How PM Exam SmartNotes Will Help You Prepare For PMP Certification Exam!


shiv shenoyHello!

My name is Shiv. On this blog I am sharing study notes that helped me pass my PMP certification exam, along with a lot of free resources, exam tips, memory and learning aids, and templates which I hope will help you get your PMP certification.

Not only that, my goal is to enable you to practice project management at your work by applying the PMP concepts from PMBOK quite effortlessly.

This blog covers PMBOK 5th edition syllabus.

The knowledge shared on this blog, I hope, will help you reduce tons of hours from your PMP study time and help you pass PMP or CAPM certification exam on your very first attempt.

If you have already not, I highly recommend that you sign up for the free PMP Study Blueprint I am sharing on this blog and get a jump start to your PMP exam preparation.

These study notes are prepared using techniques that have helped me sail through Engineering and Management studies, and to keep up to date with latest technologies in my field, software development. If you are interested to know about these techniques, there is a link in the last section of this post.

I have spent 15 years developing web and enterprise software products using both Agile and traditional project management practices. Building software products for different domains, working with different clients and disparate teams made me realize that there is so much more to learn in this domain. And that managing each project teaches you something new about project management, about technology and about people. Hence I believe in sharing what I know with you and learning from your experiences.

Read on if you’d like to know what goes behind preparing these study notes..

When I started studying for Engineering first thing I noticed was the enormity of information I needed to study and remember. After the initial panic wave settled, I started building upon study ‘tricks’ I used during undergrad years. Using them, not only was I able to sail through Engineering study, I was also able to help my friends in their studies.

Ever since then I have been looking out for more such ‘memory aids’ that help me learn and memorize new information. Subsequently I was able to complete my management course with ease, while working full time! Not to mention the industry I work in, Software Product Development, where a new technology arrives on the scene every six months or so.

You can read about my study tips here.

A Quick Background

When I began preparing for PMP® certification, I was overwhelmed initially with the amount of learning to be done. PMBOK® wasn’t one of the juiciest books I had taken up for study. Thought the book is pretty detailed I found that I had to research a lot on the internet, and draw from mine as well as other project managers’ experiences to internalize certain concepts. And that started taking up lot of my time.
Second point I realized soon was how difficult it is to do the studies in parallel to a full time job. After a long day’s work (which included hours of commute), it wasn’t easy to balance family-time and study-time.

I realized that one way to do this is to start sharing what I could study with those friends who are preparing for the certification along with me, on a regular basis, and to learn from what they learned from their study efforts. This would reduce the overall effort on everyone’s part.

So I decided to share my study notes at one place accessible to all – on a simple blog. But then I realized that the same can be shared with many other PMP® certification aspirants, like you, who also can reap the benefits.

So here is this blog.

Quite frankly, this has taken me more time than I could spend just studying for myself, but I am increasingly convinced that the benefits I can share is worth the effort. And I must confess, I am enjoying the process immensely.

Countless hours of effort has gone into creating these study notes because I love the creative process involved (from research, to writing, to creating drawings and images, to publishing). I employ the study principles that make our mind latch on to the information it is fed. I hope that you will be most benefited from these notes.

Is PMP® required for people who practice Agile?

It was my perception that people such as me, who spent most of their time practicing Agile software development need not bother about PMP certification. This perception was changed the moment I had a chance to run through PMBOK guide borrowed from a friend. It made me realize that, a lot of these processes related to topics such as Risk management, Human Resources management, Schedule and Cost management are something we already practiced in Agile management – and PMBOK® guide shows how they are done in a systematic way.

It made me realize that PMP® certification is really a complementary and essential guide to Agile practitioners. It also struck me that one could be so much more efficient at work by internalizing the knowledge from PMBOK and applying them on the job. Not to forget the fact that it brings to you considerable recognition and associated financial benefits in the industry.

Even after this realization it took me almost two years to take PMP exam seriously and prepare for it. One of my goals of making this site is the stay true to my commitment and take it through to completion, while sharing these notes with fellow PMP® aspirants like you.

The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.
– Leo Buscaglia

Why PM Exam SmartNotes site?

Few years ago I studied for a course in Management at Indian Institute of Management, while working full time (with weekend classes). The thing I loved most about the class was that it consisted of people from different industries. There were such people as fashion designers, artists, doctors, lawyers,  people from software/IT, people from marketing, sales and services, even hi-tech farmers – it was quite a diverse group. And the reason I loved it is because I could learn from different perspectives shared by these people, as applicable to their industry, on the same topic being taught by the professors.

Human Resource management itself, for instance, is applicable to various situations in different industries in a different manner. And when people shared their experiences, and I shared mine with them, we all learnt a little more about the subject. And this learning made it easier to understand the subject and remember its content.

My aim is also to have a similar environment of knowledge exchange here. I request you to share your experience on a topic or PMBOK® process of the blog post, in that post’s Comments section. This way I will get to learn from your experience, while I share my experience through these study notes.

I thank you in advance for your contribution and support.

The other benefit I have been getting with this effort, I must confess, is learning few interesting and essentials skills – writing for the web (as I realized this is much different than normal essay/book/email writing), publishing content online, nuances of setting up a website, and many more (if you are interested to learn about this I invite you to visit my site

Note: Study notes on this site are fully updated to cover PMBOK® 5th edition! So, study away! 🙂

How are these study notes structured?

These study notes are structured in the same way as PMBOK outlines the content. Lessons of each of the knowledge areas can be accessed via the main menu, or by clicking on the Category name on the sidebar.

I want to point out that these study notes are complementary to PMBOK and not a replacement. My suggestion is to read PMBOK as well as these notes.

The main goal of these study notes is to make the PMP topics easier to understand and remember. So ultimately it will not only help you pass the certification exam, but also learn, remember and practice the nuances of project management.

Some pointers that may help you get most out of this site:

  • This site is structured the way PMBOK study guide has structured the content.
  • You will find it easier to browse through each of the knowledge areas using the menu (at the top of this site), so you can focus on one knowledge area at a time and do not get lost in the maze of posts.
  • Each post has a link to previous topic at the top and next topic at the bottom of the post. This way you can go in the same order of topics as in the PMBOK® guide.
  • At the end of each knowledge area are few exam questions. Do not skip them. They will give you a sense of how much of the knowledge you have internalized already. Research by Jeffrey D. Karpicke and Janell R. Blunt has proven that 145% more information is retained after taking tests.
  • One way to look at these notes is consider it to be sort of PMP training – a series of posts on each PMP certification topic, that you can go through and learn at your own pace. Leave any questions you may have on a topic in the Comments section of that post, and I promise to answer them to the best of my ability.
  • I have included few templates along with the posts. You may find these useful if you are starting on a process and do not have a template to build upon.

From here on…

Thank you for taking time to read this, I really appreciate it. If you liked any of the posts do share with your friends using the social media buttons along the post. I truly appreciate your help in helping other PMP aspirants!

Here’s to our success!





PMI is a registered trademark and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
PMP is a registered certification mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
CAPM is a registered certification mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
PMBOK is a registered trademark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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