Here are some of the observations from what worked for me –
1. Don’t try to fight PMBOK (using your everyday experience). After reading
PMBOK guide once the first thing I did was to align my thinking to accept that
the processes are best for most people in most cases.
If you do not agree with any of there process/methodology it is mainly because
you have never either used it or you do not know what situation it is useful in.
2. I am not saying you will not be able to find scenarios where you may think,
“I would rather do something else” but then you need to understand that managing
projects means dealing with infinite combinations of constraints ( …to me even
the reluctance to think for applicability of processes is a constraint !!). So,
there is no way anyone can document everything you need to know or be right
about everything every time. Anyone can just provide you guidelines on what is
the best thing to do in most cases in most scenarios.
Think of PMBOK in these terms and you will be able to assimilate it better.
3. In your daily work, some people may be focusing on getting the results but
PMBOK is not just about results. The whole idea is to use the right processes to
get the right results.
4. Look at last 3 projects you were involved in. Think! If you had to manage
these projects as outlined by PMBOK how would things differ. This is very
important as it will clearly point out what you don’t do or what you do wrong. I
used the training and referenced PMBOK to set the foundation for this analysis.
5. If you study in groups, decide if you can discuss your analysis of these
last 3 projects (what you did vs what would have been the best way to do things
The logic behind doing so it to understand the different interpretations of
process and their applications. These discussions will broaden your view.
6. Another good thing that helps to understand other people’s perspective is
to go through the old questions and answers on any forum.
PMHUB is particularly best. Hats off to Jim for all his knowledge base and his
explanations. Jim, you are great guide!
7. The whole idea behind my approach was to actually start thinking like a PMP
before taking the test.
Even before you take the test you should be able to look the processes
followed in your organization and know that would be the better thing to do. Try
suggesting those processes too!
Once I got this mindset in place all I had to do was read Kim Heldman’s book
once and PMBOK once more. Then I did the practice questions given by PMI and the
questions from Kim’s book. Last step was to take the test.
Hope this helps.
Vishal Attal, PMP