Sunday, December 28, 2008

Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis: Output (in terms on PMP)

Risk Register Updates:

  • Prioritized list of quantified risks
    What are the risks that most likely to cause trouble? That needs the most contingency?

  • Amount of contingency and cost reserves needed.

  • Possible realistic and achievable completion date and project costs with confidence level versus the cost oand time objective for the project.

  • The quantified probability of meeting project objectives.

  • Trends in quantified risk analysis.

Decision Tree Analysis

Decision Tree Analysis
  • is an assessment of the data obtained using the decision tree method to evalute various possible outcomes.
  • allows decision-makers to factor in both probability and impact for each branch of every decision under consideration.
  • indicates the decision that will provide the greatest expected value when all the uncertain implications, costs, rewards and subsequent decisions are quantified.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Expected Monetary Value (EMV) Analysis

EMV is:

  • a method of calculating the average outcome when the future is uncertain (i.e. Opportunities will have positive values and risks will have negative values).

  • found by mulitplying the monetary value of a possible outcome by the probability it will occur.

  • used in decision tree analysis.

Interviewing Methods

Interviewing methods provide a structure for gathering data needed to quantify the probability and consequences of risk on project objectives. This includes:
  • Direct
    Asks an expert to assign subjective probabilities to a given range of values, providing a lowest possible value, most likely value and highest possible value.

  • Diagrammatic
    Uses diagrams for an expert to assign subjective probabilities to a given range of values, providing a lowest possible value, most likely value and highest possible values.

  • Delphi
    Group method allow experts to contribute their assessment anonymously.

Quantitative Risk Analysis - Introduction

Quantitative risk analysis is:
  • the process of numerically assessing the probability and impact of each risk.
  • determined the extent of the overall project risk.
  • determined by the cost and schedule reserves.
  • identified risks requiring the most attention.
  • created by realistic and achievable cost, schedule or scope targets.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Methods to Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis

Methods to Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis:
  • Quantitative Risk Analysis

  • Subjective vs. Objective Probability

  • Interviewing Method

  • Quantitative Analysis Methods
    - Sensitivity Analysis
    - Expected Monetary Value (EMV) Analysis
    - Decision Tree Analysis

Output from Qualitative Risk Analysis

Risk Register (update)
  • Risk Ranking for the project compared to other projects.

  • List of prioritiesed risks and their probability and impact ratings.

  • Risk grouped by categories.

  • List of risk for additional analysis and response.
    - that wil move forward to quantitative risk analysis and/or response planning

  • Watch-list
    - Documented for later revisit during risk monitoring and control.

  • Trends
    - The PM should know if risk is increasing, decreasing or staying the same, so that trends can be analysed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

One Page Formula's for PMP Exam

From PMP Exam Resource, I have received the following email that I believe will be very valuable before taking PMP exam.:

CoQ = ( ( Review Efforts +  Test Efforts + Training Efforts + Rework Efforts + Efforts of Prevention) / Total Efforts) x 100 %

PERT  =    O + 4ML +  P 
MEAN -> Average

MODE  -> The "most found" number

RANGE -> Largest - Smallest Measure.

MEDIUM -> No in the middle or avg. of 2 middle Nos

STD. DEV. OF TASK  =     P - O

TASK VAR.  =   (P - O)  2   =   Std. Dev ^ 2
CP STD. DEV.  =  √ σ² + σ² + σ²

SIGMA   1   =  68.26
        2   =  95.46
        3   =  99.73
        6   =  99.99

Channels of Communication
COMM  =  (N2 - N) / 2   =  (N x (N - 1)) /   2

P R O J E C T   S E L E C T I O N
PV    =    F V   .      

FV   =  PV  x (1+r)

NPV = S  (  PV  +    PV +   PV  +   PV   )
           ----     ----   ----    ----  
          (1+r)ⁿ   (1+r)ⁿ  (1+r)ⁿ  (1+r)ⁿ 

Cash Flow = Cash Inflow - Cash Outflow

Discounted Cash Flow = CF x Discount Factor

ARR = S Cash Flow / No. of Years

ROI = (ARR / Investment) * 100 %

BCR  =  Benefits / Cost

Exp. Value = Probability %  x Consequence $

Class of Estimates 
Definitive                   +5%

Capital Cost             +10-15%

Appropriation           +15-25%

Feasibility                  +25-35%

Order of Magnitude > +35%

Contract Incentives
Savings = Target Cost - Actual Cost

Bonus  =  Savings x Percentage

Contract Cost =  Bonus + Fees

Total Cost = Actual Cost + Contract Cost

E A R N E D     V A L U E     A N A L Y S I S
PV (Present Value) = BCWS (Budgeted Cost of Work Schedule)

EV (Earned Value) = BCWP (Budgeted Cost of Work Performed)

AC (Actual Cost) = ACWP (Actual Cost of Work Performed)

CV  =  EV  -  AC

CPI  =  EV  / AC  (efficiency)

SV   =  EV  -  PV 

SPI   =  EV  /  PV

ETC = BAC - EV   or     (BAC - EV) / CPI




%  COMPLETE  =  EV  /  BAC x 100

%  SPENT          =  AC  / BAC x 100

CV%  =  CV / EV x 100 

SV%   =  SV / PV x 100


Sunday, October 12, 2008

General PMP Exam Tips

General tips - obtained from "PMP Exam Resource"
  • You should memorize all formulas, especially the Earned Value and PERT.
  • Practice eliminating the completely implausible options first.
  • There is no penalty for guessing; thus, do not leave any question blank.
  • There will always be those situations where you have no idea what the question is asking.
  • Use educated guessing to select the most appropriate option. Remember, you have only 80 seconds for each question. If you do not know the answer of a question, mark it and move on and revisit it later if you have time.
  • Answer the questions based on the PMBOK concepts first, then consider your experience.
  • If they are in conflict, the PMBOK wins.

PMI Concept Oriented Tips

PMI concept-oriented tips - (obtained from "PMP Exam Resource")

  • The project manager takes an active approach to the job by not waiting until a risk materializes and becomes a problem. This is an extremely important concept that might affect many questions on an exam. The project manager does not escalate problems to upper management or to the customer before fully analyzing them and identifying options.
  • When answering a question related to what the project manager should do in a specific situation, you should rephrase the question to: What is the first thing the project manager will do given such a situation and given his or her proactive nature?
  • Assume that lessons learned and historical databases are available. This might not be true in a real life situation.
  • PMI does not approve adding extra functionality without benefits or gold plating.
    Project managers have all kinds of soft and hard skills.
  • The Work Breakdown Structures (WBSs) are wonderful tools.
  • Roles and responsibilities need to be properly defined.

Tips for taking the PMP exam (Part 2)

Tips for taking the PMP exam (Part 2) - (obtained from "PMP Resources")

Passing the PMP exam requires extensive preparation. Use the following tips and techniques as part of that preparation, which should also include developing a comprehensive understanding of the PMBOK concepts and terminology, practicing previous exam questions when possible, and attending a few project management-training courses.

Question-oriented tips

  • There are certain questions that contain extra information. This information is irrelevant and it does not relate to the correct answer. Beware of such questions and remember it isn't necessary to use all the information provided to answer the question.
  • Each question has only one correct answer. You need to select the most appropriate answer. Beware of choices that represent true statements but are not relevant. Be sure to read all the options before you select any one.
  • You need to answer the questions from a PMI perspective—not from your own perspective, which you acquired through experience. Remember that PMI is trying to present an ideal environment for project managers that might be different from your own experience.
  • Beware of answer choices that represent generalizations, which may be characterized by words such as always, never, must, or completely; these are often the incorrect choices.
  • Look out for choices that represent special cases. These choices tend to be correct and are characterized by words such as often, sometimes, may, generally, and perhaps.
  • The correct answer may not be grammatically correct.

Tips on taking the PMP exam (Part 1)

Tips on taking the PMP exam (taken from "PMP Exam Resource")

The PMP certification examination is a computer-based exam that is offered at PMI locations in the United States, Canada, and in other countries worldwide.

The exam is based on information from the entire project management body of knowledge. The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” (PMBOK), which is published by PMI, provides an outline of the topics covered.

Because the exam is computer based, participants can find out how they scored by reading the detailed report on performance that is available when the exam is completed. Questions on the PMP exam are grouped by project management processes. The basic PMP exam is not industry specific. The PMI Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ), which tests your knowledge of a particular industry, can be added to certify your expertise in Information Technology Project Management, Establishing a Project Management Office, and Project Management in the Automotive Industry.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Introducing Qualitative Risk Analysis

Qualitative Risk Analyis is:

a subjective analysis of risks analysis of the risk identified in the risk identification. It includes:
  • the probability of each risk occurring (eg, low, medium, high, etc)
  • the impact (consequences, positive, negative) of each risk occuring.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Types of Risk Identifcation Output

Risk Identification Output:

Risk Register

  • is the only output from the risk identification process.
  • contains the results fo the qualitative risk analysis, quantitative risk analysis and risk response planning.
  • identifies risks, potential risk responses and their triggers or waning signs.
  • If risk categories are changed, they are updated in the risk register.

Any critial responses included inthe risk register are forwarded for use in the risk response planning process.

PMP Exam Experience Verification Worksheet

I have received an email from The Project Management PrepCast™ on a very useful excel worksheet to fill the experience verification section. Details from the email is as follow:


All,I have created and released a new MS Excel worksheet that will help you get your PMP Exam application ready.

A big part of the PMP application is filling in the experience verification section. You will have to document all projects that you worked on in the past 8 years. The total hours have to add up to a minimum of 4,500 or 7,500 (depending on your educational background).

This worksheet makes the process easier for you: Select your educational background, enter all your project information and now check if the total comes up to the number that you need. It doesn't make collecting the project information easier for you, but the worksheet is an excellent way to help gather the information before you fill in the online application.

I cannot attach it to this message but you can download it via this link:

Until next time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP

The Project Management PrepCast™ - Project Management Podcast™ - Management Lectures - me on Twitter:


Monday, September 15, 2008

Free PMP Exam Questions?

For those who are looking for free PMP exam questions, I have just received an email and it contains a link to a site.

Looks like it is just a simple registration and you will have a list of questions available. For those who tried, please let me know the quality of the questions and whether they are actually free.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Common Information Gathering Techniques

The common types of Information Gathering Techniques include:

  • Brainstorming
    Used to identify overall project risks or may focus in on the risks within a particular project segment or work package.

  • Delphi technique
    Generate a consensus among project risk experts who anonymously submit their risk list to a facilitator.

  • Interviewing
    Used to get information from people with a wide experience across many projects, such as stakeholders, team members, project manager, etc.

  • Stregths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis
    Examines the project from the perspective of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Risk Categories in Project Risk Management

Risk Categories can be classified as:

Technical, quality or performance risks
  • Technical changes
  • Changes to industry standards during the project
  • Reliance on unproven or complex technology
  • Unrealistic performance goals

Project Management Risk
  • Inadequate time and resources allocation
  • Ineffective project plan development
  • Poor cost estimates

Organization Risk
  • Resource conflicts with other projects
  • Inadequate project funding
  • Inconsistent management support

External risks
  • Union Issues
  • Changes of Management in customer's organization
  • Country security issues

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Risk Identification in PMP

Risk identification is the process of identifying and documenting the characteristics of project risks. It involes:
  • Review the risk management plan, risk categories and any historical information.
  • Perform analysis.

Introducting How to Create a Risk Management Plan

Risk Management Planning is the process of deciding how to approach and plan the risk management activities for a project. It consists of the following steps:

  • Determine and Organise Project Risk Managment Team.
  • Establish a budget for risk management.
  • Compiles the organisation policy and government standard.
  • Descibes the approaches, tools and data sources.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Level of Uncertainly in Project Risk

Level of Uncertainty includes:
  • Known
    Items that you are aware of will affect you, but you have no control over.
  • Known-Unknown
    Items that will affect you, although you are not able to predict how or how much they will affect you.
  • Unknown-Unknown
    Items beyond your ability to foresee.

What is Risk (Risk classification)?

Risk Classification:

  • Effect-Base
    Addresses risk in terms of what it might affect.
  • Source-Base
    Addresses risk in terms of where it orginates. Sources may be internal or external to the project.

Business Risk and Insurable Risk in PMP

Business Risk is:
  • When undertaking a new project, an organisation takes a business risk based on the assumption that the project has a potential for both profit and lost.

Insurable Risk is:

  • Focuses on the potential for loss. Campanies often purchase insurance to offset these risks.

What is Project Risk?

What is a risk on a project?

  • Project risk is the uncertainty that an event or condition that affects at least one of the project objective such as cost, scope, time or quality will be realised.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Managing Stakeholder (in terms of PMP)

Stakeholder management is the process of controlling communications to adjust the needs of the stakeholders.

To manage stakeholder, the following can be used:
  • Face-to-face meeting with stakeholders are the most effective.
  • Be flexible in communications.
  • Assign, track and resolve open issues that are of interest to stakeholders.
  • Change requests need to be processed to update the communication plan.
  • Take corrective action as needed to bring project performance in line with customer expectations.
  • Document lesson learned to reflect the causes of issues and changs made to remedy them.

Difference types of Reports (in PMP)

In Project Communication, there are several types of reports and they are:
  • Status Report
    Describing where the the project now stands regarding performance measurement baseline in cost, schedule, scope and quality.
  • Progress Report
    Describing what has been accomplished.
  • Trend Report
    Examining project results over time to see if performance is improving or deteriorating.
  • Forecasting Report
    Predicting future project status and performance.
  • Variance Report
    Camparing actual results to baselines.

How to report Project Performance

How to report project performance?
  • Analyse work results against planned performance.
  • Hold performance reveiws to communicate and acess project status and/or progress.
  • Balance the constraints of preparing performance reports against the benefits gained by the reporting.
  • Measure and monitor performance the same way throughout the project life cycle.

Benefits of Performance Reporting

Benefits of Performance Reports are:
  • Analysis of the current status of the schedule and budget.
  • Feedback to team members and work package owners.
  • Communicate with upper management and customers.
  • Early indentification of variance.
  • Early impelmenation of corrective actions.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Performance Reporting in PMP

In PMP, Performance Reporting is:
  • the process of gathering and communicating information regarding the current status of a project as well as projections for progress over time.

Durng performance reporting:

  • information regarding the work being accomplished
  • resources being used is collected, analysed and displayed in various report formats.

What is Information Distribution

Information distribution
  • is the process of getting the right information to the right people at the right time at the right place.

How to calculate Communication Chanels

Communication Channel is a key component of planning the Project's Communication.

The number of communication channel is based on the following formula:

# of Communication Channel = N (N - 1) / 2

Clear and Concise Communications

In order to have a clear and concise communications, the project manager must handle communication in a structured manner by selecting the form of communication that is best for the situation. These include:

  • Formal Written
    Complex problems, project management plans, communication over long distances.

  • Formal Verbal
    Presentation, speeches, etc

  • Informal Written
    Memos, e-mail, notes

  • Informal Verbal
    Meetings, conversations

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Communication Model

Communication model looks like a circle with 3 parts:
  • the sender, the message and the receiver.

Each message is encoded by the sender and decoded by the receiver.
  • this is also based on the receiver's education, experience, language and culture when decoding the message.

Effective communication involves:
  • Nonverbal
    55% of all communications are non-verbal

  • Para-lingual
    Pitch and tone of voice helps to convey a message

  • Feedback
    Getting feedback from the receiver whether they have understand the message

Communications Requirement Analysis

Project Manager should make effective choices to choose the appropriate communication technologies for the communication management plan. The choices include:
  • Determine the communications need of project stakeholders
    - work from an organisation chart to avoid omitting a key stakeholder.
    - ask for major stakeholder input.

  • Evaluate any constraints and assumptions
    - to determine their possible impact on communication planning.

  • Determine the appropriate communications technologies
    - analyse the availability of technology systems.
    - Evaluate the expected project staff to identify their knowledge of and access to proposed technology.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What is Communication Planning?

Communication Planning is the process of:
  • ensuring timely and appropriate generation, collection, distribution, storage and ultimate disposition of project information.

Project Communication Management in PMP

We are now starting a new topic on Project Communication Management.

In Project Communication Management, it includes the following:

  • Communication Planning
    - determining the information and communication needs of the project stakeholders.

  • Information Distribution
    - making needed information available to project stakeholders in a timely manner.

  • Performance Reporting
    - collecting and distributing performance information. This includes status reporting, progress measurement and forecasting.

  • Manage Stakeholders
    - managing communications to satisfy the requirements of an resolve issues with project stakeholders.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Leadership Styles of Project Managers

The leadership styles includes:
  • Directing
    Telling others what to do

  • Facilitating
    Coordinating the input of others

  • Coaching
    Instructing others

  • Supporting
    Providing assistance along the way

  • Autocratic
    Making decisions without input

  • Laissez Faire
    Has a hands-off policy and the team is entirely self-led regarding the decision making process

  • Consultative
    Inviting ideas from others

  • Consensus
    Problem solving in group with decision making based on group agreement

Power of Project Manager (in terms on PMP)

The power of Project Manager includes:

  • Formal - based on your position
  • Reward - giving rewards
  • Penalty - Being able to penalize team member
  • Expert - Being technical or project management expert
  • Referent - Based on the project referring to the authority of someone in higher position

Managing Project Team

Project team management is a process that:
  • montiors individual perofrmnce
  • gives feedback, solves issues and organizes changes to improve project performance

Project manager should:

  • update to the staffing management plan
  • submit the change requests, reolved issues
  • iput given for performance appraisals and documentation of lessons learned

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Handling Conflict Management in PMP

Ways to handle Conflict Management includes:

  • Confrontation
    The confrontation approach focus on identifying the underlying problem and working out solutions for it in a way that allows the involved parties to work through their disagreement.

  • Compromise
    Compromise involves working out a middle ground that satisfies all parties to some degree. This can be called the win-win approach.

  • Smoothing
    Smoothing de-emphasizes differences between points of view and focuses on commonalities.

  • Forcing
    Forcing approach requires others to yield to the point of view of one side or another. It is also also call the win-lose approach and can increase conflict.

  • Withdrawal
    Withdrawal involves avoiding or retreating from the conflict or potential conflict and allowing the involved parties to work out the conflict on their own.

Way to handle Conflict

Conflict management consists of one or more strategies for dealing with disagreements that may detrimental to team performance.

Basic approaches for handling conflicts includes confrontation, compromise, smoothing, forcing and withdrawal.

Problem solving techniques includes:
  • Define the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms of the problem.
  • Analyze the problem.
  • Identify solutions.
  • Implement a decision.
  • Review the decision and confirm that the decision solved the problem.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Common types of Conflict in a Team

Causes of Conflict include:
  • Competition between team members
  • Differences in objective, values and perceptions
  • Disagreements about role requirements, work activities and individual approaches
  • Communication breakdowns

Team Building Activity (in PMP)

For a better team development, it is recommended to hold:

Team Building Activities
  • Milestone parties
  • Outdoor activities, eg. work trips, basketball match, soccer match, etc
  • Creating WBS
  • Planning the project by getting everyone involved in some way.

  • is the placing of most or all key team members int he same physical location
  • make communication easier, enhance team performance and team spirit

A reward and recognition System
  • is a formal system used to reinforce performance or behavior
  • is to motivate the team to perform well and to achieve and maintain the desired

Best Practice for Team Development

The best practice for team development include:
  • Hold team building activities from project initiating through project closing
  • Gain training for team members where needed
  • Create and give recognitions and rewards
  • Place team members in the same location
  • Assess team member performance

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Stages in Developing a Project Team (in PMP)

The Stages in developing a project team include:

  • Forming
    During this stage, conversations tend to be polite and noncommittal. In addition, team meetings tend to be confusing as the team tries to figure out who is in charge.

  • Storming
    Team members begin to assert themselves and control issues emerge. Personality differences begin to arise. Conflicts result as team members differ on the way they want to do the project work.

  • Norming
    The team begins to work productively without worrying about personal acceptance. There are still conflicts but they tend to be focused on process issues rather than personality differences. The team begins on mutual dependence and trust.

  • Performing
    The team is working at optimum productivity. It is collaborating easily, communicating freely and solving its own conflict problems. Team members feel safe in reporting problems, trusting their fellow team members to help them create the best solution for the team as a whole.

Introduction to Developing a Project Team

For Developing a project team, Project Manager use team development:
  • to enhance the performance of the project and the project eam in an effort.
  • to increase the likelihood of meeting project objectives.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

PMP Certification - Introduction to Acquire Project Team

When Acquire a Project team, the following areas are involved:

Acquiring project team members involves deciding in advance:
  • when and what competencies are required.
  • where they will come from.
  • what the relevant costs are for each.

Project Manager needs to:

  • figure out the best way to form teams.
  • ensure that there is a good and effective communication.
  • ensure roles and responsbilities are clearly defined.

What is Expectancy Theory

Expectany Theory is:

  • Employees who believe their efforts will lead to effective performance and who expectg to be rewarded for their accomplishments remian productive as rewards meet their expectation.

McGregor & Ouchi Theories (X, Y, Z)

McGregor belives that all workers fit into one of two groups: X and Y.
  • Theory X:
    Manger who accept this thory believe that people need to be watched every minute. People ar incapable, avoid responsiblility and avoid work whenenver possible.
  • Theory Y:
    Manager who accept this theory believe that people are willing to work without supervision and want to achieve. People can direct their own efforts.

Ouchi believes workers and management cooperate for the good fo the organisation. Everyone Wins!

  • Theory Z:
    Workers are motivated by a sense of commitment, opportunity and advancement.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Should I become a PMI Member and What are the Benefits?

There were a lot of discussion during my lesson that people are asking whether they should pay to be a PMI member. To me, this is important if you plan to take your PMP exam during the coming year. They offer discount when taking the exam and unless you have all the confident that you will pass in the first attempt, I suggest to become a member just in case you have to take the exam for the second time. Other benefits of becoming a PMI members includes (taken from PMI Official website):

Becoming a member of PMI gives you unparalleled access to powerful tools, exclusive services, and information and networking opportunities to further your career, including:
  • Exclusive members-only content on
  • Knowledge sharing and networking opportunities through PMI communities
  • Job search capabilities using Career Headquarters
  • Leadership and volunteer opportunities through PMI components and communities, certification program, research program, standards program and other areas
  • Access to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)
  • Access to PMI's career framework
Members also receive discounts on:
  • PMI® credential exams and renewals
  • SeminarsWorld® and eSeminarsWorldSM educational opportunities
  • PMI global congresses and Research Conference attendance
  • Soundview® Executive Book Summaries
  • Research and reference services by PMI Virtual Library staff
  • Project management publications, products and training tools through the PMI Marketplace
And access to exclusive publications and information to members, including:
  • PM Network®, PMI’s monthly magazine with the latest news and trends
  • PMI Today®, PMI’s informative monthly newsletter
  • Project Management Journal®, a quarterly research journal
  • Leadership in Project Management, an annual publication devoted to enriching leadership skills
  • PMI Community POST, a bimonthly electronic newsletter
  • PMI e-links, monthly electronic newsletters that focus on EMEA and Asia Pacific trends
  • Online access to information resources with PMI Marketplace and Virtual Library
  • Online access to business and project management books and articles with eReads & Reference

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What is Herzberg's Theory (for PMP Certification)

For Herzberg's Theory, it includes:

  • Motivating Agents
    - What motivates people is the work itself, including things such as:
    > Responsibility
    > Self-actualisation
    > Professional growth
    > Recognition

  • Hygiene Factors:
    - Are sufficient to motivate people. For example:
    > Working conditions
    > Salary
    > Personal life
    > Relationship at work
    > Security
    > Status

Basic Idea in Maslow's Hierachy of Needs (for PMP Certification)

It is bested to summarise using the following diagram:

What is included in Organisation Theory

Organisation Theory includes the following:
  • Maslow's Hierachy of Needs
  • McGregor & Ouchi Theories (X,Y,Z)
  • Herzberg's theory of Motivation
  • Expectancy Theory

Friday, April 11, 2008

Creating HR Plan

Human Resource Planning is the process of:
  • idenifying,
  • documenting,
  • assigning project roles, responsibilities and
  • reporting relationships

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How I passed/failed the PMP/CAPM Certification Exam - List of Lessons Learned

I was reading through the (one of my favorite site on PMP) and found that they have a list of recent PMP lesson Learned.

I always suggest people going to take PMP exam should try to understand how others studied and prepared for the exam. You may want to refer to the following link for information:

Friday, April 4, 2008

Project Human Resource Management with PMP Preparation

Project Resource Management includes the following:

  • Human Resource Planning
    Identify and document project roles,responsibilities, reporting relationships and as well as creating the staffing management plan.

  • Acquire Project Team
    Obtain the human resoures needed to complete the project.

  • Develop Project Team
    Improve the competencies and interaction of team members to enhance project management.

  • Manage Project Team
    Tracking team member performance, providing feedback, resolving issues and coordinating changes to enhance project performance.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Other Tools of Quality Control

Other Tools used in Quality Control includes:
  • Scatter Diagram
    Tracks 2 variables to see if they are related.

  • Run Chart
    Look at history and see a parttern of variation.

  • Histogram
    Helps identify the cause of problem in a process by the shape and width of the distribution.

  • Cause and Effect Diagram

  • Flow Chart

  • Statistical Sampling
    This involves choosing part of a population of interest for inspection.
    Often reduce the cost of quality control.

  • Inspection
    Determine whether it conforms to the standards.

What is a Pareto Diagram

A Pareto diagram/chart helps focus attention on the most critical issues.

It prioritises potential "causes" of the problems.

It is referred to as 80/20 rule that 80% of problems or defects are most often due to 20% of the causes.

Tools of Quality Control - Control Charts

Control Charts are graphs used to analyse and communicate the variability of a process (or project activity) over time.

The components include the process mean the Upper Control Limit (UCL) and the Lower Control Limit (LCL).

Data points within this range are generally though of as "In Control".

Introducing Quality Control

Quality Control is the process of monitoring project work result to:
  • determine if they comply with relevant quality standards.
  • identify ways to eliminate causes of unacceptable performance.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

PMP Definition of Quality Audit

A quality Audit is an independent evaluation, inspection or review of a project's quality assurance system to improve quality performance of a project

The audits can take place at scheduled or random intervals.

The result of a quality audit (eg lesson learned) are important for the current project as well as for later projects or other parts of the organisation.

What is Quality Assurance in PMP

Quality Assurance:
  • looks at whether standard and procedure that are being followed.
  • begins in the initiating and planning processes and continues throughout the project.
  • is iterative and may be adapted based on the identification and resolution of quality problems over the project life cycle.

The actualy quality assurance process varies with the needs of each project.

Friday, March 14, 2008

What is the Best Practice in Creating a Quality Plan

The best practice when creating a quality plan includes:
  • Review the organization's quality policy.
  • Determine how your project team will implement the policy.
  • Review the product description to identiy customer/stakeholder quality requirements.
  • Determine the cost of quality trade-offs.

What is Flowchart

Flowchart shows the sequence of events and flow of inputs and outputs. It also shows the elements between a process or system.

It gets a definite beginning and end along with decision points clearly called out. This can be done with the actions to take based on the result of each decision.

Cause and Effect Diagram

Cause and Effect Diagram is also called an Ishikawa or Fishbone diagram. It identifies and analyse potential causes of probems in a process or system. Furthermore, it helps to organizes potential causes of problems into defined categories.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Free Project Management Tricks and Tools from RMC

I was searching for more tips and tricks on the passing of PMP and found that there are some very good resources from RMC on Project Management Tricks and Tools. I have extracted some information below for reference:

Free Tricks and Tools

RMC regularly publishes short, easy-to-read project management tips and tricks. From time to time we also post our PowerPoint slides from some of our more popular presentations. These documents are designed to help you improve your project management knowledge, provide you with Tricks of the Trade® from around the world, and enhance your ability to use your project management skills in the workplace.

These documents are absolutely FREE, and each is published in a downloadable PDF format. If you would like access to these tips, tricks and presentations, you must become a member of the RMC site.

The Free Tricks of the Trade® Library Currently Includes:
  • New! White Paper: The Organizational Benefits of Project Management
  • Free Tips for Passing the PMP® Exam (as advertised in PM Network®)
  • What Makes a PM Successful? Part I
  • What Makes a PM Successful? Part II
  • Tricks for Working With Virtual Teams
  • Tricks of the Trade - Project Manager's Role With Contracts
  • Tricks for Determining Customer Requirements
  • Tricks for Involving End Users
  • Tricks for Improving Team Performance
  • Tricks for Understanding Professional and Social Responsibility
  • Tricks for Communicating With Management
  • Nine Things Your Boss Should Be Doing
  • Sample Project Charter
  • How to Handle Unrealistic Schedules
  • 18 Reasons Why Projects Fail
  • Tricks for Selecting Vendors
  • Tricks for Becoming a Better Project Manager
  • The Benefits of Project Management
  • Tricks for Doing Planning Faster
  • Tips for the Worried Test Taker
  • Tricks for Overcoming Negativity
  • Tricks for Dealing with Anger in Project Management
  • Tricks for Maximizing Your Relationship with Your Boss
  • Two Methods to Calculate the Forward and Backward Passes in a Network Diagram
  • Tricks for Schedule Development
  • Tricks for Proactively Managing Stakeholders
  • Tricks for Proving Your Worth
  • Tricks for Avoiding Risk Stumbling Blocks
  • Tricks for Solving Common Project Problems
  • What Do Project Managers Wish Was Different in Their Companies?
  • Why Only Wimpy Project Managers Hold Status Meetings
  • Tricks for Clearly Defining Roles on Projects
  • Is Your Lack of Risk Management Knowledge Hurting You?
  • How to Use the Risk Book to Help You Pass the PMP® Exam
  • Handout from 9-23-04 PMI 20th Anniversary Celebration
  • Top Five Risk Errors That Can Ruin Your Career (PMI Global Congress 10-2004)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Design of Experiments (DOE)

Design of Experiment (DOE) is:
  • a technique to systematically identify varying levels of independent variables.

It determines:

  • which variable has the greatest effect.
  • what is the relationship between each variable and the quality specifications (with customer focused).
  • What is the best value for each variable, ensuring optimal quality or value.

Benchmarking in Quality Planning

Benchmarking is a tool used in Quality Planning. It
  • Addresses the evaluation of a group's business or project practices
    - in comparison to those of other groups.

  • Identify best practics
    - in order to meet them

What is Cost Benefit Analysis in PMP

Cost Benefit Analysis is a process of determing the pros and cons of any process, product or activity.


  • Completing quality work increases productivity.


  • Completing quality work may cost more monies than the work is worth.

Gold Plating (or Extra Work)

  • The customer does not need or want more than what was required.

What is the advantage of using Cost Benefit Analysis in Quality Planning?

When work is completed correctly the first time, as expected, the project does not have to spend additional fjunds to redo the work.

What are the Major Tools used for Quality Planning

For Quality Planning, the following 5 tools are commonly used:
  • Cost Benefit Analysis
  • Cost of Quality (COQ)
  • Benchmarking
  • Design of Experiment
  • Additional Tools for Quality Planning

Definition of Quality Planning

Quality planning is the process of ensuring a project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken.

How to perform Quality Planning?

A project manager should perform quality planning regularly and concurrently with other planning processes to adjust for cost or time factors.

Total Quality Management in PMP

Total Quality Management (TQM) is:
  • an approach to create customer satifaction by empowering workers.
  • on going process rather than a one-time event (ie continuous improvement).

Continuous Improvement is small improvements in products or processes to reduce costs and ensure consistency of performance of product of products or service.

Fitness for Use - The product or service is capable of being used.

Fitness for Purpose - The product or service will meet its intended purpose. No gold plating.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Tips and tricks in getting my PMP (useful for CAPM too!)

I was reading the lesson learned section in the PMHub Forum and found a very good article by elceem on the tips and tricks in getting PMP. I have extracted the iformation below:

Tips & Tricks in getting your PMP
  1. treat this as a project: today is your start day and decide a target finish date
  2. become a member of PMI – its is cheaper this way (read FAQ)
  3. register on line and get your approval to write PMP exam within 3 days (read FAQ)
  4. call your exam center and get an exam day
  5. get hold of a PMP mock test and record down your score on each knowledge area (try PMHUB Question Bank in PMHUB Forums)
  6. record your weak “knowledge area”
  7. check the literatures to read for PMP (check FAQ) and its review in PMHUB
  8. Read the PMBOK last, study other materials first: JIMBOK & Eric's Lunch Time Lecture at
  9. Use the PDF version of PMBOK and do your searches there 9b) use a SEARCH engine on the web, do not be lazy - get your own answer - no pain no gain
  10. important to know your own effective study style (do not just follow somebody’s advice to memorize ITTO)
  11. go through the exam exercises as much as you can, use the PMP/CPAPM Daily Tips
  12. study all the PMIism and for the exam's sake try to believe in them
  13. visit the exam center several days before the exam, get familiar with the area
  14. get a good rest 2-3 days before the exam
  15. during the exam: stay calm and after 10 minutes or so you will get your rhythm
  16. always choose the best answer for all the possible right answer, eliminate those that are wrong

Your exam dogma: PMIism

- Gold plating is a sin

- PM skills is transferable to any industry, you do not need industry-related skills

- Confrontation is the best way in conflict resolution

- PM is the most important job in the world


- PM is proactive

- Scope, roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined

Original link:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Key Points in Quality Control

Quality Control is used to measure specific project results against standards. Steps include:
  1. Measure specific project results again quality standards.
  2. Implement approved changes to the quality baseline.
  3. Identify quality improvement.
  4. Repair defects.
  5. Recommend changes, corrective and preventive actions and defect repair to Integrated Change Control.

Key Points in Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance is used to determine if the project is complying with organisational and project policies and processes. Steps include:
  1. Perform continuous improvements.
  2. Determine if project activities comply with organisational and project policies, processes and procedures - quality audit.
  3. Correct deficiencies.
  4. Identify improvements that the company needs to make.
  5. Recommend changes and corrective actions to integrated change control.

Key Points in Quality Planning

Key point in Quality Planning is to determine a plan for quality. This includes:

  1. Find existing quality standard for product and project management.
  2. Create additional project specific standards.
  3. Determine what work you will do to meet the standards.
  4. Determine how you will measureto make sure you meet the standards.
  5. Balance the needs of quality with scope, cost, time, risk and satisfaction.
  6. Create a quality management plan and add it to the project management plan.

A new Topic on Project Quality Management

I am going to start a new topics on Project Quality Management. For Project Quality Management, the following are the critical areas:

Perform Quality Planning
  • Identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and determining how to satisfy them.

Perform Quality Assurance

  • Applying the planned, systematic quality activities to ensure that the project employs all processes needed to meet requirements.

Perform Quality Control

  • Monitoring specific project results to determine whether they comply with relevant quality standards and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance.

Friday, February 22, 2008

What is Earn Value Management (EVM)

Earn Value Management (EVM) is:
  • a methodology that measures project progress by comparing actual schedule and cost performance against planned performance as laid out in the schedule and cost baseline.

Variables in EVM:

  • EMV involves calculating three independent variables to assess and monitor project cost and schedule performance progress. Those variables are:
    - Planned Value (PV)
    - Earned Value (EV)
    - Actual Cost (AC)
  • These 3 variables are used to provide measures of whether or not work is being accomplished as planned and to forecast project cost at completion.

Cost Control and Performance Review in PMP

Cost control is the process of monitoring cost performance and controlling changes to the cost baseline.

Performance reviews are meetings held to review schedule activity, work package or cost account status and progress.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What is Contingency Allowances in Cost Budget?

For Contingency Allowances,
  • When considering adding a contingency allowance to your budget:
    - Avoid contingency.
    - Based on the WBS input, make sure that the work package do not already have a contingency amount tacked onto the base estimate.

  • Inform the project team.
    - Let them know that the project will be managed against a point estimate without contingency.

  • As project manager, you must release contingency funds only through closely controlled and well documented process, which is typically included in the cost management plan.

  • Contingency is not to be used as a slush fund without controls.

What is Cost Baseline?

A cost baseline
  • is a time-phased budget that will monitor and measure cost performance throughout project life cycle.
  • includes a budget contingency to accommodate the risk of incurring unidentifiable but normally occurring costs witin the defined scope.
  • varies from project to project, depending on each project's unique budget and schedule.

Introducing Cost Budgeting in PMP

Cost budgeting:
  • is the process of allocating the overall cost estimates to individual activities or work packages across the project life cycle.
  • is to establish a cost baseline for measuring the project's cost performance

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Draft of New PMBOK - PMBOK 4th edition is now available

I was browsing through and found that the lastest draft version of PMBOK 4th edition is now available. I have extracted the news from below:

Hope this news prod you to grab your PMBOK and make sure you pass your CAPM/PMP exam this year before it is too late. You are all invited to browse the draft of the nex PMBOK, now available direct from PMI at this link:

Draft PMBOK 4th Edition

Friday, February 15, 2008

Latest PMI PMP Certification Fact File

For the statistics through 31Dec2007, I have extracted the following statistics for PMP Certification below:

Total Members - 253,692
% Increase Dec07/06 - 12.5%

New Members Dec07 - 5,866

Component Memberships
Chapters - 181,092
SIGs - 59,742
Colleges - 4,091

CAPM Candidates
Approved for Exam - 5,227
Total Active CAPMs - 3,799

New PMPs (Dec07) - 4,767
New PMPs (YTD) - 53,281
Total Active PMPs - 267,367
Dec07 Visitors - 758,245
YTD Total - 9,310,876

PMBOK Guide - Third Edition copies placed in circulation Dec07 - 14,948
Total copies of PMBOK Guide in circulation - 952,225

Total copies of 1996, 2000 and Third Editions of PMBOK Guide in circulation - 2,387,877

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bottom-Up Cost Estimation in PMP

Bottom-Up Cost Estimation is:
  • an estimating the cost for each work package in the WBS.
  • the most accurate method but it is also the most challenging, costly and time consuming.

Parametric Cost Estimation in PMP

Parametric Cost Estimation is:
  • a mathematical models to develop cost estimation.
  • developed for specific project parameters or characteristics.
  • an estimation that can be simple or complex depending on the item being estimated. Most parametric models involve some kind of multiplier.
  • considered to provide a rough order of magnitude or approximate level of accuracy.

Analogous Cost Estimation in PMP

Analogous Cost Estimation is:
  • a method in which top managers use their experience, historical information from similar projects and expert judgement to determine a total project cost or time estimation.
  • often called "top-down" estimation since estimations are generated for top levels of the WBS and then apportioned downward through the levels of WBS.

Analogous Cost is used when:

  • you hae a limited amount of detailed information about the project.
  • you have a similar project to use for comparison.
  • the work package owners preparing the estimations have the requisite expertise.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Direct and Indirect Costs

What is the difference between Direct and Indirect Costs?

  • Direct Cost
    Costs that are directly attribute to work on the project.
    eg. training cost, travel cost, wages, cost of material used in the project, etc

  • Indirect Cost
    Overhead items or costs incurred for the benefit of more than one project.
    eg. taxes, fringe benefits, etc

Variable and Fixed Costs

What are the difference between Variable and Fixed Cost?
  • Variable Cost
    It is the cost that changes with the amount of production or the amount of work.
    eg. Wages, cost of material, etc

  • Fixed Cost
    It is the costs that do not change as production changes.
    eg. one-time setup cost, rental cost, etc

What is Cost Estimation in PMP

What is Cost Estimation?
  • It is the process of projecting the cost of resources that are necessary for the completion of your project.
  • It involes identifyng and considering cost alternatives.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New PMI Credentials for Project Management in Development

PMI has recently introduce 2 new credentials and I have extracted the lastest information from their website. You may want to refer to the following as well:

In response to market demand to distinguish specialized roles on project teams, PMI introduces two new credentials: one for project risk and one for project scheduling. Because projects are getting bigger, more complex and more globally diverse, the market suggests that risk and scheduling are key aspects of a project. As a result, PMI initiated a two-pronged global research study, employing its dedicated research function, to determine the importance of specialty credentials.

The project scheduling credential and project risk credential addresses the need for project practitioners to distinguish their roles and contributions in their specialized area of project management. These new credentials are currently in development and PMI will release them in 2008. Check back for more information and updates on these two new speciality credentials.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Project Cost Management in PMP

I would like to start a new topic on Project Cost Management. Project Cost Management is one of the major topic in PMP and it consists of the following 3 major topics:
  • Cost Estimation
    It is developing an approimation of the costs of the resources needed to complete all project activities.

  • Cost Budgeting
    It is aggregating the estimated costs of individual activities or establish a cost baseline.

  • Cost Control
    It is infuencing the factors that create cost variances and control changes to the project schedule.

Schedule Control in PMP

What is the definition of Schedule Control in PMP?
  • It is a method of monitoring schedule performance and controlling changes to the schedule baseline.
  • Measurement of schedule performance efficiency is the schedule performance index (SPI)
    If the SPI is greater than 1.0 or 100%, the project is ahead of schedule. If the SPI is less than 1.0 or 100%, the project is behind schedule.

What is Project Schedule

In PMP, Project Schedule is:
  • a collection of planned dates for performing activities and meeting schedule milestones.
  • to coordinate activities into a master plan in order to complete the project objectives on time.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Simulation in PMP

Simulation is a technique that uses computer models and estimates of risk to translate uncertainties at a detailed level into their potential impact on project objectives.

The techniques includes:
  • Monte Carlo Analysis
    - uses Three-Point Estimates for variables in the model.
    - simulates various outcomes of the project schedule to provide statistical distribution of the calculated results.

  • What-If Analysis
    - uses the project's logic network to assess the feasibility of the schedule under adverse conditions.
    - can also used to mitigate the impact of unexpected simulations when preparing the risk response plan.

Schedule Compression in Project Time Management

Schedule compression is the shortening of the project schedule without affecting the project scope. I alleviates bottlenecks without sacrificing the project schedule.

What is Fast-Tracking?

  • It is the process of compressing total project duration by performing some activities concurrently that were originally scheduled sequentially.
  • It usually comes without any extra cost incurred.

What is Crashing?

  • Crashing is a schedule compression method.
  • It analyses cost and schedule tradeoffs to determine how to obtain the greatest amount of schedule compression for the least incremental cost.

Key Terms in CPM

For CPM, I have listed the following key terms:

  • Free Float
    This is the total time a single activity can be delayed without delayhing the early start of any successor activities.

  • Total Slack
    This is the total time an activity can be delayed without delaying project completion.

  • Project Slack
    This is the total time the project can be delayed without passing the customer expected completion date.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Study for Your PMP® or CAPM® with Rita Mulcahy

Well, I have been getting lots of question from people around the world asking to know where did I study for my exam and where is the best institute to prepare for PMP. This is a tough question as I do not have the list of best institutes for PMP for the whole world. Nevertheless, when I visit the RMC website, I found that Rita Mulcahy is actually offering a online course (this may be old news for some of you).

I have extracted the course introduction below and you may want to visit RMC website for more details.

Rita Mulcahy, world-renowned PM expert and best-selling author, has been teaching her innovative techniques for passing the PMP® exam on the first try since 1991. And most recently, she has used her thousands of hours of experience to develop exam training for the CAPM® certification as well. Now, project managers around the globe can study for either the PMP® exam or the CAPM® exam online—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Below are brief descriptions of RMC's PMP® and CAPM® e-learning courses. For additional information on either e-learning course, select the "Course Details and Sample Lesson " button at the bottom of the description. Note that both courses are aligned with The PMBOK® Guide, Third Edition (2005).

Friday, January 11, 2008

Critical Path Method in Schedule Development

Schedule development is an act of establishing start and finish dates for project activities so that a project schedules can be created.

What is Critical Path Method (CPM)?
  • CPM includes determining the longest path in the network diagram.
  • It states the earliest and latest an activitiy can start.
  • The earliest and lastest it can be completed.

What is the critical path?

  • it is the longest duration path through a network diagram.
  • it determines the shortest time to complete the project.

What is Parametric Estimation?

Parametric estimates:
  • are quatitiatively based durations made by multiplying a productivitiy unit rate by the quantities reqired for a specific category of work.
  • provide regression analysis, learning curve, etc.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Analogous Estimation

One of the estimation common used in project management is the "Analogous Estimation". What exactly is Analogous Estimation?
  • It is also known as "Top Down" Estimation.
  • It uses estimations from previous activities to estimate future durations. The validity of duration estimates derived using this method depends on:
    - historical information
    - similarity of the historical projects
    - expert judgement

What is Three Point Estimation

In PMP, the term "Three Point Estimation" is a technique used to estimate the time required for a project based on historical information. This includes:
  • Most Optimistic
    Best case scenario in which nothing goes wrong and all conditions are optimal.

  • Most Likely
    The most likely duration and there may be some problem but a lot will go right.

  • Most Pessimistic
    The worst case scenario which everything goes wrong.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Software Development Life Cycle

This may be a little off-topic but I have started another blog on Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). You can visit it throught the link below:

Friday, January 4, 2008

Activity Duration Estimation

What is Activity Duration Estimation?

Activity Duration Estimation is the act of estimating the number of work units needed to complete individual project activities and this shapes the preliminary project schedule.

What are the key terms in Activity Duration Estimation?
  • Elapsed Time
    This is the actual calender days/months/years required for an activity from start to finish.

  • Effort
    This is the number of person-hours or persons-days required to complete the activity.
    This estimates the effort to be provided based on the cost estimation and resources estimation.

Definition of Precedence Relationship in PMP

Precedence Relationship

Precedence Relationship is always assigned to activities based on the dependencies of each activity.

There are four recognized precedence relationships:
  • Finish-to-Start (FS)
  • Finish-to-Finish (FF)
  • Start-to-Start (SS)
  • Start-to-Finish (SF)

What is Lag?
  • is a delay in the start of a successor activity.
  • is determined by a dependency.

What is Lead?
  • is implemented when you need to accelerate a successor activity in order to shorten the overall project schedule.
  • will vary in length depending on the acceleration required by the amended schedule.

Recommended Books on PMP

Suggested Study Materials

  • PMP-Preparation Recommended Books
  • PMP Exam Prep, Fifth Edition: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam
  • A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Third Edition (PMBOK Guides)
  • The PMP Exam: How to Pass On Your First Try (Test Prep series)