Monday, October 23, 2017

PMP Success Story: Preparing For PMP Exam Makes A PM Much Better At It and Getting The Certification Is Icing On The Cake

By Satyajit Jena, PMP

I seem to have stumbled into the project management. Once in here, I wanted to get better at it. I used to admire fellow management professionals, who are PMP® certified. Since I came to know about PMP Certification, I always wanted to get certified. Better late than never. Earlier this year, finally made up my mind to go for this coveted certification. 

Irrespective of the end result in the exam, the rigor of going through PMP exam preparation only makes you a better management professional. I learned and understood many subtle things about project management along the way. This course also ensured I understood certain concepts correctly. It brought in lot of self-confidence and self-respect. It’s a special journey and my long-term aspiration has finally been met.

Coaching Experience
I've been wanting to go through PMP certification for long time and was doing some self-study. But it was never enough or consistent. Hence, I decided to get enrolled for a classroom training and get the required 35 contact hours of project management education.

After going through the process with Satya as the coach, it made me think that I should have gone for it few years ago. The structured and highly interactive style of coaching helped getting the best of PMP practices and tricks quickly. The way Satya explained the 47 processes, and how they are intertwined with the 10 knowledge areas and 5 process groups - is even difficult to forget. The best thing is the way he explained how processes with its inputs and outputs flow within the process groups and across knowledge areas.  

Own Preparation
After the classroom coaching, I started going through Satya’s book (I Want To Be A PMP) followed by one full reading of PMBOK® guide. Unfortunately, I had a break in my preparation and it was hard for me to come back to full speed.

When I re-started, I went through the same process of starting from class room notes. After one round of read, I started taking practise tests. That helped me identify areas I need to revisit. The more test you take, the better it is. With time, as my scores started improving, I started feeling confident. 

Book - I Want To Be A PMP
I decided to buy Satya’s book after attending his sessions. After going through some other such books, I must say this is one of the best books out there. This is the perfect bridge between the classroom coaching and the very detailed PMBOK guide. As one goes through the book, it calls out reference to previous chapters/processes, so one is always connected throughout the chapters/processes.

The flow diagrams are the best. It helps one connect how processes flow within and across knowledge areas. The tips shared at every other place bring out the subtle factors that help you remember the concepts.

The full-length tests have a special role to play in my PMP success story. In the exam, I had only got situational and lengthy questions. They are different from many practise test that I had taken from other sources. This book had such set of questions, which are very similar to the type of questions I had faced in the exam.

The Exam Day
I had visited the exam centre few days before and on the exam day reached well before time. With anxiety running high, this was helpful to calm things down. There was initial nervousness when I started off. But it slowly faded away as I went through few questions and took a few deep breaths. 

There were only situational questions of which many were lengthy and tricky. I had marked many questions for review to apply eliminations method while revisiting. I barely managed to answer all the questions in 4 hours. It’s important not to stick with any one question. Time management is very important. 

That day, there were many test takers other than PMP. The place was somewhat noisy. But you can use headphones provided, which definitely helps.

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
Taking the PMP exam is not the end of it. Your quest for being a better management professional starts when you decide to go for it. The rigor of going through the process had already helped me a lot professionally. Getting the PMP Certification was icing on the cake. It is important that you spread the knowledge and apply the practices learned. 

In terms of preparation, it’s important to continue the pace and be persistent. I almost burnt my finger, as I had a break. And to restart again wasn’t easy. It won’t be easy to be persistent for a long period of time given other personal and professional commitment. And getting PMP® certified isn’t easy, either. Put an exam milestone date - not too far away after your classroom coaching and prepare accordingly. It's advisable that you don’t stretch it far. 

Brief Profile
Satyajit Jena works as a Program Manager at Sapient Corporation.

PMP LIVE LESSONS - Guaranteed Pass:

Thursday, October 05, 2017

30 Free PMI-RMP Questions with Answers (Part - 2)

[NEW: 40 Free PMI-RMP Questions and Answers on Latest RMP Exam (Link)] 

This is in continuation of previous post: 30 Free PMI-RMP Questions with Answers (Part - 1). The previous post, on RMP questions, was well received. Already, many have got the access to the questions. 

Just as a note: you can see the answers to the questions only when you have the access. For that you have to send a mail as noted below. For further explanation on why the selected answer is correct, you can refer the book - I Want To Be RMP

This post contains the final 15 questions. For first set of 15 questions, you can refer the earlier post.  

Question – 16: For your activities, you are finding that there can be many possible events which can create risks. And those events can also be product of several other events. Which distribution you would use?
(A) Triangular Distribution 
(B) LogNormal Distribution
(C) Normal Distribution 
(D) BetaPert Distribution

Question – 17: In a risk analysis for the activities of a project, following activities came with the criticality index as shown below in the Tornado diagram.
Figure drawn with Primavera Risk Analysis Software

Which activity (activities) has/have the least chance to be on the critical path?

(A) A1140, A1160
(B) A1160, A1030 
(C) A1140, A1160
(D) A1020, A1080

Question – 18: In the following decision tree, what is incorrectly put?

(A) On the paths from the decision node to a chance node, the monetary value should be put.
(B) On the paths from the chance node to a decision node, the monetary value should be put.
(C) On the paths from the decision node to a chance node, the probability value cannot be put.
(D) On the paths from the chance node to a decision node, the probability value cannot be put.

Question – 19: For a project manager to be successful in risk management, there are many responsibilities as well as activities to perform. Which one of the following is NOT one of them?
(A) Owning risk response actions.
(B) Developing the project risk management plan.
(C) Applying contingency funds. 
(D) Auditing risk responses for their effectiveness.

Question – 20: Your project is under execution for last 3 months. Some of your stakeholders are not very satisfied with the way risk management is happening. This input has also reached your sponsor. Your sponsor has asked you to do an audit for the risks in the project. You are aware that just two weeks before the audit has happened for the project. Now you want to find out the frequency needed for your audit. Which document or plan will give you such information?
(A) Risk Management Plan.
(B) Risk Register.  
(C) Risk Response Plan. 
(D) Stakeholder Register.

. . .
. . . 
. . .

Question – 28: You are looking at the Earned Value Analysis results for your current projects. You find out that the schedule performance index (SPI) is 0.8 and the cost performance index (CPI) is 0.67. You also found the estimate at completion (EAC) is going to be much more than the initial planned budget, i.e., Budget at completion (BAC). This can pose new risks for your project. You are into which process and using which technique? 
(A) Control risks; Variance analysis. 
(B) Control risks; Variance and trend analysis. 
(C) Control risks; Technical performance measurement. 
(D) Control risks; Reserve analysis.

Question – 29: For an activity in your schedule you are considering the extremes of uncertainty of the activity under consideration. Also, you believe, for this activity, the intermediate values have equal chances of occurring. What kind of probability distribution will be considered while doing a risk analysis?
(A) Beta distribution.
(B) Symmetric triangular distribution. 
(C) Asymmetric triangular distribution.
(D) Rectangular distribution.

Question – 30: Fallback plan is part of ___________________:
(A) Risk management plan.
(B) Project management plan.
(C) Risk register. 
(D) A separate plan.

The question set is available in the embedded PDF below. 

For all the questions and answers, subscribe to this blog (on top right corner of this blog) and send a mail, from your gmail id to