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The scope of the PMP exam is not based on the PM BoK guide

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 3rd August 2011

Quite often people get confused about the scope of the PMP exam. They mistakenly think it is based on the PMBok Guide. In fact the scope of the PMP exam is defined by a role delineation study. During this study the PMI examines the roles that a project manger actual fulfil during a project. This conducted by the PMI to ensure that the certification reflects the changes in the roles project managers follow as part of their day to day activities. The study makes sure that the exam stays in line with the changing roles filled by project managers. Based on feedback from 3,000 project managers the latest study has identified changes the PMP certification.
Key areas in this certification area are:
Initiating the Project (13% of the questions are on Initiating the Project)

  • Assessment of the project based on the needs of customer to ensure the proposed project is realistically achievable.
  • Define a high level scope for the project including a description of the main deliverables and acceptance standards
  • Complete stakeholder management for the project to ensure that all the stakeholder requirements have been captured
  • Document and record the high level risk, assumptions and constraints as part of the project management charter
  • Established the project deliverables based on the project charter, assumptions constraints and assumptions.

Planning the Project (24% of the questions are on Planning the Project)

  • Create a work breakdown structure to deliver the deliverables for the project focusing on the work required to complete the project
  • Develop a project budget for the project based on the deliverables and integrated with the work breakdown structure.
  • Develop a schedule, resource and budget plan based on the deliverables which provides enough detail to manage the project but not so much detail that it cannot be used to effectively manage the project.
  • Develop a human resource plan for the project which recognised the resource demand and the skills required to deliver the project.
  • Develop a communications plan for the project to ensure that stakeholder are informed of progress and issue associated with the project
  • Develop a procurement plan for the project to deliver best value for the project and select supplier that have the capability to deliver the requirements.
  • Develop a risk management plan for the project which fully understands the risk and opportunities for the project, the appropriate actions required to manage them and ownership for these actions.
  • Present the project management plan to the stakeholders for approval, this can include the Sponsor but also other senior managers

Executing the Project (30% of the questions are on executing the project)

  • Obtain the resources required to deliver the project in accordance with the human resource plan.
  • Implement a quality plan for the completion of the project to ensure that the products and intermediate product meet the project specification
  • Implement a procedure to control changes to ensure that the scope of the project remains in control
  • Implement actions and work around to manage risk based on those identified in the risk register.
  • Lead a team to develop the project team and develop a performing team.

Measuring and Controlling the Project (25% of the questions are on Measuring and Controlling the Project)

  • Measure performance using appropriate measures and key performance indicators
  • Updates the risk register to maintain a current view on the risks as new risk emerge, risks change and are closed.
  • Addresses the corrective actions required to manage variations against the plan do that the project remains in control
  • Communicate to the stakeholder the current status of the project and agree actions required to deliver the project

Close the Project (8% of the questions are on Close the Project)

  • Complete acceptance of the project with the customer
  • Transfer ownership of the project to the operations teams
  • Close out the final commercial and legal arrangements for the project
  • Distribute the final report the the project
  • Archive the project
  • Evaluate customer satisfaction

Plus a number of cross section skills such as facilitation, brainstorming, leadership, problem solving, information management.

  1. Interesting. Really thought otherwise all this time.

  2. Hey that’s really good to know about the important information on PM Bok guide, which might be helpful for me in doing PMP Exam Prep. In my opinion, defining the scope of the project based on the business need, in order to meet the customer’s project expectations.
    Thanks for sharing this nice post.

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