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Project Management

What Good Are Certifications, Anyway?

It seems that certifications are under attack.  In the past several months I’ve heard that corporations are no longer interested in having their employees obtain any certifications.   This rant is not limited to the PMP®.  Indeed, it is said that companies are now solely interested in skills training. On one level this makes sense.  Why should a company care whether their employees are certified project managers, business analysts or Scrum Masters so long as they are able to perform those functions? What good are certifications, anyway?

PMP® Exam Preparation: Understanding Beats Memorization

Understanding vs. Memorization
Why does RMC focus on understanding rather than memorization?  As RMC’s project management practice leader I’m often asked: “why can’t I just memorize the process names, inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs (ITTOs) and pass the exam?” The answer to this question is quite simple.  Understanding works, memorization does not, especially in the context of the PMP® exam. Let’s discuss understanding vs. memorization.

PMI-PBA® Domain: Analysis

PMI-PBA® Domain: Analysis. The third in a series of posts about the creation of our PMI-PBA Exam Prep study guide. (The first domain is Needs Assessment and the second is Planning.) PMI calls the third domain Analysis, but it is more appropriately named Elicitation and Analysis because it includes both topics. Elicitation is the asking of questions and research needed to discover requirements. Analysis means to break down a whole into its components for study. So this domain includes the communications necessary to learn about the business and its requirements, along with the analysis work needed to break down the requirements and really understand the needed solution. All aspects of business analysis are important, but if you had to name the core of it all, this is it: Elicitation and Analysis.

Leadership without Authority

I’m reading “Leadership and the One Minute Manager,” by Ken Blanchard. The book discusses “situational leadership,” which essentially means that a manager’s leadership style must vary depending on the competency of the person being managed.   As I was reading the book I realized that these management styles, while probably relevant, would not initially apply to most project managers.

PMI-PBA Domain: Planning

The second excerpt from our upcoming study guide This is the second in a series of posts about the creation of our PMI-PBA Exam Prep study guide. In my first post I talked about the Needs Assessment Domain and this post will highlight Business Analysis Planning. The PMI-PBA (Professional in Business Analysis) designation recognizes professionals who have experience and knowledge performing business analysis work. Business Analysis work is performed by people with many different titles and this is especially true in studying the Planning Domain. Project Managers recognize the critical importance of planning in project success. PMs have expertise in thinking ahead about how their projects will best be accomplished. They often consult with experts and known project team members to develop their plans and assess risks. This strategy of distributed planning is supported by the PMI-PBA Domain called Planning, and referred to as Business Analysis Planning in PMI’s…

Agile vs Waterfall (A PM Fairy-tale)

A PMP® and a Scrum Master® were having lunch together on a park bench debating the relative merits of Agile as opposed to traditional waterfall project management.  They were making the arguments one would normally expect. At one point, the traditional PMP felt the need to prove his devotion to his profession by pulling out his wallet to show the Scrum Master his PMI membership card.  As luck would have it, a thief was passing  by and, seeing his opportunity, snatched the wallet and ran off.

The Benefits of PMP® Revisited

Over the years there has been quite a lot written about the benefits of the PMP® Certification.  There has also been some comment (mostly anecdotal on blogs) about some of the disadvantages.

According to several studies, the benefits include:

To BA or Not BA . . .

That is the question…..

Ok, I know the title is a bit corny, but hopefully got your attention.  This week BBC 2015 opens in Las Vegas, so talking about Business Analysis is timely.

The real question that comes up time after time is as a Project Manager, how often do you find yourself doing all or part of the Business Analyst role on your projects?

RMC’s Materials Updated for the Upcoming Exam Changes by PMI®

Applicable to PMP® Exams Taken on or After January 11th, 2016
In June of 2015, the Project Management Institute (PMI) released an updated version of the “Project Management Professional (PMP)® Examination Content Outline,” which will be applied to all PMP examinations taken after January 11, 2016. (PMI had initially planned on changing the exam starting on November 2nd, 2015, but they later pushed the date back to January.)

Time To Think Out of the Box?

Talk about overused expressions! This one has certainly run its course over the last 5-10 years.  As much as I tire of hearing the phrase “Think out of the box”, I have to wonder about the use of the “box” metaphor.

Maybe there is a physical reason? Back in the late 20th century, we found ourselves with the need to employ many knowledge workers.  So, in the interest of efficiently utilizing floor space and affording them the privacy they needed to do their work, we put them all in these 3′ x 5′ boxes that were 5′ high on three sides.  Of course, it is now the 21st century and we now know that rather than make them productive, it made them feel physically and emotionally isolated.

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