7 Essential PMP Study Tips

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has defined a set of criteria enabling the corporate across the globe to recognize the Project Management Professionals (PMPs). The rigorous process of PMI certification involves three to five recorded years of project management work experience, 35 hours of training in the arena and the clearing of the multiple-choice PMP Exam. There are seven easy and proven ways to get through the PMI certification.

1. PMP Credential Handbook available online for free presents an overview of the PMI certification program and exam procedures. A thorough reading of the book will get through the process of examination with ease.

2. PMP examination material is quite vast and last minute cramming will never help you. Accommodate 2-3 hours a day over 10-12 weeks for preparations.

3. Right from the beginning of the preparation, proceed with a solid study plan and work schedule broken in bits allotted for each day. Be sincere to complete the set target as you proceed and take as many practice tests as possible.

4. The syllabus for the PMP examinations is fully based on the PMBOK Guide, 4th Edition specifically covering areas including communication, human resources, cost management, risk, scope, quality, integration, procurement, and time management. During the course of preparation, understand the topics in relation to the others.

5. There are a number of Self Study Courses available online that will help busy professionals to go through the course within a short time. However, you need to make an informed decision in choosing the right ones by consulting those who had made success already. PMP podcasts and video casts also will be useful.

6. Popular PMP Exam Prep Books or study guides will be of immense help to understand the dry concepts with illustrations. Visit a shop to choose the right one to help you out.

7. There are a number of sources over the net that will give you hundreds of sample questions meant for PMP examination. To access as many questions as possible, you can subscribe to PMP Exam Simulator that will make your search easy.

While preparing for the PMP certification examination, you need to make yourself complacent and do a comprehensive review. There are a number of ways in which you can further enhance your knowledge of the subject including attending PMP workshops, project management training courses, seminars and other related PMP course options. Besides concentrating on the technical aspects of the course, you need to carefully gather valuable tips available from the examination which will be useful to you later to deal with highly challenging and stressful situations occurring in your profession.

PMP Framework (Fundamentals)

  1. Definitions of Project and Project Management
    1. Definite Start date and End date
    2. Produces a unique product or a service. Called as “Product of the Project”
  2. How project is different from operations or maintenance
  3. (PMI Definition) Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. Project management is accomplished through the appropriate application and integration of the 42 logically grouped project management processes comprising the 5 Process Groups.

  4. Project Management is simply managing various constraints to accomplish objectives.

  5. Project organizations need to have a structure to deliver undertaken project. Understand following hierarchical structures


    1. Portfolio

    2. Program

    3. Project

    4. Sub Project

    5. PMO (Support Organization)

  6. A portfolio refers to a collection of projects or programs and other work that are grouped together to facilitate effective management of that work to meet strategic business objectives

  7. A program is defined as a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually. A project may or may not be part of a program but a program will always have projects.

  8. A project management office (PMO) is an organizational body or entity assigned various responsibilities related to the centralized and coordinated management of those projects under its domain. The responsibilities of a PMO can range from providing project management support functions to actually being responsible for the direct management of a project

  9. Organizational Structures: Projectized, Matrix and Functional are different types of Organizational structures. Matrix organizations are further sub divided into weak Matrix (Leaning towards functional) or Strong Matrix (leaning towards projects) or Balanced Matrix.

  10. Project stakeholders are individuals or units those are directly or indirectly affected by Project outcomes. Sponsors, customers, users, performing organizations, project team members and influencers are stakeholders. Stakeholders can be 2 categories: Positive stakeholders and negative stakeholders.  
  11. At the end of each project phase, reviews against a set of metrics are performed. If the Phase fails to meet these metrics, the project may not be allowed to continue. These phase end reviews are called Stage gates or Phase exits. 
  12. Project Management process is iterative and cyclic. 4 steps in the process are “Plan”, “Do”, “Check”, Act”. 
  13.    Projects or Subprojects can be divided into discrete Phases to provide better management control or to assign  specific skilled groups. 
  14.   Environment Factors and Organizational cultures will impact projects too. 
  15.    During initiation phases of the Project, Costs are low and Risks are High.
  16.  Cost and staffing levels are low at the start, peak as the work is carried out, and drop rapidly as the project draws to a close.
  17.   Several categories of documents are produced during the lifetime of the project. They can be broadly categorized into 2 types:
    1. Project Plans: All management plans and 3 Baselines are called Project Plans.
    2. Project Documents: Any document that is not called as a plan is called as Project document.  
  18. Project Management Plan
    (Notice, MS Project Plan is just one section of the bigger document)