8Fifteen PMP Study Group

Members of the Silicon Valley PMI Women Project Manager's Group who gather together to study for the PMP certifcation. Our goal is to finish the exam by the end of October 2004. The group was named after the date of our first meeting at the Bean Scene in Sunnyvale. Regular meeting is 9 am Sunday at Starbucks at the corner of Mathilda and El Camino in Sunnyvale. Last meeting held October 17th at Santa Clara Library.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Start Using PMP

I'm very happy to find out today that I can start using PMP on my resume right away. I thought I'd have to wait until I got the official certificate.

Quote from the PMI website:

After you pass the exam, you may immediately use the credential in your name (for example, Jane Doe, PMP). Your test results are sent to PMI and a certificate is sent to you.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Debra's 10-23 Post Test Brain Dump

I'm happy to announce that as of Friday, October 22nd Debra Evans passed the Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) certification test. Woo Hoo! I didn't score as highly as I wanted, but I PASSED.

Thanks to Raj Ganesan and others for their support and help over my ordeal that began earlier in summer 2004.

Below is some of my advice to Raj regarding her last 3 weeks plus of studying:
  • The last few weeks, concentrate on taking the assessment tests over and over.
    - Mainly to get used to getting through 200 questions in 4 hours
    - Helps you know what to concentrate on for the last hours before the test
  • I went through the test the first time in about 2 hours
    - 3rd hour spent going through the questions I skipped or marked to go back to
    - 4th hour spent going through the whole test again from beginning to end
  • The test seemed to be a combination of materials from sources other than just the PMBOK
    - PMStudy, http://www.pmstudy.com/
    Kim Heldman's PMP: Project Management Professional Study Guide, 2nd Edition
    - Rita Mulcahy's PM FASTrack: PMP Exam Simulation Software, Version 4.3
    (check my eBay auction to see if mine's still available)

    - University of California, Santa Cruz extension, Project and Program Management certification classes
  • Don't neglect the ITTOs (inputs, tools and techniques and outputs) since there are literally thousands of variations they can ask you about
  • There was quite a few questions on content not in the PMBOK but in the study guides.
    - That's why it's important to get study materials and not just memorize the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
  • Take a trip to the testing facility, Prometric, in advance to get a "lay of the land" if you get nervous about such things.
    - You can get facility information when you sign up for the test.
    - Bring two picture IDs and your letter that confirms you can take the test.


Sunday, October 17, 2004

10-17 Study Group Meeting

We had our second and last study group at the Santa Clara library. Debra's scheduled to take the PMP Certification test on Friday, October 22nd first thing in the morning. So we met and exchanged the last study materials as well as go through a couple assessment tests. Luckily we scored a study room, at least part of the time. This was a good thing because a student with a VERY annoying voice who couldn't whisper to save her life, sat near us with her study group.

Covered Today:
Assessment Tests

Main Learning Points
  • What we know and what we need to study more

Sunday, October 10, 2004

10-10 Study Group Meeting

We had our first study group at the Santa Clara library. It's a beautiful library, but we were too late to get a study room. Raj shared more insights from the PMPCert Yahoo Group. The best advice was how helpful PMStudy is for test preparation. Many posters to the group said that the website's assessment tests are very close to the PMP Certification test. Raj said that she plans to take the test on Monday, November 15th.

The last study group meeting scheduled Sunday, October 17th at 1 pm. We'll meet at the Santa Clara Library where they have study rooms and internet connections.

Covered Today:
Assessment Tests

Main Learning Points
  • What we know and what we need to study more

To Be Covered Sunday:
Assessment Tests

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Knowledge Areas and Processes Mnemonics

Raj found these memorization aids amusing and helpful to remember the knowledge areas and processes. Advice from PMP cert group:

  • It is helpful to do a brain dump of the knowledge areas, processes (core/facilitating) and formulae onto paper before the exam starts.
  • Everyone stresses ITTO - inputs outputs tools and techniques - apparently there are at least 15 - 20 questions about these.

Knowledge Areas:
I Stir The Chicken Quickly or Help Clean Ruined Pans
Integration, Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Human Resources, Communication, Risk, Procurement

Integration Processes: (naughty integration)
Peter & Paul Do Peggy & Patty Even In Catholic Church
Project Plan Development, Project Plan Execution, Integration Change Control

Scope Processes: (whats the scope of this garden?)
Should I Plant Daisies in Very Close Clumps?

Scope Initiation, Planning, Definition, Verification, Change Control

Time Processes: (as in very good time)
Ann Does Sam Does Sam Does Sam Collapses
Activity Definition, Sequencing, Duration, Schedule Definition, Schedule Control

Cost Processes: (one way to recoup your costs)
Ralph Proposed Choking Every Bad Client
Resource Planning, Cost Estimating, Budgeting, Control

Quality: (for good quality quilts)
Quilters Piece All Cottons
Quality Planning, Assurance, Control

Human Resource: (a note to the Human Resource department about my check)
Oh Pay Salary All Times Double
Organizational Planning, Staff Acquisition, Team Development

Communications: (one way to communicate your intentions)
Call Paul In Doors Practice Rub And Cuddle
Communications Planning, Information Distribution, Performance Reporting, Administrative Closure

Risk: (a risk for every quilter)
Mary Put In 2 Quilt Activities Ruining Perfectly Managed Cleanup
Management Planning, Identification, Qualitative Analysis, Quantitative Analysis, Response Planning, Monitoring and Control

Procurement: (a woman’ procurement process)
Pay Patty. She Purchases Self Something So Cute After Cooking & Cleaning
Procurement Planning, Solicitation Planning, Solicitation, Source Selection, Contract
Administration, Contract Closeout

Monday, October 04, 2004

Remembering Earned Value Formulae

Here is a way to remember at least 4 of the formulae.

Step 1
Write down each value (Cost Variance, Schedule Variance,

Cost Performance Index, Schedule Performance Index)

  • CV
  • SV
  • CPI
  • SPI
Step 2
Fill in the equal sign and EV

  • CV=EV
  • SV=EV
  • CPI=EV
  • SPI=EV

Step 3
Fill in the operands.  Two minus (-) and two divide (/)

  • CV=EV-
  • SV=EV-
  • CPI=EV/
  • SPI=EV/

Step 4
Fill in the last variable.  AC-PV-AC-PV

  • CV=EV-AC
  • SV=EV-PV
Hope this helps,


Sunday, October 03, 2004

10-3 Study Group Meeting

We finished going through the Kim Heldman's PMP Project Management Professional Study Guide. Raj found out that her application to take the PMP certification test. So we are both on track to take the test by the end of October as originally planned.

The next meeting scheduled to be Sunday, October 10th at 2 pm. We'll meet at the Santa Clara Library where they have study rooms and internet connections.

Covered Today:
Heldman Chapter 11: Closing out the Project
PMBOK Chapter 10.4 Administrative Closure
PMBOK Chapter 12.6 Contract Closeout

Main Learning Points
  • Name the purpose of the Closing process
  • Describe product verification
  • Name primary activity of Closing process
  • Describe when Administrative Closure is performed
  • Define the purpose for lessons learned
Heldman Chapter 12: Professional Responsibility
Only in study guide. No corresponding PMBOK chapters.

Main Learning Points
  • Define integrity
  • Name the ethical standard PMPs are required to adhere
  • Describe the areas in which PMPs must apply professional knowledge
  • Name the key activity that ensures customer satisfaction
  • Define how multinational project managers must manage relationships

To Be Covered Sunday:
Assessment Tests

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