Frequently Asked Questions
1) Can you explain why PMI doesn’t consider these courses (Category C) self- directed learning?
By most definitions, PMT’s online courses are “self-directed learning,” but the PMI Category C – SDL (self-directed learning) actually means “unstructured learning,” such as reading a book, conducting interviews, etc. The criteria for Category A training, which is unrestricted in terms of the number of PDUs you can earn, is very specific – it must be structured project management education. To confirm this, PMT’s courses are subject to the PMI’s scrutiny every three years to verify against a rigorous criteria that they are structured, educational and relevant to project management. We have always passed these tests with flying colors. So there is no question that our courses satisfy Category A training requirements and we award Category A PDUs once each course has been satisfactorily completed. PMT has been awarding PDUs for our courses for over 10 years and thousands of people have taken advantage of these excellent courses in the technologies of project management.
2) How long do I have to complete the courses once I purchase them?
Take as long as you need – we have no limit. Some have taken over a year to complete a course; some have done it in a week.
3) What type of testing is done to verify course completion?
There is NO test per se. However, there are extensive section exams or problem sets that accompany each of PMT’s courses. In fact, more than half of your course hours will be spent in solving these practical exercises that apply principles to practice. Once you get through the introductory chapters, (1 thru 5) you will be assigned exams or problem sets to work in most course sections. You will find the section exams or problem sets immediately following the appropriate section in the course material. You will find both a problem and solution section, which are also in presentation and PDF formats. Everything is, in effect, self-graded and self-tested – YOU work the problems until YOU are satisfied that YOU have gotten out of the problems what YOU want to get out of them and then YOU move on to the next section, and so on until you complete the course.
If you are a Project Management Professional (PMP), click here, then follow our simple process for getting your PDUs. (For full instructions on getting your PDUs from the Project Management Institute, click here) Once we receive this information, we will prepare a PMP Activity Report form for you filled out for the course, and e-mail it back to you within three business days.
4) How can I be sure that PMT is actually a Registered Education Provider for the PMI?
All PMT courses are registered through the PMI as Category A training (not Category C) and PMT is a Registered Education Provider (REP). Our provider number is 1097, which you can verify on the PMI website (www.pmi.org).
5) What are the requirements to qualify for the group discount?
A group can be as few as two. Buying any course or courses in batches of two or more qualifies for a 10% discount on the order. You might want to contact PMT by e-mail or phone to maximize your group discounts.
6) 25 hours of training – how can I afford to take this much time away from work?
The scientific processes of project planning and program control are extensive – they cannot be learned by reading an article, or spending six hours in a class or seminar. They are something that cannot be grasped intuitively. Condensing the necessary material into only 125 total hours was a tremendous challenge for PMT. The simple fact is that there is an extensive body of knowledge required to understand and master in order to properly plan and then successfully manage projects. If you do not employ these tools and processes or do so incorrectly, then unfortunately what is left is one form or another of reactive methodology, and this leads to significant inefficiencies. But PMT recognized many years ago the hardship that consecutive days of training imposes on many project management professionals. This is why PMT’s courses have been installed Online, so that very busy and critical personnel can take their training in small segments – and do so when they can squeeze it into their busy schedules. You will spend 25 hours to complete each course, but you can elect to do so over weeks or even months. You work PMT’s courses on YOUR schedule NOT OURS – WHEN you want, and WHERE you want and work each session for as long as you want.
7) How do I order these online courses?
To order any online course, you may do so directly from this site in the “Courses” section. PMT accepts MasterCard, VISA and American Express credit cards. You will then be provided by e-mail the necessary information to take the course or courses you purchased. If you have any questions or need any help in ordering, please call so that we can clear them up for you (1-800-680-3007 or 303-730-6291).
8) How do I get my PDUs?
If one of your objectives in taking PMT’s training is earning PDUs from the Project Management Institute, click here to see how easy is to obtain them once you have completed one of our courses.
9) Why should I select PMT for my training and consulting needs over its many competitors?
PMT has specialized in the scientific processes of work definition, time analysis, schedule reconciliation, quantitative resource planning, and quantitative risk and opportunity management. In these areas of expertise, PMT has no equal in industry today. Check out the outlines of any other course on the market, and if the technologies of project management are addressed at all, they will be covered minimally. There is simply not enough breadth or depth to impart a working level knowledge of these processes that are so critical to proactive project planning and management. PMT’s courses have a genesis that goes back over 40 years in a variety of project management industries, and have evolved constantly over that time as new and better methodologies have evolved. All courses embody best practices and lessons learned from many years of practical experience – that is, not just theory, but methodology that works in the real world.
10) As an executive, why should I expend my valuable time learning the details of project and resource planning?
Executives play a significant role in the effective and efficient management of projects, even though you should delegate the day-to-day management to subordinates. Your primary responsibilities lie in making sure that each project meets the following criteria:
- The project’s management has a thorough understanding of their objectives
- All projects are properly structured and disciplined in their management
- All projects have a good and viable plan for success
- All projects are properly and adequately staffed and equipped with all necessary resources to meet all of their objectives
- All projects have a system in place to monitor and manage performance
How do you, as an executive manager, determine if a project satisfies these criteria? You really cannot, without a detailed understanding of the technologies of project management.
11) What are the technologies that are so essential to successful and efficient project management?
This is a very complex question to answer. Technology in this sense means that we are applying a degree of science to the management of projects. In order to do this however, we must first translate the project to be accomplished, and throughout its lifecycle with mathematical entities that are then processed through a series of analytical methodologies. To better understand this, let us break our project management methodology into four major elements and five technical processes:
(Parameters) – The total project work or effort needs to be represented as a collective of individual detail tasks or activities, each of them defined with:
- Workscope definition of each task
- Closure criteria of each task
- Resource types and quantities needed to accomplish each task
- Planned durations of each task
- Relationships or interdependency between the tasks
- The relationship of each task to all applicable management structures
- Risk associated with individual and specific groups of tasks
To the parameterized project, which is now a model in database form, we must add the project time, resource, and budget constraints / boundaries / objectives.
(Database Disciplines) – We must manage and maintain all of these parameters properly and thoroughly throughout the lifecycle of the project – they all have some degree of variability.
(Work Interdependence) – Define the relationships of all these tasks to one another and manage them throughout the lifecycle of the project – they are complex and have some degree of variability.
(Collectivization and Data Analysis Using Specific Technical Processes) – We then compile and process the tasks with their associated parameters and interrelationships through five technical processes – here, the true science of project management is applied:
- Total Float/Slack calculation, analysis, problem identification and subsequent management – compare schedule requirements to work capabilities
- Quantitative Resource planning, analysis and subsequent management – compare time-phased resource needs to time-phased resource availability
- Performance Management – measuring time and resource performance, analysis of the results, problem identification, and subsequent management of issues and problems
- Vertical, Horizontal and Cost-Schedule Integration methodologies
- Qualitative and quantitative risk and opportunity identification, analysis, and management
These are the technologies of project management, and mastering them is very crucial to most efficiently and effectively manage projects to a successful outcome.
12) Does this project management training really apply to IT professionals?
Most IT endeavor constitutes projects, be it software development or hardware and software implementation, and as such, PMT’s methodologies are very appropriate. The scientific processes of project planning and program control are fundamental, and apply to any and all project management environments, and especially IT environments. Many IT professionals have already benefited from PMT’s training, as have communication technology managers, construction managers, prototype development managers, and aerospace engineers. If you are in the business of planning and managing real projects, then PMT’s courses will benefit you greatly.
13) Who benefits from PMT’s training programs?
Anyone who is, or will be, involved with managing any portion of a project will benefit from PMT’s training. If meeting cost, schedule, and technical objectives is important in your project management environments, then PMT’s training will greatly benefit you.
14) What is CPM Time Analysis?
One of the primary reasons we build a model of our project, is to conduct collective property analysis. CPM Time Analysis is one of the collective processes as it compiles information about the paths of a project, which are a series of interconnected tasks and milestones. The primary product of CPM Time Analysis is the computation in each path of their two fundamental parameters – collective length, and time availability. The difference between these two values is an entity called Total Float or Total Slack. Positive values of Total Float reflect a relative healthy schedule condition, whereas negative values indicate schedule concerns – a proactive revelation. As a project proceeds through its lifecycle, near-term task durations are continuously changing – either being delayed (90%) or pulled in (10%). So the paths on which these affected tasks lie see their length comparably increased or decreased. This variation is revealed through the paths’ Total Float, isolating problems long before they occur. CPM Time Analysis is introduced in PMT’s Course 1, and explored extensively in courses 2, 3 and 4.
15) What is Schedule Reconciliation?
Once we understand the Total Float condition of a path, we have either a healthy schedule (positive float in excess of 20 work-days), a marginal schedule health (positive float between zero and plus 20 days), or a schedule that is in trouble (negative float). As project managers, we need to develop and implement courses of action to alleviate marginal or negative schedule float issues that may occur on any project path. To do this, we need to either decrease the concerned paths’ length and / or increase the time available to the path. However, we find that the options that are available to do this have both positive effects, but also negative effects – so we must trade off the benefits with the consequences. This systematic process going from isolating schedule problems to enacting and managing a solution strategy is called Schedule Reconciliation. It is introduced in PMT’s Course 2, and explored extensively in courses 3 and 4.
16) What is “Program Control?”
Once a project plan is initiated, the project enters a new realm where two new powerful dynamics emerge – Change and status. Change is where the base parameters of the project are altered – the schedule is pulled-in or perhaps pushed out, or the workscope is either significantly increased or decreased. All of these conditions are driven by upper management or the customer. The impacts of Change tend to be significant but occur infrequently. Since these effects can have a direct impact on the project, the plan must be altered accordingly. Status is the larger effect as many tasks tend to take longer than expected, and can at some point force a path or paths into trouble. Status issues are periodically revealed as we progress through the project’s lifecycle. So in essence, all project workscope tends to evolve over time, and project planning or re-planning must continue in order to accommodate this. The plan must be altered to counteract any ill effects – something akin to continuous Schedule Reconciliation. Program Control is the processes of monitoring and managing change and status – so it is a lifecycle planning process. It is introduced in PMT’s Course 2, and explored extensively in courses 3 and 4.
17) What is Detail Resource Planning?
Project resources are one of the primary drivers of the project’s schedule, and the primary driver of the project’s cost. Having too much resource is a waste of money, but not having enough resource will delay the accomplishment of the schedule. It is only the right amount of resource at the point in time that they are needed that is acceptable. And this will not occur without a concerted effort to plan and then manage the project’s resources, a methodology we call Detail Resource Planning. This process begins after Schedule Reconciliation has been completed, because we need to plan project resources to a viable schedule that meets all project requirements. The result of Detail Resource Planning is a daily-weekly-monthly plan of resource availability that will support the schedule. As the project progresses through its lifecycle, project resource availability plans must be periodically updated. Detail Resource Planning is introduced in PMT’s Course 2, and explored extensively in courses 3 and 4.
13) What is Resource Aggregation?
This is a crucial process within Detail Resource Planning, and is the primary responsibility of the project management software tool. Once tasks have resource types and requirements loaded onto all tasks; are scheduled and reconciled; then it is important to collectivize resource requirements as a function of time. So this is another collective property of projects though it is in the form of a table. The tool must first determine a daily resource requirement for each task, then sum this value for all other tasks using the same resource that are scheduled on the same day. It is then displayed for that resource, for that date. Weekly Aggregates then are simply the sum of the daily resource requirements for the same resource, for each week in the schedule. Likewise monthly requirements are the sum of the daily resource aggregates for each resource, for an entire calendar or fiscal month. All of these values are normally displayed in an appropriate time versus amount Histogram. Once we understand the time-phased Aggregate of a resource then Detail Resource planning can arrive at a resource availability plan to meet the time-phased resource requirement. Resource Aggregation is introduced in PMT’s Course 2, and explored more extensively in Aggregation is introduced in PMT’s Course 2, and explored more extensively in course 4.
If you are seeking to obtain PDUs from the PMI, you will find that our courses are the most time-efficient, as well as cost-effective method to obtain your PDUs.