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Wednesday, 06 September 2017 10:42

3 Life Changing Tips for PMP Exam

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the governing body for Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, which is a sought-after project management certification by professionals working with projects. The PMP certification validates the proficiency of the candidate in PMI’s project management framework and management skills. This is one of the toughest exam to pass and requires extensive preparation for a definite period.

Are you also preparing for the PMP exam?

Here are the tips that will help you to prepare for exam preparation and become a certified PMP professional:

1.       Study Schedule: If you get a chance to go through the syllabus of PMP examination, you must have witnessed that you have an extensive syllabus to study and some of the points are completely new for your knowledge. Therefore, the best way to start PMP prep is to start with a study schedule that is consistent for a few months until you clear the examination.

You should commit towards the study schedule and follow it completely while keeping in mind that your dedication and determination is inevitable for the PMP certification.


2.       Resource Finding and Utilization: You can find several resources available that can help you to prepare for the PMP certification examination. You can join various PMP support groups, online study materials, online training programs or Bootcamp, etc. to improve your project management knowledge. Utilize theses resources to your study and take maximum out of them. You can take help of experts through digital means to enhance understanding about the certification exam preparation.


3.       Rate Yourself: After studying the fundamental concepts of Project Management certification syllabus, start attempting simulation tests. There are several practice tests available from different sources including online as well as offline. This will help you to judge your skills and assess your strengths as well as weaknesses that can decisively enhance before you actually attend the main examination. Spend time to work over your misinterpretations and mistakes and jot it down to avoid the repetition of the same.
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best of ep 1Click here to listen to our Best PM Podcast episode for today:
20,475 project managers have listened to it so far!

If you are preparing for your PMP Exam then you know that one of the most important activities is to take many PMP sample exams and answer as many PMP sample questions as you can.

But as a general rule, it is not always easy to identify the correct PMP exam answers.

Those who pass the PMP exam often report back that PMP answers are ambiguous, sometimes more than one looks right and sometimes you may even have to choose the one that is least wrong. So what are you to do?

One solution is that you can work with a PMP Trainer who guides you and works with you on those pesky questions. And this is of course exactly why I have invited Dr. Julie DeSot ( for an interview. As a PMP coach she has helped many people successfully prepare for their PMP exam and get to the bottom of those questions. ‪#‎BestofPMPodcast

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classic 1Are you thinking about how to get PMP certified and wondering whether you should take a PMP boot camp, a PMP class, hire a PMP trainer, or whether to achieve this certification simply through PMP self-study?

We have the answer for you in this interview with Jim Coughenour (

Jim is an experienced PMP Trainer and he and I look at the benefits, disadvantages, cost and other factors that you should consider before deciding which way you want to go.

But even if you have already decided that maybe a PMP bootcamp is for you, then I recommend that you should still listen to our discussion because I also ask him to share with us his tips on what you should and should not be including as part of your PMP Exam Prep.

Published in Blogs
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 14:13

PMP® Exam: Do I or Don't I?

Are you thinking about applying for and taking the PMP® exam? Have you heard tidbits on what may help you in this process? Does the whole thing seem overwhelming causing you uncertainty on how to begin? Following are recommendations for taking the PMP® exam. Note that these are not guarantees; however, these are from people who have passed the exam. Each person studies and tests differently so consider what will work best for you.

      Plan to take the PMP® Exam within 30 days of class completion.

      Consider taking a training class or self-study course for complimentary discussions to the PMBOK® Guide material, such as training classes PMP Prep Training and self-study material PMP Prep Self Study.

      Purchase the PMBOK® Guide <current> Edition prior to the training class. Acclimate to it so that the class can be used reinforcement of your current knowledge, rather than as an introduction to the PMBOK® Guide materials.

      Complete the application to sit for the exam (on PMI®’s website) prior to the training class, if all pre-requisites have been met. If staff members require a training class to fulfill the pre-requisite for “contact hours”, complete as much of the application as possible prior to the training class and save it online. This reduces the amount of work after the class completion to submit the application, and reduces the overall duration to receive PMI® approval to take the PMP® Exam.

      Budget for the PMP® Credential Fees and PMBOK® Guide fees.

      Some individuals find it easier to print out the application form and draft the information required prior to entering online.

      Spend the last 2-3 days prior to the PMP® Exam only (or mainly) taking questions.

      Set aside at least one 4-hour block of time to complete 200 questions and simulate the actual Exam.

      Supplement this material with another Test Bank, providing different styles and types of questions for practice prior to the actual Exam.

      Visit the test center in advance so the facility is familiar prior to the day of the Exam.

      Review PMI® website tips regarding exam preparation

You can do it - organize your approach and stay the course!

At 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 or contact us at

Published in Blogs
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 18:59

RSP™ Exam Simulator

Over 1000 PMP® Exam Practice Questions
Practicing against simulated PMP® Exam Questions is one of the absolute best ways to prepare for the actual exam. Completing multiple practice exams gives the learner an opportunity to better understand the exam layout, types of questions and pace of the exam. 200 questions over 4 hours equals roughly 1.2 minutes per question. You have to learn to gauge your exam pace.

About the PMP® Exam Simulator
Designed to prepare candidates for the PMI® Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification Exam. Practicing against simulated PMP® Exam Questions is one of the absolute best ways to prepare for the actual exam. Our Question Simulator database has hundreds of exam questions. Our simulation software randomizes the questions and answers so you can take the sample exams over and over again. Complete your PMP® Exam learning experience. Buy a package for 90-day access to our PMP® Practice Question Exams.

Click to Order Now

Why Practice Exams

  • Hundreds of practice PMP® Exam questions
  • Randomized questions and answers
  • Simulated PMP® exam environment
  • Learn effective test taking strategy
  • Real time practice exam results
  • Reliable PMP® Exam similarity
  • Learn to manage your exam time
  • Developed by certified PMP's
  • Updated for the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition
  • Ideal solution for the busy project manager
  • Comprehensive exam questions
  • Tons of invaluable PMP Exam tips and tricks
  • Ensure your PMP® success

    "Practive Exams are the learning tool you need to pass the PMP® Exam. Our realistic questions database helps you figure out what you need to know and guides you on the answers to what you don't. With the flexibility in the schedule of e-learning you'll have everything you need to get the job done right. With our simulated practice test, you have a tool you need to gain the confidence you desire."

    Tom Mochal, PMP, PgMP
    Click to Order Now

    Published in PMP® Exam Prep
    Tuesday, 05 March 2013 08:10

    Questions & Answers for the PMP Exam

    The Questions & Answers for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam is now available for download at

    If you are already a subscriber of The Free PM PrepCast, you will get this for free together with other PMP® Exam prep resources.

    These Q&A's are answers to questions asked during a Free PMP® Exam webinar held by Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM. The questions and answers here cover such topic as becoming a certified PMP®, the exam application and process, preparing for the exam, exam study materials, taking the exam, and maintaining your certification after you pass the exam. Some questions and answers also address the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® exam offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI)®.

    Dont' be left behind. Download your free copy now of this very valuable resource, or to get even more, be a subscriber of The Free PM PrepCast.

    Published in Blogs

    After eight years as a project management trainer, I have helped more than 20,000 students prepare for their Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam. In my experience along the way, I’ve found one thing that unites them all: They all want to practice with free PMP Exam sample questions.

    In an effort to help, I have identified 10 web sites that offer free PMP Exam sample questions. I recommend each of them for the quality of their questions.

    Published in Blogs
    Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:29

    Are You Cutting the Right Costs? Are You Sure?

    The global financial marketplace has recently become quite volatile, as fears of an American recession affect economies all over the world.  In addition, the Dow Jones Industrial Average currently hovers at around 12,400, while it was at around 14,000 in October 2007.  A drop of 11% in just four months is cause for concern for many people.

    At times like this, executives typically search for ways to cut costs, which can be a sticky business.  And yet, what if you could know where your company is profitable and where it's not, and then figure out a way to do more of the profitable work?  In other words, what if you got rid of unprofitable customers instead of loyal, productive employees?

    The truth is, many companies that slash costs in response to an economic recession find it difficult to achieve top-line growth when the recession ends.  This is not hard to believe, considering the fact that their best workers are gone and their long term projects were cancelled.  A company cannot grow on short term plans alone.  Overzealous cutting of people and projects can, however, be avoided, or at the very least, they can be performed with more intelligent precision.  All that are required to handle such problems the right way are per-customer per-project profitability metrics.

    Understanding costs is the first step to understanding profitability. Most companies know their profitability company-wide, but few of them know it on a per-product or per-customer basis.  Such precision of understanding is necessary in order to develop and implement the right growth strategy.

    Here is a five step process that will take your company there.

    1.  Current situation: “Chaos”

    If you don’t know your costs on a per-project basis, then you have no way to validate future project estimates.  Without knowing how long your last project took to complete, how can you determine how accurate the initial estimate was?  Calibrating project estimates is not just about calendar time, since a project that was delivered on time may not have been delivered on cost.  For example, some organizations provide on-time delivery by adding resources to projects that are behind schedule, and they do it without drawing attention to the fact.  This is something you must know in order to avoid over-commitment and under-pricing.

    You also need this information in order to repeat past successes.  Not knowing which projects were on-time and on-budget means you cannot know which projects were successful, and therefore, which processes to continue following and which to improve.

    Over-commitment, under-pricing, inability to repeat past successes and abandoning proven processes in times of crisis leads to chaos, which is especially dangerous during a recession.

    2.  Track project labor hours

    Having your employees track their time on a per-project basis lets you know when projects are in trouble much earlier than you otherwise would.  Contrary to what you might think, total compliance is not necessary to gain significant insight into project progress, profitability, and adherence to estimates.

    The basic time tracking data you obtain from this system will surprise you.  You can figure out, for example, which projects are consuming more labor hours than you thought, or which of your customers are cheap to service.

    What many project managers don’t realize is that the noisiest customers are often the ones who pay you the most.  While these are often labeled as "problem customers," they may account for much of your revenue.  A simple basic level of employee project time utilization data can give you insight into the profitability of each customer, so you don’t have to wonder anymore.

    In recessionary times, your best bet is to “fire” unprofitable customers and kiss up to the profitable ones.

    3.  Put labor rates on time data and track all expenses

    Travel expenses represent the second largest controllable corporate expense for most companies, and some projects, products or customers utilize more travel expense than others.  Collecting all this data on a per-project basis can help you understand true direct per-project cost.  Once you have that, profitability is not far behind. 

    Now is also the time to aim for nearly 100% compliance on time and expense data collection so that management will have better insight into how to cut costs without a chainsaw.

    4.  Allocate indirect costs

    Indirect costs, such as the cost of office space or HR, apply to different projects in different ways.  There are two basic kinds of indirect costs: general indirect costs, like rent, that must be allocated across every project in the company, and semi-indirect costs, like customer relationship management, which should be applied to all projects for that customer.

    Every company is different and allocation of indirect cost is specific to each company.  At my company, Journyx, we allocate more marketing cost to software license sales than we do to professional services or software maintenance sales. We do this because marketing expenses are directly related to winning the customer in the first place, more than they are to maintaining the customer relationship over time.  We have found that marketing matters most during the customer acquisition phase, which is when most of our licenses are sold.

    You must also create a general indirect cost allocation formula for each type of indirect cost in your company.

    Then there are semi-indirect costs.  If you have a large customer whom you do multiple projects for, or a suite of related products that are treated as a group, there are probably some costs that apply to that group of projects, but not any particular project on its own.  Examples of this include management of the customer relationship or marketing of the product suite.  In this case, you may want to allocate these semi-indirect costs by revenue or by direct cost over those projects.

    Another thing to note is that input from all of the managers involved is not only useful, but necessary.  You may want to alter the allocation formulas over time if they are generally perceived as inaccurate, unfair, or leading to bad decisions.

    Once you have allocated indirect and semi-indirect costs across all projects, you will be fully aware of what your complete per-project costs are.  Whether or not you are facing a recession, you will have a very precise tool for making intelligent changes to company resource utilization and direction that are likely to lead to increased profits.

    5. Universal Awareness of Per-Project Profitability

    Imagine if your engineers, developers, services team and salespeople all knew which of your customers were making money for you and which were not. Wouldn't this information alter their behavior in ways that would make you more money?

    Revenue - Cost = Profit

    That formula may seem simple, but sometimes it is necessary to use a proxy in order to gain an understanding of per-project revenue.  For example, if you manage an internal IT shop for a large Fortune 500 firm, you must ask your customers for an estimate (in dollars) of the value their projects provide to the company overall.  Allocating business value delivery – a proxy for revenue – can be every bit as complex as allocating indirect costs, but it is well worth the effort.

    On the other hand, if you're running a consultancy, you can use bookings or billings data right out of the CRM system.

    As new data becomes available, you may have to revise your method.  Yet once you have an estimate of per-project profitability, you will be in the nirvanic state of understanding per-project per-customer per-product profitability, which gives you an enormous advantage over your competitors, both during a recession and in general.  You know where your profits are coming from, and they don't.  Now you can cut out the unprofitable work, or at least perform it consciously if it has to be done for strategic reasons.  You can also easily calculate ROI on anything and your estimates will keep improving.

    An understanding of per-project profitability will make your company more solid in bad times and more flexible in good ones.  When times are hard and you need to cut, you will be able to cut intelligently, with the assurance that you're making the right long term decision for the company.  Though recessions come and go, having great procedures in place is the key that will allow you to weather any financial storm.

    About the Author:

    Curt Finch is the CEO of Journyx. Founded in 1996, Journyx automates payroll, billing and cost accounting while easing management of employee time and expenses, and provides confidence that all resources are utilized correctly and completely. Curt earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech.  As a software programmer fixing bugs for IBM in the early ‘90’s, Curt found that tracking the time it took to fix each bug revealed the per-bug profitability. Curt knew that this concept of using time-tracking data to determine project profitability was a winning idea and something that companies were not doing – yet… Curt created the world's first web-based timesheet application and the foundation for the current Journyx product offerings in 1997. Learn more about Curt here.

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