Thursday, October 26, 2023

A Comprehensive Guide to Achieve PfMP Certification: ‘I Want To Be A PfMP’ Book by Satya Narayan Dash

By Shahpour Kakaei, PgMP, PMP, ACP, RMP, ITIL, Attended Harvard Business School


I Want To Be A PfMP by Satya Narayan Dash is an exceptional book that serves as a comprehensive guide for professionals aspiring to achieve the Professional in Portfolio Management (PfMP) certification. Recently released, this book offers valuable insights, practical advice, and a structured approach to help individuals navigate the complex world of portfolio management.

Engaging and Informative Content

Dash's book stands out due to its engaging writing style and the author's ability to simplify complex concepts. The content is well-structured, making it easy for readers to follow along and grasp the key principles of portfolio management. Dash's extensive experience in the field shines through, as he provides real-world examples and case studies that further enhance the book's practicality.

PfMP Book–I Want To be A PfMP, Why to Go for It?

Following are the key aspects of the book.

1) Comprehensive Coverage

The "I Want to be a PfMP" book covers all aspects of the PfMP certification process, from understanding the portfolio management framework to preparing for the exam.

Dash leaves no stone unturned, addressing topics such as portfolio governance, strategic alignment, risk management, and resource optimization. The book also delves into the five domains of portfolio management, providing a holistic understanding of the subject matter.

2) Practical Tips and Techniques

One of the book's greatest strengths lies in its inclusion of practical tips and techniques. Dash offers valuable advice on how to effectively manage portfolios, align them with organizational objectives, and overcome common challenges. The author's emphasis on the importance of strategic thinking, financial management, and stakeholder engagement adds a unique dimension to the book, making it more than just a study guide.

3) Clear and Concise Language

Dash's writing style is clear, concise, and accessible to both experienced portfolio managers and those new to the field. The author avoids unnecessary jargon, ensuring that readers can easily comprehend and apply the concepts discussed. This approach makes the book an excellent resource for self-study or as a reference guide for professionals already working in portfolio management

Below topics are helped that will help you the most:

  • Strategic management, governance management, process interactions, ITTOs and their highlighting, key aspects of every process etc.
  • Practical Exercises and Exam Preparation:
    To further enhance the learning experience, "I Want To Be A PfMP" book includes practical exercises and sample questions that mirror the PfMP certification exam (chapter end questions, full length questions). These exercises allow readers to apply the knowledge gained and assess their understanding of the material. Dash's guidance on exam preparation strategies, including study plans and test-taking tips, is invaluable for those seeking to pass the PfMP certification exam with confidence.
  • Video sets: A number of videos are given in addition of the book context, which among them the videos of  Chapter 3, 4, 6 and 8 ( on subjects of “Portfolio Management Processes, and ITTOs”, “Earn Value Management”, Monte Carlo Analysis” and “Risk Management”) are very helpful to better understand these subjects. 

Other areas, which I found helpful are:  

  • Practical tools snapshots of MS Project-Portfolio Management, Primavera Portfolio Management (Portfolio Efficient Frontier), Primavera Risk etc, along with the videos. 
  • Examples with real-world roadmap, key contents of documents etc. 
  • The exam tips, revision tips and also set of tips in the end are very helpful.

Chapters in the Book – I Want To be A PfMP

The book has multiple chapters - from Welcome, Chapter 1 to Chapter 10. The last two chapters specifically regarding a complete set of PfMP Exam preparations questions/answers and tips. 

Each chapter provides full details of the chapter subject (as noted earlier along with flow and interactions of processes) which are unique and can’t be found so comprehensive and simplified in other similar references for PfMP preparation.  


I Want To Be A PfMP book by Satya Narayan Dash is an outstanding one that provides a comprehensive and practical guide to achieving the PfMP certification. 

Dash's expertise, combined with his engaging writing style, ensures that readers gain a deep understanding of portfolio management principles and their application. 

Whether you are a seasoned portfolio manager or aspiring to enter the field, this book is an essential resource that will undoubtedly contribute to your professional growth.

Brief Profile: Shahpour Kakaei, BD and Operations Manager, AWITEL INC, Canada


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

New Book Available for PfMP Exam:

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Thursday, October 19, 2023

Top Nine Reasons To Go For PMI-PfMP Certification

While interacting with aspiring Portfolio Management Professionals (PMI®-PfMP®), a number of questions come up. Usually, the frequent ones are the followings:

In this article, I’ll outline 9 top reasons to go for PfMP certification. There can and will be other reasons. If you know and want to share your thoughts, please do so in the comment section of this article.


Reason – 1: PfMP certification is the highest-level credential offered by PMI. It shines in your resume.

The Project Management Institute (PMI®) is a leading management institute recognized within the professional management community. 

There are many certifications offered by PMI such as PMP, RMP, ACP, PBA, CAPM, PgMP. But the highest one is PfMP. Hence, have no doubt in your mind that it’s considered to be the top-most certification offered by PMI. 

Reason – 2: With Portfolio Management, you are directly responsible for achieving your organization's strategic business objectives.

Strategic management can make or break an organization. This is where it all begins! This is where the organizational leadership plans to realize the vision and mission of the organization. 

In an organization, at any given time, a portfolio represents a collection of selected components such as projects, programs, operations and other work. In addition, only a portfolio reflects one or more organizational strategies and objectives for that point in time.

With PfMP certification, you can helpin fact, driveyour organization achieve its strategic business objectives. 

Reason – 3: Project and Program Management are about “doing the work right”, whereas Portfolio Management is about “doing the right work”.

Can you see the difference? In no way, I’m diluting the importance and significance of project and program management. They are extremely important. However, they are typically tactical in nature. With them, you do the execution part rightly. 

On the other hand, portfolio management is about doing the right work! You can also say, with portfolio management, you are identifying, categorizing, evaluating, selecting, prioritizing and also authorizing the right work. 

You can also say: Project and Program Management are the “execution work”, whereas Portfolio Management is the “thinking work”.

Reason – 4: The PfMP credential is considered to be an elite certification by top professionals.

The first point informs that it’s the highest-level certification offered by PMI. In addition, as I’ve seen, PfMP certification is considered to be an elite-level certification. The top professionals in the organizations, including directors, vice presidents, C-suite executives and entrepreneurs want to pursue those certifications.

I’ve interacted with quite a few PfMP, who are senior executives in the organization. Indeed, they respect and value the PfMP certification. 

Reason – 5: With the right book and/or course, you will know hands-on portfolio management in the real-world.

As the saying goes: “Books and friends, few but good.”

Good books and material are not only easy to read and follow, but also great friends and guides. The right book/material will teach you the practical aspects of portfolio management. For example:

  • How do you prepare a Portfolio Roadmap?
  • How to build a Portfolio Benefits-Realization Plan?
  • How to create a Portfolio Efficient Frontier Chart?
  • How to manage portfolio risks with hands-on software tools?

In my PfMP Exam Prep Book – I Want To Be A PfMP, the plain and simple way, you will learn many such software tools and their applicability in the real-world.

Reason – 6: Without strategic execution, organizations just fire and forget. PfMP ensures that you fire the bullets and ensure that the bullets meet the target.

Ever worked in an organization, where everyone is running around, doing a lot of “work” but the organization is still struggling and accomplishing a little? 

Ever worked in an organization but there is no focused vision, mission or passion, other than just making some profit?

In addition, you might have worked in organizations, where some initiatives are taken and possibly completed, but there is no impact on the margin or organization direction.

Such organizations lack strategic intent, direction, and execution. In such organizations, it’s fire first and then aim! You don’t accomplish anything with that. 

Strategy formulation takes time to build and has to be continuously visited and re-evaluated as strategic changes will happen, inevitably. With portfolio management, you ensure strategic management happens in the right way.

Reason – 7: You need not be a PMP or PgMP to be a PfMP. But if you are a PfMP, you will know PMP and PgMP content to an extent.

The Project Management Professional (PMP) from PMI is a very well-known certification and is highly sought after by many organizations. Considering Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) 6th edition, it has a perspective on project management with 10 knowledge areas, 5 process groups and a number of processes. 

Another certification, which has seen adoption is the Program Management Professional (PgMP) certification. The current edition for program management informs about 5 domains in the Standard for Program Management, 4th edition, including a number of program activities.

The Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) certification, on the other hand, while focused on portfolio management also touches upon areas of project, program and operation management. After all, projects, programs and operations will be components inside a portfolio.

Another advantage is this: you need not be a PMP or PgMP to be a PfMP as noted in the headline. So, you can directly aspire to be a PfMP and also learn to certain extent about project and program management. 

Reason – 8: You will know governance at the highest level. There is a dedicated knowledge area: Portfolio Governance Management.

For your PfMP exam, you have to prepare with multiple performance domains (process groups) as well as knowledge areas. Portfolio Governance Management is one the key process groups, and you will get 20% of questions.

With this knowledge area, you will understand the importance of portfolio governance, identification, categorization, selection of portfolios as well as selection, prioritization, balancing and authorization of portfolio and/or its components.

In my view, it’s the most significant knowledge area to really understand portfolio management.

Reason – 9: If you are a PMP, RMP and/or ACP, then your understanding of Risk Management will be very helpful for Portfolio Risk Management. 

While the PMP exam tests your risk management understanding to a considerable extent, the RMP exam, in fact, thoroughly tests your risk management understanding, various simulation techniques with real-world tools, and a number of advanced risk management concepts. 

If you are a PMP, ACP and/or RMP, then your understanding of risk management will be 100% applicable for the PfMP exam. You can apply your learning and competency while preparing for the PfMP exam. 

Risk Management is not an easy area to understand, but your earlier learning will help with the right material and content. 

Video Brief: Top 9 Reasons to Go for PfMP

For quick understanding, I've prepared a video [Duration - 10m: 09s] in support of this article. You can watch the videos to learn a few more points about the value of PfMP certification.

Final Words

If you want to be in the driver seat of the organization formulating strategies, ensuring strategies are met, strategic changes are incorporated with the right projects, program and operations, and your organization meets the vision, mission, goals and strategic objectives, PfMP certification is best suited for you.

There is a reason it’s considered to be a top-most certification offered by PMI in the domains of project-program-portfolio (PPP) management. This is primarily because you actually ensure the organization ship moves in the right direction in the turbulent marketplace sea. 

If you are considering your career and growth opportunities, this certification provides an enormous amount of knowledge and real competency. And as noted in the first reason, it does shine on your resume, too!

Finally, with portfolio management, you are or may come directly into playing leadership roles in an organization. Leadership is extremely important and it also fundamentally changes you to the core.

Book Available for PfMP Exam:

Saturday, October 14, 2023

20 PMI-PfMP Free Questions and Answers (Part - 2)

This post is in continuation of the earlier series of questions for the PfMP® examination. I would strongly recommend that you take both the parts together when you try to attempt the questions. 

These are not verbatim questions from the PfMP exam. Nevertheless, a lot of thought, understanding and also pain have gone in preparing the questions. 

These questions cover the areas needed for the exam. The questions are based on the Standard for Portfolio Management, Standard for Risk Management in Portfolios, PfMP Examination Content Outline (ECO) and other reference books (PMI list) for the PfMP exam.

In this part, we will have the final 10 questions of the series.

These questions are from the newly released book:

I Want To Be A PfMP, the plain and simple way

Again, I sincerely hope you enjoy doing these PfMP questions, and it helps in your PfMP exam preparation.

[This series: Part - 1] 

Subscribe to the site (top-right corner) for fresh updates.



Question – 11: After authorizing the portfolio components, you have documented the governance decision in the portfolio reports. Now, you want to communicate the decisions to the key stakeholders. Which tool or technique will be most effective?
A Portfolio authorization technique
B Portfolio management information system
C Portfolio review meetings
D Communication requirements analysis 

Question – 12: You are doing a number of surveys and also conducting questionnaires with stakeholders to provide monitoring and control for the portfolio. This is known as:
A Elicitation
B Requirement gathering
C Using communication methods
D Employing communication vehicles

Question – 13: While optimizing the portfolio, you want to know the top risks associated with the portfolio components and any potential issues that may arise due to implementation. Which one will help you the most for this analysis?
A Portfolio risk reports
B Portfolio issue reports
C Portfolio capacity reports
D Portfolio performance reports

Question – 14: The portfolio strategic plan has:
A Portfolio vision, goals, objectives, success criteria, scope and resources

B Measurable goals and objectives, portfolio benefits, key risks, assumptions, constraints, and dependencies

C High-level scope, high-level budget, key and initial stakeholders, assumptions and constraints, high-level risks

D Governance model, prioritization model, portfolio oversight, portfolio structure

Question – 15: Portfolio management is not only getting the right components and related investment decisions, but also considering the risks involved and building a risk-adjusted portfolio. For this, a portfolio manager can use many investment choice tools, but:
A Market-payoff variability analysis
B Probability or probabilistic analysis
C Performance variability analysis
D Time-to-market variability analysis

Question – 16: Traffic light colors such as red, yellow, green, and blue, along with milestone markers are used to display component status for the entire portfolio. This report is:
A Portfolio Resource Utilization Report
B Portfolio Performance Variance Report
C Portfolio Funnel Chart or Burndown/Burnup Chart
D Portfolio Resource Capacity and Capability Report

Question – 17: You are taking raw data or information without full context and putting it into reports with context, which holds values for the recipients. It's:
A Qualitative and Quantitative (Q&Q) Analysis
B Capability and Capacity (C&C) Analysis
C Communication Requirement Analysis
D Stakeholder Analysis

Question – 18: Your sponsor is concerned about all the portfolio risks, including the various sources of uncertainties. A colleague, who is a certified PfMP has advised you to develop a portfolio risk exposure chart, because this chart shows:
A Internal risks and external risks
B Portfolio risks, Component risks and Overall risks
C Structural risks and Execution risks
D Technical risks, Management risks and Portfolio risks

Question – 19: As you pre-screen, identify and categorize the portfolio components, you are using a number of component descriptors. However, which one of the following is not a portfolio component descriptor?
A Quantitative benefits
B Qualitative benefits
C Alignment for strategy 
D Portfolio component customer

Question – 20: Currently, you are developing a key deliverable which provides the high-level graphical timeline, mapping of portfolio components, and internal and external dependencies. For this purpose, you are looking for a simple prioritization model with criteria such as strategic alignment, financial benefits, financial costs, risk, and dependencies. What should you do?
A Check the Portfolio Charter
B Take the prioritization model from the Portfolio Management Plan
C Refer to the prioritization model of the Portfolio Strategic Plan
D Seek guidance from the Portfolio Governing Body

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The question set is available in the embedded document below. The answers are also part of this document.

For all answers with detail explanation, subscribe to this site and send a mail (from your GMail id) to

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Monday, October 09, 2023

20 PMI-PfMP Free Questions and Answers (Part - 1)


The Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP®) is the highest-level certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). 

In fact, it is an elite certification. Very few have earned this certification.

To earn this certification, you need the right content, material, course of action and above all, high-quality questions, which will test your ability and understanding with respect to portfolio management.  

In this post series, we will have 20 PMI-PfMP questions. These questions are prepared with inputs from successful PfMPs, current portfolio management practitioners, and referring to practices used by portfolio management software tools. 

The Standard(s) for Portfolio Management, the Standard for Risk Management in Portfolios, the PfMP Exam Content Outline (ECO) and certain other key reference books have been primarily referred to prepare the questions.

To answer these questions, you need to have:

  • Solid foundation on Portfolio Management, which is based upon the Standard for Portfolio Management from PMI. 
  • Sound understanding of portfolio management process interactions, across the process groups and knowledge areas. 
  • Absolute clarity on various inputs, tools and techniques (ITTOs) of the various portfolio management processes. 
  • Real-world portfolio management experience.
  • Ability to apply portfolio management theory/concepts in various contexts, scenarios and situations.

This is the first of the series, where you will have 10 questions. The next part will have another set of 10 questions.

These questions are from the newly released book:

I Want To Be A PfMP, the plain and simple way

I sincerely hope you enjoy doing these PfMP questions. And it helps in your preparation for the PfMP exam.

[This series: Part - 2 ] 

Subscribe to the site (top-right corner) for fresh updates. 



Question – 1: The key deliverables in portfolio management processes are:
A Portfolio Strategic Plan, Portfolio Management Plan, Portfolio Risk Management Plan, Portfolio Performance Management Plan

B Portfolio Strategic Plan, Portfolio Charter, Portfolio Roadmap, Portfolio Management Plan, Portfolio

C Portfolio Charter, Portfolio Management Plan, Portfolio Strategic Plan, Portfolio Risk Register, Portfolio Issue Register/Log, Portfolio Benefits Realization Plan

D Portfolio Documents, Portfolio Process Assets, Portfolio Reports, Portfolio Management Plan

Question – 2: A new portfolio manager has joined the PfMO and is currently struggling to bring the portfolio and its components to authorization. As you are a certified PfMP, she approaches you to understand the proper sequence of steps of components till authorization. Which one of the following would be your advice?
A Identification, Selection, Prioritization, Scoring, Balancing and Optimizing of portfolio components

B Pre-screening, Identification, Selection, Balancing, Evaluation, Authorizing of portfolio components

C Identification, Categorization, Scoring and Ranking, Evaluation, Selection, Prioritization, and Balancing of portfolio components

D Pre-screening, Selection, Identification, Categorization, Balancing and Authorization of portfolio components

Question – 3: To manage supply and demand, you are determining what would happen if human resources, equipment, or funding were increased or decreased, or if constrained resources were not available. This is an example of:
A What-if analysis
B SWOT analysis
C Comparative advantage analysis
D Scenario analysis

Question – 4: Your organization is quite new to organized portfolio management and the current software system available is not robust. The strategic management head wanted your view on it. You suggest proceeding because in a less mature organization, the Portfolio Management Information System (PfMIS) is a:
A A set of automated and/or manual tools
B A document depository with version and configuration control systems
C A collection of spreadsheets or other portfolio documents
D A set of systems, processes and tools

Question – 5: After you complete the ‘communication requirements analysis’ while developing the Portfolio Communication Management Plan, you document it in a:
A Stakeholder Communication Strategy Matrix
B Stakeholder Matrix
C Communication Matrix
D Stakeholder Engagement Matrix

Question – 6: You want to find out the gaps in investment within the portfolio as a whole. Which T&T will be used?
A Qualitative analysis
B Quantitative analysis
C Monte Carlo simulation
D Investment choice analysis

Question – 7: A portfolio manager (PfM) is analyzing to define the benefits that will be provided by the portfolio components and compare them to the costs of the portfolio components to build a chronological view of the components. Benefits may be qualitative or quantitative. What is the PfM doing?
A Cost-benefits analysis in Develop Portfolio Roadmap process
B Cost-benefits analysis in Optimize Portfolio process
C Cost-benefits analysis in Manage Portfolio Value process
D Cost-benefits analysis with Portfolio Efficient Frontier in Optimize Portfolio process

Question – 8: In a meeting, the portfolio sponsor suggested adding, modifying as well as terminating (cancellation) some of the components due to strategy updates. You, the portfolio manager, is not very sure and want to compare the pre-existing components with the new components to ensure strategic alignment. What analysis will help you?
A Strategic alignment analysis
B Stakeholder analysis
C Gap analysis
D Value measurement and scoring analysis

Question – 9: A portfolio manager is checking the components available and deciding whether the component should be part of the portfolio. To be part of the portfolio, components should have a minimum size or budget of $500,000. What is the portfolio manager doing?
A Using the weighted ranking and scoring technique
B Applying the portfolio component categorization technique
C Identifying and categorizing the portfolio components
D Using the T&T of portfolio component inventory

Question – 10: Currently, you are checking a list of portfolio components which are to be deactivated and terminated. With it, you want to return the remaining funding and resources to be returned to the resource pool and funding of the organization. What are you doing?
A Building a balanced, optimized and approve set of components for the portfolio
B Applying authorization techniques for the portfolio and its components
C Clearly defining the portfolio components and segregating the active and inactive components
D Authorizing the portfolio and/or its components

[This series: Part - 2 ] 

Subscribe to the site (top-right corner) for fresh updates. 



The question set is available in the embedded document below. The answers are also part of this document.

For all answers with detail explanation, subscribe to this site and send a mail (from your GMail id) to

Book for PfMP Exam Prep: