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The PMBOK(r), Guide v5 refresh introduced new topics to students taking the PMP exam. Jeff Furman, the author of The Project Management Answer Book has just published a second edition. It covers all of that and more. It’s a heavy book that will help students prepare for the PMP exam, as well as in their daily lives as project managers. However, it’s not your average test prep guide.
I spoke to him to learn more.
Jeff, why did your second edition get published?
I realized that a second edition would prove to be very helpful to my readers and PMP students, mainly because:
To best assist my readers in preparing for the PMP/CAPM exams, I updated the entire 1st edition to V5, including all changes to all affected processes.
Since 2011, my book has been used in more than 50 project management classes. I have a lot more PMP test tips. To make them easy to find, I placed them all in “call out boxes” throughout my book. It was great to incorporate all these tips into the second edition.
Scrum has been on fire in the last few years. To help my readers, I have added a new chapter, “Intro To Scrum”. This chapter will provide an overview of Agile and help readers prepare for interviews (where hiring managers may not ask questions about “Waterfall only”). My chapter also contains information about Agile certifications project managers might be interested in to enhance their resumes.
Great. Let’s get back to the first point. What has changed in the PMBOK Guide from your first edition?
One major change is that many process names are now more clear. Some new processes were also added that finally “give a home to” several project artifacts that had been a little elusive as to where they should be.
The most significant change is that PMI now has a tenth knowledge field: Project Stakeholder Management.
What was the reason they did that? Please tell me why you believe stakeholder management is so important.
Everyone agrees that customer satisfaction plays a key role in project success. Many project managers and teams treat customer happiness passively, e.g. “They will see how good we did for them and will appreciate it.”
Project managers can use the new Stakeholder Management knowledge section to help them aim for customer satisfaction proactively, just as they would for high quality or fast delivery. It also focuses on planning and strategizing for stakeholder engagement (beyond stakeholder management).
To this end, I have included templates in my book to help you create two new tools that PMI recommends: the Power and Interest Grid and the Stakeholder Engagment Assessment Matrix.
What lessons did you learn about authorship while preparing the second edition of the book?
It was like writing a second edition of “Groundhog Day Heaven!” It was very satisfying to “spike it up” each chapter of the first edition, while also adding three more.
While adding new material, I had to also keep the length of the book the same as the first edition. It was not easy, but I learned to be disciplined and go through my first book. ).
This sounds like a challenge. In my opinion, it’s always been helpful to have an extended team around me because it’s a collaborative effort. Did you also find this helpful?
Yes. Two of my PMP Prep students (Beth Horrigan, PMP(r), Corey Wilson, PMP(1)) came up with some very clever “mnemonics” that they shared with their classmates. Beth’s was for her to learn the five PMI Process Groups. Corey’s was for him to learn the 10 Knowledge Areas. It was a wonderful experience.