Note: this is content migrated from a blog I no longer maintain “The Grumpy PM” and was originally posted on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2009
Well I am two weeks out from my PMP test date, and have been struck by a few things in particular as I go thru the PMBOK Guide in detail.
First, it is dry and boring. I guess that is why there are so many prep books and courses out there. I highly recommend either buying one, or for the cost conscious, check one out from your local library. That’s what I did, to include checking out the PMBOK guide. While I did get a free copy with my PMI membership, I just find I can’t study from a PDF document. However, since there is a new PMBOK Guide out I didn’t want to make the purchase of the soon to be obsolete version. The other resource I have discovered is the PMP PrepCast. I found this doing a simple search on iTunes, and what a deal it is for the money! For under $50 you get over 70 podcasts that you can take with you on your commute, on a run, to the gym, beach, back porch, where ever! I have been using this to reinforce the reading I have done on a chapter by chapter basis. The host also gives many test taking tips with each lesson. So, at this point I recommend a prep book of your liking and the PM PrepCast, we’ll see if I pass though.
Second, there is a lot of process and documentation (and hence a lot of work) involved in implementing the processes described. One of my criticisms of the PMBOK Guide is that it encourages the creation of process and documentation bloat over project execution. PMs could spend a significant amount of project budget just trying to implement all the processes. Now, technically, the PMBOK Guide accounts for this in the tailoring concept, whereby the PM is supposed decide which processes to use and which to keep. However, that idea is simply not stressed enough. In my experience, which is just that my experience doing IT project delivery, PMPs tend to overdue it and the project costs the client more in the end than need be, and the decision making cycle is much longer. Disagree?, let me know, as I am heading down the PMP path, I’d love to hear from others regarding their experiences with this.
Lastly, I continue to have a nagging feeling that the PMP is really just a scheme to rake in fees for PDUs. It seems to me that the cost for a lot of PDU-earning activities is high, and that the primary beneficiaries of the PMP is all the consulting and education providers who help PMPs earn and keep their certification. I’ll surely write more on this once I am in the re-certification stage.