PMP Exam Tip: Study Integration Management Last

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Have you ever been tempted - even just a little bit - to turn to the back of a book and read how it ends before you invest all that time reading the book? Well, here’s a tip that lets you do just that with your PMP exam studies of the PMBOK® Guide: Skip the first knowledge area (Integration Management) for now and focus your attention on the other eight first.

Here’s why: In order to really understand Integration Management you need to first understand what goes on in the other eight areas. Think about it….the section on Integration Management teaches you how to get scope, time, cost, quality, resources, communications, risk, and procurement to play nicely with each other. Unless you understand the unique purpose, goals, and characteristics of each individual knowledge area, it will be increasingly difficult to orchestrate your integration. How can you integrate if you don’t know what you’re throwing in the mix?

Imagine it like a movie set, where Integration Management is the director and the other eight knowledge areas are the actors. You need to work with the actors first, getting to know their personalities, quirks, and their lines, before the director can bring the cast together to create something great.

So when you start your study of the PMBOK® Guide knowledge areas, briefly skim over Integration Management, just so you get a basic understanding; then study the other areas; and finally, come back and study Integration Management in more detail. Having this understanding of the sum of its parts will up the odds that your projects will be integrated (and live) happily ever after.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
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