How to read PMBOK?

I am taking a break from a series on Fixed price projects and instead focusing on a question posed to me by a fellow PM. I will pick up the series thread in subsequent posts.

How to read PMBOK?

Simple answer – Do not read it unless you want to sleep. But as practicing project managers we all are enamored by PMP certification. And to earn PMP, we have to read, nay study, PMBOK thoroughly.

Reading PMBOK 4 is much simpler than reading the earlier editions of PMBOK even though the content has not changed much over the years. But, for a newcomer, it is still a bitter pill to swallow. The tome has grown in thickness but the essential content has remained same. It has been simplified but it is still very dry and theoretical.

So is there a easier way to read it?

I have interacted with number of PMP aspirants over last few years. I have found out that it is much easier for an experienced PM to go through the PMBOK than a novice PM. It is very important, for a new PMP aspirant, to understand that there is no substitute for practical project management experience.

This is one of the reasons that PMP exam is one of the hardest exam to crack and PMI mandates that the aspirants should have at least 4500 hours of project management experience before appearing in the exam. A person who is able to correlate his practical experience and situations with concepts written in PMBOK finds it much easier to read the book. She or he is able to read the book faster and understand it better. He or shes also able to the retain the concepts without essentially memorizing them.

I will talk more about reading the PMBOK in the next post.

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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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