How to read PMBOK? Part Deux!

This is a follow up post to my earlier post How to read PMBOK?

After having a good siesta and after cursing & kicking yourself, you will now be all charged up and more determined to get back to reading PMBOK. Still the same question will come back – How to read PMBOK?

Let me reiterate that it is very easy for an experienced PM to read PMBOK. She or he can read any section of PMBOK without worrying about the chapter or the page number. However, to pass the exam you have to have some discipline and read the book in a logical sequence.

It is important that you read the book from starting just like any another book. The first 3 chapters provide a background on project management and its related topics. The content of first 3 chapters may seem disjointed and boring but it is extremely important. After trudging through first 3 chapters and assuming that you still have some energy left, you are ready for the final track.

You can read Chapter 4-12 either Knowledge Area wise or Process Group wise. There are obvious advantages of reading the book Knowledge Area wise or sequentially. The sequential reading is natural as we have grown reading all books that way. Even though each chapter talks about only one Knowledge Area, the sections (processes) in each chapter would look disjointed unless they are part of same process group. Moreover reading Chapter 4 will be the most onerous task.

In my trainings I like to follow Process Group approach. It has a significant advantage but it pulls one out of the natural way of reading a book. Thus it may take some effort by a new comer to read it this way. This approach is similar to natural way of doing a project. We initiate, plan, execute, monitor & control and lastly close the project. It is thus easier to understand the book if we read it Process Group wise.
There is another advantage for PMP aspirants. The inputs and outputs are similar across all processes in a process group; they can be easily remembered if one reads the book Process Group wise.
Maybe in future PMI would start printing PMBOK Process Group wise. Till then …

Praveen Malik, PMP is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 20+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor and Consultant. He regularly conducts Project Management workshops in India & abroad.

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