That's unfortunate to say, but, as a PM, I usually come to face situations where the project has fallen behind schedule. Most of the time, the reasons are cumulative small "leakages" which combine themselves to create chaos: few delays in delivery from developers, one team member who gets sick for a couple of days, a purchase order which comes late...
Now having passed the PMP exam on mid-January 2014, I want to share my experience on exam preparation.
First of all, you've got to know that I'm not the kind of person who's able to memorize tons of things by heart. However, knowing the 47 processes described in the PMBoK and their respective process groups and knowledge areas is mandatory as a starting point. You've also have to know how they're tied to each others.
Here are some advices from what I found useful during preparation phase.
During my preparation phase to take the exam in early 2014, I came to revisit the Quality Management Knowledge Area.
It has always been a bit tricky for me as in software development world:
often calls product-related part of Quality Control "Testing", "Tests execution" and all of the related terms "Integration Testing", "Functional Testing"...
often confuse by calling these test phases QA which stands for Quality Assurance, which is absolutely not the case...
That being said, I went through several questions related to quality processes and did had a good hit ratio. Although I knew the issue, I still had trouble to figure out in which process which activities were conducted.
And, I finally understood clearly by reading the Mulcahy section on Quality Management Knowledge Area:
Plan Quality Management focuses on defining quality for the project and indentifying how it will be achieved. Perform Quality Assurance is an exeucting process, so its focus is on the work being done in the project; its purpose is to ensure the team is following the processes as planned to produce the project's deliverables. In contrast, Control Quality (a Monitoring & Control process) examines the actual deliverables produced on the project; its purpose is to ensure the deliverables are correct and that they meet the planned level of qualityRita Mulcahy
Equiped with these summary definition, it seems a bit clearer. But the last thing to remember is that there are project management processes as well as product related processes and procedures... Quality Management addresses both !
I'm currently training to PMP certification, rehearsing processes, knowledge areas, phases, and linking back to my previous experiences as project manager on different kind of projects (size, location, subcontractors...). I found interesting to share with those who hesitate 5 reasons to get PMP certified.
Conference animated by Frédéric TOUVARD, professor at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, founder of Centaury, a consulting firm specialized in innovation and coaching.
The traditional management models often imposes a heavy burden on the project manager: he's got to define objectives, push hard, argue, justify, deal with resistance, explaining why changes occurs and convince them of the accuracy of new orientations. Yet there is another way which is far more exciting: an approach where all team members take ownership of the project and take the lead.
Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 06:00 pm
IAE de Grenoble 525, avenue Centrale Domaine Universitaire 38400 Saint-Martin-D'Hères Amphi A
About undermining your project plan in order to lower costs and win a deal...
Although it may be tempting to adopt a “safe so far” attitude and hope for the miracle that would allow project delivery consistent with the flawed contract, delay will nearly always make things worse.~ Tom Kendrick
Don't do that ! Your last chance is to negotiate a couple of days/weeks before project's start-up. Otherwise, you're doomed...
If you were collecting specifications for a project deliverable from people sitting on a river bank washing their clothes with two large stones, their requirements would probably involve developing lighter rocks. The concept of a washing machine might not occur to them if the technology is not part of their experience.~ Tom Kendrick
We, as PM knowing underlying technologies used in projects, are in excellent position to counsel our customers on HOW the project outcome could help them focusing on their business. This however requires 2 conditions:
Your customer shall trust you and your organization
You shall be specialized enough to understand your customer's business
To provide your customers with more value, then build trust and delve into details of the sectors you address !