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Myths and Facts on PMI-ACP Examination (Part 2)

Myths and Facts on PMI-ACP Examination (Part 2)
By Satya Narayan Dash

This is in continuation with the previous post Myths and Facts on PMI-ACP Examination (Part 1).

My previous post generated a few comments. First of all, thank you everyone for reading and commenting. Having said that, let me get a couple of facts straight. This is based on my personal experience and talking with fellow colleagues who have passed the exam. Your own personal experience may vary. For example, let us consider “PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct“, I did not see any question in the exam on it. But, does that mean it has no chance of coming in exam? No, certainly not. Because “Professional Ethics” is one important aspect and also one of the Knowledge & Skills defined at Level – 2.

Another aspect is – strengthening the inner voice to build the necessary confidence. Read the Complete Article

Myths and Facts on PMI-ACP Examination (Part 1)

Myths and Facts on PMI-ACP Examination (Part 1)
By Satya Narayan Dash

As per PMI, Agile Certified Practitioner Certification (ACP) credential – the new kid on the certification block – is one of the fastest growing certifications, beating even some of the old war horses. That is expected to happen as cycles of development and delivery, especially in software world, continue to get shorter. In early last decade, I have seen development cycles running close to 2 years and delivery happened once in six months. That is history now in most cases. Agile is a sound fit when it comes to short iterative and incremental development with huge churn in requirements. Also PMI, which is an eight hundred pound gorilla in project management and project management certification space, continues to focus on PMI-ACP examination. Over the years, the value of this program is going to increase exponentially.

However, with as the new certification program gains ground, various theories have come up on the PMI-ACP exam. Read the Complete Article

Agile Is About Adaptive Actions, Not Corrective Actions or Preventive Actions

Agile Is About Adaptive Actions, Not Corrective Actions or Preventive Actions
By Satya Narayan Dash

PMBOK incorporates many standards, terms and terminologies from a whole gamut of other standards, for example some from the Good Manufacturing Practice (or GMP). Corrective Action and Preventive Action (or CAPA) are terms from GMP specifically. CAPA concepts are improvements to process taken to eliminate causes of non-conformities.

PMBOK: Corrective Action

So, what does PMI say of Corrective Action in PMBOK guide in its 5th edition?

“Corrective Action is an intentional activity that re-aligns the performance of the project work with the project management plan.”

This term is applicable in a highly plan driven environment and above all where one thinks plans are correct. The phrase, “Corrective Action”, implies that project team has made an error and underperformed. Also, it is evidently based on assumption that the plan is correct and the actual performance is lacking. Read the Complete Article

PMP Certification and Maintenance: A Truly Cost Effective Way

PMP Certification and Maintenance: A Truly Cost Effective Way
By Satya Narayan Dash

I was certified as a PMP years back when I was already into a management role and still continuing the certification for another 3 years from this year onwards. Like everything in this world, there will be proponents and opponents for PMP certifications. I had clarified on PMP Myths and Facts long back on it and would suggest that you read that article on PMHUT, before proceeding.

I have heard many times people telling that PMP examination is very expensive and costs come around $40,000 to $50,000 over a career of 30 or 40 years – all cost noted in US Dollars. Hard truth be told, it is another big myth which will pull you out from knowing some truly outstanding practices from the PMBOK. Having said that, PMP is NOT for people who have already made up their mind against it – out of lethargy or bureaucracy or sense of too late into the game. Read the Complete Article

A Practical Perspective of WBS via PMP and MS Project 2007 – Part II

A Practical Perspective of WBS via PMP and MS Project 2007 – Part II (#2 in the series A Practical Perspective of WBS via PMP and MS Project 2007)
By Satya Narayan Dash

In this part, we will see how we will implement our understanding on WBS from PMBOK/PMP using MS Project. There are differences between terms and terminologies between MS Project 2007(MSP) and the PMBOK. However, the concept remains the same.

A Comparative Perspective between PMBOK and MS Project

1. Project (PMBOK) Vs Project Summary Task (MSP)

“Project” is at the highest level when a WBS is created in the “Create WBS” KAP of Scope Management KA, which can be further broken down into phases, deliverables or phases. It is considered to be at Level-0 in the WBS.

Similarly in MSP, it is known as “Project Summary Task” and it can be viewed by selecting the “Show Project Summary Task” in the View tab of Tools -> Options menu. Read the Complete Article

Key Steps to Starting a Project

Key Steps to Starting a Project
By Satya Narayan Dash

A project is at a greater risk of failing when it begins. Also, most of the time a project fails later because it was not well-planned earlier. A project initiation or start-off is an indispensable exercise which must go in for every project.

The first things which will hit you will, why instantiate a project. The answers are natural like knowing the outcome, who will be the team members, when you are going to complete, the project, etc… Beyond that it serves the following key areas:

  • You a get a signed off project charter as a project charter authorizes a project
  • You get to know all the stakeholders as any stakeholder who can derail the project
  • Roles and responsibilities are highlighted.
  • The outcome of the Project as a project is undertaken due a market demand, technical changes, competition etc. You need to know the outcome of the project
  • You get commitment about the resources
  • You get commitment about the initial timeline or estimate
  • You get commitment about the initial cost or budget

Now coming to the main point, how will you start off a project? Read the Complete Article

A Practical Perspective of WBS via PMP and MS Project 2007 – Part I

A Practical Perspective of WBS via PMP and MS Project 2007 – Part I (#1 in the series A Practical Perspective of WBS via PMP and MS Project 2007)
By Satya Narayan Dash

WBS is a very simple and straightforward way for estimation. It is also the recommended estimation technique during the scoping phase. In this article, we will understand the basics in WBS estimation technique as defined by PMP and practically implement it through MS Project 2007.

What is it?

As the name suggest it is the breakdown of the work to be performed or the deliverables. In PMI terminology, it is known as the work packages. Normally “decomposition” technique is used to get the WBS. However, in real world, templates and forms are taken up most of the time.

To have the WBS, you must have the Project Scope Statement. The scope statement is the collection of project requirements with the acceptance criteria. Read the Complete Article

Nine Myths and Facts on PMI-PMP Examination

Nine Myths and Facts on PMI-PMP Examination
By Satya Narayan Dash

There are a number of Myths on PMP Examination like – 35 hour contact program can only be provided by Registered Education Providers, it is very theoretical, etc. However, they are not true.

Some of the most known Myths are listed here.

Myth -1: Only a R.E.P (Registered Education Provider) can provide 35 hour mandatory contact program

Fact: No, there are a lot of alternatives on getting the 35 contact hours.

The 35 hour mandatory contact program can be from one or more of the following types:

  • Courses or programs offered by PMI Registered Education Providers (REP)
  • University / College academic and continuing education programs
  • Courses or programs offered by training companies or consultants
  • Courses or programs offered by PMI Component organizations
  • Courses or programs offered by employer / company-sponsored programs
  • Courses or programs offered by distance-learning companies, including an end of course assessment

Hence, one doesn’t need to be an R.E.P to provide PMP training. Read the Complete Article

Surviving Organizational Politics – Part I

Surviving Organizational Politics – Part I (#1 in the series Surviving Organizational Politics)
By Satya Narayan Dash

First of all Politics is Not a Bad Word. Live with it. In fact, it is evil only when it is played in a dirty way and when it does not serve the project concerned nor add up to the final organizational goal. Otherwise, it is an integral part of any project environment.

As Aristotle put it once: “Man is a political being”

I was never at it as my belief was – technocrats with project management capabilities will always prevail over the bureaucrats. Also, naively, I was always thinking it is unnecessary and it is done by weak minded and evil people. However, it is not always played in an evil way, though there are chances that you might end up in an organization like that, which is of course the worst case scenario. Read the Complete Article

Percentage of Completion – Is It Meaningful?

Percentage of Completion – Is It Meaningful?
By Satya Narayan Dash

In many companies, normally Managers report with percentage (%) of completion for the deliverables in a project. Is it meaningful? Does it really convey what has been accomplished?

As a matter of fact, it does not convey the reality of the project. Also, in the current economic environment, when every penny is important for a company and its customers, appropriate data tracking and reporting are gaining importance.

Note: Though the following discussion is done by keeping a Software Development Project in mind, the principles are applicable in many project development environments.

Now, let us check the theory of percentage of completion.

Why is it Meaningless?

Reason – 1:

First a question – what does it mean when a team member says that his/her work is 90% complete?

Does it mean that his/her coding is 90% complete or his/her unit testing is 90% complete or (s)he was waiting for someone’s approval and that is 90% complete? Read the Complete Article

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