Hemant’s’ PMP Exam Concepts
Prepared by Gazanfar and Updated by Hemant
Project Charter contains the success criteria and Project Scope Statement (Planning) contains the acceptance criteria.
Q on Salience model, complexprojects and complex relationship
Questions on stakeholder matrix – Power / Interest, Power / Influence and Influence / Impact
Q on Stakeholder engagement vs communication. Information flow is communication – anytime in questions you read about the information flow and stakeholders, you are invariably choosing Communication as the possible answer
Question Identify Stakeholder and Stakeholder Analysis – You are a PM and chief accounting officer left and a new one just joined in . What should you do – The answer is to meet the stakeholder and conduct stakeholder anlysis
Initiating: 1Q on business case, 1Q on benefits management plan. (Read business document section in chapter 1, 2 and 3 very carefully to answer these questions
Business case Q will be on; where the value proposition is made. Business case is where the value proposition has been established
Business case Q on that Business cases are usually written after the need has been identified.
Q on Project selection; when project selection is being done the best way to select a project is EMV or decision tree, earned monitory value (there will be options such as simulation or monte carlo analysis, etc
Q on Identify Stakeholders. Especially one on stakeholder assessment matrix and a Q on the power/influence etc. grids and salience models.
There is a questions on Stakeholder assessment matrix – you want to find the current engagement level of the stakeholder
Project charter – A question on high level risk
You are working for a contract organization and have been asked for development of the Project
Charter – Answer is you will ask for SOW (statement of work or requirements from the buyer)
Project charter – formally authorizes the existence of the project charter and provides the project manager with authority to apply organizational resources.
OPAs can be updated by the PMO
Business case – you are PM and you reviewed a document and saw that benefit do not align with the long term goals – what should you do – You should recommend these changes to the sponsoring organization, sponsors are generally responsible for these changes or updates to business documents.
Business case contains the decision criteria so techniques used in development of business case is decision analysis with Do Nothing approach
Project Manager’s primary goal is to achieve objectives
PM as a leader – Guide, motivate and direct team (question on leadership)
Project Manager should work with sponsors to keep the Project aligned with leadership – Question around keeping strategic objectives in mind and indication of any changes should be communicated with the sponsor(s).
Sponsors are external to the project
Q on leadership. They will talk about 4 skills, choose leadership when they talk about diverse stakeholders with varied level of authority, demonstrating leadership skill is what influences. Leadership requires you to influence people with varied level of authority. Influence is embedded in leadership
Q on RACI chart: Team members are confused on their roles and what to do, advise to then look at RACI matrix. It is a form of RAM. Q is you are a PM and team members are saying who needs to sign off on this document or don’t know who does what.
Q on Project Charter, you are a PM, sponsor has asked to provide a high level estimate, you have worked on something similar before so what would you do? Answer would be use historical data, not analogous estimation. Then Q will be about assumption log and we can say something we must start creating since initiating or beginning. Then Q will be on high level risks, you would know answer is that it is listed in the project charter and that where it starts.
Q on ROM: It is established based on historical data or top down approach. Keep that in mind. This is another initiating Q.
Actually there will be 3 questions based on all the feedback – 2 about critical path and third about float. 2 Qs on network diagram or if you get lucky there are 3 Qs on it, it can make you nervous, these are high weight questions which will determine if you pass. You will have to create a network diagram.
The one network diagram on Float will speak about – “what is Float on Activity H – Your answer is 0 as it is on critical path
We will see about 5-7 Qs on risk responses and Qualitative assessment.
Q on Project management plan, comes from exam content outline.
Once the Project management plan is developed there should be a kick off with stakeholder on building consensus on the objectives as well as the work to be done.
Approved of project charter is completed whats the next step – answer is start developing the project management plan
Question on – Configuration management – Changes to the system were made and some of the features were missed, the documentation is not available etc etc and how could these have avoided – by maintaining Configuration Mgmt system.
Q1 PM at this time is presenting to the stakeholders and presenting the objectives as well as the work to be done to the stakeholders, the PM is presenting this to have the kick off of the project. Basically what are the objectives and what is the work to be done.
Q 2 You are just about to move into executing, what should happen? Project management plan should be signed off.
Q you just submitted a very high level estimate to the sponsor, the sponsoring organization now told you to go ahead and go for a detailed estimate, what tool did you use to do that, answer is bottoms up estimating.
Q you just built the traceability matrix, what is your next step? Collect requirements leads to the output of traceability matrix and requirements documents, immediately after this we define the scope working with the stakeholder. However, on the exam the answer will not be scope, the answer will be that you are working with experts on what should be included in and excluded from the scope.
In case there is nther Q on traceability matrix, it provides coverage to the requirements so that are no omissions or holes.
Question on Prioritization – Working with experts on resolving conflicting priorities around the requirements.
Facilitation and using expert judgement to ensure that project scope statement is created
Project Scope statement is the primary input to development of WBS
Q on WBS, lowest level is work package, this is where estimation takes place, or bottoms up estimation, or a Q on decomposing, basically decomposing scope.
Q what is the tool and technique in identifying risk, answer is brainstorming. Question could be you are working with stakeholder in identifying risk – answer brainstorming with stakeholder
Q on what is the tool and technique you should use when these are the requirements and all the requirements have varied level of priorities among the stakeholders. 1 answer will be use facilitation skills to remove these conflicting priorities, 1 answer will be rely on expert judgement of your stakeholders to know what is critical to them and what is not critical.
2 Qs on Analogous estimation, 1 from initiating and 1 from planning
Q on parametric estimating, with historical data being used, which is your hint.
Qs on Risk planning are very important to know
Q the main reason for risk planning will be to reach a certain level of excellence.
- You are working on planning responses, put aside a certain amount (contingency reserve through risk response planning), what have you done? Answer is basically that your response is Mitigate
- Contract or agreement is a transfer of risk.
- Two of the risks have been identified, there is a chance that these two risks can derail your project completely, the possible answer will be perform adequate level of qualitative, followed up by quantitative analysis.
Another Q on Monte Carlo analysis and simulation.
Q on exploiting an opportunity. Team will look at an opportunity that has never been looked at before. Most of the risk response strategies must focus on the threat or negative risks. Q on opportunity too and that is exploit.
Q on implementing of risk responses. When you want to implement the risk response, the owner should initiate it.
Q on functional organization. Negotiate on resources while working with Functional manager
You should know from theexam stand point that identify risk happens throughout the project.
Qualitative assessment is a must on all risks must be performed
Q on Quantitative assessment when you find a risk that can really derail a project.
At least 2 Qs on Quality. Maybe 3 Qs on control charts. Once the process has gone outside the control limits it has gone out of control.
Many Qs on communication planning and catering your information to the needs of the stakeholders. Q can be on customize communication based on the needs of the stakeholders. Qs on Communication management plan and escalation criteria is listed in the communication management plan.
Executing and Monitoring and Controlling
Qs on executing, as well as monitoring and controlling. If you look at the scope knowledge area, they will talk about scope, schedule and cost. Q will be on variance analysis and collection of data. Work performance data anywhere in the Q will tell you that the answer is about executing, work information and work performance reports and it means the Q is in monitoring and controlling. Information and reports are outputs of monitoring and controlling.
Monitoring and controlling is about assessing measurements and trends to effect performance and process improvements.
The measurement such as KPIs, performance measures, and other raw data are collected are collected during Executing.
Work performance reports are physical or electronic representation of the work performance information intended to generate decisions, actions and awareness.
The performance information is circulated to stakeholders based on the communication processes as listed in the communication management plan.
Burndown charts show the work remaining (IMP)
Contracts can be changed and any changes to contract should go through integrated change control or organizational change management process.
Multicriteria decision analysis is a Decision Making Technique
Qs on residual risk
Qs on secondary risks, new risk identified and documented in the risk register immediately
Possible that 15 to 20 Qs can be on change control board, change request and changes to the project
Q change control board has approved a change request, some team members are saying what is the benefit of this change request is, and they don’t see a benefit. Answer will be, PM has requested customer or stakeholders to come into a weekly meeting and address the team and tell them why it is important.
Q the change control board has now approved a change request, the approved change is about using a new technologies. The team is not in favourthe and what should the PM do. Answer will to speak to the team and tell them about the importance of the change. be Implement the change request will be a wrong answer as the teams must be taken into confidence
Q where do you store the change request, answer change log
Q on facilitation, remember key words, to form consensus and common understanding, which means you are looking at facilitation, which is an interpersonal skill.
2 Qs around audit and inspection. Audit is in executing, it is review of the best practices and processes and where they are being adopted or not. PM may be responsible for audit and audits do not necessarily need to be informed. Inspection is monitoring and controlling and inspection means review of the deliverable or work product. Inspection is the tool and technique that is used to validate the deliverable and the output is accepted deliverable
Q Quality control measurements. They are an output of Control Quality and input to manage quality
Q you have just conducted a bidder conference and immediately after that the vendor asks an important Q and you send a response to them and copy all the vendors.
Q on source selection criteria, you have received responses from multiple stakeholders, how should you evaluate the stakeholders, based on source selection criteria which is established as a planning process.
Q around survey and questionnaires, geographically dispersed audience and stakeholders.
Q around virtual team. You are trying to perform a team and there are multiple geographic locations, what are you doing, you are creating a virtual team.
10 to 12 Qs on Agile.
Q around agile, 90% servant leader. Then there is an agile coach/scrum master. If the question says agile, you are saying that the PM does not have any power, their job is to facilitate, their job is to be servant leader, their job is to make sure that you are talking to the teams about the decisions and the teams are making the decisions and that the project teams are selecting the work they will do..
Q one of the stakeholders wants two requirements as part of a certain integration and was not delivered. The answer is to go to the team member and ask them about the issue and ask them why they did not want to deliver. Servant leadership 2 to 3 Qs. May not count to your final PMP exam score.
2 Qs on communication method. Q that one of the functional managers has asked you for some assessment of team members’ performance measurement, on a weekly basis, best option should be face to face, followed by video conferencing, then phone, then email and chat boxes have priority in being the best way of communication.
2 Qs on the exam regarding cost of Quality.
Preventions are planning cost that demonstrate the proactive behavior
Q on internal failure taking place, answer is cost of conformance
Q on closing, final steps of closing will always be the release of resources
Q on lesson learned register. Not repository as it is put in repository afterwards lessons learned, right at the end.
Q on contracts, no Q on time and material, hybrid or fixed price contracts for example.
No straight Q on contract. If requirements are not fixed, then change request can take place, so go for cost plus something contract. When scope is very well defined it is a fixed price contract. 1 Q is on long term contracts with economic price adjustments and when you do that make sure you are relying on a reliable source such as inflation rate for example, for those yearly increments agree on a reliable source that the buyer and the seller will mutually agree upon.
Q on procurements. All contracts closed on a timely basis based on the procurement strategy or the procurement management plan.
1 Q on conflicts may be there on the exam.
No calculation for formulas on the exam. E.g. SPI 0.97 and CPI 1.05, behind or ahead of schedule and over or under budget.
Q on PERT but on the exam they will say use three point estimate. Q on three point using triangular or beta, they will say use three point. 3 point estimation Q might say project has never been undertaken, then triangular, otherwise beta when there is historical data.
Maybe Q on TCPI, however, no Q form past 10 exam takers. However, you should know what it is.
3 Qs on exam from formulae’s.
Q that SPI is 0.92 and CPI is 0.97 so you will have to fast track. Otherwise if CPI is greater than 1 then you can do crashing since you will be over budget.
Q on EAC= BAC/CPI, they may not tell you BAC. Calculate the new estimate, you need BAC & CPI is 1.15.
If project is under budget in the end you will be left with 15% contingency, so EAC would be 15% more
The new estimate at completion is less than the BAC
Critical path Q: activity A can start right away, followed by activity B and C, however, they can say
Activity | Dependency
1 | 2 days
2 | 3 days
3 | 3 days
4 | 4 days
Then calculate the critical path and it is the one that is the longest
The Q is talking about activity A float is 0 on critical float as anything on critical path the float is always 0
Q on classifying the risks, they are conducting qualitative assessment
Read closing before the closing knowledge process group, 14 Qs
2 Qs on escalation, PMs do not always resolve the issues, sometimes it is beyond their authority. Q you are PM and you have raised a concern with the procurement department that the contractor has not performed or delivered as required and they will say that they have done the work, as a PM you have to escalate it to the sponsor.
Keep this in mind about issues, anytime there has been an incident on the project that will result in an impact to a baseline is actually an issue, for example what if the stakeholder has not received a report, it has nothing to do with change as it is an issue and put it into the issue log. An exam option could be that look into the communication management plan and so forth, in fact answer is that it should be part of the issue log. First submit an entry into the issue log then investigate.
Q on root cause analysis, when issue discovered, you log it, what are the causes
Close Project –
Project may close before their ideal end due to the fact that they will no longer deliver the value for which they were undertaken, or the sponsoring organization has changed the strategy
If the project is closed before closing, we will start the closing procedures and do the following –
- Make a list of completed and incomplete deliverable and transfer it to the
- Document the reasons for the closure
- Archive project documentation with lesson learned
Deliverables should be Accepted by sponsoring organization or sponsors or customer before closing can start
Very IMP: Output of Control Quality (M&C Process) is Verified Deliverables. Verified Deliverables are input to Scope Validation (M&C Process) and output of Scope Validation is Accepted Deliverables which is input to Close Project or Phase
PM will look at the plan during closing and ensure that all the Project Work is completed and Objectives are met. Project management plan contains the work and project objectives.
Project charter is reviewed for approval requirements and success criteria along with exit criteria
At closing confirming Contractual agreements or contracts or Procurement Management plan should be looked at –
Confirm the formal acceptance of the seller’s work
Finalizing open claims (projects can not be closed with open claims)
Questions around – a Contract is still open and the accounting department wants to close the contract. They want to release the payments to the seller so that the financial year closure can happen – The possible answer – seek extension of financial closure with respect to this project as sellers work must be verified before the final payment and contract can be closed
Archiving procurement related information for future use on contracts
There may be a question on regression analysis (page 126 of PMBOK Guide)
There could be a question on project or phase closure documents PMBOK Page 128
Final report is summary of project performance (know everything that Final Report contains PMBOK page 127
There is a question on A project is delivered and now the operational teams are finding it difficult to use the product or there are challenges with transition – The answer is project manager and the team could have avoided this by including operational team as stakeholders during the project.
Question – completion of project scope is measured against the project management plan
Some questions on Tool and Techniques and Outputs:
Focus Groups – A great technique to bring together SMEs. Requires a moderator and facilitation
Brainstorming for Risk identification
Facilitation – To reconcile stakeholder differences and quickly define cross functional requirements.
Variance Analysis – Comparing actual vs Baseline
Trend analysis – looking into past data and making forecast and prediction – Histogram can be used for Trend analysis
Rolling wave planning – estimation method – means as more data becomes available the estimates will become more definitive.
Know Schedule compression – Fast tracking and Crashing (page 215 in PMBOK)
IF CPI is less than one or if there are budget constraint as the exam question will specify you will only fast track.
Iteration Burn down chart – Shows the work that remains.
Virtual team – A team is being assembled in different geographical locations – Answer is virtual team
Using the right communication method when it comes to virtual teams to keep the teams engaged.
Team Charter should be a collaborative exercise and teams should agree on the Rules of Engagement.
PDCA is the basis for quality improvement (Continual improvement)
Quality metrics are output of Plan Quality
Some questions on Quality –
Q- The stakeholders are saying that some requirements were not delivered in the last iteration as promised. The answer will be the PM should speak to the team to see why certain requirement
Q – The product owner is responsible for Value delivery. Value delivery is achieved by priorization
Agile – Adaptive or change driven
Project Manager is a servant leader
Team make their own project local decisions and choose the work they will do
If a stakeholder asks for a new change in Agile – It will be added to the backlog and will be delivered as part next iteration.
No changes are taken into the current iteration.
Product owners will be make the decision on what should be delivered.
Quality Questions (Quite a few questions)
Questions around what process should be performed in parallel with other planning processes – Quality and to some extent Risk
Exam question – Training is Prevention Cost or Cost of Conformance
Memorize Cost of Quality PMBOK page 283
Histogram question PMBOK page 293
Scatter Diagram and Affinity Diagram PMBOK Page 293
If a defect is reported after it has been logged, the next step is to understand causes of the defect by performing root cause analysis.
An action to understand if the project activities conform or comply with organisational and project policies – Answer is Audit. They should be independent and structured performed by organization internal dept, PMP or external auditor.
Input to Manage Quality is Quality Control measurements. Quality Control measurements are output of Control Quality
Process is out of control if it falls out of the control limits.