The 3 Steps Of PMP Certification Process Explained

If you are planning to get PMP Certified, PMP Certification process tells what you should do to become a PMP. If you want to know what Inputs, Tools & Techniques you need to get your desired output of PMP Certification, you should master the PMP Certification Process.

PMP Certification Process

What Is PMP Certification Process?

A process is a series of actions that you take to achieve your objective. Therefore, PMP certification process tells you the series of actions that you need to take to become a PMP. Alternately, you can look at a process as a series of interrelated tasks you do to convert the inputs to the desired outputs. Hence, let us look at what inputs you need and what the PMP certification process is to get to your goal of PMP.

PMP Certification Process

Inputs to PMP Certification Process

What goes into the PMP Certification process or what do you need as inputs for the PMP Certification process? These are your prerequisites or the eligibility criteria which are:

  1. 4-year bachelor’s degree
  2. 35 hours of project management education
  3. 4500 hours of experience leading and directing projects

Alternatively, you need to have these:

  1. Your secondary degree or high school diploma
  2. 35 hours of project management education
  3. 7500 hours of experience leading and directing projects

Tools & Techniques of PMP Certification Process

You need to have certain tools & techniques like PMP Question Bank, PMP Study Guide, Exam Simulators, PMP Study Plan, Mind Maps, Flow diagrams, Data flow diagrams, Flash cards, etc. to sharpen your skills and gear up for the PMP Certification Exam. You can use the Kaizen technique to ensure that you become a PMP. Study-take test-revise-retest can be a technique that you use to ace the PMP or reach your goal. You can benefit from the sample PMP exam questions for this test & retest tasks.

PMP Certification Process

3 Steps of PMP Certification Process

We have seen that a process is the series of steps that you take to reach your goal. Therefore, what are the interrelated tasks that you should perform to be a PMP?

If you have the PMP requirements in place that we discussed above, your first step in PMP Certification process would be to apply for the exam while preparing for the PMP exam in parallel.

1st Step: Applying for PMP Exam

You can login to the PMI website and start filling the application form online as part of the PMP Certification Process. Here, you have to enter your contact information, educational qualifications, and your experience. When you enter your experience, make sure it is as per the five process groups of Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing.  In the last section, enter the 35 hours of PMP certification course that you have taken.

Application Review

Once you submit the application online, you will get intimation about fee payment. If your application is picked for audit, you will receive a link to download the audit package. If your application is picked for audit, you can complete the formalities within 90 days of receiving the audit link after which PMI will take about 5-7 days to process the information.

PMP Exam Fee Payment

The next step in the PMP Certification Process if fee payment. You can pay the exam fee of $555 or $405 online through credit card. If you have taken PMI Institute annual membership which is $139, you get to pay $405 otherwise, you pay $555. But, ensure that you get your membership ID before paying the exam fee if you want the discounted fee. Hence, the PMP Certification Process guides you on when to do what.

Schedule Your Exam

After you get the confirmation of fee payment, your next step in the PMP Certification Process is to schedule your exam. But, this generally depends on the preparation that you have done so far in terms of study. Normally, schedule the exam date based on the score you get in your practice tests.

But, if you are the type driven by the date, do a reverse scheduling in the PMP Certification Process. Meaning, fix the date and accordingly prepare for the exam.

PMP Certification Process

PMP Certification process helps you understand the checkpoints to focus on. One such point is to check if you are within one year from the time you get your eligibility ID before scheduling the exam.

If you are scoring above 85% in a few reliable PMP Question Banks or PMP exam simulators, book your exam date and time slot at the Prometric center close to your place. If you want to reschedule the exam within one month of exam date, you may have to pay a penalty fee.

2nd Step: Preparation for the PMP Certification Exam

Eligibility- Input requirements

Your 35-hour project management education program or the PMP Boot camp or the PMP online certification course are the crucial factors for success. As part of the PMP certification process, this PMP Exam Prep step not only gives you the needed eligibility but also provides you with the ammunition to shoot your target.

PMP Certification Process

This program equips you with knowledge of PMBOK or the Project Management Body of Knowledge which forms the foundation for the exam. Therefore, your PMP Certification process should have a well-defined study plan of PMBOK and any PMP Study Guides you get.

As mentioned earlier, use the Study-take test-revise-retest technique to prepare. PMBOK has 47 processes and each process has certain inputs, tools & techniques which produce the desired output. These are spread across the 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas and you should understand the interdependencies of these processes to answer the questions.

As part of PMP Certification process, you also need to be aware not only the content but how to approach the questions in the exam.

3rd Step: PMP Certification Exam

The last step in the PMP Certification process is taking the exam. You need to answer 200 questions within 4 hours during the exam. The questions test your understanding, application, and interpretation of project management framework and project data. Hence, your PMP Certification Process ensures that you are geared up for this.

Approach

By now, you should have understood how to manage your time and approach the questions for the exam. PMP Certification process ensures that you do not miss out any critical aspects of the preparation such as time management, mental makeup for the exam in addition to the PMBOK and application to projects. As you are aware, you do not spend more than a minute on any single question and in case of doubt, mark it for review.

You Are PMP Certified!

This is the desired output of the PMP Certification Process. Therefore, if you have the right inputs, tools & techniques, your chances of success are higher which is the purpose of the PMP Certification Process.

In short, PMP Certification process helps you to ensure that you follow all the steps needed to become a PMP in a methodical and predictable way.

pmp certification process

 

Author Biography:

Sunanda Gundavajhala, B.Tech, M.B.A, PMP has over 25 years of project management. She is a consultant, trainer on project management for different sectors and is the recipient of “Recognition of Excellence” award from PMI, USA and Woman Volunteer award from Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI. She has contributed to the “Practice Standard on Scheduling, PMI”. She has worked as the Liaison Officer for PMIEF (Education Foundation) for the Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI.

The 3 Levels Of Six Sigma Certification And Their Benefits

If you are thinking about to enroll in a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course, you may be wondering what are the benefits of this certification. In this article, we are going to define the three levels of Six Sigma Certification and also list the benefits of having this certificate. Six Sigma Certification is a kind of confirmation of an individual’s capabilities with respect to specific competencies. Just like any other quality certification, however, it does not indicate that an individual is capable of unlimited process improvement. It is just that they have completed the necessary requirements from the company granting the certification. Getting a Six Sigma certification demonstrates person’s commitment as a quality management professional to improve your analytical skills and enhance your business acumen.

Six Sigma Certification

3 Levels Of Six Sigma Certification

Six Sigma certification has been classified into different levels called “BELTS” mirrored from different belt colors in martial art. Each belt corresponds to a different level of skill-set, responsibility, and expectation. The belt classifications also correspond to different roles during the implementation phase of a project that utilizes the Six Sigma methodology. The Six Sigma certification comes in Three skill levels:

  1. Six Sigma Green Belt: Six Sigma Green Belt certified personnel are Six Sigma project leaders capable of forming and facilitating Six Sigma teams and managing Six Sigma projects from concept to completion. While some organizations have a Yellow Belt for Six Sigma, the industry-wide standard recognizes Green Belt as the most basic certification level available. Professionals who are Six Sigma Green Belt certified are expected to be familiar with the tools required to execute the “Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control” portion of the improvement framework
  2. Six Sigma Black Belt: Six Sigma Black Belt certified personnels are the technically oriented individuals held in high regard by their peers. They should be actively involved in the process of organizational change and development. They are often asked to lead teams consisting of green belts and are expected to devote 100% of their time and attention to working with the Six Sigma methodology
  3. Master Black Belt: This is the highest level of technical and organizational proficiency. Master Black Belts provide technical leadership to the Six Sigma program. Thus, they must know everything the Black Belts knows, as well as additional skills vital to the success of the Six Sigma program. The additional skill might be deep understanding of the mathematical theory on which the statistical methods are based

The person who acquires Six Sigma Certification is known as Six Sigma practitioner. A Six Sigma practitioner is a professional process improvement expert. As a professional, he or she is expected to own the management of quality processes in organizations and drive the process forward to achieve the target goals. Six Sigma certified professionals are expected to be well-versed in the details of each step, and demonstrate expertise in using the tools and concepts necessary to make the process a success.

Six Sigma Certification

Why Six Sigma Certification?

Like many other certifications, the chief reason to acquire Six Sigma certification is to demonstrate proficiency in process improvement and in the elimination of errors and defects in an organization’s processes. The Six Sigma certification also helps you become a specialist in process improvement and will enhance your career’s standard and credibility. But apart from benefits held in common with many other certifications, there are unique advantages that make Six Sigma certification wonderfully useful.

The primary goal of the Six Sigma certification is to validate individuals who possess the skills to identify errors or defects in a business process and eliminate them. The certification exams are rigorous enough that any professional who acquires a Six Sigma certification cannot be assumed just to have developed an advanced skill-set of being able to deal with all improvements within the organization. Individuals must have gone through and completed all stages required to acquire the credential of Six Sigma certification. Naturally, the first step is to enroll in a Six Sigma Green Belt Training. Like all the other project manager courses, this training will give you a rigorous education and will get you ready for the exam.

Six Sigma Certification

11 Reasons For Obtaining Six Sigma Certification

The following is a list of reasons on the importance of obtaining a Six Sigma Certification:

  1. Acquiring Six Sigma certification enables an individual to demonstrate uninterrupted efforts & gain stable and foreseeable process results that are very important to an organization’s overall improvement. Most individuals with Six Sigma certification are crucial to an organization’s ability to identify and eliminate repeatable process errors.
  2. An individual or a group of individuals carrying this certification helps enable an organization to make more savings and revenue by identifying and eliminating errors that would otherwise have brought poor customer satisfaction and losses to the business.
  3. Six Sigma certification gives a bankable edge when looking for work as a quality management professional
  4. Six Sigma certification demonstrates that a person has a sound understanding of various methods of problem-solving, cost reduction, and improvement of many manufacturing processes
  5. Six Sigma certification helps an individual establish credentials as a trained and experienced quality management professional
  6. Six Sigma certification helps get trained in the application of tools like KAIZEN and Poka-Yoke, which are proven methodologies to achieve faster-than-expected improvements to the process or product. In the IT or ITeS industry, professionals carrying Six Sigma certification can help reduce invoicing errors, customer complaints, complaint resolution time, IT spending, schedule delays, and cost overruns
  7. Six Sigma certification helps Six Sigma professional gear-up for more career opportunities; in the capacity of process improvement specialist, Six Sigma team leader or mentor, or even as someone qualified for a higher management position
  8. Six Sigma certification helps gain the knowledge to identify characteristics of an organization’s manufacturing and business processes and be able to measure, analyze, control, and improve them. These skills are very important in getting hired by any business organization
  9. Six Sigma certification helps Six Sigma professionals find gainful employment in industries across the board. The industries could range from Information Technology and Security to Healthcare, Investment Banking, and Finance to Automotive manufacturing. It won’t be wrong to say the demand for certified Six Sigma professionals always remains averagely high across sectors
  10. Six Sigma certification helps gain a clear understanding of measuring and quantifying financial benefits from executing any Six Sigma project
  11. Evidently, Six Sigma is a methodology which helps comprehend various techniques & know-how to cut costs, increase revenue, and ways to improve the efficiency of the business process. The certification helps position an individual as a change agent within the organization, spearheading quality improvement throughout a team or organization, bolstering your leadership skill-set.

Author: Nilesh Bhanushali

Six Sigma Certification

What Are The 4 Aspects of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)?

A project is a complex endeavor and the aim of the project management is to make sure that this complex project work is organized with the help of process groups and project management knowledge areas. In the scope management knowledge area, the required work is defined. PMP scope management also ensures that all of that work and only that work is done. Create Work Breakdown Structure process is the 4th process of the Scope Management according to the online PMP course. Work Breakdown Structure is abbreviated as WBS and Create Work Breakdown Structure process mainly aims to produce the WBS of the project.

WBS

What Is The Objective of WBS?

As we mentioned before, a project is a complex endeavor and there has to be many deliverables and work during the whole project life cycle. As the PMI certification training describes, the main objective of Create WBS process is subdividing those project deliverables and project work into smaller and manageable components. This is mainly done for better estimation, better management, better coordination and better monitoring. WBS is a part of project planning process and WBS is one of the three parts of Scope baseline, together with WBS Dictionary and Project Scope Statement.

WBS

Let’s consider an e-commerce shopping website project. If we ask the team to give their estimates to complete the project, it will be very hard for the project team to provide their estimates. But if we divide the project into smaller parts such as Database, Screens, Services etc. and then also subdivide these major parts into smaller pieces such as login screen, payment screen, member profile screen etc. providing estimations, assigning activities, coordinating and monitoring the project will be easier respectively.

WBS simplifies the project team’s work and with these subdivided smaller parts, the outcome of the project, as a whole, is ensured to be successful.

4 Aspects of WBS

There are 4 aspects of WBS that helps the project manager to better manage the project. Let’s go over these 4 aspects one by one.

WBS

  1. WBS provides a structured vision of what has to be delivered. It includes major packages that need to be delivered and smaller deliverables that will complete these major parts respectively. By this way, smaller deliverables of the project can be visible to the project team.
  2. WBS helps to better understand the project. Because it is actually the hierarchy of project deliverables that will accomplish the completion of the project product. Therefore, WBS will show which deliverables will help to complete which part of the project work and how that will fit into project product respectively.
  3. WBS shows the hierarchy of deliverables. By this way, it can be easily seen what needs to be completed to finish a work package in the project.
  4. WBS can be organized by phases or major deliverables. This means if there is not a product in the project, and a service will be delivered instead, phases of the project can be broken down further as well. For instance, analysis, development, testing, integration etc. can be major phases of a project. Or if there is a product, there will be deliverables such as screens, databases, infrastructure etc. for a software project.

An Example of WBS

Now, let’s go over a sample WBS.

WBS This figure above shows a sample work breakdown structure for an aircraft manufacturing project. As you see, the final product is the Aircraft System. So that is put on top of the hierarchy.

This figure above shows a sample work breakdown structure for an aircraft manufacturing project. As you see, the final product is the Aircraft System. So that is put on top of the hierarchy.

Then on the second level, major deliverables and activities that constitute an aircraft system are shown. These are Project Management, Training, Data, Air Vehicle, Support Equipment, Facilities and Test and Evaluation. As you see, WBS shows both project management activities and also product deliverables as well. Project management is actually not part of the product, aircraft system. But it is in the WBS. In the 3rd level, work packages that are under each major deliverable are listed. For instance, Air vehicle is a major deliverable and work packages that will complete this major deliverable are Airframe, engine, communication system, navigation system and fire control system.  

WBS

And for activities like project management and training, further activities and each training that need to be delivered are listed. For instance, for training major deliverable, there are three trainings that need to be delivered. These are Equipment training, facilities training, and services training.

It is critical here to know that, work packages consist of “nouns” instead of “actions”. As you can see, work packages are nouns such as technical orders, base buildings, operational test etc. Project activities are actually written in actions such as “complete the operational test” and this is not a convention used in WBS.

In short, WBS is like a to-do-list for the project manager and the project team. It is created during the planning process and it’s an important part of Scope baseline. A solid Work Breakdown Structure means better estimation, better management, better coordination and better monitoring for the whole project.

WBS

Learn The Definitions Of Project Assumptions and Constraints

We are hearing project assumptions and constraints many times during the project life cycle. According to the PMP certification course, they are important terms in the project planning process. They also play a major role in define scope process. Because in this process the project scope is finalized. And the project scope defines the features of the end deliverables of a project. So naturally, these two terms will be included in the Project Scope Statement which is the main output of the Define Scope process.

Project Assumptions

 In this article, we are going to describe these two terms: project assumptions and constraints. And to illustrate them better for you, we are also going to provide examples of project assumptions and constraints. For more detailed explanations and examples, you can consider enrolling in a PMP project management course and train yourself for the PMP Certification exam. 

Project Assumptions

What are the project constraints?

First, we will go over constraints. Project constraints are factors that limit the project team’s options. There are 7 major constraints, and they are Cost, Scope, Quality, Customer Satisfaction, Resources, and of course Time. Naturally, project planning process must be done with taking constraints into account. These constraints can be the project dependencies, or about the schedule, cost, quality, human resource, technical etc.

For instance, “Project must be completed in 6 months!” this is an example of project schedule constraint. Or “Existing system must not be interrupted from 12 am to 6 am”. This is an example of a technical constraint. This constraint requires to not to touch the existing system for 6 hours from 12 am till 6 am. Therefore, when planning project activities, there should not be any activity planned for these slots in a day. Now let’s learn the description of project assumptions.

Project Assumptions

What are the project assumptions?

Let’s go over project assumptions now. The dictionary definition of assumption is “a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.” So the project assumptions are also assumed to be true. But naturally, these project assumptions might not become reality during project execution. Planning is actually doing forecasting of future activities with the information available today. Therefore, making project assumptions is unavoidable during planning.

For instance, “A dedicated personnel from marketing team will support the team” is an example of project assumptions. But during execution, a dedicated marketing personnel might not be available or might be available only 1-2 days a week. And this will affect your project respectively.

Or “Bugfix effort for each developed screen will not exceed 20% of the development effort for the same screen.” This is actually one of the common project assumptions made in software project estimations. But in reality, if there will be lots of bugs after the software is developed, bugfix efforts can exceed 20% and this can cause project delays or the budget may exceed.

We have gone through project constraints and project assumptions and provided examples. A project manager should keep these two terms always in mind during the project planning and executing processes. Because the constraints are the factors that will limit their options during the project life cycle. The assumptions that do not become true, may also affect the whole project. 

project assumptions

4 Steps Of DIKW Hierarchy: Essential Tools for Knowledge Management

The DIKW hierarchy is an example of how knowledge can be organized. It is a major step in the knowledge management process. The knowledge management process is, in turn, an essential process in the ITIL Service Transition stage of the ITIL lifecycleITIL foundation certification training describes the ITIL lifecycle and all its processes in detail. Any online ITIL training will provide information on the DIKW hierarchy as it is an important model for IT service managers to know and use.

DIKW

What is the DIKW hierarchy and why use it?

Data is a mess and needs to be processed to make it meaningful. The DIKW hierarchy describes how data evolves into information, knowledge, and wisdom respectively. Let’s look at the definition of the DIKW hierarchy:

  • D stands for Data
  • I stands for Information
  • K stands for Knowledge
  • W stands for Wisdom

The DIKW process of transforming data into wisdom can be seen from two different angles: context and understanding. In context, one moves from a phase of gathering parts (data), the connection of parts (information), formation of a whole (knowledge) and joining of wholes (wisdom). In understanding, the DIKW hierarchy can also be seen as a process starting with researching, absorbing, doing, interacting, and reflecting. These steps connect the DIKW hierarchy in a fluid manner, no step is linked to a particular DIKW step. The DIKW hierarchy can also be regarded in terms of time. The data, information and knowledge levels are based on the past while the final step – wisdom – looks toward the future.

Data

The first step is Data. Data is the starting point for reaching a meaningful result in the end. Logging, records, measurements, etc. are all data. Since data is a mass and includes many things, there is not any interrelation at this stage; data alone does not provide meaningful results for the use of IT Service provider. Therefore data answers none of the questions to draw a conclusion. When looking at how Data is transformed into usable results using the DIKW hierarchy, we will touch on each of the subsequent steps of the of DIKW hierarchy using a sample scenario.

DIKW

Information

Let’s consider that there are one million subscribers using SMS service of a telecom operator in the United States. To do capacity planning or availability planning, for example, this data itself is very broad to evaluate. Therefore, Data is processed in the Information stage of the hierarchy. Relationships in the data are revealed, and analysis is done to find an answer to Who, What, When and Where questions.

If we come back to our scenario, the following is more meaningful if 1 million SMS service users are analyzed. Eight hundred thousand users using this service are in the 15-25 age range. 80% of these users use this service from seven pm to eleven pm in the evening. And 90% of these users use SMS service when there is not internet connection on their cell phone. As you see, this analyzed data become an information and answers Who, What, When and Where questions. And this is the result of the Information step in the DIKW hierarchy.

Knowledge

The third level in the DIKW hierarchy is Knowledge. The Knowledge step aims to answer the How question. Specific measures are identified, and the information gained in the previous step is used to answer questions based on these measures.  For instance, How do teenagers use SMS service? This is a How question that a company might be interested in. The information gained in the Information step can be funneled through specific measures to answer this question. This is how Information is converted into Knowledge in the DIKW hierarchy.

Wisdom

The fourth and the last step in the DIKW hierarchy is Wisdom. At the Wisdom stage, the knowledge found in the previous step is applied and implemented. Wisdom is the top level reached in DIKW hierarchy and answers the Why question. If we consider our example scenario, an example of wisdom gained might be that 95% of the SMS service users use this service for short communication when they do not wait for a response from the other party. For instance, when a user wants to say goodnight to another party, or if someone came to the meeting cafe and seeks to notify another person, etc.

As you see, starting from the usage data of the SMS service from the beginning, we processed the data in Information and Knowledge stages, and we found at the Wisdom step that most of the SMS users use this service for short communication with the other party. This is an example of how an IT service provider used the DIKW hierarchy as a model to convert data into actionable results based on wisdom.

The DIKW hierarchy

This figure represents the context of independence and understanding progress from the first step, Data, to the last step, Wisdom. As you see, Data is processed, and relationships are revealed and analyzed to reach information. As mentioned, this step answers the What, Where, When and Who questions. Then, information is processed to find understanding patterns, and this leads to accumulating knowledge and subsequently answering the How question. And finally, principles are determined and Why question is answered in the last stage of the DIKW hierarchy.

DIKW

The DIKW knowledge hierarchy is but one of many ways to regard the evolution of data that is a mess, to wisdom that adds value to an IT service provider and any organization that it serves. Data alone does not tell us anything about what customers want or how they interact with brands and services. Data need to be converted from data points to information to knowledge and to wisdom to add maximum value to an organization, and this can be done using the DIKW knowledge hierarchy. Only with wisdom can an organization truly apply what they know about customers to develop new and innovative services.

DIKW

What Are The 5 Items To Include In The Project Scope Statement?

Project scope statement is a frequently used term in Project Management. As stated in the PMP certification course, it belongs to the project management knowledge area called Scope Management. The aim of PMP Scope Management is to define what will be done and what will not be done during the project. This knowledge area has six processes. And the second process which is Define Scope has this primary output: Project Scope Statement. In this article, we are going to describe what is Project Scope Statement in detail. 

Project Scope Statement

What is Project Scope Statement?

From an online PMP course, you can learn that Project Scope Statement is the primary output of the Define Scope process. This process draws the boundaries of the project, outlines the work that will be delivered throughout the project and defines the major deliverables of the project. We can say that the main purpose of the Define Scope process is finalizing the project scope, after reviewing and evaluating all customer requirements collected during Collect Requirements process. 

Project Scope Statement

Project scope statement officially declares what will be done in the project. After Project scope statement is produced, every project stakeholder must agree on this. Because it will be the detailed scope of the project and what will be delivered throughout the project.

Scope baseline is a project baseline and the Project Scope Statement, Work Breakdown Structure, and Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary together, constitutes the Scope baseline. The work breakdown structure shows the hierarchy of project deliverables in a structured manner. Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary provides detailed information about each item in the Work Breakdown Structure.

Project Scope Statement

Project Scope Statement is a part of the project management plan. It is not a management plan but it is a crucial document since it will outline the scope of the project in detail.

What is Included in the Project Scope Statement?

Now let’s go over what 5 items are included in the Project scope statement.

Project Scope Statement

  1. Product Scope: Product is an output of the project and features, specifications, details about the product are described in the product scope. And therefore, since the product is a project deliverable, product scope will be included in the Project Scope Statement as well.
  2. Deliverables: Project will produce deliverables throughout the project until all project scope is completed. Let’s consider that you are working in an e-commerce shopping website project. The final product is end-to-end working e-commerce shopping website for sure. But there will be interim deliverables such as login screen, category page, member profile screen etc. And these interim deliverables can be tested by the customer before waiting for the final product delivery. Since deliverables are smaller parts of the overall project scope, these are listed in the project scope statement.
  3. Product Acceptance Criteria: Product acceptance criteria shows in what conditions customer will accept the project. This is actually a handshake between the project team and customer that in what circumstances the customer will accept the final project and give acceptance. These criteria generally generated through requirements. For instance, if it is agreed with the customer in the beginning that the member login will be accomplished in less than 2 seconds, this is written in product acceptance criteria and when the e-commerce shopping website is ready for customer tests, if member logins are processed successfully in less than 2 seconds, customer must accept.

Project Scope Statement

  1. What is not part of the project: It must be written in project scope statement as well. Because in some cases, some project stakeholders might think some out of scope items in the project scope. Therefore, it is better to clearly outline critical points which are not in the scope of the project. Let’s consider that you are working on the installation of a new database project in an IT company and the scope is only installation and configuration. It is better to mention that migration of data from old database in out of scope. Because some stakeholders might consider that new database installation will cover also migration of data as well.
  2. Additional risks, constraints, and assumptions: Risks that might affect the project must be included in the Project scope statement as well as Constraints and assumptions. Project constraints limit the dimensions of the project and planning is done based on these constraints and assumptions. If constraints or assumptions of a project do not go as planned, these will affect the project scope and other aspects respectively. Therefore, these must be written down in the project scope statement.

Project Scope Statement

Define Scope Process: How To Finalize The Project Scope?

Define Scope Process is the 3rd process of the Scope Management knowledge area after Plan Scope Management Process and Collect Requirements Process. As described in PMI certification training, the PMP Scope Management defines what work is required and also makes sure that all of this work and only this work is done. The scope of a project outlines what will be delivered throughout the project. The Define Scope Process holds a major role in the Scope Management because during this process the project scope is finalized. Now let’s have a detailed look at the Define Scope Process.

Define Scope process

What is the Purpose of Define Scope Process?

According to the PMP exam training, the primary concern of the Define Scope process is determining what is and is not included in the project and its deliverables. The main purpose of the define scope process is drawing the boundaries of the project, outlining the work that will be delivered throughout the project and defining the major deliverables of the projectBriefly, Define Scope process finalizes the project scope.

Define Scope process

What Are the 3 Main Documents Used in Define Scope Process?

Define Scope process uses three main documents to define project scope and product scope. Let’s review these three main documents one by one.

First of these documents are the requirements documents created in the collect requirements process. Requirements of a project, shape the foundations of the project scope. In other words, requirements come together and after evaluations, final requirements are used to finalize the scope of the project.

The second main document used in Define Scope process is the project charter. Project Charter outlines the high-level project scope, high-level risks, already assigned resources etc. Therefore, using project charter will help to define the scope in a project as well.

The third and the last main document used in Define Scope process is any information about risks, assumptions, and constraints. Risks assumptions or risks directly affect the outcomes of a project.

Define Scope process

For instance, if you are working in a high possible earthquake zone in a construction project, you need to consider the risk of earthquakes and how they will affect your project. Maybe you need to use extra material that will increase your costs but make your building more resistible for earthquakes. Similarly, assumptions and project constraints will affect the project scope as well. If there is a limited budget to complete a project, and if the scope is very broad that will make impossible to complete the project with the available budget, this must be highlighted during the planning process. Either scope must be reduced or additional budget must be planned.

What Analysis Should Be Done in the Define Scope Process?

Define Scope process

During Define Scope process, product analysis is done to produce a detailed scope in the end. During product analysis, objectives and description of the product stated by the customer or sponsor are analyzed. After analysis, it is expected to reach tangible project deliverables. Because customer requirements or expectations are just explanations or statements. After evaluation, these must be addressed with project deliverables and once these are produced in the project, customer acceptance must be acquired respectively.

Define Scope Process

The 3 Objectives of ITIL Knowledge Management Process Explained

The knowledge management process is the last process of the ITIL Service Transition stage of the ITIL lifecycle as described in the ITIL online courses. The knowledge management process ensures that all staff members of an IT service provider have an accurate and sufficient knowledge to be able to contribute to the vision and mission of the IT service provider and to ensure that the services that they deliver to the customer add value. ITIL foundation exam will test your knowledge about goals and objectives of the knowledge management process, and this is what we will explain in this article.

Knowledge management

The capability of a company is its knowledge and experience. Capabilities are not like resources. Resources are mostly related to the budget of a company while capabilities are earned based on experience and therefore cannot be purchased. Since knowledge is a valuable asset of a company, this must be kept in the company and available for the use of other employees as well. And this is ensured mainly by the knowledge management process.

The goal of the knowledge management process

The primary purpose of the knowledge management process is enabling organizations to improve the quality of management decision making by ensuring that reliable and secure information and data is available throughout the Service Lifecycle. Let’s consider that there is a best practice applied when fixing a bug in the software of an IT Service provider, or a faster procedure to handle a request in service delivery, or a workaround for a known problem until a persistent fix is provided. These are all important information, data, and knowledge that should be managed and used in case the IT service provider personnel need it. And these kinds of information and data is managed and controlled by the knowledge management process.

The objectives of the knowledge management process

Let’s look at the objectives of the knowledge management process. There are three main objectives of the knowledge management process that enable an IT service provider to:

  • Be more efficient and improve quality of service
  • Increase satisfaction
  • Reduce the cost of service

knowledge management

Creating efficiency through streamlined procedures

A workaround for a known problem or a simpler way of doing something should be known by all employees of an IT Service provider. In this way, a workaround or faster way of delivering a service can be ensured. And this will enable efficient service delivery, improved service quality, increased customer satisfaction and a reduction in costs respectively. Therefore, the knowledge management process aims to distribute critical data and information for the use of the staff of an IT Service Provider.

Clear and shared understanding of value of services

Another objective of the knowledge management process is ensuring that the staff has a clear and common understanding of the value that their services provide to customers. Each employee must know the mission, vision and high-level strategies of a company. Each personnel member must keep the ultimate value of a service to its customers in mind when delivering a service.  For instance, a telecom operator must be aiming to provide connectivity wherever a subscriber is. Or, a vendor can be aiming to provide seven days and twenty hours support for its each customer etc. These kinds of mission, vision, and strategy of a company and value that should be delivered to the customer must be known by the staff, and this is ensured by the knowledge management process.

Ensuring that the staff has adequate information

The final objective of the knowledge management process is ensuring that the IT service provider staff have adequate information. To provide successful service delivery to the customers, people as the resources of an IT service provider is crucial. Especially if the end service is provided by the staff to the customers, these staff members must be very well trained and have sufficient knowledge of what will be delivered to the customer and how to respond to the possible customer questions. Training and equipment of the staff with relevant information and skills are the objective of the knowledge management process.

knowledge management

Knowledge management systems

The Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom hierarchy forms part of the knowledge management system. This hierarchy explains how data is transformed from a chaotic mass of data into an understanding of relations (information), an understanding of patterns (knowledge) and an understanding of principles (wisdom). This is an efficient way of transforming data into useful and valuable units of information.

The service knowledge management system or SKMS also forms part of the knowledge management system. It is a set of tools and databases that are used to manage knowledge and information. All services, components, assets, documentations, applications, databases, etc. all constitute the service knowledge management system of an IT Service Provider.

The knowledge management process is the final process of the ITIL Service Transition stage of the ITIL service lifecycle. Knowledge is fluid and different people in an organization have knowledge of various aspects of a service. To ensure a secure chain of knowledge within an IT service provider, a clear process like the knowledge management process must be followed so that services can be rolled out and managed efficiently.

It’s important to ensure that knowledge is owned by the company and not just by the individual. Banks of knowledge is collected during the ITIL Service Strategy and Service Design stages that must be handed over to the ITIL Service Operation stage that all services run efficiently. This knowledge transfer process is part of the Service Transition Stage of the ITIL service lifecycle. It’s in this manner that the different stages of the ITIL lifecycle interact with one another.

Knowledge Management

 

PMP Benefits: Value Add of PMP Certification

If you want to know what are the PMP benefits and why everyone is talking of PMP, read on! We will discuss the PMP benefits both tangible and intangible, while also discussing what you need to put in for becoming a PMP. Before we go into the PMP benefits, let us understand what is PMP, PMP exam content and why everyone is after it; while also telling how you can prepare to become a PMP.

PMP benefits

PMP Certification

PMP certification is the Gold standard in Project Management. PMP stands for Project Management Professional (PMP) which comes from the globally renowned Project Management Institute (PMI). Since there are numerous PMP benefits, most project managers vie for it.

Can anyone apply for PMP?

Not actually! Though the PMP Benefits are enticing, PMI Institute has rigorous PMP requirements. Since PMI follows stringent quality processes and has been maintaining the standard on the level of certification from 1969, there are definitely certain eligibility criteria.

To get the multitude of PMP benefits, you need to have the following prerequisites or PMP Certification requirements:

  1. Have a 4-year bachelor’s degree
  2. 35 hours of project management education
  3. 4500 hours of experience leading and directing projects

PMP benefits

But, if you have a secondary degree or diploma, you can still avail the PMP benefits if you meet the following:

  1. Your secondary degree or high school diploma
  2. 35 hours of project management education
  3. 7500 hours of experience leading and directing projects

What is the investment for PMP?

If you want PMP benefits, you know that there would also be some costs associated with it. When we say investment, it is both the money and time that you need to put in to get the pot of gold: PMP benefits.

What is the cost involved for PMP?

As a project manager, are you thinking about the ROI (Return on Investment) or the Cost vs. the benefit of this PMP project? Here we give you the PMP cost so that you can compare with the PMP Benefits.


Generally, PMP Exam cost includes exam fee, membership fee, PMP study guide and PMP Question Bank. You need to pay $405 as Exam fee to PMI Institute if you are a member, while you will pay $139 for the annual membership, both of which are non-negotiable.

If you see the chart above, you know that the major component of the cost is consumed by the Exam fee and the 35- contact hour fee. 35 contact hour cost is where you can save depending on what type of PMP training course and provider you go for. You can also cut down on the Resources cost but that won’t make a big difference. Resources cost includes any PMP study guide, question bank, PMP practice exam that you may need for a proper training.

35 Contact Hour Courses

You can attend a face-to-face physical classroom session which is called a PMP Boot Camp or a PMP Online Certification for PMP Certification Exam preparation. While boot camps are expensive, online options are less costly. You can go for a PMP boot camp online which is a more flexible and competitively priced option. An online PMP course comes with ‘anytime anywhere’ facility with a monthly subscription or lifetime access options. Some of the monthly subscription courses start at under $40 while you can get the annual subscription within $200.

PMP benefits

Time Investment

If you are thinking of PMP Benefits, you must first be willing to commit your time to it along with the money. PMP Exam Prep needs a dedicated time on a consistent basis. Typically, you need to be able to spend 12-16 weeks for PMP certification exam preparation. Use a PMP study plan that you can stick to and ensure that there is a certain time dedicated to the preparation every day, at least half hour and 6-8 hours over the weekend.

After the initial round of study of PMBOK, take practice tests, Math tests and use PMP Question Bank extensively to know how you are faring. Based on this, put emphasis on the areas you are not strong. Use the resources that you have purchased: Exam Prep guide, Study Guide, Mock tests or simulated question banks, etc.

There are many apps available too if you want to catch up on the mobile phone while waiting for a client or have some spare time. For grabbing the PMP Benefits, you should use your time effectively.

PMP Benefits

Let us explore the PMP Benefits you get for all the investment that you need to make. The following are some of the PMP Benefits:

  • You will meet the mandatory requirements that most companies specify for career growth which is: PMP certification.
  • You may expect a hike of at least 20% in your PMP Certification salary which is one of the very alluring PMP Benefits

PMP benefits

  • You may check out the PMP Salary you would get by industry, experience, location etc. If you are in the USA in the pharma sector, you may be making $125000 while a PMP in Canada may earn up to $ 115000 when working in Agriculture/Mining. However, if you are in India, you may earn INR 1800,000.
  • Another one of the PMP Benefits is that you would be recognized among your peers and join the elite club of PMPs who have global recognition for their knowledge.
  • As a project manager, this project manager certification would help you have better chances of completing the projects successfully.

More PMP Benefits you can expect

PMP Benefits do not end there, let us define the other PMP benefits, which are more intangible than the salary and the job prospects, but equally important:

  • When speaking to clients or other stakeholders, you speak the same language and PMI jargon as them. Therefore, you become effective in communication which is key to project success which is yet another PMP Benefits for you
  • For your career growth, you can contribute to project management community as a volunteer with PMI. Moreover, other PMP Benefits include opportunities to network with other professionals and share the best practices with other PMPs
  • Peers and superiors will understand the commitment you have towards the profession. You are also showing that you are serious about the project management profession.
  • Better job prospects. Since you are a PMP, you will have preference over other non-PMPs which is definitely important among PMP Benefits
  • You can look at the “1.2M Job Openings Per Year in project-oriented professions,” as per the Anderson Economic Group report.
  • You are aware of the latest changes and processes used in project management profession. This is another aspect of PMP Benefits you can get
  • If you want to have the agile training after a few years, PMP is one of the prerequisites and hence you have an edge over others
  • Another one of the important PMP benefits is the shot in the arm you get by adding PMP at the end of your name. This is a real confidence booster!

The driving forces towards PMP Benefits are greater than restraining forces against PMP certification. A force field analysis would also tell you that PMP benefits are much more than the investment. Therefore, PMP Benefits are so much greater that you don’t need to look further for your career growth.

PMP Benefits

Author Biography:


Sunanda Gundavajhala, B.Tech, M.B.A, PMP has over 25 years of project management. She is a consultant and trainer on project management for different sectors and is the recipient of “Recognition of Excellence” award from PMI, USA and Woman Volunteer award from Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI. To her credit is the contribution to the “Practice Standard on Scheduling from PMI”. She has worked as the Liaison officer for PMIEF (Education Foundation) for the Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI.

7 Facts About Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

If you are working in the quality management area, you must have heard Six Sigma Green Belt many times. Lean Six Sigma Courses, train the quality management professionals for the Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Exam. But what does Six Sigma stand for and how it defines quality? How does Six Sigma Green Belt will help you to climb the career steps? What are the characteristics of a successful Six Sigma Green Belt holder? All of the answers to these and other questions are in our article. So read on and learn more about Six Sigma Green Belt now!

six sigma green belt

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a rigorous, focused and highly effective implementation of quality principles and techniques. Six Sigma methodology aims for virtually error free business performance. Six Sigma refers to the application of the scientific method to the design and operation of management systems and business processes which enable employees for creating value to customers and owners.

Six Sigma Green Belt is the level of certification under Six Sigma methodology. You can get this certification after getting the Lean Six Sigma Training and passing the exam. Six Sigma is one of the most important and popular developments in the quality field. Six Sigma is about helping the organization make more money by improving customer value and efficiency. Six Sigma is a long-term business strategy focused on the reduction of cost through the reduction of variability in products and processes.

What is Sigma?

Sigma (σ) is an eighteenth letter in the Greek alphabet used by statisticians to measure the variability or variation in any process. A company’s performance is measured by the sigma level of their business processes. Six Sigma is a statistical definition of how far a process deviates from perfection.

What is the Background of Six Sigma?

Six Sigma’s magic is not in statistical or high-tech razzle-dazzle. Six Sigma relies on tried and true methods that have been around for decades. In fact, Six Sigma discards a great deal of the complexity that characterized Total Quality Management (TQM). There was over 400 Total Quality Management (TQM) tools and techniques. Six Sigma takes a handful of proven methods and trains a small cadre of in-house technical leaders, known as Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Six Sigma Black Belt, Six Sigma Green Belt and Six Sigma Yellow Belt.

It would be a mistake to think that Six Sigma is about quality in the traditional sense. Quality, defined traditionally as conformance to internal requirements, has little to do with Six Sigma.

six sigma green belt

How Does Six Sigma Defines ‘Quality’?

For Six Sigma purposes, quality can be defined as “the value added by a productive endeavor”. Quality here comes in two flavors: Potential Quality and Actual Quality. Potential Quality is the known maximum possible value added per unit of input. The actual quality is the current value added per unit of input. The difference between potential and actual quality is ‘waste’. Six Sigma focuses on improving quality (i.e., reducing waste) by helping organizations produce products and services better, faster and cheaper

The essence of Six Sigma methodology is to solve problems that are impacting business performance. It has saved a huge amount of money and improved the customer experience for a large number of organizations across the world, yet it is applied in an inconsistent and often reductive fashion in many companies. This has led to criticism in the literature and a number of abandoned implementations.

Although many proponents of Six Sigma stress the uniqueness of the approach, it is, in fact, part of a continuing evolution of thinking in what might broadly be called “Quality”. It is important to see Six Sigma within this wider context.

Six Sigma’s Problem Problem Solving Framework

Six Sigma’s most common and well-known methodology is its problem-solving D-M-A-I-C framework. D-M-A-I-C is an acronym that stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. In other words, D-M-A-I-C is the classic Six Sigma problem-solving process. The roadmap to D-M-A-I-C starts with defining an improvement project. Therefore; the first phase that we are going to look at in DMAIC framework is ‘DEFINE’ phase.

Traditionally, the D-M-A-I-C approach is to be applied to a problem with an existing, steady-state process or product and/or service offering. In Six Sigma methodology, variation is the enemy. It means variation from customer specifications in either a product or process is the primary problem.

six sigma green belt

DMAIC builds on three fundamental principles:

  1. Results-focused; driven by data, facts, and metrics
  2. Work is project-based (short-term in nature, with length depending on scope and complexity) and project-structured, versus an ongoing process
  3. Inherent combination of tools-tasks-deliverables linkage that varies by step in the method

Variation can take on many forms. DMAIC resolves issues of defects or failures, deviation from a target, excess cost or time, and deterioration. Six Sigma reduces variation within and across the value-adding steps in a process. DMAIC identifies key requirements, deliverables, tasks, and standard tools for a project team to utilize when tackling a problem.

All About Six Sigma Green Belt Certified Personnel

The Six Sigma Green Belt operates in support or under the supervision of a Six Sigma Black Belt, analyzes and solves quality problems, and is involved in quality improvement projects. A Six Sigma Green Belt has at least three years of work experience and wants to demonstrate his or her knowledge of Six Sigma tools and processes. 

Six Sigma Green Belt certified personnel practices project management on a part-time basis. They are likely to spend 25 to 50 percent of their time towards Six Sigma projects and the remainder working in their primary functional area.

Six Sigma Green Belt is the soul of the Six Sigma team. Six Sigma Green Belt personnel makes projects work by contributing to data collection and analysis efforts. Six Sigma Green Belt is are often called upon to participate in Six Sigma projects that improve the process they work with every day.

Six Sigma Green Belt is a potential team leader, and they are given the opportunity to develop leadership skills by facilitating brainstorming sessions and taking the lead on parts of the project.

The Six Sigma Green Belt certified personnel leads the project team in improving the process. He or she is responsible for delivery of the project outcomes and for facilitating the team through the application of the DMAIC process.

six sigma green belt

What are the 5 characteristics of a successful Six Sigma Green Belt?

  1. Positive Thinker: Six Sigma Green Belt needs to think positively.Six Sigma Green Belt is upbeat and optimistic about program success. Six Sigma Green Belt is self-confident without being overbearing or defensive.
  2. Risk Takers: Six Sigma Green Belt should believe in taking the risk.Six Sigma Green Belt is comfortable as a change agent, happy to be leading, pleased to be at the leading edge of change.
  3. Good Communicators: Six Sigma Green Belt has to be good communicators. As the technical hub of the team, a Six Sigma Green Belt certified personnel needs to communicate details of tools to less well-trained individuals. More importantly, change is difficult for every team member. The Six Sigma Green Belt will need to listen to concerns and respond positively to ensure buy-in to the project methods and outcomes.
  4. Respected by peers: Six Sigma Green Belt is respected by their peers. Credibility is always the key for the Six Sigma Green Belt certified personnel.
  5. Leaders: The Six Sigma Green Belt certified personnel is the key or central player in the improvement and need to accept the leadership role.

Briefly, Six Sigma Green Belt is a certification to get if you are pursuing a career in quality management and the Online Free Six Sigma Training is a great starting point for learning all the basics about Six Sigma Green Belt.

Author: Nilesh Bhanushali

six sigma green belt