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About ProPM

Hello and welcome to ProPM.

The mission of ProPM is to promote study of the PMBOK®, by reorganizing the knowledge found in the PMBOK into a more concise, visual format.

Are you preparing to take the PMP exam? Did you arrive at ProPM because you search for PMP exam study support tools and information? Did you arrive at ProPM to refresh or develop your PMBOK knowledge and insight from a new and dynamic perspective? Maybe you've arrived here because you're new to project management and seek an informative overview. In each instance i think you'll find that ProPM has something to offer you.

ProPM delivers a concise overview of the PMBOK by reorganizing all its information into a more logical visual pattern. Anyone can profit by looking at a subject from a new perspective.

In the sections that follow we'll do three things.

1) Present the strutcture of PMBOK knowledge and then reorganize it into a more logical visual pattern - or, "map."

2) Fill the new ProPM map with the PMBOK knowledge in 4 separate layers.

3) Show how the information in the 4 layers fits together via alphabetical tables - or, "menus."

Everyone knows you must study the PMBOK inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs (ITTOs) to face the PMP exam. ProPM will teach you how to master the ITTOs. There's more to the exam than ITTOs. However ITTO knowledge is an area where students often struggle; there are 191 ITTOs spread across 47 processes. ProPM will help you transform this common weakness into a formidable strength.

Spending time on ProPM will increase your percentage of correct answers on the PMP exam. ProPM will add value, confidence and efficiency to the time you spend mastering and applying PMBOK knowledge. Reviewing the PMBOK via the ProPM method will make you a better project manager.

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The PMP exam format will change in January 2021.

*** A new PMBOK (7) will be published sometime after January 2021.

*** Future iterations on the PMBOK and PMP exam will change; from a process based approach to a principles based approach to project management.

You are advised to check all dates & information relating to the PMP exam and the PMBOK directly from the Project Management Institute (PMI) via its official website.

All of the information currently found on supports study of the PMBOK only based on the legacy process based approach.

Good luck and thanks for visiting

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PMBOK Project Knowledge & Process Map       Figure 1        

Figure 1 at right illustrates the full scope and sequence of project knowledge found in the PMBOK. From left to right, top to bottom, we see the 47 project processes found in the PMBOK, with the same numerical coding.

* There are 10 project knowledge areas; sections 4 - 13.

* There are 47 project processes associated with the 10 knowledge areas.

The 47 project processes are numbered sequentially; dividing the PMBOK into sections. For example, in Figure 1 we find that;

Section 4.5 refers to the perform integrated change control process, which is a part of the integration management knowledge area.

Section 7.3 refers to the determine budget process, which is a part of the cost management knowledge area.

Section 13.1 refers to the identify stakeholders process, which is a part of the stakeholder management knowledge area.

Again, Figure 1 displays the 10 knowledge areas and the sequence of the 47 project processes exactly as they are found in the PMBOK.

Figure 1 is useful, however it fails to include the 5 project phases found in the PMBOK.

47 project processes in PMBOK sequence
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    ProPM Logo PMBOK Project Phases Map       Figure 2        

Figure 2 is identical to figure 1; however color is added to highlight project phases.

Figure 2, therefore, displays the 47 project management processes in standard sequence; with the 5 project phases illustrated by color. The five project phases, as presented in the PMBOK are as follows;

1) initiate ->2 processes (black in figure 2 - sections 4.1 & 13.1)

2) plan ->24 processes (light green in figure 2)

3) execute-> 8 processes (blue in figure 2)

4) monitor and control ->11 processes (dark green in figure 2)

5) close ->2 processes (black in figure 2 - sections 4.6 & 12.4)

Adding color for the phases reveals that the PMBOK sequences the 47 project processes as following the sequence of project phases. For example; it would seem to suggest that one should first plan, then execute and thereafter, monitor and control. Seems obvious, right?

But this is not how projects evolve and the PMBOK itself points out that project phases overlap. For example, planning, execution and monitoring & controlling can all occur at the same time; it is not necessarily one after the other.

Take a look at Figure 2 again. Could there be a better way to organize the 47 project processes?

PMBOK Project Proceses color mind map
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    ProPM Logo New ProPM mapping; for phase, knowledge area and process       Figure 3        

Figure 3 reorganizes the 47 processes from Figure 2 into the new ProPM map.

Notice; the numerical coding for each knowledge area and project process remains the same as in Figures 1 and 2 above. In the new ProPM mapping, the rows and columns have been reorganized in three simple steps;

1) All of the standard monitor and control processes are shifted from the far right, to the far left; all aligned into column 1. The 2 non-standard monitor and control processes are shifted to the far right - in column 7, rows 1 and 2.

2) All of the standard planning processes are shifted right from column 1 and aligned in column 2.

3) The risk management knowledge area moves up, from the 8th row to the 5th row, after cost management in row 4. This is done to group together the four knowledge areas that have additional planning processes beyond the standard planning processes found in column 2.

With this rearrangement, the 47 processes become much less complicated. Columns 1 & 2 highlight the repetitive nature of 19 of the monitor & control and planning processes and allow us to focus more attention on the remaining 28 processes in columns 3-7.

Figure 3, therefore presents a more logical visual overview of PMBOK knowledge. Memorizing the 47 project processes in the ProPM pattern is a good first step toward mind-mapping the PMBOK.

It will be much easier to proceed with PMBOK study from the perspective of Figure 3, than from Figures 1 or 2.

ProPM PMBOK Project Process Mind Map
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    ProPM Logo Plan phase; divide into 2 planning phases       Figure 4        

With Figure 4 we take rearrangement a step further by dividing the 24 processes that make up the PMBOK planning phase into two new ProPM phases; plan management and plan execution.

This new phase mapping is 100% compatible with the PMBOK. It just makes it easier for you to tackle PMP exam questions by sorting out any questions dealing with project planning into two separate groups.

In other words; don't think of planning as 24 processes all under the same umbrella. Rather, keep it clear in your mind that there are two sets of planning processes; those dealing with general planning for each knowledge area; and those dealing with more refined planning pertaining to scope, time, cost and risk management. Think of the former as planning management, and the latter as planning execution.

Now that we've sorted out the planning phase into a more logical overview, lets make one final adjustment to the PMBOK phases to make things a bit easier. Within the PMBOK there are two processes in the initiation phase and two processes in the closing phase. In figure 4 these four processes are highlighted in black.

In our new ProPM mapping we merge initiation and close into one phase. That may seem counter intuitive at first glance but actually its not. Obviously one comes before the other and the phases do not overlap. However, initiation and close are actually quite similar from an abstract perspective. One should keep closure in mind when working on initiation. After all, a project is by definition a limited endeavor with a defined start and finish/product/outcome/result.

To summarize; the new ProPM phase mapping is as follows;

1) initiate and close -> 4 processes (black in figure 4)

2) monitor and control -> 11 processes (dark green in figure 4)

3) plan management -> 10 processes (light green in figure 4)

4) plan execution -> 14 processes (light green in figure 4)

5) execute -> 8 processes (blue in figure 4)

ProPM PMBOK Mind Map Plan Process Divide
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    ProPM Logo Monitor & Control Perimeter       Figure 5        

Figure 4 above presents the new ProPM pattern that we discussed in our introduction. There are no further changes to make. However it is useful at this point to shine some additional light on the monitor and control phase colored in dark green.

As seen in Figure 5, the monitor & control processes arrive to form column 1 of the pattern; these are the standard monitor and control processes associated with each knowledge area. Two of the 10 knowledge areas have one additional monitor and control processes (column 7.)

These two monitor and control processes are from the knowledge areas in the top two rows of the pattern; integration management and scope management. The two processes are;

1) perform integrated change control

2) validate scope

The first ensures that the consequences of any change in plans, processes or deliverables are fully examined before implementation via a formal approval process. The second formalizes client acceptance of each deliverable; thereby increasing the chances of acceptance. These two processes are critically important in understanding project management and tackling the PMP exam.

Therefore, when you are thinking about the ProPM pattern, try to think of the monitor and control phase as forming a perimeter around all of the other processes. Think of it as the framework that holds the entire model together. This is actually sensible because all project activity is or should be under control from quite early on in the project process.

So concludes part one; our creation of the new ProPM pattern and explanation of how it was formed. Now we turn our attention to part two; filling up the pattern in four layers with the knowledge contained in the PMBOK.

ProPM PMBOK Mind Map Control
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    ProPM Logo Key Benefits of 47 Project Processes in ProPM Map       Figure 6        

With Figure 6, we examine the first of the four layers in the ProPM pattern. Figure 6 fills the ProPM pattern with the benefits (as stated within the PMBOK) of each of the 47 project processes, Think of Figure 6 as providing the precise reason why each of the processes is performed.

Memorizing the benefits of the 47 project processes within the ProPM framework is the best first step one can take in preparing for the PMP exam.

Certainly if one is unfamiliar with the landscape of project management knowledge or concepts, studying Figure 6 delivers an excellent overview of the PMBOK knowledge structure and how the 47 project management processes, 10 knowledge areas and 5 project phases all fit together.

The PMP exam is largely a test of a project manager's ability to understand what to do next - and why. A typical PMP exam question will pose a scenario and offer 4 choices of what to do next. Only one is the best answer although all 4 may seem correct. Knowing exactly why each project process is performed will help you tackle PMP exam questions and save you time.

The best advice therefore, is; before undertaking any further PMP exam study, memorize figure 6. Test yourself. Can you write down the 47 projects management processes in the ProPM pattern? That's the first step. It should be effortless. Next; once the pattern is drawn out, can you write down the benefits for each of the 47 processes without hesitation?

By memorizing Figure 6; you will probably decrease your PMP exam preparation time by half. Why? Because every other piece of information you study will have a context and mapping already established in your mind. Consequently it will be much easier to understand and remember everything else you study.

Know the lay of the land.

Know the map before taking the journey.

Be prepared well in advance.

Memorizing Figure 6 will deliver this confidence. You may find thousands of discussions online over how to best approach PMBOK study and PMP exam preparation. Whatever your approach may be; study guides, practice exams, etc.., try to memorize Figure 6.

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    ProPM Logo Inputs of 47 Project Processes in ProPM Map       Figure 7        

Whereas Figure 6 focusses our attention on why one does things, figures 7, 8 and 9 focus on how the PMBOK informs us to do things. Figures 7, 8 & 9 cover the ITTOs; the process inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs.

Here we begin with Figure 7; the inputs required to perform each of the 47 project processes. This is the second of the four ProPM layers we mentioned earlier.

Figure 7 focusses on the things that we need (plans, documents, etc.) to begin any of the 47 processes - the inputs required.

Let's consider performing integrated change control as an example. What does one need to begin performing integrated change control? We find this process at the top right of figure 7 and see that we need 5 things as inputs to perform the process; the project management plan, work performance reports, change requests, enterprise environmental factors and organizational process assets.

The PMBOK is very specific about how each of the 47 processes should be correctly performed; bearing in mind one should adapt one's approach to unique project circumstances. The inputs required are often outputs from other processes; in this way all 47 processes are connected and impact one another. Therefore keep in mind that problems or mistakes in any one process can and probably will have a cascading impact on many other processes.

Looking at figure 7 it's also easy to see that some processes require more inputs than others. For example performing integrated change control has only five inputs, while the identify risks process has 13 inputs.

Bear in mind also that some inputs are used in multiple processes. For example, the project management plan is a required input for 22 of the 47 project management processes.

Knowing which inputs are used more or less frequently; and for which of the 47 processes; and understanding why (from Figure 6,) is useful knowledge for prioritizing study topics in preparation for the PMP exam.

ProPM makes this easy with the ITTO menus, as seen in Figure 10, below. Simply click through the menu links at the top right of every ProPM page to immediately access an alphabetical list of all inputs, outputs, and tools & techniques. This way you will quickly see which ITTOs are used more or less frequently among the 47 project processes.

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    ProPM Logo Tools and Techniques of 47 Project Processes in ProPM Map       Figure 8        

Whereas in figure 7 we looked at process inputs, with figure 8 we turn our attention to the various tools and techniques needed to convert those process inputs into process outputs.

Let's continue with the example of performing integrated change control. What tools and techniques does the PMBOK require we use for performing this process? Again at the far, top right of the ProPM pattern in figure8, we find the perform integrated change control process and see that 3 tools and techniques are required; expert judgement, meetings and change control tools.

As with process inputs in figure 7, some processes require more tools and techniques than others. Whereas performing integrated change control only requires three tools and techniques, the collect requirements process uses 11 - more than any other process. Again, as with process inputs, some tools and techniques are also used in multiple processes.

By using the ProPM method, you will naturally begin to notice which processes have more or less inputs or tools and techniques. You will begin to ask yourself what drives the different totals and different frequencies; why do some items appear in more processes than others?

For example; what is the key benefit of the collect requirements process? What inputs are required for using all 11 tools and techniques? What are the key outputs of the collect requirements process? What other processes use the outputs of collect requirements as inputs for their processes? What other processes produced the inputs for the collect requirements process?

These are the kind of questions you should be asking yourself as you prepare for the PMP exam. You should look at the entire scope of the knowledge and ask challenging questions.

For example, among the 47 project processes, 38 use organizational process assets as process inputs. Obviously, therefore, we want to be sure and understand everything about organizational process assets because it is used so frequently. But what about the other 9 processes that do not require organizational process assets as process inputs? What makes these other processes different?

By approaching the study of PMBOK knowledge in this way, ProPM transforms your preparation from time spent into time invested. By examining the knowledge structure from a more logical and critical perspective, you will increase the retention of what you have learned.

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    ProPM Logo Outputs of 47 Project Processes in ProPM Map       Figure 9        

With Figure 9 we see again the new ProPM mapping, and in this case, all of the process outputs for each of the 47 processes. With Figures 7 & 8 we explored the inputs of each process and the tools and techniques used to convert the inputs into outputs. Now we look specifically at the process outputs in Figure 9.

Let's continue again with the perform integrated change control process as an example. What outputs must we produce by correctly performing integrated change control? In other words; what is the end result of this process? What are the outputs? As we discussed above, keep in mind that all of these outputs will become process inputs for one, or many of the other 47 project processes.

Turning back to the ProPM mapping in Figure 9 we find again the perform integrated change control process at the upper right, within the dark green, monitor and control phase. In this example, we see that performing integrated change control should produce four things; approved change requests (CRs), change log, project management plan updates and project documents updates.

As with inputs and tools & techniques, some of the 47 processes produce more outputs than others. Likewise some of the outputs are produced by more than one process. Notice, for example, how almost all of the monitor and control processes found in column one produce, among others, five of the same outputs; work performance information, change requests, project management plan updates, project document updates and organizational process updates.

Aside from the standard monitor and control processes in column one of the ProPM pattern, only 7 of the remaining 38 project processes produce change requests as a process output. Looking at Figure 9, we can find the remaining seven processes. Notice that only one process from the light green planning phase lists change requests as an output; plan procurement management. The rest of the change requests are outputs of the blue execution phase of project management.

With Figures 6, 7, 8 & 9 we've examined the PMBOK ITTOs in our new ProPM visual pattern. By studying these figures and clicking through the links in these figures you will enhance your understanding of how the PMBOK is structured, why it is structured in this way and how the 5 project phases, 10 knowledge areas, 47 processes and 191 ITTOs all fit together.

Now we turn our attention to the pivot tables mentioned in the introduction section above.

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    ProPM Logo ProPM ITTO pivot table menus / process/phase/knowledge       Figure 10        

Figure 10 alphabetically lists every input, tool & technique and output found in the PMBOK. Notice, however, that not only is every ITTO listed - one also sees every instance of where (what processes, phases etc.) the ITTOs are found in the PMBOK. Figure 10 shows you one of the ProPM "menus" we discussed in the introduction section above.

All of the prior figures reorganized the PMBOK into an easier to understand visual pattern / map. By studying those figures we were better able to see how all the knowledge fits together and to ask ourselves challenging questions about the knowledge. Now we can quickly find the answers to those questions with Figure 10.

Let's again use change requests as an example. Maybe while studying the maps in Figures 7 and 9, you notice that change requests are outputs of some project phases or processes, but not of others - and you want a rapid summary of exactly where change requests are used.

Figure 10 quickly provides you with the answer. Simply find change request in column one of Figure 10, then look to columns 2,3,4 & 5 to immediately identify which project processes, phases and knowledge areas come into play.

Think of the ProPM "maps" in Figures 6, 7, 8 and 9 as the right-brain overview of the PMBOK, and the ProPM "menus," as in Figure 10, as the left-brain overview. By using these overviews in tandem; you can zoom in and out of any topic effortlessly; always confident that the entire scope of knowledge is at your fingertips. The ProPM maps and menus are designed to encourage a flow-like approach to your study of the entire PMBOK.

You will find all five ProPM ITTO menus at the top right of every page on ProPM. Again, all the menus include links to project process, phase and knowledge areas in columns 3, 4 and 5. We conclude with a few words about each of the ProPM menus.

* The ITTO menu displays every input, output, tool & technique in alphabetical order. This is simply the entire range of data in one overview, allowing one to browse through every ITTO in the PMBOK.

* The input / output menu leaves out tools and techniques. Scrolling through this menu is the best way to see where process outputs from any process become inputs to other processes - and the frequency with which individual inputs and outputs occur among the 47 processes, phases and knowledge areas.

* The input menu focusses attention on the full range of inputs, and more specifically which inputs are used most frequently among the 47 project processes, phases and knowledge areas.

* The tool and technique menu provides an overview of all the various tools and techniques and their frequency of use among the 47 project processes. Its handy to know which processes do not require meetings!

* The output menu focusses attention on the full range of outputs, and more specifically which outputs are used most frequently among the 47 project processes, phases and knowledge areas.

A few final words about the PMBOK ITTOs... If you search online for advice on PMBOK study and preparing for the PMP exam, one question comes up again and again; should one memorize the 191 ITTOs? My advice is; don't make things unnecessarily difficult for yourself. Here's what you should do;

You should memorize Figure 6 above - the benefits of the 47 project processes before even considering the question of memorizing 191 ITTOs. I'm certain that if you memorize Figure 6 and follow the ProPM method and discussion above, you will know more about the ITTOs within three days than if you spent two weeks trying to memorize them all. Simply memorizing ITTOs misses the point. You must understand why, how and where they are used (and how they all fit together) to succeed on the PMP exam and ultimately as a project manager.


ProPM PMBOK ITTO Dictionary

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Final Thoughts; Standard codification and Good Luck.       Figure 11        
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Figure 11 draws attention to the coding found in ProPM tables found throughout the ProPM website; PMBOK5 numerical codification standard is applied throughout ProPM.

In addition to the ProPM maps and menus (direct links to each at the top of every ProPM page; columns 1 & 5), ProPM also includes the following pages;

* 5 project phase pages; one for each project phase. There are direct links to each of these pages (column 2) at the top of every page on ProPM. Each page is presented in tabular form with coding identical to PMBOK5.

* 10 project knowledge area pages; one for each project knowledge area. There are direct links to each of these pages at the top of every page (columns 3 & 4) on ProPM. Each page is presented in tabular form with coding identical to PMBOK5.

* 47 project process pages; one for each project process. Each of these pages provides a brief summary of its process.

Please always refer to the PMBOK directly as the final authority on all project knowledge on ProPM. Compare your copy of the PMBOK5 with ProPM and you will find the coding is identical.

ProPM wishes you good luck in all your project endeavors and in your efforts with the PMP exam.

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the PMBOK® & PMP® exam are the sole trademarked & copyrighted property of PMI, The Project Management Institute.

ProPM map design and original content copyright; © 2014 - 2020

Thank you for visiting ProPM.

The ProPM website is focused on project management; based on PMBOK5

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