Risk is the possibility of losing something of value. Values can be gained or lost when taking risk resulting from a given action or inaction, foreseen or unforeseen. Risk can be defined as the intentional interaction with uncertainty. Uncertainty is a potential and uncontrollable outcome. Risk perception is the subjective judgment people make about the severity and probability of a risk, may vary person to person. Any human endeavour carries some risk; the Oxford English Dictionary cites the earliest use of the word in English as of 1621, the spelling as risk from 1655. It defines risk as: the possibility of injury, or other adverse or unwelcome circumstance. Risk is an influence affecting strategy caused by an incentive or condition that inhibits transformation to quality excellence. Risk is an uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has an effect on at least one objective.. The probability of something happening multiplied by benefit if it does; the probability or threat of quantifiable damage, liability, loss, or any other negative occurrence, caused by external or internal vulnerabilities, that may be avoided through preemptive action.
Finance: The possibility that an actual return on an investment will be lower than the expected return. Insurance: A situation where the probability of a variable is known but when a mode of occurrence or the actual value of the occurrence is not. A risk is not a peril, or a hazard. Securities trading: The probability of a loss or drop in value. Trading risk is divided into two general categories: Systematic risk affects all securities in the same class and is linked to the overall capital-market system and therefore cannot be eliminated by diversification. Called market risk. Non-systematic risk is any risk. Called non-market risk, extra-market risk or diversifiable risk. Workplace: Product of the consequence and probability of a hazardous event or phenomenon. For example, the risk of developing cancer is estimated as the incremental probability of developing cancer over a lifetime as a result of exposure to potential carcinogens; the International Organization for Standardization publication ISO 31000 / ISO Guide 73:2002 definition of risk is the'effect of uncertainty on objectives'.
In this definition, uncertainties include events and uncertainties caused by ambiguity or a lack of information. It includes both negative and positive impacts on objectives. Many definitions of risk exist in common usage, however this definition was developed by an international committee representing over 30 countries and is based on the input of several thousand subject matter experts. Different approaches to risk management are taken in different fields, e.g. "Risk is the unwanted subset of a set of uncertain outcomes". Risk can be seen as relating to the probability of uncertain future events. For example, according to Factor Analysis of Information Risk, risk is: the probable frequency and probable magnitude of future loss. In computer science this definition is used by The Open Group. OHSAS defines risk as the combination of the probability of a hazard resulting in an adverse event, the severity of the event. In information security risk is defined as "the potential that a given threat will exploit vulnerabilities of an asset or group of assets and thereby cause harm to the organization".
Financial risk is defined as the unpredictable variability or volatility of returns, this would include both potential better-than-expected and worse-than-expected returns. References to negative risk below should be read as applying to positive impacts or opportunity unless the context precludes this interpretation; the related terms "threat" and "hazard" are used to mean something that could cause harm. Risk is ubiquitous in all areas of life and risk management is something that we all must do, whether we are managing a major organisation or crossing the road; when describing risk however, it is convenient to consider that risk practitioners operate in some specific practice areas. Economic risks can be manifested in higher expenditures than expected; the causes can be many, for instance, the hike in the price for raw materials, the lapsing of deadlines for construction of a new operating facility, disruptions in a production process, emergence of a serious competitor on the market, the loss of key personnel, the change of a political regime, or natural disasters.
Risks in personal health may be reduced by primary prevention actions that decrease early causes of illness or by secondary prevention actions after a person has measured clinical signs or symptoms recognised as risk factors. Tertiary prevention reduces the negative impact of an established disease by restoring f
PRINCE2 is a structured project management method and practitioner certification programme. PRINCE2 emphasises dividing projects into controllable stages, it is adopted in many countries worldwide, including the UK, Western European countries, Australia. PRINCE2 training is available in many languages. PRINCE2 was developed as a UK government standard for information systems projects. In July 2013, ownership of the rights to PRINCE2 was transferred from HM Cabinet Office to AXELOS Ltd, a joint venture by the Cabinet Office and Capita, with 49% and 51% stakes respectively. PRINCE was derived from an earlier method called PROMPT II. In 1989 the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency adopted a version of PROMPT II as a UK Government standard for information systems project management, they gave it the name'PRINCE', which stood for "PROMPT II IN the CCTA Environment". PRINCE was renamed in a Civil service competition as an acronym for "PRojects IN Controlled Environments", it soon became applied outside the purely IT environment, both in UK government and in the private sector around the world.
PRINCE2 was released in 1996 as a generic project management method. PRINCE2 has become popular and is now a de facto standard for project management in many UK government departments and across the United Nations system. In the 2009 revision, the acronym was changed to mean'PRojects IN a Controlled Environment'. There have been two major revisions of PRINCE2 since its launch in 1996: "PRINCE2:2009 Refresh" in 2009, "PRINCE2 2017 Update" in 2017; the justification for the 2017 update was the evolutions in practical business practices and feedbacks from PRINCE2 practitioners in the actual project environment. These aspects are called tolerances or performance goals, they are considered during decision-making processes. In some organizations these can be KPIs. In the following table project level tolerances are summarized: Benefits can have as target the cost of the benefit, but the cost tolerance above is related to the cost of the project, not the cost of the benefit; each management level is checked against these tolerances.
PRINCE2 is based on seven principles and these cannot be tailored. The PRINCE2 principles can be described as a mindset that keeps the project aligned with the PRINCE2 methodology. If a project does not adhere to these principles, it is not being managed using PRINCE2. Continued Business Justification: The business case is the most important document, is updated at every stage of the project to ensure that the project is still viable. Early termination can occur. Learn From Experience: each project maintains a lessons log and projects should continually refer to their own and to previous and concurrent projects' lesson logs to avoid reinventing wheels. Unless lessons provoke change, they are only lessons identified. Defined Roles and Responsibilities: Roles are separated from individuals, who may take on multiple roles or share a role. Roles in PRINCE2 are structured in four levels. Project Management Team contains the last three, where all primary stakeholders need to be presented. Manage by Stages: the project is planned and controlled on a stage by stage basis.
Moving between stages includes updating the business case, overall plan, detailed next-stage plan in the light of new evidence. Manage by Exception: A PRINCE2 project has defined tolerances for each project objective, to establish limits of delegated authority. If a management level forecasts that these tolerances are exceeded, it is escalated to the next management level for a decision. Focus on Products: A PRINCE2 project focuses on the definition and delivery of the products, in particular their quality requirements. Tailor to Suit Project Environment: PRINCE2 is tailored to suit the project environment, complexity, time capability and risk. Tailoring is the first activity in the process reviewed for each stage. Not every aspect of PRINCE2 will be applicable to every project, thus every process has a note on scalability; this provides guidance to the project manager as to. The positive aspect of this is; the negative aspect is that many of the essential elements of PRINCE2 can be omitted sometimes resulting in a PINO project – Prince in Name Only Starting Up A Project, in which the project team is appointed including an executive and a project manager, a project brief is produced Initiating A Project, in which the business case refined and Project Initiation Documentation assembled Directing A Project, which dictates the ways in which the Project Board oversees the project Controlling A Stage, which dictates how each individual stage should be controlled, including the way in which work packages are authorised and distributed Managing Product Delivery, which has the purpose of controlling the link between the Project Manager and the Team Manager by placing formal requirements on accepting and delivering project work.
Managing Stage Boundaries, which dictates how to transition from one stage to the next Closing A Project, which covers the formal decommissioning of the project, follow-on actions and evaluation of the benefits. The PRINCE2 manual contains 26 suggested template
Dynamic systems development method
Dynamic systems development method is an agile project delivery framework used as a software development method. First released in 1994, DSDM sought to provide some discipline to the rapid application development method. In versions the DSDM Agile Project Framework was revised and became a generic approach to project management and solution delivery rather than being focused on software development and code creation and could be used for non-IT projects; the DSDM Agile Project Framework covers a wide range of activities across the whole project lifecycle and includes strong foundations and governance, which set it apart from some other Agile methods. The DSDM Agile Project Framework is an iterative and incremental approach that embraces principles of Agile development, including continuous user/customer involvement. DSDM fixes cost and time at the outset and uses the MoSCoW prioritisation of scope into musts, shoulds and won't haves to adjust the project deliverable to meet the stated time constraint.
DSDM is one of a number of Agile methods for developing software and non-IT solutions, it forms a part of the Agile Alliance. In 2014, DSDM released the latest version of the method in the'DSDM Agile Project Framework'. At the same time the new DSDM manual recognised the need to operate alongside other frameworks for service delivery PRINCE2, Managing Successful Programmes, PMI; the previous version had only contained guidance on. In the early 1990s, rapid application development was spreading across the IT industry; the user interfaces for software applications were moving from the old green screens to the graphical user interfaces that are used today. New application development tools were coming on the market, such as PowerBuilder; these enabled developers to share their proposed solutions much more with their customers – prototyping became a reality and the frustrations of the classical, sequential development methods could be put to one side. However, the RAD movement was unstructured: there was no agreed definition of a suitable process and many organisations came up with their own definition and approach.
Many major corporations were interested in the possibilities but they were concerned that they did not lose the level of quality in the end deliverables that free-flow development could give rise to. The DSDM Consortium was founded in 1994 by an association of vendors and experts in the field of software engineering and was created with the objective of "jointly developing and promoting an independent RAD framework" by combining their best practice experiences; the origins were an event organised by the Butler Group in London. People at that meeting all worked for blue-chip organisations such as British Airways, American Express and Logica. In July 2006, DSDM Public Version 4.2 was made available for individuals to use. In 2014, the DSDM handbook was made available public. Additionally, templates for DSDM can be downloaded. In October 2016 the DSDM Consortium rebranded as the Agile Business Consortium; the Agile Business Consortium is a not-for-profit, vendor-independent organisation which owns and administers the DSDM framework.
Atern is a vendor-independent approach that recognises that more projects fail because of people problems than technology. Atern’s focus is on helping people to work together to achieve the business goals. Atern is independent of tools and techniques enabling it to be used in any business and technical environment without tying the business to a particular vendor. There are eight principles underpinning DSDM Atern; these principles direct the team in the attitude they must take and the mindset they must adopt to deliver consistently. Focus on the business need Deliver on time Collaborate Never compromise quality Build incrementally from firm foundations Develop iteratively Communicate continuously and Demonstrate control Timeboxing: is the approach for completing the project incrementally by breaking it down into splitting the project in portions, each with a fixed budget and a delivery date. For each portion a number of requirements are selected; because time and budget are fixed, the only remaining variables are the requirements.
So if a project is running out of time or money the requirements with the lowest priority are omitted. This does not mean that an unfinished product is delivered, because of the Pareto Principle that 80% of the project comes from 20% of the system requirements, so as long as those most important 20% of requirements are implemented into the system, the system therefore meets the business needs and that no system is built in the first try. MoSCoW: is a technique for prioritising work requirements, it is an acronym that stands for: MUST have SHOULD have COULD have WON'T havePrototyping: refers to the creation of prototypes of the system under development at an early stage of the project. It enables the early discovery of shortcomings in the system and allows future users to ‘test-drive’ the system; this way good user involvement is realised, one of the key success factors of DSDM, or any System Development project for that matter. Testing: helps ensure a solution of good quality, DSDM advocates testing throughout each iteration.
Since DSDM is a tool and technique independent method, the project team is free to choose its own test management method. Workshop: brings project stakeholders together to discuss requirements and mutual understanding. Model
Computer science is the study of processes that interact with data and that can be represented as data in the form of programs. It enables the use of algorithms to manipulate and communicate digital information. A computer scientist studies the theory of computation and the practice of designing software systems, its fields can be divided into practical disciplines. Computational complexity theory is abstract, while computer graphics emphasizes real-world applications. Programming language theory considers approaches to the description of computational processes, while computer programming itself involves the use of programming languages and complex systems. Human–computer interaction considers the challenges in making computers useful and accessible; the earliest foundations of what would become computer science predate the invention of the modern digital computer. Machines for calculating fixed numerical tasks such as the abacus have existed since antiquity, aiding in computations such as multiplication and division.
Algorithms for performing computations have existed since antiquity before the development of sophisticated computing equipment. Wilhelm Schickard designed and constructed the first working mechanical calculator in 1623. In 1673, Gottfried Leibniz demonstrated a digital mechanical calculator, called the Stepped Reckoner, he may be considered the first computer scientist and information theorist, among other reasons, documenting the binary number system. In 1820, Thomas de Colmar launched the mechanical calculator industry when he released his simplified arithmometer, the first calculating machine strong enough and reliable enough to be used daily in an office environment. Charles Babbage started the design of the first automatic mechanical calculator, his Difference Engine, in 1822, which gave him the idea of the first programmable mechanical calculator, his Analytical Engine, he started developing this machine in 1834, "in less than two years, he had sketched out many of the salient features of the modern computer".
"A crucial step was the adoption of a punched card system derived from the Jacquard loom" making it infinitely programmable. In 1843, during the translation of a French article on the Analytical Engine, Ada Lovelace wrote, in one of the many notes she included, an algorithm to compute the Bernoulli numbers, considered to be the first computer program. Around 1885, Herman Hollerith invented the tabulator, which used punched cards to process statistical information. In 1937, one hundred years after Babbage's impossible dream, Howard Aiken convinced IBM, making all kinds of punched card equipment and was in the calculator business to develop his giant programmable calculator, the ASCC/Harvard Mark I, based on Babbage's Analytical Engine, which itself used cards and a central computing unit; when the machine was finished, some hailed it as "Babbage's dream come true". During the 1940s, as new and more powerful computing machines were developed, the term computer came to refer to the machines rather than their human predecessors.
As it became clear that computers could be used for more than just mathematical calculations, the field of computer science broadened to study computation in general. In 1945, IBM founded the Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University in New York City; the renovated fraternity house on Manhattan's West Side was IBM's first laboratory devoted to pure science. The lab is the forerunner of IBM's Research Division, which today operates research facilities around the world; the close relationship between IBM and the university was instrumental in the emergence of a new scientific discipline, with Columbia offering one of the first academic-credit courses in computer science in 1946. Computer science began to be established as a distinct academic discipline in the 1950s and early 1960s; the world's first computer science degree program, the Cambridge Diploma in Computer Science, began at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory in 1953. The first computer science degree program in the United States was formed at Purdue University in 1962.
Since practical computers became available, many applications of computing have become distinct areas of study in their own rights. Although many believed it was impossible that computers themselves could be a scientific field of study, in the late fifties it became accepted among the greater academic population, it is the now well-known IBM brand that formed part of the computer science revolution during this time. IBM released the IBM 704 and the IBM 709 computers, which were used during the exploration period of such devices. "Still, working with the IBM was frustrating if you had misplaced as much as one letter in one instruction, the program would crash, you would have to start the whole process over again". During the late 1950s, the computer science discipline was much in its developmental stages, such issues were commonplace. Time has seen significant improvements in the effectiveness of computing technology. Modern society has seen a significant shift in the users of computer technology, from usage only by experts and professionals, to a near-ubiquitous user base.
Computers were quite costly, some degree of humanitarian aid was needed for efficient use—in part from professional computer operators. As computer adoption became more widespread and affordable, less human assistance was needed for common usage. Despite its short history as a formal academic discipline, computer science has made a number of fundamental contributions to science and society—in fact, along with electronics, it is
Project management is the practice of initiating, executing and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints; this information is described in project documentation, created at the beginning of the development process. The primary constraints are scope, time and budget; the secondary – and more ambitious – challenge is to optimize the allocation of necessary inputs and apply them to meet pre-defined objectives. The object of project management is to produce a complete project which complies with the client's objectives. In many cases the object of project management is to shape or reform the client's brief in order to feasibly be able to address the client's objectives. Once the client's objectives are established they should influence all decisions made by other people involved in the project – for example project managers, designers and sub-contractors.
Ill-defined or too prescribed project management objectives are detrimental to decision making. A project is a temporary endeavor designed to produce a unique product, service or result with a defined beginning and end undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives to bring about beneficial change or added value; the temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual, which are repetitive, permanent, or semi-permanent functional activities to produce products or services. In practice, the management of such distinct production approaches requires the development of distinct technical skills and management strategies; until 1900, civil engineering projects were managed by creative architects and master builders themselves, for example, Christopher Wren, Thomas Telford and Isambard Kingdom Brunel. In the 1950s organizations started to systematically apply project-management tools and techniques to complex engineering projects; as a discipline, project management developed from several fields of application including civil construction and heavy defense activity.
Two forefathers of project management are Henry Gantt, called the father of planning and control techniques, famous for his use of the Gantt chart as a project management tool. Both Gantt and Fayol were students of Frederick Winslow Taylor's theories of scientific management, his work is the forerunner to modern project management tools including work breakdown structure and resource allocation. The 1950s marked the beginning of the modern project management era where core engineering fields come together to work as one. Project management became recognized as a distinct discipline arising from the management discipline with engineering model. In the United States, prior to the 1950s, projects were managed on an ad-hoc basis, using Gantt charts and informal techniques and tools. At that time, two mathematical project-scheduling models were developed; the "critical path method" was developed as a joint venture between DuPont Corporation and Remington Rand Corporation for managing plant maintenance projects.
The "program evaluation and review technique", was developed by the U. S. Navy Special Projects Office in conjunction with the Lockheed Corporation and Booz Allen Hamilton as part of the Polaris missile submarine program. PERT and CPM are similar in their approach but still present some differences. CPM is used for projects. PERT, on the other hand, allows for stochastic activity times; because of this core difference, CPM and PERT are used in different contexts. These mathematical techniques spread into many private enterprises. At the same time, as project-scheduling models were being developed, technology for project cost estimating, cost management and engineering economics was evolving, with pioneering work by Hans Lang and others. In 1956, the American Association of Cost Engineers was formed by early practitioners of project management and the associated specialties of planning and scheduling, cost estimating, cost/schedule control. AACE continued its pioneering work and in 2006 released the first integrated process for portfolio and project management.
In 1969, the Project Management Institute was formed in the USA. PMI publishes A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, which describes project management practices that are common to "most projects, most of the time." PMI offers a range of certifications. Project management can apply to any project, but it is tailored to accommodate the specific needs of different and specialized industries. For example, the construction industry, which focuses on the delivery of things like buildings and bridges, has developed its own specialized form of project management that it refers to as construction project management and in which project managers can become trained and certified; the information technology industry has evolved to develop its own form of project management, referred to as IT project manag
Work breakdown structure
A work-breakdown structure in project management and systems engineering, is a deliverable-oriented breakdown of a project into smaller components. A work breakdown structure is a key project deliverable that organizes the team's work into manageable sections; the Project Management Body of Knowledge defines the work-breakdown structure "A hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables." A work-breakdown structure element may be a product, service, or any combination thereof. A WBS provides the necessary framework for detailed cost estimating and control along with providing guidance for schedule development and control. WBS is a hierarchical and incremental decomposition of the project into phases and work packages, it is a tree structure. In a project or contract, the WBS is developed by starting with the end objective and successively subdividing it into manageable components in terms of size and responsibility which include all steps necessary to achieve the objective.
The work breakdown structure provides a common framework for the natural development of the overall planning and control of a contract and is the basis for dividing work into definable increments from which the statement of work can be developed and technical, schedule and labor hour reporting can be established. A work breakdown structure permits summing of subordinate costs for tasks, etc. into their successively higher level "parent" tasks, etc. For each element of the work breakdown structure, a description of the task to be performed is generated; this technique is used to organize the total scope of a project. The WBS is organized around the primary products of the project instead of the work needed to produce the products. Since the planned outcomes are the desired ends of the project, they form a stable set of categories in which the costs of the planned actions needed to achieve them can be collected. A well-designed WBS makes it easy to assign each project activity to one and only one terminal element of the WBS.
In addition to its function in cost accounting, the WBS helps map requirements from one level of system specification to another, for example, a cross reference matrix mapping functional requirements to high level or low level design documents. The WBS may be displayed horizontally in outline form, or vertically as a tree structure; the development of the WBS occurs at the start of a project and precedes detailed project and task planning. The concept of work breakdown structure developed with the Program Evaluation and Review Technique by the United States Department of Defense. PERT was introduced by the U. S. Navy in 1957 to support the development of its Polaris missile program. While the term "work breakdown structure" was not used, this first implementation of PERT did organize the tasks into product-oriented categories. By June 1962, DoD, NASA and the aerospace industry published a document for the PERT/COST system which described the WBS approach; this guide was endorsed by the Secretary of Defense for adoption by all services.
In 1968, the DoD issued "Work Breakdown Structures for Defense Materiel Items", a military standard requiring the use of work breakdown structures across the DoD. The document has been revised several times, most in 2018; the current version of this document can be found in "Work Breakdown Structures for Defense Material Items". It includes WBS definitions for specific defense materiel commodity systems, addresses WBS elements that are common to all systems. Defense Materiel Item categories from MIL-STD-881D are: Aircraft Systems Electronic/Generic Systems Missile/Ordnance Systems Strategic Missile Systems Sea Systems Space Systems Ground Vehicle Systems Unmanned Maritime Systems Launch Vehicle Systems Information Systems/Defense Business SystemsThe common elements identified in MIL-STD-881D, Appendix K are: Integration, assembly and checkout; the standard includes additional common elements unique to Space Systems, Launch Vehicle Systems, Strategic Missile Systems. In 1987, the Project Management Institute documented the expansion of these techniques across non-defense organizations.
The Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide provides an overview of the WBS concept, while the "Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures" is comparable to the DoD standard, but is intended for more general application. An important design principle for work breakdown structures is called the 100% rule, it has been defined as follows: The 100% rule states that the WBS includes 100% of the work defined by the project scope and captures all deliverables – internal, interim – in terms of the work to be completed, including project management. The 100% rule is one of the most important principles guiding the development and evaluation of the WBS; the rule applies at all levels within the hierarchy: the sum of the work at the "child" level must equal 100% of the work represented by the "parent" and the WBS should not include any work that falls outside the actual scope of the project, that is, it cann
Project Management Professional
Project Management Professional is an internationally recognized professional designation offered by the Project Management Institute. As of March 2018, there are 833,025 active PMP certified individuals and 286 chartered chapters across 210 countries and territories worldwide; the exam is based on the PMI Project Management Body of Knowledge. The PMP exam is based on the PMP Examination Specification, which describes tasks out of five performance domains: Initiating the project Planning the project Executing the project Monitoring and controlling the project Closing the project The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions written against the PMBOK specification and the PMP Code of Ethics; the exam is closed book. Twenty-five of the 200 questions on the exam are "sample" questions used to fine-tune the degree of difficulty and precision of the exam and as such are not counted for or against a test taker; these questions are placed randomly throughout the exam. The test taker is only graded on their proficiency on 175 questions.
The numbers in parentheses describe the percentage of questions for each domain. Each exam item has other sources of project management. Most of the questions reference the PMI A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge; the PMBOK Guide is in its sixth edition, the PMP exam changed in March 2018 to align with the updated guide. The Project Management Framework embodies a project life cycle and five major project management Process Groups: Initiating. Planning. Executing. Monitoring and Controlling. Closing.encompassing a total of 49 processes. Mapped to these five process groups are ten project management Knowledge Areas: Project Integration Management Project Scope Management Project Schedule Management Project Cost Management Project Quality Management Project Resource Management Project Communications Management Project Risk Management Project Procurement Management Project Stakeholder ManagementThe processes of these knowledge areas are described by their inputs and techniques, outputs.
The PMBOK emphasizes the interaction and interdependence between different process groups. For example, the outputs from one process may be used by one or more other processes as inputs. Government and other organizations employ PMP certified project managers in an attempt to improve the success rate of projects in all areas of knowledge, by applying a standardized and evolving set of project management principles as contained in PMI's PMBOK Guide. In December 2005, the PMP credential was number 7 of ZDNet’s 10 best IT certifications. In 2012 the PMP credential was ranked as a top certification by CIO. In 2015, the PMP credential was ranked as the #4 certification by Global Knowledge, behind 3 Security certifications; the global network of Prometric testing centers provides the PMP exam as a computer-based test. They offer a paper-based option for locations with no nearby Prometric testing centers; the exam consists of 200 questions. 25 are pre-release items. Prometric calculates the score based on the other 175 items.
Each multiple-choice item has one correct answer and three incorrect answers. Candidates who take the computer-based test receive their results upon completion. PMI evaluates proficiency levels in each project management process group in 4 levels. Above Target, Below Target, Needs Improvement. Examiners provide these results to the candidate on a score report after the examination. Candidates who take paper-based tests receive their test results and score reports within 4 weeks. Research shows that the most difficult Knowledge areas of the PMP® exam are Quality Management, Integration Management, Time Management. Item writing is an ongoing process at PMI, they periodically add new four-choice questions and remove others. Item writers use the PMP Examination Specification to identify item contents and references to verify correctness. Individuals who are active in the field of PMP exam preparation may not participate in item writing. Continuous credential requirements are called CCRs. To maintain the PMP qualification, 60 professional development units must be earned over a three-year cycle, from activities such as researching, authoring articles, speaking on project management-related topics, or being engaged full-time in project management.
Credential holders may earn PDUs towards the maintenance of their credential through formal academic courses or courses offered by a provider. However, these are only two of the five categories of PDU earning opportunities in which a credential holder may participate. Effective 1 December 2015, CCRs will be updated to align with the employer-identified skills depicted in the PMI Talent Triangle, a combination of technical and strategic and business management expertise, to ensure credential holders are equipped with skills relevant in a continually changing business environment; the US Department of Education and the National Science Foundation have deemed all United States professional certifications to be at level 50 in the Mapping The World of Education, Comparable Database System. The Level 50 code addresses "Awards of No More Than 2 Years. Programs and awards that are designed to represent no more than 2 years of study.