I followed PM’ABC’s standard learning procedure to save me time, I gain my PMP certification within 48 days after I start preparing PMP Exam. Because I can’t really have too much time to do the so-called “MAGIC 3” method – read though Rita’s book for three times, I was, and have been, very desperate to survive! It is also very important to do the PM-ABC’s Learning methodology. I usually took special note of the questions I answered wrongly and reviewed the book using the PM-ABC’s method. http://www.pm-abc.com/Study_Strategy.asp
(PM-ABC’s SOP and Catch-up on your slip-ups with PM-ABC® Lessons Learned Method)
1. When learning a new term, like ‘matrix organization’, I study not just the PMBOK definition, but also search for examples, making sure I understand both its advantages and disadvantages, as the exam questions will not directly ask you about a ‘matrix organization’.
2.You also need to study the context of a term: for example, ‘stakeholders’. Any ideas related to ‘stakeholders’ should be studied and understood: how stakeholders will authorize the project charter, how they will have the most impact on a project’s success, in what way they affect R&R, and how the project manager has to deal with their needs. To clearly understand the context I will usually make a list of these concepts.
3. I would then go through my list and make sure I understand the concepts I have come across – like R&R. I would imagine what exactly this entails in the real world, using my company as an example, understanding who should do what, and then share this understandings with other project management students.
4. Some terms and concepts may be abstract and hard understand, so I usually try to apply an example from my daily life to help. For example, with ‘quality management and quality assurance’ I applied this concept to my lunch box, thinking about how the quality standards were applied and monitored during their manufacture. If a lunch box is as cheap as 2 USD, how should we plan their quality control? For understanding ‘change control’, I applied this to the testing and approval of new medicines. I then share these thoughts with other project management students, and our discussions then help us comprehend more clearly these terms and concepts.
5. Sometimes, I would use drawings or graphs to help me understand. For example, for the formula of time, cost etc, I have memorized them with the aid of an illustration I developed. In this way, sometimes drawings make understanding easier than words.
6. ITTO can not be studied casually. I try to understand fully why particular process requires certain inputs, and will therefore produce certain outputs. Only in this way can the PMIS in PMBOK be fully understood.
7. I made a list of inputs, or TTs, that constantly appear in the PMBOK. For example, when should an expert be required, when should the project management plan be finished, when should the scope baseline be completed, and so on. Listing these help me more clearly understand them.
I listened to PM-ABC’s Mnemonics. Mnemonics help make terms and definitions quicker and easier to memorize. Besides, I also have developed my own mnemonics sentences.
(For free download, check out the link below, or simply put in “PMP” in the search bar in iTune Store)
Two days before the exam I was no longer studying from my PMBOK, but meeting with my study group to discuss its ideas. I would explain what I understood, and others explained what they understood. Listening to others improved my own understanding, then explaining to others my own understanding forced me to be very clear in my own mind what I knew. In this way, working with others can be very beneficial.
Gibson Yu, PMP