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PMP EXAM Flash Summaries

Essential Exam Aspects of PMBOK

David Geoffrey Litten CasaBlanca Publishing Corp Preparing For PMP

PMP Exam Flash Summaries


Hi and Welcome!

Preparing For PMP

I thought long and hard about even producing this PMP Exam Flash Summaries product. Believe me; I nearly tossed the whole thing in the trash! You see, its a bit like naming your top ten favorite songs, my list would be different to yours, and worst, you may claim that I missed out an obvious choice of your favorites. My intention is to give you an easy read of the key PMP Certification Exam areas that you need to know in preparing for the PMP Certification Exam, and if I was not careful, I could easily turn my PMP Flash Summaries into an entire PMP topic list! So I honed them down to just 65 essential PMP aspects So I resisted, and here is what I came up with. Id recommend you skim through this using it almost as an aide memoire if you find yourself saying, know that, know that, hhhmmm, Id forgotten thatthen Great! I just nudged you to look into a topic further. So despite my grand title, if you find this short document helped you to better focus on your revision, then Ive achieved my objectives. You probably know that I have created my PMP Video Primer, and yes, that will give you the finest training to prepare for your impending PMP Certification Exam. But Im not here to try to sell you anything, my intent here is to help you on your way to having the PMP Certification after your name, and to that goal, I give you my very best wishes.

Stay Focused,

Author and creator of the PMP Primer

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

PMP Exam Flash Summaries

Preparing For PMP

The skills of a good project manager. Communication, problem solving, budgeting, organizational, team building, team leading, negotiation and influencing, are the skills of project management excellence.

The difference between a project and business as usual (operations). A project is temporary in nature with a definite beginning and ending date. Projects produce products (deliverables), services or results. Business as usual is an ongoing activity and use repetitive processes that typically produce a similar result time and again.

Name the five project management processes. These are initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

Name the nine project management knowledge areas. These are integration management, scope management, time management, cost management, quality management, human resource management, communications management, risk management, and procurement management.

Be able to compare and contrast the different organizational structures and the project managers authority for each of them. The main structures are functional, projectized, and matrix. There are three variants of the matrix organization, the weak matrix, the balanced matrix, and the strong matrix. While the matrix organization is a balance between the project managers authority when comparing the other two, project managers have the most authority in a projectized organization and the least authority in a functional organization.

The six needs or demands that can create a project. These are market need, business need, customer request, legal requirements, social needs, ecological impact, or technological advance.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

PMP Exam Flash Summaries

Preparing For PMP

Be able to calculate and describe the payback period. This is the time-frame it will take the organization to recoup its investment from the product of the project. The calculation involves the sum of the expected cash inflows, compared against the original investment, and to calculate how many time periods (typically years), before the cash inflows equal the initial investment.

State the inputs for the develop project charter process. These are the project statement of work, the contract (if this is appropriate), the project business case explaining why the project is being undertaken, the problem that it will solve and the benefit cost analysis, the enterprise environmental factors and the organizational process assets.

The different project selection methods. These measure the value of the product or service that the project will produce and compare this against the benefits realized by the organization, and they fall into two categories; benefit measurement methods and mathematical models. You may find these also describes as decision models, which compares different criteria, and calculation methods which calculate the value of the project. Both are used to aid project selection decision making. Mathematical models are complex formulas and algorithms, also known as constrained optimization methods. Benefit measurement methods which you must understand and calculate include benefit cost ratio (BCR), internal rate of return (IRR), economic value add (EVA), present value (PV), net present value (NPV), payback period, return on investment (ROI), opportunity cost, and return on invested capital (ROIC).

Make decisions based on NPV and IRR. Any project with an NPV greater than zero should be accepted, and any NPV less than zero should be rejected. When comparing two or more projects, the project with the highest IRR should be chosen. IRR is the discount rate at the point when NPV is equal to zero, and therefore assumes reinvestment at the IRR rate.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

PMP Exam Flash Summaries

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Describe the project charter, its creation and purpose. The project charter officially recognizes and acknowledges that the project exists, it is created during the develop project charter process and it explains the business need of the project. It names and authorizes the project manager and is signed off by the performing organizations senior management. It contains the high-level project requirements, and a milestone view of the project schedule. It will also have a summary level preliminary project budget. It is used as a key input for the development of the project management plan.

State the purpose of the develop project management plan process . The project management plan process defines, coordinates, and integrates all of the subsidiary project plans, and as such specifies the who, what, when, where, and how of the project. The project management plan is progressively elaborated which means that it is developed in the first place and then refined, revisited, and updated.

State the purpose of the project management plan. The project management plan consists of the 15 component plans integrated together, and so will need to be assembled after these component plans have been created. It describes how the project is to be executed, what is to be monitored and controlled, and how it is to be closed. It therefore documents the outputs of the planning group processes, and the level of detail contained here will reflect the size and complexity of the project.

Describe the project constraints and assumptions. Project constraints often restrict or dictate future actions and they limit the options available to the project team. Classic constraints that the project must work within are time, cost, and scope, although there may be others for example the amount of risk that is acceptable or maybe quality or benefits constraints. Assumptions are merely some future condition that at the present are presumed to be real or true. Assumptions may be the underlying cause leading to risks and as such should be continually monitored and checked.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

PMP Exam Flash Summaries

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Define the purpose of the project scope statement. This provides a common understanding of the project scope across all of the project stakeholders. It lays out the project goals and objectives, project requirements, the project products or deliverables along with their quantifiable criteria, and any constraints, assumptions, and scope related risks. This document is used at the end of the project to agree its successful completion, and therefore objective criteria must be included for accepting the final product of the project.

Define the work breakdown structure (WBS) and its component parts . This is created in the create WBS process and as such is a very important topic. The WBS is the hub of information for the project and is used later to determine the project activities, costs, risks, quality attributes, and procurement decisions. It is a deliverable-oriented hierarchy, and the main inputs for its creation are the project scope statement, the requirements documentation, and the organizational process assets (which might include templates, tools, or previous project examples). It uses the projects products derived from the project scope statement and decomposes them into logical and manageable units of work. The lowest level of a WBS is called a work package. The tool used to create it is called decomposition, and the WBS is accompanied by its WBS dictionary providing detailed information for each WBS node. Another main output here is the scope baseline which represents the combination of the project scope statement, the WBS, and the WBS dictionary. As with all baselines, once the scope baseline is created it is placed under change control as laid out within the scope management plan.

Describe the purpose of the communications management plan. Fundamentally, this plan lays out the communication needs of the stakeholders, and for that reason it uses the stakeholder register and the stakeholder management strategy document as the primary inputs. The communications management plan describes who should receive project communications, what those communications should be, how and to whom the communications should be sent and how often it will be updated.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

PMP Exam Flash Summaries

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The plan quality process. Quality is planned in from the start and not inspected in after the product has been constructed. Being able to meet quality requirements, leads to an increase in stakeholder satisfaction, lower costs, less rework and an increase in productivity. The plan quality process is where the project identifies what such quality specifications are, and how all of those will be met. Two of the main outputs are the quality management plan describing how the quality policy will be met and the process improvement plan which covers how quality activities will be refined and improved.

Define the cost of quality (COQ). This is the total cost of all the work to produce the product or service of the project such that it meets the required quality standards. The three costs associated with the cost of quality are prevention costs those associated by creating a defectfree product, appraisal costs which are those associated with inspections and testing, and failure costs which are typically reworks costs so that the requirements are met, or failure costs wants the customer has been using the product.

The tools and techniques of the plan quality process. These include cost-benefit analysis, COQ, statistical process control (Control Charts), design of experiments (DOE), statistical sampling, benchmarking and flow charting (e.g. Cause and effect diagrams).

The purpose of the scope management plan. This describes the process for determining the project scope and facilitates the creation of the work breakdown structure(WBS). It also describes how the project product or service is to be verified and accepted, and details how changes to scope will be managed. This document forms part of the project management plan.

The purpose of the requirements documentation. This contains an understanding of what is needed to satisfy the stakeholders, why each requirement is important, and it covers both the project itself and the products to be created. It is a significant lever on determining the project schedule, budget, quality specifications, risk factors and both human and non human resource requirements. The requirements documentation is accompanied by the requirements management plan, describing how the requirements will be managed, and that goes on to define the team activities needed to gather and manage the project requirements.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

PMP Exam Flash Summaries

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Name the define scope tools, techniques and outputs . This process uses the project charter, requirements documentation, and organizational process assets as inputs. The tools and techniques used are product analysis, expert judgment, alternatives identification, and facilitated workshops. The two outputs of this process are the project scope statement and the many project document updates. These may include the requirements documentation, the requirements traceability matrix, the stakeholder register, and changes or additions to project risk and issues.

Key quality techniques. Phillip B. Crosby invented the zero defects practice and the quote, doing it right first time, Joseph M Juran coined the term fitness for purpose, and W Edwards Deming was the major contributor of total quality management (TQM). Six Sigma focuses on achieving very high levels of quality both by controlling the process and reducing defects. Also be aware of continuous improvement, Kaizen, that advocates constant process improvement via small changes in products or services.

The risk management plan purpose and definition. This describes how you will define, monitor, and control risks throughout the project, and is created in the plan risk management process. It does not define responses to individual risks. It defines what level of risk (risk appetite) is tolerable, how risk will be managed, who will be responsible for risk activities, cost and time to be allocated to risk activities, and how risk will be communicated. It also includes how risks will be categorized, and a risk breakdown structure can be helpful in achieving this.

The purpose of the identify risks process. This identifies all the risks which may impact the project and also to understand the characteristics or nature of each. The output from this process is the risk register, containing a list of all known risks at this time, their causes, and if possible, any responses that can be identified.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

PMP Exam Flash Summaries

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Define the risk register and its contents. This is an output of the identify risks process, and for each risk, the following aspects should be captured; the risk ID number, a description of the risk itself, the chosen responses, the root cause of the risk, the risk triggers, the risk owners, and what category the risk falls into.

Defining the perform qualitative risk analysis process. For each risk, its impact on the project will be determined and the probability of that particular risk occurring. This process then ranks each risk according to their impact on project objectives in rank order.

Defining the perform quantitative risk analysis process. This assigns a projected value to each risk, normally specified in terms of cost or time. This can be done by pre-assigning numeric probabilities to each risk and their potential impacts on the objectives of the project.

Defining the plan risk responses process. This creates the plan for how each risk will be handled. Remember that a risk may have a negative impact or it may have a positive impact (normally called an opportunity). They are both risks because they both have uncertainty. Responses for negative risks or threats, are avoid, transfer, mitigate (reduce), or accept. Responses for positive risks or opportunities are, exploit, share, enhance, and accept (also used for negative threats it is the do nothing option.

The purpose of the plan procurements process. This determines which products, components or services of the project will be created internally, and which will be procured externally. In addition the project manager must determine the most appropriate types of contracts to be used for each procurement. The two main outputs from this process are the procurement management plan; defining how procurement will be conducted, and the procurement statements of work, which explains the relevant parts of the project scope to potential Sellers to decide if they wish to bid for the working question.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

PMP Exam Flash Summaries

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Identify the contract types and their use. There are three categories of contracts. Fixed price contracts (lump sum contracts), of which there are three variances; firm fixed price (FFP), fixed price incentive fee (FPIF), and fixed price economic price adjustment (FP-EPA). The second type are called cost reimbursable contracts and there are two types of these; cost plus fixed fee (CPFF), and cost plus incentive fee (CPIF). The final type is a time &materials contract, which is a combination of fixed and cost reimbursable contracts.

The point of total assumption. This is the point within a contract where the subcontractor assumes responsibility for all additional costs, and is therefore motivated to bring their work to a swift conclusion because they have consumed all the costs, and any further spending will be funded by themselves.

Name the outputs of the plan procurements process. These are the procurement management plan, the procurement statements of work, make or buy decisions, procurement documentation, the source selection criteria, and if needed, change requests relevant to changes in procurement.

Name the tools and techniques of the conduct procurements process. These are bidder conferences, proposal of valuation techniques, independent estimates, expert judgment, advertising, Internet search, and procurement negotiations.

Name the outputs of the develop human resource plan process. This of course is the human resource plan itself, and consists of three parts; roles and responsibilities, organization charts, and the staffing management plan. The staffing management plan explains how and when the project will be staffed, including their release, and if appropriate how they will be trained.

Name the purpose of the define activities process. This takes the WBS and decomposes it into the activity list (each one should match that to a unique work package), it defines the activity attributes such as resources needed and any procurement activities, and a milestone list.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

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Identifying the tools and techniques of the sequence activities process. The main output here is the project schedule network diagrams, which basically show the sequence and dependencies between each activity but do not include start or finish dates. The main tool is the precedence diagramming method (PDM) which is a graphical representation showing the correct order and sequence of the various project activities. The dependencies between each activity must be determined whether mandatory, discretionary, or external. Activity leads and lags must also be incorporated. For similar previous projects it may be possible to use existing schedule network templates. Name the purpose of the estimate activity resources process. The purpose is to determine the types of resource needed (human, materials, facilities, or equipment), and to determine how many are needed for each activity. The resource availability must also be taken into consideration, and all of these aspects will determine the duration of each activity.

Name the tools and techniques of the estimate activity durations process. These are expert judgment, analogous estimating (top down estimating), parametric estimating (linear extrapolation), three-point estimates (PERT estimates), and reserve analysis, also called contingency which consists of extra time added to an activity duration estimate.

State the difference between analogous estimating and bottom-up estimating. Analogous estimating is also known as top-down estimating, and is when the actual duration of a similar activity on a previous project is used to help calculate the duration of an activity on this project. This is combined with expert judgment to determine how similar the two activities really are. Bottom-up estimating is where an activity is decomposed into small pieces of work and these are estimated by adding them up to give a total estimate. It can be used in terms of work effort and cost and also when developing the project schedule by summing the estimates given at each activity level.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

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PMP Exam Flash Summaries

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Calculate the critical path and its definition. This occurs in the develop schedule process, and it is vital that you understand how to do this using forward pass, backward pass, and float calculations. The critical path determines the duration and hence the earliest finish date, of the project. The terms float, early start, late start, early finish, late finish, free float, and negative float need to be understood. A critical path activity is a project activity with zero float.

Describe and calculate three point estimates (PERT estimates). These use three data points called the pessimistic estimate, the most likely or realistic estimate, and the optimistic estimate for each activity. We then use a weighted average technique via the formula: pessimistic, plus four times the realistic, plus the optimistic estimate, and divide the result by six.

Name and describe the duration compression techniques. There are two techniques; crashing and fast-tracking. Crashing consists of adding extra resources to a project activity so that the work can be shared so the activity will be completed more quickly. This normally increases project costs. Fast-tracking entails reordering the sequence of activities so that some are performed in parallel. This does not normally increased costs but often increases project risk due to dependency rules being broken and multiple activities occurring at once adding risk and complexity. Name and describe the main output of the estimate costs process. The primary output here is the activity cost estimates describing how much it would cost to complete each activity on the project.

Describe the cost performance baseline. This is another term for the project budget, and it shows not just the total cost but when such costs will be incurred. Since a traditional project starts off slowly and finishes in a similar way, when plotted as cumulative cost, forms a characteristic S Pattern and hence is called an S Curve. As with all baselines, this is under change control and is used to measure the cost performance of the project.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

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The characteristics of the direct and manage project execution process. This is where the project work is performed, where the team are executing the work packages, and the project products or deliverables are being created. For this reason, most of the budget is spent during this process.

Name the five stages of group formation. This is Alan Tuckmans model of forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjoining.

Define Maslows highest level of motivation. This is self-actualization and occurs when an individual is living and working at full potential, and that all lower level needs have been met.

Name the five forms of power. These help the project manager maximize their ability to influence and manage the team. These are reward power, expert power, legitimate or formal power, referent power, and punishment or coercive power. The best forms of power are reward and expert with punishment as the least affective form.

Compare and contrast senders and receivers of information. Senders must ensure that their message is clear concise and complete, while receivers must ensure that they understand the message correctly. Name the six styles of conflict management. These are problem-solving, collaboration, compromise, forcing, smoothing, and or withdrawal. The latter is not so much a resolution to conflict but a means of avoiding it, so this is not the best method to use as the conflict is never actually resolved.

Describe the purpose of the perform quality assurance process. This process is focused on improving the activities and processes that are undertaken to achieve the project quality standards, and should not be confused with perform quality control, which is about inspecting the product for quality or measuring defects.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

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Describe the purpose of the monitor and control project work process. This compares actual work results to the plan and then makes appropriate adjustments to ensure that the two match. It make sure that both the products, and the way in which they are being produced, fall in line with the plan, it also looks at how the overall project is progressing and takes any corrective action if needed via change requests.

Name the tools and techniques of the manage project team process. These are observation and conversation, project performance appraisals, conflict management, the issue log, and interpersonal skills.

Describe the purpose of the manage stakeholder expectations process . This is an executing process to ensure that the project stakeholders are actively managed and kept informed; it focuses on identifying and resolving any stakeholder concerns in a timely manner.

Define the purpose of the report performance process. This process uses work performance information and work performance measurements to report back to the stakeholders on how the project is progressing against the plan and the various baselines (scope, time, cost, and quality). The main output is the performance report.

Name the purpose of the perform integrated change control process. This process is where you assess the changes impact on the project, because whenever a change occurs in one area, it must be evaluated for its impact across the entire project. This process is focused on managing change to the projects scope.

Define the purpose of a configuration management system. It describes how change requests are submitted; it includes processes for tracking the changes and their authority levels. A configuration management system must include configuration identification describing the characteristics of each product, configuration status accounting to determine the true status of each product, and configuration verification and auditing.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

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Describe the purpose of the control costs process. This process monitors project costs to prevent unauthorized or incorrect costs from entering the cost baseline. The focus here is on cost variance. It does this by measuring what was executed against what was planned. If they do not match, then go on to harmonize the planned and actual costs; this may mean altering future plan forecasts or changing the way in which the work is being carried out.

Be able to define and calculate earned value. There are 13 key formulas that need to be understood and memorized. The technique continuously monitors the planned value, earned value, and actual costs expended to produce the work of the project. There are performance measures, performance indexes, and forecasting and variance analysis techniques.

Describe the purpose of the monitor and control risks process. This is performed almost continually throughout the project because existing risks can change and new risks may arise. The main outputs here are updates to the risk register and as a consequence may need new or modified risk responses resulting in a change to the activities within the project.

Name the tools and techniques of the perform quality control process. These are cause and effect diagrams (Ishikawa diagrams), control charts, and flowcharting, histograms such as a pareto chart, run charts, scatter diagrams, statistical sampling, and inspection.

The purpose of the verify scope process. This verifies that the product, service, or result of the project matches the documented scope baseline. Verify scope focuses on completeness and acceptance of the product by the appropriate stakeholders.

The purpose of the close project or phase process. The focus here is to ensure that the project or phase comes to a controlled shut down. This will typically create any appropriate documentation and archive it, capture the lessons learned, and ensure the contract (if any), is closed properly. The purpose of lessons learned is to document the project successes and failures, make recommendations, and is used as information learned for future projects.

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

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PMP Exam Flash Summaries

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Be able to apply professional responsibility. The project manager should deal with issues in a direct swift, open and honest manner, and should act ethically and legally. The project manager should act with integrity by a adhering to ethical standards. If in doubt always do the right thing. Aspirational standards are those that we strive to uphold whereas mandatory standards establish firm requirements that must be adhered to.

Check out my other fine project management Video Training Products here:

Introduction to Project Management Primer

PRINCE2 Primer

APM Introductory Certification Primer

Project Board Governance Primer

PMP Certification Exam Primer

and coming soon Microsoft Project 2010 Primer Earned Value Primer APM Primer

CasaBlanca Publishing Corp | David Geoffrey Litten 2011

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