Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Book Review: I Want To Be A PfMP – A Definitive Guide for PfMP Certification


Why this Book?

The PfMP Exam Prep Book, I want To Be A PfMP, is a result of the author’s knowledge and experience in the project, program and portfolio management domain. This book covers the entire portfolio management topics in a simple and practical manner so that any portfolio management practitioner or anyone aspiring to practice portfolio management would find it easy to absorb the concepts and practice it in real world scenarios.

This book along with the practice standard for portfolio management is a one stop solution to ace your PfMP exam. The author has covered concepts from all reference books for the PfMP exam to give us a single source material for the PfMP exam. 

This book comes with sample chapter end questions along with a full set of exam level questions and various financial calculations and formulas required for the exam.

PfMP Book – I Want To be A PfMP

The key aspect of this book is that it maps each of the knowledge areas /processes to the PfMP exam content outline tasks which helps the readers to understand context and ultimately help them answering the questions in the exam. 

The other distinct feature of the book is the vision and revision tips for each significant topic. This helps the reader to remember and review the important points. 

Another highlight of this book is the way in which the process interactions have been explained graphically, for every knowledge area. This method simplifies the complex interactions and makes it very useful to grasp the knowledge of how the various processes interact with one another which is not available in most of the other books.

A distinct feature of this book is the availability of videos for Risk Response Strategies, Monte Carlo Analysis, EVM and Portfolio Management Process interactions. These videos help the learner in understanding the concepts effectively.

The various snapshots using MS Project and Primavera provide the learners with real life utilities in applying the concepts.

The other prime feature of this book is calling out the ITTO’s for each process and explaining their relevance. For example, the same tool or technique is used in different ways in different processes. Since most of the questions from the PfMP exam are based on ITTO’s, this understanding is essential to get the right answer in your PfMP exam.

The chapter end questions provide you with an opportunity to revise your knowledge of the chapters while the full-length question set helps you prepare for the certification exam. 

Overall this book is indispensable for aspiring PfMPs to get certified in the first attempt.

Chapters in the Book – I Want To be A PfMP

Chapter 1 – Welcome: This chapter provides you a sneak peek of the contents of the book while setting the context for each chapter. This is a good place to start as it helps you to understand how to use this book along with the Standard for Portfolio Management v3 and Exam Content Outline. This chapter also provides you information on the PfMP exam which is invaluable for your preparation.

Chapter 2 – Introduction: As the title suggests, this chapter introduces us to Portfolio, Portfolio, Program, Project and Operations Management. The main highlight of this chapter is that it simplifies some crucial concepts of Portfolios, Programs, and Projects in layman’s terms for our understanding. This understanding is crucial to acing your PfMP exam.

Chapter 3 - Portfolio Management and Organization: This chapter talks about the various life cycles, stakeholders, roles and responsibilities of portfolio management and the common inputs and outputs of portfolio management processes. The various life cycles and their differences are explained in a simple manner which is easy to understand.

Chapter 4 - Portfolio Management Process Groups: This chapter covers the portfolio management process groups, knowledge areas and the processes. The author has done a wonderful job of explaining the sequence and interaction of the 16 processes across the process groups and knowledge areas which is the highlight of this chapter. This sequencing acts as a process map / work flow of the processes for portfolio management. 

There are also videos explaining the interaction of the processes. This helps the reader in understanding how the processes work within the portfolio management process groups and knowledge areas which is important from the PfMP exam point of view.

Chapter 5 - Portfolio Strategic Management: This is the first knowledge area in the portfolio management and the author explains the 4 processes of this knowledge area in a graphical manner which is easy to understand. This chapter also calls out the ITTO’s of the processes and provides the contents of each key deliverables like the portfolio strategic plan, portfolio charter and portfolio roadmap. These are very important points in the context of the exam.

Chapter 6 - Portfolio Governance Management: The highlight of this chapter is the flow chart of Portfolio Component states and the explanation of various tools and techniques which are important for the exam. The various portfolio component states help us understand the processes and the resultant output clearly.

Chapter 7 - Portfolio Performance Management: This chapter provides critical information on performance management of the portfolio including the KPIs and the various tools and techniques used to measure the KPIs. You can expect a good amount of questions based on EVM metrics in the exam.

Chapter 8 - Portfolio Communication Management: Here the author has talked about the importance of communication in portfolio management. This chapter provides information on various communication terms like communication models and communication methods. One other important aspect covered in this chapter is the stakeholder identification, analysis and classification for communication.

Chapter 9 - Portfolio Risk Management: This chapter delves into the portfolio risk management knowledge area and its processes. It talks about the sources and types of risks, categories of risks and the various tools and techniques used in the processes. 

Chapter 10 - Portfolio Management Financials, Charts and Calculations: This chapter covers the various financial calculations, charts and formulas used in the portfolio management domains.

The last 2 chapters provide information on the PfMP credential including the qualifications required and the process for applying and getting certified.

Brief Profile:


Current Role: Lead Business Accountability Specialist

Brief experience: 25+ years of experience in Operations, Project, Program and Risk management across Healthcare, Retail, Telecom and BFSI verticals.

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