Recurring Themes-PMI-isms to Know for the PMP Exam

"PMI-ism" is a term I coined to refer to the items PMI stresses on the exam that most project managers do not know. PMI-isms are not stressed and sometimes not even mentioned in the PMBOK" Guide! Those who write questions on the exam know what most project managers do wrong. This knowledge helps them to write questions that weed out those who should not be PMPs.

Understanding PMI-isms will help you pick the best answer from what seems like more than one correct answer. Some of the topics are listed only here and others are summarized here and described more fully later in the book. Review this list again just before you take the exam and make sure you understand all these PMI-isms.

1. There is a basic assumption that you have records (historical information) for all previous projects that include what the work packages were, how much each work package cost, and what risks were uncovered. These are now referred to in the PMBOK" Guide as part of organizational process assets. You are probably laughing because you do not have such information. You may even be saying, "That is a good idea!" For the exam, assume that you have them for all projects and that you create them for existing projects. Organizational process assets are an input to almost every project management process. Why would PMI stress historical records? They are exceedingly valuable (like gold) to the project manager, the team, the performing organization and even the customer.

2. Project cost and schedule cannot be finalized without completing risk management.

3. PMI stresses the fact that a project manager must work within the existing systems and culture of a company. They call these enterprise environmental factors and they are inputs to many processes.

4. The word "task" is not used in the PMBOK" Guide. There are work packages, activities and/or schedule activities.
★タスク Task という言葉はPMBOKでは使用されない。ワークパッケージ、アクティビティそして/もしくはスケジュール・アクティビティという言葉が用いられる。

5. The term Gantt chart is not used, only bar chart.

6. You must understand the process of project management; e.g., what to do first, second, etc., and why! See Rita's Process Chart and Rita's Process Game in the Project Management Processes chapter.

7. A project manager's job is to focus on preventing problems, not to deal with them. What do you spend time doing every day? If you spend all your time dealing with problems, you are not a great project manager. You should have planned the project to address the problems or to prevent the problems you knew would be coming.

8. Percent complete is an almost meaningless number. Project managers should not spend time collecting useless information. It is better to control the project and know the status through other actions.

9. A great project manager does not hold meetings where you go around the room asking all attendees to report. Such meetings are generally, but not always, a waste of time, as such information can be collected through other means. There are more important topics for team meetings.

10. A project manager has authority and power. She can say "No" and work to control the project to the benefit of the customer.

11. The project must be completed on time and on budget and meet any other project objectives; otherwise it is the project manager's fault.

12. Delays must be made up by adjusting future work.

13. Know the following about the project management plan: The project management plan is approved by all parties, is realistic and everyone believes it can be achieved. The project is managed to the project management plan. A project management plan is not a bar chart, nor is a WBS created in a bar chart or a list in a bar chart. Make sure you know what actions it takes to create a real project management plan. Most project managers have never developed a project management plan that contains all the items in the PMBOK" Guide's definition of a project management plan. Make sure you are familiar with what goes into a project management plan and what each component includes.

14. If at all possible, all the work and all the stakeholders are identified before the project begins.

15. Stakeholders are involved in the project and may help identify and manage risks. They are involved in team building and their needs are taken into account while planning the project and in the communications management plan.

16. Many people fail the exam because their vision of what a project manager is and what he should do is different from that outlined in the PMBOK" Guide. They often do not exercise the power and perform the activities described in the PMBOK" Guide. Others fail the exam because they think the project manager is supposed to plan the project on his own and TELL everyone what to do.

17. All roles and responsibilities must be CLEARLY assigned to specific individuals on the project. Such responsibilities may include things like attending meetings, as well as project work. In my studies, lack of clear assignment is the number one complaint of team members. This is therefore worth thinking about a little more.

18. The work breakdown structure (WBS) is the foundation of all project planning and should be used on every project.

19. You cannot get something for nothing. A change in scope MUST be evaluated for impact to time, cost, quality, risk and customer satisfaction. Project managers must have enough data about their projects to do this analysis.

20. Project managers can save the universe, are "wonderful," "great," and must be very skilled (a "rah! rah! for project management" topic).

21. PMI does not approve of gold plating (adding extra functionality).

22. The definition of "kickoff meeting" used on the exam may be different from a "kickoff meeting" you might hold.

23. The project manager must be proactive. Correct answers indicate that the project manager must find problems early, look for changes, prevent problems, etc.

24. Planning is very important and all projects must be planned.

25. Project managers should always plan before they do. Therefore, there should be management plans for every knowledge area. Use of management plans is discussed throughout the PMBOK" Guide and yet most people have never been taught them, nor do they create them. Look for management plans in each chapter and make sure you have an understanding of each.

26. One should always follow the plan-do-check-act cycle stressed in quality management.

27. All changes must flow through the change request process and integrated change control.

28. The constraints the project manager must manage (often called the "triple constraint") include more than three items. They include scope, time, cost, quality, risk, and customer satisfaction. Any change to one must be investigated for impacts to all as part of integrated change control.

29. The PMBOK" Guide talks about what is needed for a larger project. Therefore, many of the items described in the PMBOK" Guide are inappropriate for some projects, maybe yours. Make sure you understand why the processes and work described in the PMBOK" Guide would be necessary on larger projects in order to pass the exam. The PMBOK" Guide is real-world; you just might work on small projects.
30. If you do not manage cost on your projects, you should be more careful studying cost.

31. Most companies have a project management office and that office has important authority over the project.

32. The project manager should decide which processes in the PMBOK" Guide should be used on each project.

33. The project manager is assigned during project initiating.

34. Notice how many times corrective action and preventive action are mentioned in the PMBOK" Guide. They are there because most project managers spend all their time dealing with problems rather than preventing them. Make sure you understand these two concepts exceedingly well.

35. Many project managers do not properly plan their projects. Therefore, the work they do while the project work is ongoing is vastly different from what should be done, and different from what is outlined in the PMBOK" Guide. Make sure you check your knowledge of what activities are included in the project executing and project monitoring and controlling process groups. The exam will give you the most trouble in these areas.

36. There is a basic assumption on the exam that you have company project management policies (don't laugh, we will get there) and that you will adapt them for use on your projects. These may include project management methodologies, risk procedures, and quality procedures. So, assume you have them when you take the exam.
37. The project manager has some human resource responsibilities of which you might not be aware.

38. The project manager should recommend improvements to the performing organization's standards, policies and processes. Such recommendations are expected and welcomed by management.

39. Quality should be considered whenever there is a change to any component of the "triple constraint."

40. Quality should be checked before an activity or work package is completed.

41. The project manager must spend time trying to improve quality.

42. The project manager must determine metrics to be used to measure quality before the project work begins.

43. The project manager must put in place a plan for continually improving processes.

44. The project manager must make sure the authorized approaches and processes are followed.

45. Some of the quality activities could be done by a quality assurance or quality control department.

46. You are required to understand that people must be compensated for their work. (I am serious, this question has appeared on the exam.)

47. A project manager creates a reward system during the planning process group.

48. You should spend time documenting who should do what.

49. Since most projects are managed in a matrix environment, such seemingly easy topics as motivational theories and powers of the project manager become quite serious on the exam.

50. All roles and responsibilities on the project must be clearly assigned and closely linked to the project scope statement.

51. Lessons learned (as part of historical records) is a PMI-ism.

秘密: 管理者にだけ表示を許可する