- Paperback: 459 pages
- Publisher: Project Management Inst; 4th edition (2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1933890517
- ISBN-13: 978-1933890517
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.2 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,721 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge 4th Edition
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I have owned every edition of the PMBOK and I can tell you that it's gotten better with age. Let's face it, the material isn't the most exciting but at least it's much more readable than ever. Processes are more refined (some may remember core vs. facilitating processes in older versions) and are titled more consistently (used to have some start with verbs and others with nouns), descriptions of inputs/tools & techniques/outputs are clearer, and illustrations are less confusing. That said, the book still only covers the "whats". If you actually want to know "how" to execute some of these processes, you will need another resource like Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling.
For those who have seen some of the PMBOK's poor ratings in reviews of previous versions, you have to understand that this is a high-level guide, not an elaborate text or a mystery novel. As a result, do not expect to be a project management guru at the end or be entertained with creative irony.
Anyway, since many of you are looking at this because you want to take the PMP exam, here is some advice:
- Although you may be able to obtain a soft copy of this book by being a PMI member, I recommend having a physical copy. In all my years of schooling, I've never even used a highlighter but I did for the PMBOK when I was studying for this exam over a decade ago. It turns out that almost everything was worth highlighting but it forced me to read each line thoroughly.
- You will need another book since many exam concepts aren't even covered in the PMBOK. I personally like PMP Exam Prep, Seventh Edition: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam or CAPM/PMP Project Management Certification All-in-One Exam Guide with CD-ROM, Second Edition. You do not even need the latest editions. Trust me, the general concepts will be the same. For instance, earned value lessons in Rita's 1st edition from yesteryear will be the same as those in 7th or 8th editions. SPI will always be EV/PV.
- When submitting project experience on the application, you can submit work even if your title was not Project Manager. If you worked on projects and have played a lead role, it may count so submit it. The key point is that you should be submitting project leadership activities. You still need 4500 hours of project experience if you have a bachelors or 7500 hours without a bachelors. Also, always submit more than those thresholds since some activities may be not be accepted.
- Do not buy flash cards; instead, make your own. Get a stack of index cards and start writing terms/concepts on one side with definitions/formulas/descriptions on the back side.
Hope this helps. Best of luck to everyone!
***Update (Sep 2013)***
New editions of the books I linked to above were released:
- PMP Exam Prep, Eighth Edition: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam
- CAPM/PMP Project Management Certification All-In-One Exam Guide, Third Edition
If you have no history in Project Management, take the CAPM Exam first.
Read this MANUAL three times first, then read other PMI books on PMP e.g. Risk, Ethics, Business Calcs etc.
Then, take a class, (you need required CE's anyway) twice a week for 6 weeks, then schedule the EXAM.
My guess is 6 months.
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This shouldn't be your only resource if you plan to take the PMP exam. It doesn't give you all the knowledge you need to pass the exam, which is odd. Rita Mulcahy's prep book is a must read. So is the Head First PMP book, which explains everything in plain English.
I found it best to read the books in this order: Rita -> PMBOK -> Head First
In preparation for the exam, know the Project Management Process Groups & Knowledge Areas inside and out. Learn the inputs & outputs. Also know the formulas and network diagrams. Do a lot of practice exams.
Note: This version (fifth edition) is for those planning to take the test after August 2013. If you want to take the test before mid-July, you need the 4th edition of PMBOK.
One more note: I signed up for the PMP Boot Camp by my local PMI chapter. It was terrible - a complete waste of time!!!! If you want to do a boot camp, spend the extra money and sign up with a company that specializes in training.