PMI and PMP Archives

April 23, 2005

PMP, did they spell that right?

The google ads on my site are all showing PMP certification courses and cheatsheets tonight. How embarassing. One of these days I'll get around to putting some details behind my objection to PMI's shameless fund-raising and consultant full-employment actions, but for now let me just say I don't get it. Why pay for something so meaningless? Am I alone in thinking that everyone with a PMP has been conned? Do they really think it means ANYTHING?

For anyone reading with a PMP certification. Sorry if I have insulted you personally. Feel free to leave a comment telling me why I am wrong. I'm flexible. If you can make a good case I might even change my mind

May 21, 2005

PMBOK Good - PMP Bad - PMI ???

I first came in contact with the Guide to the PMBOK nearly 10 years ago. It used to come free on a CD with every copy of Primavera and you could download it off the internet. At the time I thought, great, this is a very useful taxonomy of project management practices. I think it was instrumental in defining common terms which if used consistantly would allow people to discuss and think about project management without misunderstanding.

As PMI matured, the PMBOK got updated and went under more control. Rather than a free disk in every box of software or something anyone could download it became a document that came with a paid membership. You can access certain excerpts of it on-line after filling in some form and agreeing to terms and conditions (PMI site here) but the open attitude and ability to pass the disk around to whoever wanted it is gone.

I seem to recall political battles around the turn of the millenium as well regarding what would go in and what would stay out. I didn't pay enough attention to remember what happened so I won't cover that here, but I'm quite certain that the battles began. Next thing I know the PMBOK became a reference text for PMP certification and a cottage industry of PMP exam trainers sprung up. All of this has a cost. PMI membership has a cost. PMP certification has a cost. Training can cost a couple thousand dollars. And then there is continuing education...something provided by PMP approved consultants.

The organization that once encouraged free sharing of project management ideas and defining common terms so we can engage in productive discussion (see the discussion/argument about what Enterprise Project Management means at Brian's Blog) and debate seems to have turned into a commercial enterprise. A look at the meeting minutes from the last Board of Directors meeting (held in Singapore Feb'05) shows just two items: approval of a travel policy for directors and the following notes about PMP certification:

• PMI will remain the global leader in project and program management credentialing driven by market demand, stakeholder needs and advancement of the profession.
• PMI’s credentialing activities will give priority to cooperation over competition while ensuring that competitive activities are undertaken in a fair and ethical manner.
• PMI will maintain standardized credentialing practices globally and drive innovative solutions which address regional and local stakeholders’ needs.
• PMI will expand the levels and types of credentials and position them to meet the demands of the marketplace. PMI will explore new possibilities for innovative and defensible methods of assessment which are scalable and portable.
• PMI will develop and maintain a clear value proposition for all credentials.

If I use the technique of stripping out the adjectives (very useful when reading corporate speak) and do a little clean up the message reads: "Expand and dominate the market for Project management credentials". Is this to pay for travel to Singapore? How does this benefit the membership at large? Is credentialing the functional equivalent of the sale of Girl Scout Cookies - something to raise money so that PMI can do good deeds? If so, then where are the good deeds discussed?

Sorry PMI - you leave a bad impression when all you do is look for and talk about money.

June 2, 2005

Lovely Rita PMP meter maid

I've ranted about the Project Management Institute's PMP (Project Management Professional) certification a couple of times so far. One of my main points is that it has become a cash cow for PMI and for a consulting ecosystem which provides PMP training, books, test prep etc. often at what I'd consider a fairly high price.

One of the most well known of these consultants is Rita Mulcahy. She has built a small empire of trainers and provides training classes, books and software specifically geared at helping you to pass the exam. Her company, RMC Project Management, has 5 principal trainers and seems to be offering exam prep classes about 15 times a month all around the country.

The sad thing about this all is the way that they go about it. In one place her website claims:

The PMP® designation following your name demonstrates to current and potential employers that you possess a solid foundation of experience and education in project management that can have a positive impact on bottom-line results. The certification exam is so important that many of RMC's students are required by their companies to become certified in order to retain their positions. Some have received 15% raises and $15,000 bonuses.

This is fine, if not a little scary (a tactic which RMC seem to be using to promote current sales before the "new" PMP examination comes out in September. I'll discuss the new exam requirements later if I get a chance). But how does it tie in with what RMC is actually offering? Let's take a look at the course contents and find out. The Classroom PMP Prep exam promises to cover:
  • How to study and create a study plan
  • Tricks for memorizing formulas
  • Tricks to help you understand how the PMP® questions are written
  • Tricks for shortening your study time
  • Tricks for taking the exam
  • Tricks for finding holes in your project management knowledge
  • Reasons people fail the exam and how to make sure you do not do the same
  • Exercises to help you understand, memorize and conceptualize the information you need to know, right in class, including those dreaded formulas

    My problem is that tricks are fine and dandy for some things. If Rita can turn tricks into a lucrative business then fine, but knowing "tricks" to pass the test does not seem to be the equivalent of having "a solid foundation of education and experience in Project Management". Indeed it is quite the opposite and Rita's site advocates AGAINST too much further study stating:

    RMC recommends that you study for no more than 40 additional hours after taking our 2-day class prior to taking the exam. RMC also recommends that you wait no longer than two (2) months after class to take the exam, as your memory of the techniques you learned in class will begin to fade.

    I wonder. Are those who passed this cram course really the sort of experienced and qualified Project Management Professionals that the PMP certification makes them out to be? Do not take this as a slam against Rita. She is just trying to build and run a successful business and by all indications has done so. It is not wrong to collect the tolls at the roadblocks that others have set up. She is certainly following the rules (and if you read the "Website Terms of Use" at her site she expects everyone else to follow them as well - the legal warnings are amazing) No, the guilty party here is the PMI.

  • Reading the rules (PMP Certification)

    Rules often say a lot more than they intend to. On one hand they describe what to do and what not to do, but they also reflect the motive or intent of their creators and also reflect what the problems that creator is facing. Because of their importance rule creators spend a fair amount of time on them and because of this one can interpret or in effect read the rule backward and understand the motivation of the creator.

    For a simple example of this let's look at one of the changes that PMI is making to the PMP certification criteria. From a document that lays out the changes that are going to be effective as of September 30, 2005 we find that

    "Candidates will have three opportunities to take and pass the PMP examination within their one-year eligibility period. If candidates do not succeed on the third attempt, candidates will have to wait one year from their third unsuccessful attempt before being permitted to test again."

    To restate it simply. If you don't pass in three tries you face the penalty of waiting 1 year to try again for this "important" certification. Clear? This is a new penalty for those who have trouble passing. OK, Let's start deconstructing.

    First, this was in a memo sent out to all of the PMI® Registered Education Providers (REPs). One can presume that they are the ones most interested in this. My previous posts have shown that some of these providers make a business out of PMP Exam cram courses. These courses pay some lip service to broad project management education but are actually guaranteeing that you will pass the test on the first try. Different prep providers actually compete with each other based on how little time you need to actually spend studying project management. What do we learn from this? We learn that PMI endorses and supports this sort of activity.

    Second, we can look at the time penalty. Why would you put this in place? What behavior does it drive? The most obvious result is that it creates a situation where it is important to get it right the first time because the penalties for failing are high.

    Who does this benefit? Well, it does not particularly benefit the candidate. 3 times seems fairly arbitrary. The candidate is trying to get the certification for their own benefit so why try and limit them? It does not seem to benefit PMI much unless their testing sessions are so congested that "good" candidates are being prevented from taking the test by those who are taking it for the 4th and 5th times. I'm not aware that this is the case. It does benefit them in the short term by getting those who were on the fence about scheduling their exam to now jump to make sure they take it before the rules change in September. This may have a short term financial benefit to PMI, and cynically speaking, a long term one if they can keep changing rules from year to year.

    It is obvious that the main group which it benefits is the exam prep providers who now find a larger pool of applicants - people who feel the pressure to pass the exam in a minimal amount of time. With the penalty of waiting a year, the "guaranteed" pass offered by a prep service becomes much more attractive.

    So, from one rule (and the way it was communicated) shows that PMI has no qualms about people cramming for the test and instead drives them towards consultants who provide such services. I'm at a loss to understand how this benefits the discipline of Project Management. Knowledge of Project Management can be advanced by deep study and understanding of project management issues, ideas and techniques. Promoting a "cram and take the test before you forget" approach to learning project management is just wrong. The only motivation I can see is that PMI and the associated ecosystem of consultants and trainers are just in it for the money. This is sad to say the least. I believe this approach to certification is doing a disservice to the profession.

    I welcome the comments of any PMI representative or registered education provider about this issue. Let's discuss it.

    June 10, 2005

    Hiring PMP's

    Mike Mullaly has an article on about hiring PMP's. (you will have to log in). He cites the statistic that over 200,000 people have held the PMP (but only 100,000 are currently certified). At $500 each for the exam alone that is a $10 million business for PMI alone, to say nothing of the opportunities for consultants and trainers.

    The business aspects stretch further. As Mike points out:

    the number of organizations that use the PMP as a screening criterion in their process of hiring project managers has gone through the roof. Today, it is the rare job posting for a project manager that doesn't ask for PMP certification as a qualification. More importantly, hiring managers candidly admit that they only look at resumes of those who have their certification; other resumes simply don't get a second glance.
    Now this would be a fine thing if there were some merit to the PMP certification, but in actual practice I see little or perhaps an inverse correlation between project management skill and possession of a PMP certificate. In my experience PMP certificate holders appear to mostly be newcomers to the profession and as such have little real world experience. Companies screening on this basis are just being stupid.

    July 3, 2005

    Free PMBOK Download.

    There is no such thing as a "free PMBOK download" anymore. The closest you can get for free are a few exerpts. You can find them at the PMI site. Sorry. Personally I think it should be free. But of course PMI has to give some value to their members...

    I just mention it here because a large number of search referals in my logs show that people are looking for it.

    July 20, 2005

    Some Earned Value Formulas - PMP Study

    The PMP exam is big on terminology. These are the basic Earned Value Terms you need to know. If you are studying to pass the PMP exam you should know these by heart and be able to derive them in case you are heartbroken. They really are fairly simple. In order from first to last:

    BAC = Budget at Completion (Project budget)
    AC = Actual Cost of the Work Performed
    EV = Earned Value
    EV = Budgeted Cost of the Work Performed
    EV = % complete times BAC
    PV = Planned Value
    PV = Budgeted Cost of the Work Scheduled
    CV = Cost Variance
    CV = EV – AC
    CPI = Cost Performance Index
    CPI = EV/AC
    SV = Schedule Variance
    SV = EV – PV
    SPI = Schedule Performance Index
    SPI = EV/PV
    EAC = Estimate at Completion
    ETC = Estimate to Complete
    ETC = EAC – AC
    VAC = Variance at Completion
    VAC = BAC – EAC

    Note that the acronyms are slightly different from what was used a few years ago and is still widely used by old timers. PMI simplified the terms by dropping a letter here and there. The fundamentals are the same though.

    July 21, 2005

    One is the Loneliest Number - Defense Extensions to the PMBOK

    Frank says he just needs one number. So in the spirit of the absurd I present to you the U.S. Department of Defense Extension to: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). It is a free download so go get it.

    It has more acronyms and processes than you can shake a stick at. I'm not claiming it is not useful, but it stands in stark contrast to the one number philosophy. The existance of such a gap points out once again that processes need to be responsive to their environment. Think about that before you set up a PMO to paint your bathroom or run a missle development program based on just knowing how many days until launch.

    July 27, 2005

    PMBOK and Job Performance

    "There is no statistically significant relationship between project management knowledge as demonstrated by total scores on the knowledge test based on the PMBOK Guide and the measure of perceived effectivemess of workplace performance", at least that is what Lynn Crawford claims are the results of a study published in the International Journal of Project Management (Vol 23, Issue 1, Jan 2005).

    The conclusion is that "there is no direct relationship between how well project managers perform against standards for knowledge and use of practices, and how well they are perceived to perform by their supervisors".

    It is a bit disappointing that the study relies on supervisor assessment and uses the measure of "perceived effectiveness" rather than some more objective measure. But it is an interesting study and points out some roadblocks which Project Managers need to overcome. When professional associations say one thing is important and the people who pay your salary say another, it is a difficult situation.

    September 15, 2005

    PMP Exam Cheats

    Things must be heating up in the PMI PMP certification exam world. With a new and more rigorous test on the horizon (coming September 30) I am getting more and more people coming here as a result of searches like


    I get several of these every day from all over the world.
    It really makes me wonder about the integrity of PMP certificate candidates...

    In a related thought, are employers going to discriminate against those who passed the "easy" PMP vs. those who passed the "hard" one?

    September 16, 2005

    PMP and Project+

    J (not me) posts an interesting comment on the PMP certification here saying in part:

    "PMI has a pecuniary interest in promoting their way of doing things. People who work hard to pass their tests, having to learn more about PMI-isms than project management, imho, rightfully want to take pride in their accomplishments and leverage their certification for a greater salary. This results in a huge group-think situation ripe with denial.

    No certification or college degree is a substitute for experience and good judgment. I suspect that those who hold certifications as most important are those who know the least about a subject area--depending upon a pedigree for a hiring decision instead of their own knowledge and abilities."

    I happen to agree. The "group-think" theme is an interesting one especially in light of some research by Lynn Crawford that suggests that Project Management Standards are not really in alignment with what senior management expects from project managers (see "Senior Management Perceptions of Project Management Competence" International Journal of Project Management 23 [2005] 7-16). It would seem a broader spectrum of input would be useful in developing standards. This makes things vastly more complicated and perhaps makes the potential for "testing" someone on them increasingly difficult, but narrowly drawn lines of Project Management ideology are not suitable for a broad discipline.

    November 10, 2005

    Free PMBOK Download - This nonsense thing

    For some reason my article on why there is no "free PMBOK Download" gets the most irate comments. Most of them I can't publish, and the rest of them claim I am full of nonsense. I guess people don't like to be told that something does not exist. Next up on my list: "The Easter Bunny".

    November 18, 2005

    The new PMBOK Guide

    I'm wondering how much has changed if

    One of the most important changes is the criteria for included information, which evolved from “generally accepted on most projects, most of the time” to “generally recognized as good practice on most projects, most of the time.”

    Nevertheless, an essential reference if you are going to study for the PMP exam. I'm getting less and less excited about PMI the more I read. Expecially when I read their linking agreement (find it at: which states:
    No Negative References. You agree not to make negative or disparaging references to PMI, its services or its members or otherwise compare PMI, its services or its members unfavorably to others.

    Hey, maybe I could use those terms and conditions on my site?

    January 16, 2006

    Management "Science" and the PMBOK

    Among a segment of the population the PMBOK has a bad name for a number of reasons (some content related, others regarding the organization surrounding it) but it does have one thing going for it and that is in the reduction of confusion. Prior to the PMBOK the acceptance of a common taxonomy across Project Management was spotty. Certainly there was strong development of many principles and techniques, but they were spread pretty widely. The PBMOK changed that.

    Now, I certainly don't agree with the way that the PMBOK is often taken as a bible and think that it is detrimental to those who treat it that way, but as Francis Bacon wrote some 500 years ago in the famous aphorism:

    "Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion"

    It would seem that to find some truth, an incomplete and perhaps wrong statement of where we are is a better starting point than a broad selection of conflicting schools of thought.

    Indeed the current situation still looks a bit to me like what Thomas Kuhn described as "early fact-gathering, a state of affairs where

    "all of the facts that could possibly pertain to the development of a given science are likely to seem equally relevant. As a result, early fact-gathering is a far more nearly random activity than the one that subsequent scientific development makes familiar. Furthermore, in the absence of a reason for seeking some particular form of more recondite information, early fact-gathering is usually restricted to the wealth of data that lie ready to hand"

    A recent post to the agile management mailing list where-in the author was searching Google for evidence to support his argument seems to place us firmly in the early fact-gathering era. The reason being that real "Science" is hard and expensive and in the absence of a clear need to do it (to defend one's practices or to remedy an error) it just doesn't get done. In the current world anecdote is enough. Some measure of charisma and perhaps a high Google page-rank helps as well.

    However, the PMBOK is not enough yet. What PMI should be doing if they want to advance the knowledge of Project Management further is to commission some experiments to validate the claims which are implicit in the PMBOK. Rather than footnoting (if they even do that) conflicting schools of thought, they should mount an active challenge and seek to design experiments which validate - or invalidate - the positions that are implicit in their categorization of "best" practices. Until they do that we are still picking up facts where they lie, searching Google for anecdote, conjecture and opinion.

    Some one please pass the phlogiston...

    January 20, 2006

    PMP Study Guides

    Carl Stumph offers up some useful PMP study materials on his site here:
    Project Management Professional - PMP - Study Group
    Interesting to see the cease and desist letter he received for posting the PMBOK for free downloads and their request that he turn over his domain name to them. Your PMI $ at work I guess :-)

    NOTE: I've started writing my own HOW TO PASS THE PMP Study Guide HERE

    January 24, 2006

    PMI Obfuscation and the PMBOK

    PMI keeps a very tight control on the PMBOK(c). I've already mentioned that there is no such thing as a  free PMBOK download, at least for several years. This is understandable as it is probably one of their key sources of income and only an idiot would give their works away for free... Um... oh, yeah, I have ads. Clickety click.

    But, as Glen has pointed out while PMI is controlling access into the PMBOK, they are also controlling access OUT of the PMBOK. He lists the 5 items referenced by the PMBOK: "A dictionary, two ISO standards, a PMI Journal Paper and a Handbook.". For something billed as "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" it appears very thin on the guiding part. Indeed, in an academic setting it would be rejected as being under-researched. How does PMI support the claims implicit in the PMBOK? A cynic might say that they are just making things up. Of course I am not THAT cynical. I know that this stuff came from somewhere and that books and papers (as well as experience) are the actual "Body of Knowledge" so that is why it seems so strange.

    Is it to avoid a conflict of interest and to escape from charges of favoritism? Or is it that they want no one to leave the island of information under their control? Anybody know the reason?

    March 24, 2006

    How to cheat on the pmp exam?

    OK, I know people are out there looking for free study material and even bootleg copies of the PMBOK, but it is a bad sign for the profession when I get people coming to this site trying to find out "how to cheat on the pmp exam":

    Whoever is out there searching google for:
    you have lowered my respect for you by at least a notch or two. Spend some of the energy you are currently using to game the exam to study a bit. It isn't that hard. Read the dumb Guide to the PMBOK and take some notes. Study the terminology used. That should cover it. If you think that you need to cheat to pass it, you have already failed.

    I'm even more convinced that the whole PMP certification is just a scam.

    July 13, 2006

    PMI Program Management Certification

    In a quiet summer the PM world is buzzing with news of a new PMI certification. Moving beyond the territory of the PMP (Project Management Professional) the Program Management certification would be for those who are leading programs. The role of which is defined as:

    • Program managers are responsible and accountable for the coordinated management of multiple related projects directed toward strategic business and other organizational objectives. These programs contain complex activities that may span functions, organizations, geographic regions, and cultures. Program managers build credibility, establish rapport, and maintain communication with stakeholders at multiple levels, including those external to the organization.
    • Program managers define and initiate projects, and assign Project Managers to manage cost, schedule, and performance of component projects, while working to ensure the ultimate success and acceptance of the program. Program managers maintain continuous alignment of program scope with strategic business objectives, and make recommendations to modify the program to enhance effectiveness toward the business results or strategic intent. Program managers are responsible for determining and coordinating the sharing of resources among their constituent projects to the overall benefit of the program.
    • Program managers possess the knowledge and skills needed to be effective in both the project and business or government environments, and to make decisions that accomplish strategic objectives. In addition, the program manager should have advanced skills in finance, cross-cultural awareness, leadership, communication, influence, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

    The certification process would be fairly similar to the current PMP process with an initial experience and education assessment and a multiple guess test. But the new twist is the third step:

    "The third competence assessment occurs through a multi-rater assessment in which a team of raters that the candidate selects will be evaluating their competence in a work environment to perform germane tasks of a program manager as defined through the examination specification."

    OK PMI, now I'm even more confused. I can vaguely see the value of the PMP certification. It attests to a basic amount of training and experience. The CAPM is sort of like a spelling test. Both are targetted at job seekers it seems to me, and may have some attraction as a sort of outsourced Project Management skills assessment for organizations which are incapable of determining the relative skills of their own employees. I can see some value in that. But this new cert seems to be targetted at fairly high level people. If we make the very crude analogy that the PMP certification is the equivalent of other professional licensing such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or passing the Bar examination for lawyers, or professional registration as an Architect or Engineer, then what is the equivalent of the new Program Manager cert? It would be something like being promoted to partner or some other sort of job title.

    In the professional organizations I'm familiar with, that sort of promotion is based on performance and experience, not on passing an examination. Program management is not just something that you come in at entry level and do. I'd be worried to work in an organization where program managers are selected based on whether they have or do not have this credential. It would mean that their means for evaluating competence are broken.

    But with all of these sorts of things, the market sees things slightly different than I do, and they value the present certifications more highly than I do, so just watch this one take off. And of course watch as PMP's start to scramble to get a few more initials printed on their business cards, and PMI pulls in another $1000 a piece and the Rita Mulcahy's of the world buy a cheetah skin stole.

    For the official FAQ on this go to PMI's website here

    July 24, 2006

    PMI Practice Standard for Scheduling

    Just got an email announcing that the PMI Practice Standard for Scheduling is open for comments and recommendations. This would expand on Chapter 3 of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). I think this is a good thing, but I'm a bit worried that it is becoming more and more prescriptive rather than descriptive. It is pointed out in one of the screens you need to pass through to gain access to the document that the PMBOK and the practice standards are intended to be "standards". In other words they are intended to be THE WAY that things should be done. This is a change from the original purpose of the guide to the PMBOK which was a taxonomy or map of the entire body of project management knowledge.

    I have not completed my review of the document yet, but I have some concerns about the narrowing of scope which takes place in the development of documents like this. For example, this quote:

    "The first step in the schedule development process is the selection of an appropriate method. Some organizations have chosen to standardize on a specific software tool. In this case, the scheduling method decision has already been made and does not need to be made again. Since it is the most commonly used method, this Practice Standard focuses on CPM."

    If we look at what is said, the most commonly used method (CPM) has become the defacto standard and this decision "does not need to be made again". Further, the standard takes this assumption and quanitifies it as the baseline against which a schedule "conformance index" will be calculated by an outside auditor. The standard sets out a number of "required components" which are to calculate a score. It is interesting that the score is based on presence or absense of components rather than the quality. To quote from the proposed standard:

    "If the particular required component and any associated must good practice are present in the Project Schedule Model then a single point is earned. Of note, all of the points associated with the required component must be earned before an assessor can record a conformance score."

    It seems to me that this approach is less than ideal. In my opinion, the quality of the schedule is not based on some number of points on a per feature basis, a system where resource loading can be traded off for some different aspect. The quality is something to be assessed holistically. A spare schedule can be quite good while a schedule with a great deal of bells and whistles can obscure the truth. The fact that the assessment is based on the use of straight CPM scheduling leaves little room for innovation in an area which is long overdue for some new thought. But who knows, perhaps it is time to open shop as a schedule auditor and count the number of hanging activities...

    If you are interested in reading it - to draw your own conclusions, and commenting on it - to better it, then here is the letter introducing the standard with all the information you need to access it. I'm interested in making it better. I hope many of you are tool.

    Please review and comment on the exposure draft of the Practice Standard for Scheduling.

    PMI plans to publish an update to the Practice Standard for Scheduling in Quarter Four of this year. The exposure draft is now available online for your review and comment by Tuesday, 15 August.

    PMI both needs and appreciates your effort to thoroughly review the draft and submit recommended additions, deletions or corrections. We especially seek the input those who may be experienced or interested in scheduling.

    Project scheduling is the delivery of the project scope over time as defined by the project team. The standard describes the elements and generally recognized good practices for schedule development and is intended for practitioners that are familiar with the fundamentals of project scheduling.

    The Practice Standard for Scheduling will be one of PMI’s most important new publications. It was developed to reflect the latest in current practice and to align with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Third Edition and other updated and new publications.

    PMI members and nonmembers alike are invited to review and comment on the exposure draft. Please forward this message to others who may be interested. The link to the online exposure draft is:

    Comments are due by Tuesday, 15 August. For more information, e-mail PMI Standards Project Specialist Nan Wolfslayer or call her at +1 610-356-4600, extension 5020. Thank you very much for your time and participation.

    August 3, 2006

    PMI Practice Standard for Scheduling Required Components

    In reviewing the PMI Practice Standard for Scheduling I came across their proposal for which components would be required for a schedule to be considered "minimally acceptable". The good news is that most of these fall out of any modern scheduling tool such as Microsoft Project or Primavera Project Planner.

    The bad news is that at least if you use Microsoft Project you need to use "Physical Percent Complete" methods to update your schedule. The recommendation is that the concepts of earned value be used to fill in this field. Project in the past has had some difficulties with the use of Physical Percent Complete instead of just using Percent Complete or updating through Project Web Access. It has been a while since I've looked into those issues, but it looks like the time has come to do some testing.

    In case you are interested, here are the required components. I've marked the ones which the schedule tool should calculate for you automatically:

    • Activity ID - Calculated
    • Activity Label - Manual
    • Baseline Data Date - Manual
    • Project Calendar - Manual
    • Project Start Constraint - Manual
    • Critical Path - Calculated
    • Data Date - Manual
    • Activity Actual Duration - Calculated
    • Activity Baseline Duration - Calculated
    • Activity Original Duration - Manual
    • Activity Remaining Duration - Manual
    • Project Actual Duration - Calculated
    • Project Baseline Duration - Calculated
    • Project Original Duration - Calculated
    • Project Remaining Duration - Manual
    • Activity Actual Finish Date - Manual
    • Activity Baseline Finish Date - Calculated
    • Activity Early Finish Date - Calculated
    • Activity Late Finish Date - Calculated
    • Project Actual Finish Date - Calculated
    • Project Baseline Finish Date - Manual
    • Project Early Finish Date - Calculated
    • Project Late Finish Date - Calculated
    • Free Float - Calculated
    • Total Float - Calculated
    • Milestone - Calculated
    • Activity Physical Percent Complete - Manual
    • Project Physical Percent Complete - Calculated
    • Project Name - Manual
    • Project Schedule ID - Manual
    • Project Version - Calculated
    • Finish to Start - Manual
    • Activity Actual Start Date - Manual
    • Activity Baseline Start Date - Calculated
    • Activity Early Start Date - Calculated
    • Activity Late Start Date - Calculated
    • Project Actual Start Date - Calculated
    • Project Baseline Start Date - Manual
    • Project Early Start Date - Calculated
    • Project Late Start Date - Calculated
    • Unit of Measure - Manual
    • WBS ID - Manual

    March 27, 2007

    Personal PMP test takers

    There is no better reminder that I've neglected my series on passing the PMP Certification Exam than a stream of readers searching for cheats, tips and now, "Personal PMP test takers". It can't be that hard can it?

    A coach or a study group might be useful in creating the sense of obligation that some people need to get through the process, but hiring a personal PMP test taker takes away all that pressure. In fact, why not outsource all your work to someone who already has a PMP? The only trick to it is getting your company to pay for it.

    I'm expecting to have to do some travel soon. Travel means killing time in the airport. Killing time in the airport means I'll probably write more. You'll know it when you see it. Any requests?

    Related queries from today's log:
    "Paying for a PMP cheater"
    "paying people to take PMP exam for you"
    "PMP's who will take exam for others for pay"
    "How to cheat on PMP exam"

    About PMI and PMP

    This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Project in the PMI and PMP category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

    Personal Productivity is the previous category.

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