What to Expect From Prometric

An example of what a PMP testing center could look like
From scheduling to actual test day, this article can prepare you for your Project Management Professional (PMP)® electronic exam experience with the exclusive provider, Prometric® Testing Centers. Paper exams are allowed only for company sponsored groups of at least 10 examinees or for individuals living more than 300 kilometers (186.5 miles) from a Prometric center. For all others, the electronic version of the PMP exam is required through a Prometric center. Continue reading

Do You Qualify for the PMP Certification?

Do I need to be a project manager to qualify for the PMP certification?
Many people wonder if they qualify for the PMP certification. To answer this question, always focus on whether you were working to create something new, be it a product, service, process, system, etc. If the answer is yes, it will almost certainly qualify. Disregard your job title completely – your role is what matters. In addition, you will need to examine the type of work you have done, the number of hours, and the overall duration of your work experience. Continue reading

How Training as a Group for PMP Certification Can Benefit Your Company

Training as a Group for PMP<sup>®</sup> Certification Can Benefit Your Company
Be the hero in your company by suggesting a group PMP training that saves money! In-house group training for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is becoming more and more popular with Project Management Academy customers, and for good reason. As outlined in another article, Five Reasons Employers Prefer PMP Certification, many requests for proposals are specifically including the PMP certification by key personnel as a requirement. As such, many companies find themselves scrambling to get their employees certified quickly. Continue reading

Five Reasons Employers Want PMP Certification

Employers Want PMP Certification
A search of “pmp certified project manager” on simplyhired.com yields 63,418 results. And that number is likely to keep rising. If you have researched project manager job listings recently, then you already know how much weight the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification carries in the workplace. Indeed, the clear majority show PMP certification as either required or strongly preferred. Continue reading

Why Firm PMP Course Dates are a Must

Ensuring your PMP course date does not change
Imagine you are taking four days away from work. You probably start by getting the time approved by your supervisor, then adjusting your project schedule to ensure that activities requiring your close oversight are not performed that week. You go on to let key personnel know you will be away, and whom to contact in your absence. You re-schedule any meetings that were set to occur during those days, make any necessary childcare arrangements, and in some cases, book travel to the course location. Then you get the email – your PMP® course has been postponed due to low enrollment, and the new dates don’t work for you at all. “Sorry for the inconvenience, read the fine print.” Continue reading

EVM3 Overview

Earned Value Management Maturity Model
Each year, I work with hundreds of business people to prepare for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam. One of the most challenging topics in the course is Earned Value Management (EVM). Asking for a show of hands in response to the question, “who here actually figures out the Earned Value Management on their projects?” the response is, overwhelmingly, week after week, less than 10%. In an audience of 20 people, that is only one or two people at best. Continue reading

Managing Scope Creep: An Ounce of Prevention

Managing Scope Creep
Project managers often speak of “managing” scope creep, which begs the question: “Shouldn’t we be trying to eliminate it instead?”

To answer that question, we should first consider whether scope creep is actually avoidable in the first place. And if it is, do we really want to “avoid” it altogether? After all, many innovative products and solutions were developed because of – not in spite of – scope creep. Continue reading

Transform Chaos into Results: How To Juggle Multiple Projects

Juggling Multiple Projects
Are you having trouble juggling multiple projects? Does it seem like nothing is getting done? Does your task list grow longer and longer each passing day? These feelings are quite common and can often lead to burn-out. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. In this article, I’ll explain some simple and effective ways to manage multiple projects, conflicting priorities and a seemingly impossible workload. Continue reading

Project Selection Methods: A Primer for the Project Manager

Business decisions
The success of an enterprise often hinges on the projects it selects, so this is an area of project management – and indeed business management – that should not be overlooked. While there is no “one size fits all” approach for selecting a project, and organizations will differ widely in how they approach this task, the following may help the project manager be as useful as possible in the process. Continue reading

Brainstorming: Lessons from the Film Industry

Brainstorming
In the film and television industry, the process of brainstorming is often described using the more visceral and more visually descriptive term “spitballing.” The term spitballing comes from the idea that participants can throw ideas around and “see what sticks.” Although the terminology feels quite informal, spitballing is a hugely important part of developing a creative project and is typically utilized consistently from project inception through project close. Continue reading

Five Tips to Improve your Communication Style

Technology in the hands
Whether in email, phone conversations or face-to-face meetings, communicating effectively does not come easily for many people. A lapse in communication in the workplace can lead to something as trivial as a rift between colleagues to missed deadlines or rework. Examples abound for each of these cases but the common theme is the same – communication failures result in lost productivity. By making a few simple changes, you can avoid these common pitfalls and improve your communication style. Continue reading

Risk Management

Risk Management
Projects are, by their nature, unique. In fact, the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) says that a project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.”1 So in that uniqueness is uncertainty and with that uncertainty, risk. If you think about it, pretty much everything on a project is risky including availability of resources, estimates for both cost and time, procurement lead times and requirements. Continue reading

Free PMP Training: How to Get Your Employer to Pay

Get your employer to pay for it
As project managers, we tend to view training and certifications as enhancements to our own credentials, and they certainly are. But remember, our employers stand to benefit from our additional training and credentials far more than we do. Good PM skills can save huge amounts of money, prevent catastrophic project failures, and help maintain good client relations (among other benefits). As such, most companies pay for their employees’ Project Management Professional (PMP)® training and exam fees. Continue reading

Keeping your PMI Certification Fresh: A Tutorial on PDUs

Tutorial on PDUs
Project management is a complex, ever-evolving forum of methodologies, principles, and best practices. So, it’s little wonder why Project Management Institute (PMI®) asserts that continuing education is an essential part of a project manager’s professional development. Consequently, PMI requires certain post-exam educational standards be met in order to maintain certification status. These requirements, known as Professional Development Units (PDUs), may seem ill-defined at first, but in this article we’ll attempt to answer questions about the quantity, frequency, and availability of PDUs necessary to maintain your certification. Continue reading

What You Need to Know About the PMP Certification

PMP Certification - Meeting
In recent years, project management has emerged as one of the world’s prevailing new professions. The Anderson Economic Group projected in a recent survey that an average of 1.2 million new project management positions will need to be filled each year until 2016, with healthcare, infrastructure development, and green technologies cited as some of the industry’s fastest-growing niches. This rapid growth, coupled with competitive industry salaries, has incentivized many employees and students to consider a career in project management. Continue reading

Choosing the Right PMI Certification for You

PMI_Certification_Cover_Photo
As many aspiring project managers already know, the field of project management is littered with certifications, master’s programs, and technical training programs with varying degrees of relevance and significance. Project Management Institute (PMI)®, the world’s largest association for the project management profession, seeks to consolidate these programs and provide a uniform standard of terminology and technical expertise through globally recognized certification. Continue reading

An Introduction to Agile Project Management

Waterfall Model
For many years, there has been a traditional method of project management based on the idea that the customer can know and define his or her requirements fully up front. While this is occasionally the case, very often customers either don’t know precisely what they want or, more often, “will know it when they see it.” As pictured to the left, the waterfall model defines a cascading series of phases from requirements through maintenance. (Although the names of the phases may be different, the idea is the same). Continue reading

5 Tips for Effective Team Management

Teamwork Project management is not only one of the fastest-growing fields in today’s economy, but also one of the most professionally diverse. Viewing the discipline from this perspective lends insight to the wide range of personalities you can and probably will encounter throughout your career. Learning to lead and manage a wide array of personalities will promote some of the most essential project management skills. Continue reading

The Five Traditional Process Groups Explained

5 Process Groups
In project management generally – and the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) specifically – best practices dictate a very specific series of process groups that should be performed. These are referred to as Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. Continue reading