PMP (project Management Professional) Exam Cram Notes : Initiating

1. Initiating

Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, Closing are the logical flow of process groups. A project must go through the logical flow of these process groups.

PMO: A Project Management Office (PMO) is an organizational body or entity tasked with various responsibilities related to the centralized and coordinated management of those projects under its domain. The responsibilities of a PMO can range from providing project management support functions to actually being responsible for the direct management of a project.

The primary function of a PMO is to support project managers in a variety of ways, which may include, but not limited to, help manage shared resources, bring order and organize communications across projects, provide support functions like training and mentoring, etc. Portfolio Management refers to the centralized management of one or more portfolios to achieve specific business objectives.

Corrective action: Corrective action brings anticipated future project outcomes back into alignment with the project plan. Since there is an important deadline looming that depends on the successful completion of site survey, the equipment is upgraded so that the project plan and project schedule are not impacted.

Cost-benefit analysis: Cost-benefit analysis is performed to justify and establish boundaries for project and usually completed by a business analyst using various stakeholder input. It is part of the initiation process and documented in the business case.

Plurality provides a decision that is reached whereby the largest block in a group decides, even if a majority is not achieved. This method is generally used when the number of options nominated is more than two.

Project Manager:

  • Organizational templates can help project manager to collect requirements but it is not the option that should facilitate the resolution of competing requirements.
  • Looking at requirement documentation and requirement traceability matrix is the first task a project manager should do as a part of control scope. Then he should measure scope performance against cope baseline and decide if any corrective and preventive action is necessary.
  • Historical information is necessary for estimating activity duration. Also, the process does not provides output for each activity scope of work, required resource type, estimates resource quantities and resource calendar rather it uses these.
  • The project manager is attempting to use the historical information of another project to control current project. Quality control is the right choice for this.
  • The project manager is involved in developing human resource management plan process. The output of this process is Project organization chart, Roles and responsibilities and staffing management plan.
  • For effective management of the project team project manager should identify and document project roles and responsibilities, required skills and reporting relationship.
  • Usually, it requires bargaining in order to reach an acceptable arrangement. The project manager has to negotiate with functional manager on different issues during the life cycle of project including acquiring project team.
  • Project staff assignment which is an output acquire project team process.
  • The project manager is in the manage project team process. Personnel skill update is an update to enterprise environmental factor and is done as the output of manage project team process. Interpersonal skill and conflict management are two separate tools and technique for this process. Conflict in project management is inevitable. Setting up ground rules, using interpersonal skills and performing solid project management practice can resolve conflict.
  • No matter when team member get involved in the project, project manager should invite new members to review their part of the project for changes before they start work
  • In a matrix organization, the communication is expected to be complex. Hard to automate in some cases right, but is not a general characteristic of matrix organization. In Projectized organization it can be simple.
  • Historical information and lessons learned is a part of organizational process asset.
  • Project Managers have maximum authority in a company with a projectized organizational structure.
  • Weak matrices maintain many of the characteristics of a functional organization, and the role of a project manager is more of a coordinator or expediter than that of a true project manager.
  • The project manager should be truthful in all communication, and create an environment where others tell the truth. Avoiding a situation doesn't solve the actual problem. Removing a work package is not the first thing to do. The best thing is to discuss with the sponsor and find a way to overcome the situation.
  • The project manager finished developing the project management plan. The next process is to execute the project work defined in the project management plan to achieve project objectives.
  • Waiting until all changes are known and then work for reschedule is one of the common error of project management. The project manager should have more control over the project schedule.
  • The "re-estimate the entire remaining part of the project as a part of weekly work" it is one of the main works the project manager needs to work on controlling the schedule.
  • The project manager is adjusting start and finish date of some activities based on water resource constraints with the goal of demand for water supply with available supply. It is resource leveling technique used to optimize resources.
  • If any agile approach is utilized, control schedule is concerned with managing the possible changes as they occur. Project schedule is updated as a project document not a part of project management plan
  • The project manager has developed the project schedule. The next thing he can do in time management is control schedule to monitor the status of project activities.

Negotiation is a tools or techniques used by the project manager to acquire the project team. It confirms that the project receives appropriate staff in the required time frame from the functional department to meet the project requirements. Negotiation is the primary goal to final equitable settlement of all outstanding issues, claims and disputes. Alternative dispute resolution and litigation in the court can be used later if the negotiation fails. Organizational policies cannot do any help is claim settlement.

Project charter:

  • Project charter is the document that contains project manager's authority level. Generally, the authority is decided by higher management.
  • Project charter is never used to bid for a project. A RFP (Request for Proposal) or a RFQ (request for quote) are used to solicit bids.
  • The project charter provides the project manager with the authority to plan and execute the project. It formally authorizes the project manager to apply organizational resources to project activities.
  • Project charter does not include information such as detailed schedule and full risk analysis. This information is not available at the initiation stage. It is important to know the project purpose or justification to create a project charter. High level assumptions and constraints are also mentioned in a typical project charter.
  • The project charter is developed in the initiation stage and signed by the sponsor. A Project Charter is a formal document that authorizes the start of a project. It names and appoints a project manager, assigns a summary budget, identifies high level requirements, establishes a project time line, and documents key assumptions and constraints.
  • A formal contract is necessary to establish an agreement in case of external project. A project charter is not considered as a contract as there is no consideration or money promised or exchanged in this case.

Project Management Plan:

  • The project management plan doesn't include project approval requirement. It is mentioned in the project charter.
  • Organization process assets and Project management information system are definitely not used as a toll for making project charter. But Facilitation technique is the right option to choose because meeting along with brainstorming, conflict resolution and problem solving are included in facilitation technique.
  • Project charter is built before WBS. It is the document that is assigned to project manager to work for any project. Breaking structure is not related to building project charter.
  • The team is working to obtain cost forecast. They are using Control cost process several input and tools to obtain the forecast.
  • Project team members are initially responsible for resolving their own conflicts. Differences of opinion can lead to increased creativity and better decision-making, if managed properly.

Cost Estimates and cost budget:

  • Cost estimating is executed on the level of the activity list and cost budgeting aggregates and is executed at least on the level of work packages if not on the level of control accounts.
  • Estimate point out towards expenditure while the budget would also give details on financial plan or how that expenditure would be met.
  • Budget is a formal and approve document whereas estimates could be an informal way.
  • A well-researched and planned cost estimation and budget is necessary for the successful completion of any project.
  • Ongoing and repetitive is a characteristics of operational work. Constrained by limited resources as well as creating a unique product or service are the characteristic of project. Also, Project is planned, executed and controlled.

Pre-assignment: Sometimes resources have been assigned because they were promised in the proposal or were defined in the project charter (e.g. internal projects). This is called Pre-assignment.

Program: A program is defined as a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually. Programs may include elements of related work outside the scope of the discrete projects in the program.

Expert Judgment: Expert judgment is the judgment provided, based upon the expertise in an application area, knowledge area, discipline, industry etc. The sponsor is also the fund provider and can enforce policies.

Legitimate power: Legitimate power is power you derive from your formal position or office held in the organization's hierarchy of authority.

Question: Carter works as a project manager in an infrastructure development company. A new project is going to start and he has been assigned as the project manager. He is considered as an expert in the company and finished many successful projects. In a kickoff meeting, with all stakeholders, the sponsor has expressed his confidence and respect in his to lead the project to a successful completion. Carter has what type of power on this project?

Answer: The power or authority derived from the position is known as legitimate power. In this case, Carter has legitimate power as the sponsor has assigned him. Expert is derived from special knowledge of project manager in a specific area. Charisma power is the ability to influence others through charisma, personality, etc. The punishment power is associated with the fear of the project manager.

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