Tag Archives: PMP

PMI Exam Scoring Information – Improvements are on the way.

For many people, the information currently provided by PMI on their exam performance has been less than useless. Being told you are ‘not proficient’, ‘moderately proficient’ or ‘proficient’; with the added helpful advice these terms mean ‘below average’, ‘average’ or ‘above average’ tells you nothing.  No one outside of the PMI enclaves has any idea what average means or how wide the average band is.  All you really know is you have passed or failed the exam.

The good news is after years of complaint, PMI has listened and will be rolling out a vastly improved Exam Results Report over the next few months.  The passing score and your actual score remain confidential to PMI for exam security reasons, but with this limitation, the new report will provide candidates with a much better understanding of their performance in relation to the examination pass level.

The headline report shows your overall performance with the performance by domain also categorised into one of the four groupings.  On its own, this is a vast improvement on the old report!!

Click here to see a sample of the Exam Report

However, of even more value, backing up this summary will be a detailed report highlighting your performance against the various domains and topics, accessible from within your CCR portal on the PMI website. Below is a preview of this part of the report (provided by PMI):

You still won’t know the exact number of questions in each domain or how they are divided into each of the Tasks within the ‘domain’, but the report will tell you where improvement in your knowledge will be valuable and help you plan your continuing development as a project professional. This additional information will also help training design and deliver better courses based on feedback from our clients all round a win-win-win development.

For once PMI is to be highly commended for listening to their members and delivering a great initiative.

Scheduled roll-out

Anyone taking the PMI-PBA®, PfMP® or PgMP® certification exam on or after 28 April will receive the new report and explanation pages. The new report will then be rolled out to the remaining certifications over the next few months, ending with the PMP® on 28 August. Key dates for the launch of the reports for courses we teach:

PMI-SP – 25th May
(for more see:  http://www.planning-controls.com.au/ )

CAPM – 22nd August
(for more see: http://www.mosaicproject.com.au/index.php?cID=175 )

PMP – 28th August
(for more see: http://www.mosaicproject.com.au/index.php?cID=173 )

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2017 Classroom courses kick off on 20th March

Mosaic’s PMP and CAPM training program for 2017 starts on the 20th March (there’s still time to book into these courses) with regular courses scheduled through to November.

The later than usual start this year was due to our moving office in February after 15 years in the old location.  The worst of the move is over and we are looking forward to getting back to helping our Melbourne trainees pass their PMP or CAPM exams.

All Melbourne classroom courses are held at the Bayview Eden hotel in Albert Park (close to the PMP test centre) and include full catering and everything else needed to fully prepare for your examination. For more information see:

If you aren’t lucky enough to live in Melbourne, Australia our unique Mentored Email courses are available worldwide for PMP, CAPM and PMI-SP exam prep. As a PMI approved R.E.P. all of our courses are guaranteed to provide the training needed to be eligible for the respective examinations.

USA moving to formalise project and program management capabilities

The concept of professional project management is gathering pace. The USA Government’s Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act of 2015 (PMIAA) was unanimously passed by the US Senate by in November 2015, and was passed by Congress in September 2016 on a 404-11 vote.  Because Congress made some minor changes, it now has to was returned to the Senate before it can be and signed into law by the President on the 14th December 2016 (see comment below).

obama-law

The Act requires the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to:

  • adopt and oversee implementation of government-wide standards, policies, and guidelines for program and project management for executive agencies;
  • chair the Program Management Policy Council (established by this Act);
  • establish standards and policies for executive agencies consistent with widely accepted standards for program and project management planning and delivery;
  • engage with the private sector to identify best practices in program and project management that would improve Federal program and project management;
  • conduct portfolio reviews to address programs identified as high risk by the Government Accountability Office (GAO);
  • conduct portfolio reviews of agency programs at least annually to assess the quality and effectiveness of program management; and
  • establish a five-year strategic plan for program and project management.

The Act also requires the head of each federal agency that is required to have a Chief Financial Officer (other than Defence which has its own rules) to designate a Program Management Improvement Officer to implement agency program management policies and develop a strategy for enhancing the role of program managers within the agency.

The Office of Personnel Management must issue regulations that:

  1. identify key skills and competencies needed for an agency program and project manager,
  2. establish a new job series or update and improve an existing job series for program and project management within an agency, and
  3. establish a new career path for program and project managers.

And finally, the GAO must issue a report within three years of enactment, in conjunction with its high-risk list, examining the effectiveness of the following (as required or established under this Act) on improving Federal program and project management:

  • the standards, policies, and guidelines for program and project management;
  • the strategic plan;
  • Program Management Improvement Officers; and
  • the Program Management Policy Council.

When enacted the Act will enhance accountability and best practices in project and program management throughout the federal government by:

  1. Creating a formal job series and career path for program/project managers in the federal government, to include training and mentoring – PMP, PMI-SP and similar certifications will become increasingly important!
  2. Developing and implementing, with input from private industry, a standards-based program/project management policy across the federal government.
  3. Recognizing the essential role of executive sponsorship and engagement by designating a senior executive in federal agencies to be responsible for program/project management policy and strategy.
  4. Sharing knowledge of successful approaches to program/project management through an inter-agency council on program and project management.
  5. Implementing program/project portfolio reviews.
  6. Establishing a 5-year strategic plan for program/project management.

You can read the text of the Act here, and stay up-to-date on the Act’s progress here.  The approach USA is aligned with regulatory actions in both the UK and the EU to require government agencies to improve project and program delivery. If this trend continues hopefully the ‘accidental’ project manager / sponsor will be consigned to history and the use of qualified professionals will become the norm.

Follow these links for more on achieving your PMP credential of PMI-SP credential.

PMBOK® Guide 6 Edition takes a major step forward!

PMBOK6The Exposure Draft of the main ‘Guide Section’ of the 6th Edition is now available for comment – comments close at 5:00 p.m. EDT, 26 July 2016.  To offer comments, go to: www.pmi.org/pmbok-guide-exposure-draft.

Publication and Exam Schedule

PMI have announced the following schedule for publishing the PMBOK® Guide 6 Edition and updating their exams:

  • Draft English Version in PDF: Available in first quarter of 2017 (we use this to start updating our courses).
  • Published Launch Date: Third quarter of 2017 in English and 10 other languages.
  • PMP® Exam certification updates are expected to occur in Q1 2018 as a result of the PMBOK changes (the update also affects the PMI-SP and CAPM exams).

What’s new in the 6th Edition?

This is a major update, content enhancements in the 6th Edition include:

  • Agile practices incorporated into the PMBOK® Guide. Expanded coverage of agile and other adaptive and iterative practices. This will align proven, foundational project management concepts with the evolving state of the profession today. This reflects evidence from Pulse of the Profession® research that agile is used by increasing numbers of organizations in the management of some or all of their projects.
  • Introductory sections rewritten! The first three sections of the PMBOK® Guide have been completely revised. Relevant information from previous editions has been retained. New information reflecting the evolution of our profession as a driver of organizational change and a means of providing business value has been added.
  • Addition of three introductory sections for each Knowledge Area, Key Concepts, Trends and Emerging Practices and Tailoring Consideration:
    • Key Concepts, consolidating information fundamental to a specific knowledge area.
    • Trends and Emerging Practices not yet widely used.
    • Tailoring Considerations, describing aspects of the project or environment to consider when planning the project.
  • Two Knowledge Areas have new names:
    • Project Time Management is now Project Schedule Management, emphasizing the importance of scheduling in project management. This aligns with PMI’s Practice Standard for Scheduling.
    • Project Human Resource Management is now Project Resource Management. Both team resources and physical resources are included in this Knowledge Area.
  • There are three new processes:
    • Manage Project Knowledge is part of the Executing Process Group and Project Integration Management knowledge area.
    • Implement Risk Responses is part of the Executing Process Group and Project Risk Management knowledge area.
    • Control Resources is part of the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group and Project Resource Management knowledge area.
  • Agile appendix added. PMI are also planning to publish a companion practice guide focused on agile – tentatively in the third quarter of 2017.
  • More emphasis on strategic and business knowledge and the PMI Talent Triangle™. There is more emphasis on strategic and business knowledge, including discussion of project management business documents. Information is also included on the PMI Talent Triangle™ and the essential skills for success in today’s market. The PMI Talent Triangle™ was successfully rolled out, late last year, and an integral part of that roll out program was the creation of a new CCR Handbook. This handbook contains important information, concerning PDU category limits and how these may be aligned to the Talent Triangle to maintain PMI credentials see more on the Continuing Certification Requirement (CCR) program and the PMI Talent Triangle™.

As we work through the exposure draft, we will bring you more information. Watch this space!

PMP® exam is changing on 11th Jan. 2016

PMPThis post offers a detailed look at the new PMP examination content and what you can expect to see different in a exam taken after the 2nd November 2015.

Notes:

  1. PMI have moved the start date back from the originally publicised date in November to January 2016.
  2. There will be no changes to the CAPM exam or any other PMI credential other than the PMI-ACP.
  3. Our free daily PMP questions are now aligned to the new exam see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Training-PMP-Q-Today.html
  4. All PMP of our courses starting from September 1st will be aligned to the new PMP examination, see:  http://www.mosaicproject.com.au/

The starting point for this update is the PMP Role Delineation Study (RDS) completed in April 2015, which has provided an updated description of the role of a project management professional and will serve as the foundation for the updated PMP exam. To ensure its validity and relevance, the RDS update has captured input from project management practitioners from all industries work settings, and regions. The research undertaken to update the RDS included focus groups, expert input and a large-scale, global, survey of Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification holders.

Overview of Changes

The RDS defines the domains and tasks a project manager will perform plus the skills and knowledge that a competent project manager will have. The five ‘domains’ of  Initiating, Planning Executing, Mentoring & Controlling and Closing remain unchanged, although there has been a slight reduction in the importance of ‘closing’ and an increased emphasis on executing (reflected in the allocation of questions). The other major changes are:

  • An emphasis on business strategy and benefits realisation: this new, included because many PMs are being pulled into a project much earlier in its life when business benefits are identified. There is also an increased focus across all of the other domains on delivering benefits (not just creating deliverables).
    See more on benefits management.
  • The value of lessons learned now has added emphasis: lessons should be documents across the whole project lifecycle and the knowledge gained transferred to the ‘organisation’ and the project team. See more on Lessons Learned.
  • Responsibility for the project charter shifted to the Sponsor: Most project managers are not responsible for creating the charter; the Sponsor or project owner is primarily responsible.  The PM is a contributor to the development and is responsible for communicating information about the project charter to the team and other stakeholders once the project starts.
    See more on the Project Charter.
  • Added emphasis on enhancing project stakeholder relationships and engagement: The RDS sees stakeholder engagement as a two way relationship rather than a one-way reporting function. Communication is expanded include an emphasis on relating and engaging with stakeholders. This is the theme of our last post, see: The Elements of Stakeholder Engagement.

Major Content Changes
Changes

A summary of the major content changes is:

Domain 1 Initiating the Project

Percentage of questions unchanged 13% =  26 questions.

Three tasks added:
–  Task 2: Identify key deliverables based on business requirements.
–  Task 7: Conduct benefits analysis.
–  Task 8: Inform stakeholders of approved project charter.

One task deleted:
–  Old Task 2: Define high level scope of the project.

One task significantly changed:
– Task 5: changed from ‘develop project charter’ to ‘participate in the development of the project charter’.

Major changes in the knowledge and skills required for this domain.

Domain 2 Planning the Project

Percentage of questions unchanged 24% =  48 questions.

One task added:
–  Task 13: Develop the stakeholder management plan.

One task significantly changed:
–  Task 2: expanded from ‘create WBS’ to ‘develop a scope management plan (including a WBS if needed)’.

The knowledge and skills required for this domain have been revised but basically cover the same capabilities.

Domain 3 Executing the Project

Percentage of questions increased from 30% to 31% =  62 questions.

Two tasks added:
–  Task 6: Manage the flow of information to stakeholders.
–  Task 7: Maintain stakeholder relationships.

One task deleted:
–  Old Task 6: Maximise team performance.

The knowledge and skills required for this domain have been revised but basically cover the same capabilities with the exception of the addition of ‘Vendor management techniques’.

Domain 4 Monitoring and controlling the project

Percentage of questions unchanged 25% =  50 questions.

Two tasks added:
–  Task 6: Capture, analyse and manage lessons learned.
–  Task 7: Monitor procurement activities.

One task deleted:
–  Old Task 6: Communicate project status to stakeholders.

The knowledge and skills required for this domain have been revised and expanded.

Domain 5 Closing the project

Percentage of questions reduced from 8% to 7% =  14 questions

No new tasks added or significantly changed.

The knowledge and skills required for this domain have been revised but basically cover the same capabilities.

Cross Cutting Knowledge and Skills

Cross cutting knowledge and skills are capabilities required by a project manager in all of the domains.  This areas of the RDS has been increased significantly.  The full list of knowledge and skills is
(* = included in previous RDS):
1.   Active Listening*
2.   Applicable laws and regulations
3.   Benefits realization
4.   Brainstorming techniques*
5.   Business acumen
6.   Change management techniques
7.   Coaching, mentoring, training, and motivational techniques
8.   Communication channels, tools, techniques, and methods*
9.   Configuration management
10. Conflict resolution*
11. Customer satisfaction metrics
12. Data gathering techniques*
13. Decision making*
14. Delegation techniques
15. Diversity and cultural sensitivity*
16. Emotional intelligence
17. Expert judgment technique
18. Facilitation*
19. Generational sensitivity and diversity
20. Information management tools, techniques, and methods*
21. Interpersonal skills
22. Knowledge management
23. Leadership tools, techniques, and skills*
24. Lessons learned management techniques
25. Meeting management techniques
26. Negotiating and influencing techniques and skills*
27. Organizational and operational awareness
28. Peer-review processes
29. Presentation tools and techniques*
30. Prioritization/time management*
31. Problem-solving tools and techniques*
32. Project finance principles
33. Quality assurance and control techniques
34. Relationship management*
35. Risk assessment techniques
36. Situational awareness
37. Stakeholder management techniques*
38. Team-building techniques*
39. Virtual/remote team management

Two skills that have been dropped are knowledge of:
–  PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
(although this continues to have a major influence on the approach PMI
     expects project managers to adopt in the exam and the ‘real world’).
–  Project Management Software

The effect on the exam

PMI have advised that 25% of exam content will be new, focused on new topic areas (ie, the eight new tasks) added to examination, in addition, many other questions will be updated to reflect changes in the descriptions of tasks and changes in the underpinning skills and knowledge requirements.  We will be updating our materials from September 2015 to take these changes into account. Fortunately a large percentage of the ‘new’ materials from the RDS are already part of our PMP course (because we felt they were essentially good practice) or in other training courses we offer – overall this update makes very good sense.

Many aspects of the PMP exam are not changing including the eligibility requirements, formal training requirements, the passing score (which remains secret) and the design of the questions, many of which are scenario based seeking information on what should you do.

There is no change to other PMI exams, the CAPM, PMI-SP and other credentials remain unaltered.

Will there be more changes?

The sort answer if ‘yes’! Changes in the RDS occur every 3 to 5 years and as a consequence, the exam content outline changes, new topics are added, and shift in weighting occur.

In addition, the PMP exam also changes when the PMBOK® Guide is update (this is due in 2017). Changes in the PMBOK® Guide cause changes in terminology, changes to elements of process groups and exam questions are changed to reflect these alterations. However, many other references are used to create PMP content in addition to the PMBOK,  and if the PMBOK has contents not reflected in the RDS this section not examined.

So moving forward, the current version of the exam is active until 1st Nov. 2015; the new version of the exam is available from 2nd Nov. 2015, and the next change will be in mid-to-late 2017.

For this change, there is no change over period (including for re-sits) – the ‘old’ exam applies up until the 1st, the new exam from the 2nd November.  Both before and after the change, your exam results available immediately if you take a computer based test.  For more on the current examination, fees, eligibility requirement, etc, see: http://www.mosaicproject.com.au/pmp-training-melbourne/.

A different set of changes has been announced for the PMI-ACP (Agile) credential (visit the PMI website for more details).

PMI have also announced changes to the way PDUs are earned as part of their Continuing Certification Requirement (CCR) program, effective from the 1st December 2015.  For more on this change see: https://mosaicprojects.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/pmi-pdu-update/

CIO magazine lists the top 10 project management certifications

PMPNo matter what your IT role is, a project management certification can add depth, breadth and value to your skills. In its latest edition, CIO magazine lists the top 10 project management certifications, their requirements and their cost.

We are pleased to note, the PMP® and CAPM® are listed as the #1 and #2 project management certifications in CIO report at: http://www.cio.com/article/2945413/certifications/top-10-project-management-certifications.html

For more on our PMP and CAPM courses see:  http://www.mosaicproject.com.au/

PMI PDU Update

PMI is updating is Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) to reflect the needs of employers, which will result in a revision to the way Professional Development Units (PDUs) can be earned and accumulated.

This change is independent of and separate from the changes to the PMP examination structure and content scheduled for the 1st November 2015. For more on the changes to the PMP examination see: https://mosaicprojects.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/pmp-exam-is-changing-on-1st-nov-2015/

The total number of PDUs required to retain your PMI credential are not changing but the proportion of PDUs required from different categories will change on the 1 December 2015.  PDUs earned before this date accrue on the current basis, after the 1st December the new requirements based on the ‘PMI Talent Triangle’ will apply.

The ‘PMI Talent Triangle’

PMI_Talent_TriangleThe ‘PMI Talent Triangle’ is an employer-identified combination of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise, and outlines the three skill areas employers need. They are as follows:

Technical Project Management: Knowledge, skills and behaviours related to specific domains of Project, Program and Portfolio Management. Education options in this skills domain include courses on: Advanced project management, Techniques to improve your WBS, How to gather and document requirements, Risk management for your portfolio, etc.

Leadership: Knowledge, skills and behaviours specific to leadership-oriented skills that help an organization achieve its business goals. Education options in this skills domain include courses on: Negotiation, Communication, Motivation, Problem solving, Conflict resolution, etc.

Strategic and Business Management: Knowledge of and expertise in the industry or organisation that you work in, that enhances performance and better delivers business outcomes. Education options in this skills domain include courses on: Product knowledge, Industry knowledge, Business acumen, Innovation strategy alignment, Market strategy alignment, Finance, Marketing, etc.

CCR Updates

The overall framework of the CCR program remains the same. You will continue to earn PDUs in the categories of Education and Giving Back and the total number of PDUs required in any three year cycle remains unchanged. PMP and other ‘professional’ credential holders (PgMP, PfMP and PMI–PBA) still require 60 PDUs; other credential holders PMI-SP PMI–ACP and PMI–RMP still require 30 PDUs. And the activities that can earn PDUs remain the same.

However, from the 1st December 2015 the following minimum and maximum requirements will apply for the PMP credential and other credentials requiring 60 PDUs in a 3 year cycle (and in brackets the PMI-SP and other credentials requiring 30 PDUs in a 3 year cycle).

Education:

The minimum number of PDUs required to be earned by participating in educational activities is increased to 35 (18), and there are now also minimum requirements in each of the three talent triangle skill sets:

  • Technical Project Management: a minimum of 8 (4) PDUs are required to be earned participating in education focused on acquiring knowledge, skills and behaviours related to specific domains of Project, Program and Portfolio Management. (eg, earned value training, scheduling training).
  • Leadership, a minimum of 8 (4) PDUs are required to be earned participating in education focused on acquiring knowledge, skills and behaviours specific to leadership-oriented, cross-cutting skills that help an organization achieve its business goals. (eg, team leadership training, stakeholder communication training).
  • Strategic and Business Management, a minimum of 8 PDUs (4) are required to be earned participating in education focused on acquiring knowledge of and expertise in the industry or organisation that you work in, that enhances performance and better delivers business outcomes. (eg, corporate stakeholder engagement training, safety training).

Provided you earn a minimum of 8 PDUs in each of the three categories, there is no maximum in this category, all 60 (30) PDUs can be earned through education activities including up to 44 (22) PDUs in just one of the three skill sets.

The education category includes ‘self directed learning’ these are activities which are individualised learning events involving personally conducted research or study such as:

  • reading articles, books, or instructional manuals;
  • watching videos, using interactive CD-ROMs, podcasts, or other source material;
  • having formal discussions with colleagues, coworkers, clients, or consultants;
  • being coached or mentored by a colleague, coworker or consultant.

The maximum number of PDUs that can be earned by self directed learning are defined in the relevant credential handbook (PMP = 30, PMI-SP = 15).

Giving back:

The maximum number of PDUs you can earn in this category has been reduced to 25 (12) PDUs. The three elements of ‘giving back’ are Volunteering, Creating Knowledge and Working as a Professional. The maximum number of PDUs allowed against each of these categories are:

  • Volunteering: all 25 (12) PDUs can be earned by volunteering.
  • Creating Knowledge: all 25 (12) PDUs can be earned by ‘creating knowledge’.
  • Working as a Professional: a maximum of 8 (4) PDUs can be earned by ‘working as a professional.

Note: PDUs earned in excess of the maximum 25 (12) in this category are simply not counted.

Summary

From the 1st December 2015, your plan to accrue sufficient PDUs to retain your credential has to take into account the need to earn a minimum of 8 (4) PDUs in each of the three skill sets defined in the PMI Talent Triangle. You also need to remember that the maximum number of PDUs available for ‘working as a professional’ is reduced to 8 (4) and these form part of the overall maximum of 25 (12) PDUs that are available under the ‘giving back’ category.

Training providers (particularly PMI R.E.P.s) will progressively update their course information to allocate PDUs against the three elements of the PMI Talent Triangle.

These changes only apply to credential holders wanting to use the PMI CCR system to maintain their credential (and therefore stay on the PMI list of current credential holders) by accruing PDUs.  The training requirements to be eligible to apply to sit a PMI examination are not affected.

For more on the updated CCR processes and FAQs see: http://www.pmi.org/certification/ccr-updates-pra.aspx

For more on the current CCR program either refer to your credential handbook or see: http://www.pmi.org/Certification/Maintain-Your-Credential.aspx

To understand the difference between PDUs and eligible training hours see: PDUs and the PMI Examination Eligibility Requirements