Obtaining Your PMP Certification: A PMP 4th Edition Study Plan – Part I

October 22, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Posted in PMI | Leave a comment
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(Editor’s note: After writing  Obtaining my PMP Certification, Part One: The Application, Jennifer Wagner not only passed her PMP exam, she also moved on to manage a brand-new initiative here at Transcender. We miss her, but we’re excited that she’s able to practice her skills in a whole new arena. Fortunately, Robin was able to step in to write about her own PMP testing experience. So this post is less a follow-up & more a roadmap to prepare for your exam once your application has been approved. )

There are six objectives covered in the PMP exam:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing
  • Professional and Social Responsibility

Unfortunately, none of the third-party books or even the PMBOK present the material organized by the process groups.  Instead, the material is organized by knowledge areas.

There are nine knowledge areas.  The basis of the exam is the process framework. Within each knowledge area are processes that fall into one of the five process groups. The discipline of project management is processes. There are 42 processes.  Each process belongs to one process group and one knowledge area. Confused? Join the club!

A good approach to your studies is to start by focusing on the changes within PMBOK 4th Edition (when comparing  to the PMBOK 3rd Edition). I can hear you saying, “Does that mean I have to purchase BOTH books? My budget can’t take it!” No, you don’t. That’s where I come in. Over the development of the PMP practice test, I took the time to identify the changes from 3rd Edition to 4th Edition and document them. So over the next few weeks, keep your eyes peeled for additional parts to this study guide. We’re sure you’ll find it quite helpful.

And to satisfy your appetite for PMP content today, I’ll start with the Initiating process group.

Process Group One: Initiating

In both the PMBOK Third Edition and Fourth Edition, the Initiating phase has two processes. The Develop Project Charter process is in the Initiating phase for both editions. However, in the PMBOK Fourth Edition, the Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement process was dropped and a new process, Identify Stakeholders, was added.

A few changes have been made in the Develop Project Charter process. The business case has been added as an input to this process. It provides information for determining whether the project is worth the required investment. The business case is created for one of the following reasons: market demand, organizational need, customer request, technological advance, legal requirement, ecological impact, or social need. Project selection methods, project management methodology, and project management information systems have been removed as tools used by the Develop Project Charter process.

The Identify Stakeholder process is completely new in the PMBOK Fourth Edition. This process has four inputs: the project charter, procurement documents, enterprise environmental factors, and organizational process assets. The project charter is created in the Develop Project Charter process, and the procurement documents are created in the Plan Procurements process. Two tools are used in the Identify Stakeholder process: stakeholder analysis and expert judgment. Stakeholder analysis gathers and analyzes information to identify the stakeholders of a project and the impact these stakeholders may have on the project.

The two outputs of the Identify Stakeholders process are the stakeholder register and the stakeholder management strategy. The stakeholder register lists the stakeholders, their requirements and expectations, their influence, and the stakeholder classification, and acts as an input to the Collect Requirements, Plan Quality, Identify Risks, Plan Communications, and Manage Stakeholder Expectations processes. The stakeholder management strategy details how each stakeholder will be managed throughout the project and often includes a stakeholder analysis matrix. Both of these documents become part of the overall project documents repository.

I know it’s quite the sea of inputs, outputs, tools, and processes. And just think – this is the FIRST process group. We have quite a bit more ground to cover over the next few weeks (and I haven’t even thrown in the formulas yet.)

Coming soon: Part II – Planning.

Happy Studying!


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