What is the Difference Between Knowledge Areas and Process Groups?
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) structures project management by using both Knowledge Areas and Process Groups. There are twice as many Knowledge Areas than there are Process Groups, and intially it can be rather daunting to understand the difference.
One reason for this is probably the fact that the PMBOK® Guide doesn't actually contain an official definition for either term. So trying to figure this out on your own is difficult for anyone who initially comes across these terms.
Therefore in this Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam tip we want give you a general overview of the difference between them by listing as many qualities as we can for each.
What is the Difference Between Cost Performance Index and Schedule Performance Index?
Preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam means that you must understand Earned Value and how the various indicators and indices are calculated. Many PMP® Exam sample questions will test you on these:
Cost Performance Index (CPI) and Schedule Performance Index (SPI) are both methods to measure the efficiency of a project. The difference between the two is one measures cost while the other measures the schedule. Using these two in conjunction with each other allows a project manager to forecast final project completion estimates. Will a project be within budget, on time, or both?
CPI measures the cost efficiency of a project, is the budget being spent as planned? In order to calculate CPI you need two pieces of information, the earned value and the actual cost.To calculate CPI, earned value is divided by actual cost (CPI=EV / AC). There are three possible results when calculating CPI: 1, which is good and means funds are being used as planned; >1 which is also good and means the funds are being used more efficiently than planned; and <1 which is bad and means the funds are being over spent.
SPI measures the schedule performance of a project, is the project schedule being performed as planned? In order to calculate SPI you need two pieces of information, the earned value and the planned value. SPI is calculated by dividing the earned value by the planned value (SPI=EV / PV). There are three possible results when using the SPI formula: 1, which is good and shows the project is progressing as planned; >1 which is also good and shows the project is progressing at a faster rate than planned; and <1 which is bad and shows the project is progressing at a slower rate than planned.
The thing to remember is CPI is the measurement of the budget efficiency and SPI is the measurement of the schedule efficiency. Both are valuable in understanding the efficiency of a project and to forecast the project final completion estimates.
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) discusses both Cost Performance Index and Schedule Performance Index in sections 22.214.171.124, & 126.96.36.199
Is the PMP® Certification for Project Managers Only?
No! Your title does not determine if you can take the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam, your responsibilities do. The PMP® Exam application does not ask if your title is or has been “Project Manager”, it only asks what roles you held related to the experience you are claiming on the application. There are several roles to choose from; Project Contributor, Supervisor, Manager, Project Leader, Project Manager, Educator, Consultant, Administrator, and Other.
Study Project Objectives and Milestones When Preparing for the PMP® Exam
When preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam you will first come across objectives and milestones in your project charter. Here is some help in understanding them better, so that you can properly answer PMP® Exam sample questions:
A Project Objective is the goal of a project; what is the project trying to accomplish and what are the parameters to do so? Objectives can be such measurable items as schedule, cost, quality, performance, stakeholder satisfaction, or whatever will be used to determine the project success. Some examples of project objectives are; the project will be or completed no later than March 2015, the budget for the project is $2M, the reject rate during production must remain less than 2%, this version of the software will run 25% faster than the prior version, and stakeholder satisfaction will be maintained at no less than 95%.
What are Contingency Reserve and Contingency Plan?
If you are preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam then you need to know what a “Contingency Reserve” and a “Contingency Plan” is. You may even come across PMP® Exam sample questions that focus on these two terms:
PMP® Exam Tip - What is the difference between the CAPM® and the PMP® Exam?
The main difference is that Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® is a "knowledge-based exam" while the Project Management Professional (PMP)® is an "experience-based exam".
The questions on the CAPM® exam are all focused on A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). It is an entry-level certification for project practitioners. It is intended for those with little or no project experience and tests your understanding of the fundamental knowledge, terminology and processes of effective project management. Basically it tests how well you understand PMBOK® Guide concepts - nothing more.
Why the Use of PMP® Exam Simulator Software can Gain Confidence for the PMP® Exam?
Adding the use of PMP® Exam Simulation Software to your Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam studying routine can help you gain confidence in passing the exam. Being familiar with how the exam is structured, the types of questions to expect, and practicing answering 200 PMP® exam questions within the four hour time limit can all increase your confidence in passing the PMP® Exam. Often increased confidence will result in increased success.
A PMP Exam Simulator provides you with the opportunity to practice answering 200 Project Management related questions in a four hour period prior to taking the PMP® Exam. It also provides you with similar questions you will face while taking the exam. These questions are multiple choice and are written to determine if you fully understand the project management concepts to identify the correct answer.