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Archive for October, 2010

Coming Soon: The Project Management Answer Book – By Jeff Furman, PMP

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 25, 2010


Projects are becoming larger and more complex, and project managers are often not hands-on experts in the content areas of their projects deliverables. Many projects do not meet deadlines, budgets, or satisfy their customers’ requirements. Overcome your project curveballs with The Project Management Answer Book, your concise guide to the current concepts, skills, and best practices used by project management experts.

This easy-to-use Q&A reference covers all aspects of project management and includes practical tips on obtaining the PMP and related certifications. The book provides you with the tools you need to improve project performance and achieve high-quality, low risk results immediately.

About Jeff

Jeff Furman is a PMP Project Management Instructor and Presentation Skills Coach/Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+) with more than 10 years experience designing and leading highly-effective training programs.

He is currently teaching a comprehensive 5-day PMP Project Management course and an advanced Presentation Skills / Train-the-Trainer course (leading students toward their CTT+, MCT, and ACI certifications). He’s managed many successful I.T. projects and teams for Fortune 500 financial firms. Strong analytical, communication, training, course development and writing skills.

His book, The Project Management Answer Book, will be published by Management Concepts in Dec. 2010.


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How to Prepare for the PMP Exam Part 2: Filling Out the Application – By Cornelius Fichtner, PMP (

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 25, 2010

Filling out the application for the PMP exam can be a project in itself. In this second part of’s series on preparing for the PMP exam, you’ll get some tools and learn some best practices that will help you fill out the application efficientlythus inching you closer to your goal of earning PMP certification.

Once you’ve determined that you’re eligible to take the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) exam toward PMP certification, your next step is to fill out and submit the application.

The biggest impediment aspiring PMPs face before taking the exam is filling out the nine-page application. Although the application is straightforward, it requires applicants to convey a lot of detailed information about their project management experience. Gathering all of this information can be a project in itself and can take days if not weeks. Consequently, many who start filling out the application never finish it, and thus their hopes of earning the coveted PMP certification are dashed before they even take the exam.

In this second article in’s series on preparing for the PMP exam, you’ll learn how the application process works and about its various steps. You’ll also get some tools and learn some best practices that will help you fill out the application efficiently.

Step 1: How to Fill Out the Application for the PMP Exam

Too often, I see IT professionals decide to take the exam, but then life intervenes, and filling out the application for the PMP exam becomes the last item on their list of priorities. To avoid failure by procrastination, your best bet is to fill out and submit your application as soon as you have confirmed that you meet all of the eligibility requirements. Filling out the application and later paying the application fee (which ranges from $250 to $555, with most people paying $405) is a great motivator and will keep you focused on your goal: earning PMP certification.

The Project Management Institute prefers that you apply online. A printable version of the application is available, but applying online is simple and convenient. You have 90 days to complete your application from the moment you start filling it out, and you can save what you’ve written between sessions.

The application is broken into three major sections. The first section asks for your contact information (e.g., name, address, job title, employer’s name) educational background and the industry you work in. Section two requires you to list your project management experience hours (i.e., the amount of time you’ve spent leading and directing project management-related tasks). In section three, you record your contact hours—the amount of time you’ve spent in project management training or education programs.

Section two will take up most of your time because you will need to provide detailed information about all the projects that you have worked on. For example, for each project, you must document the title you held when you worked on this project as well as the name of the organization that employed you when you worked on it. You must also name a primary contact for this project and describe the tasks that you led and directed, along with the number of experience hours you gained during project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

The total number of experience hours that you need to document in section two depends on your educational background. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you will have to document 4,500 hours that were performed within the last eight years. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to document 7,500 hours.

Gathering all the necessary information about your project management experience hours and contact hours can be a project in itself. I therefore recommend the following best practice: First collect all of that information offline using the Experience Verification Worksheet, a tool that I provide to all my students for free. Gathering that information ahead of time makes filling out the application a much smoother process.

Before you can submit your application, you must read and agree to the Project Management Institute’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. It’s a small box on the actual application that you have to check, but it is very important. By ticking this box you agree to henceforth manage your projects according to very high standards.

After you submit your application online, the Project Management Institute takes five days to review your application and make sure it’s complete. (If you mailed a paper application, the review process takes 10 days.) If your application isn’t complete, the Project Management Institute will let you know and ask you to complete it.

Step 3: Pay the Fee

Once the Project Management Institute verifies that your application is indeed complete, the organization will send you an e-mail requesting you pay the fee to take the PMP exam. You cannot schedule the exam until you have paid this fee. You can submit your payment online and at the same time select whether you want to take the exam on paper or on a computer, if you need a language translation aid or any other special accommodations, such as wheelchair accessibility or a large font computer screen if you’re visually impaired.

Step 4: Prepare for a Random Audit

Your application may be randomly selected for an audit. The Project Management Institute elects to audit some of the applications it receives for the PMP exam to ensure that only qualifying candidates take the exam.

If your application is selected for an audit, you will be notified by e-mail after the Project Management Institute receives your payment. From the day the PMI notifies you of the audit, you have 90 days to send in your audit materials, such as copies of your training certificates that show that you have the 35 required contact hours. Once PMI receives your audit materials, reviewing and processing them takes five to seven days.

The audit is nothing to worry about as long as you are prepared for it. You should prepare for it while you’re gathering information for your application. Maintain a folder with documents that support the work you did on each and every project you list on your application, whether those documents be e-mails, project plans, meeting minutes or project charters.

As you fill out your application, be honest about your project management experience. Don’t embellish it. If you do, the Project Management Institute will find out during the audit that you’ve stretched the truth. How? For each project that you include in section two of your application, you will have to name a "contact person." For the audit, the PMI will give you a form that each of your contacts will have to sign to confirm that the information on your application is accurate.

Therefore, I recommend the following best practice: Get in touch with all of your contacts before you submit your application and ask them to tell you if they agree with what you have written about a given project. This way, you can make sure they will back up whatever you record on your application if the Project Management Institute audits it.

Step 5: Schedule Your PMP Exam

After your application has passed the completeness verification and you have paid your credential fees, the Project Management Institute will send you an electronic notification informing you that you are eligible to schedule the test. You have one year to take your test, and you can take the exam two more times should you not pass it the first time.

The PMP exam is administered by Prometric, a provider of testing services. You will actually schedule your exam on Prometric’s website. Simply locate the Prometric office closest to your hometown and find an available date that fits your schedule. Some Prometric offices are very busy, and you may have to wait weeks or months to take your exam. Scheduling your exam well in advance not only guarantees that you have a seat, it also puts a big red X on your calendar, which is a great motivator to keep on studying.

Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, is a noted project management expert with nearly 20 years of project management experience in various industries. He has helped over 11,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast, a downloadable and portable exam prep video workshop. A former PMI Chapter president, Fichtner is currently an active volunteer in his local PMI chapter and a member of PMI’s New Media Council. He is also the host of the Project Management Podcast and the PDU Podcast.


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How to Prepare for the PMP Exam Part 1: Assess Your Eligibility – By Cornelius Fichtner, PMP (

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 25, 2010

Not everyone is eligible to take the Project Management Institute’s exam toward PMP certification. Here’s a breakdown of the requirements. (This is the first of a weekly, eight-part series of articles on preparing for the PMP exam.)

Project management remains one of the hottest career options for IT professionals. CIOs report quarter after quarter that project management skills are among the most sought after IT skills for their organizations.

IT workers are responding to this demand by increasingly seeking out project management certification. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the number of IT professionals who hold the PMP credential has doubled over the past five years. The Project Management Institute offers the most popular project management certification in the U.S.—the Project Management Professional or PMP credential. It signifies that an individual is proficient in PMI’s project management framework, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). It also indicates that the individual possesses significant project management skills and experience.

According to the PMP Credentials Handbook, the PMP exam "objectively assesses and measures experience, education and professional knowledge—the foundation of competent practice as a project manager."

PMP certification can give IT project managers an edge in the job market, as more employers note in ads for project manager jobs that project management certification is highly desirable, if not required. IT project managers who are certified tend to earn higher salaries than project managers who lack credentials, according to a salary survey conducted by the Project Management Institute.

But not everyone is eligible to take the PMP certification exam. Interested parties must meet certain requirements established by the Project Management Institute. Here’s the low-down on those requirements.

Given the interest in project management certification, and PMP expert Cornelius Fichtner have prepared a series of how-to articles designed to help interested parties prepare for the PMP exam. This article is the first in the series.

Determining Your Eligibility to Take the PMP Exam

The Project Management Institute requires that people who wish to take the PMP exam possess project management-related experience and have received formal project management training or instruction. The organization outlines its criteria for taking the PMP exam in the PMP Credential Handbook. This free publication is downloadable from the Project Management Institute’s website. In it, you’ll find a description of the PMP certification, an explanation of who is eligible to apply, and how to go about applying. Read the first 20 pages and you will know all there is to know about the exam from an administrative point of view.

Here are the basic requirements for taking the exam:

  • A four-year degree (bachelor’s or the global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience. Of those three years of project management experience, 4,500 hours should have been spent leading and directing projects. 35 hours of project management education are also required.
  • In the absence of a four-year degree, a secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent) is required, along with at least five years of project management experience. Of those five years of project management experience, 7,500 hours should have been spent leading and directing projects. 35 hours of project management education are also required.
Project Management Experience Hours vs. Contact Hours

The questions project managers ask me about the PMP exam most often concern the required "Project Management Experience Hours" and "Contact Hours." Somehow, the PMP Credential Handbook makes both sound more complicated than they are, and applicants seek a clearer explanation.

Project management experience hours refer to the number of hours an applicant has spent leading and directing project management-related tasks. The applicant does not have to have been a project manager but must have played a significant role in the portion of the project in which he or she was involved and must have led or directed project tasks. The applicant could have been a team lead, functional lead, technical lead, project sponsor, meeting facilitator or subject matter expert.

The number of project management experience hours an applicant will need depends on whether the applicant holds a bachelor’s degree or high-school diploma. In either case, the applicant must have accrued his or her project management experience hours within the last eight years.

Applicants also need experience in initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and closing a project—what the PMI defines as its five "process groups."

The online application for the PMP exam provides a limited amount of space (500 characters) in which to describe the project management tasks the applicant led or directed for each project. Be sure to provide concise descriptions since space is tight and one sentence is rarely enough for the PMI to determine a project’s eligibility.

Contact hours refer to the total amount of time an applicant has spent in formal instruction. Contact hours are earned by attending project management-relevant training, either in a classroom or online. While project management experience hours must be accrued within the last eight years, any project management-related training an applicant took in the past can count towards the PMI’s requirement for contact hours. There is no expiration date on any project management training an applicant has undertaken.

Is PMI Membership Mandatory?

Another question I often get asked is whether one has to be a PMI member to take the PMP exam. The answer is no, you don’t have to be a member, but there are at least two financial benefits to becoming a member:

  • PMI members receive a significant discount on their PMP exam application fee. This discount is greater than what it costs to become a PMI member.
  • PMI members receive a free PDF copy of the PMBOK Guide, which is needed to prepare for and pass the exam.

What’s more, many local PMI chapters offer discounts on their PMP exam prep workshops to PMI members.

Confirming your eligibility is just the first step toward taking the PMP exam and getting certified. In subsequent articles, I will take you through the application process, study materials you’ll need, tips and techniques for acing the exam and more—thereby providing you with a roadmap to your PMP certification.

Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, is a noted project management expert with nearly 20 years of project management experience in various industries. He has helped over 11,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast, a downloadable and portable exam prep video workshop. A former PMI Chapter president, Fichtner is currently an active volunteer in his local PMI chapter and a member of PMIs New Media Council. He is also the host of the Project Management Podcast and the PDU Podcast.


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Why Project Management Certifications Matter By Meridith Levinson (

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 25, 2010

The value of project management certifications is hotly debated among IT professionals. investigates whether certifications make better project managers and whether projects staffed by certified project managers are more successful than projects without PMPs.

Out of 13 advertisements for project manager jobs posted on and, eight ads either require or prefer project management certification. All eight ads are for mid- to senior-level IT project management positions that require anywhere from a minimum of five to 11 or more years of experience.

Five of the eight ads say project management certification is "highly desirable," "an advantage," "preferred," or "a plus." The three ads that require certification all specify the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) credential.

More and more CIOs believe in the importance of project management certifications, according to research from The Standish Group. The publisher of the CHAOS reports which track IT project success and failure rates says that two-thirds of CIOs it surveyed regard a PMI certification as valuable. The number of CIOs who require their project managers to be certified grew from 21 percent in 2005 to 31 percent by 2009.

The job advertisement and Standish Group data speak to the increasing weight employers place on tangible project management credentials. But why? Why do they think certification is so important? Does it create a better project manager, and does that ensure higher project success rates? spoke with certified and non-certified IT project managers as well as with a representative from the Project Management Institute to uncover the true value of project management certifications. What we found: Project management certifications matter a great deal to some employers, but not always for realistic reasons. We also found that project managers can certainly benefit from certification: It can provide them with hold greater access to jobs and higher salaries, but it doesn’t necessarily make them a better project manager.

Why Employers Seek Certified Project Managers

To understand why some employers have become so keen on certifications, it’s instructive to look inside technology juggernaut IBM (IBM).

Steve DelGrosso directs IBM’s Project Management Center of Excellence and the IBM Global Business Services’ Project Management Competency. DelGrosso’s group oversees IBM’s professional development programs for project managers and establishes the methods and tools project managers use to run today’s array of tech projects. Of IBM’s 300,000 employees, 25,000 are classified as project management professionals, and more than half of them—14,000—hold PMI’s PMP certification, says DelGrosso (who’s one of those 14,000 PMPs).

The number of certified project managers inside the company is growing, says DelGrosso, because clients want them on their projects.

"The marketplace in the U.S. is demanding the PMP or other project management certification," he says. "Going back five or six years, IBM has seen requests for proposals where the clients are demanding certified project managers be part of the proposal. If you can’t present a certified project manager on their deal, they won’t consider you."

DelGrosso says IBM’s customers and prospects are demanding certified project managers because they understand the importance of strong project management discipline in delivering successful projects. Those customers associate certification with discipline. Some IBM clients are promoting certification in their own organizations, and adds DelGrosso, they believe "that there is a qualitative difference overall between a pool of certified and non-certified candidates for a position."

In his own organization, DelGrosso says certifications are not a prerequisite for working in the Project Management Center of Excellence, though seven of the eight project managers it employs are certified. (The one project manager who is not soon will be, he adds.)

"Being a certified project manager doesn’t necessarily make you better than any other project manager," he says. "It just indicates that you have a certain level of knowledge and expertise, and that you can work proficiently in a project environment."

The Impact of Project Management Certifications on Project Success

Chris Spivey, who runs his own project management and rescue consultancy Spivey & Co., believes employers are increasingly looking for certified project managers because they think the presence of a certified project manager on a project will increase the odds of project success.

"If you look at the stats," says Spivey, "seven out of 10 IT projects fail. Anyone who’s putting in a project is going to ask what they can do to try to ensure its success."

One of the measures organizations can take is to staff the project with a certified project manager. The assumption is that someone who has devoted thousands of hours to preparing for the PMP exam, for instance, has learned something that will help keep the project running on time and on budget.

Whether staffing a project with a certified project manager improves the project’s outcome is the $64,000 question.

Mark Langley, the executive vice president and COO of PMI, says two separate studies—one from PMI, the other from PWC—link certifications to improved project performance.

The PMI’s 2008 Pulse of the Profession research found "that having project managers without PMP certification results in a lower percent of projects coming in on time and on budget—especially when less than 10 percent of the project managers in the company are PMPs. Organizations with less than 10 percent of project managers who are PMPs are also much less likely to indicate an increase in projects successfully meeting the goals and business intent."

In a 2006 survey, PWC found that "higher-performing projects are significantly more likely to be staffed with certified project managers&80 percent of projects classified as high-performing use a certified project manager."

However, even the most experienced project managers—certified or not—are skeptical of this research. They say it’s hard to directly prove the positive impact of a certified project manager on an IT project because so many factors influence project success, from funding and resource management to CEO support and end-user buy-in.

"There are many times when the best project managers have given their all and projects have either slipped or failed due to things they can’t control," says David Krull, a senior IT project manager who’s currently consulting.

Even IBM, which has collected eight years of internal data on certifications, can’t say that there’s a direct correlation between certification and better project outcomes, according to DelGrosso.

"We’ve never been able to say unequivocally that putting a certified project manager on a project will give you better results," he says, "because we can’t get that data point clearly."

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Project Management Certifications

Some experienced project managers who aren’t certified are bothered by the increasing importance of certifications. These project managers believe that the employers who require them are making uneducated assumptions about the credentials and the impact a certified project manager can have on a project.

Independent project management consultant Spivey, who has 17 years of project management experience but holds no certifications, says employers tend to overvalue credentials like the PMP.

When a project manager has a PMP certification, he says, it creates an expectation among employers that a PMP will complete a project smoothly. What’s missing from that assumption, Spivey adds, are the leadership and governance components of projects that are so critical to their success, but that certification exams don’t, in his opinion, adequately measure. These include: how decisions get made, how project managers motivate and inspire people working on the project, and how they influence buy-in. (PMI’s Langley says the PMP exam poses scenario-based questions designed to evaluate a project managers leadership skills.)

"Just because you have a PMP [certification] doesn’t mean you have that [leadership] ability," he says. "The PMP is a good indicator that a person has been able to pass a test, but it doesn’t mean they’re the right person to implement and execute a project in every organization."

Spivey’s opinion is based on the PMPs he’s hired and worked with over the years. Some have been excellent project managers, he says. Others "couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag with a flashlight and a knife."

Erik Hamburger, who runs his own project management company Ambidexter Management, says good project managers need to bridge what he calls the knowing and doing gap.

"Knowing what you should do as a project manager and being able to do that in the real world are two completely different things," he says.

Hamburger, who says he has a love-hate relationship with certifications and whose own Prince 2 certification has lapsed, is particularly critical of PMI’s PMP certification.

"You can become a PMP without ever having managed a project end to end, which is kind of scary," he says. (Hamburger is a former board member of his local PMI chapter in Canada.)

PMI’s Langley says project managers vying for the PMP credential "would not have to lead every project end to end," he says. But at a minimum, they have to "lead and direct" all the processes in five domain areas of project management: initiation, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

"Just being a team member on a project is not sufficient," says Langley. "You have to lead and direct against each of those domains."

Other requirements for earning the credential include three years or 3,500 hours of project management experience (five years if an applicant doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree) and 35 hours of project management education. Project managers also need to fill out an application documenting their education and project management experience, which PMI says can take as much as eight hours. Finally, they need to pass a four-hour, 200 question exam.

Langley says between 60 percent and 75 percent of applicants pass the exam.

Certification cynics may downplay the importance of project management credentials, but the ones interviewed for this article characterize the process for earning the PMP as rigorous.

"It takes a lot of preparation and practical experience," says Spivey.

The Benefits of Certification for IT Project Managers

Even the project managers who are skeptical of certifications agree that the creation of credentials like the PMP and Prince 2 have helped unify the profession by creating a common language and standard frameworks for project managers to use when executing projects. And according to PMI’s and PWC’s respective research, having a common language and standard processes improves project performance.

The skeptics also agree that even though a certification does not necessarily make a project manager better than a non-certified professional, project managers can still benefit personally and professionally from the training and study required to earn a credential.

"Any time you invest in yourself focusing on your profession is good time spent," says Spivey. "You’re going to get better at what you do."

That appears to be true for the certified project managers at IBM. DelGrosso says they tend to be rated higher on their performance evaluations than non-certified project managers, but he doesn’t have data that explains exactly why. He suspects that certified project managers may receive better performance reviews because their projects turn out better than non-certified project managers, but IBM’s data doesn’t explicitly link certifications to better project outcomes. Certified project managers’ higher rankings on performance reviews may also stem from their internal drive to be high performers, DelGrosso adds, which led them to seek out certification in the first place.

"The best project managers inside IBM are certified project managers," he contends.

Project managers who certifications might even earn higher salaries than non-certified project managers. According to the PMI’s salary survey, project managers who hold the PMP certification earn an average of 9.4 percent more than non-certified project managers. (The salary survey notes that the median salary for U.S. project managers is $91,000 per year.)

Prestige is the reason David Krull is pursuing a PMP certification this year. Having spent the past year working as an independent project management consultant after being laid off from his job as a senior project manager with Oxford Computer Group in November 2008, he’s hoping the PMP certification will improve his job search.

"It’s more letters to put after my name," he says. "Sometimes that makes a difference."


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Lean Six Sigma Certifications

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 20, 2010

The IASSC Universally Accepted Lean Six Sigma Body of Knowledge (ILSSBOK) is an embodiment of the consensus of what industry expects of a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt. The ILSSBOK is the result of research that was conducted over a two year period. The goal was to characterize the standard knowledge requirements that are universally expected of a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Green Belt and Yellow Belt. With input from 1000′s of Deployment Leaders, Master Blacks Belts, Black Belts and Green Belts from 100′s of various companies and industry sectors the LSSBOK™ is truly the Voice of the Industry.

This is a significant breakthrough, for the 1st time in the history of Lean Six Sigma the industry itself has defined what it deems is as a relevant and practical version of the knowledge expectations of a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Green Belt and Yellow Belt.

The ILSSBOK consists of five primary sections each of which is broken into sub-categories. This Body of Knowledge serves as the basis for what many of today’s leading Lean Six Sigma companies consider to be standard and expected knowledge requirements of a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt.

The Industry and IASSC Members will have opportunities to participate in surveys and polls addressing the content of the ILSSBOK.  Items will continually be developed to ensure the measurement of the exams accurately represents the ILSSBOK. The questions contained within the ICBB, ICGB and ICYB Exams are designed to assess an individual’s knowledge level of the subjects contained within the ILSSBOK. IASSC intends to continue this initial research in a formal manner to ensure practical standards and industry expectations are continually represented within the ILSSBOK.


IASSC Certification Exams provide the opportunity to acquire an unbiased, third-party endorsement of your professional knowledge.

The IASSC Certified Black Belt Exam, IASSC Certified Green Belt Exam and IASSC Certified Yellow Belt Exam are designed to measure a person’s knowledge of the IASSC Universally Accepted Lean Six Sigma Body of Knowledge.

Steps to IASSC Certification:

Step 1. Purchase a Black Belt, Green Belt or Yellow Belt Exam Voucher. They never expire and you can use it whenever you are ready.

Step 2.
Complete your IASSC Member Profile. This includes some standard information about yourself and your professional experience.

Step 3. Schedule to sit for the exam whenever it’s convenient for you. Select from 8000 plus testing locations across the world. They are open during standard business hours 5 to 6 days per week.

Step 4. Sit for the Exam. You’ll have up to 4 hours to complete the ICBB exam, up to 3 hours to complete the ICGB exam and up to 2 hours to complete the ICYB exam.

Step 5. IASSC will contact you within 7 business days with the results of your Certification Status and subsequently deliver your Certificate.


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New CCNP Certification Tracks Announced!

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 19, 2010

Today, October 19th, Cisco announced major updates to the Voice and Security certification tracks.  Each professional level certification track has been re-branded, CCNP Voice and CCNP Security, and includes major course updates as well as new course introductions.  These new revisions/introductions reflect a focus on “job role” objectives rather than “product features” as earlier tracks incorporated.

CCNA Voice –   There is only one required exam for this Certification.  This is a key certification for the emerging Voice Professional.

Required Exam:

  • Exam # 640-461 Introducing Cisco Voice and Unified Communications Administration v8.0 (ICOMM)


CCNP Voice – The new Professional Voice certification is now called CCNP Voice and introduces two new courses and updates on existing courses to reflect Unified Communications v8.0.  There are 5 Required Exams:

Required Exams:

  • Exam # 642-437 CVOICE 8 Implementing Cisco Voice Communications and QoS
  • Exam # 642-447 CIPT1 8 Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Part 1
  • Exam # 642-457 CIPT2 8 Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Part 2
  • Exam # 642-427 TVOICE 8 Troubleshooting Cisco Unified Communications
  • Exam # 642-467 CAPPS 8 Integrating Cisco Unified Communications Applications


CCNP Security – The new Professional Security certification is now called CCNP Security and will be replacing the CCSP as the primary Professional level goal for network security engineers looking at validating expertise in Cisco’s key network security skills and technologies.

The following 4 exams are required to achieve this certification:

Required Exams:

  • Exam # 642-637 Securing Networks with Cisco Routers and Switches (SECURE)
  • Exam # 642-627 Implementing Cisco Intrusion Prevention System 7.0 (IPS 7.0)
  • Exam # 642-647 Deploying Cisco ASA Firewall Features (FIREWALL)
  • Exam # 642-617 Deploying Cisco ASA VPN Solutions (VPN)

Good luck if you are planning to take any of these certifications!

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Are You New to Windows Azure? – Cloud Computing

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 15, 2010

Would you like to see how others are leveraging Windows Azure? Try out these short Learning Snack videos.

Learning Snacks

“What is Windows Azure?” “How do I get started on the Windows Azure platform?” “How have organizations benefited by using Windows Azure?” These are some of the questions answered by Microsoft’s new series of Windows Azure Learning Snacks. Time-strapped? You can learn something new in less than five minutes:

Enjoy. Happy Friday!

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Microsoft Press ebook giveaways (updated Summary)

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 11, 2010

After the release of Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 in September, here’s an updated list of some of Microsoft’s free ebooks:

Free ebook: Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (10 chapters by by Patrice Pelland, Pascal Paré, and Ken Haines)

Free ebook: Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (10 chapters by Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner)

Free ebook: Programming Windows Phone 7 Series (DRAFT Preview) (6 chapters by Charles Petzold)

Free ebook: Petzold’s Programming Windows Phone 7 (Special Excerpt 2) (newer than the ebook above; 11 chapters by Charles Petzold)

Free ebook: Own Your Future: Update Your Skills with Resources and Career Ideas from Microsoft (8 chapters by Katherine Murray)

Free ebook: Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions (Second Edition) (6 chapters by Mitch Tulloch)

Free ebook: First Look Microsoft Office 2010 (14 chapters by Katherine Murray)

Free ebook: Windows 7 troubleshooting tips (short ebook by Mitch Tulloch)

Free ebook: Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2 (9 chapters by Charlie Russel and Craig Zacker)

Free ebook: Deploying Windows 7, Essential Guidance (10 chapters from the Windows 7 Resource Kit and 6 TechNet articles)

Microsoft Press hopes there’s something in this list for you to use and enjoy.

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PMP Examination Update in 2011

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 9, 2010

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential examination will be revised in 2011, based on updates to the professional role of a PMP® credential holder recently found by PMI’s Role Delineation Study (RDS).

PMI conducts a role delineation study for the PMP credential every five to seven years to ensure the credential reflects contemporary practice, evolves to meet current needs in the profession, and to comply with the PMP credential’s accreditation against the ISO 17024 standard.

Exam Changes
Project managers pursuing the credential or preparing for the exam in the upcoming year should be aware that approximately 30 percent of the PMP exam will change.

As a result of the RDS, certain areas of the examination will be tested in a different way because an existing Domain was seen to be common across all content areas of the examination. Specifically, the Professional and Social Responsibility content area (Domain 6) will now be tested in every domain rather than as a separate domain on the examination. The recognition obtained through the RDS is that professional and social responsibility is integrated into all of the work of project management. PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct should therefore be viewed as now integrated into the day-to-day role of a project manager, emphasizing its importance in each phase of the project lifecycle.

However, education and experience eligibility requirements for the PMP credential will not change.

The new examination is scheduled to be released on 31 August 2011. This means that the last day to take the current PMP exam is 30 August 2011. Candidates who would like to take the current version of the examination are advised to schedule early to better ensure that they are able to obtain a test date before the update.

Wide Participation Helps Ensure That RDS Reflects Contemporary Practice

The changes in the PMP exam reflect the maturity of the role as defined in the RDS. More than 3,000 PMP credential holders from 97 countries were involved in the process of updating the role.

A steering committee and task force of volunteers comprised of PMP credential holders led the RDS effort. These volunteers represented project managers from every global region, as well as diversity in industry, job roles and other demographics.

PMI started the eight-month RDS process in late 2009, working with Professional Examination Services, a third-party with expertise in this process, to complete the study.

Michella Dantas, PMI-RMP, PMP, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil served as the PMP representative for the Role Delineation Study Steering Committee. She noted that “The process as conducted by PMI brings high value, as it involves a wide diversity of experienced professionals coming from different business areas and countries who can bring to the table their views on how the profession is evolving and what might have to reviewed as far as knowledge, skills and abilities.”Ms. Dantas also participated in the PMP Role Delineation Study in 2004.

“Because it provides timely recalibration of the certification requirements with the experiences of global project managers across a wide array of project types, sizes, industries and complexities; the RDS ensures that PMP [credential holders] can measure and chart their own development based on internationally accepted criteria,” said task force team member Grace E. Solas PMP, of Jamaica. “By doing this, a PMP should always have a distinct advantage toward providing value adding services to their employers.”
“Project management is still is not as easily recognized [as some older professions. An RDS], makes the role of clearer and shows the difference between a skilled technical specialist and a skilled project manager,” said Sergey Rakovskiy, PMP, of Moscow, Russia, who served on the RDS task force.

“By performing an in-depth look at the current PMP [exam] and comparing it to what project managers in the ‘real world’ are doing, a role delineation study results in a more meaningful credential,” said task force participant Julie Paradise, MSM, PMP, East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, USA.

“In a world that’s so dynamic, it is important [for a project manager] to have fresh information in order to adapt to many circumstances. The Role Delineation Study helps project managers to be sure that the information that is shared with them is updated based on the experience that other project managers have faced in daily work. Conducting a role delineation study gives a huge amount of certainty that the project management practices are adaptable to the current markets,” said task force member Gabriel Perez Huesca, PMP, of Puebla City, Mexico.

To reflect exam modifications, PMI has created and released a new PMP Exam Content Outline that will replace the current PMP® Examination Specification. Find more information online about the RDS or related examination changes.


Source: (Community Post)

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PMI Fact File

Posted by Rubel Khan on October 8, 2010


Total Members


% increase August 2010/2009


New Members



Credentials – Total Active Holders of:
Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certificate


Project Management Professional (PMP) credential


Program Management Professional (PgMP) credential


PMI Risk Management (PMI-RMP) credential


PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) credential

August 2010 Unique Visitors


YTD Total



PMBOK Guide – Fourth Edition placed in circulation* August 2010


Total copies in circulation*


Total copies of all editions* of the PMBOK Guide in circulation

*includes PMI-published translations



Source: PMI Today October 2010

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