Posted on June 14, 2018 · Posted in PMP

When studying for the PMP exam, the PMBOK Guide may seem daunting. Unfortunately, there’s no cheat sheet or shortcut around it. If you want to know what parts of the PMBOK Guide are crucial to your exam, the answer is every section. However, if you want an elaboration on some of the most crucial concepts to understand before going into your PMP exam, you’ve come to the right place. Study these concepts meticulously before taking your PMP exam, and you’ll stand a good chance of passing on the first try.

Input, Tools, Technology, and Outputs (ITTO)

As a PMP, this is your process and your resources. It’s no wonder that ITTO takes up the bulk of the questions in the PMP exam…and that it can cause a hefty sense of intimidation. Simply put, ITTO is the process from which you turn your knowledge, technology, and tools into a finished project. Input is your plan for the project. Your budget, time constraints, your deadlines, and the skills you and your team bring to the project. Your tools and technology are the resources you use to execute this project: a good project management team, efficient technology, project tracking, etc. The output is the end goal for the project: how should the finished project look?

Integration Management

Integration management is the ability to manage each step in a project as one, unified project. It is the most essential part of your job as a PMP. It requires big picture vision and the ability to multitask and delegate deftly. Poor integration management will lead to sloppy, painful projects and more frequent project failure. Most importantly in the integration management world is change management.

Most projects will bring about at least one major change to an enterprise. That’s the point of starting a project. But it can be difficult to adjust to these changes, unless you’re skilled at change management. With change management, you apply your resources and knowledge to the organization in which you work in order to bring about successful, smooth change that improves the way that organization does business.

Quality Management

In the midst of a project, it’s the job of everyone on the team to ensure the quality before putting it out there in the world. However, the bulk of quality planning and control falls under the purview of the project manager. If quality is below par, it’s the project manager who will be held responsible. A big part of quality management is making sure your team is fully aware of the standards of quality to be expected in your project. Training the team to do quality checks and using prevention over inspection is just part of quality management. As this is a crucial part of a PMP’s career, it will be a crucial part of the test and should be studied thoroughly.

Cost Management

Nothing makes stakeholders lose confidence in a project like losing money. A project manager has to focus on the whole project, but stakeholders are focused on that bottom line. Thus cost management is crucial to PMPs and it’s crucial to the PMP exam. The ability to forecast costs of a project, create an appropriate budget, and stick to that budget or adjust it in the most discerning way possible, may be your most important skill as a PMP. Pay close attention to the cost management resources and tips in the PMBOK and carry them with you not just to the PMP exam but into your new career.

Human Resources

Sure, you’re not taking this exam to become a human resources manager, but you still need to have a strong understanding of how human resources works. Why? Because of conflict resolution. Interpersonal conflicts can get in the way of your team’s efficiency and diligence and can cause setbacks to your project. It’s also important to know how to network successfully as a PMP, especially if you’re a newly certified PMP without a long resume.

To fully prepare for the PMP exam, it’s important to read the PMBOK thoroughly. The PMBOK glossary will help acquaint you with the terminology you need to ace the PMP exam and may clarify points in the PMBOK. The RITA exercises will help you put this new information into context and try your practical knowledge of it, giving you a fuller understanding when it comes to test time. By the time you take the exam, you should not only have read about these concepts but should fully understand them.


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