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PMP Cheat Sheet and PMP Formulas To Use in 2024 and Beyond

19th Feb, 2024
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    PMP Cheat Sheet and PMP Formulas To Use in 2024 and Beyond

    What spinach is to Popeye, Project Management Profession (PMP) certification is that to Project Managers. In simple words, it helps Project Management professionals to strengthen their careers. PMP is one of the most sought-after globally recognized certifications in the world. It is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). In fact, PMP certified professionals earn around 25% more than their uncertified peers. No surprise then that certification courses for project management are in great demand. However, like every good thing, earning PMP certification also requires a lot of dedication, hard work, time, and effort.

    People. Processes. Business Environment.

    These terms mean different things to a lay person and an aspiring project manager. With 35 hours of training with an Authorized Training Partner (ATP), extensive practice, mock tests, and doubt clearing sessions, you are all set for taking the somewhat intimidating PMP Exam. With dozens of resources and advice articles available online, it may get overwhelming - where do you start?

    We’re here to make your PMP Exam prep easier with just the thing you need. A PMP Cheat Sheet. We’ve gathered industry experts with vast experience in project management and asked them to compile a comprehensive list of PMP Terms, Formulas, and Concepts into a neat little PMP Cheat Sheet for you to use as a learning tool as you prepare to write the PMP exam.

    Know more about  importance of project charter.

    PMP Terms Cheat Sheet

    If you’re here, you are already aware that the PMP is a difficult exam with a multitude of tricky questions. It is designed to test the depth of your knowledge and understanding of the key concepts. If you’ve signed up for a project management professional training course, you must expect learning tools like these. You will discover that there are also several terms that you will come across frequently in the course of your PMP learning. While the PMBOK is the cornerstone of all PMP knowledge, it does not differentiate between terms and concepts from the exam perspective. This is where a PMP terms cheat sheet can help you.  

    Here is a handy list of some important PMP terms that we think you need to know to ace your PMP Exam. Let’s dive in:  

    1. Project Management Plan
      Every project needs a Project Management Plan. It covers all the details that are needed for proper project execution. It consists of all baselines, strategies, management plans, and any other important information needed for the successful execution of a project.
    2. Configuration Management Plan
      It defines how information related to different project items will be stored and updated so that the functioning of the project is not hampered.
    3. Configuration Control
      It deals with all the specifications of the process.
    4. Performance Measurement Baseline  
      It is used as a benchmark for comparison of cost-specific future measurements. It consists of scope, objectives, costs, schedule, and resources required to complete a project. It is very essential in terms of managing project performance.  
    5. Project Life Cycle
      It is the journey of a project from initiation to completion.  
    6. Development Approach  
      It involves product/service or development approach including agile, predictive analysis, and more.  
    7. Management Reviews  
      Complete evaluation of the project to identify key areas that determine project performance.  
    8. Change log  
      It consists of all the changes that happen during the journey of a project. It includes every little detail and all relevant information that played a vital part in the project.
    9. Change Management Plan  
      A project undergoes an array of modifications during its journey. The change management plan is created to manage the entire change process.
    10. Change Control
      It includes everything related to changes in the project documents. It helps to align with the project management principles with the help of timely identification of project changes.

    Know more about characteristics of project management.

    PMP Formulas Cheat Sheet

    Projects are typically value-driven and the knowledge of the value of any aspect of a project is dependent on several factors. To be able to compute several kinds of values, you need formulae. Considering the vastness and scope of project management, the number of formulas used for several different functions may seem mind-boggling.

    So, here’s a PMP Formulas Cheat Sheet to help you retain the most important ones from the PMP Exam prep perspective. Our PMP formulas cheat sheet consists of important formulas that you must know before appearing for the PMP exam. Let’s take a look:

    1. Future value (FV) = PV (1 + i)^n
    2. Present value (PV) = FV/ (1 + i)^n
    3. Target price = target cost + target fee
    4. Point of Total Assumption (PTA) = [(Ceiling price – target price) / buyer’s share ratio] + target cost]
    5. Communication channel = n (n -1) / 2
    6. Earned value (EV) = % complete x budget at completion (BAC)
    7. Cost variance (CV) = Earned value (EV) – actual cost (AC)
    8. Schedule variance = Earned value (EV) – planned value (PV)
    9. Cost performance index (CPI) = EV / AC
    10. Schedule performance index (SPI) = Earned value (EV) / Planned value (PV)
    11. Estimate at Completion (EAC) = BAC / CPI
    12. EAC = AC + Bottom-up ETC
    13. EAC = AC + (BAC – EV)
    14. EAC = AC + [(BAC – EV) / (CPI x SPI)]
    15. Variance at completion (VAC) = BAC – EAC
    16. Estimate to complete = EAC – AC
    17. To complete performance index (TCPI) = (BAC – EV) / (EAC – AC)
    18. Standard deviation (SD) = Pessimistic – Optimistic / 6
    19. Pert Formula Beta = (P + 4M + O) / 6
    20. Expected monetary value (EMV) = Probability * Impact
    21. Risk Priority Number (RPN) = Detection * Occurrence * Severity
    22. Cost Plus Percentage of Cost (CPPC) Contract = Cost + % of cost as a fee
    23. Cost Plus Fixed Fee Contract = Cost + fee of fixed amount
    24. Cost Plus Award Fee Contract = Cost + award fee
    25. Cost Plus Incentive Fee Contract = Cost + incentive fee
    26. Return on Investment (ROI) = (Net profit / cost of investment) * 100
    27. Payback period = initial investment / periodic cash flow
    28. Cost-Benefit Ratio (CBR) = Net present value of investment / initial investment cost

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    PMP Concepts Cheat Sheet

    PMP exam is comprehensive. A PMP exam cheat sheet only serves a limited purpose. Getting a grip on all the concepts in project management may seem challenging. From this perspective it is important that you have an idea of what concepts are more important and understand how to organize the wealth of information regarding project management. There cannot be an exhaustive list of topics related to project management. This is why courses like the KnowledgeHut Project Management Professional training course focus on covering topics in a systematic manner.

    We have made a list of the most important ones that you should understand for you to have a good chance of clearing the PMP exam. These are broad categories that contain many concepts and techniques under each of them.

    Managing Scope: You will need to have a good understanding of the scope of the project. What is to be done? What results are to be achieved? What are the deliverables? When is the project considered complete? These are all questions that need to have a clear answer to.

    Schedule: Most projects are time bound. You should have a proper timeframe for each task and sub-task with sufficient buffers considering all the constraints and uncertainty surrounding a project. You should also know how to manage the schedule when the scope changes.

    Cost: Estimating the costs of the projects is a key responsibility of a project manager. Once this is accurately established then you can get budgets cleared, resources allocated, and be in a better position to handle cost fluctuations when a variable changes.

    Quality: A project is considered done, only when it meets the criteria that is agreed on by the stakeholders. A project that does not meet the customers’ requirements cannot be considered complete.

    Resources: How to arrange for the workforce to complete tasks in a timely manner from the project perspective is a decisive factor that can affect the project outcome. This needs to be clear with a plan for contingencies.

    Procurement: Continuing from the last point you will need to plan where to arrange, buy, or build each component that is needed for a task in the project.  

    Risk: We operate in a world that is changing fast. Projects that do not anticipate risks or plan for it are less likely to succeed. Having alternate solutions or having backup plans can mitigate risks by a great deal.

    Communications: All stakeholders in a project should get clear and frequent updates about project progress. This helps identify issues early and ensures that the project stays within the estimated timelines.

    Stakeholders: Stakeholder management is a vital process in project management. All the stakeholders in a project should receive updates about progress and changes in a project. This ensures that everyone involved is considered and there are not any unpleasant surprises.

    Project Closing: Project closure is when the deliverables have been made and the outcome is measured against expectations and any outstanding issue or misunderstanding is addressed.

    Cheat sheets cannot be exhaustive. It is only a starting point or a list to remind you of the important topics. You can also use it as a blueprint while planning your PMP exam preparation. It is an additional tool to add to your arsenal of measures that you need to take in your preparation to clear the PMP exam. This does not have to be exclusively from an exam preparation perspective, you can use a cheat sheet whenever you start a project or use it to analyze a project that you are currently managing. Using the cheat sheet on active projects will help you remember the important concepts and experience the benefits of the PMP approach. Learning the concepts by practicing them.
    You’re almost a Popeye now!

    Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

    Can you bring a cheat sheet to the PMP exam?

    No, you will not be able to bring any cheat sheets to the PMP exams. You will not be allowed to refer to any materials while you are writing the exam.

    Can you have a cheat sheet on PMP?

    Yes, you can prepare cheat sheets on PMP that consider the major topics that need to be covered from an exam perspective. Such sheets can only be broad guidelines and are not substitutes for in-depth preparation and practice that requires both time and effort.


    Suresh Bansal

    Blog Author

    Business development manager in healthcare and life sciences domain helping business to be successful. I am PMP and CSM certified practitioner with 10+ years of experience in project and program management.

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