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Head First PMP: A Brain-Friendly Guide to Passing the Project Management Professional Exam Paperback – 6 Apr 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (6 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596102348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596102340
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 3.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,332,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman have been building software together since 1998. Andrew comes from a programming background, and has managed teams of requirements analysts, designers, and developers. With her testing background, Jennifer has managed teams of architects, developers, and testers. She has led multiple large-scale outsourced projects. Between the two of them, they have managed every aspect of software development. Andrew and Jennifer formed Stellman & Greene Consulting in 2003, with a focus on project management, software development, management consulting, and software process improvement. They have worked in a wide range of industries, including finance, telecommunications, media, non-profit, entertainment, natural language processing, science and academia. For more information about them and this book, visit http://www.stellman-greene.com.

Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman have been building software together since 1998. Andrew comes from a programming background, and has managed teams of requirements analysts, designers, and developers. Jennifer has a testing background, and has managed teams of architects, developers, and testers. She has led multiple large-scale outsourced projects. Between the two of them, they have managed every aspect of software development. They formed Stellman & Greene Consulting in 2003, with a focus on project management, software development, management consulting, and software process improvement. They have worked in a wide range of industries, including finance, telecommunications, media, non-profit, entertainment, natural language processing, science and academia. For more information about them and this book, visit http://www.stellman-greene.com.


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Blake on 23 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
Of all the material that I had referred to in studying for the PMP exam I have to admit that the most concise, clear and engaging has been the HeadFirst PMP Guide. After hours of reading through the PMBOK Guide this comes as a refreshing alternative, it's easy to read and grabs interest. There are one or two spots where there are errors but they're easy enough to spot. The layout is excellent and the exercises and exam questions are well thought-out.

I would suggest to anyone studying for the PMP that this has to be one of your reference books, use it early in your preparation and it'll make things a lot clearer and most likely cut down the time you need for the study - I wish I had got me hands on it months ago!! And yes - it did help me pass!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Overthehill on 29 July 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very easy to understand with a visual style that makes the material seem to stick (at least with my brain). If you are less visually orientated then it may not work for you but I found it easier to digest than other titles on the subject if slightly less "deep"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Wajid on 2 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Loved this book its so easy to understand project management phases and terminologies by this book in conjunction with PMBOK. But it cannot be used as Project Management Bible only for exam preparation.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. G. Morgan on 5 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
If you are taking the PMP exam anytime soon I strongly recommend you buy this book. During my recent exam prep I used a variety of sources and downloads as well as mock exams and found myself enlightened and frustrated in equal measure. Getting near the exam date it was getting a bit nervy....

At that point I heard about the Head First PMP book and read the 'free' online chapter. Looked very interesting so (due to the time) I signed up to safari online books on a months subscription and read the book cover to cover. I would say that this book helped me more than any other resource due to the simple terms, engaging style and at the end of it, a number of concepts I had been struggling with 'clicked'.

I downloaded the Head First mock exam and found it more straightforward than the others and scored 82%, boosting my confidence and validating the usefulness of the source material.

Whilst reading the book online was okay, I would have much preferred a print copy and urge anyone in my position (but with a bit more time!) to buy the book from Amazon. It would have been far easier to sit in bed reading it than pouring over it in PDF form!

Seriously, this is the best revision resource by far for the PMP exam and all credit have to go to the authors, who have created a book in such an engaging style it has to be seen to be believed. It would have almost made PMP revision fun, if it hadn't been for my pre-exam nerves!

Oh, and I passed the exam of course!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 93 reviews
135 of 145 people found the following review helpful
One of many books you need to conquer PMP - not the only 9 Oct. 2007
By Dr.B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I passed my PMP exam recently. In spite of my years of experience, I found that the exam needs a truckload of preparation! I started with PMBOK Guide, Rita Mulcahy, some others, and settled on HFP. The HFP is not the first book you should read, and certainly should not be the only book you read. Unlike the somewhat snide (and ineffective) Mulcahy book, this book would give you tons of useful mnemonics to remember stuff by. After reading this book, I was having a much easier time answering questions in other books, such as Mulcahy's.

The PMP examination is not for the faint of heart. At the minimum, you should know the PMBOK Guide by rote (esp. the I-TT-O, Glossary, and the formulae). You need to supplement that knowledge using other books. These are the list of books I found useful (in no particular order):
0. PMBOK Guide
1. HF PMP
2. Mulcahy
3. Kim Heldman
4. Andy Crowe

Unfortunately, HF PMP does leave out many vital topics. This will hurt you in the exam, if you have not covered it elsewhere (e.g. Calculating CPPC and FPIP using numbers, GERT, etc., amongst many other examples). But for the topics covered, you will have a strong help from this book in retaining that information!

I would strongly encourage the authors to:
1. Consider revising the book and adding the missing topics - priceless addition, given that the authors do a wonderful job of any topic they cover in the book.
2. Add a GLOSSARY OF TERMS that may be referenced in the PMP Exam, even though these may not be covered in detail in the book (cite a ref.).

It will be worth the price you'd pay for such a book!
66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
THIS IS A MUST HAVE BOOK 27 April 2007
By The JuneBug - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book. I have read 4 different books to study for the PMP (without taking any classes) and this one by FAR is the easiest, simplest, and best book that is out there. The exercises reinforce the concepts in new and different ways (matching, crossword puzzles, short answer, etc). Even when I thought I had to memorize the formulas, I now discover I don't need to because the book explains the concepts in such simple terms that the formulas go together and just "logically" make sense. They explain a lot of terms from both a project manager AND a sponsor's perspective. This is by FAR the greatest book. The concepts are SO simple. I do recommend using PMP Practice Questions Exam Cram 2 or some book with test questions in it to go along with this book only after you have read this book.

Even after being through project management in the real world I learned a few things to help me in my current job. Anyway, I rate this a NUMBER ONE MUST HAVE. I look forward to more books in this series or any other concept out there that I want to learn. OUTSTANDING JOB TO O'REILLY, the Publisher. I give kudos and more kudos.
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Engaging Coverage of Brain-Unfriendly Body Of Knowledge 24 Jun. 2007
By uniq - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you don't mind reading the PMBOK guide for your exam preparation, then, I suspect, you would enjoy memorizing a phone book or have an unusually strong taste for suffering. In either case, don't read any further and don't buy "Head First PMP" -- reading it may be too much fun for you and dangerous to your mental health!

For those of us, who find the PMBOK bo-o-o-oring, "Head First PMP"'s approach is the *only* way to learn. Let's admit, that the topics covered by the exam, while are very important, are not very exciting. To learn them well, it is important to dig deeper into the reasons for the best practices. Following the style of the "Head First" series, the authors of this book took the subject of the PM science and turned it into a fun-to-read and easier-to-learn-and-internalize collection of graphics, questions, answers, mental games and scenarios, stories. They deconstructed the topics to their essence and then reconstructed them in a way that makes sense to everyone who is willing to focus and think. The book is very engaging and, in my opinion, is a must to read, at least to make sure that you understand all the answers.

I'd like to point out the difference between this book and other books in the series -- Object-Oriented Analysis and Design, Design Patterns, Java. Those books cover topics that are interesting (at least to me) in nature, and had been covered in other publications with various success. The "Head First PMP" book is different in the sense that its authors "dared" to apply the "Head First" approach of "you'll learn better when reading is fun" to a topic that while important, makes me think of an ominously laughing dentist holding a jack hammer.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Head First PMP Defines a New Oxymoron: Engaging Textbook 22 Aug. 2007
By Thomas Eck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In preparation for the test, I recently spent some extended time in the bookstore comparing options to help my studies. The local bookseller I visited unfortunately didn't have the Head First book that I had heard so much about, so I ended up with a another title that was also highly recommended on Amazon. After bringing the other book home, I read two chapters and realized I was thinking about everything other than what I was reading. I decided I needed a different route if I planned to stay awake during my preparations for the exam and decided to try to source a copy of the Head First guide instead.

I found a copy of the Head First PMP title at another bookshop and settled in for what I thought was going to be another futile attempt at cramming this information into the old gray matter. However, much to my surprise, I found myself *engaged* in the content, and moreover, I was truly *learning* it! The book's approach ensures understanding of the content through thought and exercises - not reading lots of text and hoping some of it sticks long enough to pass the test.

If you haven't seen what makes the book different, definitely take a moment to visit the book's website ([...]) to see if this writing style is a fit for you. As another reviewer mentioned, this book definitely has a quirky feel to it (e.g. a fireside chat between the scope management plan and the project scope statement as one example) that may not be right for everyone, but for the rest of us, Fireside chats, crossword puzzles and Cows Gone Wild is half of what makes the book so engaging.

Don't let the fun use of graphics and informal style of the book fool you into doubting its usefulness or accuracy. While I can't guarantee that you'll pass the exam by reading this book, I will say that when you use the book as outlined in the book's introduction, the Head First PMP should absolutely increase your knowledge of the things PMI deems important for the exam without torturing yourself in the process.

Finally, for those that may be wondering why you should take my word on the use of this book, I passed the exam by a good margin yesterday. I found that on at least 25-30 questions, I would not have gotten the question correct had it not been for something I read in the Head First PMP book over the two days prior to the test.

Highly recommended!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Very good intro to PMP material 28 Feb. 2008
By Dan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought probably 8 PMP study guides, including Rita's, Crowe's, and many others. I actually enjoyed reading this one. I made it my first pass through the material. It's a little silly, but if you toss that aside, it engages you, tests your knowledge of concepts, terms, and techniques along the way, presents you a crossword of learned terminology at the end of each chapter, and then puts you through a quiz.

I bought, and do not like, the Rita guide. She has such a snide tone... Allow me to paraphrase. "If you thought X, then you must not be a very good project manager." It's a recurring theme throughout her book. I'm still trying to get over my own mother, I don't want to get it from the PMP exam prep material.

I do like the Crowe (how to pass on your first try) book. Since it's organized like the PMBOK (and this Head First Book) what i recommend doing is reading the Head First book first, then the Crowe book. That's what I did, and it **really** reinforced my understanding. I got the same content from two different angles, two quizzes, and lots of exercises. (The Crowe book really isn't interactive like Head First, but the explanations and writing is really to-the-point and clear). When you're done this approach, then read the PMBOK (I never read the full PMBOK and I passed the PMP with flying colors two days ago--2/26/08).

I do recommend Rita's Exam Software and her flash cards, but that's all the Rita I can take. She still manages to get her snide comments into the exam software question explanations, but it's still a sound exam and with a bank of 1700 questions, it's a great diagnostic and a way to condition yourself for the actual exam.
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