PMP Certification Training – PMBOK Office Read – Chaper 1, 2 and 3

At Education Edge Canada, core aspect of PMP Certification Training, is to ensure that we are providing quality content which is easily consumable. The goal is to simplify PMBOK Guide’s complexity in a simplified manner. We call it office read, because the expectation is that we will use some of the time at work to accomplish this.

Our PMP Certification Training results have remained at 100%, one of the important factors behind such a phenomenal pass rate is that we remain accountable for you success. You have trusted us with you PMP Training and it is our responsiblity to ensure that we get you PMP Certified.

So what are we waiting for, lets’s kick start our PMP Prep by reading the summay of first 3 chapter of PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition:

  1. Introduction
  2. Environments in which projects operate
  3. The role of the Project Manager

First 3 Chapters of PMBOK Guide

What is a Project

  • Project– a temporary endeavor to create a unique product, service or result (or enhancement of existing services/products) — may be collectively termed as deliverable — (vs ongoing operations which manage processes in transforming resources into output) sometimes may involve handing over the deliverable to the operation teams for continuous operation and sustainment


  • Project drives changes in the organization and often is a means to create business values and to achieve organizational goals — the net quantifiable benefit derived from a business endeavour which can be tangible or intangible.


  • Projects operate in an environment that may have favourable or unfavourable impacts on them. Two major categories are:


  • Organization Process Assetsis a major input in all planning process, which may be kept at PMO, directly related to project management, including Processes and Procedures (including templates (e.g. WBS, schedule network diagrams, etc.), procedures for issuing work authorizations, guidelines, performance measurements) and Organizational Knowledge Repositories
  • Enterprise Environment Factors(often are constraints) are influences not under control of the project team that will affect the project, either intra-organization and extra-organization, e.g. organizational culture, organization structure, existing human resources, work authorization system, PMIS, market conditions, legal requirements, technology
    • EEF are inputs for all initiating, most planning process, not much in the executing/controlling process, none in closing process


  • Projects often involve more risks and uncertainties than operations and thus require more planning


  • The following factors influence the operation of the organization which may lead to the need for projects:
    • Regulatory/legal/social requirements changes
    • Stakeholders needs/requests
    • Changes in technology/business
    • Improvements, rectification and enhancements to processes/products/services


  • A project can be subdivided into phases, each phase is a collection of logically related project activities that result in the completion of deliverable(s). Towards the end of each phase is a “Phase Gate” which determines whether the project will go on or not.


  • Process– a package of inputs, tools and outputs, there are 49 processes defined by PMI. Processes are grouped in the PMBOK® Guide into 5 Process Groups (NOTE: Process groups are not the same as project phases).


  • Portfolio > Program > Project
    • Program– a group of coordinated projects, taking operations into account, maybe with common goals, achieving benefits not realized by running projects individually, if only the client/technologies/resource are the same, then the projects should be managed individually instead of a program
    • Portfolio– a group of programs and/or projects to achieve organizational strategic goals within the organization with a view to maximizing the value to the organization
    • Actively coordinating and managing portfolios, programs and projects through organizational project management (OPM) best position the organization to achieve strategic business goals.


  • Use of portfolio/program/project management to bridge the gap between organizational strategy and business value realization


Project Management

  • Project Management– the application of (all appropriate) knowledge, skills, tools & techniques and whatsoever to manage project activities with a view to meet the project requirements and achieve customer satisfaction
  • The most important task is to alignstakeholder expectations with the project requirements, around 90% of the PM’s work is related to communication with stakeholders
  • PMBOK® Guide is a framework/standardbut not methodology (agile, scrum, PRINCE3, etc.) — A framework allows flexibilities while a methodology would require the use of a predefined system of practices, techniques, procedures and rules.
    • Project management emphasizes tailoring — selecting the appropriate project management processes, inputs, tools, techniques, outputs and life cycle phases according to the unique nature of each individual project.


  • Triple constraints: Scope, Time and Cost
  • Other Competing constraints: Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Risk, Resources


  • Project Management Business Documents
    • Project Business Case — documents the economic feasibility vs benefits of the project and is used for authorization of project management activities.
    • Project Benefits Management Plan —describes how and when the benefits of the deliverables of the project will bring and describes how to measure the benefits (also including the alignment with organization strategies, assumptions and risks)
    • Project Charter — authorizes the project and names the project manager
    • Project Management Plan — how the project will be performed and managed – documents assumptions & decisions, helps communication between stakeholders, goals, costs & time scheduling (milestones), project management system and subsidiary management plans and documents
    • Project Success Measures — project success is now more inclined to be measured by considering the achievement of project objectives as documented in this document


Role of the Project Manager

  • Project Manager: an individual assigned by the organization to lead the team and is responsible for achieving project objectives
    • is the leader of the project irrespective of the authority
    • should consider every process to determine if they are needed for individual projects (tailoring)
    • the exact role of project manager is to be tailored to suit the needs of individual organizations and projects
    • may report to the functional manager, program manager, PMO manager, operation manager, senior management, etc., maybe part-time or devoted
    • identifies and documents conflictsof project objectives with organization strategy as early as possible


  • Skills required of project managers:
    • Technical project management— process tailoring, planning, managing schedule/cost/resources/risk
    • Leadership— communication (within team and with stakeholders), team building, motivation, influencing, coaching, trust building, conflict management, negotiation
    • Strategic and business management— be aware of the high-level strategies of the organization and effectively implement decisions/actions that align with strategic goals (Organization Strategy may be expressed through mission and vision)


  • Project Manager must balance the constraints and tradeoffs, effectively communicate the info (including bad news) to the sponsor for informed decisions
  • Project Manager needs to involve project team members in the planning process
  • Project Manager needs to perform integration at process level, cognitive level and context level
  • Project Team includes Project Manager, project management staff, project staff, PMO, SME (subject matter experts can be outsourced), customer representative (with authority), sellers, business partners, etc., maybe virtual or collocated
  • Senior management must be consulted for changes to high-level constraints
  • Leadership vs Management:
    • Lead: guide through interactive discussion from one point to another
    • Manage: direct a person to perform a set of expected behaviour
  • Leadership styles:
    • Laissez-faire
    • Transactional
    • Servant leader
    • Transformational
    • Charismatic
    • Interactional

Organization System

  • The organizational system determines the power, influence, competence, leadership and political capabilities of the people who can act within the system. e.g.
    • Management Elements — general management principles/rules of the organization, e.g. disciplinary action, division of skills, authorization model/practices, communication channels
    • Organizational Governance Frameworks — framework/processes describing how authority within the organization is exercised
    • Organizational Structure Types
      • Organic or Simple
      • Virtual
      • Projectized(project manager has the ultimate authority over the project, team members are often collocated)
      • Matrix(Strong, Balanced, Week)
      • Functional
      • Composite/Hybrid– a combination of different types, depending on the actual need
      • PMO
    • Tight Matrix= co-location, nothing to do with the organization type (not necessarily a matrix org.)


  • Functionalorganizations => the project manager has little authority, often called project expeditor (no authority) or coordinator  (little authority), project coordination among functional managers


  • Matrix organization => multiple bosses and more complex


  • Project Management Office(PMO) – standardizes governance, provides training, shares tools, templates, resources, etc. across all projects/programs/portfolios
    • 3 forms: supportive, controlling and directive (lead the project as PM)
    • functions: training, resource coordination, methodology, document repository, project management oversight, standards, career management of PMs
    • may function as a stakeholder / key decision maker (e.g. to terminate the projects)
    • control shared resources/interdependence across projects at the enterprise level
    • play a decisive role in project governance


Project Life Cycle vs Project Management Life Cycle vs Product Life Cycle

  • Project Life Cycle: includes: initiating, planning and organizing, carrying out/executing work, closing the project. Project life cycles are independent of a product life cycle.
  • Within a project life cycle, there can be one or more phases of the development of the product, service, or result (a.k.a. development life cycles) with the following models:
    • Predictive[plan driven/waterfall] – scope, time and cost determined early in the lifecycle, may also employ rolling wave planning
    • Iterative – repeat the phases as understanding of the project increases until the exit criteria are met, similar to the rolling wave planning, high-level objectives, either sequential/overlapping phase, scope/time/resources for each phase may be different
    • Incremental – features/scope are added to each incremental cycle
    • Adaptive[change driven/agile] – for projects with high levels of change, risk and/or uncertainty, each iterative is very short (2-4 weeks), work is decomposed into product backlog, each with a production-level product, scrum is one of the most effective agile methods, stakeholders are involved throughout the process, time and resources are fixed, allow low change cost/keep stakeholder influence high
    • Hybrid
  • The life cycle chosen must be suitable for the intended deliverable and flexible enough to deal changes.
  • each project phase within the product lifecycle may include all the five project management process groups
  • Product life cycle: development > production > adoption & growth > maturity > decline > end of life


Other Important Project Management Terms

  • The Configuration Management Knowledge Basescontain baselines of all organization standards
  • Lessons Learned– focus on the deviances from plan (baseline) to actual results and how to solve these discrepancies
  • The work authorization system(WAS) is a system used during project integration management to make sure that the right work gets done at the right time
  • PMIS includes configuration system and change control system
  • Never accept a change request to trim down one element of the triple constraint without changing the rest.
  • Sponsor– provides resources/support to project, lead the process through initiation (charter/scope statement) through formally authorized, later involved in authorizing scope/budget change/review
  • Customer – NOT necessarily provide the financial resources, may be external to the organization, final acceptanceof the product
  • Business Partners– certification body, training, support, etc.
  • Project Statement of Work(SOW): describes the business need, high-level scope of deliverables and strategic plan of the organization, created by the sponsor/initiator/buyer
  • Project Charter is not a contract
  • Project Management Plan is NOT a project schedule
  • Project Management System: includes a list of project management processes, level of implementation (what actions to take in the management processes), description of tools and techniques, resources, procedures, change control system[forms with tracking systems, approval levels]
  • Requirement Traceability Matrix(RTM) – a matrix connecting deliverables to requirements and their sources (for managing scope)
  • Work Breakdown Structure(WBS) – a hierarchal chart of decomposing deliverables into work packages
  • Activity List– a full list of all activities with indication of relationship to the work packages
  • Activity Attributes– further information (duration, start date, end date, etc.) of all the activities in the list (for scheduling)
  • Roles and Responsibilities(RAR) – a document listing all the roles and description of their responsibilities in the project (often by category)
  • Responsibility Assignment Matrix(RAM) – a matrix connecting people to work packages/activities, e.g. the RACI matrix (responsible, accountable, consult, inform), usually only one person is accountable for each activity
  • Resources Breakdown Structure(RBS) – a hierarchical chart listing all the resources by categories, e.g. marketing, design, etc.
  • Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS) – a hierarchical chart listing all risks by categories
  • Project Management Data and Information
    • Work Performance Data– raw data collected
    • Work Performance Info – analyzed in context and integrated data, e.g. some forecasts
    • Work Performance Reports– work performance information compiled in report format
  • Sunk costs– money already spent, not to be considered whether to terminate a project, similar to committed cost (often through contracts)
  • Direct costs, indirect (shared) costs, Fixed costs, Variable costs
  • Law of diminishing returns– beyond a point, the more input, the less return
  • Working capital– assets minus liability, what the company has to invest in the projects
  • Payback period– a time to earn back capital investment
  • Benefit-cost ratio(BCR) – an indicator, used in the formal discipline of cost-benefit analysis, that attempts to summarize the overall value for money of a project
  • Depreciation – straight-line depreciation vs accelerated depreciation (the amount of depreciation taken each year is higher during the earlier years of an asset’s life)
  • Under double declining balance, the asset is depreciated twice as fast as under straight line. Using the example above, 10% of the cost is depreciated each year using a straight line. Doubling the rate would mean that 20% would be depreciated each year, so the asset would be fully depreciated in 5 years, rather than 10.
  • Under sum-of-the-years-digits, the asset is depreciated faster than the straight line but not as fast as declining balance. As an example of how this method works, let’s say an asset’s useful life is 5 years. Adding up the digits would be 5+4+3+2+1 or a total of 15. The first year, 5/15 is expensed; the next year 4/15 is expensed, and so on. So if the asset’s cost is $1000, 5/15, or $333.34 would be expensed the first year, $266.67 the second year, and so on.
  • Economic value added– the value of the project brought minus the cost of project (including opportunity costs) e.g. for a project cost of $100, the estimated return for 1st year is $5, assuming the same money can be invested to gain 8% per year, then the EVA is $5 – $100 * 8% = -$3
  • Net present value (NPV) – the sum of the present values (PVs) of the individual cash flows of the same entity
  • Present value (PV) – or called present discounted value, is a future amount of money that has been discounted to reflect its current value, as if it existed today (i.e. with inflation, etc.)
  • Future value (FV) – is the value of an asset at a specific date
  • Internal Rate of Return (IRR)– The inherent discount rate or investment yield rate produced by the project’s deliverables over a pre-defined period of time.
  • Forecast(future) vs Status Report (current status) vs Progress Report (what have been done/delivered)
  • Journey to Abilene (Abilene’s Paradox) – committee decisions can have a paradox outcome, the joint decision is not welcome by either party (because of fear of raising objections)
  • when something unusual happens, always refer to the PM Plan/Charter for instruction on how to proceed; if not found, ask for direction from the management
  • unresolved issues will lead to conflicts


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