Head First PMP is one of the most popular PMP Exam Prep Guides amongst PMP aspirants. This book is co-authored by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman. Unlike other technical reference books, Head First PMP® took a unique twist by presenting the PMBOK® Guide knowledge interactively and visually.

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1. Creditability

  • Jennifer Greene has more than 15 years of project and project management experience with focus on software testing, software management and project management. She is now a project manager at a multinational company managing a large team of software developers.
  • Andrew Stellman was originally trained as a musician but somehow became a programmer at a music company. He is now a seasoned project manager with experience in process improvement.
  • Jennifer and Andrew have been co-authored two popular reference books about project management – the Head First PMP® (this book) and the Applied Software Project Management. Both books are currently published by O’reilly.

2. Book Content

  • Jennifer and Andrew have designed the presentation of the book content based on the scientific findings in neurobiology, cognitive science and learning theory. They took a scientific approach to helps students to learn the concepts based on the way our brain functions.
  • The exercises and activities in the book were designed to help you remember the material through multi-sensory learning.
  • They have also included quite a few interactive activities such as puzzles, games, problems, and exercises to make learning easy and entertaining.
  • A 200 questions PMP® mock exam is included.
  • This book covers all the exam materials that were included in the PMBOK® Guide.
  • It also prepare PMP aspirants by explaining a lot of PMP exam strategies.

3. Pros vs Cons

  • Pros:
    • This book simplifies the information and uses an attractive approach to get the information into your head. It is such a refreshing approach that I surprisingly enjoyed reading it.
    • This is perfect for those like me that do not like reading traditional text books
    • There are a lot of pictures with words repeated in various formats and analogies. And this repeating presentation of PMBOK concepts are helpful to condition your mind to learn the material by heart.
    • The PMP practice questions are very clearly written and help to build your confidence knowing that the material is actually sticking.
    • The PMP practice questions are actually quite similar to the actual PMP exam level while questions from Rita’s can be slightly more difficult and confusing.
    • The Head First PMP book covers practical tips on preparing for the exam such as the red herring questions which were mentioned to me several time during my bootcamp.

      During the actual PMP exam, you will get quite a few of questions designed to trick you. Beware!

    • The flow of the content is logical and linear even though this book may look like a children’s book.
    • This book uses project examples from everyday life such as baking, wedding etc, which new project managers can relate to very easily.
  • Cons:
    • There are some typos / mistakes in the book, but still less than Andy Crowe’s book. This book makes similar errors like Andy Crowe’s book such as reusing the practice exam from the 4th edition, misspellings and grammar mistakes.
    • The writing style and the questions were too easy therefore that leads to using more words to cover the same syllabus. This is causing the book to be considerably thicker compared to other PMP Prep Guides out there.
    • This book uses small projects in everyday life such as baking cookies and making parties to cover PMBOK concepts. As a PMP aspirant, the assumption that you need to bear in mind in the exam is, you are a project manager managing a large project. This book underplays the need to think like a seasoned project manager. Therefore, this book is good for new project managers but experienced project managers or will best benefit from Rita Mulcahy’s book.

4. Summary

  • After going through the book in a day, I really enjoyed it.
  • Jeniffer and Andrew have done a great job in producing such an effectively written, illustrated, and reasonably priced PMP Prep Guide.
  • Having said that, due to the right-brain friendly style of writing, this book will suit visual learner and new project managers better than the rest. I am one of those that find it hard to read a dry technical reference book.
  • Given that my objective is to prepare for PMP certification exam, I would use this book to provide me overall understanding of PMBOK concepts. Meanwhile, I will pair it with Rita Mulcahy’s book to dive deeper and gain better understanding of the large project scenarios required for exam.

5. Where to Buy

You can get the book from you local book store. Or via Amazon for USD$54.95 via the Checkout button below.

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  • Amazon delivers within the week if you are near the main Amazon hubs (US, UK, Germany etc) or within 1-3 weeks if you are located in other countries.
  • You can check the estimated shipping time during your check out.
  • Do make sure you order in advance and include the lead time in your Game Plan.