PMP® Braindump Chart Construction Process
When you enter the testing center to take your PMP® exam, you have a short amount of time to prepare yourself for your exam. It has been suggested that you do a “Brain Dump”, or in other words, that you copy a number of things directly to a piece of paper that is given to you by the testing center before you begin the exam. Among the things you need to have on that brain dump sheet is the table on Page 43 of the PMBOK® Guide V4. It visually shows the relationship between the Project Management Process Groups and the Project Management knowledge areas.
Make the table 6×10 squares to leave room for the labels, as shown below in figure 1.
Tricks For Learning How to Label The Table.
For the top row of labels I use the following Mnemonic. A Mnemonic is a device used to help your memory. This one uses the first letters of the words in an easy to remember sentence, to represent the first letters of the words you are trying to remember in a specific order.
The ordered list we are trying to remember is the Process Management Groups: They are Opening, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling and Closing. This list is actually pretty straight forward and probably doesn’t require a Mnemonic, but just in case it may be easier to picture a penguin eating cookies, and remember the following sentence: “Oliver Penguin Eats More Cookies.” The first letters of each word make the acronym OPEMC. Those are the first letters of the ordered list Opening, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling and Closing.
In the top row of the table, put in the first letter of each word from the sentence Oliver Penguin Eats More Cookies. Start with the second column, leave the first column blank for the knowledge area names, as shown in Figure 2.
Then fill in the names of the process groups, as shown in figure 3.
Perhaps a Mnemonic wasn’t needed to remember the process groups, but it makes a good example of how the process works. It is a bit more difficult to remember all of the knowledge areas and their correct order.
The Knowledge Areas
The Mnemonic that I like to use for the knowledge areas is– I Some Times Can’t Quit Hunting Canned Red Peppers. (I have to remember that Some Times is two words instead of the correct one word, Sometimes.) But, it makes remembering the correct order a lot easier.
Use the same process, put the first letter of each word in the first column of the table in this order, I Some Times Can’t Quit Hunting Canned Red Peppers. Leave the first Row Blank for the column headings, as shown in figure 4.
Now fill out the labels with the Project Management Knowledge Areas, in the correct order, as shown in figure 5
Now put the chart together, as shown in Figure 6.
Populating The Chart
The chart has a number of squares that have processes in them, and a number of squares that are blank. There is a sequence that can help you know which squares are which. Start with the labelled table, then:
- Remember that the Integration knowledge area has processes in all process groups. So place a small X in each of those squares, as shown in figure 7.
- The Communications Knowledge Area starts in the Opening process group and has an x in every process group except closing. That means it does not have an x in Closing.
- The Procurement Knowledge Area starts in the Planning Process Group and has an x in the rest of the process groups to closing. It does not have an x in Opening.
So now the chart appears as shown in Figure 8.
- In the Planning Process Group column fill in an x in every knowledge area (some may already have Xs in them).
- In the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group, fill in an x in every knowledge area square, except for HR. (The thought here is that you will “control” everything in the project except the people. For the people involved, you will teach, instruct, develop, and mentor, and let them “control” themselves.)
Now the chart is mostly filled in, as seen in Figure 9.
The chart is almost complete with an x in every square that contains project management processes, except for two. There are two squares that still need an x in them.
- Keep in mind that at the heart of all of your projects you will find Quality and HR. Just about in the center of the chart are the Quality and HR knowledge areas. Place an x in the Executing process group for the Quality and HR knowledge areas, you will have the chart complete. There is an X in every square that contains one or more Project Management Processes, as seen in Figure 10
Hopefully this will help you remember where in the chart the processes show up. Remember that some of those squares have more than one process in them, but this should eliminate all of the ones that don’t have any processes in them.
For further help, I have developed a free Project Management Process Memorization Tool, that can help you learn the processes in the chart, it can be downloaded from PMExamReady.com.
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