PMP Exam Brain Dump/Cheat Sheet (PMBOK version 4) Dana Safford, PMP Updated 14 APR 11 This document

contains the procedure to recreate the good connotation of a Brain Dump/Cheat Sheet that I used for the PMP test. This version covering the PMBOK v4 contains updates from the earlier versions for the PMBOK v3 and v2000 tests. This document includes step-by-step instructions to create each section. The purpose of this document is to help you to dump this memorized information onto one of the scrap papers prior to starting the exam. Every time you sit down to study, start by recreating your “Brain Dump/Cheat Sheet”. You’ll see how much you remember and find that you will remember more each time. I’ll guarantee you that I did well over 50 or 60 trials before I was able to consistently reproduce the page every time. Even when I mastered the page, I still practiced again for several days before the test (including the morning of the test). Table of Contents: Introduction Completed Brain Dump/Cheat Sheet Pneumonics Brain Dump Instructions Tracking Your Marked Question Count Page 1 2 3 4 13

The Pneumonics section is there to help you remember the starting letters of the information in the process matrix. The pneumonics don’t have to make sense. In fact, I find the nonsensical ones easier to remember. You can come up with whatever pneumonics and tricks work for you. While I make no guarantees that this will work for you or that there are no errors. I can guarantee that this Brain Dump worked for me and many others I coached. I hope this helps you find something to work for you. Good luck! Dana Safford, PMP Copyright 2011, Dana Safford, All Rights Reserved

Dana Safford, PMP PMP Virtual Study Group

Page 1 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011, Dana Safford, All Rights Reserved

46% 99.EAC flaw HR X X X CV% = CV / EV x 100 SV% = SV / PV x 100 % Complete = (EV / BAC) x 100 % Spent = (AC / BAC) x 100 3-Point estimate = PERT = O+M+P 3 O + 4M + P 6 Comm Id Stakehold Rep Perf X Risk X X Mon & Cont Risk X Procure X Conduct Proc Admin Proc Close Proc SD of Task = P . All Rights Reserved .CV = EV – AC AC = ACWP SV = EV – PV PV = BCWS CPI = EV / AC EV = BCWP SPI = EV / PV BR = AC / EV EAC = (AC / EV) BAC good EAC = BAC / CPI good EAC = AC + (BAC – EV) typ/ CPI cont ETC = (BAC – EV) typ/cont CPI ETC = (BAC – EV) atyp/nocont EAC = AC + (BAC – EV) atyp/ Nocont EAC = AC + (BAC – EV) Index (CPI x SPI) effect PG KA Init D P Charter Planning 1 D Proj Mgt Plan 3 Executing D & M Proj Exec Monitoring & Controlling 2 M & C Proj Work Perform Int C C 2 Ver Scope Cont Scope Closing Close P roj/Pha Int Mgt Scope X Collect Req’s Def Scope Create WBS 5 Def Act Seq Act Est Act Res Est Act Dur Dev Sched 2 Est Cost Dev Bud 1 Plan Qual 1 Dev H R Plan 1 Dev Comm Plan 5 Plan Risk Mgt Id Risk Perf Qual Anal Perf Quant Anal Plan Risk Resp 1 Plan Proc X X Time X X Cont Sched X Cost Quality X X X Perf Qual Ass 3 Acq Proj Team Dev Proj Team Man Proj Team 2 Dist Info Man Stakehold Cont Cost Perf Qual Cont X X TCPI = (BAC-EV) (BAC-AC) EAC = AC+ ETC VAC = BAC .5% -> +10% Achievement theory: Motivated by achievement. Qual is not free. Qual circles Taguchi: Prevention – build quality into product Dana Safford. Q Planning. Plan – Do . Prevention Over Inspection. social. power. Y-eager (smiley face) ------- Crosby: Do it right 1st time. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 2 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011.1) 2 Rough (Magnitude) estimate: -25% -> +75% Budget estimate: -10% -> +25% Definitive estimate: . Dana Safford. self-esteem. & affiliation Contingency theory: Motivated by competency. safety. will continue after competency Expectancy theory: Expectation drives motivation Hygiene Theory: The work environment – pay. self-actualization McGregor: X-lazy (sad face) top-down. “0” defects. relationships are dissatisfiers Herzberg: Motivators are work itself Maslow: physiological. benefits.O 6 SIGMA 1 2 3 6 PV = FV (1 + i)n = = = = 68. Q Control || Fitness of work.Check – Act. Price for Non-Conformance.26% 95. Conformance To Requirements Deming: 85% management.73% 99.99% Schedule =Conflict types= Priorities Resources Technical Opinion W S C C F W S ← ← ← ← S ↑ S R ← ← C ↑ R R ← ← C ↑ ↑ ↑ R ← F ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ S FV = PV(1 + i)n =Risks= Technology Performance External Quality Organization Proj Mgt Scope COMM = N(N . SPC – Statistical Process Control Juran: Trilogy – Q improvement.

Confronting. Juran. Smoothing. My Can Peter Work. Perhaps I Change Control. Risk: [Vertically do RRQQRR.Pneumonics: Process Group: “Syrup of” IPECC Knowledge Area: I See The Chic Queen Hurl Cake Right Proper Integration: Did Peter Crash. Taguchi Dana Safford. Deming. Compromising. Forcing ||| Stalemate & Resolution Sources of Power: “=P=REF RaP” Motivation: All Cake Eaters Help Hold My Macaroons Quality People: Crosby. Do Maintain Peter’s Emporium. then] People Really Must Id Risk P Q Anal’s P Q Anal P RR Most Curiously R Procurement: Please Pick Contract Procurement At Proper Central Points Conflict types: S=C=PRT Risk Box: =Risk= Types Probably Equate to Quality Organization Pretty Soon Conflict Resolution: Withdrawal. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 3 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011. Did Peter Munch Pickles. Might Stakeholders Report Please. & Close Projects Scope: Collect Dynamite With Virtual Control Time: Democrats Sequence Republicans Dutifully During Sunday Chocolate Service Cost: Everybody Could Bolster Cold Climate Control Quality: P Q P Q A P Q C HR: Did His Royal Pants Acquire the Project Team? The Project Terror Manages the Project Team Comm: I Should Develop Comm Plan Distribution Info. All Rights Reserved . Dana Safford.

Use the pneumonics if you need to. there’s only one X. and ‘X’ one more.Part A: Process Group and Knowledge Area Matrix PG KA Integ Scope Time Cost Qual HR Comm Risk Proc Init Plan Exec Mon & Cont Close Step 1: In the upper right corner of the sheet. skip 3 in a row. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 4 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011. Step 3: Fill in negative space with X (cells with no processes). • From the top of Closing. draw a rough 6 column by 10 row grid. ‘X’ out all except Integration Mgt. • From top of Executing drop one and ‘X’ 3 in a row. Step 2: Fill-in the process Group and Knowledge Area titles. It’s four up from the bottom • In Initiating. All Rights Reserved . drop down one and ‘X’ 7in a row. X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X Dana Safford. Dana Safford. • In Controlling.

Most of the non-blocked cells will hold a single process. These numbers tell you the number of process in that cell. Any cell without a number or an ‘X’ holds a single process. The most multi-entry cells are in the Planning column. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 5 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011. PG KA Integ Scope Time Cost Qual HR Comm Risk Proc X X X X X X X Init Plan 1 3 5 2 1 1 1 5 1 X 3 2 X X X X Exec Mon & Cont 2 2 X X X X X X X Close Dana Safford.Step 4: Let’s get ready to fill-in the processes. All Rights Reserved . You’ll notice a number in the upper-right corner of the cells in the Planning column and a single cell in each of the Executing and Controlling columns. Dana Safford.

Dana Safford. use the pneumonics (from page 3) for each row. To help with the first letter for each process. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 6 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011.Step 5: Fill in the processes. just practice until you can do it quickly. Dana Safford. Now. All Rights Reserved . PG KA Init D P Charter Planning 1 D P Mgt Plan 3 Executing D & M Proj Exec Monitoring & Controlling 2 M & C Proj Work Perform Int C C 2 Ver Scope Cont Scope Closing Close P roj/Pha Int Mgt Scope X Collect Req’s Def Scope Create WBS 5 Def Act Seq Act Est Act Res Est Act Dur Dev Sched 2 Est Cost Dev Bud 1 Plan Qual 1 Dev H R Plan 1 Dev Comm Plan 5 X X Time X X Cont Sched X Cost Quality X X X Perf Qual Ass 3 Acq Proj Team Dev Proj Team Man Proj Team 2 Dist Info Man Stakehold Cont Cost Perf Qual Cont X X HR X X X Comm Id Stakehold Rep Perf X Risk X Plan Risk Mgt Id Risk Perf Qual Anal Perf Quant Anal Plan Risk Resp 1 Plan Proc X Mon & Cont Risk X Procure X Conduct Proc Admin Proc Close Proc You successfully completed the matrix.

Schedule Performance Index. AC. Two minus (-) and two divide (÷) CV=EVSV=EVCPI=EV÷ or / SPI=EV÷ or / Step 4: Fill in the last variable. Value At Completion. PV CV=EV-AC SV=EV-PV CPI=EV / AC SPI=EV / PV Dana Safford. All Rights Reserved . Estimate To Complete). To Complete Performance Index. Schedule Variance. Burn Rate. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 7 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011. Cost Performance Index. PV. Leave the extra spaces between some of the values as you see below. CV SV CPI SPI BR EAC EAC EAC ETC ETC EAC EAC TCPI EAC VAC CV% SV% % Complete %Spent Step 2: Fill in the equal sign and EV CV=EV SV=EV CPI=EV SPI=EV Step 3: Fill in the operands. write down each value (Cost Variance.Part B: Earned Value Formulas Step 1: Starting at the upper-left corner of the page. Dana Safford. Estimate At Completion (6 different formulas). AC.

Step 5: Because you need to know both ways (old & new) to represent these variables. Similarly. between the formulas you just entered and the Process Matrix. so. They are from Harold Kerzner’s Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning. Now let’s enter the formulas. Next notice the BAC term in the 1st EAC formula appears in the 2nd EAC formula. Since all five versions are listed here. they refer to the ETC concept as an aspect of forecasting. they are here just in case the data in your question matches the formula. below you’ll see the first two versions of the EAC formula are new. You use the version labeled ‘flaw’ when the initial estimates are found to be flawed and new estimates are required. you’ll notice that AC/EV is the first group in the 1st EAC formula. which is AC/EV. and ‘/CPI’ term from the 2nd EAC formula. I chose to leave the ETC formulas on this brain dump. The other three versions are right out of the PMBOK. you won’t have to do the algebra (remember the 7th grade?) required to change the formulas around to fit the question circumstances. They display a ‘good’ label because you use these when the project is going well. Note: Version 4 of the PMBOK Guide no longer explicitly describes the Estimate To Completion (ETC) formulas. The EAC and ETC formulas sporting a ‘ntyp/nocont’ notation flags you to use this version when the current reports are NOT ‘typical’ and future reports are NOT expected to ‘continue’ in the same manner. Just in case they are needed. In this group. So. the EAC and ETC formulas showing a ‘typ/cont’ notation after it identifies this version should be used when the current reports are ‘typical’ for a project and future reports are expected to ‘continue’ in the same manner. These are different enough that you should just enter the whole formula at once. All Rights Reserved . You’ll also notice that (BAC – EV) is a term in the next four formulas either AC or BAC is the first term in this group of formulas. Dana Safford. Ninth Edition. Instead. There is a progression of terms through this grouping. All these are listed because you don’t know what data will be provided with any given question. also appears in the 3rd EACG formula. Step 6: Before we start the next group. you can structure your brain dump without them. If you choose. I need to provide a short explanation. Dana Safford. You may notice a few other progressions. You should expect to see several of these Earned Value questions. The dashed line with the arrows is meant to remind you that the letter ‘P’ will occur only once in each formula. but there is a technique (or a flow) to the order of the list. enter these: AC = ACWP PV = BCWS EV = BCWP The AC formula is easy because it has the ‘AC’ in it. and Controlling. As mentioned above. you’ll see five versions of the Estimate At Completion (EAC) formula. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 8 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011. Starting with the BR (Burn Rate) formula. OK. of the remaining two formulas. Scheduling. ‘PV’ cannot have another ‘P’.

3-Point e(t) = PERT = O+M+P 3 O + 4ML + P 6 SD of Task = P .So now. BR = AC / EV EAC = (AC / EV) BAC good EAC = BAC / CPI good EAC = AC + (BAC – EV) typ/ CPI cont ETC = (BAC – EV) typ/cont CPI ETC = (BAC – EV) atyp/nocont EAC = AC + (BAC – EV) atyp/ nocont EAC = AC + (BAC – EV) index (CPI x SPI) effect TCPI = (BAC – EV) (BAC – AC) EAC = AC+ ETC flaw VAC = BAC .73% 99. CV% = CV / EV x 100 SV% = SV / PV x 100 % Complete = (EV / BAC) x 100 % Spent = (AC / BAC) x 100 Part C: Other Formulas You will see questions that rely on these formulas and thresholds.99% FV = PV(1 + i)n COMM = N(N . I could not apply the ‘atyp/nocont’. You may be able to keep them on the same line as the numerator of the equation. All Rights Reserved . fill in the forecasting formulas. Dana Safford.1) 2 Rough (Magnitude) estimate: -25% -> +75% Budget estimate: -10% -> +25% Definitive estimate: .5% -> +10% Dana Safford.EAC Step 7: Next fill-in the % Complete formulas. Make sure you apply the labels correctly.46% 99. and ‘both Indexes Effect’ labels completely on the same line and keep the formatting clean. In this typed version of the brain dump.O 6 SIGMA 1 2 3 6 PV = FV (1 + i)n = = = = 68. so they go on the sheet too. ‘typ/cont’. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 9 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011.26% 95.

Forcing (Note: the 2 C’s are in alphabetic order) W W S C C F S C C F Step 2: Now we fill-in the Resolution Outcomes. Step 1: Create a 6 x 6 grid with each Conflict Resolution Scenario as the column and row titles. Remember several of these have more than one name. we use – Withdrawal. Compromising. The equal signs on either side of the word ’Conflict types’ helps to identify it as the title (while allowing the ‘C’ to appear in the middle of the pneumonic. Fill-in the Stalemates with an ‘S’. or the ‘Columns Party’ or the ‘Rows Party’ whichever you prefer. but it is supposedly based on reading an excerpt from “Human Factors in Project Management: Handling Conflict”. and arrows that point toward the winning party (the ‘X’ or the ‘Y’. All of these are along the diagonal.Part D: Conflict Grids Using the Conflict Type pneumonic. I haven’t seen this elsewhere. All Rights Reserved . Top left 2 and bottom right 1. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 10 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011. Dana Safford. Smoothing. W S S S S C C F W S C C F Dana Safford. Resolution (win/win). For this version. reproduce the ‘Conflict Types’ box. Confronting. For this version. Schedule =Conflict Types= Priorities Resources Technical Opinion I liked the following Conflict Resolution Grid so much. I ‘borrowed’ it from another PMP. we use Stalemate.

then up 1 and left 1. =Risks= Technology Performance External Quality Organization Proj Mgt Scope Part F: Sources of Power Using the pneumonics. W S S S R C R R R S C F W S C C F Step 4: Fill in the rest. W S C C F W S ← ← ← ← S ↑ S R ← ← C ↑ R R ← ← C ↑ ↑ ↑ R ← F ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ S Part E: Risk Types Using the Risk Type pneumonic. fill-in the ‘Sources Of Power’ box.Step 3: Fill in the ‘Resolutions’ in the remainder of the diagonal. reproduce the ‘Risk Types’ box. Everything above the diagonal points up (to the ‘Columns Party’ as the winner. Everything below the diagonal points left. to the ‘Rows Party’ as the winner. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 11 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011. The equal signs on either side of the word ’Risk’ helps to identify it as the title (while allowing the ‘R’ to appear in the middle of the pneumonic. from the center (for a total of 4 Rs). =Power= Reward Expert Formal Penalty Reward PMBoK Best PM Inherent Dana Safford. Note the line at the halfway point. All Rights Reserved . Arrows indicate who wins. Dana Safford.

If you choose. The aide shows the attributes of each style of diagramming: • The Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM) is also called Arrow On Node (AON) and they use ONLY One Time Estimate. Just in case. Dana Safford. All Rights Reserved . Dana Safford. side-by-side. I split it in half and aligned it horizontally to fit. Note: Version 4 of the PMBOK Guide no longer explicitly describes the ADM method. I chose to leave the graphic on this brain dump. you can structure your brain dump without it. in the space below the conflict resolution grid.Part G: Network Diagramming: Kim Heldman’s networking aide is very helpful. • The Arrow Diagramming Method (ADM) is also call Activity On Arrow (AON) and they can use MORE than one time estimate. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 12 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011.

Taguchi: Prevention – build quality into product. safety. power. Dana Safford.Check – Act. Q Control || Fitness of work. Qual circles. relationships are dissatisfiers Herzberg: Motivators are work itself Maslow: physiological. Dana Safford. SPC – Statistical Process Control Juran: Trilogy – Q improvement. Prevention Over Inspection. Q Planning. will continue after competency Expectancy theory: Expectation drives motivation Hygiene Theory: The work environment – pay. fill-in the first letter of the Motivational and Quality information. Price for Non-Conformance. Y-eager (smiley face) ------Crosby: Do it right 1st time. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 13 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011.Part H: Motivational & QualityInformation Step 1: Using the pneumonics. self-actualization McGregor: X-lazy (sad face) top-down. social. Conformance To Requirements Deming: 85% management. “0” defects. All Rights Reserved . & affiliation Contingency theory: Motivated by competency. A C E H H M M ----C D J T Step 2 Then go back to each letter and fill in the rest of the line from memory. self-esteem. Plan – Do . Achievement theory: Motivated by achievement. Qual is not free. benefits.

then move on to the next question. in effect you need to be VERY sure of your answers for at least 131 questions (106 + 25) and be unsure of a maximum of 69 questions (200 . Here’s what to do when you are not sure. There’s a 33% chance you’ll get it right. All Rights Reserved . To mark a question. The whole thing should only take-up about 2 inches or so. you want to be as far below 69 as you can. There is no need to mark questions you are pretty sure you selected the correct answer. The test engine can display a list of all your ‘marked’ questions. As you know. This is the number of questions you are unsure about. PMP Page 14 Updated: 14 APR 11 PMP Virtual Study Group Copyright 2011. The problem is you have no way of knowing the trial questions from the real ones. So. Similarly. go back to them. Step 4: In the upper right-hand corner write the number ‘69’. but can’t determine the best choice from the remaining two. you place a check mark in a box in the upper-right corner of the question screen. To go back to a question. if there’s time. so why do this? The technique below allows you to approximate how many responses you think you have a good chance of getting correct and how many you may not (or are unsure about). There’s a 50% chance you’ll get it right. you know you must correctly answer 106 of 175 ‘real’ questions and 25 questions are ‘trial’ questions. From your studies. you click its number in the list. There’s a 25% chance you’ll get it right. You need to select the answer that is the most correct in the manner that the PMI wants. Step 3: Continue with the number ‘4’ and finish with another horizontal line. When you come to a question where you can definitely eliminate one answer. write a ‘3’. when you come to a question where you can definitely eliminate two answers. Normally. check that marking box in the upper-right corner of the screen and (with your pencil) add the question number (and a comma) in the area of the scratch paper you just created labeled ‘3’. select your best guess. When you come to a question that you have no clue whether any of the 4 answers is correct. Step 2: Below the line you just drew. for a total of 200 questions. but can’t determine the best choice from the remaining three.Tracking Your Marked Question Count: 2 3 4 69 Step 1: At the top-left corner of another sheet of blank scratch paper. then draw a horizontal line about half an inch or so down from the top. Now count the number of entries in those numbered rows on the scratch paper. Next. Dana Safford. then draw another horizontal line about half an inch or so down from the first line. write a ‘2’. the rest of them may be partially correct. However. Here’s how you keep track. select your best guess. Each question has four possible answers. It is not always easy. then move on to the next question. Remember that ‘69’ you placed in the upper-right corner of the scratch paper? Compare your number of unsure responses to the ‘69’. one is obviously wrong.131). To give yourself a buffer. OK. check that marking box in the upper-right corner of the screen and (with your pencil) add the question number (and a comma) in the area of the scrap paper you just created labeled ‘2’. so which questions do you go back to and attempt to improve your score? Here’s a good method to select the questions to review. OK. Next. then move on to the next question. Keep on going until you finish all 200 questions. Dana Safford. check that marking box in the upper-right corner of the screen and (with your pencil) add the question number (and a comma) in the area of the scratch paper you just created labeled ‘4’. select your best guess. the test allows you to mark questions you are unsure about and. Next.

If you can remove a question number from the ‘2’ row. Start with the ones listed on the ‘2’ line. If there is time. just draw a line through it (you might have time to go back to it again). All Rights Reserved . don’t decrement you unsure question count. continue on to the ‘4’ row. start on the ‘3’ row. When you finish the ‘2’ row. PMP PMP Virtual Study Group Page 15 Updated: 14 APR 11 Copyright 2011. you’ll need to go back and look at those marked questions.To improve your chances. Attempt to eliminate the most wrong of the three answers. continue until diminishing returns sets in and you find you are not changing anything. don’t forget to decrease the total number of unsure questions. or “elevate” a question from the ‘4’ row to the ‘3’ row. Dana Safford. Attempt to eliminate the most wrong of the two remaining potential correct answers. If there is time. Reference the question numbers one-at-a-time and use the marked question list on the screen to select the question. That will improve your chances of validating you already have the most correct answer selected. Attempt to validate that you selected the correct answer. Reference the question numbers one-at-a-time and use the marked question list on the screen to select the question. Reference the question numbers from the ‘2’ row one-at-a-time and use the marked question list on the screen to select the question. Dana Safford. For the ‘2’ row only. you want that unsure question count to be as low as possible. Unless you can totally remove the question from unsure rows 3 & 4. great! Instead of erasing the question number from the sheet. Remember.

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