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stasClick Here to Listen to the Interview: http://bit.ly/PMPodcast393
Read More: http://bit.ly/pmpodcast-393

Are you currently studying or thinking about studying for your PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Exam? Wonderful. That’s what we are going to be talking about.

In this interview you are going to meet Stas Podoxin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/staspodoxin). Stas is not only one of my students but also one of my coworkers. And one of the interesting differences in how he prepared for the PMI-ACP exam is the fact that he took an Agile course at a university that helped him get a better understanding of the Agile mindset. And so by the time he got around to using our own online training course he was already quite far ahead on the curve.

As you know, the rules of all Project Management Institute (PMI)® exams are such that we are not allowed to discuss specific questions from the exam. But we can discuss Stas's overall experience, how he did his PMI-ACP Exam Prep, his general thoughts on the process and his recommendations to you. So you can look forward to an experience and tip filled interview on how to prepare for and pass your PMI-ACP Exam.

Full disclosure: Stas Podoxin and Cornelius Fichtner both work for OSP International LLC, makers of The Agile PrepCast and The PMI-ACP Exam Simulator.

Friday, 30 June 2017 11:34

History and Evolutions of PMBOK Guide

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A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) by PMI documents best practices and standards for project management. The current version of PMBOK is considered as one of the most important exam preparation books for the PMP (Project Management Professionals) and PMI-ACP certification. Soon in the third quarter of 2017, PMBOK 6th edition is scheduled to launch. In this article, we will go through the history and evolutions of the PMBOK Guide:

The first PMBOK® Guide published in 1996. Each successive edition was released to surpass the previous version incorporating new best practices and standards of project management.



PMBOK® Guide 1st Version [1996]

PMI witnessed a need to put together all official documents and guides to upgrade the development process of the project management, and published the first ever edition of the PMBOK® Guide in 1996. This edition was an extended version of "Ethics, Standards, and Accreditation Committee Final Report", a white paper published in 1983.

PMBOK® Guide Version 2 [2000]

The upgraded version of PMBOK Guide i.e. 2nd edition was launched in 2000. This edition includes knowledge and practices that were commonly accepted in the field of project management that were proven valuable and useful to most projects. The PMBOK® Guide Version 2 also reflected the growth of the project management and removed the errors in the previous edition.

PMBOK® Guide Version 3 [2004]

After releasing the PMBOK® Guide 2nd Edition, PMI received thousands of suggestions for improvements of the PMBOK® Guide. The PMI’s editorial committee reviewed those suggestions and tried to integrate the recommendations into the next version of PMBOK® Guide and released the third edition in 2004. The project management practices included in the 3rd edition of PMBOK® Guide would be useful to most projects.

PMBOK® Guide Version 4 [2009]

The fourth edition of PMBOK was launched after the five years of publication of its preceding version. In this edition, the content of the PMBOK® Guide was edited to make it more consistent and accessible. The clear distinction between the project documents and project management plan was made. The “triple constraints” of project management were expanded to six as scope, schedule, quality, resources, risk and budget.

PMBOK® Guide Version 5 [2013]

The current version i.e. 5th version of the PMBOK® Guide was released in 2013. Considering the suggestions and recommendations, PMI made changes in PMBOK Guide 4th Edition and the 5th edition represents PMI’s continual efforts to upgrade and update the body of knowledge. Many PMP certification aspirants refer the PMBOK® Guide to prepare for the PMP certification exam.

PMBOK® Guide 6 [2017]

The PMBOK® Guide 6 will be published in July, 2017. This edition will incorporate Agile in its module as Agile has become one of the fastest growing methodologies in the recent years. In this edition, we can also witness some minor changes in the process groups, processes and naming of the PMBOK® Guide methodology. The PMI Talent Triangle (Leadership, Technical Project Management, Business and Strategic Management), will also be incorporated into the 6th edition of PMBOK® Guide.



PMBOK Guide is one of the major sources to prepare for PMP and PMI-ACP, but after the launch of the new edition, many people find it difficult to understand the newly added terminologies and processes initially. Hence, if you are a PMP aspirant, this is a high time for you to make the decision and book an appointment at PMI before the sixth edition of PMBOK affect the certification exam.









Last modified on Friday, 30 June 2017 11:43
Thursday, 29 June 2017 18:03

Four Techniques to Master Your Schedule

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This content is from the Method123 weekly email dated 2017.29.06

Four Techniques to Master Your Schedule

You will never be a successful project manager if you do not know how to build and manage a schedule. The schedule may be the most fundamental tool for managing projects. Here are four techniques to help you take full advantage of the project schedule.  

1. The remainder of the schedule is the most important

The schedule should represent your best-guess at any particular point in time of how to complete the remaining work. The more complex your project is, the more change is going to be required in your “best guess” over time. The project manager must evaluate the schedule on an ongoing basis and determine the current state of the project. Based on the current state of the project, and your current understanding of the work remaining, you need to re-plot a course that will allow the work to be completed within the original budget and deadline.

2. Update the schedule weekly

For most projects, the schedule will need to be reviewed on a weekly basis. During this review, the project manager updates the schedule with the current state of work that is completed and in-progress. The remaining work should be evaluated to see if the project will be completed within the deadline. If it can, you are in good shape. If it cannot, the project manager must implement corrective action.

3. Embrace and resolve schedule challenges

The project manager should constantly utilize his experience and creativity to get the project completed within expectations. One week your project many be on track. The next week, you may have work assignments that are late and issues that have surfaced. If you are good at it, managing the schedule can be one of the more challenging and rewarding aspects of project management. If you do not relish the detailed work that is required, you may find it much more difficult to be successful as a project manager.

4. Validate who can update the schedule

On most projects the project manager is the only one that is allowed to update the schedule. However, there are other options, especially for larger projects. The project manager may ask each team member to update the schedule with actual hours worked, remaining hours and proposed end date. For very large projects, it is also common for one or more people to be assigned to update the schedule on behalf of the project manager. These people are sometimes called project administrators, project coordinators or project schedulers. They can get information from team members and update current status and actual hours worked. They bring this all to the project manager for final analysis and evaluation.

Manage your schedule proactively. As the schedule goes, the project goes.  

Thursday, 29 June 2017 01:01

Define Two Major Elements of Project Scope

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This content is from the TenStep weekly "tips" email dated 2017.28.6

Define Two Major Elements of Project Scope

Defining scope is perhaps the most important part of the initial definition and planning process. If you don’t know what you are delivering and what the boundaries of the project are, you have no chance for success. If you have not done a good job of defining scope, managing scope will be almost impossible.

Most people generally understand what scope means, but many struggle trying to actually define the scope of a project. It is easiest if you remember there are two major aspects of defining scope on your project – deliverables and boundaries.

  • The deliverables. All projects produce deliverables. (These are sometimes called the "products" produced by the project.) Even if you are not sure what else to include in your scope definition, you should always include your deliverables. Understanding the deliverables you are building goes a long way to understanding the scope of the project. There are many deliverables that could be listed, but you should focus on the final deliverables that get turned over to your customers - not necessarily the internal deliverables produced as a part of delivering the final solution.  
  • Project boundaries. The scope boundary statements are used to define what is within the boundaries of the project and what is outside those boundaries. The key to boundary statements is that you need to have both an in-scope and out-of-scope pair. If you cannot state both in-scope and out-of-scope, it is not a true boundary statement. For example.  


    • The major life-cycle processes that are in scope and out of scope. For instance, your project may include the Analysis Phase only and not the Design or Construct Phases. Or perhaps your project is performing research, but you are not going to develop the results. These would be examples of using boundary statements to clearly state what your project is responsible for, and what is out of scope. 
    • The organizations that are in scope and out of scope. In some cases, the organizations involved in the project help to define the boundaries. For instance, your project may be applicable to the Human Resources and Accounting Departments, but the Manufacturing Division might be out of scope. Or perhaps your project is only impacting the corporate office while the field offices are out of scope.
    • The major functionality that is in scope and out of scope. This might be a good boundary if you were delivering less than full functionality. For instance, decision support and management reporting might be in scope, while overnight batch processing might be out of scope. Or perhaps financial reporting is in-scope for your project, but Human Resources reporting is out of scope.
Remember these two aspects of high-level scope. First - scope is defined as deliverables and boundaries. Deliverables are the things you build during the project. Boundaries are statements that describe the project in terms of in-scope and out-of-scope. 
TenStep-logo-pngAt TenStep we are dedicated to helping organizations achieve their goals and strategies through the successful execution of critical business projects. We provide training, consulting and products for organizations to help them set up an environment where projects are successful. This includes help with strategic planning, portfolio management, program / project management, Project Management Offices (PMOs) and project lifecycles. For more information, visit www.TenStep.com or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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This content is from the Method123 weekly email dated 2017.22.06

Have You Used These Five Non-Standard
Project Management Techniques?


There are multiple ways to manage and monitor your projects. Many are "standard" models you read in most columns. However, sometimes there are reasons to implement a non-standard model. Here are five examples.

1. Hands-off - Remote Control

This means that you get a sense of what is occurring on your project by reviewing the schedule, using email, or calling team members every now and then. The remote control method doesn't incorporate much face-to-face time with the team. Much of the time spent managing the project is from behind the desk and using a computer. This method works well if it is a small project or if you are managing many, many small projects at the same time. It is not a great method, but better then none at all.

2. Really Hands-off - Auto-Pilot

This is when you get a project started and let it run itself the rest of the way - as long as the project is going well. This method can be used if the team is very experienced and has worked together successfully before. In addition, you need to trust the team to re-engage with you if they have concerns or need help.

3. Hands-on - In Your Face

The "in their face" method is on the opposite side of the spectrum of the remote control method. This is when you are immersed in every detail and provide short-term direction. You can monitor the project very effectively because you know every detail about the project. Some may call this micro-managing...and they're right. But, there is sometimes a place for micro-managing. For instance, if you have a team of junior people. It also may be right for managing short-term, critical milestones - for instance at the end of a phase or end of a project.

4. Collaboration - Can't We All Just Get Along?

This method involves team management of the project. The project is managed through regular meetings, updates, and other forms of real-time communication. An example is an agile team where there is a group of peers working together rather than a top-down hierarchical approach. This can also work if your team is working for the first time in uncharted territory. The team may work collaboratively to discover the nature of the project as you progress.

5. Default Management - The Assumptive Close

An assumptive close is when someone assumes you have already decided something - when you have not. For example, a car salesperson may ask if you would like to buy a car in red or black color - even though you have not said you would buy the car yet. This may be appropriate when people will not make decisions since it pushes people down a path. For example, rather than ask whether a sponsor agrees with a scope change request, you can list two possible outcomes of the scope change and ask the sponsor which he prefers.
..
None of these models above is totally by-the-book. However, there may be circumstances when they may be appropriate. The key is to recognize the risks associated with these approaches, and implement them purposefully - not as an excuse for lazy or sloppy project management. 
TenStep-logo-pngAt TenStep we are dedicated to helping organizations achieve their goals and strategies through the successful execution of critical business projects. We provide training, consulting and products for organizations to help them set up an environment where projects are successful. This includes help with strategic planning, portfolio management, program / project management, Project Management Offices (PMOs) and project lifecycles. For more information, visit www.TenStep.com or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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