Head First PMP, 2nd Edition

Book description

Learn the latest principles and certification objectives in The PMBOK Guide, Fourth Edition, in a unique and inspiring way with Head First PMP . The second edition of this book helps you prepare for the PMP certification exam using a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works. You'll find a full-length sample exam included inside the book.

More than just proof of passing a test, a PMP certification means that you have the knowledge to solve most common project problems. But studying for a difficult four-hour exam on project management isn't easy, even for experienced project managers. Drawing on the latest research in neurobiology, cognitive science, and learning theory, Head First PMP offers you a multi-sensory experience that helps the material stick, not a text-heavy approach that puts you to sleep.

This book will help you:

  • Learn PMP's underlying concepts to help you understand the PMBOK principles and pass the certification exam with flying colors
  • Get 100% coverage of the latest principles and certification objectives in The PMBOK Guide, Fourth Edition, including two new processes: Collect Requirements and Identify Stakeholders
  • Make use of a thorough and effective preparation guide with hundreds of practice questions and exam strategies
  • Explore the material through puzzles, games, problems, and exercises that make learning easy and entertaining

Head First PMP puts project management principles into context to help you understand, remember, and apply them -- not just on the exam, but also on the job.

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Table of contents

  1. Dedication
  2. Praise for Head First PMP
  4. How to use this Book: Intro
    1. Who is this book for?
      1. Who should probably back away from this book?
      2. We know what you’re thinking.
    2. And we know what your brain is thinking
    3. Metacognition: thinking about thinking
      1. Here’s what WE did
      2. Here’s what YOU can do to bend your brain into submission
      3. Read me
    4. The technical review team
    5. Acknowledgments
    6. Safari® Books Online
  5. 1. Introduction: Why get certified?
    1. Do these problems seem familiar?
    2. Projects don’t have to be this way
    3. Your problems... already solved
    4. What you need to be a good project manager
    5. You can’t manage your project in a vacuum
    6. Understand your company’s big picture
    7. Portfolios, programs, and projects
    8. What a project IS...
    9. ... and what a project is NOT
    10. A day in the life of a project manager
    11. How project managers run great projects
    12. A PMP certification is more than just passing a test
    13. Meet a real-life PMP-certified project manager
  6. 2. Organizations, constraints, and projects: In good company
    1. A day in Kate’s life
    2. Kate wants a new job
    3. There are different types of organizations
    4. Kate takes a new job
      1. Kate’s being asked to do operational work
    5. Stakeholders are impacted by your project
      1. Negative Stakeholders
      2. Identify Stakeholders
    6. Back to Kate’s maintenance nightmare
    7. Managing project constraints
    8. Kate makes some changes...
    9. ... and her project is a success!
  7. 3. The process framework: It all fits together
    1. Cooking up a project
    2. Projects are like recipes
    3. If your project’s really big, you can manage it in phases
    4. Phases can also overlap
      1. Iteration means executing one phase while planning the next
    5. Break it down
    6. Anatomy of a process
    7. Combine processes to complete your project
    8. Knowledge areas organize the processes
    9. The benefits of successful project management
  8. 4. Project integration management: Getting the job done
    1. Time to book a trip
      1. Larry’s cutting corners
    2. The teachers are thrilled... for now
    3. These clients are definitely not satisfied
      1. Larry’s been let go
    4. The day-to-day work of a project manager
      1. A bird’s-eye view of a project
    5. The six Integration Management processes
    6. Start your project with the Initiating processes
    7. Integration management and the process groups
    8. The “Develop Project Charter” process
    9. Make the case for your project
    10. Use expert judgment to get an outside opinion
    11. A closer look at the project charter
    12. Two things you’ll see over and over and over...
    13. Plan your project!
    14. The project management plan lets you plan ahead for problems
      1. The project management plan is a collection of other plans
    15. A quick look at all those subsidiary plans
    16. Question Clinic: The “Just-The-Facts-Ma’am” Question
    17. The Direct and Manage Project Execution process
    18. The project team creates deliverables
    19. Executing the project includes repairing defects
      1. Deliverables include everything that you and your team produce for the project
    20. Eventually, things WILL go wrong...
      1. ... but if you keep an eye out for problems, you can stay on top of them!
    21. Sometimes you need to change your plans
    22. Look for changes and deal with them
    23. Make only the changes that are right for your project
    24. Changes, defects, and corrections
    25. Decide your changes in change control meetings
    26. How the processes interact with each other
    27. Control your changes; use change control
    28. Preventing or correcting problems
    29. Finish the work, close the project
    30. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here
    31. So why INTEGRATION management?
      1. What else is there?
    32. Integration Management kept your project on track, and the teachers satisfied
  9. 5. Scope management: Doing the right stuff
    1. Out of the frying pan...
    2. ... and right back into the fire
    3. Cubicle conversation
    4. It looks like we have a scope problem
    5. You’ve got to know what (and how) you will build before you build it
    6. The power of scope management
    7. The five Scope Management processes
    8. Cubicle conversation
    9. Collect requirements for your project
    10. Talk to your stakeholders
    11. Make decisions about requirements
    12. Help your team to get creative
    13. Use a questionnaire to get requirements from a bigger group of people
      1. Observation can help you see things from a different point of view
    14. A prototype shows users what your product will be like
    15. Collect requirements outputs page
    16. Define the scope of the project
    17. How do you define the scope?
      1. Facilitated workshops
      2. Product analysis
      3. Alternatives identification
      4. Expert judgment
    18. The scope statement tells you what you have to do
    19. Question Clinic: The “Which-is-BEST” Question
    20. Create the work breakdown structure
    21. The inputs for the WBS come from other processes
    22. Breaking down the work
    23. Break it down by project or phase
    24. Decompose deliverables into work packages
    25. Inside the work package
    26. The baseline is a snapshot of the plan
    27. The outputs of the Create WBS process
    28. Cubicle conversation
    29. Why scope changes
      1. Good change
      2. Bad change
      3. Scope Creep
      4. Gold plating
    30. The Control Scope process
    31. Anatomy of a change
    32. A closer look at the Change Control System
    33. Just one Control Scope tool/technique
      1. There’s no “right order” for the Control Scope and Scope Verification processes
    34. Make sure the team delivered the right product
    35. The stakeholders decide when the project is done
    36. Is the project ready to go?
    37. The project is ready to ship!
  10. 6. Time management: Getting it done on time
    1. Reality sets in for the happy couple
    2. Meet the wedding planner
    3. Time management helps with aggressive time lines
    4. Use the Define Activities process to break down the work
    5. Tools and techniques for Define Activities
    6. Rolling wave planning lets you plan as you go
    7. Define activities outputs
      1. Activity List
      2. Activity Attributes
      3. Milestone Lists
    8. The Sequence Activities process puts everything in order
    9. Diagram the relationship between activities
    10. Network diagrams put your tasks in perspective
    11. Predecessors help you sequence your activities
      1. External predecessors
      2. Discretionary predecessors
      3. Mandatory predecessors
    12. Leads and lags add time between activities
    13. Create the network diagram
    14. Rob and Rebecca have resource problems
    15. What you need to estimate resources
      1. Resource Calendars
    16. Estimating the resources
    17. Figuring out how long the project will take
    18. Estimation tools and techniques
    19. Create the duration estimate
    20. Back to the wedding
    21. Bringing it all together
    22. Question Clinic: The “Which-comes-next” Question
    23. One thing leads to another
    24. Use the Critical Path Method to avoid big problems
      1. How does knowing your critical path help?
    25. How to find the critical path
    26. Finding the float for any activity
    27. Float tells you how much extra time you have
    28. Figure out the early start and early finish
      1. Early start
      2. Early finish
    29. Figure out the latest possible start and finish
      1. Late start
      2. Late finish
    30. Add early and late durations to your diagrams
    31. Take a backward pass to find late start and finish
    32. Let’s take some time out to walk through this!
    33. Crash the schedule
    34. Fast-tracking the project
    35. What-if analysis
      1. Monte Carlo Analysis
      2. Scheduling Tool
    36. Other Develop Schedule tools and techniques
      1. Performance Reviews
      2. Resource Leveling
      3. Adjusting Leads and Lags
      4. Schedule Compression and Schedule Network Analysis
    37. Outputs of Develop Schedule
      1. Project Schedule
      2. Milestone List
      3. Schedule Data
      4. Schedule Baseline
      5. Updates and Requested Changes
    38. Influence the factors that cause change
    39. Control Schedule inputs and outputs
    40. What Control Schedule updates
    41. Measuring and reporting performance
    42. Control Schedule tools and techniques
    43. Another satisfied customer!
  11. 7. Cost management: Watching the bottom line
    1. Time to expand the Head First Lounge
    2. The guys go overboard
    3. Lounge conversation
    4. Introducing the cost management processes
      1. Estimate Costs process
      2. Determine Budget process
      3. Control Costs process
    5. What Alice needs before she can Estimate Costs
    6. Other tools and techniques used in Estimate Costs
      1. Project Management Estimating Software
      2. Vendor Bid Analysis
      3. Reserve Analysis
      4. Cost of Quality
    7. Let’s talk numbers
    8. Now Alice knows how much the Lounge will cost
      1. Activity Cost Estimates
      2. Basis of Cost Estimates
      3. Updates to Project Documents
      4. Requested changes
    9. Lounge conversation
    10. The Determine Budget process
    11. What you need to build your budget
    12. Determine budget: how to build a budget
    13. Question Clinic: The Red Herring
    14. The Control Costs process is a lot like schedule control
    15. A few new tools and techniques
      1. Earned Value Management
      2. To-Complete Performance Index
      3. Performance Reviews
      4. Forecasting
      5. Project Management Software
      6. Variance Analysis
    16. Look at the schedule to figure out your budget
      1. Budget at completion (BAC)
    17. How to calculate Planned Value
    18. Earned Value tells you how you’re doing
    19. How to calculate Earned Value
    20. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes
    21. Is your project behind or ahead of schedule?
      1. Schedule Performance Index (SPI)
      2. Schedule Variance (SV)
    22. Are you over budget?
      1. Cost Performance Index (CPI)
      2. Cost Variance (CV)
      3. To-Complete Performance Index (TCPI)
      4. You’re within your budget if...
      5. You’ve blown your budget if...
    23. The Earned Value Management formulas
    24. Interpret CPI and SPI numbers to gauge your project
      1. If your project is on track, that means you’re delivering the value you promised.
      2. You can tell if your project is ahead of schedule or under budget by looking for larger numbers.
      3. A project that’s behind schedule or over budget will have lower numbers.
    25. Forecast what your project will look like when it’s done
    26. Meanwhile, back in the Lounge
    27. Once you’ve got an estimate, you can calculate a variance!
    28. Finding missing information
      1. Let’s say you’re given...
    29. Keep your project on track with TCPI
      1. To-Complete Performance Index (TCPI)
      2. TCPI for the Head First Lounge renovation project
    30. A high TCPI means a tight budget
    31. Party time!
  12. 8. Quality management: Getting it right
    1. What is quality?
    2. You need more than just tests to figure out quality
    3. Once you know what the product is supposed to do, it’s easy to tell which tests pass and which fail
    4. Quality up close
    5. Quality vs. grade
    6. “An ounce of prevention...”
      1. And that’s why you need the three Quality Management processes!
    7. Plan Quality is how you prevent defects
    8. How to plan for quality
    9. The quality management plan gives you what you need to manage quality
    10. Inspect your deliverables
    11. Use the planning outputs for Perform Quality Control
    12. The seven basic tools of quality
    13. Pareto charts, flowcharts, and histograms
    14. Run charts and scatter diagrams
    15. More quality control tools
    16. Question Clinic: The “Which-One” Question
    17. Quality control means finding and correcting defects
    18. Trouble at the Black Box 3000TM factory
    19. Introducing Quality Assurance
    20. A closer look at some tools and techniques
    21. More ideas behind quality assurance
    22. The Black Box 3000TM makes record profits!
  13. 9. Human resource management: Getting the team together
    1. Mike needs a new team
    2. Cubicle conversation
    3. Get your team together and keep them moving
    4. Figure out who you need on your team
    5. The staffing management plan
    6. Get the team together
    7. Cubicle conversation
    8. Develop your project team
    9. Develop the team with your management skills
    10. Your interpersonal skills can make a big difference for your team
    11. Lead the team with your management skills
      1. The five kinds of power
    12. Motivate your team
    13. Stages of team development
    14. How’s the team doing?
    15. Cubicle conversation
    16. Managing your team means solving problems
    17. Conflict management up close
      1. Some of the common reasons that conflicts happen
    18. How to resolve a conflict
    19. The Cows Gone Wild IV team ROCKS!
    20. Question Clinic: The “Have-A-Meeting” Question
  14. 10. Communications management: Getting the word out
    1. Party at the Head First Lounge!
    2. But something’s not right
    3. Anatomy of communication
    4. Get a handle on communication
    5. Find out who your stakeholders are
    6. Tell everyone what’s going on
    7. Get the message?
    8. More Distribute Information tools
      1. One of your most important outputs...
    9. Let everyone know how the project’s going
      1. It all starts with Work Performance Information
    10. Take a close look at the work being done
    11. Now you can get the word out
    12. People aren’t talking!
    13. Count the channels of communication
      1. Counting communication lines the easy way
    14. It’s party time!
    15. Question Clinic: The Calculation Question
  15. 11. Project risk management: Planning for the unknown
    1. What’s a risk?
    2. How you deal with risk
    3. Plan Risk Management
      1. The Risk Management Plan is the only output
    4. Use a risk breakdown structure to categorize risks
    5. Anatomy of a risk
    6. What could happen to your project?
    7. Information-gathering techniques for Identify Risks
      1. Four useful information-gathering techniques
    8. More Identify Risks techniques
    9. Where to look for risks
    10. Now put it in the risk register
    11. Rank your risks
    12. Examine each risk in the register
    13. Qualitative vs. quantitative analysis
    14. Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
    15. First gather the data...
    16. ... then analyze it
    17. Calculate the Expected Monetary Value of your risks
    18. Decision tree analysis uses EMV to help you make choices
    19. Update the risk register based on your quantitative analysis results
    20. How do you respond to a risk?
    21. It isn’t always so bad
    22. Response planning can even find more risks
    23. Add risk responses to the register
    24. You can’t plan for every risk at the start of the project
    25. Monitor and Control Risks is another change control process
    26. How to control your risks
    27. More risk monitoring and control techniques
    28. Question Clinic: The “Which-is-NOT” Question
  16. 12. Procurement management: Getting some help
    1. Victim of her own success
    2. Calling in the cavalry
    3. Ask the legal expert
    4. Anatomy of a contract
      1. You can have several contracts for a single project
    5. Start with a plan for the whole project
    6. The decision is made
    7. Types of contracts
      1. Fixed price contracts
      2. Cost-reimbursable contracts
      3. Time and Materials
    8. More about contracts
    9. Figure out how you’ll sort out potential sellers
    10. Get in touch with potential sellers
      1. Use outputs from the Plan Procurements process to find the right seller
    11. Pick a partner
    12. Two months later...
    13. Keep an eye on the contract
    14. Stay on top of the seller
      1. Tools and techniques to keep your project running
      2. Tools and techniques to find and fix problems
    15. Close the contract when the work is done
    16. Kate closes the contract
    17. Question Clinic: BYO Questions
  17. 13. Professional responsibility: Making good choices
    1. Doing the right thing
      1. The main ideas
    2. Keep the cash?
    3. Fly business class?
    4. New software
    5. Shortcuts
    6. A good price or a clean river?
    7. We’re not all angels
  18. 14. A little last-minute review: Check your knowledge
    1. A long-term relationship for your brain
    2. Here’s how to do this next section
    3. Great job! It looks like you’re almost ready
  19. 15. Practice makes perfect: Practice PMP exam
    1. What you’ll see on the PMP Exam
    2. Before you look at the answers...
  20. Index
  21. About the Authors
  22. Copyright

Product information

  • Title: Head First PMP, 2nd Edition
  • Author(s): Andrew Stellman, Jennifer Greene
  • Release date: July 2009
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9780596801915