Passing the #PMP Exam—Memorizing the Processes Step 4: EDUCATING (WITH) RITA



 1. Introduction—the Rita Process Chart

 Our study group used an exam prep book that was given to us by our instructors from the Orange County chapter of the Project Management Institute. We supplemented it with Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep book.

 To teach the processes of project management, she has her own set of processes that are different than the 42 processes in the PMBOK® Guide. I’ll call them the “Rita processes” for short. If you analyze them, what they are an “extended set of processes” that actually consist of the 42 processes from the PMBOK® Guide plus some other actions which encompass many of the individual tools & techniques within those 42 processes.

 So by using the Rita processes, you can enhance your understanding at a higher level of detail and get you set for Step 5, which is understanding all the tools & techniques that are involved in the 42 processes.

The problem that some people in our group had with the Rita processes were understanding that they differ in some respects from the 42 processes. I wanted to outline these differences to encourage those of you are using the Rita Mulcahy book to use these Rita processes and the Process Games she outlines in chapter 3 of her book.

2. The Rita Processes

I recommend you memorize the 42 processes from the PMBOK® guide first, because these essentially are the core of the Rita processes.

Then look at the each process groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing) and read through each process in her group. She recommends RECOGNIZING which process goes with which process group, except for those processes in the PLANNING group. These need to be memorized in order. Rita’s Process Game, as she refers to it, helps you accomplish check whether you’ve understood the order.

NOTE: Most of the Rita processes in the planning group follow the general flow of the 20 processes in the planning group from the PMBOK® guide, with two major exceptions.

a. There are two processes related to resources, human resources and material resources, that occur towards the beginning of the planning group rather than at their PMBOK ® Guide order of being towards the end. This is explained by her that these resources need to be taken care of relatively early in the project, and you’ll understand her explanation if you read her book.

b. There are some processes I refer to as “summary” processes towards the end of the planning group that are not those from the 20 processes from the PMBOK® guide. These help you “tie everything together”, however, and they are important to memorize because they approximate how you would conclude the planning process in a real-world PM situation.

What our group did to learn the processes was to layout the 42 PMBOK® Guide processes that we had on flashcards in the Matrix pattern found on p. 43 of that Guide. Then, leaving space to the side of each column, we matched the Rita processes to the 42 processes. It’s not a one-for-one match; there are some Rita Processes that cover several PMBOK Processes (the ones involving risk come to mind), and there are some Rita Processes which break down a single PMBOK Process into steps (these are the tools and techniques belonging to that process).

Once you put these two sets of processes together, the logic of the flow becomes a lot easier to understand.

We have played the Rita Process Game in our study group several times, and it has really helped us ace the questions involving the processes on practice exams. As many as 70 out of 200 or 35% of the questions have to do with processes, so this is time well spent!

I wanted to use this opportunity to thank the publishers of Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep book because they gave us specific permission to use a copy of the Rita Process Game for the use of our study group.    We’ve already had one member of our group pass the exam, so it has definitely been effective!

That makes you ready for the next step in the process, which is learning the TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES of the processes.

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