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Book Review – A Guide to the Project Management Book of Knowledge – PMBOK Guide – Fourth Edition

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A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) is universally recognized as the standard for project management methodologies and practices. Project managers routinely use the PMBOK® as a reference for accepted tools, knowledge, and processes in order to ensure the successful completion of a wide range of projects. The PMBOK is also the industry standard which candidates must study and possess a functional knowledge of when preparing for Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certifications. Since its creation the PMBOK has undergone several revisions the most recent of which is the 4th edition. Although much of the content is the same as in the 3rd edition, there are some significant changes regarding clarity and improvement.

The 4th edition of the PMBOK reflects a focused effort to provide more clarity in various aspects of project management practices while reducing ambiguity and redundancy. There are several areas where this is evident. First, in order to remain consistent, all processes are now annotated in a verb-noun format (i.e. Define Activities, Develop Schedule, Plan Quality, Verify Scope, etc). In such a dynamic discipline as project management it is imperative to maintain as high a level of consistency and simplicity as possible. Adding to its simplicity, the 4th edition has also grouped corrective action, preventive action, defect repair, and requested changes under the heading “change request”. The purpose of this is to provide visibility of these change requests while allowing an easier understanding of the project management processes.

It is important for a project manager to have a comprehensive understanding of the processes involved with successful project management. In order to help with this the 4th edition of the PMBOK has focused more on clarifying process interactions. By more clearly explaining process inputs and outputs with aid from the PMBOK’s new data flow diagrams-which replaced process flow diagrams-and the relationships between these processes, the project manager will have a better understanding of how to use these tools to his or her benefit.

Another important clarification is the distinction between the project management plan and the various project documents the project manager may utilize in helping manage the project. An example of this is that previously a change log may have been mistakenly grouped into a project management plan. The PMBOK® now makes it clear that while change management is an important part of a project management plan, a change log is a project document and should not be included in a formal project plan.

Additional clarification was made to the PMBOK® by more clearly differentiating what contents of the project charter and scope statement are required. Previously, these documents may have shared some commonalities as there was no clear distinction between required content. As projects progressively elaborate-or become more defined as they move forward-what is annotated in the charter will evolve and become evident in the project scope statement. This progressive elaboration is an important part of project management and the PMBOK has done well by making this consideration while defining more clear boundaries between these two documents.

Perhaps the most significant difference between the 3rd and 4th editions of the PMBOK is the addition, consolidation, and removal of several processes. The processes of Develop Preliminary Scope Statement (Project Integration Management Knowledge Area) and Plan Scope (Project Scope Management Knowledge Area) were removed in the 4th edition. Processes which were added include Collect Requirements (Project Scope Management Knowledge Area) and Identify Stakeholders (Project Communications Management Knowledge Area). Within the Project Procurement Management Knowledge Area the six processes were consolidated into four. These process revisions represent bold changes between the 3rd and 4th editions of the PMBOK. However, by renaming the processes in verb-noun format, removing those which were redundant or unnecessary, adding where needed, and consolidating others, the 4th edition of the PMBOK represents a significant improvement and another step in the right direction for project management.

Another improvement added to the 4th edition of the PMBOK is Appendix G which contains a list and discussion of interpersonal skills needed to successfully manage projects. While it is arguable whether or not these skills can be learned through training and practice or whether one is born more adept at these soft skills, it is clear that they are necessary in effectively managing projects and project teams. Their inclusion in the PMBOK is an improvement because they indicate areas in which project managers must maintain their focus while interacting with their project teams and stakeholders.

While the release of the 4th edition of the PMBOK was a step in the right direction for project management it was also part of a larger picture and not the only book of standards PMI released. Concurrently with the PMBOK fourth edition PMI released The Standard for Program Management 2nd Edition; The Standard for Portfolio Management 2nd Edition; and Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3) 2nd Edition. The release of these four standards represents an effort to relate methodologies between and among these various levels of project and program management in a clear, consistent, and comprehensive manner. These standards of basic project management, program and portfolio management, and organizational project management, along with consistent language, terminology, and practices provide an umbrella under which practitioners of the project management profession can operate with awareness, clarity, and confidence.

In addition to the professional content contained within the PMBOK there are some other characteristics of the book worthy of discussion. First, the book maintains its quality of being easy to read and understand. The fonts and graphics used in the book are clearly visible and the reader will find them easy to follow. Additionally, the data flow diagrams at the beginning of each knowledge area chapter are much easier to follow and understand than the 3rd edition’s process flow diagrams.

Another nice characteristic is the ability of the reader to take notes in the margins which provide very adequate space. One characteristic that should be improved is the soft cover of the PMBOK. With the cost of the book at $65.95 through PMI (or $49.50 for PMI members), a soft cover is hardly adequate to protect such an investment and valuable reference tool. Some simple internet research also found that the book can be purchased for $41.55 through Amazon.com with free shipping. This is certainly the most affordable price found online though, perhaps, it can be purchased secondhand or from a used book store for less.

One reason for the explosive growth of the project management profession is the degree to which the practices and methodologies have evolved. The revisions in the 4th edition of the PMBOK® represent the efforts made by its governing body, PMI, to remain proactive in a cycle of continuous development and improvement. The utility of effective project management has been realized throughout every industry and market segment. By including feedback from its practitioners in this improvement cycle the project management industry will continue to effectively evolve through its refinement of standards, tools, and practices.

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Bid Farewell to Your Worries With Non Owner Auto Insurance

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Planning for a fun-filled trip in a rented car? Non owner auto insurance is the prime thing you need to plan before you can begin to plan your clothes! It is a known fact that driving to various destinations is an integral part of our lives. Accidents, too, cannot be neglected at all. Every one understands that driving involves a great amount of risk with the ever growing traffic on the bustling streets. Many a times, while borrowing a vehicle from friend or kin you ensure that complete care is taken. However, the chances of an accident cannot be completely denied. No matter how dear you are to your friend, paying the bills for the damage is something no one loves!

What if you are provided with complete coverage of the accident? Sounds interesting and relieving? Well, this kind of insurance policy offers you the benefit of claiming insurance for the vehicle that you do not own! If you are already feeling secure about the whole thing, then there is more for you. This insurance not only covers the damage to the vehicle but also provides you medical insurance, in case there is an injury. If you are the kind of person who tends to rent a car often, this insurance is something that you must grab and fetch the benefits.

Another major category of people who can definitely benefit from the insurance is the people who are into driving vehicles professionally for a company or an individual. In this kind of job, the frequency of driving is very high. At the same time, the exposure to high risk of accidents is inflated. Non owner auto insurance plays a significant role in case of any mishap. Dealing with the consequences in such a situation is much smoother with the insurance and medical coverage benefit you get. It is true that one needs to be extremely cautious while driving a vehicle, whether it is your own or someone else’s However, a policy like this can prevent you from getting into a tight spot.

If your life revolves around renting or borrowing cars and driving them for various reasons, investing into this kind of insurance policy can keep you free of worries. Although it may not be one of the most popular insurance policies amongst the rest of the insurance related to automobiles, it serves a great purpose and is one of the most essential requisites in today’s life. No matter how safe you are as a driver. It can be someone else’s fault that can cause some serious damage to the vehicle.

Prevention is always better than cure. Opting for the policy is a very wise decision to save yourself from shoveling out huge amount of money. If you are hearing about this policy for the first time, it is not your fault since most of the companies dealing with insurance do not highlight the non owner auto insurance and its benefits. As an individual involved in driving cars that do not belong to you, finding out more details about such policies is definitely your job. Lead a peaceful life and let the owner of the car breathe peacefully too!

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Tanzania Camping Budget Private Or Joining Safari Explained From Monkey Territory to Tsetse Flies

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Tanzania Camping Budget Safaris Private or Joining are still the real Authentic African Safari. Firstly we would like to inform you that some of the campsites in Tanzania National Parks especially in Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park are outside the Parks.

This is because the camping ground inside the Parks are not safe.

There are so many elephants and tsetse flies in Tarangire during seasons of the year and in Lake Manyara to many monkeys. You can loose your food of 6 days safari in just five minutes and there is nothing you can do because you are inside of the monkey’s territory.

The Animal Kingdom. Here nature rules and human demands are not a priority!

For Tanzania Camping Budget Safari we normally use both 4 x 4 Land Rover / Land Cruiser / Minibus depending on safari schedule and season’s. Most of our clients prefer to use Land Cruisers in dry season and Land Rovers in wet season between April – June each year.

This is because Land Rover is always four wheel while driving in the mud, but the Land Cruiser you need to engage the four wheel when you need it. Also the Land Cruiser is easier to get stuck because of the rear springs while the Land Rover does not so easily get stuck because all front’s and rear tire’s are protected by coil springs.

Animals are normally drinking water early in the morning and late evening. Such activities is possible to see either in Lake Manyara or Serengeti National Park. Serengeti is a lot more better because it is allowed to do very early game drives even before breakfast. It is possible to include walking safari especially for those people who are doing private safari.

This is charged direct or if you insist we also include in the price. Of course we will indicate the cost separate for those who are doing joining safari. Not all clients want to do walking safari. The walking safari can be arranged in the campsite i.e., Twiga Camp / Fig Tree Camp / Zion camp and Popo Camp in Lake Manyara and Tarangire.

We normally take 4 people in normal Land Cruiser or Land Rover of 6 setter for those who are doing camping safari and 6 people in an extended vehicle of 8 setter. We reserve other rear seats for extra camping facility i.e., mattresses, blankets, tents, and bed sheets.

TANZANIA CAMPING SAFARI SAMPLE ITINERARY

DAY 1: Arusha-Tarangire

You will be picked up at around 0900am and depart to Tarangire National Park for the Game drive.Tarangire is most spectacular during the dry season when thousands of animals migrate into the park from the surrounding dry Maasai steppe, to use the permanent water supply of the Tarangire River.

You can see herds of elephants, numbering over a hundred. Tarangire is also renowned for its tree pythons, which are easily seen. The animal population in the dry season rivals that of the Serengeti with wildebeest, zebra, eland, hartebeest, buffalo, gerenuk, fringe eared Oryx and flocks of birds of many different species.

Prime game viewing is between July through November.

The famous and giant baobab trees dot the park, their branches looking just like roots. Some of the baobab trees are over 300 years old. Legend has it that a displeased god turned them upside down at the time of creation. All meals and overnight at Zion Campsite.

Approx transit time Arusha – Tarangire 1 hour

Meal Plan: {L,D}

DAY 2: Tarangire Park – Lake Manyara National Park. Breakfast at around 0700am. Depart Tarangire at around 0800am for Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its tree climbing lions and large flocks of flamingos.

The park contains five distinct vegetation zones and is of scenic beauty. Picnic Lunch will be served in the Park/Hot Lunch at the camp. Afternoon Game drive in the Park. Late afternoon to Twiga campsite for dinner and overnight.

Approx transit time Tarangire to Lake Manyara 1hour

Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

DAY 3: Lake Manyara National Park – Serengeti National Park. Breakfast at around 0630am. Depart for Serengeti with lunch en route. On arrival, proceed for a game drive. The park covers 12,944km2 of open plains making it one of the largest in the world.

The rocky outcrops commonly known as Moru kopjes in the eastern part of the park are of scenic beauty and occasionally cats can be seen lazing on them.The park contains vast herds of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and other antelopes. Dinner and overnight at Seronera Campsite.

Approx transit time Lake Manyara to Serengeti 5 ½ hours

Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

DAY 4: Serengeti National Park – Ngorongoro Crater rim. Very early Game drive in the vast Serengeti plain. Breakfast at 0900am. After breakfast, depart Serengeti and drive to Ngorongoro crater rim with Game drive and Picnic Lunch en route to Ngorongoro Simba campsite where you booked for the night full board.

Approx transit time Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Simba campsite 3½ hours

Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

DAY 5: Ngorongoro Crater – Arusha. Breakfast at around 0600am. Take Picnic Lunch with you and drive 15 minutes into the Ngorongoro Crater floor for the Game drive. View the various resident animals on the crater floor.

The largest unbroken caldera in the world, Ngorongoro has an area of 260 kilometers and a depth of 610 meters. The crater provides a protected habitat for thousands of mammals and birds. The entire day is spent on the crater floor viewing lion, hyena, wildebeest, zebra, black rhinoceros, and many species of small antelopes.

The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area is located between the Serengeti and Lake Manyara. It is home to the famous Ngorongoro Crater which is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. The Crater is a spectacular setting in which to experience your African safari. Some scientists maintain that before it erupted, Ngorongoro Crater – the largest intact caldera in the world – would have been higher than Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa.

Covering a mere 260 square kilometers (100 square miles), the 600 meter (1969 foot)-deep Crater is home to a permanent population of more than 30 000 animals. It is one of the few places in Africa where you stand a very good chance of seeing the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) in the course of a game- drive.

The local Maasai have permission to graze their cattle on the Crater floor, and it is not unusual to see Maasai cattle and buffalo grazing together with lion mere meters away. There are around 1000 lions in the Crater, approximately 20 black rhino, and the spectacular Lerai Forest is one of the best places in Africa to spot leopard. This is one of the natural wonders of the world.

Picnic Lunch in the Crater. Afternoon before 0430pm drive to Arusha where you will be dropped at your hotel of your choice.

Approx transit time Ngorongoro to Arusha 3½ hours

Meal Plan: {B, L}

END OF SAFARI

COST:

Joining rate – 799$ per person maximum 4 people.

Private rate – 1020$ per person minimum 2 people.

What is included

Fully supported camping safari for 4 nights with meals as shown in the itinerary, park entrance fees, transportation in a 4 x 4 vehicle to Tarangire Park, Serengeti Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro, English speaking driver guide, crater fee, safari transportation in a private vehicle.

What is not included

The price does not include international flights or departure taxes, personal insurance, visa fees, vaccination costs, personal clothing and equipment, all items of a personal nature and all alcoholic drinks, gratuity / tips, Meals unless specified above, and shuttle transfer’s.

Source: www.ZanzibarMagic.com

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How to Identify a Plumber

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Think about the last time you bought a car. You may not have consulted the Yellow Pages or a dealer has been selected at random, or you bought your car in the first place he visited. However, many times, this is the scenario that describes how you are looking for plumbing services; people read the phone book and called the plumber who has posted the biggest announcement or the first of the list. However, like buying a car, to search for a qualified plumber should find out and compare to ensure you get the best price backed by a competent and quality service.

The first thing to do to find a good plumber is to ask for recommendations from family or friends about professionals they’ve ever hired. Other good resources are the contractors, realtors and the local store plumbing supplies. The city government even can recommend a list of plumbers who are familiar with your area codes.

Plumbing Services says it is very important to remember that there are two different types of plumbers, who make repairs and those that specialize in new construction and remodeling. To make repairs plumbers to call when the sink is blocked, when leaks in faucets or in emergency situations. The second type of plumber works on larger projects, such as the replacement of a faulty pipe throughout the house or in the installation of additional pipelines.

When requesting references, be sure to ask what kind of work was hired plumber. Also, find out if the plumber specializes in residential and commercial work.

What should be taken into account in a qualified plumber?

There are several qualifications that can differentiate a professional plumber do the rest.

* Certification or state license – Many states require a license or state certification to work in that state. Call to verify that the license is current and see if there are complaints against that license.

* Insurance – Make sure the plumber you are considering being uninsured, having insurance against industrial accidents compensation and liability insurance. The plumber that you choose should provide a copy of your insurance policy.

* Better Business Bureau – Contact the local Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been filed against your potential candidate. Compare prices, but remember that the cheapest price that does not necessarily offer the best job. It is possible that a qualified and experienced plumber charged more for the job, but ultimately can save you money if you do a good job with the best materials and you will get the plumbing services.

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