PMI Central Alabama Chapter


UAB MBA program to host open house Jan. 22 -- Looking to jump-start your career or take it in a new direction? Join us 4-6 p.m. Friday during the Collat School of Business Open House to learn more about UAB's MBA program, ranked one of the top part-time MBA programs in the country by "U.S. News & World Report."

Call Christy Manning at 205-934-8815 for details.

The December 2015 chapter meeting was used as a conduit for highlighting the plans for 2016. The board then opened the floor for input from the members in attendance in relation to:

  • How to add more value to PMICAC membership?
  • What should the chapter do in 2016?

What is in store for 2016...

  • Symposium – May 13, 2016 – Embassy Suites
  • More educational offerings
  • All chapter meetings to be held at Café Iz
    • January 19th
    • February 16th
    • March 15th
    • April 19th
    • June 21st
    • July 19th
    • August 16th
    • September 20th
    • October 18th
    • November 15th
    • December 13th
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The Project Management Institute Central Alabama Chapter (PMICAC) is seeking outstanding professionals to present at the PMICAC 2016 Symposium, “Avoiding Project Horror Stories” on May 13, 2016 at Embassy Suites Hoover, Alabama.

This is an annual symposium that attracts 150+ project management professionals from Alabama and surrounding states, attending a full day workshop. Many of the attendees hold influential Project and Program Management positions within Information Technology, Financial, Consulting, Educational, Engineering and other corporations.

The Symposium provides a platform for the best minds in academia and industry to share the latest developments and advancements made in the field of project, program and portfolio management. If you are interested in being a speaker, or have a recommendation for a great speaker we should consider, please email We are now requesting proposals from distinguished academics and seasoned practitioners to present at the 2016 Symposium.

Sandra is the vice president for a large software development company. She has recently proposed a new game development project which has been strongly opposed by another vice president. Which of the following conflict resolution techniques that conforms to the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct should Sandra use to resolve the conflict?

A.) Forcing
B.) Collaborating
C.) Withdrawal
D.) Avoiding

Question provided by The PM Exam Simulator:

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How to Prepare for the PMP® Exam in 30 days?

By Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM

You are asking yourself right now, “Where do I start to guarantee I pass the PMP® exam in 30 days”? Be patient, stay calm, and continue to read this quick article to understand the steps of this process – how each step leads to the next. So remember – finish one step before starting the next to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed. Preparing for the PMP exam will take daily dedication to studying and understanding the material.

Preparing for the PMP exam takes time and while I do NOT advocate a fast approach, sometimes there are “legitimate” reasons that require you to sit for the exam within 30 days (or sooner). Perhaps your employer has established this deadline for contractual reasons, perhaps you have found a highly desirable open position you would like to apply to but need the PMP for highest qualification, or perhaps you signed up to take the exam nearly a year ago but then you procrastinated and now you only have 30 days left before your eligibility runs out.

What follows are key steps, processes, and resources that, along with your dedication, will allow you to prepare for and pass the PMP exam in 30 days (or less). Let me begin with some general thoughts on how to get started:

How to Get a PMP Certification Fast?

So you have decided (or been told) that you will get your PMP done in a very short period.

First, read my article, 10 Steps to Becoming a PMP to establish your eligibility, lay a foundation and start a preliminary plan. A key statement to remember during this process is that attaining the PMP certification shows your commitment to the project management profession and demonstrates credibility allowing for higher salaries as well as raising your resume above non-PMP certification holders. So don’t get discouraged during this process.

Now that you have verified your eligibility to sit for the exam, Don’t Panic! Relax, take a deep breath, and begin to focus... the first important fact is to not become overwhelmed as there is A LOT of information to understand and many types of training opportunities.

As part of your initial planning – start clearing your calendar to allow for sufficient daily study time, and understand this will not be an easy path to success. In addition to studying A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), you will also benefit by reading through lessons learned from others who have prepared (and passed) on a “fast track” method.

Here are my key tips and resources to allow you to start on the fast path to get the PMP certification and attaining the coveted PMP certification.

How to Pass the PMP in 30 days?

As I said, while I do not recommend trying to study and pass the PMP in 30 days, sometimes there are legitimate reasons that you may find yourself in this situation. First and foremost, start with my article, Creating Your PMP Study Plan – The Complete Guide. This provides a very clear process to effectively create your own customized study plan. Don’t stress – this article also provides PMP Study Plan templates to help you get started.

There are many study plans – it’s important you design the one that best fits your learning style and continue to modify it as you take practice tests and establish the areas you need to focus your attention.

One method you could establish as a framework for your study time is to divide your available study window (in this case 30 days) by the percentage for each of the five Domains on the test. This table demonstrates this method:

Domain Percentage on Test Study time
Initiation 13% 3.9 days
Planning 24% 6.2 days
Executing 31% 9.3 days
Monitoring and Controlling 25% 7.5 days
Closing 7% 2.1 days

If you total these days up – it actually equals 29 days – which allows you one optional day that you can spend on review.

Within this 30-day window, you will also need to take practice tests – perhaps at the 15-day, 21 day and 29-day marks or more often. To learn more about the exam content, visit the PMP Examination Content Outline on the PMI® website.

How to Pass the PMP in 10 days?

But what if you have been told you have to pass the PMP in a 10-day window – what do you do now?

About the only real approach if you have less than two weeks to prepare and pass the PMP is to attend a PMP Boot Camp. There are two major disadvantages with a boot camp:

  • The expense associated with the Boot Camp (usually in the range of $1,500-$2,500), and
  • How well you absorb the material (memorization versus true absorption).

The PMP Boot Camps do offer the advantage of time – most boot camps are three to five days long and the PMP test is available on the last day of the boot camp. However, the boot camps do require significant “self-study” prior to and during attendance, which can be confusing to plan and organize yourself in a short period.

Need your PMP Fast? Think again!

If you have the option to study for more than 30 days – take it! Slow down, take your time, and ABSORB. The best way to pass the PMP exam is through methodical study, review, and application.

This additional time will allow you to learn the material in a manner that allows you to understand and implement the standards and theories – instead of just memorization to pass the test. The discovery of information for better understanding allows you to understand how the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs interrelate. Taking a slower approach will allow you the opportunity to effectively absorb the information and learn how to apply the knowledge to any of your projects.

After nearly a decade as a PMP exam trainer, I advocate this slower approach, which allows your brain enough time to absorb and retain the information for easier recall in the future. The key is to allow yourself a lot of hands-on practice and review time to become comfortable with the information.

So, what is the Best Way to Pass the PMP Exam?

What is your learning style? Are you a visual, auditory, or tactile learner? Do you learn best in groups or individually? Knowing your learning style is important to understanding how to approach your studies for the PMP exam.

To learn more about your learning style, see question six in my article 7 Questions Every Student SHOULD Ask Their PMP Coach When Preparing for the PMP Exam. This understanding over memorization, slower over rushed methods allows for less anxiety, becoming a better project manager, and learning new techniques with the intent of using them on your projects.

No matter how or when you decide to sit for the PMP, The PM PrepCast will be an immense resource to guide you through your studies. At a minimum read the Lessons Learned Forum with experiences from others who have passed the PMP exam.

Now that you understand the value of allowing yourself time to study, spend an hour and review our free series of 8 videos on YouTube that walks you through the detailed and “time consuming” step-by-step PMP Exam preparation process:


Preparing for the PMP exam takes dedication, endurance and time. The average exam prep time is 3-4 months. But what if you have a legitimate reason to do it in 30 days or less? Then this article is for you.

Announcing the 2016 PMI Central Alabama Chapter Symposium:
Avoiding Project Horror Stories
Friday, May 13, 2016
Embassy Suites, Hoover, ALIt’s Friday 13th, but don’t be spooked, because the 2016 PMICAC Symposium is sure to provide you with the tools and techniques you need to avoid project horror stories.

Registration is now open with the early bird rates!

More information coming soon!

What is the opportunity cost of choosing to research the meaning of opportunity cost over riding my exercise bicycle, assuming I can't do both at the same time?

That and other intriguing questions that have been raised during the process of reviewing the article "What Is Opportunity Cost and Why Do You Need to Understand It" by Cornelius Fichtner have resulted in small windows of success, but also more unanswered questions.

Mathematically speaking, Opportunity Cost is easily calculated IF you know the value of your choice and the value of your second choice. The challenge comes in assigning cost ... or value, depending on how you look at it. After reading the article, I was struggling with exactly how this related to project management. The first stop in my search for the connection revealed that the term was introduced by Austrian economist Friedrich von Wieser in the early 1900s. Aha! My son is majoring in Economic with a focus on the Austrian School. I'll just call him and he will reveal the mystery and make all things clear. Fifteen minutes into the conversation and I'm still asking him, so how does this help me decide between two projects?

I'd like to say that I hung up the phone, decided to sleep on it and I was enlightened in a dream that answered all my questions. Didn't happen, but there is a wealth of information I discovered that subsequently did fill in some of the gaps. Opportunity Cost can help with your risk management plan, strategic planning and yes, choosing one project over another.

If your curiosity is piqued, read the article, but keep reading other sources and you'll gain deeper insight into a deceptively simple comparison.

With best regards.

Phillip Lichlyter

What is Opportunity Cost and Why Do You Need to Understand It

By Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM - Simplifying PMP Exam Preparation

If you are in the middle of preparing to take the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam you have undoubtedly read through A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition at least once and possibly even more. If you are just starting to prepare to take the PMP Exam, then you should be planning to read through the PMBOK® Guide at least a couple of times. The PMBOK® Guide should be your primary resource when studying for the PMP Exam as it is the globally recognized standard and guide for the project management profession; however as you probably already know, it does not cover every possible topic that the PMP Exam may touch on.

One of those topics not covered by the PMBOK® Guide is Opportunity Cost. There is no guarantee that you will see it during your PMP Exam, but there is also no guarantee that you will not. Here we will explain why as a project manager you need to understand Opportunity Cost, beyond that it may be on the PMP Exam, and what exactly Opportunity Cost is. We will also go through a couple of examples of Opportunity Cost questions.

Why does a Project Manager need to understand Opportunity Cost? It is very possible as a Project Manager you will be charged with project selection at some point in your career. You will need to make sure you evaluate and select projects based on your organization’s goals and needs to ensure returns are maximized as well as opportunity costs are minimized. As part of the project selection process you will need to evaluate where to best utilize valuable resources such as specific skill sets, time, and of course money. Allocating these resources to a specific project prevents their use for other projects at the same time, after all an organization only has so many resources and needs to take on projects with the highest potential for success and the greatest return.

What is Opportunity Cost? Opportunity cost is the loss of potential future return from the second best unselected project. In other words, it is the opportunity (potential return) that will not be realized when one project is selected over another. For example if Project X has a potential return of $25,000 and Project Y has a potential return of $20,000, then selecting Project X for completion over Project Y will result in an opportunity cost of $20,000. That is the “loss” of not completing Project Y.

Let’s take a look at a couple of PMP Exam sample questions around Opportunity Cost:

PMP Exam Sample Question 1: “Which definition best fits Opportunity Cost?”
a) The sum of all of the potential returns of projects not selected.
b) The potential return of the second best project that was not selected.
c) The difference between the potential return of the project selected and the potential return of the second best option that was not selected.
d) The difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows.

The correct answer is B. Opportunity Cost is the potential return of the second best option that was not selected. It is not the sum of all potential returns that were selected or the difference between the potential return of the project selected and the second best option. It is also not the difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows as that is the definition of net present value.

PMP Exam Sample Question 2: “You are part of a project selection team evaluating three proposed projects and you need to select the project that would bring the best return for the organization. Project A has an NPV of $25,000 and an IRR of 1.5, Project B has a NPV of $30,000 and an IRR of 1.25, and Project C has an NPV of $15,000 and an IRR of 1.5. What would be the opportunity cost of selecting Project B over Project A?”
a) $15,000
b) $5,000
c) $25,000
d) $30,000

The correct answer is C. Opportunity Cost is the potential return of the project not selected. In this case we did not select Project A, so it is $25,000. There is extra unrelated information in this question; IRR is not relevant when evaluating opportunity cost. Once all of the unnecessary information is filtered out the questions is simply asking what is the dollar value associated with Project A.

Opportunity Cost simply comes down to the benefits or returns that are passed up when one project is selected over another. Understanding what Opportunity Cost is may or may not be necessary when taking the PMP Exam. Even if questions about Opportunity Cost are not on your PMP Exam it is still important for you as a Project Manager to understand Opportunity Cost as it is a method for selecting one project over another especially when valuable resources are limited.

One of the topics that may appear on your PMP Exam that is not covered by the PMBOK® Guide is Opportunity Cost. In this article we will explain why as a Project Manager you need to understand Opportunity Costs, what exactly Opportunity Cost is, and we will go through a couple of PMP Exam sample questions about Opportunity Cost.