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McGraw-Hill's PMP Certification Mathematics with CD-ROM Paperback – Feb 25 2010


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McGraw-Hill's PMP Certification Mathematics with CD-ROM + The PMP Exam: Quick Reference Guide, Fifth Edition + A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (Pmbok Guide) - 5th Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (Feb. 25 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071633057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071633055
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 1.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #147,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Vidya Subramanian, PMP, is an experienced PMP with professional experience in different roles spanning all phases of the software development life cycle. She currently works at a leading financial institution in Virginia. Her core competencies include process improvements, business analysis, and project management. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master’s degree in computer software applications from Mumbai, India. She also holds a Master’s degree in information systems from Virginia Tech. She is an active member of the Project Management Institute and a certified PMP and Scrum Master.

Ravi Ramachandran, PMP, is an information technology consultant in Virginia experienced in technology consulting, managing, analyzing, and implementing software solutions for clients. His expertise in the technology sector spans various industries, and his core competencies include client relations, business analysis, technical consulting, and off-site management. He holds a Master’s degree in computer science from the University of Texas at Dallas and an MBA from Virginia Tech. He is an active member of the Project Management Institute and a certified PMP.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Dowie on Nov. 15 2011
Format: Paperback
This book should be part of any PMP exam candidate's preparation exam. It more than compliments other PMP study guides, as it can break out any and all formula-based questions that the PMP exam could throw at you... I am looking forward to using it to reinforce my study strategy, especially if I find a gap in my knowledge once I attempt a myriad of mock exams.

In fact, as a stand-alone reference book for all more straight forward PMBoK-styled issues involving mathematics, it is a good refresher of why that software does what it does - eg) forward and backward pass... one should always know what are the originating math-based ideas of computer programs.

This book will make better project managers of us all - math need not be the exclusive domain of analysts and accountants.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like how the book is organized into different topics. The author simplifies the mathematical calculations of project management concepts. The book is useful for both students and exam takers. It is a good reference to have.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 43 reviews
58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Erros in the book and CDROM Feb. 13 2011
By MCSINC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Book Errors
pg 8 example 2
PV = FV / (1+r) time not multiplied by

Pg 131 problem 4
The correct answer is C and answer B on pg 134

Pg 67 example 1
The answer is Make = 92000 and Buy = 65000 so EVM equals 27000 NOT -138000

CDROM
Test 2 Question 1
ETC= EAC-AC
The question says AC =15000 and the Answer says AC =25000 you will get this question wrong.

Test 6 Question 10
Cost Budget = cost baseline + management reserve so 95000 + 9500 + 1900 = 123500 not answer 125400, the cost baseline is calculated twice.

Test 8 Question 2
The problem does not give the 5 percent interest rate, to get the answer correct assume 1.05 in (1+r)

Test 10 Question 2
The question is looking for SD not Variance which is not specified.

Test 10 Question 1
Answer B and D are the same answer but answer D will be the correct one.

Test 10 Question 7
There is no EVM question to the answer, but the answer is A
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Book has several formula errors in it starting at Chapter 1 Nov. 15 2010
By shannont_1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book starts out with errors on pages 8 and 9 of the book when calculating simple Present and Future Values.
I would not recommend this book to anyone studying for the PMP, you will fail the math portion if you relied on
this book.
I am disappointed after purchasing it.

AGAIN... this book has errors in it. In fact...you can find the EXACT same math problems and formats in Rita Mulcahy's and Andy Crowe's PMP prep books!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Fatally confused and sloppy Dec 31 2013
By Mark Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a book to help you with PMP certification concepts and the related mathematics, this book is likely to do you much more harm than good. It is one thing to have study material that contains the occasional errata, but when the errors become so numerous and compounded that you end up spending most of your time trying to work out what in the book is correct and what is not, you have firmly crossed the line between study guide and doorstop.

I don't even own a copy of this book. My girlfriend was trying to use it to prepare for her PMP exam, occasionally asking for help with bits of the math. After struggling with the EMV decision tree section, she gave it to me look through. This section looks for all the world like it was written by someone with minimal experience with math and risk management who was given a 10-minute crash course on it, and then six months later, sick with the flu, was told to write up a study guide. Really, it is that bad.

There is no way to understand what a mess this is without giving some specifics. I feel duty-bound to do this here. It is easy to say a book is awful; I want to carefully show why.

The section purports to teach a single simple form of a decision tree problem, where there are two possible decisions, each with an up-front cost and two distinct outcomes that have their own impact and probability. The object is to evaluate which is the decision with least risk, that is, with the highest expected value outcome.

The sample problem invites us to consider a company's make-or-buy decision:

If "make", initial cost is $100,000, with an 80% chance of "success" (impact $0) and 20% chance of "failure" (impact $40,000).
If "buy", initial cost is $75,000, with a 40% chance of "success" (impact $80,000) and 60% chance of "failure" (impact $70,000).

The make and buy costs are given without indicating that they are costs. No demerits for this, because it is obvious... except it becomes clear eventually that to the author it is anything but obvious, as I will show.

There is no indication whether an amount given for an impact is positive or negative. In the example problems that follow the sample problem, the problem solutions infer that all failure outcomes should be interpreted as negative amounts, but in the sample problem, the entire issue is hopelessly muddled. The book's brief description of how a decision tree works doesn't give any clues. (A failure outcome in real life can certainly be a positive amount, usually just an amount less than the initial outlay for the decision leading up to it.) The fact that the whole thing is left ambiguous is, in my opinion, because the author does not quite know what they are doing, and is essentially punting on it to avoid opening up a can of worms that might mean missing the print deadline.

Don't believe me? Read on.

In Step 1 of the solution, the book says the expected monetary value (EMV) of the buy/success outcome is $75,000 + (40/100) * $80,000 = $107,000. The math here is correct, but the answer is wrong, because the $75,000 is a cost, not a positive impact. It should be -$75,000 + (40/100) * $80,000 = -$43,000. But that hardly seems like a positive outcome. Perhaps the impact value of $80,000 has a different meaning? What could that be, though? Is it the net outcome (i.e. with the cost built in)? Obviously not; otherwise, why add in the cost in the first place?

Here is what I think might have happened:

a) The author picked the numbers for the sample problem randomly
b) Then, the author plugged them into the correct formula, got a negative number, and thought "how can that be right?" (in fact, a "successful" outcome might only be relatively so in real life, therefore sometimes it can be negative). What to do? Perhaps go back and figure out where they went wrong?
c) Nah! Just change that -$75,000 to $75,000 and rock on!

The author probably had some very minimal understanding of EMV and was probably just trying to muddle through using equations from some other book.

In Step 2 of the solution, the book says that the EMV of the buy/failure outcome is, and here I need to quote:

"$75,000 + $70,000 = (-) $145,000 (recall that because this outcome has a negative impact on the project, the EMV is shown with a minus sign.)"

This really gives the game away; whoever wrote this has no idea what they're doing and can't be bothered to figure it out. For starters, the 60% probability is nowhere to be seen. But mainly, the author's mind is just insisting on a result that makes sense to them, and is making stuff up to justify it. I searched the book in vain for the part I was supposed to "recall" which told me that an EMV with a negative outcome must be shown with a minus sign. Here is what I think happened:

a) The author was in a hurry and forgot about the 60%
b) Then, the answer came out to $145,000, which the author was awake enough to realize couldn't be right, because it's larger than the "success" outcome! What to do? Perhaps go back and figure out where they went wrong?
c) Nah! Put a minus sign in front of that, dude! Problem solved.

If an action taken turns out to be a "failure", why does this make $1 suddenly equal -$1? If the action is a "success", why does the $75,000 cost suddenly become a $75,000 windfall? These are just two of many obvious questions that spring immediately to mind.

Imagine a reader at this point whose math is rusty and is just trying to get the hang of this decision tree stuff. Will they ever recover from this?

In Step 3 of the solution, the book adds the results from Step 1 and Step 2 together to get an overall EMV of -$138,000. Well, now that is bad math. That sum is actually -$38,000. OK, just a typo. There are lots in this book.

The real answer, by the way, is -$75,000 + ((40/100) * $80,000) + ((60/100) * -$70,000) = -$85,000. That is assuming that the "failure" impact should be read as negative.

So the exposition of the sample solved problem is just hopelessly wrong, and no amount of pure carelessness or pure incompetence can account for it. It's obviously both. It leaves the aspiring student in such a hopeless position, that I really wish there were such a thing as authorial malpractice for instructional books.

In the exercise problems immediately following the sample solved problem, the author seems to forget about their maverick rule of negating the "failure" EMV value. Instead, the solution method is almost entirely correct, except the author persists in counting the up-front cost of a decision as income and not a loss, so the answers are nonsensical. For example, in Exercise 1, the reader must determine whether to build or upgrade given:

Build $100,000: 65% chance of success, impact $50,000; 35% chance of failure, impact $90,000
Upgrade $50,000: 80% chance of success, impact $60,000; 35% chance of failure, impact $50,000

Now obviously, the $100,000 and $50,000 are up-front costs associated with the build and upgrade decisions, respectively. So just glancing at this problem it is easy to see that the decision to build is a loser, but because the author treats the up-front figures as benefits and not costs, the book gives "build" as the right answer. The exact same thing is done for all ten example problems, which all have the same form.

So in the exercise problems the author has the formula right, but never stopped to think, in writing all ten example problems, what the meaning of the dollar amount associated with the initial choice was. Someone can only make this mistake if they don't understand project management. Not very reassuring, to put it mildly.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Not a book for PMP Certification May 16 2013
By Kevin Barretto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a lot of chapters that do not add value to the PMP examination. I picked up the book to do EMV and EVA the week before my exam date for a day and chose not to go back to it. If you want to learn Project selection methods to calculate Present and Future values and other financial terms, please refer to a Financial Accounting book rather than this book.

The book is filled with errors. Some of the facts are misleading. I was shocked as I read EMV problems where in a make-buy decision analysis all of the reference is to select the highest value. There are several errors with the schedule network analysis section. Problems are not even close to the exams on Earned Value Analysis.

PMI does not test an individual on just applying the values into an algebraic expression formulae. Its tests what you know about Earned Value Analysis definitions and how it is applied(i.e. What is EV, PV, BAC, AC, etc..) Memorizing the formulas is just not enough because you need to understand what the problem is asking you to solve. Just understanding this artifact will help you correctly answer all of the 10 to 15 questions on the exam. I know this cause I passed the examination by referring to the Earned Value Analysis & Risk Management topics from PMI.

I would definitely not recommend this book to any one studying for the PMP examination. Just stick with one exam prep book of your choice (Rita Mulcahy) and go with it rather than referring to multiple books.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Nice model of exercising, but be aware of the errors.. July 8 2013
By Daniel Arboitte dos Santos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is actually a very good model for exercising the math and the formulas, with a lot of repetition.
Unfortunetely a poor editing job was done.Many of the exercises have the wrong answers.. That happens in the book exercises, and a lot in the CD that comes with it. They are not difficult to spot, but its surprising...


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