pulls you back toward the underlying belief that you can’t (or dont deserve to) have your goal. Fritz calls the system involving both the tension¬† pulling us toward the goal and the tension anchoring us to our underlying belief ‘structural conflict’ becuase it is a structure of conflicting forces; pulling us simultaneously toward and away from what we want. Thus closer we come to achieving our vision, the more the second rubber band pulls us away from our vision. This force can manifest itself in many ways. We might loose our energy. We might question whether we really wanted the vision. Unexpected obstacles develop on our path. People let us down.

Given beliefs in our powerlessness or unworthiness, structural conflict implies that systemic forces come into play to keep us from succeeding whenever we seek a vision. Yet we do succeed sometimes.

Fritz has identified three generic strategies for coping with the forces of structural conflict, each of which has it’s own limitations.¬†

Letting our vision erode is one such coping strategy. The second is conflict manipulation (negative vision)  in which we try to manipulate ourselves into greater effort toward what we want, by focusing on the negative impacts if the goal is not achieved (negative effects of global warming  rather than the postive effect of a green planet). Fritz third generic strategy is the sttartegy of will power, where we simply psych ourselves upto overpower all sorts of resistance to achieving our goals.

Reference – The fifth discipline by Peter Senge

The perils of order

While going through tompeters web site, I came across this article ‘perils of order’ ¬†by Freedman.¬† I liked it. During my life so far, I have come across many who like order, and strongly believe that the rest of the world also should¬†follow suit. Again I have come across many, who like disorder and creates some wonderful stuff, out of the mess.

Personally I am more inclined to lack of order. I am the kind of guy, who likes to pack my bags at 2.am to catch that 5 a.m flight, rather than doing it on the previous day. yes, it has it’s own merits and demerits. May be I am surviving each time becuase there is a person who likes order to assist me.¬† It is nice to recollect situations were I forgot about my 5p.m flight to India, to be be reminded by the secretary at 3 p.m,¬†followed by¬†a mad rush to the airport, later to realize that I have forgotten to take my passport. Now it is fun to remember all these, and I dont have any major¬†regrets becuase of this, except the fun element and some tension. The only other option available to me is to get serious about all these and start worrying atleast 2 days prior to the event. Which one is beneficial?. Again I dont want the entire world to think like me do.

Mr.Feedman has written a book ‘Perils of order’. Will get back with more wisdom on the perils of order – after reading the book. In the meantime, if there is anyone out there who has read this book, please share something more.

PMP certification – Frequently asked questions

This section contains frequently asked questions on PMP, PMPdistilled right now. Scroll down to see. I am thinking of adding more on prince2 and agile soon. If you are unable to find an answer to your query, post your question as a comment, I will answer it.

 

FAQ on PMP Credential

The purpose of this page is to clarify the doubts of the PMP aspirants about matters relevant to the PMP certification process. Enough care is taken to reflect the latest developments in the PMP credential program. However, in case of discrepancy (which is very unlikely), between the information provided in this page and  http://www.pmi.org, the latter is to be considered.

PMP Exam 2005 count down

Key Dates to remember

29th August 2005 – final date to submit applications to test on 2004 examinations

24th September 2005 – final date to test on 2004 examination

30th september 2005 – first day to test on the 2005 examination

What is the PMP certification?

PMI was founded in 1969 and first started offering the Project Management Professional certification exam in 1984. PMI is accredited as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards developer and also has the distinction of being the first organization to have their certification program attain International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 recognition.

PMI boasts a worldwide membership of over 1,65,007 and 1,10,906 PMPs (as on April 2005), with members from 125 different countries. Local PMI chapters meet regularly and allow project managers to exchange information and learn about new tools and techniques of project management or new ways to use established techniques. I encourage you to join a local chapter and get to know other professionals in your field.

PMI is the leader in project management practices and is the most widely recognized organization and certification in the field. PMI strives to maintain and promote standards and ethics in this field and offers publications, training, seminars, chapters, special interest groups, and colleges to further the project management discipline.

Why Become PMP Certified?

The following benefits are associated with becoming PMP certified:

  • It demonstrates proof of professional achievement.

  • It increases your marketability.

  • It provides greater opportunity for advancement in your field.

  • It raises customer confidence in you and your company‚Äôs services.

I am a very experienced project manager and I am very successful as a project manager. By going through the project management knowledge areas, everything seems very familiar to me. What will be the additional value add to me by becoming a PMP?

This is a very good question, which one of my colleagues asked me very recently.

When I watch some of the very experienced project managers in action, sometimes I get very disturbed. Most of them do not monitor critical paths, perform earned value analysis. If these two are not practiced  in projects, I am sure that it is the project which is managing them.

If you are an experienced project manager, who already know how to;

  • initiate a project

  • plan a project

  • execute a project

  • monitor and control a project

  • close a project

in an internationally accepted manner, then I think, PMBOK will act as a good reference material for them, and PMP credential will act as an endorsement of the skills which they already have.

If you are a project manager, who is not very confident of the internationally accepted standards for initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing a project then a PMP credential  will give you the opportunity to learn globally accepted project management best practices along with the  the globally accepted PMP credential

What is the criteria for applying for PMP Credential?

If you are university degree holder;

4500 hours of¬† project management experience within project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling and closeout. This do not mandate, experience under the role of a ‚Äėproject manager‚Äô. For example, a person involved in quality planning and tracking can count that experience also while reporting the 4500 hours of experience. However, the candidate should have at least¬† three years of project management experience, during the six year period, prior to applying.

The candidate should have received 35 hours of project management training and must include content on project scope, quality, human resources, communication, risk, procurement, integration and professional management. The candidate can count all the project management trainings received  prior to application and no time frame is stipulated for this.

If you are not a degree holder and holds a high school diploma or equivalent;

7500 hours of project management experience

five years of project management experience (non over lapping)

35 hours of project management education (coverage as in the degree holder’s case)

Required supporting documents;

– educational background

– experience verification forms, meeting criteria above

– 35 hours of project management education, conforming to the criteria above

What is a Professional Development Unit (PDU)?

¬†The PDU is a measure of time spent in a structured learning activity. For formalized learning activities, the course content should be consistent with the knowledge areas and processes as outlined by the PMBOK¬ģ Guide and involve appropriate expert resources. One (1) PDU is given for each hour of structured learning. Fractions of hours will be accepted in .25 increments. An activity or group of related activities must be a minimum of one full hour to be accepted. Ten minutes per each hour for breaks are permitted in programs that exceed one hour in length. Exceptions: Specified numbers of PDUs may also be earned for service to the profession and for specified professional activities.

 want to know what is Non-Overlapping Month in filling up the application form for PMP?If  u have worked on more than one project during the same month / months , only one can be counted.
 

I have the required years of experience but I have not worked on the project closeout phase yet. Will this have any impact on the eligibility to apply for PMP?

It is perfectly all right. No where, PMI has mandated that, one has to work on all peoject management phases to qualify for the PMP exam. That means, If  you are a project planning expert and if  you have spent all your professional years in just planning projects after projects for the required eligibility period, still  you will qualify.

I am reding the PMBOK third edition but will appear for PMBOK 2000 based examination. Will that make any difference?

Not much of a difference

Can you recommend some very good reference material from the exam point of view? Will  the PMBOK guide third edition alone will help?

While preparing for the PMP examination, referring to ‚ÄėGuide to PMBOK ‚Äė alone will not help and at the same time, there is no other authentic material apart from ‚ÄėGuide to PMBOK‚Äô to act as a reference material. End to end understanding of PMBOK is very important and at the same time, there is no need to mug up things as most of the questions are not very direct.

There are several very good books (PMP exam centric) available in the market.

Project management professional -study guide by Kim Heldman, PMP

The project management Question and answer book by Michael W.Newell, PMP  and Marina N. Grashina, PMP

PMP Exam Prep By Rita Mulcahy

are some of them. I will suggest you to rely on the ‚ÄėGuide to project management body of knowledge, third edition‚Äô to understand the concepts, and to use any of the above mentioned books, to get a hang of the exam. Once you register as a member at¬† PMBOKdistilled.com you will get access to simulation tests, which will help you to get a feel of how the real test will be. Sound understanding of the concepts as defined in the PMBOK guide as well as some practice in answering sample questions will help you to prepare well for the PMP credential. My sincere advise is to read the PMBOK guide end to end three times and to do the exercises in one of the above books, three times end to end‚Ķ and that should do the trick!

What are the major changes in the ‚ÄėGuide to PMBOK third edition?. Is it totally different from PMBOK¬† guide 2000?

I will say that ‚ÄėGuide to the PMBOK third edition‚Äô is more reader friendly than the earlier versions. The third edition is is structured to give more emphasis to the process groups. Chapter 3 is renamed as ‚ÄėProject management processes for a project‚Äô¬† is extensively revised and is moved to a new chapter titled ‚ÄėThe standard for project management of a project‚Äô.¬† In the third edition, seven processes have been added, thirteen renamed and two deleted. The terms ‚Äėfacilitating processes‚Äô and ‚Äėcore processes‚Äô are no more used. The project management processes are still grouped under;

– initiating process group

– planning process group

– executing process group

– monitoring and controlling process group

– closing process group

To make it clearer – if you have done your preparation well using the ‚ÄėGuide to PMBOK third edition‚Äô and write the exam based on PMBOK guide 2000, your probability of success will remain the same, if not more! I think, that explains it better.

What is an REP (registered education provider)?

Registered Education Providers (REPs) are organizations approved by PMI to offer project management training for Professional Development Units. Currently there are over 1000 organizations from 55 countries in the PMI registry.  The criteria for becoming and maintaining an REP status are;

  • Must be a legal entity

  • Must have offered project management training for at least one year

  • Must submit at least one sample course for review

  • Must have a PMP review the content of each course submitted into the REP database

  • Must show evidence of appropriate course selection, design and delivery

  • Must show evidence that content of courses is substantially consistent with PMI standards or is clearly noted as offering an alternate theory

  • Must show evidence of instructor qualifications appropriate to topics taught

  • Must use PMP certified instructor to deliver PMP exam preparation courses

  • Must make accurate representations of course objectives

  • Must be reviewed by a designated PMI reviewer before acceptance as an REP and once every three years thereafter

Recently I attended a 5 day program (40, hours) , covering the PMBOK, focused on software project management. The program is offered by a  private limited company,  the instructor is a PMP but the company is not a REP. Is this sufficient for the  35 PDUs required for PMP application. Is it necessary that I should do the preparatory program, only with an REP?

I can inform you that if the course content of the class you attended is based on one of the knowledge areas, process areas or sub-process areas of ¬†‚ÄĚA Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge,‚ÄĚ it will satisfy the 35 hour education requirement.‚ÄĚ For every hour that you are in a classroom environment and it deals with project management then you can claim one ‚ÄúContact‚ÄĚ hour.To calculate ‚Äúcontact‚ÄĚ hours all you must do is take the hours that you are in a classroom environment dealing with project management and subtract any time not devoted to project management from the time. ¬†This includes lunches, breaks, and time not devoted to an aspect of project management. ¬†For example, if you are in a twelve (12) week course that meet for three hours a week, and the course deals entirely with project management then you would receive 36 ‚ÄúContact‚ÄĚ hours. ¬†It does not matter where you have taken the course, just as long as the course is in a classroom environment and dealing with a project management topic.

 

Is it compulsory that one need to undergo a closed room, classroom session to gain the necessary contact hours?

 

The answer is ‚ÄėNo‚Äô.¬† As per the PMP credential hand book (freely downloadable from www.pmi.org ) , it is not necessary that one has to undergo a class room training for gaining the necessary contact hours (35) for applying for PMP credential examination.

 

The stipulation is that, one has to undergo a structured, instructor lead program. It can be a work shop, distance learning etc, but has to be instructor lead. Activities like reading books are not considered for awarding contact hours.

 

Should I take the 2004 test or should I wait for the 2005 test?

This depends on your current preparedness level. If you are already prepared for the 2004 test, I suggest you to go and take the 2004 test, before 24th September. For that you will have to apply before 29th August 2004. Two months is enough time to prepare and pass the exam.

If you are just starting your preparations, then my suggestion is to start the preparation with PMBOK third edition. What is the point in going with a knowledge base, which is being replaced with a fresh set immediately. There is not much of a difference in subject areas between PMBOK third edition and the earlier version, except that PMBOK third edition has more clarity and some more best practices are incorporated. Start your preparations, based on PMBOK third edition, by around 25th August 2005 take stock of your confidence level and if you are confident,  go ahead and apply for the 2004 test, before 29th August 2005 and take the test before 30th September.

In case you are not very confident about your preparedness for the exam by around 25th August 2005, don’t worry. Your preparation is not wasted, since it is based on the third edition. It is only a matter of some more preparation, before you attempt the 2005 examination.

 

If I take the PMP 2004 test and fail in it, will there be opportunities for re-take of PMP 2004 examination, or will I have to prepare for PMP 2005 for retakes?

Applications to take the current PMP examination (referred to as the ‚Äú2004 Examination‚ÄĚ for purposes of this communication) will be accepted until 29 August 2005. Candidates submitting applications after 29 August 2005 will take the 2005 Examination.Candidates who do not receive a passing score on the 2004 Examination will be permitted to re-take the 2004 examination for the period of one year from the date of their last attempt; these will be the only candidates permitted to take the 2004 Examination after the release of the 2005 Examination.

How much time did you spend for preparing for PMP examination?

80 to 90 hours, including 35 hours of  project management training


When will the revised examination (test 2005) come into effect?

Friday 30th September 2005. This will introduce several changes to the PMP exam format, testing policy and overall application process. All changes to the testing policy and overall application process will be effective from 30th August, 2005, which is precisely one month before the launch of the new examination. In a nutshell, the application processing steps will change from 30th August 2005 and the new exam will be launched on 30th September 2005.

Will there be any changes to the education and experience requirements for applying for PMP?

The change is only in the application format. One may have to provide more detailed information about their project experiences. Please note that, the hours required to meet the project management education and the project management experience requirements for the PMP will remain the same.

What are the main changes to the main application process?

PMI is strengthening the application process to build upon the credential’s rigor and make the process more customer-centric. Changes include:

  • A new and improved online application. To be released with the introduction of the new examination, this easy-to-use system will enable users to view their status throughout the credentialing process.

  • Collection of project contact information. Applicants will be required to provide contact information for each project that is submitted as part of the application. During the application evaluation review period and if an application is selected for audit, PMI will contact manager(s) indicated on the application to validate the documented experience.

  • Evaluation period. All applications submitted will go through an enhanced review process.

  • Instant audit notification. Applicants selected for audit will be notified electronically. Automated follow-up reminder notifications will be issued to candidates electronically throughout the audit process.

  • One-year eligibility period. All candidates will be given one year to take the examination. This one-year eligibility period begins when a candidate‚Äôs application is approved.

  • Limit on the number of times candidates will be permitted to test. Candidates will have three opportunities to take and pass the PMP examination within their one-year eligibility period. If candidates do not succeed on the third attempt, candidates will have to wait one year from their third unsuccessful attempt before being permitted to test again.

What is the format of the revised PMP examination?

The Revised PMP Credential Examination will Test Knowledge in the Following Six Domains
Initiating the Project……11%
Tasks

  • Conduct Project Selection Methods

  • Define Scope

  • Document Project Risks, Assumptions, and Constraints

  • Identify and Perform Stakeholder Analysis

  • Develop Project Charter

  • Obtain Project Charter Approval

Planning the Project……23%
Tasks

  • Define and Record Requirements, Constraints and Assumptions

  • Identify Project Team and Define Roles and Responsibilities

  • Create the WBS

  • Develop Change Management Plan

  • Identify Risks and Define Risk Strategies

  • Obtain Plan Approval

  • Conduct Kick-off Meeting

Executing the project ……27%

Tasks

  • Execute Tasks Defined in Project Plan

  • Ensure Common Understanding and Set Expectations

  • Implement the Procurement of Project Resources

  • Manage Resource Allocation

  • Implement Quality Management Plan

  • Implement Approved Changes

  • Implement Approved Actions and Workarounds

  • Improve Team Performance

Monitoring and Controlling the Project……21%
Tasks

  • Measure Project Performance

  • Verify and Manage Changes to the Project

  • Ensure Project Deliverables Conform to Quality Standards

  • Monitor all Risks

Closing the Project……9%
Tasks

  • Obtain Final Acceptance for the Project

  • Obtain Financial, Legal, and Administrative Closure

  • Release Project Resources

  • Identify, Document and Communicate Lessons Learned

  • Create and Distribute Final Project Report

  • Archive and Retain Project Records

  • Measure Customer Satisfaction

Professional and Social Responsibility……9%
Tasks

  • Ensure Individual Integrity

  • Contribute to the Project Management Knowledge Base

  • Enhance Personal Professional Competence

  • Promote Interaction Among Stakeholders

Total……100%

Is there any official  new examination guidelines released by PMI?

Project Management Professional (PMP¬ģ) Examination Specification, to be available for purchase at PMI‚Äôs Online Bookstore early 3rd Quarter 2005. This publication will detail how the updated PMP credential examination was built, and provide the most up-to-date global information on the maturity of the project management profession with respect to the credential.
 

What is the revised criteria for passing the new examination?

To pass the PMP examination, candidates must answer a minimum of 141 of the 175 scored questions correctly. It is possible to fail one or more of the Domains, yet still pass the exam (the chart above demonstrates the total percentage of what each domain is worth on the new examination). While attending the test, the candidate will have to take 200 questions out of which 25 questions will be in the beta stage, and will not be counted for pass/fail determination.

How much time PMI take to process applications?

Official announcement is 14 working days from the date of receipt of application. Actuallt it works much faster than that, if it is an online application.

Are there any concessions for PMI members for appearing for PMP credential?

Memebers need to pay only USD 405 where as non members pay USD 555. The difference is almost same as the membership fees for a year and along with the membership, you get access to PMI‚Äôs site covering the ‚Äėwisdom centre‚Äô. If you are a member, you will receive additional monthly publications from PMI, which are of real value and depicts the latest in project management. Members get additional discounts at PMI events. The smartest thing is to get the membership, before applying for PMP.


From where can I get additional information on the PMP examination?

email your queries to pmpquestions@pmi.org

for expert guidance email  abrachan@pmriglobal.com

 

 

 

 PMPDISTILLED РArchtected by me

What is the focus of the three modules of PMPdistilled?

The PMPessentials module is focused at imparting the basic project management fundamentals knowledge online. The PMPface2face module’s focus is in imparting the core project management focus by taking the participant through the project management life cycles of  initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and control and close out. The PMPexam readiness modules prepares the candidate for the real exam by making him/her take knowledge area wise tests and the PMP simulation tests.

How are the contact hours distributed?

Upon successful completion of the PMPessentials module, the candidates are awarded two contact hours credit. On successful completion of the PMPface2face module the candidates are awarded 24 contact hours credit and upon successful completion of the PMP exam readiness module, the candidates are awarded with 12 contact hours credit. 

What is the successful completion criteria of PMP exam readiness module?

For all knowledge area wise tests and the PMP simulation test, the candidate will have to score 80% atleast once. Candidates are allowed to take these tests multiple times, and this module is available to them for 3 months from the first transaction.

Every knowledge area is supported by online lectures and reference material.

On which version of PMBOK is PMPdistilled based?

PMBOK third edition

Is it delivered by PMPs?

All our instructors are PMPs and have atleast eight year’s experience in the industry.

You can contact me by submitting your message in the following form;

Frog’s story and the stepping stones

During one of my project management workshops, one person came to me and said ‘I am not happy with my present employer, they are not appreciating my work. I am looking for¬† a change and need your advise’.¬† This was not the first time I am hearing this, and I am sure that this will not be the last time I am hearing this.

This gentle man worked in just one company for almost 15 years. He does not have a reading habit. He does not have a role model. His ambitions are very small – it is just the next promotion, thats it. He is just banking on his technical knowledge which is a decade old ( he is not aware of it). He is just undergoing the frog’s syndrome.

The BCG matrix is a framework by Boston Consulting Group for product portfolio management, which can be used for skills portfolio management.  Based on this framework, our skills can be classified into four groups;

  1. Cows  РThese are the skills, which are helping us to get our salaries, the major chunk of our income comes from these skillsets. For a programmer it can be Java, for a doctor it can be surgery etc. We have spent enough time, energy and money to acquire these skills, and now they are helping us to reap the benefits.
  2. Dogs¬† – ¬†These are the skillsets, which are getting obsolete now. They were oue cows yesterday, and today they are no more cows. They are just fading away. They are no more in demand. It is difficult to acknowledge these facts becuase we have spent enough to acquire them, and they were feeding us for years together, and we are much comfortable in living in our comfort zones. Acknowledging an yesterday’s cow as today’s dog is painful and at the same time it is a reality.
  3. Question marks – These may be the skillsets in demand tomorrow and at the same time need devotion of time, energy and money to acquire them, and the same time, there is risk associated with these. It is a gamble as no one is sure of the future of these skill sets.¬† I am hearing lot about AJAX, and yet dont know about it’s demand tomorrow. Same with¬† nano.
  4. Stars – These are the emerging ones. They are slowly but surely getting into demand. They are sure bets and are bound to be tomorrow’s cash cows. You cannot miss them

As smart professionals, we need to have skillsets falling into these 4 quadrants of  star, cow, dog and question marks. With this kind of a skills portfolio management, you will be in demand till your learnability is intact. 

Then what do we do, when learning new things is not as easy as before and some times, you need lot of uniterrupted free time and freedom to create that masterpiece, which you always cherished.  

Here the ESBI strategy from the Rich Dad, Poor dad is a good bet.  We all generate our income from E-Employment, S-Self emlpoyment, B-Business and I-Investment. Rich people make 70% of their income from Business and Investments, where as only 30 % of their income come from employment, and the vice versa is true for the middle class.  So while creating those skill sets, it will not be a bad idea if we learn on how to make money from business and investments also, so that we will have enough money and time to do what we really want to do.

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