Quick PMBOK PMIisms Revision

In the last post shared my lessons learnt after clearing PMP in first attempt. Today I will share how I managed to connect 5 Process Groups, 10 Knowledge Areas and 47 Processes.

Who it may help…

This post may not help much for those who have been practicing project management for some time. With the practical experiences in the kitty one can relate PMBOK comparatively easy.

Why I am sharing this…

I had taken PMP prep workshop on PMBOK 4th Edition, didn’t work officially as project manager, had a gap in studies and by then PMBOK 5th Edition was out. I read PMBOK but while revising I struggled to connect 5 Process Groups, 10 Knowledge Areas and 47 Processes. This is very critical because you can’t just focus on one of them if you want to clear the exam well. You may have interest areas or hands on experiences in one or more knowledge areas of project management. However unless you don’t connect all the areas and processes the exam preparation will be tough.

Understanding complete picture of 5 Process Groups, 10 Knowledge Areas and 47 Processes flawlessly was a challenge for me. Knowing Processes is important however knowing exact name (PMIisms) as per PMBOK is critical. Exam may have question where multiple answers may look correct but as per PMIisms there will be only one and it can trick you. I wanted to tackle silly mistakes effectively.

What was the need?

I was unable to recall so much text required to revise concepts, knowledge and question & ways to answer. This may not be the case for some people. However those like me can try what helped me overcome the problem.

How it was achieved

Thanks to my colleague Amit Shahi for starting interactive discussion over a break. A discussion which later become useful tool for me to overcome the challenge.

One day while discussing general things we started conversation on PMP Preparation & PMBOK 5th Edition. He grabbed the markers and started whiteboard interaction.

  • He plotted 6 columns (1 Knowledge Area + Process Groups)
  • First we called out & wrote 10 Knowledge Areas in the first column.
  • Second we wrote 5 Process Groups
  • We started visualizing & writing what all activities, tasks & processes will be performed in a given Process Group within specific Knowledge Areas.
  • In the first attempt we didn’t get all the PMIisms correct and we used the PMBOK to validate ourselves.

We repeated this 4-6 times with gap of few days. Around 3rd attempt we started getting all bang on target. Later we both engrossed into respective projects and could not repeat this together.

I continued to practice the chart. The plan was to use first 15 minutes putting the chart on rough sheet as ready reckoner throughout 4 hours. It was also recommended in couple of forums & books for managing exam time.

For almost month before exam, I practiced to put down the chart on paper within 8-10 minutes. Everyday morning the first thing I used to draw is chart & formulas before starting any other work. This proved very good revision at the start of the day when attention in high before diving into other routines. It also helped retaining the knowledge well.

I managed to reach 8 minutes during practice however during exam it took me 10 minutes. I was still within time J.

I practiced drafting important formulas for 7 minutes and managed to do it in 6 minutes during exam. So within first 16 minutes I had process chart & formulas ready for reference.

Here are the picture of my rough sheet at home,

Initial target was to get the PMIisms right but in the end the exercise proved much more valuable than that.

  • I was able to visualize overall content well.
  • Mind Map helped retain the content well.
  • Made me confident for exam.

Warning not to rely only on this tip

Only rehearsing this may help you say/write all the PMIisms correct however that’s not enough. Make sure you get good understanding of Knowledge. Use this as supplementary to revise Process Groups, Knowledge Areas and Processes in quick time. This can be helpful to reduce time in reading content all over again and still be on track with revision during your busy work & life schedules.

Wish you success in clearing the exam well.