Monday, February 23, 2009

PMP Preparation

Well I am two weeks out from my PMP test date, and have been struck by a few things in particular as I go thru the PMBOK Guide in detail.

First, it is dry and boring. I guess that is why there are so many prep books and courses out there. I highly recommend either buying one, or for the cost conscious, check one out from your local library. That's what I did, to include checking out the PMBOK guide. While I did get a free copy with my PMI membership, I just find I can't study from a PDF document. However, since there is a new PMBOK Guide out I didn't want to make the purchase of the soon to be obsolete version. The other resource I have discovered is the PM PrepCast. I found this doing a simple search on iTunes, and what a deal it is for the money! For under $199 you get 184 podcasts that you can take with you on your commute, on a run, to the gym, beach, back porch, wherever! I used this to reinforce the reading I had done on a chapter by chapter basis. The host also gives many test taking tips with each lesson. So, at this point I recommend a prep book of your liking and the PM PrepCast, we'll see if I pass though.

Second, there is a lot of process and documentation (and hence a lot of work) involved in implementing the processes described. One of my criticisms of the PMBOK Guide is that it encourages the creation of process and documentation bloat over project execution. PMs could spend a significant amount of project budget just trying to implement all the processes. Now, technically, the PMBOK Guide accounts for this in the tailoring concept, whereby the PM is supposed decide which processes to use and which to keep. However, that idea is simply not stressed enough. In my experience, which is just that my experience doing IT project delivery, PMPs tend to overdue it and the project costs the client more in the end than need be, and the decision making cycle is much longer. Disagree?, let me know, as I am heading down the PMP path, I'd love to hear from others regarding their experiences with this.

Lastly, I continue to have a nagging feeling that the PMP is really just a scheme to rake in fees for PDUs. It seems to me that the cost for a lot of PDU-earning activities is high, and that the primary beneficiaries of the PMP is all the consulting and education providers who help PMPs earn and keep their certification. I'll surely write more on this once I am in the re-certification stage.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why blog on Project Management?

A blog on Project Management, what could be more boring!

Well yes, that may be true, but what I hope to accomplish with this blog is to share real stories of project management with my peers, who can hopefully learn from my successes and especially from my mistakes. I have found that while there is a lot of dry literature out there on project management methodology, there is not a lot written about real application of project management principles. And while there are many people who can recite the PMBOK, they have real trouble driving projects to on-time on-budget delivery. So, hopefully, we will talk about that.

I myself am studying for the PMP after putting it off for many a year, so provided I do indeed pass, I will share some study tips.

Lastly I hope to make my readers laugh from now and then, and I also plan on hitting leadership topics hard as I believe that is what makes a great PM.