Sunday, 17 November 2013

Hits and Views for weekending 17/nov/13

wow... What a week it has been.... a 2 fold increase in views and hits compared to the last week... Hits and Views between 3/nov/13 to 9/nov/13: Hits and Views between 10/nov/13 to 16/nov/13:

The cumulative hits and views for this date range has been at least 4 times increase compared to what it was last month for the same period - Hits and Views between 1/oct/13 to 16/oct/13: Hits and Views for the period between 1/nov/13 to 16/nov/13:

wow again... The cumulative hits and views for nov '13 so far is already  2 times the hits and views for whole of the month of oct '13 - Hits and Views for whole of month Oct '13:

Its overwhelming to see that the users are understanding the concept behind -

You fail only when you don't attempt (again)


Wednesday, 13 November 2013 Approach - For Chapter Tests

Prepare – Attempt – Improve

1. Go through a particular chapter in PMBOK® 5th edition.
2. Attempt the Chapter test for the corresponding chapter to know where you stand.
3. If you score > 80% and happy with all the sections performance for the chapter, go to next chapter.
4. If you score less than 80% in the chapter, use your dashboard to understand the weaker sections in the chapter.
5. Go through the PMBOK®, Process ITTO and the video tutorials in order to prepare for the weaker sections.
6.  Attempt the chapter test until you score 80%.
7. Follow the above process for all the chapters and ensure you score more than 80% in all the chapters. Process to use Chapter Tests

Thursday, 7 November 2013 Hits and Views

Good to see a steady increase in hits and views for - Graph

Hits for this week have really been good. Nice to see hits from all around the world - Hits and Views this Nov 2013 week

Has been a good improvement compared to last 2 months -  Hits and Views for Sept 2013  Hits and Views for Oct 2013
Hope to break into 10000s on a daily basis with the addition of content to New Audio and Video tutorials.

Since the Audio and Video tutorials will mentor around the mock tests and exams, the hits and views should go up in the coming weeks and months.


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Estimate Cost Process

Estimate Cost
Once the scope is baselined in terms of deciding the project boundaries and also, as soon as the schedule is baselined in terms of coming up with the schedule with details about the activities, their duration and the resource requirements, one of the next steps is to come up with the cost estimate.

Prior to coming up with the cost estimate, it is necessary to have a plan as as to how the estimation process will be covered.

Based on the above understanding, here are the inputs to the estimate cost process:
1. Scope baseline: What is the boundary to be covered.
2. Schedule baseline: The schedule having details about the activities, their duration and the resource count for each activity.
3. Human Resource Management Plan: While the resource count gets covered in the project schedule, the resource characteristics,personnel rates gets covered in human resource management plan.
4. Cost Management Plan: How to estimate the cost for this project, what tools to use?

Generally, PM plan can be taken as an input (to cover all of the above) since it has the different baselines and plans too but , to be specific and vital, specific inputs like, scope and schedule baselines are listed as inputs.

Going ahead, the following are other inputs,

5. Enterprise Environmental Factors - Cost estimation can have external factors like, government approval, license cost etc. to be considered
6. Organizational Process Assets - For  leveraging any prior experience or template reuse because this is a vital process and it is necessary to follow  a process and reuse prior experience as much.
7. Risk Register - what risks need to be accounted (contingencies cost)

Cost estimation is understandably a vital process and so, it needs experience in terms of anticipating all issues and covering those in the estimate. Looking at the scope and schedule baselines, the cost is estimated for the project activities. Not all the times there is enough information to do the estimate. So, different types of estimation techniques need to be followed based on experience. Personnel rates are applied alongwith activity duration and resource count to come up with the cost estimate, first at activity level , summing it up to the project level using a project management software. Estimation for any risks is also an important aspect since it helps add a buffer to the actvities and the project as such. Different types of estimation techniques like top-down approach, bottom-up estimation are used. Cost of conformance and non-conformance in terms of quality is also an important aspect to be covered. All these are added on to a project management software like Microsoft Project Plan (MPP).

Based on the above understanding, here are the tools and techniques:
Project Management Software - for activity-wise cost estimation and cumulation
Different estimation techniques: based on available information, different techniques might be used:
 1. Bottom-Up estimation - results in more accurate estimates since the estimator knows what time it takes to complete each activity since he/she has done something like this before
 2. Top-Down or Analogous estimation - based on experience or comparison with other projects a high-level estimation is arrived at. Here accuracy may not be there but if this is coupled with experience then a good estimate can be arrived at. Mostly this estimate has a range.
 3. Parametric estimation - if the model is good, can result in accurate estimates. e.g., rate / sq ft multiplied with no. of sq ft to come up with the cost for the land as a whole.
 4. Three-point estimating: Optimistic, most likely and pessimistic estimates used to come up with the actual estimate for the activity.

Based on the  understanding of the process, the following are generally important techniques for this process -
Expert Judgment
Analytical Techniques like brainstorming, delphi technique are used

Apart from the above, the other techniques used are -
Cost of Quality: Cost of conformance and cost of non-conformance
Reserve Analysis: What amount of reserve is needed to account for known and unknown risks. They are usually a percentage of the estimate.
Vendor bid analysis: Based on what is the bid rate, the actual project cost can be benchmarked and then estimated.

Proj Document Updates: There might be a need to add missing information (onto other project documents) uncovered as a result of this process.
Activity Cost Estimates: For each activity what is the cost, based on no. of resources used and the duration for which they are used alongwith the personnel or resource rate for the concerned resources.
Basis of Estimates: On what basis this estimate was arrived at. Any supporting documents, attributes to support the estimation process and make it reliable.


Monday, 28 October 2013

Plan Cost Management

Plan Cost Management
Once the project charter charter is received, the project manager builds a PM plan outline. As he does that, he starts building the core of the PM Plan - The core objectives being the scope, time and cost. So, the scope, time and cost management plans are built in an iterative manner - looking up one while building another and filling information in the relevant plans.

As with any plan, these plans will have information about what processes are relevant in the knowledge area for the project and also add any tailoring guidelines for the different documents in the concerned knowledge area. The plan documents leverage prior experience in the organization rather than thinking right from scratch. So, all tools and techniques to leverage experience is utilized by the manager.

The Plan Cost management process deals with coming up with a process to derive the cost baseline, manage cost baseline and changes to the baseline. It also deals with defining process tailoring guidelines for the other processes in this knowledge area based on the project context. It also has details about the estimate like the unit of measure, range, accuracy etc.

Project management Plan: As in case of all other processes and also since planning is an iterative process and project management plan is one of the first documents the project manager starts outlining, the contents in the project management plan are useful in detailing the cost management plan.
Project Charter: Since scope , time and cost are termed triple constraints and they are the first few knowledge areas whose plans are detailed, project charter becomes an important input to take care of risks, assumptions and constraints and also the high-level budget allocated in case of the cost management process.
Enterprise Environmental Factors: As with all planning processes, the effect on project due to external factors becomes an important input for the planning process and that too in case of the planning processes part of triple constraints.
Organizational Process Assets: The templates and prior experience is leveraged to build the cost management plan.

Tools and Techniques:
Expert Judgment: Expert Judgment from experienced managers and consultants is leveraged to create a viable cost management plan.
Analytical Techniques: Analytical techniques like brainstorming, delphi technique become handy in detailing all possible scenarios and building the plan for the same.
Meetings: A lot of time in spent by the project manager in meetings during the planning phase. So, this is an important tool that a manager must utilize.

Cost Mgmt Plan: Has details about how cost will be managed within the provided budget. The plan keeps in mind about other objectives and provides a feasible plan to manage cost. Some of the factors covered in the cost management plan are -
- Units of measure
- Order of magnitude (range)
- Rules and frequency for performance measurement


Friday, 25 October 2013

pm-prep35 Toppers List Update

Good to see chapter tests getting filled with toppers list -

Chapter-1 and Chapter-2:   >90% scorer:
pm-prep35 Chapter-1 Toppers List

Chapter-2 Toppers List
These chapters seem to be among the tougher ones. The pass percentage is too low for these two chapters. Being the first two chapters, it is among  the first everyone starts studying but maybe the test has got better off in this case.

Chapter-3 ,Chapter-4 ,Chapter-5, Chapter-6, Chapter-11: No toppers yet
Chapter-4 Toppers List
Chapter-5 Toppers

Chapter-3 Toppers List

Being one of the main chapters any PMP aspirant would like to be thorough with, not any passers in these chapters, although there have been takers.

Chapter-7 Toppers List:

Takers seem to believe in taking their time to prepare. This seems to be a consistent pattern across the different tests and takers seem to return after a brief period of preparation. 

Chapter-8 Toppers List:

The one and only 100% scorer that too in the very first attempt. Important to note that this doesn't have many passers although it has had many takers -

Chapter-10 Toppers List:

Some of the takers are regular -

Chapter-10 Toppers List

Chapter-13 Toppers List:

Some of the takers seem to enjoy the test while others use it to check their consistency. Chapter-13 test seems to be favorite among takers at the moment.

Manage Stakeholder Engagement

Here is the gist about this process:

- Addressing the different stakeholder needs
- Ensure Stakeholders stay communicated at the planned milestones and at any vital points as planned
- Ensure methods or modes of communications are followed as stated in the communication management plan
- Track issues and update the stakeholders on a regular basis
- Communicate change requests status in change log
- Track changes and raise appropriate change requests for input to ICC process
- Update OPA with lessons learnt or any process tailoring / optimization details
- Ensure PMP stays updated due to changes in timeline or cost due to new issues
- Use communication techniques like negotiation and people management effectively to increase chances of project success

Based on the above gist, here are the inputs, tools and techniques and outputs:

Stakeholder Management Plan
Commmunications Management Plan
Change Log
Organizational Process Assets

Tools and Techniques
Communication Skills
Interpersonal Skills
Management Skills

Issue Log
Change Requests
OPA updates
PMP Updates
PD Updates