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A Comprehensive Guide to PMP® Exam Preparation

Are you still trying to figure out a way to start preparing for your PMP® Exam? Fret not! This blog will guide you with some best practices that you should adopt while preparing for your PMP® exam. This will surely help you to successfully clear your PMP® certification exam.Every PMP® certification aspirant differs from one another in terms of experience and expertise. Similarly, every person has got a unique learning habit. Therefore, you should get your own study plan which is based on your personal learning likes and needs. But this doesn’t mean that you should get worried about developing the study plan as you can find a plethora of resources to cater the needs of exam candidates, both online and offline which allows you to come up with a plan which fits your specific needs, style of learning, and individual circumstances.6 best practices for your PMP® Exam preparationUsually, most of the successful PMP® candidates spend long hours preparing for their PMP® certification exam. So, you should make sure that you have plenty of time to prepare for your PMP® exam. You can adopt the following best practices to prepare for your PMP® certification exam:1.Review the PMP® Examination Content OutlinePMP® Examination content outline is an important document which will help you to do well with your PMP® exam. You should go through this document which is published by PMI® to find the following information:Break up of questions as per the Process areasList of skills, tasks, and knowledge which are required as per PMI’s Role Delineation study.Going through this credible document will give you a high-level idea of what all get covered in the PMP® exam. You should go through this once you feel that you have attained a reasonable command on the content covered by PMBOK® Guide or any other study guide which you are referring in order to ensure that you avoid any unwanted surprises while appearing for your PMP® certification exam.2.Take up a formal study course offered by any accredited Registered Education Provider (R.E.P)Project Management Institute (PMI) has approved a few organisations to offer project management training in order to establish a global network of quality education providers to help all the Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential aspirants and credential holders.Enrolling yourself in a PMP® training course is one of the best ways to prepare for your certification exam. The reasons are as follows:These courses provide tailor-made PMP study materials and best practices for the PMP exam.They give you a quick start in getting a grasp of various project management concepts, formulae, terminology, and other key inputs which help you to prepare for your PMP exam.You can also get the 35 contact hours certificate by taking up these training courses which is necessary for you to be eligible for the PMP® exam.3.Come up with a study planYou should start treating your PMP® certification as a project and prepare a plan which covers all the activities that would help you to get PMP® certified. But the core element in this plan is to have a well-defined study plan. You should break your study sessions into smaller chunks and prepare a study plan which includes timelines to read PMBOK®, practice mock tests, study various materials etc.4.Review the latest edition of PMBOK® Guide and self-study books published by other reputable training organisationsNo matter whatever reference material you want to study in order to prepare for your PMP® certification exam, the PMPBOK® Guide is the recommended study material for all the PMP® aspirants. The page number 61 of the guide contains a table that shows the relation between 13 Knowledge Areas and 5 Process Groups with 47 processes. It further explains how these are applicable to project management.As a candidate, you should be thorough with this table and draw this table on a piece of paper in 5 minutes while appearing for your exam. The same can be used as a reference in answering the 200 exam questions. Other than the PMBOK® Guide, you can also review other study guides published by R.E.P.s and other reputable training organisations.5.Get ready for your exam by practicing Mock TestsDo you want to check the status of your PMP® certification exam preparation? You can do that by taking PMP mock tests. These can help you to map the gaps in your project management knowledge. You can take a test and review the results to find the areas that you need to work on.Focusing on answering the questions by sitting at a place for four hours is not a piece of cake. Taking full-length mock tests helps you to prepare for such a physically daunting and mentally straining process. However, it is a very important drill for your PMP® certification exam. So, it’s better to take up these mock tests and prepare well for your big day.6.Study groupStudying in a group can prove to be quite helpful while you are preparing for your PMP® certification exam. Catch up with the like-minded PMP® aspirants to know about new tactics and get benefited in other ways by being a part of the study group. Few of the benefits are as follows:Studying in a group is the best escape from the monotony of studying alone.You can surely overcome the areas which you are struggling with.Helping others will also boost your confidence.Sharing project management experiences with others help you to crack the scenario based questions which is the trickiest part of the PMP® certification exam.It further helps you to stay on course and helps you to motivate each other in the group.The biggest advantage of studying in a group is that it forces you to study on a regular basis and makes the preparation activity a part of your routine.Tips and tricks to prepare for your PMP® examYou need to study numerous materials in order to crack your PMP® certification exam. But do you have access to the right books and materials? Every person has his or her own way of learning. The following ways will surely help you to become efficient in your study and get equipped with all the knowledge that you need to crack your PMP® exam:If you have access to the workshops conducted by PMI then that would be a big benefit for you. This will also help you to receive the bundle of 35 credit hours which are necessary to qualify for your PMP® application procedure. Attending a PMP® boot camp gives you access to numerous benefits. Few of them are:1.Review everything which you need to cover on the examEverybody is oblivious about what he or she is going to encounter during the PMP® certification exam. Whatever you will find in the exam is sure to be geared from the PMBOK®. This means you should be thorough with the PMBOK® guidelines to get PMP® certified at one go. But the PMBOK® consists of only 75% of what you will see in the exam. What about the rest? You need to seek for a PMP instructor’s guidance in order to fill the gap in learning to qualify your PMP® certification exam.2.Review how to study for the examAs discussed, the PMBOK® guide is a great resource for your PMP® certification exam. At times, even if the questions are lengthy with a situational circumstance, you need to bring it down to a rule that needs to be comprehended. Further, there are certain focus areas on which you need to invest more of your study time than others. It is always better to seek guidance from a professional rather than guessing what you should study.3.Informal questionsIf you lack the idea of how to implement cost, schedule, or risk structure, then it’s a great opportunity for you to understand it. You should learn to shed light on practical application using fundamental examples.You should change your study methods to prepare well for a continuously evolving exam process like the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam. These days, this exam is based on PMBOK® Guide 6th edition and is a lot harder than it was in the past. The 4 partially correct choices which are provided for all the questions make it even confusing and raise the level of complication for the candidate.The following tricks are surely going to help you in shaping up your exam:Get aligned with the exam dynamics by spending 30 minutes every day on a free exam simulator.Follow the rule of 85%. Keep practicing mock exams until you score at least 85% in all the model exams. This indicates that you are ready to face the PMP® certification exam.Another important trick is to understand the ‘ITTO TRICK Sheet of 49 processes’ which you can find in the PMBOK® guide. This will really prove helpful to you in mapping all the processes inputs, outputs, tools, and techniques.In order to rightly utilize the 12 minutes after the exam, you need to read and memorize the Formula Trick Sheet. You need to print and paste the same on your desk in order to practice it every day because writing this after 4 hours exam will surely help you to track the questions and save significant time.You need to read and memorize the PMPBOK® 6th Edition 49 Process Chart. Print and paste the same on your desk and practice it every day until you can draw the chart within 8 minutes.To wrap it upWhen you begin with your preparation for PMP® certification, you should remember that attaining the PMP® certification shows your commitment to the profession of project management and demonstrates your credibility to earn more as well as raising the value of your resume above the non-certified professionals. Keeping these points in mind will surely help you to avoid getting discouraged during your certification process.You can also learn more about PMP® certification hereThis blog throws light on a few best practices along with some tips and tricks to smoothly proceed with your PMP® journey. It is important for you to set a standard time for your studies other than having a thorough understanding of the PMBOK® guide. So, start clearing your calendar to fit in your daily study time as PMP® needs a lot of thorough studies and is not an easy path to success.

A Comprehensive Guide to PMP® Exam Preparation

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A Comprehensive Guide to PMP® Exam Preparation

Are you still trying to figure out a way to start preparing for your PMP® Exam? Fret not! This blog will guide you with some best practices that you should adopt while preparing for your PMP® exam. This will surely help you to successfully clear your PMP® certification exam.

Every PMP® certification aspirant differs from one another in terms of experience and expertise. Similarly, every person has got a unique learning habit. Therefore, you should get your own study plan which is based on your personal learning likes and needs. But this doesn’t mean that you should get worried about developing the study plan as you can find a plethora of resources to cater the needs of exam candidates, both online and offline which allows you to come up with a plan which fits your specific needs, style of learning, and individual circumstances.
Best practices for PMP® Exam

6 best practices for your PMP® Exam preparation

Usually, most of the successful PMP® candidates spend long hours preparing for their PMP® certification exam. So, you should make sure that you have plenty of time to prepare for your PMP® exam. You can adopt the following best practices to prepare for your PMP® certification exam:

1.Review the PMP® Examination Content Outline

PMP® Examination content outline is an important document which will help you to do well with your PMP® exam. You should go through this document which is published by PMI® to find the following information:

  • Break up of questions as per the Process areas
  • List of skills, tasks, and knowledge which are required as per PMI’s Role Delineation study.

Going through this credible document will give you a high-level idea of what all get covered in the PMP® exam. You should go through this once you feel that you have attained a reasonable command on the content covered by PMBOK® Guide or any other study guide which you are referring in order to ensure that you avoid any unwanted surprises while appearing for your PMP® certification exam.

2.Take up a formal study course offered by any accredited Registered Education Provider (R.E.P)

Project Management Institute (PMI) has approved a few organisations to offer project management training in order to establish a global network of quality education providers to help all the Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential aspirants and credential holders.

Enrolling yourself in a PMP® training course is one of the best ways to prepare for your certification exam. The reasons are as follows:

  • These courses provide tailor-made PMP study materials and best practices for the PMP exam.
  • They give you a quick start in getting a grasp of various project management concepts, formulae, terminology, and other key inputs which help you to prepare for your PMP exam.
  • You can also get the 35 contact hours certificate by taking up these training courses which is necessary for you to be eligible for the PMP® exam.

3.Come up with a study plan

You should start treating your PMP® certification as a project and prepare a plan which covers all the activities that would help you to get PMP® certified. But the core element in this plan is to have a well-defined study plan. You should break your study sessions into smaller chunks and prepare a study plan which includes timelines to read PMBOK®, practice mock tests, study various materials etc.

4.Review the latest edition of PMBOK® Guide and self-study books published by other reputable training organisations

No matter whatever reference material you want to study in order to prepare for your PMP® certification exam, the PMPBOK® Guide is the recommended study material for all the PMP® aspirants. The page number 61 of the guide contains a table that shows the relation between 13 Knowledge Areas and 5 Process Groups with 47 processes. It further explains how these are applicable to project management.

As a candidate, you should be thorough with this table and draw this table on a piece of paper in 5 minutes while appearing for your exam. The same can be used as a reference in answering the 200 exam questions. Other than the PMBOK® Guide, you can also review other study guides published by R.E.P.s and other reputable training organisations.

5.Get ready for your exam by practicing Mock Tests

Do you want to check the status of your PMP® certification exam preparation? You can do that by taking PMP mock tests. These can help you to map the gaps in your project management knowledge. You can take a test and review the results to find the areas that you need to work on.

Focusing on answering the questions by sitting at a place for four hours is not a piece of cake. Taking full-length mock tests helps you to prepare for such a physically daunting and mentally straining process. However, it is a very important drill for your PMP® certification exam. So, it’s better to take up these mock tests and prepare well for your big day.

6.Study group

Studying in a group can prove to be quite helpful while you are preparing for your PMP® certification exam. Catch up with the like-minded PMP® aspirants to know about new tactics and get benefited in other ways by being a part of the study group. Few of the benefits are as follows:

  1. Studying in a group is the best escape from the monotony of studying alone.
  2. You can surely overcome the areas which you are struggling with.
  3. Helping others will also boost your confidence.
  4. Sharing project management experiences with others help you to crack the scenario based questions which is the trickiest part of the PMP® certification exam.
  5. It further helps you to stay on course and helps you to motivate each other in the group.
  6. The biggest advantage of studying in a group is that it forces you to study on a regular basis and makes the preparation activity a part of your routine.

Tips and tricks to prepare for your PMP® exam

You need to study numerous materials in order to crack your PMP® certification exam. But do you have access to the right books and materials? Every person has his or her own way of learning. The following ways will surely help you to become efficient in your study and get equipped with all the knowledge that you need to crack your PMP® exam:

If you have access to the workshops conducted by PMI then that would be a big benefit for you. This will also help you to receive the bundle of 35 credit hours which are necessary to qualify for your PMP® application procedure. Attending a PMP® boot camp gives you access to numerous benefits. Few of them are:

1.Review everything which you need to cover on the exam

Everybody is oblivious about what he or she is going to encounter during the PMP® certification exam. Whatever you will find in the exam is sure to be geared from the PMBOK®. This means you should be thorough with the PMBOK® guidelines to get PMP® certified at one go. But the PMBOK® consists of only 75% of what you will see in the exam. What about the rest? You need to seek for a PMP instructor’s guidance in order to fill the gap in learning to qualify your PMP® certification exam.

2.Review how to study for the exam

As discussed, the PMBOK® guide is a great resource for your PMP® certification exam. At times, even if the questions are lengthy with a situational circumstance, you need to bring it down to a rule that needs to be comprehended. Further, there are certain focus areas on which you need to invest more of your study time than others. It is always better to seek guidance from a professional rather than guessing what you should study.

3.Informal questions

If you lack the idea of how to implement cost, schedule, or risk structure, then it’s a great opportunity for you to understand it. You should learn to shed light on practical application using fundamental examples.

You should change your study methods to prepare well for a continuously evolving exam process like the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam. These days, this exam is based on PMBOK® Guide 6th edition and is a lot harder than it was in the past. The 4 partially correct choices which are provided for all the questions make it even confusing and raise the level of complication for the candidate.

The following tricks are surely going to help you in shaping up your exam:

  • Get aligned with the exam dynamics by spending 30 minutes every day on a free exam simulator.
  • Follow the rule of 85%. Keep practicing mock exams until you score at least 85% in all the model exams. This indicates that you are ready to face the PMP® certification exam.
  • Another important trick is to understand the ‘ITTO TRICK Sheet of 49 processes’ which you can find in the PMBOK® guide. This will really prove helpful to you in mapping all the processes inputs, outputs, tools, and techniques.
  • In order to rightly utilize the 12 minutes after the exam, you need to read and memorize the Formula Trick Sheet. You need to print and paste the same on your desk in order to practice it every day because writing this after 4 hours exam will surely help you to track the questions and save significant time.
  • You need to read and memorize the PMPBOK® 6th Edition 49 Process Chart. Print and paste the same on your desk and practice it every day until you can draw the chart within 8 minutes.

Tips and tricks to prepare for PMP® exam

To wrap it up

When you begin with your preparation for PMP® certification, you should remember that attaining the PMP® certification shows your commitment to the profession of project management and demonstrates your credibility to earn more as well as raising the value of your resume above the non-certified professionals. Keeping these points in mind will surely help you to avoid getting discouraged during your certification process.

You can also learn more about PMP® certification here

This blog throws light on a few best practices along with some tips and tricks to smoothly proceed with your PMP® journey. It is important for you to set a standard time for your studies other than having a thorough understanding of the PMBOK® guide. So, start clearing your calendar to fit in your daily study time as PMP® needs a lot of thorough studies and is not an easy path to success.

KnowledgeHut

KnowledgeHut

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KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Website : https://www.knowledgehut.com

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How are Changeless Principles Responsible For Project success In Software Industry?

IntroductionNo other industry perhaps is characterized by a change as much as the software industry. While every segment of society and more so the industry, goes through change, the pace and magnitude of change in the software industry are leaps and bounds ahead of all other segments.This magnitude of change can be unsettling as just when one thinks that one has cracked the secret of success, the rug is pulled from under the feet by the change and success formulae have to be reinvented all over again. In such turbulent scenarios, how do leaders respond to the changes and succeed? What is their recipe for success?This article is about how leaders don’t get swept away by the changes but respond smartly to the changes in a thoughtful manner. They hold the bull by the horn, so to say, and rule the changes rather than being dictated by the changes. One of their secrets to success is that they anchor themselves in constant principles that don’t change and respond to changes based on these changeless principles.What are these changeless principles of the software industry? This article highlights 5 most impactful principles that don’t change and have lead to proven success in software delivery.What are the changeless principles?The changes in the software industry happen in almost all facets, be it technology, software development methodologies, and life cycle models, business model, contract types, you name the facet and you can see changes.Specifically, 5 types of changes impact software project success significantly and they are requirement changes, the life cycle model changes, estimation methods becoming obsolete, project scheduling methods becoming ineffective and the emergence of new risks.Every change brings along with it new challenges and simply embracing the change can potentially create new problems while solving some old problems. Slogans such as “Don’t resist the change, embrace it instead!” or considering being open to changes as a virtue aren’t enough to succeed amidst the change.For instance, when an estimation methodology becomes obsolete because of a new technology, what does one mean by not resisting the change or embracing the change?Teams simply become technically competent in the new technology but regress back to raw, unstructured estimation method rather than creating a new estimation method. However, leaders respond to changes differently. They step back and look at the change from a meta-level, realize that the meta-principle that hasn’t changed and re-apply that meta-principle to the changed situation and remain effective.Coming back to the estimation example, when an existing estimation method becomes obsolete with the change of technology, they look at the meta-procedure of creating estimation method itself (Which doesn’t change) and create a new deliverable-based estimation methodology for the new technology rather than regressing back to raw, unstructured estimation methods.Thus they maintain estimation accuracy and project success in spite of the change. On these lines, the following are the 5 principles that don’t change in the software industry:1) The Principle of requirement change: Encourage changes occurring due to external factors but discourage or eliminate changes occurring due to the  internal factors. This principle doesn’t change irrespective of the emergence of new ways of managing requirements.2) The Principle of life cycle models: The 5 phases of any life cycle don’t change and you should create your own life cycle model when faced with a new situation. In spite of new life cycle methods emerging, the 5 phases namely, requirements, solution specification, a design of the solution, implementation of solution and testing of solution don’t change. One can always tailor-make these 5 phases to create a new life cycle.3) The Principle of estimation methodologies: The procedure to create deliverable based estimation methodologies does not change; create a new deliverable-based estimation method when technology changes. Established estimation methodologies become obsolete when technology changes but the meta-method of creating a new estimation methodologies doesn’t change. Hence, creating new estimation methodology using this meta-method is essential to maintain estimation accuracy.4) The Principle of schedule management: Project schedules are effective when the work breakdown is aligned with the life cycle model and contains at least 90% of the tasks performed by the team on the ground.  As life cycle models change, old methods of drawing up project schedules become ineffective and teams either give up drawing an effective schedule or draw schedules that are not used. However, aligning the schedules to the new life cycle models ensures that schedules are effective and results in optimum resource utilization.5) The Principle of risk management: It is essential to prioritize identified risks and plan mitigation and contingencies irrespective of size and complexity of the project. The types of risks may vary as project environment changes, but the basic principle of risk prioritization, mitigation ,and contingency planning does not change. As contract types, business models, life cycle models and technologies change, the types of risks may change, but the basic principle of risk management do not change and this has to be implemented completely to increase chances of project success.Why only these 5 principles? Are there not other principles that are important? Well, there could be many principles that don’t change and have to be applied for project success, but these 5 are the most important principles critical to project success and the most challenging too.There are principles related to the stakeholder management, product design, testing, team management and so on, but dealing with all of them would perhaps be apt for a complete user manual on changeless principle and not for an article. Hence 5 most important principles have been chosen for illustration in this article.Illustration of the 5 principles1) The Principle of requirement change:Encourage changes occurring due to external factors but discourage or eliminate changes occurring due to internal factors.Well, requirement changes are the order of the day in software projects and the way requirement changes are managed differs with software development methodologies and life cycle models. While the earlier CMMi based school of thought insisted on defining and signing off on requirements early in the lifecycle and keeping the changes to a minimum subsequently, the Agile school of thought went to another extreme saying that they encourage requirement changes and both are right in their own perspective.While minimum requirement changes are good for the stability of the project in terms of conformance to plan, encouragement for requirement changes could be good for business success as business scenarios can be dynamic and IT should keep pace with business dynamics.So, it is clear that there is an Agile wave now and it is altering the way that we look at the requirement changes. And, let’s see how the mass goes with this change and how leaders respond. Those who simply “Embrace” the change, go with Agile methodologies at face value, accept that requirements can keep changing and suffer the consequences.For instance, some IT vendors enter into fixed-price contracts for Agile projects based on some initial understanding of scope, and because of progressive elaboration of scope, the customer keeps giving requirements at every release which bloats the scope so much that the project easily gets into schedule overruns and cost overruns. This could result in losses for the vendor and if not handled well, it could result in dissatisfaction of the customer and loss of business as well. However, thought leaders take a step back and look at why requirements change and come up with responses that keep both customer interest and their own interest in mind. Leffingwell et. al.[1] have researched into why requirements changes and classify the causes into two sets called internal factors and external factors.Internal factors have to do with who we elicit requirements from, and how we elicit requirements. If requirements are not elicited from the right stakeholders and if the right elicitation techniques are not used, then it results in unclear and incomplete requirements leading to subsequent changes. Such changes are avoidable through the appropriate usage of elicitation techniques and documentation.This is why the BABoK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge)[2] lists more than 30 techniques to elicit, analyze and document requirements. These techniques have to be used effectively to eliminate changes occurring because of internal factors.The external factors, on the other hand, have to do with changes to market conditions, competitive landscape, and legal compliance needs. The changes are needed for the business success of the projects and can’t be easily foreseen.Postponing such changes may have serious, adverse impact on business objectives and hence such changes must be accommodated into the present release as quickly as possible. Leaders who succeed with Agile projects follow this principle, insist on upfront clarity in scope at a high level and then allow progressive elaboration of scope over the releases for more details.That is, they use a multitude of apt techniques to elicit and document requirements from the right stakeholders upfront so that their get clear and complete requirements and hence eliminate changes occurring due to internal factors.However, they would not insist on “Freezing” the requirements but allow progressive elaboration of details of these requirements to accommodate changes happening due to external factors. Thus they achieve both interests – proper estimation and planning for efficient delivery and cost-effectiveness through upfront clarity and completeness of high-level requirements and also ensure quick alignment with changing business scenario through a progressive elaboration of detailed requirements.2) The Principle of life cycle models:The 5 phases of any life cycle don’t change and you should create your own life cycle model when faced with a new situation.Lifecycle models keep emerging and every time there is a new lifecycle model, it impacts the project schedules, communication reports, team ramp up and ramp down plans, and quality plans mainly. However, as some industry experts such as Karl Wiegers [3] suggest, these life cycle models have little difference and the masses may get swept away by the hype involved in the new lifecycle model but leaders respond differently.Leaders understand that every new life cycle model brings with it solution to some existing problem but also a new set of problems. Hence, they accept the new models selectively and often adapt with the new lifecycle model by tailor-making it to their advantage. They can do this tailoring based on the understanding that the 5 phases of a lifecycle model are changeless.Software development models have emerged under many names beginning from waterfall, V, RAD, evolutionary methods, iterative, incremental, spiral, RUP and finally fully Agile methods such as Scrum, XP, and Kanban. The life cycle models mainly define how the 5 phases such as requirements, functional specification, design, implementation and testing are woven. The fact that any development project, not just the software projects involve all the 5 phases is a changeless principle as established below:Problem definition:This phase can be alternately called Scoping, Requirements Specification etc., and defines what the customer needs are that should be translated into deliverables. Any project exists because there are customer needs and hence this phase cannot be done away with.Solution specification:Alternately called functional specification, analysis phase, feature specification etc., this phase defines what the proposed solution is for the customer need. Any project is an implementation of solution to a customer need and solution definition cannot be done away with.Solution design:Alternatively called design, low-level design etc., this phase defines “HOW” the solution will be implemented. Any nontrivial solution needs to be designed and in that sense, this phase is indispensable too.Solution implementation:Alternatively called implementation phase, construction phase, the coding phase, this phase implements the designed solution. It is this phase that produces the actual deliverables and hence indispensable.Testing:This phase involves multiple types of testing and tests the implemented solution against the specified requirements. No product can be released without testing and this phase is indispensable too.Given that these phases are indispensable, let’s see how different life cycle models weave them. The waterfall model involves a tight sequence among the 5 phases. That is, you cannot skip any phase and work on a phase without completing the previous one. The incremental model breaks down the scope into multiple increments but maintains the tight sequence among the phases within each increment.However, Scrum not only breaks the scope into multiple increments called “Sprints”, but also removes the tight sequence among the 5 phases. For instance, one can do coding for a feature without an approved design for the same.Hence, the Agile model provides more freedom and flexibility to developers compared to the incremental model or the full-fledged waterfall model. While this freedom sounds attractive, if the team is not multi-skilled and seasoned enough, the resulting product may contain spaghetti code and become unmaintainable. Also, if the team is not multi-skilled, the Agile model may not result in optimum resource utilization.Given this backdrop, while the masses embrace the Agile model mechanically and suffer the consequences of chaos and underutilization (while also realizing some benefits), the leaders respond differently. They may adopt Agile fully if suitable, but if not, they create tailor-made hybrid models.Most of the recent successful megaprojects showcased at PMI conferences implemented hybrid models that involved elements of agility but imposed certain discipline as well. The latest version of PMBoK lists hybrid life cycle models as a trend in project management [4].To illustrate a hybrid model, factory model that was one of the many hybrid models implemented in Wipro Technologies and published as a case study at Harvard [5] can be taken as an example.Factory model is a software service delivery model and software development life cycle is only a part of it and this article illustrates only the life cycle part of the factory model. As illustrated in diagram 1, factory model involves frequent releases that are pre-scheduled and requirements are accepted even after the requirements document is signed off and subsequent phases are in progress.However, there is a cutoff date for requirements inflow after which the incoming requirements would be allocated to the next release. As the releases are shorter and the customers have a look ahead, usually they would be willing to wait for the next release rather than pressing for inclusion of requirements into the current release.This is a hybrid model, which has Agile features namely shorter releases and openness to accept requirements even after signing off RS. But, it also has traditional features such as tight binding of life cycle phases within a single release and freezing the requirements beyond the requirement window. There are many such hybrid models used effectively by industry leaders.3) Principle of estimation methodologies:The procedure to create deliverable based estimation methodologies does not change; create a new deliverable-based estimation method when technology changes.As new technologies emerge, one of the consequences is that established estimation methodologies become obsolete. For instance, when the Function Points estimation method was created for COBOL applications, it became quite widely used. The units into which the functionality of an application is broken down into, such as “Internal logical files”, “Record types” etc., was natural to COBOL applications.However, with the emergence of GUI based client-server applications, this model became a force-fit and estimators regressed back to carrying out unstructured raw estimates. This phenomenon happens every time there is a technology change. The masses follow raw, unstructured estimation method but the leaders develop new methodologies themselves.We have carried out research into the accuracy of estimates by asking the groups of people to estimate for the same specification using both raw method and structured methods and the results show stark differences in accuracy. Diagram 2 below contrasts estimates performed using unstructured, semi-structured and formal (completely structured) methodologies:As the above diagram compares estimation results performed by same people on the same specification with estimation method being the only variant, it can be concluded that estimation method plays a major role in determining the accuracy of estimates. Use of semi-structured and fully structured estimation methods improves the estimation accuracy significantly.Hence, the leaders use the changeless procedure to design new estimation methods and come up with a new estimation method themselves when technology changes. This procedure is as follows:Define the measure of application size.Define the units into which the specification is broken into.Define the factors to classify the complexity of the broken down unitsDefine the formula to arrive at size based on the number and complexity of broken down unitsDefine the method to determine effort from the size using productivity norms.This author explains in one of the previous papers [6] how different methodologies can be compared along the lines of the common procedure defined above and compares Function Points, Use case Points, MVC Points and structured WBS methods in a common format as shown in diagram 3 below:The author and colleagues have created two such deliverable-based open estimation methodologies namely MVC Points [6] and Interface points [7] intended to estimate web applications and enterprise application integration projects. We have also seen many unpublished methodologies to estimate data warehousing applications, ERP applications used in-house in leading IT organizations and usage of these methods greatly improve estimation accuracy.4) The Principle of schedule management:Project schedules are effective when the work breakdown is aligned with the life cycle model and contains at least 90% of the tasks performed by the team on the ground.  When life cycle models change, the way work is broken down also changes. It has been illustrated in earlier articles of this author [8][9] that alignment of work breakdown structure to the life cycle model is a critical factor that determines whether the schedule will be used in the project or not. When life cycle models change and the older ways of WBS doesn’t work, the masses give up scheduling practices but the leaders change the WBS and continue scheduling practices to ensure optimum resource utilization.Specifically, the arrival of Agile methodologies has rendered old ways of WBS obsolete. As shown in diagram 4, Agile methods view project progress in terms of completely usable features whereas traditional methods view project progress in terms of work done.Accordingly, the WBS also changes. A WBS of a traditional project would like table 1 belowTask IDMile stoneSummary tasksSub tasksDuration Resource.......1RS302Feature 1Elicit requirementsDocument requirement.......Feature 2....................FSFeature 1GUIBusiness logic.......Feature 2............Design........As can be seen in table 1, the WBS is organized along life cycle phases. As this does not work with Agile models, the common tendency is to give up schedules and execute work in ad hoc manner. However, leaders transpose the WBS to align with an Agile view of project progress as shown in table 2 and continue to use project schedules to optimize resource utilization.Task IDMile stoneSummary tasksSub tasksDurationResource1Release 1......2Feature 1RS related tasksOther task from sprint backlogOther task from sprint backlogFeature 2..................Release 2Feature 3GUIBusiness logicOther task from sprint backlogFeature 4............Release 3......5) Principle of risk management:It is essential to prioritize identified risks and plan mitigation and contingencies irrespective of size and complexity of the project.As changes occur in all facets of project execution, very new risks emerge and a common tendency is not to identify the risks but stick with the old risks and suffer the consequences. However, leaders stick to the constant principle of risk management and use that to identify and manage new risks. The risk management process that doesn’t change is indicated in the following diagram 5:To illustrate, when the outsourcing model changes from tactical outsourcing to strategic outsourcing, new, critical stakeholder risks emerge. When life cycle model changes to Agile, new cost-related risks emerge. However, the leaders stick on to the process of risk identification, risk prioritization, risk response planning and risk monitoring and control to stay on top of risks and maximize project success probability.ConclusionAs changes occur ever more frequently in all facets of software delivery, it is not adequate to respond with rhetoric such as “Embrace the change” or “Be open to change” although they are well-meaning phrases. It is important to respond to the change thoughtfully and taking a step back from the change and identifying the changeless principle behind the change helps in responding thoughtfully.This article has identified constant principles that don’t change in 5 facets of project delivery and anchoring in these changeless principles helps to respond to changes smartly and increase project success chances by leaps and bounds.
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How are Changeless Principles Responsible For Proj...

IntroductionNo other industry perhaps is character... Read More

Project Manager Salary Guide 2021

Project management skills and expertise are in demand globally, and earning potential remains promising. The Project Management Institute (PMI)regularly runs a salary survey to find out what kind of salary project managers draw across industries and across geographies. This is probably one of the most comprehensive salary surveys conducted for any job type. Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Eleventh Edition (2020), the latest salary survey from the Project Management Institute (PMI) equips practitioners with the most comprehensive view of project managers’ earnings from 42 countries around the world.  Greater awareness of how skill level, experience and certifications impact salary can give practitioners considerable earning power in a dynamic job market. And this critical data can help recruiters, human resources and compensation professionals establish fair and equitable salaries for project management roles within their organizations. Some of the data you will discover in this PMI report might surprise you. In this article, we give you the complete lowdown on the findings of the survey.Data gathered The scale of the PMI salary survey is vast: over 32,000+ project managers across industries and verticals, across the globe. This sample size is a good representative of the population and provides a realistic representation of salary figures. Quite a wide variety of information is collected by PMI’s team – position, years of PM experience, highest formal education, degree in project management, PMP® status, training per year, type of project, avg team size, project budget, and many more – from the sample size from each of the 42 countries. The report is of about 360 pages long, with quite a detailed information segregated by countries.One can thus slice and dice the figures to extract an amazing amount of insights into how project management in general and PMP certification can impact the salary of employees across industries, verticals, positions, and geographies. The top3 countries The top 3 countries on median salary figures were: Switzerland ($132,086) United States ($116,000) Australia ($101,381)The verdict “There’s never been a better time to be a project manager”, states the PMI Salary Survey, Eleventh Edition (2020).But what the report truly indicates is that there has never been a better time to be a PMP® certified project manager. The final verdict? Here it is: Respondents with PMP® certification report 22% higher median salaries than those without PMP® certification. Project Manager salary ranges Candidates with a PMP certification are prioritized over non-certified candidates. They are also more likely to get better compensation. However, the median salary depends on several factors such as their country of residence, years of experience, position or role and the average size of projects managed, including average project budget and average project team size. Project Manager salaries by countryCountriesMedian SalaryUSA$116,000India$28,750Singapore$71,279Hong Kong$76,607United Arab Emirates$81,665Project Manager salaries by years of experienceYearsUSAIndiaSingaporeHong KongUnited Arab Emirates
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Project Manager Salary Guide 2021

Project management skills and expertise are in dem... Read More

Project Management: What’s Trending in 2021

Project management is the practice that is used to initiate, design, execute, control, and close a team's work in order to reach specific objectives and fulfil specific success criteria at the specified time. The main challenge of project management is to achieve all project objectives within the given limits.A decade ago, managing projects was difficult and challenging. It was difficult to set clear goals with less project management tools and projects were being managed by smaller teams with simpler projects.Fast forwarding to 2020, the scenario is completely different as Project Management seems like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The teams are no longer small, nor are the tasks, and the goals are defined with a proper system.The project management industry is quickly evolving, keeping pace with advanced technologies, tools, and the latest trends.Today, we will discuss the top 5 Project Management global trends in 2020.1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Automation Will Impact ProjectsArtificial Intelligence has had a very positive impact on projects. According to a PMI report, software development, aerospace, healthcare and financing all implement Artificial Intelligence in their way of managing projects.The first thing project managers need to do is take AI into account in project management and then learn how to utilize it for successfully completing projects.Using AI in automating data will make it easier to handle projects than before. Moreover, you can form positive business relationships with your team members and clients, resulting in proper coordination and transparency.It’s quite common to witness poor estimates and unknown external factors pushing the deadline. Artificial intelligence can calculate the duration, cost and progress of a project properly and predict realistic project schedules.2. More Project Managers Will Incorporate Hybrid Project ManagementEvery project is created differently and differs in methodology and execution. No wonder the concept of hybrid project management is becoming increasingly popular and with every passing day, many Project managers and Scrum masters are combining more than one methodology.According to PMI reports, Hybrid project management aims to combine standard project management techniques with the agile methodology.When the hybrid model, such as combining a traditional approach is implemented with an Agile process, team members from different points of view and work styles will collaborate and achieve more flexibility, dedication, and productivity in their own way.Project managers are inclining to this flexible approach of projects in the current year. A combination of agile and traditional methodologies is best suited in a multi-project environment, where complex parts are executed using agile, and a traditional method is used for the simpler parts.3. Managing Projects Will Become Easier with Emotional Intelligence (EI)It seems strange, but project success is related to humans understanding and realizing emotions. How? According to PMI.org emotional intelligence can strongly predict performance no matter what job you do. It allows clients, team members, sponsors and management to interact with each other with clarity, handle challenges efficiently and make committed choices to act strategically and swiftly. EI is now an essential technology for a successful business outcome.Understanding the emotions of the team members and dealing with different personalities ensures that the project keeps progressing at a smooth and constant pace. This is an invaluable leadership ability for project managers around the world.Therefore, it becomes more important than ever to learn about emotional intelligence and what drives people to predict future project success.4. Remote Working is on the RiseThe trend of working remotely is now extremely common and this will go on in future too. There are a lot of advantages when people work remotely. It offers more flexibility and saves a lot of time as you don’t need to travel to your workplace. The costs to the project and company get further reduced leading to the development of talent. According to the results of a survey by Wrike, 83% of respondents work remotely every day for at least one to two hours. 43% of them reported that they work remotely now, more than they did a couple of years ago.When working remotely, projects will be managed by:Setting up daily, stand-up meetings and calls to stay updated on the progressHaving your team members keep you updated on any project changes or updatesUsing online collaboration tools such as Microsoft Planner to collaborate with team members and never miss out on any changes or updatesDoing quarterly individual assessments in a yearThe future of project management will witness a steep rise in next-gen project managers, project management offices, and more focus stepping up cybersecurity. Project managers should pay attention to these trends to successfully lead their teams.5. More Jobs Will be Available for Project ManagersProject managers are involved in every possible industry. According to ‘The Project Management Institute (PMI) report’ last year, the project management labour force is predicted to grow by 33 percent in over 11 countries by 2027. There will be a wide range of jobs for project management and these are estimated to grow over the next 10 years. Some of them are in industries like: Management and Professional ServicesManufacturingFinance and InsuranceInformation Services and PublishingConstructionUtilitiesOil and GasBy 2027, nearly 88 million professionals will be required in project management-oriented roles. The first in the race to hiring are China and India forming more than 75 percent of the total project management-oriented employment.The report further stresses that project managers are key in delivering successful projects and products. Acting otherwise can potentially create loss of nearly US$208 billion in GDP over the 10 years in the 11 countries examined.With the new trends of 2020, project management will be playing a major role in fastening product development with its new technologies, and in turn, increasing workflow efficiency. Owing to its exponential growth, multiple job opportunities will be created and staying on top of the latest trends will give one the leverage to make the most of such changes.
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Project Management: What’s Trending in 2021

Project management is the practice that is used to... Read More