PMP initiation

#7 Staying Motivated During Your PMP Journey


Right about now you’re probably two or three months away from sitting for your project management professional certification exam.  I know, you’ve waking up at 4AM, or staying awake until 12 Midnight, or both, so you can fit in your PMP studies.  It is only temporary.  You will pass the exam and be ready to return to the routines you had before, but this time with more wisdom, knowledge, and even more credibility.  Be encouraged to complete your assignment and I promise it will be well worth the effort.


PMP initiation

#6 Join us on 1 May 2014 for a Roadmap to PMP Certification

PMLL PMBOK Fifth Edition Starting Your PMP Journey

I volunteer for the Project Management Lessons Learned forum.  You can find it at

Every 1st Thursday of the month, we teach project managers about PMP processes and knowledge area. 

At 9 P.M. Eastern time, on Thursday 1 May 2014, I will host the evening’s forum to present a roadmap for earning PMP certification on your 1st try. 

You can access the  presentation any time once posted to (join also in Yahoo groups) and you can hear the presentation live by logging in on the site while dialing into the Conference Dial-in: (760) 569-7676  Access Code: 142 349#

PMP initiation

#5 Review of PM-Prepcast’s Exam Simulator

I had an opportunity to post my testimony to the PM-Prepcast website about using their exam simulator product.  Please read my thoughts as you consider your own investments on your PMP journey.

“Cornelius, you won’t have to worry about publishing this review of your product, the PM Exam Simulator. I encourage your readers and website visitors to seriously consider committing the $100 or less (with montly discount special offers) to by the Exam Simulator. In my exam study journey, I must have taken all the exams that can be easily googled on the web. Compared to the PM product, I found those to be supporting my knowledge development, but not as prepatory as the Exam Simulator in terms of language, randomness, and concept testing. After passing my exam, I came away with the belief that way PM-Prepcast arranges its simulator most closely resembles the exam format. Moreover, I found the explanations for each answer thorough and if I still did not understand something, I was able to find a reference. What’s more is the ongoing conversations I had with PM-Exam Simulator question bank moderators who really listened to my concerns about a couple of questions and responded with the respect and professionalism I wanted to hear instead of just scoffing at my remarks. They might take a while to respond, but respond they do so definitely use them as a resource if you need additional explanations.”

I began the simulator in January 2014 about a month before my exam and took about 1 per week.  I saved the ITTO only exam and two others for the weekend before my exam. 

PMP initiation

#4 PMP Study Books for Your Journey to Certification

Study Material Books list for PMP

I’ve created this list for PMP aspirants to use as a study material bibliography.  If you have a Books 24×7 account, these could be available to you.  I highly recommend you borrow them from a large library or if you have to purchase one, of course, buy the PMBOK 5th edition, but also the Kim Heldman books. 

Subject Title Author Publisher Copyright Year Length Description
Primary- Exam Study Project Management JumpStart: The Best First Step Toward a Career in Project Management, 3rd Edition Kim Heldman Sybex 2011 362 pages Introduction to project management principles, Project Management Institute’s project management standards, and practical application of project management in the workplace.
Primary- Exam Study PMP Practice Makes Perfect: Over 1,000 PMP Practice Questions and Answers John Estrella, Charles Duncan, Sami Zahran, James Haner and Rubin Jen John Wiley & Sons 2012 384 pages The title describes this book.  
Primary- Exam Study PMP Exam Prep: Questions, Answers & Explanations, 2013 Edition Christopher Scordo SSI Logic 2013 440 pages The title describes this book.  
Primary- Exam Study PMP: Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide, Seventh Edition Kim Heldman Sybex 2013 696 pages The title describes this book.  
Primary- Study Information  Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures, Second Edition Project Management Institute Project Management Institute 2006 123 pages In-depth study and constitution of work breakdown structures.  Pay close attention to the principles of WBS creation.
Primary-Exam Study  The PMP Exam Made Easy Your 24-Hour Study Guide to Passing, 2013 Edition Ron Ponce and Christopher Scordo SSI Logic 2013 337 pages The title describes this book.  
Primary-Study Information Practice Standard for Earned Value Management Project Management Institute Project Management Institute 2005 60 pages In-depth study and constitution of Earned Value Management.
Primary-Study Information Practice Standard for Scheduling Project Management Institute Project Management Institute 2007 121 pages In-depth study and constitution of scheduling methodology.  
Primary-Study Information Practice Standard for Project Risk Management Project Management Institute Project Management Institute 2009 128 pages In-depth study and constitution of Risk Management methodology and principles.
Primary-Study Information A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), Fifth Edition Project Management Institute Project Management Institute 2013 616 pages PMI’s definitive book for all PMP aspirants and certification holders.
Secondary-Exam Study  PMP Certification All-in-One For Dummies, 2nd Edition Cynthia Snyder John Wiley & Sons 2013 912 pages A handy reference book with exams and knowledge checks for the PMP aspirant.
Secondary- Exam Study PMP Project Management Professional Study Guide, Fourth Edition Joseph Phillips McGraw-Hill/Osborne 2013 784 pages The title describes this book.  
Secondary Exam Study  Quantitative Methods in Project Management John Goodpasture J. Ross Publishing 2004 288 pages Describe quantitative aspects in PM and can be used to understand procurement/contract math for your studies.  
Secondary- Study Information The Human Aspects of Project Management: Managing the Project Team, Volume Three Vijay K. Verma Project Management Institute 1997 296 pages Learn about project team management for your exams and overall understanding.
Secondary- Study Information Earned Value Project Management, Fourth Edition Quentin W. Fleming and Joel M. Koppelman Project Management Institute 2010 240 pages Even more information about Earned Value Management, a critical component to monitoring and controlling.
Secondary- Study Information Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3), Second Edition Project Management Institute Project Management Institute 2008 202 pages PMI’s model for measuring if your organization is ready to enhance itself through project management or if it needs some more training.
Secondary- Study Information  The Standard for Program Management, Third Edition Project Management Institute Project Management Institute 2013 186 pages In-depth study and constitution of Program Management.
Secondary-Study Information The Standard for Portfolio Management, Third Edition Project Management Institute Project Management Institute 2013 202 pages In-depth study and constitution of Portfolio Management.
Secondary-Exam Study  Project Management: A Managerial Approach, Eighth Edition Jack R. Meredith and Samuel J. Mantel, Jr. John Wiley & Sons 2012 589 pages Supporting information for exam practice.  You may come across references to this book in Oliver Lehmann and other exam simulations.
Secondary-Exam Study  CAPM/PMP Project Management Certification All-In-One Exam Guide, Third Edition Joseph Phillips McGraw-Hill/Osborne 2014 640 pages A handy reference book with exams and knowledge checks for the PMP/CAPM aspirant.
Secondary-Exam Study  Achieve PMP Exam Success: A Concise Guide for the Busy Project Manager, 5th Edition Diane Altwies and Janice Preston J. Ross Publishing 2013 489 pages The title describes this book.  It’s a support book in your practice exam regimen.  
Tertiary- Study Information Managing Project Stakeholders: Building a Foundation to Achieve Project Goals Tres Roeder John Wiley & Sons 2013 256 pages The title describes the book.
Tertiary-Exam Study The Project Management Question and Answer Book Michael W. Newell and Marina N. Grashina AMACOM 2004 262 pages A dated reference book that may be handy in a bind or if you’re looking for older information.
Tertiary-Study Information Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling, Tenth Edition Harold Kerzner John Wiley & Sons 2009 1120 pages Supporting information for exam practice.  You may come across references to this book in Oliver Lehmann and other exam simulations.
Tertiary-Study Information The AMA Handbook of Project Management, Third Edition Paul C. Dinsmore and Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin AMACOM 2011 544 pages An in-depth handbook to use as reference information for your studies.
Tertiary- Study Information  The Project Management Tool Kit: 100 Tips and Techniques for Getting the Job Done Right, Second Edition Tom Kendrick AMACOM 2010 273 pages Extra material for practical information about Project Management.

#3 Initial Lesson Learned from PMP journey

Hello welcome to my PMP site where I can assist you through your journey on your way to becoming a Project Management Professional.

In this post, I’m sharing the initial lessons learned in text that I submitted to the PM-prepcast site lessons learned.  Feel free to comment here or the site itself.

You can pass the PMP exam. Here’s a recipe for success. First, be confident. The path to success starts with your own determination that this goal is for yourself, not for your boss, your organization, your friends. Certainly the benefits of certification may be shared on all these parties, but the work to achieve success must be borne by you and you have to invest the time. So it is important to know why you are seeking this certification.

Second, understand the process. There are several components to realize. PMP certification has a past, present, and future. You have to measure your past Project Management experience for the application, choose the right training for 35 credits that fits your schedule and budget, design a study plan, and think how you will maintain your certification.

Third, Study. It sounds simple, but the time management aspect is critical to success. If this means studying over 8 months, then so be it, but be honest with yourself and your family or support network who depend on you. Cornelius Fichtner has some excellent video podcasts about study tips. Here’s what I did. I treated this like a project, established a charter, project management plan, and executed it. I used a multitude of study books, but I recommend Kim Heldman the most. If you have access to Books 24×7 through PMI or your company, take advantage of the resources there.

Fourth, I found the exam to be everything people said it would be: Challenging. I used several exam simulators that I felt prepared me for the accuracy of the challenge, including PM Prepcast. Repitition and re-learning will ingrain the significant amount of material you will need to retain for the exam, which brings me to my last lesson learned.

The exam assesses your logic capability and memory. I recommend you memorize ITTOs, Quality Management and Human Resource Theories, Math Formulas, closing procedures, and project document updates to the best of your ability, in addition to understanding the abundant material in the PMBOK.
all the best


Before you embark on your professional journey, a powerful suggestion is to get buy-in from those around you, particularly your family. To take the exam is to challenge yourself, and you will be successful…if you study. And there in lies the real challenge. Time management will play a role on how long or how short your preparation time for the exam will require. No matter what you decide, those periods of study will mean you are absent from the places and people you normally live around during those times so they should be part of your planning considerations.

PMP initiation

#1 Michael’s PMP Road to Certification (video log)

Welcome to Michael’s PMP site.   I achieved PMP certification in February 2014 and my next phase in this journey is to expand the project management knowledge base.  Please follow me as I post weekly information on PMP certification.  Let me be another resource for your PMP journey.  You may contact me using the form below.