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Project Management Professional (PMP) Fundamentals

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What is Project Management?

Project Management is the application (applying) of knowledge, skills(technical, non-technical, soft, financial etc), tools and techniques (Earned Value Management, Work Breakdown Structure etc) to project activities in order to meet stakeholder needs and expectations from the project. It is the responsibility of a project manager to keep the project with in SCT (scope, cost and Time) control; to manage stakeholders different needs and expectations; and to coordinating activities and managing the resources by integrating 5 major high level processes - called IPECC (Initiating, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Controlling & Closing.

Why do I need any training or certification?

It is observed that most of the projects fail or get delayed due to lack of project management skills. Project Management helps to focus to meet the project objectives by understanding all the different processes, tools and techniques required to manage a project. PMP will strengthen your PM (project Management) skills, concepts etc. PMP will help you to understand how and what processes need to be followed in different situations.

What areas of expertise a Project Manager needs?

  • PMBOK - Project Life cycle Definition; Five PM process groups (IPECC); Nine Knowledge areas
  • Application area knowledge, standards and regulations
  • Understanding Project environment - Cultural and Social; International and political; Physical Environment
  • General Management Knowledge and Skills - Planning; Organizing; Staffing; Executing; Control operations
  • Interpersonal Skills - Communication; getting things done; Leadership; Motivation; Negotiation & Conflict resolution; Problem Solving
  • What is a Project?

    A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service.

    Let's pay attention to the important keywords

  • Temporary - means that every project has definite start and definite end. The end is reached when the project's objective has been achieved or it becomes clear that the project objectives can not be met.
  • Please do not confuse Temporary with short Duration. E.g. a construction of a building can last for two years but still it has a definite start and definite end. In short, duration of a project is finite.

  • Unique deliverables - means different in some distinguishing way; even repetitive elements do not affect the uniqueness of work (e.g. construction a building/house in an apartment: even if the blueprint, material used for construction, people working on the projects, design of the apartment is same, still it's a unique because the location is different; soil factors are different etc.)
  • Product/Service - note that Project is temporary but the product/service or the result it creates is usually intended to be long lasting. e.g. Apartments; Town houses etc.
  • What are the example and typical reason of a Project?

    Example of a Project Reason(s)
    New software for a new insurance product Market Demand
    New course in the training institute to generate more revenue An organization need
    New phone service launched by Google and Grandcentral - One phone number life long Customer need
    Converting all Access applications to Access 2000 Technical Advancement
    Compliance Projects To meet federal or state requirements
    Construction of any road in your city City Expansion
    Construction of a building, apartment or house Customer need

    Why is a project "A Temporary endeavor"?

    Projects are referred to as temporary endeavors because they end when goals are met or when they cannot be met. In either case the Team gets disbanded.

    What is a Sub-Project?

    When a project is sub divided into manageable components are called as sub-projects. This is very common in almost every industry. e.g. in Software industry, a big project is divided into different sub-projects like front office, back office, admin etc. These sub-projects are contracted to an external enterprise or a different functional unit.

    What about repetitive tasks?

    Ongoing and repetitive tasks/activities are called as Operations. The objective of an ongoing operation is to sustain the business. It always adopts a new set of objectives and work continuously. e.g. Maintenance activities in a software project.

    What is a Program?

    A Program is a group of related projects that are managed in a coordinated way and usually include an element of ongoing activity.

    What are the common characteristics between project (temporary and unique) and operation (ongoing and repetitive)?

  • Performed by people
  • Constrained By limited resources
  • Always Planned, Executed and Controlled
  • What is a process?

    A process is a series of actions bringing about a result. All projects are composed of processes and they are classified as

  • Project Management processes
  • - Common to most projects - Purpose is to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control and close project
  • Product-oriented processes
  • - Specify and create the project's product -Typically defined by project life cycle

    Project management process and product oriented process overlap and interact throughout the project.

    What is a stakeholder? And what are the typical characteristics?

    Everyone, who is involved or attached or concerned to the project is a stakeholder. It includes project sponsor, project manager, external vendors, team members etc. Typical characteristics are -

  • Active or passive involvement in the project
  • Whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by execution or completion of the project
  • They may also exert influence over the project and its deliverables
  • It is a Project managers responsibility to identify all the stakeholders and manage them. e.g. when government is building a bridge in your city, civilians are the stakeholders for that project.

    What are the types of stakeholder?

    External

  • Suppliers or third party vendors
  • Consultants
  • Service providers
  • Internal

  • Project Sponser
  • Senior Management
  • Human Resources, Finance team, Admin team, Quality Team
  • Project Team members and Project Manager
  • Client Side

  • Project Sponserer
  • Client Side contact person
  • End customer (buyer or a user)
  • In general, always remember that differences between or among stakeholders should be resolved in the favor of the customer end user).

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