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A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge 4th Edition

334 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1933890517
ISBN-10: 1933890517
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 459 pages
  • Publisher: Project Management Institute; 4th edition (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933890517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933890517
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

422 of 442 people found the following review helpful By Brad on September 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For taking PMP test, you MUST have this book.

However, you probably don't need this book if you are going to take PMP test and here is why:

1. Taking PMP exam costs you $555.
2. Membership of PMI is $105, student membership is $40. Almost anyone can join PMI.
3. If you are PMI member and then taking PMP exam is $405.
4. It is cheaper to join the PMI and then take PMP exam.
5. After you join PMI, you will be allowed to downloaded a digital copy of PMBOK, as many languages as you want, such as English, French, Chinese (2 of them), Spanish, ....
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489 of 519 people found the following review helpful By Jason Stokes VINE VOICE on August 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Starting off, I'm a certified PMP. I went through the process, memorized everything PMI wanted me to memorize, and passed the test. That said, this book isn't worth the paper it's written on.

The good:
- You have to memorize the PMI project management process step by step, as a lot of the test questions involve what comes next, what comes first in this phase, etc. This book does go through all the steps one at a time, with some description.
- It makes a good paperweight or looks impressive on a bookshelf.

The bad:
- It must have been written by aliens, come to earth to mess with aspiring project managers through developing the most unreadable reference book ever.
- Many of the charts and graphs just aren't that high quality - as if they were done by a child in crayon then translated to digital
- It is very expensive, and doesn't help you actually pass the exam.
- Minor changes from the third edition - but you'll be tested on the most recent edition. This is like a college textbook money grab.

Summary:
Buy another book. I used the Rita Mulcay book and found it very helpful, as it had hints on the types of questions that will be used, as well as helpful exercises to study, and questions at the end of each chapter. It was also written by someone with faculties in any human spoken language.
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136 of 146 people found the following review helpful By Peter Brooks on February 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book plus free online test questions and exams to pass the PMP exam so it can be done.

The good: By studying just this book and the free online tests, you can pass the PMP test (I did). For an experienced PM, the definitions and calculations are not difficult to learn (learn = memorize).

The bad: Much of PMBOK deals with process input, tools, techniques, and outputs. The organization of these makes them extremely difficult to learn. There is no overall construct that integrates them and brings them all together to make them easy to learn. My understanding is that some paid courses organize these better than the PMBOK and provide either mnemonic devices and/or better diagrams / charts.

My strategy:

- Read the PMBOK.
- Underline definitions, key words, and input, tools, techniques, and outputs.
- Memorize the underlined info.
- Practice the calculations.
- Take the online tests. Refer to references in the answers as needed.
- Iterate the above steps until I got 80% or more on the online tests.

For an experienced PM, few concepts in the book will be unknown. It is a matter of making sure you know the PMBOK specifics for the test.
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189 of 240 people found the following review helpful By J Bucknoff, PMP on November 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
The PMBOK Guide is a standard for the project management profession. Its intention is to serve as a guide to the body of knowledge within the project management community and as practiced by members of the profession. There is no single document that contains the project management body of knowledge. Indeed, some of it is not published at all but, rather, is simply recognized as good practices and norms within the profession. This body of knowledge is growing every day.

The PMBOK Guide is not intended to be used to learn project management or project management concepts. It's especially not intended to teach or suggest PM techniques or methodologies.

It's not a "how to" book nor is it a description of a methodology. It's a standard, not a methodology. PM professionals and the organizations they work for can use the PMBOK Guide as a guide for developing their own methodologies or for creating organization standards.

It's particularly important to understand that it is not a standard or specification for the examination portion of the PMP certification. For one thing, at least 30% of the material on the examination is not covered by the PMBOK Guide. (There IS an exam on the PMBOK Guide. It's the CAPM exam, which only covers knowledge of the PMBOK Guide.)

While the PMBOK Guide only changes once every 4 years, the exam component of the PMP credential is constantly changing. Much of the material that showed up in the 4th (2008) edition of the PMBOK Guide has ALREADY been showing up on the PMP exam for several years - e.g., PTA, TCPI, etc. PMBOK Guide 4th edition came out in December, 2008, but these topics have been showing up on the PMP exam as early as 2006.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By The Ideator on August 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have a Master's Degree in Project Management from a Project Management Institute Globally Certified School -- one of seventeen in the United States. I have done some medium scale project management work for a large North American higher educational institution, creating and rolling out curriculum and technology to its scores of locations.

When I was trying to formally learn Project Management, professors asked us to have this book for our courses, but it rarely got used. I tried to refer to it to help me do well in my courses, and found it useless frankly. So, for the beginner I was at the time, the book is NOT a reference for learning the basics of project management. I noticed that later iterations of the Master's Courses I took dropped the PMBOK altogether as required reading, opting for textbooks instead.

The PMBOK uses the data flow diagram concept from process analysis to diagram and describe the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs of various project management processes. I found it only raised more questions than gave answers when I was initially exposed to it. Beginners need examples of documents to see what they contain, how they are constructed, and their overall look and feel and sometimes, even purpose. While the PMBOK does have some examples buried within its pages, it's VERY light on examples, so you end up wondering what a Human Resource Plan looks like, for example.

As I grew more experienced in Project Management, and prepared for the CAPM exam, the text took on a little more significance, but still came across as highly academic and theoretical. I don't recommend this book at all.
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