All You Should Know To Create A Powerful PMP Exam Brain Dump
In the earlier article, I already showed you tips and tricks to crack the challenging PMP exam and grab the hard-earned PMP certification. One of the tips I mentioned is creating the brain dump when you’re appearing the exam. Now after searching for important and very helpful information about the brain dump, I am going to dig into this technique, what it is, what it consists of, when it should be created, how to study it, and what are secrets to create an effective PMP brain dump!
What are brain dumps?
PMP exam is listed among closed book exams where brain dump technique is employed by lots of students as to create their
personal small reference sheet. By brain dumps, we mean components and concepts that you remember and then pour out to the paper sheets well before the exam for the reference. You know the only material you can bring into the exam room is your brain which may be overwhelmed with plenty of information. Without a brain dump, you may have to play two roles in parallel while sitting for the exam; those are, analyzing and answering questions, and recalling information in your memory. How tiring and complicating it is, not to mention that stuff may be unnecessary stress addition to your mind. That way, it’s highly possible that there’s some information you forget at the very moment that you need it most. Of course, it will be less tiresome and confusing if you have photographic memory. Otherwise, brain dumps work nicely in this case. You may dump your brain to a paper and leave your mind stay centered on exam questions. Let’s go into detail of this powerful technique.
What may a brain dump contain?
Brain Dumps comprise of just adequate core theories, concepts, formulas and items that might give you hiccups when you need it most. With the information showcased on your brain dump, you can direct the razor sharp focus to specific questions.
Here is what may go into a brain-dump:
Formulas – for example, earned value management, expected monitory value, communication channels, PERT, contract related formulas, source selection, procurement, probability, etc.
List of names
Table 3-1 in the PMBOK® Guide
Values – ex. 1, 2 and 3 sigma and range estimate
Mnemonics, doodles or mindmap(s)
Project closure checklist
Sources of the conflict (by priority order)
Conflict resolution techs (from best to worst)
Powers of the PM
Acronyms – for instance, BAC, TCPI, etc.
Anything that you have trouble calling to mind during your study and that you find necessary to go into your sheet.
The list above is just a good example; it is really necessary for you to customize the brain bump to your needs, what you personally find difficult to remember.
How can you study a brain dump?
A brain dump purely has everything to do with your memorization and put it down to a paper. Along your process of exam preparation, practice pumping the content of your brain dump into your memory and then write them down a blank paper sheet every day.
Don’t let yourself be lazy, giving up practising your brain dump every morning unless you are pleased with your process. By the first week end, you are expected to write out entirely your brain dump at the first attempt. That’s when you can continue with your dumping on a regular basis and return to the day-by-day routine when there remain two weeks before your exam.
So what are secrets to a powerful PMP exam brain dump?
a. The first secret is that you will speed up your exam study and knowledge by going through steps of designing, studying and grasping what is on your own PMP exam brain dump. In other words, you will start with creating its content while well knowing the knowledge areas that you’re weak at when you gear up for the exam. That’s followed by your remembering, dumping and reiterating.
b. Write out formulas even if you know them nicely to save your time and efforts recalling them during your exam and possibly staying out of an incidental confusion
c) First write key things from the PMBOK Guide, then moving to points discovered along the way practising exam questions. By so doing, you will work out high risk points instead of less important ones if you’re unable to fulfill the brain dump in the regulated time. Shiv Shenoy, a PMP coach from beautiful Bangalore, shared that he managed to write only around 65% of his brain dump within 13 minutes he got.
d) It is unnessary for you to creat a structured brain dump. Simple because it is a brain dump, let format it as crudely. Remember the target is to spill out as much of it as possible in the short time frame you get just prior to your exam.
e) Don’t forget to create your brain dump during the last week before your exam. As such, by the time clearing the exam, you remember full of it to the point completing it short and sweet, and feel confident during your exam.
f) Write down your brain dump to the scrap-paper delivered to you at the Prometric center during the stipulated 15 minutes committed to your understanding the exam interface.
Ah hem, one thing you shouldn’t forget is that following your downloading the brain dump on to the scrap paper, ensure you leave enough space on that paper for your later doing actual calculations. That’s because the Prometric staff shall ‘deprive’ you of the first one if you ask for another one.
g. Bear in mind that you don’t need to make your brain dump wordy with nice hand writing. As it’s your personalized one, make it neat, perhaps in ways that make sense just to you. Below is Shiv Shenoy’s brain dump, in which he connected dots at some places to make it understandable. Let’s see how a good brain dump should look!
Earned Value Management
EV = BAC * % complete
EV = PV * % complete (any point during project execution)
EV=BCWP (budgeted cost of work performed)
PV=BCWS (budgeted cost of work scheduled)
AC=ACWP (actual cost of work performed)
SV = EV-PV > 0 is good
SPI = EV/PV > 1 is ahead of schedule
CV = EV-AC > 0 is good
CPI = EV/AC > 1 is under budget
PV = SV/(SPI-1)
AC = CV/(CPI-1)
EAC = AC+bottom-up ETC : when initial estimates are flawed
EAC = AC+(BAC-EV) : when ETC is predicted to be done at budgeted rate (ATYPICAL)
EAC = BAC/CPI : when ETC is expected at current CPI (typical)
EAC = AC+(BAC-EV)/(SPI*CPI) : at current SPI, CPI
EAC = AC/%Complete
ETC = EAC – AC :assuming work goes as per plan
ETC = BAC – EV
VAC = BAC – EAC
%VAC = VAC/BAC * 100
TCPI = (BAC-EV)/(BAC-AC) : accepting BAC value
TCPI = work remaining/funds remaining
TCPI = (BAC-EV)/(EAC-AC) : when BAC is not sufficient and EAC is calculated
TCPI > 1 is bad
Expected Monitory value: EMV=Impact*Probability
Communication channels = N*(N-1)/2
7% of communication message is contained in words
38% in vocal pitch
55% in body language
Albert Mehrabian’s book “Silent Message”
TEAM stages – Tuckman (Jensen) Ladder
Future value & Present value
FV = PV (1+r)^N : r=rate of interest, N=number of time periods
PV = FV/(1+r)^N
NPV : higher the better
NPV > 0 investment will add value, accept the project
Internal rate of return, IRR : Bigger the better
Benefit Cost Ration, BCR : Bigger the better
Payback period: Lesser the better : This is nothing but Breakeven period
Payback period=Net investment/Avg annual cash flow
PERT: Normal: (O+M*4+P)/6
SD of activity = (P-O)/6
Variance of activity = [SD]squared
Float/Slack/total slack = LS-ES = LF-EF : =0 for activities on critical path
Cost Of Quality, COQ = EFTW+COPQ = POC+PONC
Essential first time work
Cost of poor quality
Price of Conformance
Price of non-conformance
Depreciation/Straight-line depreciation = Asset cost/Useful life
Double declining balance = 2x((Asset cost – Accumulated depreciation)/Useful life)
Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) -25% to +75%
Budget Estimate -10% to +25%
DefinitiveEstimates -5% to +10%
Remember, RETURN = Net Income Before Tax (NIBT) *or* Net Income After Tax (NIAT); & ON means ‘/’
Return on Sales, ROS = NI*T/Total Sales
Return on Assets, ROA = NI*T/Total Assets
Retrun on Investment, ROI = NI*T/Total Investment
Working Capital = Current Assets – Current Liabilities
Discounted cashflow = Cashflow * Discount factor
Contract related formulas
Savings = Target cost – Actual cost
Bonus = Savings*Percentage
Contract cost = Bonus+Fees
Total cost = Actual cost + Contract cost
Point of total assumption
PTA = [(Ceiling Price – Target Price)/Buyer’s Share Ratio] + Target Cost
Cost to buy = Initial cost + [#months * (monthly maintenance costs)]
lifecycle cost = total cost + maintenance and support cost for lifetime of product
1 sigma = 68.26%
2 sigma = 95.46%
3 sigma = 99.73%
6 sigma = 99.999%
1 SD = 1 sigma
What Five Strategic Considerations may result in authorization of a project? (MOCkTaiLS – MOCTLS)
EVA = Net Operating Profit After Tax – Cost of Capital (Revenue – Op. Exp – Taxes) – (Investment Capital X % Cost of Capital)
EVA: Economic Value Add Benefit Measurement – Bigger is better
Source Selection = (Weightage X Price) + (Weightage X Quality)
Types of powers of PM:
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
McGregor Theory X, Y; / Z(assurance of permanent job position)
McClelland’s Need Theory
Victor Vroom Expectance theory
Peter Principle=Halo effect
range of variance on a budgetary estimate can be from -10% to +25%.
Paul Hersey/Ken blanchard’s Situational continuum/leadership
change leadership style based on maturity of subbordinates/team.
S1: Telling; S2: Selling; S3: Participating; S4: Delegating;
system testing vs integration testing
Seven Quality Mgmt and Control tools(NP, MAP IT)
7 Basic Quality Tools (See See See, Husband and Father Playing Soccer)
type II error – beta risk
ACTIVITY ON ARROW/arrow diagramming method
McKinsey’s 7S’s – Robert H. Waterman, Jr. and Tom Peters
7 reasons of conflicts on projects
technical opinions and performance trade-offs
cost and budget
Conflict management style
Compromising: win some/lose some; >> lose/lose
Avoiding: no winners/no losers
Test of Normality
Paired Comparison Analysis
managemet by objective
capability maturity model
Merrill and Reid in their employee motivation theory?
personality traits: driver, expressive, amiable, and analytical.
Joseph Juran:applied the Pareto principle to quality issues
“Juran’s Trilogy”: quality planning, quality control, and quality improvement.
W. Edwards Deming
PDCA – along with Shewart
Philips Crosby – DIRFT (4 principles)
The definition of quality is conformance to requirements (requirements meaning both the product and the customer’s requirements)
The system of quality is prevention
The performance standard is zero defects (relative to requirements)
The measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance
Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto
root-cause diagram: fishbone
KJ Diagram ()
William Ouchi (jap)
Theory Z, permament job offer
Design of experiments
“Delegation means assigning work to the others and giving them authority to do so”
Iterative and Incremental
NPV is defined as: The difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows.
critical chain methd by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
The critical path method (CPM) is a project modeling technique developed in the late 1950s by Morgan R. Walker (of DuPont) and James E. Kelley
Parkinson’s law is the adage which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.
Student’s syndrom – work is done at the last moment before deadline
Group decision making criteria (BINAM)
Multi-criteria decision analysis
Failure mode and effect analysis – FMEA
QFD – quality function deployment (type of Facilitated workshops)
Discrete, Apportioned, Level of Effort – EMV effort types
deming’s 14 points?
zero sum processing
shannon-weaver model of communication
code of ethics: Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Fairness >>>> Aspirational and Mandatory
direct, indirect, fixed, variable costs
All You Should Know To Create A Powerful PMP Exam Brain Dump
To add it up, All you should know to create a powerful PMP exam brain dump tells you a complete story of an amazing tool that not only helps you bring your most needed material into the exam room but also navigates your mind only to wordy and tricky 200 questions, to say nothing about its bolstering your utter confidence. Overall, the terser, cruder and more understandable just for you it is, the opener your door to the exam success!