Published here March, 2003.

Introduction | Content in General | Project Life Span
Technical Content | Pearls of Wisdom


From time to time I receive books for review and comment, perhaps because I claim to be a project management "expert". No doubt we could have a discussion on what constitutes an "expert, but be that as it may, I try to give the author an honest and objective assessment. Naturally this assessment is offered from my perspective of the world of project management.

Occasionally, a book comes my way that I think has particular merit and is worth published comment. In my view, the PMP Project Management Professional Study Guide (PMP-SG) is such a book. As the name implies, the PMP-SG has been written specifically to support project management practitioners studying for the PMP certification exam and its basis is the Project Management Institute's ("PMI") Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge ("PMBOK Guide"). The author, Kim Heldman, has over ten years of project management experience, most recently involving information technology based projects. Her authorship is supported by two technical editors, Claudia Baca, PMP, and Patti Jansen, PMP, both with backgrounds in the systems-software-technology fields.

I find the PMP-SG particularly interesting because it is a sincere and significant attempt to "interpret" the Institute's PMBOK Guide. It enables the material in the guide to be more easily learned, or perhaps presented in class. However, a review of the book also provides an opportunity not just to evaluate it, but to observe how others might view the contents of the PMBOK Guide. This could lead to ways in which that document might be improved to remove misinformation and misunderstandings.

The PMP-SG includes a large number of PMP exam type questions for students to use for practice. The whole book is also repeated on a CD, convenient for studying on-the-go, provided that you have your lap top with you of course. The CD also features a testing engine for evaluating your score and also provides learning flash cards for PCs and Palm Handhelds as a learning tool. However, I was disappointed that although the main text is written as a PDF file, it is not readable on a Mac machine. The book is priced at around US$60 which struck me as good value — certainly a lot cheaper than purchasing the list of books hitherto recommended for the PMP course.


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