Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Change Request Flow (PMP) - PMBOK 6th Edition

Change request is a key topic to know if you are preparing for the PMP exam. It is said - change is the only constant in life. In project and project management too, changes will happen. It is inevitable. In fact, certain life cycles thrive on changes. In the real project world, you as a project manager, will definitely face change requests. 

The earlier post of Change Request Flow, was one of the most read articles. In the new edition of the PMBOK® Guide 6th edition, the flow of change request has changed. PMBOK 6th edition doesn't explicitly inform on Change Requests (or simply CRs) flow across 10 Knowledge Areas and 5 Process Groups in a combined way. But CRs are there in many of the 49 processes. If I take all the processes where CRs are inputs or outputs (part of ITTOs - Inputs, Tools an Techniques and Outputs), it will be quite complicated. 

Let's simplify. In the below diagram, the key processes from "Integration Management" knowledge area are shown along with one process from "Quality Management" knowledge area. CRs coming from other monitoring, controlling and executing, planning and initating processes from rest of the 8 knowledge areas are simply shown as inputs to "Perform Integrated Change Control" (PICC) process of "Integration Management" knowledge area.

Overall Change Request Flow

As shown above, various control process areas such as "Control Scope", "Validate Scope", "Control Schedule", "Control Costs", "Monitor Communications", "Control Procurements" - all will have Change Requests as their outputs. All of these are fed to PICC of Integration Management, from where the "Approved Change Requests" will be coming as output.

There are 11 key points to note in the flow of change requests. 

11 Key Points to Understand Change Request Flow

  1. Change Requests can be of these types – “Preventive Action”, “Corrective Action”, “Defect Repair”, and “Updates”.
  2. No Change Requests are created in any process/process area (out of 49) under “Initiating” (except 1), “or “Closing” process groups. The exception is for "Identify Stakeholders" process in Stakeholder Management knowledge area.
  3. Change Requests are typically not outputs of planning processes under Planning process group, except 4 processes. The exceptions are - Define Activities, Develop Schedule (first two in Schedule Management knowledge area), Plan Risk Responses (in Risk Management knowledge area), Plan Procurement Management (in Procurement Management knowledge area). 
  4. All Control/Monitor Processes (all of them, except 1), e.g., Control Scope, Control Schedule, Control Costs, Monitor Risks, will generate “Change Requests”. Most of the Executing processes will also have change requests as outputs. The exception is for "Perform Integrated Change Control" (PICC) process in Integration Management knowledge area.
  5. All these “Change Requests” will be fed to “Perform Integrated Change Control” process to have “Approved Change Requests” as outputs.
  6. Changed Requests are approved by the “Change Control Board” (or Customer Control Board), operating under "Perform Integrated Change Control" process of Integration Management. 
  7. All “Approved Change Requests” have to be executed so that they are part of the Product/Service/Result and hence fed to “Direct and Manage Project Work” process in Integration Management in Executing process group.
  8. During Execution, further Changes and/or new Change Requests are likely and hence it also will result in Change Requests, which will be again fed into “Perform Integrated Change Control” and follow Step – 5 and Step – 6.
  9. All “Approved Change Requests” are also fed to “Control Quality” process in Quality Management as “Approved Change Requests” are not only to be executed, but also have to be Quality Tested. 
  10. In Control Quality process, the implementation of “Approved Change Requests” is verified, confirmed for completeness, re-tested and certified as correct. In other words, the Approved CRs are fully verified for correctness and completeness in this process.  
  11. During “Control Quality” process, new Change Requests are likely, too! For example, fixing a defect, resulted in another defect. Hence, they will be again fed into PICC. In such a case, they will again follow Step – 5 and Step – 6.

The change requests can also be shown with cross knowledge area and cross process group functional flow diagram as shown below. This is drawn with MS Visio.

As shown above, cutting across the process groups and cutting across the knowledge areas, the CRs are flowing seamlessly to be "Approved CRs", which are implemented in "Direct and Manage Project Work" process and quality tested, confirmed for completeness, retested and certified as correct in "Control Quality" process. 

There are certain other processes where Change Requests/Approved Change Requests as part of ITTOs. However, from PMP exam perspective, you need to understand the above simple points to be able to answer many questions. 

[1] I Want To Be A PMP: The Plain and Simple Way To Be A PMP, 2nd Edition, by Satya Narayan Dash
[2] Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide, 6th Edition, by Project Management Institute (PMI)

Update (24th April, 2019): The MS Visio diagram has been updated with the right arrow marks and content. Thanks to Manas Das, PMP, for checking and informing on it.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Book for PMP Exam Prep: "I Want To Be A PMP", 2nd Edition

It gives me a lot of pleasure in announcing the public availability of the book for Project Management Professional (PMP®) examination preparation:

'I WANT TO BE A PMP - The Plain and Simple Way to be A PMP'.

This book is in its second edition and is based on PMBOK Guide 6th edition. It has been internally published, within inner circles, since April this year. It has gone through couple of iterations with feedback from successful PMPs who have already used the content of this book to clear the exam. Many aspiring PMPs are currently using this book to prepare for the exam. This post is a formal declaration of the book going fully public. 

The PMBOK Guide 6th edition brings a number of new concepts, particularly changes in the process flows, process invocations and heading sections in every knowledge area. Many approaches are possible in the life cycle spectrum – from predictive to iterative, incremental to adaptive to hybrid. Certain knowledge areas such as Risk Management, Procurement Management, Resource Management have seen significant changes in the way the processes are invoked in the overall flow. A number new project documents, which are used in the real project world such as Risk Report, Quality Report, Final Report etc. are now available. A new chapter of “Role of Project Manager” has been added. There are also subtle changes in the way ITTOs work in every knowledge area. This book incorporates them all.

Over a year and half have passed since the first edition of the book came up. There were no marketing, no book opening ceremony, no book deals or book publishers. However, YOU - the aspiring PMPs, have succeeded. In the end, that is what truly matters. 

It has been a humbling experience to see people writing on this book – how it guided them, how the videos enabled to answer complicated questions quickly, the importance of flow diagrams, Yogic Tips and Yogic Revision Tips, which they say don’t even let them forget the concepts. 

Writing a book is not easy, but your feedback and encouragement enable to write. In gratitude, special thanks to Sathish Babu, Vipin Radhakrishnan, Tina Jose, Abhinav Tiwari, Ajanta Behera, Alok Jain, Rangu Dutta, Asad Abbas, Manas Das, Sahana Mukund, Manjunath R, Chaitanya Araveti, Krishnadas Kovilakath, Sandeep Meloth, Satyajit Jena, Shikhar Vaid, Naveen Kumar, Priyadarshi Samal,  Kiran Patil, Karthik Hongalkar, Suresh Kota, Manu Devadas, Nidhin Sasi, Sindhu Pillai, Deepti Prahalad,  Srikanth SubbaRao, Vikas Shankar, Koyel Mukherjee, Hemanth Thimmappa, Rituparna Sahoo, Prithwish Banerjee, Rajeev Ranjan, Rizwan Khan, Kamal Farooqui, John Oliver and Vignesh Radhakrishnan. 

All of them are successful PMPs today. Not only they have been gracious to give their feedback in the earlier edition of this book (and/or related material), but they have also publicly shared their success stories so that one day you can become a PMP. 

There are many professionals, whom I have never met personally as they are spread across the globe, but have read the book, succeeded as PMPs and have given their feedback to make the book better. 

Thank You - to all of you for making this book better and enabling others to realize their dreams of being PMPs. 

Key Features of This Book - "I Want To Be A PMP", 2nd Edition
  • Inline with PMBOK 6th Edition with all its new additions and changes related to processes, knowledge areas, key concepts, trends and emerging practices, tailoring, and adaptive/agile environment considerations.
  • 100s of Yogic Tips to crack the PMP exam. This includes inputs from the many successful PMP, who have shared their PMP Success Stories
  • Over 1100 practice questions, including 3 full length questions with detailed, explanatory answers.
  • Over 50 videos in complex areas, where concepts are not easy to grasp such as Critical Path Method (CPM), Eared Value Measurement/Analysis (EVM/EVA), Point of Total Assumption (PTA), Change Requests (CR) etc. 
  • Numerous flow-diagrams to clearly understand the PMP concepts.
  • Highly simplified content and language. The book focuses on what you need to know for the PMP exam and written in an easily understandable way. 
  • Many real-life examples with usage in the real world as well as in project management. It is aided with with practical tools such as MS Project, Oracle Primavera P6.
  • A Transition Guide particularly for aspirants who prepared in PMBOK 5th edition, but could not give the exam and planning to give in the new PMBOK 6th edition. 

Overall Content of the Book
  • Number of Chapters: 15 (+2)
  • Number of Pages: 936
    • Excluding pages for questions, number of pages: 596
  • Number of Questions: 1129
  • Number of Videos: 59
  • Number of Full Length Question Sets: 3 (+1)
  • Three full length question sets, each with questions and detailed answers (total 500+)
  • Three detailed exercises for 3 domains, refers primarily the Examination Content Outline (ECO)
  • Updated with latest PMP Exam changes, effective January 02, 2021

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).

If you are want to buy or have any queries on  this book, please send a mail to managementyogi@gmail.com

Earlier Reviews by Successful PMPs:

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Tuesday, June 05, 2018

PMP Success Story: Focus, Plan and Execute with Confidence

By Saurabh Raj Sharan, PMP

For some years, I had an aspiration to get PMP® certification, due to a simple reason that I wanted my career to take shape and personally I wanted to grow my managerial skills by managing a project. I started My career as SAP consultant and lately (after 10 years) started managing small upgrade/migration/test projects within my organisation.

PMP 35 Contact Hours Experience
Once I decided I need to get PMP certified, I contacted my colleagues and friends who have done PMP or were in process of doing it. I came across one provider's Certification Training Course as one of the best coaching institutes for PMP. As it is mandatory to attend 35 contact hours of project management before you apply for the PMP exam, I enrolled and came across Satya Sir and the 4 days of the weekend batch was very interactive and fruitful. My classes happened over two weekends.  

Satya Sir's tips for sequencing the processes and knowledge areas were very helpful to me. The charts for knowledge areas, process groups and processes have been sequentially numbered, which becomes very easy to memorize. Once the logic for the numbering is understood, it became easy to understand further. Also, the way he told us to calculate free floats and total float, was helpful in understanding. 

After completing the course, I got 35 contact hours needed to register my PMP application.  

Own Study
Books, I referred: PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition. 
I read this new edition 3 times and would highly recommend reading only the PMBOK guide as your main reference book. I made my own notes using my readings from Sixth Edition and re-read it twice in the last week. 

I studied PMBOK guide for 2 months, made notes and in last 10-15 days, I just did the revision. Since this was a new format, there were very few question banks and online tests available. I completely avoided reading questions and attempting Mock test based on PMBOK fifth edition, this was done just to avoid any confusion with Sixth edition. 

I joined LinkedIn PMP group which was helpful in knowing the trends of PMP and I came across one question set, which was an online test. This is the only test I gave to test my skill and be more confident about my preparation. I scored around 72% during initial attempt. Later I verified where I was wrong and improved my score.

PMP Exam Experience
I scheduled my exam on 22nd May at the Prometric Centre in Whitefield, Bangalore. I opted for the morning slot as I wanted to finish the exam at the earliest and avoid the infamous traffic of Bangalore. On the day of the exam, I reached the venue 30 minutes early. The moment I entered there was no one and the centre asked me if I can start my test early. I went to the restroom and sat for the exam.

The exam is for 4 hours and quite tiring.  I took only one break as the exam hall was very cold.

My strategy was to read the questions at least twice and make sure I also read all the four options even when I knew which one was right, just to make sure remaining 3 are not valid. This helped me save time to review or use of Mark options. By this way I was able to finish 50-52 questions in an hour. I finished my exam with 15 minutes in my hand. I didn’t want to confuse, hence I didn’t go through a review and submitted well before. This is because I am a fast reader but to plan 50 questions in an hour is very achievable.

  • I got many mathematical questions based on Variances. I put the formulas on the scratch sheet as soon as I entered in the room. 
  • I also got lots of question on Quality Management process areas, Change management and role of Project manager.
  • I didn’t get any questions on Agile nor “Manage Project Knowledge” process.
  • Got 3 questions on CPM - Critical Path Method.
  • Few questions on resource levelling, crashing, resource smoothing and fast tracking.
  • There were many questions where the trick was in the last line, so I would request you to read all the lines before attempting answers.

My Score was Above target.

I got three Above Targets and one Target. So, try to focus on getting 3 Domain “Above Target”.

Suggestions for PMP Aspirants
  • Read PMBOK sixth edition at least two times.
  • Make your own notes- I used Google docs and handwritten.
  • Do revise at-least twice in last week of preparation.
  • Do file your application and schedule the exam to bring seriousness and the exam date will act as a milestone to plan your study and activities.
  • Give at least 4-5 hrs every day for PMP study.

  • Don’t read too many books.
  • Don’t revisit the questions, try to finish them in one go.
  • Don’t opt for free mocks and too many easily available online tests. They are not as per the PMP exam and may not guide you properly
  • Don’t lose the confidence. 
  • Don’t memorize tools and techniques but try to understand why there are used and how they are used.

All the effort and hard work were worth in the end. It was a pride moment to get the PMP certification. Your outlook towards your work will also change.

Brief Profile
Saurabh Sharan. I work with Walmart Labs India as a SAP Product manager in Manufacturing domain. I have over 11 years of Project Management, Test & Quality Management and SAP consulting experience in multiple domains.