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)