What are some great resources on learning PMP and Project Management ?
June 29, 2012 9:26 AM   Subscribe

What are some great books/resources for really learning and getting a master on Project Management?

I'm a 30 year old IT veteran. I've worked in the industry for 10+ years. I was laid off in April due to a huge company downsizing. I've been on the job hunt but a large number of the jobs I come across are all looking for pmp certification etc. I've done my fair share of project management on a small to medium scale but never anything as formal as really digging into MS Project or using any fundamentals or methodologies.

I may pursue a PMP certification eventually but what are some good resources I can use to start reading and learning more about it? For reference I'm at the managerial stage of my career.
posted by PetiePal to Education (5 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
There is a body called The Project Management Institute, and they're the one marketing the PMP Certification. It's a legit thing. And it's freaking HARD!

You have to have a certain number of CEU's before they allow you to take the certification exam. My local JC had on-line courses I could take for about $100 for 3 CEUs.

Here's what you get from Amazon when you search Project Management.

It's a thing, but I don't know if it's worth what it will cost. It doesn't hurt to know what they're talking about and to have a passing understanding.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:35 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

The standard book for the PMI tests is the PMBOK, published by the PMI. I took a year-long course that used the PMBOK and this book. Note: they are not easy reading and not for the faint of heart.
posted by matildaben at 9:43 AM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just passed the test May 22- freakin hard but worth it. That would carry the most weight in job search not that you know Project Management. In an interview you cannot impress more than any other person who knows PM so I would go for the cert. I took a wonderful online course ($150) that I would not have passed the test without. It takes 3-6 weeks depending on if you do it double time or not. You could have your certification in a month of hard studying and that will open the doors you seek to open.
The course is PMChamp and is all online. It will satisfy your 35 hours of leader lead training. Email me if you want any more information.
posted by shaarog at 10:33 AM on June 29, 2012

I used Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep book as a supplement to the PMP boot camp that my company sent me to. I ended up looking at several different study books, but Rita's was the only one that came close to presenting practice questions that were the same difficulty as those I encountered on the exam. Boot camps are expensive but they're worth it, IMO. In addition to test-specific tips, they just force your butt to sit in a chair for 8-10 hours a day and study for the test.

Now, so far all of these answers have assumed that you're going to pursue your PMP soon. Looking at your question again, I'm not sure you are. I'd recommend that you do, especially if you're looking for more managerial jobs.

Most of the literature you'll find on PM is either geared towards exam prep or it's just piffle; advising you about the very obvious and common-sense things like "Stay Organized," "Communicate Often," etc. I can think of one decent one. It's vanity published, but you might be able to find it: Neal Whitten's No-Nonsense Advice for Successful Projects.

Another decent way to learn about PM is by going through a good book on MS Project. It's not the very best tool out there, but it's the standard. Learning how to use the software, you're going to come across all of the key concepts in PM. Finding those and then just googling and reading about them might be a good approach.

All of the above is directed towards the standard PMI-approved waterfall project management approach. If you're in IT, you'd do yourself a service by at least familiarizing yourself with a couple flavors of Agile project management as well. Both Scrum and Functional Driven Development (FDD) are popular on the software side of PM, and have a lot to offer. Also, getting certified as a scrum master (CSM) is almost embarrassingly easy. It doesn't carry nearly the weight of a PMP, but it at least signifies that you're conversant with scrum methodology.

Hope that helps. I love talking shop, so feel free to memail me.
posted by bluejayway at 11:58 AM on June 29, 2012

Yeah Rita's book is kind of the go to standard. I also read the Head First PMP book which helped as well. The exam is 4 hours long. It is not easy. You will need 35 hours of certified training as well.

Neil Whitten's books are pretty good. The best book ever written on Project Management is Making Things Happen. No other book will help you more in actually being a legit project manager. I have read it like 4 times and it has helped me immensely.
posted by jasondigitized at 8:17 AM on June 30, 2012

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