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Scope Management Does Not Mean Scope Stoppage

Scope Management Does Not Mean Scope Stoppage
By Vicki Wrona, PMP – Global Knowledge Instructor

I would like to address what seems to be a common misunderstanding regarding the term “scope creep.”

I read a recent question posted by a LinkedIn colleague titled “Why do so many project managers think scope management means scope oppression?” I like the question this post raises. I agree with the premise of her post, which is that we need to anticipate and expect change, and while it is our job as PMs to have a recommendation regarding the requested scope change, it is management who ultimately decides if the time and cost impact is worth taking to make the requested change to scope.

However, I disagree with one point made. This may be an issue of semantics, but I want to make sure we are all on the same page. The author says that “scope control has been described (incorrectly) by some PMs as ‘eliminate scope creep’.” Given the agreement from the responses she received, this seems to be a commonly misunderstood concept. Read the Complete Article

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Implementing Formal Project Management Processes: 9 Lessons Learned

Implementing Formal Project Management Processes: 9 Lessons Learned
By Vicki Wrona, PMP – Global Knowledge Instructor

Introduction
For many years I had the pleasure of working for a Fortune 150 firm with sophisticated, Project Management Institute (PMI)-based project management (PM) principles. While I am not aware of any formal assessment or testing done, it was considered a Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Level 3 organization. After working in this environment for nine years, I left this job to become an independent, PM consultant. Having practiced formal PMI-based principles in a supportive cultural environment for many years, I encountered a few surprises when I began consulting for organizations where no formal PM principles were in place. Applying structure to once ad-hoc processes can be a challenging, but rewarding, venture. This paper will discuss the nine lessons learned from my experiences:

  1. Examine the political landscape
  2. Identify all stakeholders—friend and foe
  3. Anticipate the time it will take to educate stakeholders
  4. Take baby steps
  5. Demonstrate the benefits of PM early on with small changes
  6. Provide stricter assessment of inputs and estimates
  7. Increase the level of communication
  8. Understand the stakeholders’ lack of access to, and understanding of, tools
  9. Understand team members’ work focus regarding productive work vs.
Read the Complete Article

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part VII – Exam-Taking Tips

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part VII – Exam-Taking Tips (#7 in the series Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam)
By Vicki Wrona, PMP – Global Knowledge Instructor

Exam-Taking Tips: Stress-Enhancers and Possible Fixes

Clock Ticking – This is not referring to a physical clock ticking on the wall (although there may be one), but rather to a clock on the PC screen that is ticking down the time spent and time remaining on the exam. While it helps you pace yourself during the exam, it can also add stress if you fall behind on time. Be aware of this. Pacing yourself is very important. To ensure you do not fall behind on time, work through the questions fairly quickly, but do not read the questions or answers too quickly and miss the finer points. Use the clock as much as you need to gauge your progress, but do not dwell on it unnecessarily. Read the Complete Article

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part VI – Types of Questions

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part VI – Types of Questions (#6 in the series Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam)
By Vicki Wrona, PMP – Global Knowledge Instructor

Types of Questions

There are a number of different types of questions on the exam, and they fall into the following broad categories:
Situational – Analyze the situation described in the question and choose the most correct answer by using knowledge, experience, and judgment.

  • Mathematical – Approximately 8 to 10 formula-related questions will be on the exam.
  • Recall – Fairly short, often easier, questions that test memory or knowledge.
  • Diagram – Either draw a network diagram or interpret drawn-out graphs or diagrams to determine the correctanswer. It is possible that more than one question may use the same diagram, so save yourself some time by checking diagrams you have previously drawn to see if they can be re-used on a current question.
Read the Complete Article

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part V – Overview of Exam Questions

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part V – Overview of Exam Questions (#5 in the series Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam)
By Vicki Wrona, PMP – Global Knowledge Instructor

Overview of Exam Questions

The format of the test is multiple-choice, with four (4) answer choices per question. The questions come from the following Process Groups plus Professional Responsibility:

PMP ?s PMP % CAPM ?s CAPM %
Project Initiation 23 11.6% 14 9.3%
Project Planning 45 22.7% 33 22.0%
Project Execution 55 27.5% 40 26.7%
Project Monitoring 42 21.0% 32 21.3%
Project Closing 17 8.6% 14 9.3%
Professional and Social Responsibility 17 8.6% 17 11.3%
Total 200 100% 150 100%
Passing 106 of 175 60.5% 86 of 150 57%
Time Limit 4 Hours 3 Hours

The PMP exam is psychometric in that it applies knowledge, application, and analysis, including situational questions. Read the Complete Article

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part IV – CAPM Exam Requirements

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part IV – CAPM Exam Requirements (#4 in the series Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam)
By Vicki Wrona, PMP – Global Knowledge Instructor

The requirements to take the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exam are listed in the CAPM Handbook located on PMI’s website. The CAPM certification is a newer certification; currently, approximately 1,500 people have attained the CAPM certification (as of October 2006). It is designed for practitioners who do not have enough PM work experience to meet the PMP qualifications, yet still allows them to obtain some sort of certification while they are gaining the necessary experience.

Applicants with a high school diploma or equivalent must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum 1,500 hours of work on a project team

OR

  • Minimum 23 contact hours of PM instruction

As with the PMP process, once your application has been approved, PMI will send an authorization letter, allowing you to schedule your exam. Read the Complete Article

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part III – PMP Application

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part III – PMP Application (#3 in the series Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam)
By Vicki Wrona, PMP – Global Knowledge Instructor

Documenting your personal PM experience will be the most difficult part of the application process. PMI
requires the following information for each project:

  • Project name
  • Date range
  • Your role on the project
  • Your job title
  • Organization name and address
  • Contact information of a reference who can verify work experience
  • Total hours spent on the project
  • Hours Spent in the following:
  • Initiating
    • Conduct project selection methods
    • Identify key stakeholders
    • Define scope
    • Develop, review, and approve project charter
    • Identify and document risks, assumptions, constraints
  • Planning
    • Define roles and responsibilities
    • Create work breakdown structure
    • Define risk strategies
    • Obtain project plan approval
    • Define detailed project requirements
    • Develop change management plan
  • Executing
    • Manage resource allocation
    • Execute tasks
    • Set expectations
    • Improve team performance
    • Implement quality management plan
    • Implement approved changes
    • Obtain project resources
    • Implement approved actions and workarounds
  • Monitoring and Controlling
    • Measure project performance
    • Verify and manage changes
    • Monitor status of risks
    • Ensure deliverables conform to quality standards
  • Closing
    • Obtain formal project acceptance
    • Perform lessons learned
    • Archive project records
    • Obtain project closure
    • Release resources and provide performance feedback
    • Distribute final project report
    • Measure customer satisfaction of the project
  • Summarization of project tasks led and deliverables managed by process group
    This information is found on pages 4 and 5 of the PMP Credential Application.
Read the Complete Article

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part II – PMP Exam Requirements

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part II – PMP Exam Requirements (#2 in the series Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam)
By Vicki Wrona, PMP – Global Knowledge Instructor

PMP Exam Requirements

While the requirements necessary to be eligible to take the PMP exam are listed on PMI’s website, they are also covered here to provide all the pertinent information condensed and in one place. This site provides a PDF of the PMP Handbook, which contains the requirements to qualify to take the PMP exam and the application form. Even if you intend to submit your application on-line, which is the preferred method, I suggest using the paper form to compile and organize the information beforehand. Once it is compiled, actual entry of the information goes very quickly. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree or global equivalent must meet the following requirements (a masters degree or higher does not decrease the following requirements):

  • Minimum 4,500 hours PM experience
  • Minimum 36 months PM experience within the prior 72 months
  • Minimum 35 contact hours of PM instruction

Applicants who do not have a bachelor’s degree, but instead have a high school diploma, associate’s degree, or global equivalent, must meet the following requirements (notice the only real change is to increase the PM experience needed and, of course, the time allowed to get that experience):

  • Minimum 7,500 hours PM experience
  • Minimum 60 months PM experience within the prior 96 months
  • Minimum 35 contact hours of PM instruction

Contact hours can be obtained through a university or college, by a course offered by a PMI-recognized Registered Education Provider (REP) such as Global Knowledge, by employee-sponsored classes, or by a training company or consultant. Read the Complete Article

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part I – Introduction

Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part I – Introduction (#1 in the series Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam)
By Vicki Wrona, PMP – Global Knowledge Instructor

Introduction

The Project Management Institute’s (PMI)® Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is hot right now, and the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is growing in popularity as well. With just over 212,000 Project Managers worldwide (as of October 2006) having received the prestigious PMP certification, the field is growing. The number of Project Managers getting certified is growing every year, as more companies than ever are requesting, and in some cases requiring, their Project Managers to become certified. With the current economic environment, certification helps Project Managers differentiate themselves from their co-workers or other job applicants. Having a certification also lends credibility to the Project Manager, ensuring the client or organization that the fundamentals of successful project management are understood. Read the Complete Article

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