Study Guides

The Parallel Project Training study guides include numerous exercises, case studies, mini quizzes and opportunities for reflection. They can be used stand alone or as part of the Parallel Learning System which includes online e-Learning, Podcasts, workshops and support from our online moderated study groups to help you develop a professional approach to Project Management.

APM Project Management Qualification (APMP) Study Guide based on the 6th Edition of the APM Body of Knowledge

This study guide been written for the Association for Project Management by Parallel Project Training. It has been full updated to reflect the revised syllabus APM Project Management Qualification as based on the 6th Edition of the APM Body of Knowledge.

Unlike the 6th edition of the Body of Knowledge, which covers project, programme and portfolio management in general terms, this study guide is written specifically to help you prepare for the the APM Project Management Qualification

It includes:

  • Detailed guidance on how to prepare and pass the APM project management qualification, including exam and study hints and tips.
  • A section by section explanation of the syllabus including everything you need to know to pass the APM Project Management Qualification (APMP) exam.
  • An end of section quick quiz to make sure you are following the course content. In this edition we have included an explanation of the rational for the selected answer in the back of the book.
  • Case study exercises where you can apply what you have learned realistic project. This includes for example completing an analysis project context, of preparing a cost plan or risk register for the project.
  • Work based assignments like reviewing your organisation’s governance arrangements against those described by the APM.
    Sample exam questions in each section and a mock exam paper.
  • A full glossary of project management terms.

This study guide is also supported by podcasts that can be downloaded from iTunes or our podcast website. The book is also as part of our APM Project Management distance learning courses which is also complemented by online e-learning and remote tutor support.

We also include the study guide and complete distance learning material as part of the pre-course material for our public and corporate APMP courses.

Book Contents

Section 1 – Introduction

How to use this guide?

Section 2 – About the Exam

This section includes an overview of the exam structure, marking guides, exam technique and a sample answer for a typical exam question.

Section 3 – Understand contexts and environments in which projects can be delivered

This section introduces project management and the linkage between projects, programmes and portfolios. It also explains the impact of a business context on the delivery of a project and a section new to the exam on the relevant legislation applicable to project delivery.

Section 4 – Understand how organisations and projects are structured

This section describes the impact organisation on the way the project is managed. It includes the key roles and responsibilities, the challenges of working in a matrix organisation and the role of the project office in supporting the delivery of the project.

Section 5 – Understand project life cycles

This section describes a typical project lifecycle and the stages recommended by the APM including concept, definition, development, handover and closure and benefits realisation. It explains why projects are structured as phases (including the use of end of phase reviews, go/no-go decisions and high level planning) and the differences between a project life cycle and an extended life cycle.

This section also covers the processes for sharing knowledge and lessons learned throughout projects and the benefits of conducting reviews throughout the project life cycle (including project evaluation reviews, gate reviews, post project reviews, peer reviews, benefits reviews and audits)

Section 6 – Understand governance of project management and the use of structured methodologies

This section describes the principles of governance of project management (such as policies, regulations, functions, processes, procedures and responsibilities) and explains how project management methodologies can be used to support the governance structure.

It also explains the advantages of using standard project management methodologies across an organisation

Section 7 – Understand communications within project management

The section describes the key contents of a project communication plan and the benefits of a planning project communication. It also explains the importance of effective communication in managing different stakeholders and identifies factors which can positively or negatively affect communication including sources of conflict within the project life cycle and ways in which it can be addressed.

The section goes on to explain how to plan and conduct different negotiations (including formal, informal, competitive and collaborative).

Section 8 – Understand the principles of leadership and teamwork

This section describe typical leadership qualities and explain the principles and importance of motivation and the impact of leadership on team performance and motivation, using models such as Maslow, Herzberg and McGregor.
It also explains the benefits of adapting styles of leadership within a project and the characteristics and benefits of effective teams and teamwork.

This section goes on to explain factors involved in the creation, development and management of teams (models such as Belbin, Margerison-McCann, Myers- Briggs, Tuckman, Katzenbach and Smith).

Section 9 – Understand project scope management

This section defines scope in terms of outputs, outcomes and benefits (including use of product breakdown and work breakdown structures). It also explains how to manage scope through, requirements management processes (such as capture, analysis, justifying requirements, baseline needs) and configuration management processes (such as planning, identification, control, status accounting, audit and verification).

Importantly this section explains the different stages of change and the relationship between change control and configuration management.

Section 10 – Understand planning for success

This section explains the purpose of a business case and its importance during the project life cycle, including who has authorship and approval of the business case

It also explains benefits management (including success criteria and key performance indicators and their uses in measuring project success) and number of investment appraisal techniques including payback, internal rate of return and net present value.

This section also looks at information management system and a typical project reporting cycle including the gathering of data and dissemination of reports and the principles of reporting by exception

The section goes on to explain the purpose and contents of the project management plan and its importance throughout the project life cycle.

This section also explain estimating techniques (including analytical, comparative, parametric, three-point, PERT formulae) and the reasons for and benefits of re-estimating through the project life cycle and the concept of the estimating funnel.

It also describes stakeholder management processes and the importance of managing stakeholders expectations.

This section also describes the advantages and disadvantages of earned value management and how to performs earned value calculations and interpret earned value data.

Section 11 – Understand schedule and resource management

This section explains the process for creating and maintaining a schedule and the different techniques used for depicting a schedule (including network diagrams, critical path analysis, Gantt chart, milestone chart). It also describes the advantages and disadvantages of using software scheduling tools.

The section also describes the categories and types of resources (such as human resources, consumable and re-usable equipment, materials, space) allocated to projects. It describes how resources are allocated to a schedule using different resource management techniques such as resource smoothing and resource levelling.

This section also explains what is meant by budgeting and cost control and the different types of project cost.

Section 12 – Understand risk management and issue management

This section explains each stage in a risk management process (such as initiate, identify, assess, plan and implement responses) and the different risk responses such as avoid, reduce, transfer or accept and exploit, enhance, share or reject. It also explains the benefits of project risk management.

This section continues to distinguish between risks and issues and explain the advantages and disadvantages of risk and issue escalation

Section 13 – Understand project quality management

In this section we define quality management and define the following key terms quality planning, quality assurance, quality control and continual improvement and describe the benefits of the quality management process.

Section 14 – Understand project procurement

This section explains the purpose, typical content and importance of a procurement strategy. It also describes the different methods of supplier reimbursement (including fixed price, cost plus fee, per unit quantity, target cost). This section distinguishes between different contractual relationships and explains a supplier selection process.