PMP study notes

PMP study notes

PMP study notes
PMP study notes

Some people had asked me for my study notes that I compiled from Rita's/PMBOK/Andy Crowe. I've attached the file here. The act of typing the notes is what I think was most useful to me.  It's 127 pages, so you'll have to figure out how  you'll work that into your study plan. It's bullet point format so it's a pretty easy read. It's organized by process group, though the first few pages does have a summary of each knowledge area. If this is helpful to anyone, then I'm happy.

PM Framework:

  • Organizational Project Management (OPM): Provides a strategic framework to use and guide portfolio, program, and project management to achieve the organization’s strategic goals
  • PMO 
  • Supportive: provides policies, methodologies, templates, etc. Low level of control over projects 
  • Controlling: provides support and guidance on how to manage projects. Trains PMs. Doesn’t provide the PMs or manage the project. Medium level of control over projects 
  • Directive: Provides the PM for projects. Manages all of the projects. High level of control over projects.
  • assumption log includes both assumptions and constraints. Assumptions might also be considered “expectations” because stakeholders might not realize they are making assumptions 
  • Project lifecycle: What you need to do to do the work. 
  • Project management process (or lifecycle): What you need to do to manage the work. 
  • Sponsor: Project manager works with the sponsor to address internal political and strategic issues that may affect the team or the viability or quality of the project. 
  • EEF keywords: Can be internal or external. Conditions not under immediate control of the team, that influence, constrain, or direct the project, program or portfolio. Here are the keywords to focus on in order to figure out if it’s an EEF. 
    • Culture 
    • Commercial databases 
    • Systems 
    • Industry standards 
    • Company work authorization systems 
    • Employee capabilities/availability/location/distribution 
  • OPA keywords: Think “P”. Plans, Processes, policies, procedures (and knowledge) that are specific to and used by the performing organization. 
    • Plans, policies, procedures
    • Product and project lifecycles 
    •  Lessons learned and historical information 
    • Templates
    • Monitoring and reporting methods 
    • Cost control tools
    • Previous project files 
  • Major categories of project selection methods 
    • Benefit measurement methods (comparative) 
    • Constrained optimization methods (mathematical) 
  • We set up baselines at the end of planning. Then we move into execution.

Knowledge Areas:

1-Integration Management

  • All about the high-level work a project manager has to do 
  • The seven processes in this knowledge area focus on the larger, macro things that must be performed in order for the project to work and for the organization to learn from it. This knowledge area is about the “whole forest” as opposed to the individual trees. 
  • Integration management is the practice of making certain that every part of the project is coordinated.
  • It takes a high-level view of the project from start to finish.
  • This knowledge area is specific to project managers. Whereas specialists may manage other knowledge areas, the accountability of Project Integration Management cannot be delegated or transferred. The project manager is the one who combines the results in all other knowledge areas and has the overall view of the project. The project manager is ultimately responsible for the project as a whole.
  • Balancing all of the processes in all of the knowledge areas with each other.
  • Present Value: PV = FV/(1+r)^n; where r=interest rate and n=number of time periods
  • Net Present Value (NPV): The larger the better. Time period doesn’t matter if it’s already calculated for you.
  • Internal Rate of Return (IRR): The larger the better. Won’t have to calculate it. 
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Looks only at revenue. NOT profit.
    • 1: Benefit greater than the cost 
    • =1: Benefit and cost are equal 
    • <1: Cost is greater than the benefi
  • Configuration Management: storage and retrieval system for changes? Keeps track of versions. Related to naming conventions, version control processes.

2-Scope Management:

  • Project Scope: Requirements. The features and functions that characterize a product, service, or result. Completion of the project scope is measured against the project management plan. Ex: Lessons learned is part of project scope, but not product scope because it does not have anything to do with producing the product. 
  • Product Scope: Deliverables. The work performed to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions. Includes the product scope. Completion of the product scope is measures against the product requirements. 
  • The Project Scope is the work the project team will do to deliver the product of the project; it encompasses the product scope. It includes things such as planning, coordination, and management activities (meetings and reports) that ensure the product scope is achieved
  • The Scope Management Process includes the following steps
    • Develop a plan for how you will plan, validate, and control scope and requirements on the project. 
    • Determine requirements, making sure all requirements support the project’s business case as described in the project charter. 
    • Sort and balance the needs of stakeholders to determine scope. 
    • Create WBS to break the scope down into smaller, more manageable pieces and define each piece in the WBS dictionary
    • Checking the work being done against the scope to ensure that it is complete.
    • Ensuring that all of what is “in scope” and only what is “in scope” is completed and that changes were properly managed. 
    • Obtain validation (signed acceptance) that the completed scope of work is acceptable to the customer or sponsor.
    • Measure scope performance, and adjust as needed.
  • The overall goals of scope management are the define the need, to set stakeholder expectations, to deliver to the expectations, to manage changes, and to minimize surprises so that the product will ultimately gain approval. 
  • For adaptive/agile, three processes (Collect Requirements, Define Scope, Create WBS) are repeated for each iteration. Likewise, the processes Validate Scope and Control Scope are repeated for each iteration with the sponsor or customer. And finally, adaptive/agile uses backlogs to reflect their current needs.
  • For predictive, Collect Requirements, Define Scope, Create WBS processes are performed at the beginning of the project and updated as necessary, using the integrated control process. Likewise, Validate Scope and Control Scope occurs with each deliverable or phase review and control scope is an ongoing processes. And finally for predictive, the scope baseline for the project is the approved version of the project scope statement, WBS and WBS dictionary. A baseline can be changed only through formal change control procedures and is used as a basis for comparison while performing Validate Scope and Control Scope processes as well as other controlling processes. 
  • Scope is completeness while quality is correctness.

3-Schedule Management:

  • Theory of constraints: Identifying the most limiting factor (bottleneck). Systematically improving that constraint until it is no longer the limiting factor. 
  • The topics of scope, schedule, and cost are particularly tightly linked. Changes made in one area will almost certainly have direct impacts on the other two. 
  • By starting with the WBS, you can define the work that must be carried out in order to produce the deliverables. The individual schedule activities are then sequenced, and the resource and duration estimates are applied to these activities.

4-Cost Management:

  • Costs should be tied to activities and resources and estimates should be built from the bottom up. • Scope first, schedule second, budget third 
  • At the point in the process where budgets are created, you should have a well-defined WBS, an activity list with resource and duration estimates for each activity, and a schedule.
  • The budget is then created by applying rates and dates against those resources and activities to create activity cost estimates and a cost baseline.
  • Life Cycle Costing: Looking at costs over the entire life of the product, not just the cost of the project to create the product.
  • Value Analysis: Sometimes referred to as value engineering. The focus is on finding a less costly way to do the same work. Answers the question, “How can we decrease cost on the project while maintaining the same scope?” Finding ways to provide required features at the lowest overall cost without loss of performance. 
  • Cost Risk: Involves cost, risk, and procurement management. It means costrelated risk. Ex: Who has the cost risk in a fixed price contract—the buyer or the seller? The seller. Cost risk is the risk that the project costs could go higher than planned.

5-Quality Management:

  • Quality is defined as the degree to which the project fulfills requirements. 
  • Quality is more than just about the quality of the product. It is also about the quality of the process. 
  • Used to rely heavily on inspection. Now, we focus on precention.
  • Therefore requirements’ gathering during scope management is very important for plan-driven, predictive projects. 
  • Quality Management includes creating and following organizational policies and procedures and tailoring them to ensure the project also meets the needs of the customer. It also means ensuring a project is completed in compliance with the project requirements.
  • In adaptive, change-driven environments, we capture quality requirements and acceptance criteria in user stories. 
  • Plan, Do, Check, Act: Deming Cycle. Takes an iterative and incremental approach to quality management which can reduce variations in the process, thus improving quality and reducing waste.
  • Quality Costs 
    • Prevention: Quality Assurance: Delivery of the exact scope and the expected quality. Do it right.
    • Appraisal: Quality Control/Inspection. Cost of measuring, testing, auditing 
    • Failure: Scrap and rework. 
  • Ideally, organizations not only inspect their deliverables for quality before they reach the customer, but also evaluate and adjust their quality management processes in an effort to identify the cause of defects, as well as planning quality into projects. 
  • Always better to plan in quality rather than inspect to find quality problems. 
  • Important to know in advance what the definition of “acceptable quality” is and how it will be measured on a project. 
  • Quality Management in the real world 
    • The customer determines their requirements 
    • The project team clarifies those requirements 
    • The project team defines what work will be done to meet those requirements (project scope) 
    • The project manager determines the existing standards, policies, and procedures that might be available for the project. The quality department might assist in identifying the relevant standards 
    • The project manager creates other standards and processes that may be needed 
    • The project manager develops the quality management plan, encompassing relevant standards and processes. 
    • The project manager integrates quality with other knowledge area plans to get an approved project management plan. 
    • The team begins executing the project management plan
    • Deliverables are verified 
    • Lessons learned are documented and shared
    • Change request, including corrective and preventive action and defect repair, are sent to integrated change control. 
    • Change requests, including corrective and preventive action and defect repair, are approved or rejected in integrated change control. 
    • The team adjusts plans as needed to accommodate approved or rejected changes and returns to step 7 until project deliverables are complete and verified. 
    • New organizational process assets, including lessons learned, are shared with the organization. 
    • Verified deliverables are accepted by the customer, the project is completed, quality targets are reached, and the customer is happy.
  • Actions required to ensure quality on a project (formal actions) 
    • Review the project management plan, particularly the project baselines, and relevant project documents as they relate to quality on the project 
    • Make sure you know and understand the customer’s definition of quality 
    • Identify the desired levels of performance in the product and components of the product o Identify at what level you should control the project (for example, the work package, activity, or a more detailed level) 
    • Identify any quality standards and processes that are applicable to the project 
    • Identify the required level of quality for the project management activities 
    • Determine the quality standards and processes to use, when and on what parts of the project 
    • Set standards to reach the level of desired performance for activities and the project 
    • Set metrics to measure quality from the customer’s and organization’s perspective 
    • Decide what you will do to make sure the processes are followed and the standards are met 
    • Determine how you will improve the processes on the project 
    • Test the validity of assumptions before they result in problems
  • Quality terms 
    • Continuous Improvement/Kaizen: Continuously looking for ways to improve the quality of work, processes, and results. W. Edwards Deming. Six Sigma. 
    • TQM: Total Quality Management. Everyone in the company is responsible for quality and able to make a difference. 
    • JIT: Being inventory down to zero (or near zero).
    • ISO 9000 
  • For the exam, if given a situation 
    • If it is looking forward in time, it is most likely a planning function in Plan Quality Management. 
    • If it is looking back in time at processes and procedures, it is most likely part of Manage Quality 
    • If it is looking back in time at project results it is mot likely part of Control Quality.

6-Resource Management:

  • Emotional Intelligence (EI): Project managers should be able to identify, assess, and manage their personal emptions as well as the emotions of a group of stakeholders. 
  • Creating a recognition and reward system is an important resource management function 
  • Project manager is responsible for improving the competencies of team members so they are able to perform the work on the project most effectively.
  • Projects are planned by the team and coordinated by the project manager 
  • The project manager must continually confirm resource availability. 
  • On large projects, the project manager might have some team members help with project management activities. These people are called the “project management team”. So the project team consists of the project manager, the project management team, and the other members of the team who will be doing the work of the project. 
  • Project manager responsibilities
    • Determine what human and physical resources you will need 
    • Negotiate with resource managers for the optimal available resources 
    • Work with the procurement department if necessary 
    • Confirm availability of assigned resources 
    • Create a project team directory 
      • Documented list of team members, their project roles, and communication info (phone, email). Different from project team assignments which is a wider document that may contain the project team directory and additional information such as specific responsibilities of and activities assigned to each team member as well as their knowledge, skills, and abilities. 
    • Create project job descriptions for team members and other stakeholders 
    • Make sure all roles and responsibilities on the project are clearly assigned. 
    • Understand the team members’ training needs related to their work on the project, and make sure team members get any necessary training 
    • Create a formal plan—the resource management plan—covering topics such as how the team will be involved in the project and what roles they will perform 
    • Send out letters of commendation to team members and their managers to recognize exceptional performance of project work.
    • Make sure the needs of all team members are acknowledged and considered 
    • Create recognition and reward systems. 
    • Use emotional intelligence (EI) 
    • In a change-drive environment, encourage self-organizing teams and provide support as needed. 
    • Plan for and manage communications challenges specific to virtual teams 
    • Tailor the resource management plan as appropriate to the need of the project 
    • Encourage collaboration among team members 
    • Determine what physical resources will be needed on the project, and when they will be needed.
    • Determine the quality, grade, and amount of physical resources needed on the project 
    • Plan ahead to ensure physical resources are available and accessible when needed 
    • Use resources efficiently 
    • Look for ways to improve resource utilization 
    • Evaluate and select appropriate methods of managing physical resources.

7-Communication Management:

  • Internal: Focus on stakeholders within the project and within the organization 
  • External: Focus on external stakeholders such as customers, vendors, other projects, organizations, government, the public, and environmental advocates
  • Project manager’s most important skillset is the ability to communicate effectively. 
  • 90% of project manager’s time is communicating. 50% of that time is communicating with the team. 
  • Formal: Reports, formal meetings (both regular and ad hoc), meeting agendas and minutes, stakeholder briefings, and presentations
  • Requires that you accurately report on the project status, performance, change, and earned value. • Formal and informal, written and verbal.
  •  Informal: General communications activities using emails, social media, websites, and informal ad hoc discussions 
  • Hierarchical focus: the position of the stakeholder or group with respect to the project team will affect the format and content of the message in the following ways 
    • Upward: Senior management stakeholders 
    • Downward: The team and others who will contribute work to the project 
    • Horizontal: Peers of the project manager or team 
  • Official: Annual reports; reports to regulators or government bodies 
  • Unofficial: communications that focus on establishing and maintaining the profile and recognition of the project and building strong relationships between the project team and its stakeholders using flexible and often informal means 
  •  Written and oral: Verbal and nonverbal, social media, and websites, media releases

8-Risk Management:

  • A project manager’s work should not focus on dealing with problems; it should focus on preventing them. 
  • Effective risk management helps to increase the probability and/or impact of positive risk, or opportunities. When you eliminate threats and increase opportunities, project schedule and cost estimates can be deceased, reflecting the results of risk management efforts. 
  • Risk Management: The process of identifying evaluating, and planning responses to events, both positive and negative that might occur throughout the course of a project. Through risk management, you increase the probability and impact of opportunities on the project (positive events) while decreasing the probability and impact of threats to the project (negative events)
  • Individual project risk: Threatens an objective. Ex: a decision is made to move something from a local server into the cloud in order to save money and improve uptime. There might be an individual risk associated with that. If the move could not be carried out, it might threaten the objectives of saving money and increasing uptime, but it could still be moved back to the local server and continue the project.
  • Overall project risks: Things that threaten the success of the project. 
  • Threats and opportunities: Negative and positive impact 
  • Risk factors: when assessing risk, it’s necessary to determine the following: 
    • The probability that a risk event will occur (how likely) 
    • The range of possible outcomes (impact or amount at stake) 
    • Expected timing for it to occur in the project life cycle (when) 
    • The anticipated frequency of risk events fro that source (how often) 
  • Risk appetite (risk tolerance): The level of risk and individual or group is willing to accept. 
  • Risk threshold: The specific point at which risk becomes unacceptable. 
  • Risk averse: Someone who does not want to be negatively impacted by threats. 
  • Risk management process (results of) 
    • There are no longer huge “fires” to put out every day—they are eliminated with risk response plans 
    • Risks are reviewed in every meeting, triggers are monitored, and risks are addressed before they happen 
    • Normally, if a risk event does occur, there is a plan in place to deal with it. Hectic meetings to develop responses are a rarity, and are only needed when an unknown risk even occurs and requires the development of a workaround. 
    • As a result, the project manager has time for efforts such as 
      • Monitoring and controlling the various aspects of the project, looking for deviations and trends to find them early 
      • Implementing a reward system 
      • Developing the team 
      • Keeping stakeholders informed of project progress
      • Staying ahead of the project 
  • Utility function: An organization’s tolerance for risk 
  • Contingency Reserve: calculated with a probability/impact matrix. %probable x Impact (either – or +). Add all up for contingency reserve.
  • One way to deal with a schedule that needs to be compressed is to first review risks 
  • Non-event risks 
    • Variability risk: Uncertainty exists about some key characteristics of a planned event or activity or decision. Ex: Productivity ay be above or below target, unseasonal weather conditions may occur during the construction phase. Can be addressed using Monte Carlo analysis. 
    • Ambiguity risk: Uncertainty exists about what might happen in the future. Ex: areas of the project where imperfect knowledge might affect the project’s ability to achieve it’s objectives.

9-Procurement Management:

  • Typical steps o Prepare the procurement statement of work (SOW) or terms of reference (TOR) 
    • Prepare a high-level cost estimate to determine the budget
    • Advertise the opportunity
    • Identify a short list of qualified sellers 
    • Prepare and issue bid documents 
    • Prepare and submit proposals by the seller 
    • Conduct a technical evaluation of the proposals including quality 
    • Perform a cost evaluation of the proposals 
    • Prepare the final combined quality and cost evaluation to select the winning proposal 
    • Finalize negotiations and sign contract between the buyer and the seller. 
  • The basic procurement management skills required of a project manager include being able to help create, read, and manage contracts and any supporting documentation.
  • Seller can be a contractor, vendor, service provider or supplier.
  • Contract: Can be written or verbal, typically created with someone outside the company and involve an exchange of goods or services for some type of compensation. Forms the legal relationship between the entities; it is mutually binding and provides the framework for how a failure by one side will be addressed. 
  • Agreement: encompasses documents or communications that outline internal or external relationships and their intentions. A contract is a type of agreement, but an agreement isn’t necessarily a contract. Agreements can be used to express and outline the intentions of projects. The charter and project management plan are examples of agreements that are not contracts. They are internal agreements. Other examples: service level agreements. 
  • Procurement process is used to acquire necessary resources that are outside the project team and involve legal documents between the buyer and seller, therefore, we are likely dealing with contracts and not agreements
  • When a project is planned, the scope is analyzed to determine whether the entire project scope can be completed internally or if any of the work, deliverables, materials, equipment, etc. will need to be outsourced. This analysis results in make-or-buy decisions. If one or more procurements are needed, the procurement department (a/k/a “contracting”, “purchasing”, “legal department” gets involved in the project to manage the procurement process. 
  • When a decision has been made to procure goods or services from an outside source, the project manager will facilitate the creation of a plan for the overall procurement process (a procurement management plan), a plan for how each contract will be managed (a procurement strategy), and a description of the work to be done by each seller (a procurement statement of work). 
  • The procurement SOW should be combined with the contract terms to make up the finalized bid documents (RFP, RFI, RFQ) that are sent to prospective sellers. 
  • General rules for answering procurement questions 
    • Contracts require formality. What this means is that any correspondence, clarification, and notifications related to the contracts should be formal written communication, which can be followed up with verbal communication, if necessary. If issues develop that require arbitration, mediation, or litigation, the formal written communications will be more enforceable and supportable than verbal communications. 
    • All product and project management requirements for the procurement work should be specifically stated in the contract. 
    • If it is not in the contract, it can only be required to be done if a formal change order to the contract is issued
    • If it is in the contract, it must be done or a formal change order to remove it must be approved by both parties
    • Changes to contracts must be submitted and approved in writing. 
    • Contracts are legally binding; the seller must perform as agreed in the contract, or face the consequence of breach of contract. 
    • Contracts should help diminish project risks 
    • Most governments back all contracts that fall within their jurisdiction by providing a court system for dispute resolution. 
    • Assume a centralized contracting environment for exam questions. In such an environment, the procurement manager reports organizationally to the head of the procurement department, not to the project manager.

10-Stakeholder Management:

  • Stakeholder Management: The creation and maintenance of relationships with the aim to satisfy needs 
  • Throughout a project you should do the following with stakeholders: 
    • Identify all of them as soon as early as possible because stakeholders identified later in a project will likely request changes which can impact the project and leads to delays.
    • Determine their requirements 
    • Determine their expectations 
    • Determine their interest 
    • Determine their level of influence
    • Determine their level of authority 
    • Plan to engage stakeholders 
    • Plan how you will communicate with them
    • Manage their expectations, influence, and engagement 
    • Communicate with them
    • Monitor communications and stakeholder engagement 
  • How project manager should involve stakeholders on the project 
    • List all stakeholders by name 
    • Determine all stakeholders’ requirements 
    • Determine stakeholders’ interest in being involved in the project and in the outcomes of the project 
    • Determine stakeholders’ level of influence on the project 
    • Determine stakeholders’ expectations, and turn them into requirements as appropriate 
    • Determine when stakeholders will be involved in the project and to what extent 
    • Get stakeholders to sign off that requirements are finalized 
    • Access stakeholders’ knowledge and skills 
    • Analyze the project to evaluate whether stakeholders’ needs will be met 
    • Let stakeholders know which requirements will be met, which requirements and expectations will not be met, and why 
    • Get and keep stakeholders involved in the project by assigning them project work or responsibilities, such as the role of risk response owner 
    • Manage and influence the stakeholders’ involvement, engagement, and expectations
    • Make the best use of stakeholders’ expertise
    • Communicate to stakeholders what they need to know and when they need to know it
    • Make sure stakeholders know what they need to communicate to the project manage and other stakeholders
    • Involve stakeholders as necessary in change management and approval 
    • Involve stakeholders in the creation of lessons learned 
    • Get stakeholders’ sign-off and formal acceptance of interim deliverables during the project and at project or phase closing
    • Reassess stakeholders involvement and make changes throughout the project as needed 
    • Ensure a common understanding of the project objectives deliverables, work, and acceptance criteria 
    • Ask stakeholders to le you know about problems in project communications and relationships.

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AuthorGregory Alan

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