Head First PMP: A Learner's Companion to Passing the Project Management Professional Exam 4th Edition
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From the Publisher
We think of a Head First Reader as a Learner
Learning isn't something that just happens to you. It's something you do. You can't learn without pumping some neurons. Learning means building more mental pathways, bridging connections between new and pre-existing knowledge, recognizing patterns, and turning facts and information into knowledge (and ultimately, wisdom). Based on the latest research in cognitive science, neuro-biology, and educational psychology, Head First books get your brain into learning mode.
Here's how we help you do that:
We tell stories using casual language, instead of lecturing. We don't take ourselves too seriously. Which would you pay more attention to: a stimulating dinner party companion, or a lecture?
We make it visual. Images are far more memorable than words alone, and make learning much more effective. They also make things more fun.
We use attention-grabbing tactics. Learning a new, tough, technical topic doesn't have to be boring. The graphics are often surprising, oversized, humorous, sarcastic, or edgy. The page layout is dynamic: no two pages are the same, and each one has a mix of text and images.
Metacognition: thinking about thinking
If you really want to learn, and you want to learn more quickly and more deeply, pay attention to how you pay attention. Think about how you think. The trick is to get your brain to see the new material you're learning as Really Important. Crucial to your well-being. Otherwise, you're in for a constant battle, with your brain doing its best to keep the new content from sticking.
Here's what we do:
We use pictures, because your brain is tuned for visuals, not text. As far as your brain's concerned, a picture really is worth a thousand words. And when text and pictures work together, we embedded the text in the pictures because your brain works more effectively when the text is within the thing the text refers to, as opposed to in a caption or buried in the text somewhere.
We use redundancy, saying the same thing in different ways and with different media types, and multiple senses, to increase the chance that the content gets coded into more than one area of your brain.
We use concepts and pictures in unexpected ways because your brain is tuned for novelty, and we use pictures and ideas with at least some emotional content, because your brain is more likely to remember when you feel something.
We use a personalized, conversational style, because your brain is tuned to pay more attention when it believes you're in a conversation than if it thinks you're passively listening to a presentation.
We include many activities, because your brain is tuned to learn and remember more when you do things than when you read about things. And we make the exercises challenging-yet-do-able, because that's what most people prefer.
We use multiple learning styles, because you might prefer step-by-step procedures, while someone else wants to understand the big picture first, and someone else just wants to see an example. But regardless of your own learning preference, everyone benefits from seeing the same content represented in multiple ways.
We include content for both sides of your brain, because the more of your brain you engage, the more likely you are to learn and remember, and the longer you can stay focused. Since working one side of the brain often means giving the other side a chance to rest, you can be more productive at learning for a longer period of time.
We include challenges by asking questions that don't always have a straight answer, because your brain is tuned to learn and remember when it has to work at something.
Finally, we use people in our stories, examples, and pictures, because, well, you're a person. Your brain pays more attention to people than to things.
About the Author
Jennifer Greene is an enterprise agile transformation leader, an agile coach, development manager, project manager, speaker, and authority on software engineering practices and principles. She’s been building software for over twenty years in many different domains including media, finance, and IT consulting. She’s led large-scale agile adoption efforts supporting development teams around the world and helped individual team members get the most out of agile practices. She looks forward to continuing to work with talented teams solving interesting and difficult problems.
Andrew Stellman is a developer, architect, speaker, agile coach, project manager, and expert in building better software. Andrew is an author and international speaker, with top-selling books in software development and project management, and world-recognized expert in transforming and improving software organizations, teams, and code. He has architected and built large-scale software systems, managed large international software teams, and consulted for companies, schools, and corporations, including Microsoft, the National Bureau of Economic Research, Bank of America, Notre Dame, and MIT. He's had the privilege of working with some pretty amazing programmers during that time, and likes to think that he's learned a few things from them.
- Publisher : O'Reilly Media; 4th edition (September 25, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 928 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1492029645
- ISBN-13 : 978-1492029649
- Item Weight : 3.85 pounds
- Dimensions : 8 x 1.7 x 9.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #59,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Another example is on pg 500 where they say there are five kinds of power; legitimate, reward, expert, referent...That's four by my way of counting. I believe the fifth is coercive.
There's an exercise on pg 55 that asks you to "figure out the constraint that's causing the biggest headache for the project manager..." but the exercise answers are all expecting the constraint affected. There is a difference between cause and what's being affected.
I enjoyed the previous edition of this book, but this one has so many little errors and contradictions that I find myself consulting the PMBOK Guide a lot to make sure I'm getting the right information.
I originally bought the PMBOK 6th edition naively believing that if I could read the book, then I would be ready for the exam. After 6 weeks of trying to read the PMBOK I realized I learned absolutely nothing. I had to do something else or I would fail the exam. I was not keen on attending a PMP boot camp for $1000-2000. I decided to buy a PMP for dummies like book and stumbled across Head First series.
I decided to take a chance and boy I am glad that I did. Because I am straight from central casting for people with ADHD, this book was perfect. It has pictures, exercises, games, and fun examples to help hammer home the principles of PMP (especially the calculation for cost section). It was easy to digest the concepts and made the material a little less intimidating than what I found in the PMBOK.
This book isn’t perfect. It has some grammatical and print errors. Also, it covers only 85-90% of the PMP material. The questions fair on the too easy side. I would recommend that if you purchase this book, buy another book with a lot of practice questions. The key to passing the exam is the material and understanding how PMI wants you to think about how to answer a question. For understanding the material, this is a good book, but practice quiz/exam questions, look somewhere else.
You would never realize how the concepts are being etched into brain, thanks to the scientific approach based on cognitive psychology. Conversational & friendly style makes it even more interesting, if not engrossing.
Strongly recommended for PMP aspirants.
If you have a reading disability, then the Kindle version of this book with a Kindle Fire is the only option that will read to you while following along in the paperback version. This is the only way that I will be able to learn the PMBOK enough to pass the PMP exam.
Besides the above points, the 4th edition Head First PMP book is well evolved and will get the job done.
This is not a typical study guide. The authors know how dry the PMBOK is, so they make a conscious effort to liven it up, and make learning a little more fun. They begin the book explaining the reason for the format, down to specific fonts. They designed this book for learning from the ground up.
I used the practice test and the chapter quizzes from this book, and the practice tests from the course I took to meet the educational requirements for the exam. The questions in this book were far more relevant, and I found myself studying primarily from this book. I took the last couple of weeks before the exam pretty easy, and started using the quizzes again the week before the test. I passed on the first attempt.
Hopefully they'll release a new version once the PMP exam changes in the next few months. I'd recommend the Head First PMP book to anyone preparing for the exam. The series will be my first choice if I decide to earn any more certifications.
Top reviews from other countries
Disclaimers: I am a practicing PM and previously took a Masters Certificate in Project Management about 1.5 years prior to picking up this book. I studied approx. 12-20 hours per week for 2 1/2 months, and followed a preset study schedule I created for myself.
This book does a great job of a few things:
1. Keeping things interesting. The PMBOK will put you to sleep within a couple of pages. This book covers the same material but makes it relevant and relate-able. I did reference the PMBOK at times to confirm my understanding on certain points if I felt I needed it.
2. Helps solidify learning with various tools. There are plenty of little quizzes, crosswords, etc to help you cement the concepts in. I also kept fairly detailed notes on concepts as I read along to help in my review.
3.Gives real world examples. Each chapter walks you through scenarios to help you understand the knowledge areas.
I would have given this book 5 stars had it been completely updated for the current PMBOK version. As the PMBOK and PMP exam changes every few years, their textbook also has to be updated accordingly. I would estimate that there were about 5-6 instances where it referred to a previous version, and most (if not all) incorrect information was contained within pictures or graphics. For example, there was an image with a Staff Management Plan and written references to a Resource Management Plan, so when reviewing I needed clarification on the difference between the two. I cross referenced with the PMBOK and found that the Staff Management Plan is now the Resource Management Plan. They were a bit annoying, but there wasn't many of them and they weren't so detrimental that the book was useless.
I recommend this book, but I do recommend that you do some light cross reference learning with the PMBOK as well. Do not underestimate the PMP exam - it is difficult and you need a thorough understanding of the concepts. Memorization of knowledge areas, process groups and processes are not enough, you'll need to understand them, what they are, when they're needed, how to create them, and how they relate to one another.
Good luck on your exam.
Man sollte sich jedoch auf das Prinzip einlassen rechte und linke Gehirnhälfte zu verknüpfen. Durch diesen kreativen Ansatz konnte ich mir das Lernthema viel besser einprägen.