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TOPIC: Passed PMP - Here's what I learned

Passed PMP - Here's what I learned 2 weeks 3 days ago #23903

  • Cristian Sirbu
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I passed the PMP exam on Sunday 10/11.
I started to study last year in December, preparing initially for CAPM exam. I passed the CAPM on July 25th. With all the materials fresh in my mind, I went for the PMP right after.
The way I studied might not apply for some of you. I'd rather memorize 50 formulas than reading 5 pages of text. I started by reading the PMBOK guide and it was a nightmare. I fell asleep all the times I tried. The reason I didn't like that book was that it's written in a "too professional" way. Instead of "how much you got, compared to what you planed", you'll find something like: "a measure of the cost efficiency of budgeted resources, expressed as a ratio of earned value to actual cost". Anyway, I tried to read it couple of times, eventually I ended up reading it all but not understanding too much. Then I bought PMP exam prep by Rita, I read it all and I found it easy to read through.
I scheduled both CAPM and PMP exams, right before the Covid showed up. My exams have both been cancelled out. Since I got some extra time, I bought the CAPM exam prep by Rita and read it and again the PMP exam prep.
The books written by Rita are very good and very easy to understand. But their exam simulators are a joke (in my opinion). Only simple questions, a lot of mistakes, repeating over and over again.
Cornelius, you've got the best simulators on market in my opinion. I tried different simulators, but PrepCast is far better than anything else.
To summarize, I read PMBOK guide, CAPM and PMP prep guides by Rita, used Rita's simulator for CAPM (a mistake) and PrepCast simulator for PMP (good choice).
My practice exam results were: 77.1% for ITTO's, 76.5% for Exam 2 and 84.5% for Exam 3. After that, I've decided to take the real exam, since I felt like I was prepared. The real exam is not difficult. With Cornelius' practice exams passed, I think you'll find the real exam very very similar.

I'm not too good at writing stories down, so I'll stop here. Please let me know if you guys have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.
PS: They say it's impossible to memorize all the ITTO's and it's best to understand them logically. Let me disagree with that. I combined the two statements and I have memorized all the ITTO's logically. It becomes very easy, once you understand what every tool, output or input is. The exam and PMBOK guide are all about ITTO's after all, am I right?

Again, thank you much PrepCast,
Cris Sirbu, P.E., PMP
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Passed PMP - Here's what I learned 2 weeks 2 days ago #23907

  • John C
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Cris,

Congratulations on the passing of the PMP. I am in the process of preparing the Exam. Could you elaborate on "combined the two statements and I have memorized all the ITTO's logically"?

Thank you very much,

John

Passed PMP - Here's what I learned 2 weeks 2 days ago #23919

  • Cristian Sirbu
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John,

Please see below part of my logical thinking about the ITTO's:
1. EEF's and OPA's are obvious the most popular inputs. Environment (internal and/or external) and organization, these will impact almost every process a project will go through.
2. What does a project start with? A business case and a plan for the benefits. These will be used as an input to the project charter. Because you simply don't have anything else.
3. You want to plan the project. What do you have so far? Nothing but the project charter, EEF's and OPA's. And because the planning processes go somehow all together, (as you cannot plan the costs without knowing the risks, right?), you may have as inputs the other components of the project management plan.

Passed PMP - Here's what I learned 2 weeks 2 days ago #23920

  • Cristian Sirbu
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4. You planned the project. Now it's time to execute what you've planned. What do we get after we do the work? Data. Just work performance data. We take this data and compare it to what we already planned. What's the result? Some information about how the project goes compared to the plan, therefor you get work performance information. What are you going to do with this info? Share it with stakeholders. Can we just send an email to the sponsor saying "the CPI is 1.1"? No, we have to include everything into a report. So we produce work performance reports.
Translation in PMI language: Direct and Manage Project Work has Work Performance Data as Output. All M&C processes have this as an input. All M&C processes have Work Performance Info as Output.
Plan->Execution->Work Performance Data->Comparation with the plan as part of the M&C->Work Performance Information->Monitor and Control Project Work->Work Performance Reports->Shared with the team through Manage Communications.
5. We do forecasts for schedule and cost, so we'll have the forecasts as outputs for monitoring processes "Control Schedule" and "Control Costs".
6. Let's take the tools for "Collect Requirements" as an example. How do we collect the requirements needed? First of all, we ask the sponsor, or someone else (one person that knows about). So we're using Expert Judgement. We ask, so we collect data. Say I go to a senior manager and ask him all about this project (as it is known in this early stage). I ask and he responds, so I used Interviews. That senior manager did not know too many things that satisfy the collection of all the requirements (or even if he did), so we gather together a team of 5-10 (as an example) and ask them what is expected from this project. This guy comes with a nice idea, another develops another idea based on the first one, and so on. That's what a brainstorming means. I can continue forever, but I'll move forward now.
We have the Data Gathered, what am I gonna do with all that data? I will analyze it (Data Analysis). What if some of the team members have different opinions about a specific requirement? We go ahead and vote (Decision Making). In order to better see and understand the data analyzed and voted, we're going to draw it up on a board. Maybe some diagrams. This is called Data Representation. I'm not sure how this requirement is going to be done. I would prefer to see how's done in real life. So I go into the open office area and I shadow my colleague's work to see how he's doing in real life (not on paper). That's so called Observation, part of the Interpersonal and Team Skills.
7. Of course most of the execution and monitoring processes have Changes Requests and updates as outputs. This is a consequence we're not living in a perfect world. It's unrealistic to think we'll not have changes on a project, no matter how masters we are on planning.

I have tens of other similar thoughts, that have driven me to finally "memorize" all the ITTO's in a logic way. Now once I know them, I can't even call them memorized. It's just the logical way they should be.

I wish you good luck John. Whether you choose to memorize them or not, I hope you'll find your own way of passing this exam and becoming a better project manager.

Regards,
Cris Sirbu, P.E., PMP

Edit: Used multiple postings as I received an error message like: "Your message has been considered SPAM and will not be published."
Last edit: by Cristian Sirbu.

Passed PMP - Here's what I learned 2 weeks 1 day ago #23929

  • John C
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Cris,

Thank you so much for taking your time and answer the question. I see your logic now. It indeed makes sense to me.

I think you should keep digging and come up with your PMP teaching materials one day to help those (like me) who are struggling and frustrated with mastering the essence of the exam. I will be the first one to buy the material.

Your method is enlightening to me.

John
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Passed PMP - Here's what I learned 1 day 12 hours ago #24185

  • Balakrishna Kotian
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Hi Chris,

Thank you for your explanation. Seeing it for first time with such a summarized explanation.
As a request is it possible for you to explain other process similarly i might be asking more plesae try if you can.

Thank you.
BK

Passed PMP - Here's what I learned 1 day 3 hours ago #24196

  • Brittany Stueber
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Hi Cristian, I tried to find you on LinkedIn to message you there, since I doubt you will see this. But wow there are a lot of Cristian Sirbu's! So I will try it on here. You are part of a very select group of people I'd love to hear from right now - those who did a CAPM test and followed it up with a PMP test shortly thereafter.

I just passed my CAPM earlier this month. I have been in project management since 2013 and I want my PMP. I decided to go this route because the PMP application used to be so stringent and difficult to fill out, and I was afraid that if I were to get audited there's no way to prove my exact hours because they were never formally tracked. However, I see now that PMI has changed the application to months, which is so very much easier to fill out!

I am finishing my application right now, and hope that I get approved with no audit. My goal is to take the PMP exam in early December, seeing as how I'm still so fresh from studying hard for CAPM. I am planning to jump right back in and keep studying.

I would love to hear from you how you (or anyone else who's taken the same path) felt the tests compared to one another. I am very curious what percentage of the test do you feel involved questions that necessitated utilizing the equations?

Passed PMP - Here's what I learned 5 hours 54 minutes ago #24205

  • Dawn Mixon
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Chris, This is extremely helpful I so appreciate you sharing your logic. Congrats on passing the exam and kudos for breaking down the ITTOs so logically.
Dawn
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