PMP Exam Prep

Is PMP Exam Difficult?

The PMP (Project Management Professional) exam is considered to be a challenging certification exam by many individuals. The difficulty level depends on a number of factors, including the individual's prior experience with project management, the amount of time they are able to dedicate to studying and preparing for the exam, and their familiarity with the PMP framework and methodology.

How long on Average It Takes to Prepare for the Exam?

On average, individuals report spending between 200 and 350 hours preparing for the PMP exam, depending on their prior experience and the method of study they choose. This preparation time can range from a few weeks to several months.

It is important to note that passing the PMP exam requires a strong understanding of project management concepts, as well as a solid grasp of the PMP framework and methodology. Individuals are encouraged to carefully review the PMP examination content outline, study the recommended PMP study materials, and practice with sample questions to prepare for the exam.

Recommended Books to for PMP Exam Prep

Here are some highly recommended books for PMP exam preparation:

  1. "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)" by Project Management Institute (PMI) - This is the official guide for PMP certification and covers all the knowledge areas and processes of the PMBOK framework.

  2. "Head First PMP" by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman - This book provides a comprehensive and engaging approach to PMP exam preparation using visual aids, mnemonics, and other memory aids.

  3. "PMP Exam Prep" by Rita Mulcahy - This is a widely used study guide for the PMP exam and provides a clear and concise overview of all the knowledge areas tested on the PMP exam.

  4. "PMP Project Management Professional Study Guide" by Kim Heldman - This book provides a comprehensive review of all the knowledge areas and includes practice questions, case studies, and study tips to help prepare for the PMP exam.

  5. "PMP in Depth" by Paul Sanghera - This book provides a thorough and in-depth explanation of the PMP framework and methodology and includes numerous practice questions and exercises to reinforce learning.

It is important to note that no single book is sufficient for passing the PMP exam and it is recommended to use multiple resources to prepare for the exam. In addition, it is important to regularly practice with sample PMP exam questions to reinforce your understanding of the material and to familiarize yourself with the format of the exam.


Difference Between Scope Creep and Gold Plating

Find out here difference between gold plating and scope creep, which is common in all projects

Gold Plating

Intentionally adding extra features to product/service/result, which were not included in the scope. Gold plating usually performed to make the client happy.

Scope Creep

Uncontrolled changes in scope due to interference of customer or misunderstanding of scope by the project team/manager. Scope creep can also be result of poor communication, poor change control system, vague scope statement, changing market conditions, regulatory requirements or influence from a key stakeholder.

How to Prevent Scope Creep and Gold Plating in Projects?

  1. Assign accountability: Assign specific individuals or teams to be responsible for managing scope and avoiding gold plating. Make sure everyone understands the consequences of scope creep and gold plating.

  2. Set up change management processes: Establish a clear process for requesting, evaluating, and implementing changes to the project scope. This helps prevent unnecessary changes and gold plating.

  3. Conduct regular reviews: Schedule regular check-ins with stakeholders to assess progress and ensure that the project is still aligned with its original objectives and scope.

  4. Use a project management tool: Utilize a project management tool to track progress, prioritize tasks, and keep everyone on the same page.

  5. Communicate project goals and scope regularly: Ensure all stakeholders are aware of the project's objectives, scope, and any changes made to them. Regular communication helps avoid misunderstandings that can lead to scope creep and gold plating.

  6. Define clear project objectives and scope: Establish clear and concise project goals, timelines, and budgets that everyone involved in the project can understand and agree on.

Five Types of Organizational Structure

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) recognizes five types of organizational structures. They are:

  1. Functional Structure: This structure is best suited for organizations that have stable and repetitive processes. In a functional structure, employees are grouped by their area of expertise, such as marketing, finance, or engineering. This structure provides clear lines of authority and decision-making, making it easier to manage day-to-day operations. The benefits of a functional structure include specialized knowledge, clear responsibilities, and effective resource utilization.

  2. Projectized Structure: This structure is ideal for organizations that have a high volume of projects. In a projectized structure, the project manager has full authority over the project and the project team, and the focus is on delivering the project within budget, scope, and time constraints. The benefits of a projectized structure include clear lines of authority, effective communication, and improved project delivery.

  3. Matrix Structure: This structure combines the benefits of functional and projectized structures, making it suitable for organizations with both ongoing operations and a high volume of projects. In a matrix structure, project managers and functional managers both share responsibility for the project, leading to a balance of specialized knowledge and project delivery focus. The benefits of a matrix structure include flexibility, improved resource utilization, and effective project management.

  4. Weak Matrix Structure: This structure is similar to a matrix structure, but functional managers have more control over projects. This structure is best suited for organizations that have a low volume of projects and a focus on ongoing operations. The benefits of a weak matrix structure include efficient resource utilization and the ability to leverage specialized knowledge.

  5. Balanced Matrix Structure: This structure is similar to a matrix structure, but project managers and functional managers have equal control over projects. This structure is ideal for organizations that have a moderate volume of projects and a focus on both ongoing operations and project delivery. The benefits of a balanced matrix structure include improved communication, clear lines of authority, and effective project management.

Difference Between Threshold vs Tolerance

Threshold vs Tolerance - What's the Difference?

Many PMP aspirants, while studying PMBOK come across two terminologies in the Risk Chapter - Tolerance and Threshold. These two words apparently seem to have same meanings and often confuse people.

Here, I will describe Threshold and Tolerance in most simple words and with an example:


My threshold to withstand temperature is:  10'C to 40'C   - Below or above 10C and 40C I will not be able to manage.


Temperature between 10'C and 40'C is tolerable for me.

So, as we saw above, Threshold is limit, below or above, human or a machine or any result will be considered out of control/difficult to manage/out of range. Tolerance is the range that is under control/manageable within the limits (threshold).

As we understood with the example above, Threshold and Tolerance do not have same meanings, and that both are used to describe two different things.

PMBOK 6th vs PMBOK 7th Differences

The main differences between PMBOK 7th edition and PMBOK 6th edition are:

  1. Process groups: PMBOK 7 has reorganized the process groups into four groups: Initiation, Planning, Executing, and Monitoring & Controlling & Closing.

  2. Knowledge areas: PMBOK 7 has added a new knowledge area, "Project Stakeholder Management," and reorganized the existing knowledge areas to align with the new process group structure.

  3. Tailored Approach: PMBOK 7 emphasizes the need for tailoring the project management process to fit the unique needs and circumstances of each project.

  4. Agile practices: PMBOK 7 includes more agile practices, reflecting the increasing use of agile methodologies in project management.

  5. Emphasis on Ethics: PMBOK 7 places a greater emphasis on the ethical considerations involved in project management.

  6. Project Manager role: PMBOK 7 expands the role of the Project Manager to include responsibilities for stakeholder engagement and communication.

  7. Digitalization: PMBOK 7 acknowledges the impact of digitalization on project management and includes a section on "Digital Project Management."

PMBOK Performance Domains Explained

8 PMBOK Performance Domains

The PMBOK 7th edition includes 8 performance domains that are grouped together to provide a more holistic view of project management. These PMBOK Performance Domains are as follows:

  1. Strategy Alignment: This domain covers the alignment of project management with organizational strategy and the ability to understand and align project objectives with organizational objectives.

  2. Technical Project Management: This domain talks about the application of skills, knowledge, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.

  3. Business Environment: This domain gives the understanding of the internal and external environment in which the project functions, including the impact of the project on the organization as well as stakeholders.

  4. Lifecycle Management: This domain talks about the ability to manage a project throughout its lifecycle, including initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and then closing.

  5. Stakeholder Management: This domain covers the ability to identify, analyze, and manage stakeholders, including their expectations and engagement throughout the project.

  6. Professional responsibility: This domain covers the understanding and demonstration of ethical and professional responsibilities and the impact of the project management profession on society.

  7. Agile Project Management: This domain covers the ability to apply agile principles, values, and practices to deliver project value.

These project management domains offer a thorough understanding of project management and aid in project managers' comprehension of the key components of a project and how they relate to one another. With this strategy, project managers can concentrate on the project's overall goals rather to merely its technical details.

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