PMP (project Management Professional) Exam Cram Notes : Planning

3. Planning

Control Communication: Control Communication process requires discussion and dialogue with the project team, suppliers, vendors or other stakeholders to determine the most appropriate way to respond to request from stakeholders about information. The project manager is in the control communication process as he has created the communication management plan and finished performance reporting. The control communication process ensures that the information needs of stakeholder are met. Control communication process can trigger an iteration of plan communication and manage communication process. This iteration illustrates the continuous nature of project communication management process.

Project communications, issue log, Stakeholder communication requirement are the input to control communication process. Work performance information is the output of control communication process. The control communication process involves in monitoring and controlling communication throughout the entire project life cycle to ensure the information needs of the stakeholders are met.

Control scope: Control scope are working to get work performance information and change request. Variance analysis, a tool for the process has all the mentioned characteristics to definite the gap between the budget goal and actual performance, investigate to determine cause and identify potential responses. Organizational process assets have big influence in controlling scope. Number of change request received has influence on scope changes but it is a part of work performance data.

Control quality: Control quality is the process to monitor the quality activities and record the results to verify performance and recommend necessary changes. It demonstrates that the sponsors and/or customer's acceptance criteria have been met.

Effective scope: Effective scope control can lead to a complete project scope statement is the correct statement but is not the right choice as it doesn't deal with control. The right answer would be control scope process must be integrated with other control processes.

Validate scope: Validate scope is the process of formalizing acceptance of completed project deliverables. The formal acceptance means that we have written confirmation from all the relevant stakeholders that our deliverables matches requirements and project management plan.

Avoiding scope creep, infatuation and gold plating are done by control scope through variance analysis. Ensuring customer satisfaction or ensure that the final product has all the required deliverables with no missing features or ensure that the product meets the approved specifications all are important for project but not content of validate scope.

Scope Creep: The uncontrolled expansion to the product or project scope without adjustment to time, cost and resources is referred to as scope creep. Adding risk due to change in project scope is good for the project. An uncertain event or condition is a definition of risk.

Critical chain method: Critical chain method is a schedule network analysis technique that modifies the project schedule to account for limited resources. In lieu of managing the total float of the network paths, the critical chain method focuses on managing remaining buffer durations against the remaining durations of the task chains.

Scope baseline: The Scope Baseline is used as a starting point to breakdown the documented deliverables even further, as well as a direct to assure that the entire scope of the project is covered. The work packages not activities are typically decomposed into smaller components so that it represents the work necessary to complete the work package.

Conflict Resolution: Collocation is arranging the entire team to office together in a separate room. It is a central location for project co-ordination. Collocation is highly recommended as a good project management practice. This is the strategies for conflict resolution.

Personnel assessment tool: Personnel assessment tools give the project manager insight about the strength and weakness. These include attitudinal survey, specific assessment, structured review etc.

Smoothing: This is a smoothing situation as the team members begin to give in to demands simply to avoid arguments. In a team meeting, a project team member gives up and says, "Ok, let's do it according to one's instruction is called smoothing.

Compromising: Compromising technique involves finding solution by bringing some degree of satisfaction for both the parties and will not be appropriate while important principles are at stake. Confronting technique involves open and direct communication to lead the way to solving the problem.

Motivation: Motivation is explained in terms of expectations. The Expectancy Theory describes how people will work based on what they expect because of the work they do. The employee who expects to be rewarded for their accomplishments will stay productive as rewards meet their expectations.

Searching for solutions that bring some degree of satisfaction to all parties in order to temporarily or partially resolve the conflict is compromise. In the scenario, both parties give up something. A compromise is an example of a lose-lose solution.

Gain approval:

Question: A new project manager is working for his first project. He comes to senior project manager and told that he has completed every works to complete schedule development. He also informed that he has done work breakdown structure (WBS), sequence activities, duration estimates and schedule compression. What should the senior project manager suggest?

Answer: After developing schedule, approval must be obtained from the respective authority to proceed for any other task

Scheduling Tools: The scheduling tool is the only tool that helps to create an updated project schedule. The scheduling tool is used in combination with manual method to further project management software to carry out the schedule network analysis to produce an updated project schedule.

Question: Brian is appointed as project manager for a book printing firm where project is in the planning phase. He is now working with team members with schedule management plan, activity list, resource calendar and risk register to obtain duration estimate of each activities. Which of the below tolls cannot be used in the case?

Answer: First we need to understand which process we are in. We are in estimate activity duration. So, Reserve analysis and Three points estimates are tools of the process. Group decision making technique is also correct tool and is newly included in PMBOK 5th edition. Precedence diagramming method is the only correct choice.

Question: Adrian has completed all the works completing activity duration estimates for a project for researching recently detected problems in 3G dual SIM mobile sets. He looks though several forms of estimates and notes it. Which of the below examples is not true about activity duration estimate?

Answer: All the options have activity duration estimates but it cannot include any lag. So, Activity PAC32 has duration 8 days with lag of 2 days is the only wrong answer. Other choices are true.

Alternative analysis, Bottom up estimating and Publish estimating data all will support Eric to estimate activity resources.

Question: The project team has identified some risk as a part of continuous process throughout the project. Now they are using a diagramming graphical represented technique to show causal influences, time ordering of events and other relationships among variables and outcomes at many situations. Which technique they are using?

Answer: Fish bone diagram will identify the cause of the risk but it does not have the time-ordering of event. Influence Diagram is the correct answer.

Reserve Analysis:

  • Reserve analysis is a tool for estimating activity duration.
  • Reserve analysis is a vital tool of determining budget to mitigate risk cost effect.
  • Contingency reserve used to manage known-unknowns risks whereas management reserve used to manage unknown-unknowns risks
  • Contingency reserve and management reserve serve the same purpose that is to manage the risk
  • Project manager has authority to use contingency reserve but management reserve requires management approval
  • Contingency reserve is estimated based on Expected Monitory Value (EMV), or decision tree method and management reserve is calculated as a percentage of the cost, or time of project
  • bottom up estimating approach and it is extremely popular in contemporary project management.

Diagramming Technique: Diagramming technique is popular technique that used to find the root cause of a risk. Cause and effect diagram, System or process flow charts, Influence diagram are the various diagramming techniques.

Decision tree analysis: The decision tree analysis is a graphical representation of alternative choices which enable the decision maker to identify the most suitable option in a particular circumstance. It is used when the environment contains uncertain element.

Question: ABC Magnetics Ltd initiates a project to develop a special type of high intensity, high gradient and permanent magnetic roll separators. The experts in the relevant field advised to incorporate current machine with high energy rate earth neodymium permanent magnetic roll assembly. The project manager already created the work break down structure and cost estimates of all the activities. Now he is adding all of the estimates they have done into control account so that they can figure out how much the manufactured and assembled under strict quality control to generate unsurpassed magnetic field will cost. Which tools and technique the project manager is using?

Answer: Hint is that "Now he is adding all of the estimate". So, cost estimation already done and project manager is determining budget. Cost aggregation is rolling up cost from the work package level to the control account level so that number can be followed down through WBS hierarchy. So, Cost aggregation is the correct answer.

Cost performance baseline: It is the major output from the determine budget process. But it does not include reserves which are funds set aside in case they are needed.

If you have practical experience to work with strategic options for funding of a project the following option should be included

  • Self-Funding
  • Funding of equity
  • Founding of debt
  • Currency exchange rate is an enterprise environmental factor and cannot have influence on cost management plan.

Push and Pull communication: Push communication is used to send information to specific recipients who need to know. Push communication is done using letters, faxes and memos etc. Pull communication is used to make information available to a wide range of audience. Since you have used e-mail to notify the concern person, you have used push communication.

Virtual team: Virtual team may be defined as a group of people that shares same goal, doesn't meet face to face, but relies on electronic communications.

Pre-assignment: Sometime resources have been assigned because they were promised in the proposal or were defined in the project charter. This is called Pre-assignment. This situation can occur if the project is dependent on the expertise of particular persons.

Multi criteria decision analysis: In multi criteria decision analysis tool, criteria are developed and used to rate and score the potential team members. These criteria can be categorized as availability, experience, ability etc.

Performance appraisal: In order to increase effectiveness of the team, the project manager for the nutritious food manufacture company is going through some articles on managing project teams. He decided to collect information from team member's boss individually while completing performance appraisal. Performance appraisal is done individually.

The project manager is involved in identify risk process. The output of this process is risk register in which the result of risk analysis and risk response planning are recorded.

Prototyping: Prototyping is a method of obtaining early feedback on requirements by providing a working model of the expected product before actually building it. It has no use in identifying project risks. Structured review of project documentation is not a diagramming technique. It may be performed by reviewing plans, assumptions, previous project files, agreements and other information.

Quantitative Risk Analysis: Quantitative Risk Analysis is performed on risks that have been prioritized by the Qualitative Risk Analysis process as potentially and substantially impacting the project's competing demands.

Important points on Risk

  • Risk responses are developed in plan risk response process. Expected monetary value analysis is performed in the quantitative analysis of the project risks.
  • Risk register is an input to perform qualitative risk analysis process.
  • Risk owner and their specific responsibilities are determined in Plan risk response process. Risk urgency information, Risk categorization as well as Risk ranking are included in risk register.
  • Identification and assignment of risk owner is done in "Plan risk response" process
  • Risk audit examines and document the effectiveness of the current risk response plan with the new identified risks. Risk reassessment deals with identification of new risks, reassessment of current risk and closing the outdated risks.
  • Contingency reserve may only be used to handle the impact of the specific risk it was set aside for. Management reserve strictly depends upon management wish and approval and can be an option.

Procurement: Procurement management plan includes many activities like Make or buy analysis, determining the source selection criteria and selecting a contract type. But Develop weighting system is included in conduct procurement process.

Important points on procurement:

  • Though project manager wants to conduct procurement as he wants to get seller selected, he needs to develop procurement management plan to do that. So, he is in plan procurement process. Make or buy decisions is input to conduct procurement.
  • The main benefit of conduct procurement process is that it provides alignment of internal and external stakeholder expectations through establish agreements.
  • The process includes evaluating potential seller particularly if the buyer wishes to exercise some kind of control over acquisition decision.
  • During conduct procurement team will receive bids or proposals and will apply previously defined selection criteria to select seller.
  • It is the responsibility of the project management team to make certain that all procurement meets the specific needs of project while adhering to organizational procurement policy.
  • The project manager is in the conduct procurement process. Sellers are selected and procurement contracts are awarded to selected sellers in this process. Contracts can be awarded in the form of a purchase order.
  • Selected seller is the output of conduct procurement process. It identifies and selects the potential seller for a specific procurement item. Sellers should be chosen being in the competitive range and by submitting a proposal that has been accepted. That proposal will be used as the basis for the contract. So, it cannot be at input of the process
  • Source selection criteria are used to rate or score sellers proposal. It may be limited to only the purchase price if the item is readily available from qualified seller.
  • Cost change control system and Contract change control system are little confusing. Cost change control system applies to the project whereas control change control system applies to the project that is contracted.
  • You use work performance information to determine how the contract is going, and the contract and procurement documents to see exactly what everyone's on the hook for. But you do not actually see the Procurement Management Plan as an input to control procurements.
  • All the things must be completed for contract closeout as seller point of view. Many project managers do not close out procurement properly. Administrative closure, archives and other closing requirements are completed as per contract and the choice contains all the formalities of other choice

Procurement audit: Procurement audit is used to identify successes and failures that warrant transfer to other procurements. Procurement audit is a technique to establish a record that may be used to shape procurement practices in other contracts for this project or for other projects within organization.

Question: A Chemical Industry has decided to construct a new manufacturing plant in another country as part of its international production network. The new plant is expected to make major contributions to product supply and cost effectiveness. Part of this project will be outsourced to an external vendor. The project manager has prepared the procurement document and placed an advertisement in general circulation publications. Some potential seller has submitted their proposal according to the advertisement. Which of the following statement about this proposal is correct?

Answer: This proposal is prepared by the seller in response to a procurement document package and used by an evaluation body to select one or more successful bidder. It is an input to conduct procurement process.

Question: The remodeling of Supreme Court building is very necessary and urgent project as it was established in way 1920. The buyer and the seller are discussing about seller's performance to date. There have been some changes in government regulations. Again some perceived errors by the seller have been discussed. What is the best output of such discussion?

Answer: Scheduling a procurement performance review is not the best of choices since they are already in procurement performance review. Record management system update is not required here as record management system is a set of processes to be followed to collecting records, not the actual work of collecting records. Contract change control system update is not the best of choices as contract change control system defines the processes by which procurement can be modified. The choice is too extreme in this situation.

Question: A Chemical Industry has decided to construct a new manufacturing plant in another country as part of its international production network. The new plant is expected to make major contributions to product supply and cost effectiveness. Part of this project will be outsourced to an external vendor. The project manager has prepared the procurement document and placed an advertisement in general circulation publications. Some potential seller has submitted their proposal according to the advertisement. Which statement about this proposal is correct?

Answer: This proposal is prepared by the seller in response to a procurement document package and used by an evaluation body to select one or more successful bidder. It is an input to conduct procurement process.

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