Monday, July 5, 2010

18 PDUs

With just less than a year to get my PMP credentials expired, I have rolled up my sleeves now to take this as a challenge to earn 60 PDUs within next 10 months. Let me see whether I get succedded.

By the way I have earned 18 PDUs so far. Just 42 more to go. :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

PMP Credential Handbook

PMI org has a very detailed handbook on the PMP credential and the importance of Professional Development Units (PDU) and the importance of Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program. Click here to get that handbook.

There are 5 different categories where you can earn your PDUs. Will see about each of the categories in the upcoming posts.

Friday, January 15, 2010

PMP PDU Challenge

Getting PMP certified is one simple struggle compare to the challenge of retaininig the PMP certification. PMP aspirants' next big question after getting certified is how to gain enough PDUs to retain the certification. I have not met any PMP professional who has gained 60 PDUs within the three years of the validity period to retain the certification. I do have met people who appeared for PMP exam again to get certified. Appearing again seems to be pretty easier than gaining the PDUs. Well the fun & challenge are in achieving the 60 PDUs than in appearing for the exam again, isn't it?

I am going to write a few posts on getting the PDUs.

Until I start my posts read this good article on PDUs.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Scope Management

‘Most of the projects fail due to improper scope management’ is a universal truth. I have experienced this myself as well. ‘Scope Management’ is so easy said than practiced.

Scope Management in a nut shell:
If requirements are not completely defined and described and if there is no effective change control in a project, scope creep may ensue and that may result in the failure of the project completion on time & within the budget. Hence managing the scope is critical.

I learnt from two people about scope management which even my PMP did not teach well. One is my servant maid and the other is my builder (contractor who builds my house).

My servant maid does not stay more than a minute than she initially agreed for. She does not take up any work more than what she initially agreed for. Even to run errands occasionally she would expect a tip. That’s pretty cool. (Quality of the work is out of scope of this conversation).

My builder charges me for even to change the size of a nail. He documents it properly and yeah he gets my signature on it. That’s pretty cool scope management.

There is a lot to learn on the street, eh?
Same post is available here as well.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Input, Output, Tool & Technique

I often get questions from PMP aspirants on memorizing input, output, tool & technique from various knowledge areas. They often ask about an easy way to remember/memorize all those input, output, tool & technique.

Before I explain a method to memorize, let me reveal one thing. I did not try to memorize all those input, output, tool & technique. I tried to understand those and the flows. I felt pretty comfortable during the exam.

Beware, there are around 10-20 questions directly formed from input, output, tool & technique. So it is imperative that you understand them. But you don't really have to memorize them.

However, you may follow the method that I suggest, if you really want to memorize all of them and don't want to miss even a single question incorrectly answered during the exam.

First finish your text book readings from PMBOK, Rita and Kim Heldman. Kim has the flow in a great manner. Take the first mock exam. Till this point do not dare to memorize the input, output, tool & technique. After your first mock exam. You would have a fair idea of what these all about and their flow. Now try to memoize and write down on paper while keeping your books closed. Try writing down a few times during your prep time.

Identify the weak areas and jot down on the rough paper they give at the start of the exam. That will come as handy during the exam.

Remember, to pass the exam, you don't have to memorize everything.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pass Mark

When I took my first full text from Rita's Fasttrack, results said 'Sorry, you did not pass'.

I had scored 78%. I thought the pass percentage was much lower than 78%. Still I felt despair and had adrenaline rush in my belly. Because I was just 2 days away for my scheduled exam. As it was very late in the night (11:30 pm) I could not call up any friends who had taken PMP to confirm about the pass mark.

I referred to Rita Mulcahy's book. It said 82% is the pass mark. I just couldn't believe it.

I went to PMI's offical site to learn about the pass mark. There was no straight forward information.

I drafted a mail to my colleague asking about the pass percentage with a background description of my worries. Anyway, he was not in the office at that odd hour.

I searched Rita's website. There again not adequate information.

I sent a mail to Rita's customer service.

Then I sent a mail to the customer service of PMI (

Then again searched in the net and got the customer service number of PMI. It's Pennsylvania number. I called immediately and spoke to the representative. Finally got my answer that I would require only 61% to pass the PMP exam. I was glad, at last.

As a response to my mail from Rita's website I got a straight forward answer about the pass mark.

Interestingly, from PMI I got an elaborate mail explaining about the split of questions et all. I have given it below. I hope it would be a useful info to everyone.

Dear Mr. Seenivasan,

Greetings. Thank you for your email. Candidates need to answer at least 61% of the questions correctly to pass the exam. PMI's diagnostic score report will show each candidate their overall pass or fail status. In addition, a picture of overall strengths and weaknesses within each Domain will be provided on the score report.
Each of the six Domains have different amounts of questions within them and are represented as a percentage that are relative to each other but not equal to each other. That alone means that 100% of Domain 1, is not equal to, but rather relative to, 100% of Domain 2. Therefore, one should not take an overall average of the percentages given as that will not produce the overall passing percentage. It is possible to fail one of the domains and yet still pass the exam. It all depends on how many items were present in the domains that were failed.
The exam consists of the 200 questions, 25 of which are considered pretest. Pretest questions do not affect your score and are used in examinations as an effective and legitimate way to increase the number of future PMP examination questions. The pretest questions are randomly placed throughout the exam.
The following reflects the percent of questions on the 2005 PMP exam in each of the performance domains:
- Initiation 11 %
- Planning 23%
- Executing 27%
- Monitoring and Controlling 21%
- Closing 9%
- Professional and Social Responsibility 9%
In addition to reviewing your score report to determine areas on the exam that may need more attention, please click on the links below for more information that should be helpful to you as you prepare for the PMP exam:

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.


Matt Swift
Customer Care Associate
Project Management Institute

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Missing Topics

Following topics are not covered in any of the books that I have mentioned in this blog. They are very important as many questions from these topics are appearing in PMP exams these days. I have given links for each of the topics. Reading from those links alone will do for the exam.

Point of Total Assumption - Click here.

Mcclelland's Theory - Click here.

Delegation - Click here and here.

Ethnocentrism - Click here.

Economic Value Add - Click here. (Disregard the formulae, just understand the concept that's enough.)

Expected Present Value (will add a link later. not able to find one. let me know if you find something in net)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Preparation Process

This is based on my experience and on the experiences shared by my colleagues.

Prep Materials Required:
Guide to PMBOK
PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy Fifth Edition
PMP Project Managent Professional Study Guide by Kim Heldman Third Edition

Questions & Mock Test Materials:
Test from (one free test)
Sybex CD - Tests given in CD of Kim Heldman
Questions given in Rita Mulcahy & Kim Heldman Book
PM Fasttrack Tests associated with Rita's.

As PM Fasttrack has repeat questions from Rita's Book it would be better to take the test before taking the questions at the end of each chapter in the book.

So the ideal order or preparation is:

1. Go thru PMBOK - Do a quick read. Dont worry about memorizing or understanding anything.
[6 days]

2. Go thru Kim Heldman - presentation order in this book is very good. Do a thorough read.
Take tests in the back of each chapter. Note down the questions that you answered incorrectly and analyze it. Keep an error log.
[6 days]

3. Take mock test from PM Fasttrack. Note down the questions that you answered incorrectly and analyze it. Keep an error log.
[1 day]

4. Go thru Rita Mulcahy. Take tests in the back of each chapter. Note down the questions that you answered incorrectly and analyze it. Keep an error log.
[3 days]

5. Take a mock test from Sybex CD (associated with Kim Heldman). Take tests in the back of each chapter. Note down the questions that you answered incorrectly and analyze it. Keep an error log.
[1 day]

6. Do a revision of Kim Heldman and Rita each 2 days. Read the error log.
[4 days]

7. Take mock test from or PM Fasttrack Super PMP. Note down the questions that you answered incorrectly and analyze it. Keep an error log.
[1 day]

8. Do a complete revision and based on the error log strengthen the areas where you are weak.
[2 days]

9. If you are consistently scoring about 65%, you are ready to take the PMP exam. Go take it.

Note the following:
1. 2-3 mock tests are more than sufficient to pass the exam

2. Input/output/Tool & Technique - you don't have to worry about memorizing it. Use Kim Heldman and understand the flow. It would be easy to remember if you understood what is required when & why. I did not memorize this. I still managed to pass with good score.

3. There are few topics that are not covered in these 3 books but still questions are to be expected. They are very important as many questions are being asked from this areas. Will cover this in my next post.

Audit Process

PMI does randomly select a percentage of applications to participate in the application audit process. Once payment is made toward your application, you will be notified whether your application has been selected to participate in this process. If selected, you will be advised of the process and provided with an appropriate link for more in-depth instructions. For audited candidates, the eligibility clock will stop and will be reset when the requirements for audit are satisfied.

Luckily I was not selected for Audit. Because audit is somewhat a lengthy process. For one of my colleagues the audit took almost 3 months.
Generally if your application is selected for audit you will be required to take care of the following:

1. Your experience letter signed by manager or colleague. This must be sealed and sent to PMI. If you have project management experience from different organizations, it is enough if your current manager vouches for the other experience and signs the experience letter.

2. Copy of certification or any proof that you have undergone PM Education for minimum 25 hrs should be sent to PMI.

3. Copy of your Degree Certificate should be sent to PMI.

If you are selected for Audit, do send these and follow up with them to take it to closure.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Registration Process

I registered for the PMP exam on 17-Apr-07. Actually I started the process on 16-Apr-07.

You should become a member of PMI first to register for the exam. To become a member use this link. (This is for individual membership).

For registering for the exam, follow this link.

Somehow I felt that PMI website is not that user friendly. I had to look around a lot in PMI's website to locate the link to register for membership and exam.

Registering for the exam is somewhat a long process. Giving the Project Management Experience in the application is a good time consuming job. To make this process fast I used a spreadsheet where I gave all the data of my project management experience and kept it ready. It helped a lot while feeding the data into this online application. Even then, may be because of the server delay or my network delay it took a lot of time. So be prepared. :)

Membership costs $129 (valid for only one year)
Exam registration costs $405
For non-members exam registration costs $555
You need the following to become eligible to take the PMP exam.

Educational Background
A baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) (or High school diploma or equivalent secondary school credential)

Project Management Experience
4,500 hours leading and directing specific tasks in Project Management Area (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing)
(7,500 hrs of experience for those who do not have a baccalaureate degree)

Project Management Education
35 hrs

If you do not have any of these better equip yourself well to become eligible first.

All eligible applications may get selected to Audit. Audit is another long process.

About Audit - in my next post.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Made it....!!!

I passed the PMP exam.

Now I am a PMI Certified Project Management Professional.

I feel very happy about it. :)

My experience and strategies applied - coming shortly.

Thursday, May 3, 2007


D-Day, my PMP exam is on 07-May-07. Just a couple of more days to go.

Though I decided to take the PMP exam during mid of March itself, I started the preparation during third week of April only. I hardly had the luxury of time for preparation.

I had firmly decided not to reschedule my exam for any reason. Still my prepration is on. Time is running too fast.

My preparation materials are:
Guide to PMBOK
PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy Fifth Edition
PMP Project Managent Professional Study Guide by Kim Heldman Third Edition

Mock Test Materlials:
Rita's PMFastTrack
Kim Heldman's Practice Exams CD

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

So it begins...

Started my prep from today by seriously thinking about PMP for few mins.

Well, I thought this is a better way to phrase it instead of saying that I did not do anything for my PMP prep today.

I went thru the learnings shared by some people who have cleared the PMP recently. Quite intense.

Not able to think coherent now.

All I have decided today is to spend at least 2 hrs a day daily and 4 hrs on weekends. I think that's more than sufficient.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Becoming A PMP

Becoming a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) is my 4 years dream.

I think at last the moment has come.

I completed my 35 hrs of contact class in December '06. Now it's time to prepare myself to face the exam and ace it.

I am planning to take the exam on 07-May-07.

This blog is my journey towards becoming a PMP. I am going to share my prep experience, fear of the exam and most probably the joy of clearing the exam.

Say good luck...!!!