Head First PMP, 3rd Edition

Book description

Now updated for the 2016 PMP exam

Learn the latest principles and certification objectives in The PMBOK® Guide, (Fifth Version), in a unique and inspiring way with Head First PMP. 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, Fifth Edition
  • 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. A Note Regarding Supplemental Files
  3. Praise for Head First PMP
  4. Praise for Head First PMP
  5. Praise for other Head First books
  8. How to Use this Book: Intro
    1. Who is this book for?
    2. Who should probably back away from this book?
    3. We know what you’re thinking.
    4. And we know what your brain is thinking.
    5. We think of a “Head First” reader as a learner.
    6. Metacognition: thinking about thinking
    7. Here’s what WE did:
    8. Here’s what YOU can do to bend your brain into submission
    9. Read me
    10. The technical review team
    11. Acknowledgments
    12. O’Reilly Safari
  9. 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. Understand your company’s big picture
    6. Your project has value
    7. Portfolios, programs, and projects have a lot in common
    8. Portfolios, programs, and projects all use charters
    9. What a project IS...
    10. ... and what a project is NOT
    11. A day in the life of a project manager
    12. How project managers run great projects
    13. Project management offices help you do a good job, every time
    14. Good leadership helps the team work together
    15. Project teams are made of people
    16. Operations management handles the processes that make your company tick
    17. A PMP certification is more than just passing a test
    18. Meet a real-life PMP-certified project manager
  10. 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. More types of stakeholders
      1. Sponsor
      2. Consumers or users
      3. Seller
      4. Organizational Groups
      5. Business partner
      6. Functional manager
    7. Your project team has lots of roles too
    8. Back to Kate’s maintenance nightmare
    9. Managing project constraints
    10. You can’t manage your project in a vacuum
    11. Kate’s project needs to follow company processes
      1. Kate’s project needs clear acceptance criteria
    12. Kate makes some changes...
    13. ... and her project is a success!
  11. 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
    10. Exam Answers
  12. 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 and facilitation techniques to write your project charter
      1. Facilitation techniques help everyone understand the goal of your project
    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 Work 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 one another
    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
  13. 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 six Scope Management processes
    8. Plan your scoping processes
    9. Now you’ve got a roadmap for managing scope
    10. Cubicle conversation
    11. Collect requirements for your project
    12. Talk to your stakeholders
    13. Make decisions about requirements
    14. Help your team to get creative
    15. Use a questionnaire to get requirements from a bigger group of people
    16. Observation can help you see things from a different point of view
    17. A prototype shows users what your product will be like
    18. Now you’re ready to write a requirements document
    19. Define the scope of the project
    20. How do you define the scope?
      1. Facilitated workshops
      2. Product analysis
      3. Alternatives generation
      4. Designing the graphics: alternatives
      5. Expert judgment
    21. The project scope statement tells you what you have to do
    22. Question Clinic: The “which-is-BEST” question
    23. Create the work breakdown structure
    24. The inputs for the WBS come from other processes
    25. Breaking down the work
    26. Break it down by project or phase
    27. Decompose deliverables into work packages
    28. Inside the work package
    29. The project scope baseline is a snapshot of the plan
    30. The outputs of the Create WBS process
    31. Cubicle conversation
    32. Why scope changes
      1. Good change
      2. Bad change
      3. Scope creep
      4. Gold plating
    33. The Control Scope process
    34. Anatomy of a change
    35. A closer look at the change control system
    36. Just one Control Scope tool/technique
      1. There’s no “right order” for the Control Scope and Validate Scope processes
    37. Make sure the team delivered the right product
    38. The stakeholders decide when the project is done
    39. Is the project ready to go?
    40. The project is ready to ship!
  14. 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 timelines
    4. Plan your scheduling processes
    5. Now you know how you’ll track your schedule
    6. Use the Define Activities process to break down the work
    7. Tools and techniques for Define Activities
    8. Rolling wave planning lets you plan as you go
    9. Define activities outputs
      1. Activity list
      2. Activity attributes
      3. Milestone list
    10. The Sequence Activities process puts everything in order
    11. Diagram the relationship between activities
    12. Network diagrams put your tasks in perspective
    13. Dependencies help you sequence your activities
      1. External dependencies
      2. Discretionary dependencies
      3. Mandatory dependencies
      4. Internal dependencies
    14. Leads and lags add time between activities
    15. Create the network diagram
    16. Rob and Rebecca have resource problems
    17. What you need to estimate resources
      1. Resource calendars
    18. Estimating the resources
    19. Figuring out how long the project will take
    20. Estimation tools and techniques
    21. Create the duration estimate
    22. Back to the wedding
    23. Bringing it all together
    24. Question Clinic: The “which-comes-next” question
    25. One thing leads to another
    26. Use the critical path method to avoid big problems
      1. How does knowing your critical path help?
    27. How to find the critical path
    28. Finding the float for any activity
    29. Float tells you how much extra time you have
    30. Figure out the early start and early finish
      1. Early start
      2. Early finish
    31. Figure out the latest possible start and finish
      1. Late start
      2. Late finish
    32. Add early and late durations to your diagrams
    33. Take a backward pass to find late start and finish
    34. Let’s take some time out to walk through this!
    35. Crash the schedule
    36. Fast-tracking the project
    37. Modeling techniques
      1. Simulation
      2. Scheduling tool
    38. Other Develop Schedule tools and techniques
      1. Critical chain method
      2. Resource optimization techniques
      3. Adjusting leads and lags
      4. Schedule compression and schedule network analysis
    39. Outputs of Develop Schedule
      1. Project schedule
      2. Milestone chart
      3. Schedule data
      4. Schedule baseline
      5. Project calendars
      6. Project Management plan updates
      7. Project documents updates
    40. Influence the factors that cause change
    41. Control Schedule inputs and outputs
    42. What Control Schedule updates
    43. Measuring and reporting performance
    44. Control Schedule tools and techniques
    45. Another satisfied customer!
  15. 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. Plan Cost Management
      2. Estimate Costs process
      3. Determine Budget process
      4. Control Costs process
    5. Plan how you’ll estimate, track, and control your costs
    6. Now you’ve got a consistent way to manage costs
    7. What Alice needs before she can estimate costs
    8. Other tools and techniques used in Estimate Costs
      1. Project management estimating software
      2. Vendor bid analysis
      3. Reserve analysis
      4. Cost of quality
      5. Group decision-making techniques
    9. Let’s talk numbers
    10. Now Alice knows how much the Lounge will cost
      1. Activity cost estimates
      2. Basis of estimates
      3. Updates to project documents
    11. Lounge conversation
    12. The Determine Budget process
    13. What you need to build your budget
    14. Determine budget: how to build a budget
    15. Question Clinic: The red herring
    16. The Control Costs process is a lot like schedule control
    17. 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. Reserve analysis
    18. Look at the schedule to figure out your budget
      1. Budget at completion (BAC)
    19. How to calculate planned value
    20. Earned value tells you how you’re doing
    21. How to calculate earned value
    22. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes
    23. Is your project behind or ahead of schedule?
      1. Schedule performance index (SPI)
      2. Schedule variance (SV)
    24. 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...
    25. The earned value management formulas
    26. 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.
    27. Forecast what your project will look like when it’s done
    28. Meanwhile, back in the Lounge
    29. Once you’ve got an estimate, you can calculate a variance!
      1. ETC = EAC – AC
      2. VAC = BAC – EAC
    30. Finding missing information
      1. Let’s say you’re given...
    31. Keep your project on track with TCPI
      1. To-complete performance index (TCPI)
      2. TCPI for the Head First Lounge renovation project
    32. A high TCPI means a tight budget
    33. Party time!
  16. 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 Control Quality
    12. The seven basic tools of quality
    13. Pareto charts, flowcharts, and histograms
    14. Checksheets 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!
    23. Exam Answers
  17. 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
  18. 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. Tell everyone what’s going on
    6. Get the message?
    7. More Manage Communications tools
      1. One of your most important outputs
    8. Let everyone know how the project’s going
      1. It all starts with work performance data
    9. Take a close look at the work being done
    10. Now you can get the word out
    11. People aren’t talking!
    12. Count the channels of communication
      1. Counting communication lines the easy way
    13. It’s party time!
    14. Question Clinic: The calculation question
  19. 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. Control Risks is another change control process
    26. How to control your risks
    27. More control risk tools and techniques
    28. Question Clinic: The “which-is-NOT” question
  20. 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 an agreement
      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 contractual agreements
      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 Procurement Management 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
    18. Exam Questions
    19. Exam Answers
  21. 13. Stakeholder Management: Keeping everyone engaged
    1. Party at the Head First Lounge (again)!
    2. Not everybody is thrilled
    3. Understanding your stakeholders
    4. Find out who your stakeholders are
    5. Stakeholder analysis up close
    6. How engaged are your stakeholders?
    7. Managing stakeholder engagement means clearing up misunderstandings
    8. Control your stakeholders’ engagement
    9. Now you can tell when you need to change the way you deal with stakeholders
    10. It’s party time!
    11. Exam Questions
    12. Exam Answers
  22. 14. 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
    8. Exam Questions
    9. Exam Answers
  23. 15. 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
  24. 16. Practice makes perfect Practice PMP exam
    1. Before you look at the answers...
  25. Index
  26. About the Authors
  27. Copyright

Product information

  • Title: Head First PMP, 3rd Edition
  • Author(s): Andrew Stellman, Jennifer Greene
  • Release date: December 2013
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781449364915