Direct: 614-610-1200 | Toll Free: 888-888-9917 | info@edumind.com

Friday, 28 August 2020


By Robert Marshall, PhD, CSPM, PMP 

Are you taking over a new project team? Are you meeting your new team for the first time? This information is for you if so. How you introduce yourself will either confirm or inform your team's expectations. Your introduction will either motivate or deflate. Make it count, make it professional. Here’s how the professionals do it: 

· Start by sharing a few key personal details: For example, you might share your previous role either in the same organization or another, along with the nature of the work you did. You could share your marital status, the number of children, and pets. You could share where you went to school, your favorite professional teams, or the sports you enjoy playing. Also, try sharing something about yourself that is not widely known even by your past collages. You may have climbed Pikes Peak in Colorado all the way to the top, or you are in the Guinness World Records book. By offering the team a window into your life, you allow them the opportunity to make instant connections with you. Sharing a few personal details about yourself is an important first step.

· Share the strategic importance of the project: A project is never “just a project,” but rather, projects are “instruments of strategy.” As a part of a larger organization, projects are purposefully selected and undertaken to achieve organizational goals. An organization’s goals, in turn, contribute to its strategic intent. Optimal alignment between the project, the organization’s goals, and its strategy is the “fit” of a project in the organization. In that sense, projects connect to strategy. We know this is true because projects can either enhance or diminish a firm’s competitive advantage. Share with your new team how the project at hand fits into the organization and how its result contributes to the organization’s strategic success. 

· Share the triple obligations you have as the project manager: All project managers (PMs) have three primary obligations: 

First, PMs are responsible to the organization they are working on behalf of. If it is an internal project, the PM is an associate or officer of the firm with an obligation to not only keep its leaders informed but also to deliver the expected strategic value of the project. If the project is an external one, the PM is typically a contractor-partner, yet has the same obligations, by contract, to inform and deliver value for the client. 

Second, PMs have an obligation to the project. Project managers are ethically bound to do their best to meet the goals and objectives of the project. A PM’s every action and decision should aim to lessen the risk, conserve resources, enhance performance, strengthen the project team, and deliver the expected goods, services, and benefits. 

Third, PMs have an obligation to their team. As the PM, you have a responsibility to be forthright and honest with your team, to be respectful and fair, and to lead by example. You also have the obligation to ensure each team member’s role is clear and each member has the tools, support, and authority to perform their personal best. When they excel, you excel.

Meeting Your Project Team for the First Time

· Share with the team what project success looks like: Paint a picture of the positive outcomes of the project. For example, if it is a newly launched product, describe its success in the marketplace and how consumers' lives are enhanced. If it is a new internal IT system, describe the increase in the organization’s competitive advantage as a direct result of improved and streamlined processes. Project success means positive outcomes. It also means improvements and/or enhancement in the lives of one or more groups, whether consumer groups or some other. Identify who and how lives will be bettered, and describe these positive outcomes with images, pictures, and metaphors as best you can. Nothing motivates a team like an inspiring and achievable vision. 

· Wrap it up in 30 minutes but leave the door open for more information sharing later: Let team members know you will be reaching out to them individually, as a follow-up, to see what if anything they might need to excel, and that you look forward to working with them. Encourage them to stop by with any questions, comments, and suggestions. Leave all communications channels wide open. 

There you have it. How to professionalize your introduction. You will likely need to revisit the organization’s strategic plan as well as the goals and objectives of the project. When you understand it well enough to explain it, you will be well prepared to introduce yourself like a pro!

EduMind Inc at 11:23

Tuesday, 25 August 2020


By Maggie Kirk, Associate AIA 

To best perform on the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) and all six of its divisions, it is imperative to be familiar with the exam format. The last thing an exam candidate should do is to show up on test day without any experience with practice exams. I found that, for me, half of the battle was learning the format of the exam. A great aspect of the exam is that it is consistent across all divisions. It follows the same format which promotes familiarization. Once that format became more familiar, I found myself becoming confident enough to test out strategies. 

The majority of the ARE 5.0 consists of discrete items and case studies. Because the exam is timed, many test-takers suggest completing the case studies first. The case studies involve looking at resources that may take some time. Completing the case studies first allows for getting the most time-consuming part out of the way. 

I found my strategy was to do a once-through until I got to the case studies, meaning that I would go through and answer the discrete items as I could within a certain time frame (around 20-30 seconds max). The exam offers the option to mark questions for review. If I answered a question but was not sure, I would mark for review to note that I was not fully certain in my answer. This was especially the case when I would read through a question quickly. One of the things I have learned from the exam is not to read too quickly—you will surely miss something! If a question has a lot to read, I suggest leaving it until a future pass. The exam will allow you to review the questions and go back to answer any that you skipped. It’s not over until you say it is, or until the time runs out. 

Also, consider that the exam does not start until you hit start. The appointment time is padded and if you check in to the testing center quickly, you have time before you start the exam. I usually take a little bit of time before starting the exam to breathe deep and calm my nerves. You will be given paper and a pencil at the testing center so, before you begin, you can use that to download anything that is in your mind such as concepts, terminology, etc. 

You are given a 15-minute break at your discretion to take at any time during the exam. Use it! I was in the habit of plowing through the exam, not taking a break until I realized I should take a break to relax my mind (typically after I have looked through the exam once). I would step outside, get some fresh air, and clear my thoughts so I could start again fresh. 

Remember, what works for you is what works for you—but practice! Practice exams are great for familiarizing yourself with content and for testing strategies! 

EduMind offers exam prep for all six divisions of the ARE 5.0. Click here to learn more about our comprehensive review courses and select the format that best suits your needs. 

EduMind Inc at 07:51

Friday, 21 August 2020


By Maggie Kirk, Associate AIA

There are a few certainties in life: death, taxes, and failing a division of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®). Okay, some people have passed all the divisions on the first try (not me), but if you look at the passing rates—hovering around 50 percent, with one division in the 60s and another at 70 percent—the odds are against you. A fail is frustrating. An already long journey has become longer. It’s a sinking feeling, but don’t give up. 

Get Motivated after Failing ARE 5.0 Exam

One of the best sayings that I heard from taking the ARE 5.0 was that you don’t fail, you just don’t pass. Many will admit that if they had to take an exam again after a pass, they may very well fail. It can go either way. The goal is not to let it derail your progress. 

When you fail an exam, or even after you take an exam regardless of pass/fail, take a day or two off from studying. Go out to dinner and reconnect with the world. Blow off some steam so you are ready to get back in the ring. Give your brain a rest. I suggest (before going to dinner) downloading what you can remember from the exam to a document. 

For me, that served as a study guide for the next time around. The plus side of taking the exam once is that you have a better idea of the content on the exam. The second time around may be more familiar. The download allows you to go back and review concepts that may have been weak points. A suggestion would be to compare your download to your Score Report, which is issued shortly after you have taken the exam, regardless if you pass or fail. The report indicates competencies and demonstrates areas of weakness. 

It is important to keep going. Yes, a fail is demotivating, but it is best to get back into the groove and continue with the exams because the next ones could be passes. Don’t let one, or even many fails dictate forward progression. You are not alone in the process. I suggest that if you ever feel you are, turn to the ARE 5.0 Community on the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) website. The positive spirit, encouragement, engagement, and camaraderie reinforce that you are part of a professional community where every member is valuable and seeking success. 

Whether or not you fail, I think that motivation is needed throughout the process—and maybe more so when there is a fail. My motivation was that I wanted to understand more about the profession of architecture. I found myself connecting to the content on the basis that it was making me a better professional. I didn’t need a pass or a fail to see that transformation in the exam-taking process. 

So, remember that no matter what, don’t give up on the process because then you are giving up on your growth toward becoming a licensed architect. You got this. 

EduMind offers exam prep for all six divisions of the ARE 5.0. Click here to learn more about our comprehensive review courses and select the format that best suits your needs.


EduMind Inc at 08:52

Tuesday, 18 August 2020


By Maggie Kirk, Associate AIA 

When taking the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), the candidate has the option to view their provisional score at the conclusion of the exam. The provisional score allows the candidate to see whether or not they have passed the exam, pending further approval. Viewing the provisional score is an option, not a requirement, so one can skip that step if desired. If the candidate chooses not to review the provisional score, they will get their pass/fail and a Score Report within a short period of time. 

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) tests minimum competency and the cut score is between 57 and 68 percent, depending upon the exam. NCARB does not issue an actual test score. Instead, they simply note a pass or fail. The Score Report is the only way to assess how the candidate performed on the exam. However, there are very few specifics. 

At the top of the Score Report, you will find the division taken, whether it is a pass or a fail, and the expiration date of the exam. If you pass the division, the Score Report lists the candidate’s progress with the exam process and results, the division statement, and the concepts of that particular division. The Score Report for a failed exam looks a little different. 

After failing a division, the Score Report notes performance levels in addition to the information on the pass report above. The role of the performance levels is to give the candidate an assessment of competency for the divisions from level one to level four. Levels three and four do not qualify for a passing competency, while levels one and two qualify. Where one’s score falls into a particular level, it is indicated by a filled circle. If within levels one and two, the circle will be blue. If three or four, the circle will be grey. 

Input on a failed section is provided with the division statements above the performance. It gives the description of the division sections and the content covered. If the candidate failed that section, they could reference the division statement to see the content of that section and focus more of their studying on failed sections. 

Should the candidate not agree with the score, they have the option to pay a fee and have their exam validated. The charge is $100, and an NCARB staff architect will review all questions and performance. There is a limited amount of time to request this verification. Should the feedback from NCARB not be accurate pending the review, NCARB will refund the exam and verification fee and the score report will be adjusted. 

An exam review is another option for the candidate. In this case, the jurisdiction for the exam will review the exam. Questions missed will be issued but their answers will not. It is up to the local jurisdiction to challenge and it also involves a fee. 

EduMind offers exam prep for all six divisions of the ARE 5.0. Click here to learn more about our comprehensive review courses and select the format that best suits your needs.

EduMind Inc at 09:26

Friday, 14 August 2020


By Maggie Kirk, Associate AIA

The process of becoming an architect is not an easy one. According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), after 5.6 years of education, data shows that it takes about 4.6 years to satisfy the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®) requirements needed to sit for the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®). 

At that time, the average age of a candidate is around 33 years old. In addition to that, it takes an average of 2.2 years to complete all six divisions of the exam. One of the most common concerns I hear about the exams is that life is well underway when a candidate becomes eligible to sit for them. In addition to work obligations (the hours and demands of the profession), a candidate often has a busy personal life as well, typically with a young family. This can get discouraging when faced with the task of completing the exams and becoming a licensed architect. The question is: When is the best time to take the exams given the time needed to study, and the time needed to take—and potentially retake—the exams? My answer: There is none. 

Now, my answer is not meant to be discouraging but it is meant to demonstrate that there is no magic date or year in that definition of time. Consider my response setting an expectation. There is no missed boat because there just is no right time to take the exams and everyone’s situations and constraints are different. And that is OK. What works for one may often not work for all. 

Best Time to take ARE 5.0

So, before hands are thrown into the air and frustration ensues, let me offer this bit of advice. Understand that while there is no best time in terms of date or year, it takes dedication. The best ‘time’ is time well-spent. I recommend setting aside 2-3 hours per day to study, and sometimes more. It is not a sprint, but a marathon and should be a consistent practice. Any small breaks in studying could lead to bigger breaks and then studying can become sporadic. These study sessions should not only be reserved for reviewing the content of the division—third-party study material, recommended readings, flashcards, and practice exams—but should be a time of dedicated concentration. Distracted learning makes it difficult for the material to sink in. 

The best “time” is the time when your family and friends can support your journey. Often, the exam journey is not a solo expedition but involves the support of others. If the situation cannot lend that support, maybe it is not the best time to start. However, once started, the best “time” is completing the exams within the five years of the rolling clock so that exams aren’t at risk of expiring. 

So, while there is no magic formula, understand that it takes the journey of ourselves and those closest to us. When everyone's on board, then that is the best time. 

EduMind offers exam prep for all six divisions of the ARE 5.0. Click here to learn more about our comprehensive review courses and select the format that best suits your needs.

EduMind Inc at 06:31

Tuesday, 11 August 2020


By Maggie Kirk, Associate AIA 

Studying for the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) is a daunting task. When embarking on the journey, the hardest part is figuring out where to start. The value of an exam preparation course is that it gives organization to the vast amount of content these exams cover. On top of that, reputable prep courses are developed by those who are experienced in the profession and with the ARE 5.0. 

However, third-party materials should not be the only part of the process. Studying is reinforced through multiple other resources including readings, resources, flashcards, practice exams, videos, and more. It is necessary to access other resources when studying for these exams. 

The ARE® 5.0 Handbook provides a list of resources and references to study for each division of the exam. What is often daunting about the list is that, combined, the resources are thousands of pages and thousands of dollars. Researching which select resources are recommended for the exam can start to whittle down the list. Many of these recommendations come from the ARE® 5.0 Community from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). 

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) website is a valuable resource in regard to model contracts and model documents. Free samples are provided that help familiarize the exam candidate with the contracts most common to the architectural profession, as well as understanding roles and responsibilities of the parties involved in a project and within the matrix of various contracts. 

Flashcards are another valuable resource in reinforcing and understanding concepts and terminology. The terminology in the building industry is specific and meaningful, and flashcards help provide the terms and processes referenced within the industry and on the exam. Flashcards can be sourced through various resources including apps. However, the exam candidate should also make their own flashcards. Creating custom flashcards is a great way to keep track of various terminologies and concepts to reinforce the content of the exams from readings, resources, and other sources to tailor your study. 

Last but certainly not least, the ARE® 5.0 Community is what I consider a “go-to” when studying for the ARE 5.0. Accessed through the NCARB website, the community space is divided into topics: those related to specific exam divisions and otherwise. Within the community, you will find an eager and excited bunch of professionals and moderators, helping each other with content, giving moral support, and just being all-around cheerleaders. I highly recommend it as a resource to find best practices, exam tips and tricks, suggested resources, and content clarification from those who are in the process or who have completed their exam journey. It reinforces that this journey is not one to be taken alone, but that the exam candidate is part of a much larger community. 

No matter the path of that journey, there is more than meets the eye. Casting a wide net of resources and materials will support a universal understanding of topics and a better understanding of exam content. 

EduMind offers exam prep for all six divisions of the ARE 5.0. Click here to learn more about our comprehensive review courses and select the format that best suits your needs.

EduMind Inc at 07:42

Friday, 07 August 2020


By Robert Marshall, PhD, CSPM, PMP 

Projects are document intensive. Project documentation serves a myriad of purposes including project selection, design, engineering, management, implementation, and control to name a few. One indicator of the density of project documentation is the 1,600-plus hits returned when the latest edition of The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) is searched using “document” as the keyword. That number tells the story of how interrelated and interwoven documents are in the many actions and activities of a project. No matter the use or need, project documents have one thing in common. At their core, documents are communications tools. Their purpose is to transfer project understanding and knowledge. 

Project documentation is divided into two groups: “primary” and “secondary.” Primary documentation contains information not previously created or used before. Primary documents are the original and “first-source” of the information they contain. Secondary documents are derivatives of primary documents. Secondary documents are often a combination of two or more primary ones. Primary documents are indispensable and considered “essential” for any project. In order of their development: 

1. Strategic traceability document. A project is never “just a project.” A project is always a part of a larger organization and always undertaken to achieve one or more organizational goal. In that sense, projects are really “instruments of strategy.” We know this is true because projects can either enhance or diminish a firm’s competitive advantage. Knowing how a project fits into an organization and contributes to its strategy is key to understanding the role and importance of the project. A strategic traceability document is an effective method to do that. 

To create it, you will need to identify the following strategic elements: An organization’s strategic vision, its strategic goals or objectives, any legal mandates, as well as the goals of the project itself. With those in hand, show and explain their relative alignment. In other words, “trace” how each element contributes to the achievement of the next higher element. Applications like “Smart Art” do a nice job of documenting strategic traceability. Once created, the strategic traceability document is tantamount to the “north star” of the project. Never lose sight of it.

2. Project scope statement including a Work-Breakdown Structure (WBS). The scope statement is the most important document of a project. Without scope, there is nothing to “project manage.” Ideally, this document is a detailed description that paints the best possible picture of the intended result and outcome of the project. Part and parcel to the scope statement is a WBS. The WBS compliments the scope statement by providing structure and logic. The WBS serves as a framework for the scope statement and is critical to explaining it. As Albert Einstein famously said, “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.” A well-prepared scope statement and WBS will ensure you can do the former, while helping others with the later. Using an “organization chart” as a template does an effective job creating a basic WBS. A scope statement is only as good as its WBS.

3. Schedule. The schedule document follows the scope statement and WBS. A project schedule is a two-dimensional representation which depicts units of work on the Y-axis and units of future-time on the X-axis. Ideally, the units of work are correlated with the WBS. Carrying the WBS structure into the schedule document significantly enhances the schedule’s communications value. The most common displays of a schedule are the Gantt, PERT, or GERT formats. 

As an aside, an important thing to know about any project schedule is the existence of the “time-monster.” He is invisible, yet very real. He also has an insatiable appetite… and delights in eating any flavor of project whether in minutes, hours, and days. If you have ever uttered the words, “where has the time gone?” now you know. 

4. Cost estimate. Created next is the cost estimate document. Coming after schedule (which comes after scope) makes sense. Logically, the cost of something cannot be known without first identifying what it is (from the scope), and second, identifying when you will need it (from the schedule). When this sequence changes, warning alarms should sound. 

One often-overlooked component of any professional cost estimate is the basis of estimate, or “BoE.” The BoE is often much longer and richer than the numerical estimate itself. Like the relationship of the WBS to the scope statement, the BoE is the indispensable explanation of the cost estimate. The BoE details everything that factors in or influences the estimate including assumptions, constraints, sources of cost information, contributors, and any other important details not otherwise shown in the numbers. A cost estimate without a BoE is only half an estimate. The undisputed king of applications used to create a cost estimate is Microsoft Excel. 

5. Communications plan. Ending on the same note as we began, communications is the heart of all project documentation. The communications plan is therefore essential as it is the very “plan” to make sure that all documents, primary, and secondary are doing their job. The communications plan is the pumping heart of a project. Too little information and the project becomes faint, too much information and the project can seize, and if the information stops altogether the project dies. An effective communication plan makes firm commitments to every action or activity related to communications including all routine project meetings; executive briefings; client presentations; all scope, schedule, or cost updates; all social media announcements and marketing updates; and anything else that communicates project information. Never leave the dates for these items “TBD.” Commit to them and include them in the schedule for best results. 

While there are many more documents that are important in a project, without these it is unlikely a project will ever start or finish. They are the “essential documents.” While a project may get by without others, it will not get far without these.

EduMind Inc at 08:51

Tuesday, 04 August 2020


By Robert Marshall, PhD, CSPM, PMP 

There are many reasons to earn the Project Management Professional (PMP)® designation. One is its global appeal. The number of PMP holders has now reached 1 million, across more than 200 countries, according to the issuing organization, the U.S.-based Project Management Institute (PMI). By comparison, a similar designation issued by the International Project Management Association (IPMA), headquartered in the Netherlands, has a fraction of the holders, and represents far fewer countries (approximately 70). 

Many consider the PMP to be the de facto world-standard in project management. Supporting its strong multinational use is the availability of the PMP examination in many languages. Whereas the IPMA examination is currently available in English, German, and Polish, PMI offers the PMP examination in 14 languages including Chinese. Earning a PMP means recognition as a Project Management Professional no matter where your next project takes you. 

Another reason to earn the PMP, and much more importantly, is the credibility it confers on its holders. Few efforts bestow standing like earning a professional credential. Whether in information technology, software programming, or another discipline, credentials symbolize knowledge, skills, abilities, and even work ethic. 

Not all credentials are equal, however. The credibility of a given designation stems from the standing of the organization behind it and the rigor of the requirements to obtain it. As a leading practitioner, academic, and research organization, PMI is not only the largest dedicated project management organization, the standards it has set for obtaining its credential are among the most stringent. PMI has considerable standing among professional organizations as does its PMP credential. As a direct result, PMP holders enjoy the trust and confidence of their peers and clients. 

While recognition and credibility are two important reasons the PMP is worth earning, there is another reason that is frequently talked about: increased earnings potential. So, “how much does a project manager with a PMP make?” 

Project managers with or without PMI’s credential can earn attractive salaries. Those with a PMP distinction can earn even more. Those with the credential made 23% more than their non-credentialed counterparts, according to a 2019 survey conducted by PMI. For example, the average salary of project managers without PMI’s credential earned approximately $100,000.00 per year as compared to the median U.S. household income of $56,516.00 per year. However, with a PMP, project manager salaries increase significantly, with an average salary in the U.S. of $123,314. Holding the PMP pays off financially for those that have earned it! 

Three good reasons to earn the PMP designation: Global acceptance, professional credibility, and the opportunity to earn high salaries. Like most professional credentials, the PMP represents an investment that pays strong dividends to those that earn it.

EduMind Inc at 08:00

Blog Archive



Categories

Agile Methodologies
are5
Benefits of PMP Certification
CAPM Course
CAPM Review Course
Colocation
Conflict Management
Construction Project Management
Construction Project Management Certification
Construction Project Manager
Corporate PMP Online Training Course
Corporate PMPTraining
Eco-Friendly Project Management
Frank and Lillian Gilberth
Goal Theory
grad-admissions
Green Project Management
HR Management
Lao Tzu
Leadership
Leadership Theories
Lewin Leadership
Make or Buy Analysis
management
medical
Motivation
On Demand PMP
On Demand PMP Course
On Demand PMP Exam Prep Classes
On Demand PMP Exam Prep Course
On Demand PMP Training
Ondemand PMP Certification
Ondemand PMP Prep Course
Ondemand pmp training
One on One PMP Classes
One on One PMP Training Course
One on One PMP Tutoring
Online PMP
Online PMP Training
Online PMP Training Classes
Onsite PMP
Onsite PMP Boot Camp Classes
PMBOK
PMI
PMI Certification
PMO
PMP
PMP Application
PMP Aspirants
PMP Boot Camp
PMP Boot Camp Classes
PMP Bootcamp Course
PMP Certification
PMP Certification Training
PMP Class
PMP Course
PMP Exam
PMP Exam Prep
PMP Exam Prep Course
PMP Exam Prep Course Review
PMP Exam Prep Online
PMP Exam Prep Training
PMP Exam Preparation
PMP Exam Review
PMP Exam Review Course
PMP Exam Training Online
PMP Online
PMP Online Exam Prep
PMP Online Training
PMP Onsite
PMP Onsite Training
PMP Onsite Training Classes
PMP Prep Classes
PMP Preparation
PMP Review
PMP Test
PMP Training
PMP Training Course
PMP Training Online
PMP®
Procurement Management
Procurement Managers
Project Human Resource Management
Project Management
Project Management Certification
Project Management Course
Project Management Institute
Project Management Methodologies
Project Management Office
Project Management Professional
Project Management Professional Certification
Project Management Professional Skillset
Project Management Skills
Project Management Skillsets
Project Management Training
Project Manager
Project Manager Certification
Project Manager Conflict
Project Managers
Project Managers Efficiency
Project Plan
Project Planning
Project Procurement Management
Project Team
Project Team Members
Review Course
Risk Management Professional
RMP
RMP Exam Course
Salary for PMP
Software Project Management
Team Building
Time and Motion Study
Waterfall Project Management