Sunday, 29 September 2013 - Free Dashboard for PMP Mock Exam

Dashboard for Free PMP mock exams:

There are not many sites out there in the web that offer free PMP exams simulating the original exam. Add to this, many more firsts like free PMP online training , unique chapter-wise tests and the list goes on. Now, here is one more first of its kind. has extended the chapter-wise test dashboard interface to the mock exams too. Now, exam takers can not only take free exams simulating the original but also visit anytime to check their previous performances and make any no. of exam attempts to improve their performance. All the attempts get stored in the mock exam dashboard and can be checked during future visits.

Currently there is a dashboard available for the Mock Exams in the mock exam launch page. So far, the dashboard was part of only the chapter tests. The Mock Exam Dashboard can be accessed in the mock exam launch page as shown here -
Mock Exam Dashboard

All you have to do is register for free and take the mock exams and you can see your results in the dashboard. You can make multiple exam attempts and all those attempts will be visible as separate graphs in the dashboard -
Dashboard for multiple Attempts

Percentage Scored in a PMP Mock Exam Attempt

Also, from the dashboard page, you can check your Knowledge Area (KA)-wise performance and process group-wise performance too by accessing the Show Split-Up url -

Split-Up Performance for a PMP Mock Exam 

KA-Wise Performance Graph specific to a PMP Mock Exam attempt:
Knowledge Area Performance Graph
Knowledge Area Performance Tabular Data

Process Group-Wise Performance Graph specific to a PMP Mock Exam attempt:
Process Group Performance Graph and Tabular Data

The PMP Mock Exam - 1 currently has around 75 questions and more questions are being rapidly added to make it soon a full-fledged 200 questions exam while the  PMP Mock Exam - 2 has around 50 questions.

Let us know your feedback through our Contact Us page.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Improve your PMP Exam Preparation with Dashboard

1. The dashboard is a nice utility to look and improve your pmp exam preparation.

2. The dashboard is accessible from the Chapter Tests page  when you are logged in, with your registered Email id.

3. Once you start taking the Chapter Tests, your scores are charted in the dashboard page.

4. The dashboard  shows chapter-wise performance.

5. Since the Chapter Tests have questions from each of the sections in the PMBOK®, You can look at the section-wise split-up of your scores too.

6. Based on your split-up, you know which are your weak areas and you can concentrate on those chapters and sections.

7. The questions in the Chapter Tests are intentionally first-level in order to make you thorough with the PMBOK®.

8. The Chapter Tests are also intentionally a bit critical in terms of picking specific lines from the PMBOK® just to ensure that you are thorough with the PMBOK® as such. They can be a bit nerve wrecking too.

9. This is mainly because most of the people who have had success with the PMP exam will necessary have to be thorough with the PMBOK® then, they are in a much better position to answer the scenario based questions.

10. The Chapter Tests simulate the actual exam with a timer at the top and giving about 1 minute duration for each of the questions.

11. It is good to have an average of 80% in all the chapters since in the actual exam you have to get 131 out of the 175 questions correct, which means you need to get about 75%.

12. Your chapter-wise percentage scored is also visible in the Chapter Tests page within a small box beside the Start Now button.

13. Prior to taking a test, the concerned box shows 80% , which is your pass criteria for the chapter.

14. Although there is a separate mock exam section, currently, the mock exam  is not integrated into the dashboard .

15. Take the Chapter Tests and benefit using the dashboard 

16. Good luck with your PMP exam preparation.

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Monday, 16 September 2013

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Project Scope Management - PMBOK® Guide – Fifth Edition

Project Scope Management - Introduction

The Project Scope Management Knowledge area deals with collecting stakeholder requirements and then, defining the inclusions and exclusions for the project.

As important it is to include the right requirements, it is also important to not include requirements not stated by the customer. The scope statement takes care of the same - defining the project boundaries.

As part of defining the scope,  two aspects come to the fore:
1. Product Scope
2. Project Scope

Product Scope defines the characteristics and features of the product. Here, the product in the product scope is lop-sided. Since a project can create a product, service or result, the term product scope is meant to cover all these.

Project Scope not only includes the product scope but also the peripherals or other aspects involved in the phased development of the product - interim milestones, deliverables, processes, tools and techniques.

Note that collecting , defining requirements are all part of this knowledge area and gaining customer acceptance is also part of this knowledge area. Validate Scope process takes care of customer acceptance aspect.

Here are the processes in this knowledge area:

Planning Process Group:
1. Plan Scope management
2. Collect Requirements: Although many requirements might be collected from the stakeholders, only some of them can be included based on looking at different constraints like budget allocation, time factor etc. The defined project requirements become the scope.
3. Define Scope
4. Create WBS

Monitoring and Controlling Process Group:
1. Validate Scope - Monitoring 
2. Control Scope - Controlling


Project Scope Management Processes

Product V/s Project Scope

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Free PMP Online Training - 5 steps to Free PMP 35 Contact Hours Certificate

1. Go through PMP Video and Audio Tutorials as well as PMBOK® Process ITTOs.

2. Register and take Up Chapter tests and score the minimal pass percentage of 80%.

3. Take Up at least one full-length Mock Exam and score 75%.

4. Check and Improve your weak chapter sections through the Dashboard:

Chapter Performance

5. Your 35 Contact Hours certificate gets auto-enabled for generation at if you score 80% in all the level1 chapter tests and 75% in one full-length mock exam.

- No Time Limits to Access
- Read at your own pace
- Improve your performance through the Dashboard

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Thursday, 12 September 2013

Close Project or Phase - PMBOK® Guide – Fifth Edition

Close Project or Phase - PMBOK® Guide – Fifth Edition
The Close Project or Phase process is concerned with closure activities with regard to a project phase or the project as such.
This process is NOT concerned with deliverable acceptance since that is part of validate scope process and accepted deliverables become input to this process.
While deliverable acceptance can mostly be linked/interpreted to successful project completeion, Closure activities are followed even when the project is terminated or cancelled. The documentation in this case will be useful in analyzing the trend in future.
Ideally, phase closure is also called as stage gate, kill point , phase gate or milestone. There is normally a milestone attached to a phase closure. Milestones might be internal or external.
The main aspects of this process are to document lessons learnt , archive project work or deliverables and transition knowledge to the support or the operations team.
Understandably, this process is concerned with updating the organizational process assets albeit in the form of templates, process or any other form of archival.
Reusable components also become part of the archival process.

It is easier to come up with the OUTPUTS of this process based on the above description. So, here are the outputs first:
1. Organizational process assets Updates: Template updates, archival, process updates, lessons learnt document
2. Final Product, Service or Result transition: The 'knowledge transition' of the deliverable concerned with the project or phase to the team that is going to take over the next phase or the operations.

Tools and Techniques:
1. Expert Judgment: Like any other process, expert judgment is an important tool in deciding what process must be followed to make the process effective for future project work. Is closure process followed effectively as promised in the contract?
2. Meetings: Meetings with client to formalize the closure alongwith handing over of deliverables and process documentation for smooth transition.
3. Analytical techniques: Analyze future performance based on current performance metrics and see if future phases will be ontrack or what would be the variance.

1. Project Management Plan: The baseline document that will have details about the closure process tailored for this project.
2. Organizational Process Assets: What templates need to be used for transition documentation.
3. Accepted Deliverables: What deliverables are accepted by the customer so that the transition document can cover knowledge related to those deliverables.

Needless to say, a configuration management system to version and store organizational process assets is also an important tool for this process. Since tools like configuration management system, version control system are used in most of the processes and mainly play a prominent role in the planning and executing processes, the concerned tools are probably implicit and left out in case of this process.

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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Define Activities - PMBOK® Guide – Fifth Edition

6.2 Define Activities
Define Activities
Define Activities Process:
The Define Activities process is concerned with decomposing the Work package into a list of relevant activities. In most of the projects, the Create WBS and Define Activities are done as part of the same process. In order to create a WBS that covers all the work packages within the scope, the whole team must be involved in the process. It is natural from there for the team to breakdown to the initial activity list. Also, when the project manager actually starts with the project schedule, the starts with the preliminary activity list and then goes onto relate those (with a project management software like MPP),  allocates, durations for each of the activities along with the resources to come up with a detailed schedule. So, most of the processes in the schedule management knowledge area overlap without distinct demarcation.

Define Activities Process - Introduction

1. Schedule Management Plan: The Schedule Management Plan has the process to decompose the WBS to an activity list relevant to the project objectives.
2. Scope baseline: The Scope baseline covers the scope statement, scope management plan and WBS. When coming up with the activity list, it is good to keep in mind what is the scope and the baseline is a good input to that effect.
3. Enterprise Environmental Factors: For all the planning processes, enterprise environmental factors are a vital input since the planning phase needs to factor the proper conditions under which work will be carried out.
4. Organizational Process Assets: Initial Process outline, process tailoring guidelines for this customer, context.

Define Activities Process Inputs

Tools & Techniques:
1. Expert Judgment: Expert opinion from team and SMEs is very important in order to define activities.
2. Decomposition: Breaking down the work package to one or more activities, while work package is assigned to a team , the activities are allocated to individual resources.
3. Roll Wave Planning: When the WBS is broken down to work packages and then the individual work packages are broken down to activities, not all of the work packages in the WBS are broken down, only work packages relevant to current project phase are broken down keeping the other deliverables at the high-level. This process is called roll wave planning. Plan what you want to execute in the coming next period say, a week or two.

Define Activities Process Tools & Techniques

1. Activity List: It is a list of activities for a work package. Each individual activity has an activity identifier and an activity description. 
2. Activity Attributes: Any further details useful while developing the schedule can be part of activity attributes -  any unique characteristics for each of the activity gets added as activity attributes.
3. Milestone List: While activities have durations attached during estimate activity duration process, milestones are pre-marked or they have zero duration. They are mostly delivery-related and are checkpoints.

Define Activities Process Outputs

Define Activities Process - Match the Following

Define Activities Process - Match the Following (Answers)

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Sunday, 8 September 2013

Plan Schedule Management - PMBOK® Guide – Fifth Edition

6.1 Plan Schedule Management

The Plan Schedule Management Process is concerned with creating the schedule management plan. The schedule management plan is concerned with keeping the project schedule managed, monitored and controlled, in case of any changes to schedule.

6.1 Plan Schedule Management

The Plan Schedule Management Process has the "process" for -

1. Decomposing the WBS to an activity list. 
2. Documenting the activity interrelationships in the form of a network diagram.
3. Doing activity resource estimates.
4. Doing activity duration estimates.
5. Developing the detailed schedule
6. Controlling Schedule in case if there is a variance

The tools and techniques for the different schedule processes are also decided and documented in the schedule management plan looking at the project constraints and the competing objectives.

Plan Schedule Management - Introduction
1, PM Plan: The Project Management Plan is an important input to the plan schedule management process because, planning by itself is an iterative process. The PM Plan mostly starts with an outline for each section  and then, each of the sections get elaborated into a detailed subsidiary plan as the project planning gains momentum.
So, the subsidiary plans are an input to develop project management plan process and PM Plan is a vital input to each of the subsidiary plans.
2. Project Charter: The Project Charter is the most detailed document when the project enters the planning phase. It also has the high-level details with respect to all the knowledge areas. This is where it becomes a reference document in the first few iterations of project planning.
3. Enterprise Environmental Factors: What are the external factors influencing the project? Is the project being done by a virtual team? Are there are labor unions in the organization? What positive or negative impacts can the external environment have on the project?
Plan Schedule Management - Inputs - Part 1
4. Organizational Process Assets: Templates are very important input in the first iteration of planning. What is the process followed so far in coming up with a plan in previous similar projects?
Plan Schedule Management - Inputs - Part 2
Tools and Techniques:
1. Expert Judgment: Opinions from experienced managers or SMEs in similar projects are taken into account while detailing the plan.
2. Analytical Techniques: Brainstorming , delphi technique or taking surveys / polls and any other techniques relevant to collecting facts , data or opinions to analyze and come up with a well derived plan.
3. Meetings: The SMEs and the PM spend time in meetings during planning to walk through all objectives, gather opinions and come up with the best approach relevant to the project.
Plan Schedule Management - Tools & Techniques

The Schedule Management Plan is the output from Plan Schedule Management process and it has the details about how other processes within the Project Time Management Knowledge area will be performed and also how they will be monitored and controlled once the baseline is approved.
Plan Schedule Management -  Outputs

Plan Schedule Management - Match the following

Plan Schedule Management - Match the following (Answers)

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Control Procurements Process (PMBOK® 5th edition) - - First-Ever Completely Free Online Contact Hours for PMP Exam

Control Procurements Process (PMBOK® 5th edition)

1. Control Procurements, part of Monitoring and Controlling process group, is concerned with managing the procurement relationship , measuring performance and doing corrective actions if performance is not upto the mark.

2. Controlling Procurement process is sensitive because it has legal implications so it is necessary to have a good understanding of the contractual obligations at both the buyer and seller ends. Due to this reason, Contract administration is usually a separate function in an organization and the Procurement Administrator reports to a manager in that department and plays a consulting role to the project team

3. Usually, Whenever the project team lacks the competency to deliver a particular function or busy with existing work , the function is procured externally. Due to this reason, procurement can get integrated with any of the project management processes. For instance, the deliverables or part of it, created as  part of Direct and Manage Project Work, might be procured externally. Similarly, Control risks process of the performing organization should take main care of the procurement relationship.

4. Control Procurements has a financial component, mostly attached to the performance of the seller. So, constant checks in the procurement process are inevitable. The performance is recorded so that it is useful in future project procurements and any corrective actions in the ongoing procurement , if need be. The recording of procurement performance is also useful to facilitate smooth closure.

5. Changes to agreements are possible anytime until the contract is open.

1. Project Management Plan: The master plan with link to other subsidiary plans is very useful input for both planning as well as monitoring and controlling processes, in order to check if the work meets the baseline and then, to record and control performance, if need be.
2. Procurement documents: Any supporting documents, prepared by the buyer or seller during contract initiation, like SoW, which acts the guiding document for the contract work.
3. Agreements: Agreements contain the inclusions decided during project initiation. This acts as the guideline for both the buyer and the seller for smooth procurement process.
4. Approved Change Requests: Approved Change requests are generally an important input for monitoring and controlling processes because of the "control" aspect, in order to implement
the corrective action.
5. Work Performance reports: The summarized report of current project health to check if the procurement process is as such doing fine or if any corrective action will affect the current project health.
6. Work Performance Data: The raw data coming from the project team confirming the project health.

Tools and Techniques:
1. Contract Change Control System: Since procurement is done externally using a team outside the project team, a need for a separate change control system, in case of contract is needed. This will have different levels of escalations and project actions.
2. Procurement Performance reviews: These are review cycles specific to procurement involving probably senior management or the concerned legal department that handles procurement to ensure that everything is monitored and controlled according to the contract.
3. Inspections and audits: As with all monitoring and controlling processes, inspections and audits are random checks to ensure that the procurement results meet what was agreed upon and taking corrective actions, if need be.
4. Performance reporting: How is the procurement performing? - in the format that is agreed and assigning appropriate responsibilities to the right owners in case of escalations and corrective actions.
5. Payment Systems: What was agreed to be paid at what point and what are the implications of not meeting certain aspects of the contract?
6. Claims Administration: Workflow for processing payments.
7. Records management system: How records would be managed and what lifecycle they will follow until contract closure. They are also useful for smooth closure of the contract because they provide reasons for certain actions taken.

1. Work Performance Information: As part of project monitoring process, any information collected for further analysis.
2. Change Requests: As part of project monitoring process, any new changes identified become documented as change requests to be passed onto the change control board.
3. Project Management Plan Updates: Project Management Plan can get updated as part of controlling  process in case of approved changes.
4. Project Document Updates: Risk register updates are classic example of project document updates.
5. Organizational Process Assets Updates: New records or documents as part of procurement management process get updated to organizational process assets for future reference.

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Develop Project Management Plan Process - PMBOK® Guide – Fifth Edition

Develop Project Management Plan Process
4.2 Develop Project Management Plan
The Develop Project management Plan process is concerned with detailing the project management plan from the different subsidiary plans. Note that planning is an iterative process and the subsidiary plans are an input to create the detailed PM Plan while the PM Plan becomes an input for development of each of the subsidiary plans.
Introduction - Part 1
Planning and executing are iterative by nature. This aspect is also the basis for progressive elaboration and  roll-wave planning.
The PM Plan is the baseline document to come up with change requests and also in deciding if change requests must be approved weighing different project constraints and objectives stated in the PM Plan.

Introduction - Part 2
Project Charter: This is an important document during the initial iteration of development of the project management plan since it has the high-level milestones, assumptions and requirements apart from risks and other aspects.
Subsidiary Plans: These are the outputs from other planning processes useful in building the PM Plan because the PM Plan is the holder for all the other plans.
Enterprise Environmental Factors: These factors are an important input mainly for the initiating and the planning processes because they set up the project constraints.
Organizational Process Assets: Template to build the PM Plan is one of the assets used among others like the wide-spread process followed to build PM plan for other similar other projects, tailoring guidelines etc.

Inputs - Part 1

Inputs - Part 2
Tools & Techniques:
Expert Judgment: PMO intervention in terms of setting standards, project management tool selection and also providing tailoring guidelines.
Facilitation Techniques: Planning usually factors-in opinions coming from different levels. So, the participants need to be encouraged to express their views. Techniques like brainstorming,  and meetings are effective in these lines.
Tools and Techniques
Project Management Plan: The PM Plan, once approved, becomes the baseline document and any changes need to follow the change control process in order for the plan to be rebaselined. The subsidiary plans are considered part of the pm plan. All the client requirements and objectives stated in the project charter need to be factored in the PM Plan for the project manager to track effectively and control the same in case of any variation.

Match the following

Match the following (Answers)

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Chapter 1 - Introduction - PMBOK® Guide – Fifth Edition


The statement that PMBOK guide identifies that subset of project management body of knowledge generally recognized as good practice is mainly to highlight the aspect that it is left to the discretion of the project manager what is actually correct and important to the project context. Thoroughness with PMBOK does not make you a project manager but, it definitely is a guideline to see where you stand and you are following the correct process.
Purpose of the  PMBOK® Guide - Part 1
Ethics are an important aspect for any profession. It is no different to project management. While following processes is important, it is important to be ethically correct. Using licensed software, not paying bribes and being within law are all aspects dealing with ethics and professional conduct.
Purpose of the  PMBOK® Guide - Part 2
The definition about project is one of the most thorough definitions any PMP aspirant would remember. I remember times during my preparation this used to be my favorite definition. There used to be questions and if i or anyone for that matter finds it, will really be happy!

A Project is a temporary endeavor to create a unique product, service or result.
Temporary here means definite beginning and ending. Here how long is the duration is not important, It is just about having a definite begin and end dates.
Endeavor means an attempt. So, a project is just an attempt. Not necessary it needs to be successful although the intent is to be successful. A project need not be successful, can get cancelled midway or maybe foreclosed for some other reason.
Unique because the team working on it might be different, the timeline might be different even if the team is same. So, there is something unique about the whole combination. So, the end-result as such is stated as unique.
The project can result in a product, service or result. A result is research finding, which again might result in a product or service.
What is a Project? - Part 1
A project will have an impact on the society or on people. The impact can be socio, economic or environmental. Simple example of social impact is facebook, Economic impact is launch of a cheaper iPhone. Environmental impact is launch of pollution-free vehicle, say, petrol-less car.

Again, presence of repetitive elements like a reusable component or the same set of team, does not change the uniqueness of the end-result since the timeline would be different or people involved will be different. A project need not be done by a team, it can be done by a single person or by an organizational unit. I build as a personal goal. My personal objective is driving this project. It is unique in terms of many aspects. It is built by me, it is the first free site, the approach followed in creating the tests is unique. So, the project as such is unique.

What is a Project? - Part 2

A project becomes operational once people start using it. is currently operational in terms of people being able to take the chapter tests any number of times after they register.
What is an Operation?
A group of projects is a program. Projects in a program are mostly inter-related. Think of creating a elearning website with two parts, one with side  and another part with content  for TOGAF certification. Although there might be hand-shakes between the two in terms of reusing the create user and administration  aspects but then, the two have different objectives, mostly different users too.  Since programs are bigger in terms of the impact since there are multiple objectives and multiple stakeholders involved, a program manager is assigned and he mostly handles multiple project managers, each of them assigned to one project.
Portfolio management involves multiple programs. It is used just to group work based on common seller, buyer or technology. It is similar to a bucket. If you have one client who gives you data entry work, technical work and operational work, call it a portfolio and expand it with proper allocations as more work comes.
Portfolios, Programs and Projects - Part 1

Portfolios, Programs and Projects - Part 2

Portfolios, Programs and Projects - Part 3
Resource optimization is an important goal of these classifications. A program manager needs to be aware of what are the resource allocations and needs to ensure resources are effectively used across the program.
The portfolio manager is more interested in the strategic objectives. What is the return on investment, profit of the account, how to improve it? how to handle customer requirements, give the best options to the customer, maintain customer relationship, ensure portfolio is aligned with organizational objectives etc.
Normally project management is first-level. program management is mid-level management and portfolio management is senior-level management.
Project manager - operational
Program manager - tactical
Portfolio manager - strategical

Portfolios, Programs and Projects - Part 4

Portfolios, Programs and Projects - Part 5

Portfolios, Programs and Projects - Part 6
PMO is project management office. These days, PMOs are reduced to personal assistants, to do documentation or any first-level jobs in many of the companies but, the main role of a PMO is to be able to weight objectives and make decisions for the project team. They must be able to maintain templates and decide which one fits the concerned project. They are responsible to provide project guidance, groom new managers. They are governance body. Any vital decisions or documentations must be approved by them.
Project Management Office (PMO) - Part 1

Refer Chapter 1 in ITTO Section for different types of PMOs like Supportive, Controlling and Directive.
Project Management Office (PMO) - Part 2

Project Management Office (PMO) - Part 3

What is Project Management? - Part 1
There are 5 process groups in project management. Initiating and closing are ideally applied during project (or phase) start and closure respectively. Note that these process groups can be applicable for both phase-level and project-level.
What is Project Management? - Part 2

What is Project Management? - Part 3

What is Project Management? - Part 4
Refer Chapter 1 in ITTO Section in
What is Project Management? - Part 5

What is Project Management? - Part 6

What is Project Management? - Part 7

What is Project Management? - Part 8

Match the following

Match the following (Answers)

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