Monday, November 21, 2016

PMP Success Story: Don't Delay, Read PMBOK Thoroughly, and Get Your Certification as Early as Possible

By Divakar Eshwarappa, PMP

My Preparation for the PMP exam started six months before the date of exam. I had completed the training many months before:). The general recommendation is to take up the exam within 3 months after your preparation training. I had no way to take it before this date, due to hectic office work. So, had to wait to schedule my exam date.

PMP Coaching Experience
Sometime in May 2016, the first thing I did was to go through Satya's notes & Videos and materials to recap the initial learnings. I was able to recollect many PMP concepts as explained by him in the class. 

Satya is power house of knowledge when it comes to PMP. I had lost in touch with him after training. But kept receiving his mails on numerous write-up I was able to go through.

Own Study
I had read half of Head First PMP before taking the training. I took up this book next and started reading. As my office work was hectic, I could only study during weekends. Family with two kids, functions, festivals were all blockers for studies. I had a tough time balancing the study, work and family.

Meanwhile in July, I fell ill with Dengue fever and was completely hospitalised. I lost so much of time in recovering the health and that was very important.

When the month of August started, I was much better and was lucky to get my hands on Rita Mulcahy's PMP Prep book. The first couple of chapters was total bouncers. Her explanation of project management is at a different level. I could now recollect many points which we went through in Satya’s training when I correlated. I spent couple of hours after office hours every day to complete the book.

The month of August 2016 ended, but I had still had not booked the exam date, and had not read PMBOK® guide (highly recommended that you read multiple times) completely. Neither, I had practised 4-hour full length mock up tests. 

So, I started counting the available weekends and festival holidays and planned my remaining studies. I came across site, which is very useful for mock tests and would recommend it for everyone. They give unlimited online mock-up test for free. The paid version has much more questions to offer.

In September, I got a remainder from PMI® to schedule the exam date or loose the one year timeframe / validity period to complete the exam. I used weekends to practise the full-length paper. I would start my day at 5AM in the morning and start studying. This gave me some confidence and hopes of passing :). 

Mock tests, that I took:
  1. Exam Central full length prep question
  2. Oliver Lehmann online questions
  3. Head First PMP’s 200 questions 
  4. Rita Mulcahy Book's questions

PMP Exam Experience
By end of September, I finally booked the exam dates for a morning slot. The D-day was set for 2nd November, 2016. 

I spent whole of October reading the PMBOK guide and relating all the topics read so far in various books, all the question taken so far along with practising mock tests.

Exam Day: With my preparation, by the D’day of 2nd November, I had good confidence and by God’s grace was able to clear the exam. It was a long journey for me. But, I do believe it was all worth the effort. 

Thanks to: 
 - Satya, for initial foundation through the training.
- for the free mock-up tests.
 - My Family (for supporting me a lot and unlimited supply of Tea :))

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  1. If you want to be an PMP, please take up certification as early as possible in your life and as soon as you are eligible. In later years, it will be very difficult.
  2. Spend more time in understanding the concepts or ideas behind the process groups or knowledge Areas.
  3. Taking mock up tests is a MUST, but just DO NOT go after every website or apps out there. They can be misleading.
  4. PMBOK Guide - Must read and read as many times as you need to.

Brief Profile

Divakar Eshwarappa, Project Manager, Wipro Technologies 

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Book Available for RMP Exam Prep: "I Want To Be A RMP"

[NEW Book: I Want To Be A RMP - 2nd Edition  (Link)] 

Over the years, I've coached many professionals on risk management. While leading and guiding them, they have also taught me invaluable lessons about their needs, aspirations, expectations and the pain points they have in understanding the concepts of risk management. This book is a culmination of those learning with my students, fellow professionals and colleagues. A big thank you to all of you, who enabled me to write this book. 

I've seen many professionals who want to crack the Risk Management Professional (RMP®) Exam, but unfortunately there is no book available which exhaustively covers the various aspects of the exam.  

For the RMP exam:
A) you need to understand the principles, practices, and concepts in Practice Standard for Project Risk Management from Project Management Institute (PMI®);
B) you need to understand PMI's Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guide 5th Edition with high focus on risk management processes, which comes with various inputs, tools and techniques and output (ITTOs);
C) you also need to be fluent with the Examination Content Outline (ECO), which is focused on performance domains. In addition, there is a list of reference books for the exam. 

Unfortunately, there is no available material available, which covers them together. 

Considering these, I have written this book - 'I WANT TO BE A RMP - The Plain and Simple Way to be A RMP'. This book exhaustively covers the needed areas to crack the RMP exam. 

Top 7 Features of the Book - "I Want To Be A RMP"
  • Synchronised with the 5th Edition of the PMBOK Guide, PMI's Pratice Standard for Risk Management and the latest Examination Content Outline (ECO, 2016). Wherever needed, the concepts from the reference book list are covered, too. 
  • Over 400+ practice questions for the RMP exam, including 2 full length question sets with detailed answers.
  • Exhaustive coverage with many examples on mathetical concepts such as
    • Earned Value Analysis (EMV), 
    • Decision Tree Analysis (DTA),
    • Various Probability Distributions (PD),
    • Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS),
    • Latin Hypercube Simulation (LHS),
    • Earned Value Management (EVM) and Risk Adjusted EVM etc.
  • Many tips shared across the book to help crack the RMP exam.
  • Lots of diagrams and flow-diagrams to clearly understand the concepts on risk management.
  • Impact of Project Risk Management on other aspects of Project Management such as Scope, Schedule, Cost, Quality, Procurement, Communications, Human Resources, Stakeholders.
  • Real time examples on Risk register, Risk Probability and Impact Matrix, Risk Manageability, Risk Urgency, Risk Audit, Contingency Reserve etc.

Overall Content of the Book
  • Number of Chapters: 12
  • Number of Pages: ~500
  • Number of Questions: 400+
  • Number of Full Length Question Sets: 2
    Two full length question sets, each with 170 questions and detailed answers (total 340)

The book exhaustively covers the areas for the RMP exam, but written in a simple way, with a number of examples related to our real lives - both professional and personal lives, where we do risk management.

To know the breakdown content of the book, please check the below index (partial one). The detailed index is part of the book. 

Index of the Book

The partial index of the book is shown below (embedded document) You can scroll or open in larger screen by clicking the arrow on right in the embedded frame, to see the content. 

If you are want to buy or have any queries on  this book, please send a mail to

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

PMP Protein: Understanding Risk Attitude

By Sindhu Sreenath, PMP, RMP

Risk attitude is an important concept in risk management. While taking the PMP® exam, you may expect questions on risk attitude and associated terms. Here, I’ll take an example on changing roles or jobs and relate it to the terms associated with risk attitude. 

Through the course of our career, inevitably there comes a cross-section in our pathway requiring a choice in changing roles or jobs to pursue different goals and aspirations. The need to make this swap can be influenced by a number of factors such as the quality of work, the capacity of the deliverable(s), responsibility, pay, reputation and many other individually driven intangibles. But with each change we are faced with foreseeable and unforeseeable risks that can result in better opportunities or greater threats to existing responsibilities. Applying the concepts of risk management is imperative even though we do not realize that we do. And prior to our assessment it is important to understand the attitude we possess in our appetite for a new role, how much change we can tolerate and what threshold we are willing to withstand. Let's analyze each through examples associated with the constraints.

Risk attitude of a stakeholder is impacted by many factors and as per PMBOK® Guide 5th edition, it is broadly classified into three themes – Risk Appetite, Risk Tolerance, and Risk Threshold. 

Risk Appetite: It is the degree of uncertainty a stakeholder is willing to take in expectation of a reward. In the light of changing roles or jobs, risk appetite can be defined by the need or desire for betterment in the workplace or career ladder, taking into account certain level or degree of uncertainty.
Example: You are willing to take up a new job that gives you more responsibility (the award) but might require you to work longer hours (the risk) due to meetings with team members located in different geographical locations.

Risk Tolerance: It describes the degree of uncertainty a stakeholder can withstand or tolerate. The differences between appetite and tolerance is that - tolerance will set a limit. In other words, compared to risk appetite, risk tolerance is more specific and measurable.
Example: You are willing to take up a new job that gives you more responsibility (the award) but might require you to work around 50 hours/week (the risk tolerance) due to meetings with team members located in different geographical locations.

Risk Threshold: It is the measure of risk exposure above which the stakeholder won’t accept the risk. It defines the stakeholder’s view on acceptable levels of risks. In other words, you can say, risk threshold is the highest level of risk tolerance. Below the risk threshold, the stakeholder will accept the risk, but above risk threshold, the stakeholder won’t accept the risk.  In the context of changing roles or jobs, it will denominate the point until which certain factors regarding role or job selection are acceptable. Beyond this point, you won’t consider them.
Example: You are willing to take up a new job that gives you more responsibility (the award) but might require you to work longer hours (the risk) due to meetings with team members located in different geographical locations. You are willing to stretch yourself to a maximum of 50 hours/week (threshold).

Now, are you wondering where in project management these are listed? These will be part of the risk management plan, which you create as part of your planning. The risk appetite, tolerance and threshold may be revised as they are applicable to your project. 

In your projects, you need to understand the stakeholders’ attitudes toward risks before you proceed with risk analysis and risk response planning. These parameters are also many times known as risk governance parameters

Written by Sindhu Sreenath

Sindhu Sreenath is an IT Professional & Product Technologist working with Intel Corporation, India as a Program Manager. She is a certified PMP from Project Management Institute (PMI). She has been applying Project and Program practices for over 4 years on managing Product Enabling teams and is now keen on developing her IT Product management skills. She has represented India in Rugby and has played Basketball and did Athletics for her state, at national level. In her spare time she enjoys Travel, Videography, Fitness and sports and is involved in several community and volunteering activities.She can be reached at and her travel account can be accessed on Facebook or Instagram.

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