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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
You can manage projects from now 'til the cows come home. But you still need the one credential that speaks volumes about your commitment and expertise. Of course, we mean PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
Some 50,000 people in over 120 countries have earned their PMPs. But they can serve only a small fraction of the demand for expert project managers. PMPs have a giant advantage in today’s marketplace -- and you can use an advantage, right?
PMP certification requires you to demonstrate both experience and formal training. Your final step is passing a tough multiple-choice exam that objectively assesses your project management knowledge. To pass that exam the first time, read PMP: Project Management Professional Study Guide.
This book transplants the format and resources of a really good tech certification book into the project management field. There’s an up-front assessment test (how much project management do you already know?) There are excellent review questions at the end of every chapter. At the end, there’s a full practice exam waiting for you -- and a bonus exam on the accompanying CD-ROM. The CD also contains 180 flashcard questions that run on both PCs and Palms, plus a complete PDF of the book.
But “trimmings” don’t mean much without the meat. And, when it comes to explaining PMI’s “Project Management Body of Knowledge” in real-world context, Kim Heldman can’t be beat.
Heldman thoroughly covers all nine PMP knowledge areas, from scoping your project to managing time, costs, quality, risks, and people. She addresses every phase, from initiation and planning through execution, control, and closing. She anchors every concept in reality by weaving a case study throughout the book. (You’re a new project manager for a retail chain, and you have six months to open a new store -- one that doesn’t yet have a location, staff, stock, or anything else.)
You’ll begin by learning how to successfully initiate a project: how to assess the needs, demands, and goals driving your project; establish project deliverables; and identify stakeholders, constraints, and assumptions. You’ll create the “Project Charter” and work breakdown statements that start everyone out on the same page, by defining strategy, performance criteria, project scope, resource requirements, budgets, and change processes.
Next, you’ll move on to resource planning and estimating -- including time estimation via activity definition and sequencing, diagramming methods, and network templates. Heldman takes a close look at establishing project controls -- including quality standards, risk planning, and procurement planning.
You’ll walk through creating your formal project plan; staffing your team; managing progress, and controlling change. Heldman also walks through the steps you need to take to wrap up your project as efficiently as possible, while retaining the knowledge you’ve gained along the way. Finally, the PMP exam includes a full section on professional responsibility, and Heldman covers this thoroughly -- from integrity to diversity.
Wherever you are in your PMP preparation process, this book will be a great companion for the rest of the journey. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.