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Fast PMP Exam Preparation for Working Professionals!

The Foundation Guide for PMP and CAPM


Certification Exams Series Presents

PMP Project Management Basics

Shivshanker Shenoy
PMP
www.PMExamSmartNotes.com

Foundation Guide for PMP/CAPM Certification Exam

Copyright notice
Copyright 2013 by PMExamSmartNotes.com.
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Notice of Liability
The author and publisher have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information herein. However, the information contained
in this book is given without warranty, either express or implied. Neither the author nor PMExamSmartNotes.com will be held liable for
any damages to be caused directly or indirectly either by the instructions contained in this book, or by the software or hardware products
described herein.

Acknowledgements
All the images used in this study guide are available under Creative Commons license and credit is mentioned below individual images.

Trademark Notice
PMI is a registered trademark and service mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
PMP and CAPM is a registered certification mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
PMBOK is a registered trademark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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Foreword
Whenever you had to study a 'heavy' book, did you wish for a simpler guide just to get the gist of the subject?
Something like a crash-course guide that you could go through and get a handle on the stuff?
I always thought about and looked for such resources whenever I had to study a new subject (the reason I love
Wikipedia). It was a similar feeling I had when I took up PMBOK book to study.
And when I was in a position to prepare a short guide, there was no time to waste.
So here is this guide in front of you. The very fact that you have decided to read this would mean that you might be
one of these
(a) seriously preparing for PMP or CAPM exam
(b) performing the duties of a project manager (project practitioner)
(c) simply curious to know about a systematic way of project management
You will not be disappointed.
Even the basic form of the foundation guide came to well over 200 pages, so I decided to split it into modules. One
covering project management basics and one each for the 10 knowledge areas, so you can pick up the one you wish
to understand and run through it easily.

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This guide, of course, comes to you free of cost. The only aim of this guide is to provide you with a quick and succinct
account of project management concepts from PMBOK.
For all the details of concepts highlighted in this book, do visit www.PMExamSmartNotes.com blog. It will make your
exam preparation a breeze, I promise!
PS: This study guide is best viewed in 100% (or 1:1) resolution. Zooming out beyond this may slightly blur some of
visual representations.
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4. saves you money as compared to contact classes out there that can cost as much as $2000+!
I am talking about PMPrepCast by Cornelius Fichtner!. You can view couple of sample chapters at Exam Resources section on
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Table of contents
What is a Project and how do you manage one? ................................................................................................................................................................. 8
What is process? ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 9
What is process group? .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 12
What is Project Management? ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 14
10 Knowledge areas .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14
How are Project, Program and Portfolio related?
PMO

............................................................................................................................................................ 15

................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 15

The 6 project constraints

.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 20

How do you identify a project manager? ............................................................................................................................................................................. 21


What does it take to be a good project manager? ............................................................................................................................................................ 21
Organizational Structures .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 27

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Module 1 - Project Management Basics


Master PMP Basic Concepts
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Image credit: JavkVersloot

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What is a Project and how do you manage one?


What can be an earliest example of a wonderfully executed and successfully completed project?
The Great Pyramid of Giza!
It was built more than 4500 years ago.

The accuracy of measurements, precise


placements of 2.3 million limestone blocks each weighing
50-60 tons, to form a structure of 230 meters (756 ft.) of base side each and 146 meters (480 ft.) height - is simply
astounding!
Imagine what a humongous task it must have been for the 'project management team' to build such a huge pyramid
without any of todays technological advancements. Yet, pyramids are one of the most brilliantly executed projects
that have been around for thousands of years!

What are the characteristics of a project?


The common factors are
All of them have a definite start date and end date
All of them result in some specific benefits
The third factor that is not very evident from the scenarios above, is that, they are progressively elaborated
(which is to say, they are produced in an iterative fashion)
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schedules may stretch and the end date may move, but the project will end at some point.
Even if it is terminated prematurely!
Yes, a project can be closed mid-way for several reasons. One of the common reasons is when costs exceed the
benefits that project is expected to create.
Each of the above three instances creates
something unique - a Product (first scenario), a
Service (second scenario) or a Result (third scenario).
Spend a minute on the figure below. It shows a
project or a phase containing 5 process groups. We
shall see more details in subsequent lessons. The
background arrow indicates the sequence of
execution of processes in each of these process
groups, by the project manager or project
management team. Note the overlap, more details
on that in a bit.

What is a Process?
A process is any activity performed that helps
manage certain aspect of the project. For instance,
Identify Risks is a process using which, as the name
states, the project manager identifies all possible
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risks on the project.


Process is referred to as project management activity as well.

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Each process has certain

Inputs
Tools and Techniques
Outputs

Essentially, project management is all about knowing the processes. And executing them effectively, of course. There
are 47 processes defined in PMBOK, and they are grouped into two buckets - sliced and diced.
Which means to say that, any particular process falls into one of the Process Groups and one of the Knowledge Areas.
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As a Project Manager you will need to know about all these processes, what goes into each of the process, what
comes out of it, and how do you produce these output.

What is a Process Group?


A process group is a bunch of processes grouped together based on a stage in project life cycle. Any project goes
through the stages of initiation, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and finally closing. For that matter, a
phase in a project too can go through the same set of stages. Each of these are a process groups. So basically a
process group is a way of grouping together PMBOKs 47 processes based on which stage of the project they come
into play.
There are 5 Process Groups in PMBOK guide. They are logically sequenced. The following figure shows how process
groups are related, using a simple example of preparing tea! -

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Figure: Process groups, and their interaction

There is another way of grouping these 47 process and that is based on the specific knowledge area it takes to
execute the processes. Areas such as Scope, Risk, Human resources, Procurement and Stakeholders. We shall look at
these in detail in the next lesson.

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For now, remember that there are these five process groups

Initiating
Planning
Executing
Monitoring and Controlling
Closing

What is Project Management?


From your experience as a project manager, you would know that there are many constraints involved in managing a
project and they may pose risks to any degree at any given point in time. A project manager needs to bring into effect
her knowledge, performance and personal skills to manage these constraints.
Project management is, then, the application of knowledge, skills and tools in order to achieve objectives of
stakeholders while effectively handling the constraints such as scope, quality, schedule, budget, resources and risks.
Thankfully, PMBOK guide pulls all the tools and techniques together for you to be able to achieve success in your
project.

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10 Knowledge Areas (PMBOK-5 guide added


one!)
So far we understood that PMBOK has 47 Processes, and they have been grouped into 5 Process Groups. And that
these processes also fall in another type of group - the one based on knowledge it takes to execute these processes.

Integration (the overall 'How')


Scope (what is to be produced?)
Time (by when?)
Cost (at what budget?)
Quality (does project deliverable meet business needs well enough?)
Human Resources (people)
Communication (who should know what, how, and when?)
Risk (what may go wrong?)
Procurement (who else can do what my team cannot?)
Stakeholder (who are impacted by this project?)

How are Project, Program and Portfolio related?


What does a project do for the organization?
Simply put, a project helps an organization achieve a goal.
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Let us recall the definition of Project


Project is a temporary endeavor undertaken, with a specific start and end date, with an expected outcome of
a Product, Service or Result.

What is a Program, then?


Program is a collection of projects or sub-programs that are dependent on each other and serve a common
outcome.
If these projects are to be executed separately, their value to the organization would be lesser than what you get by
doing them together under a program. Projects in a program serve the purpose of common outcome.

What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is a collection of projects or programs managed together in order to gain a business benefit.
These programs or projects may or may not be related.
An example of portfolio would be - a clothing firm has a portfolio that serves strategic goals of improving the
effectiveness of IT, introducing new brand of teen-clothing, reducing inventory costs, and increasing user satisfaction.

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Couple of points to remember the differences between Project, Program and Portfolio:
Project
Provides unique
Benefit
{Project-x}

Program
Contains related projects,
provides common outcome
and shared benefits
{project-1, project2,...project-X}

Portfolio
Achieves a business objective

{project-1.. project-X; program-1...program-Y}

PMO
There is an entity in an organization that helps manage Projects, Programs and Portfolios (the 3Ps).
it is called the Project Management Office (PMO).
The PMO in an organization sets up processes, guidelines and standards to manage these 3Ps. It also helps to share
resources, knowledge and best practices across projects in the organization. However, it is not uncommon for it to
manage a project completely on its own.

How does PMO help you as a Project Manager?


The Project Management Office does the following setting up methodologies, practices and standards and train people
managing shared resources and communication across projects
conducting project audits to check compliance with these practices
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Types of PMO
There are different, broadly following three types are used:
Supportive PMO
As the name suggests they support you, the project manager, with templates, best practices and even training. This
type of PMO cannot have much control over how project is managed.
Controlling PMO
This type of PMO is a bit more involved with project management. It not only supplies necessary artifacts and
procedural help along with training, it demands compliance to the project management practices and methodologies
it prescribes. You need to provide constant feedback to PMO on the compliance and implement changes to practices
and methodologies it brings in from time to time.
Directive PMO
This type of PMO pretty much manages the project on its own and hence has complete control over how things are
done. Generally, whenever a new type of or larger scale project is taken up by the organization for the first time PMO
dons this role, to make sure that the project has high chances of success, and to set a benchmark for further such
projects in the organization.

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Wait a sec. I got the difference between the 3Ps. My office has
an IT team that helps us with problems of our computers and
printers, and keeps our servers running all the time. They also
manage any issues with network connectivity and network
security. I have seen that team doing planning, work allocation
and holding status meetings. They do these all the time - there
is not a 'start and end date' though.
Is it a Project? Or a Program may be?
Definitely not a Portfolio.
I am not sure!
Image credit: emilylaurel

Great point!
These are ongoing activities in an organization that produce some sort of repetitive service. Such activities are called
Operations. Managing them is called Operations Management, or Business Process Management.
Consider few examples
Accounting operations of an enterprise
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Shop-floor production management process


Preparation of daily food for patients in a hospital
Stabilization and support of a software product by the maintenance team
Projects can intersect with operations at different milestone points. For instance, a project phase ends and the
enhanced product is released to production. Now the maintenance team gets into action, it is trained on usage and
troubleshooting new features so it can support customers of this product.
Apart from the fact that operations are 'ongoing', rest of the characteristics remain same as that of a project Performed by individuals
Limited by constraints
Planned, executed, monitored and controlled (but, not 'closed')
Address organizational objectives
Thats pretty much you need to know about all the Ps Project, Program, Portfolio, PMO. Let us move on to
understand various constraints a project manager has to deal with.

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The 6 Project Constraints


Major part of your project management effort goes into managing constraints.
Have you read about the six legged robot NASA is building to make human outposts on Mars? That is the picture of it
right here.
What do you think would happen even if one of these
legs do not work as designed, or get stuck in the Martian
terrain?
In simpler words, the robot would not function to the
extent that it is supposed to. This will have a major
impact on the success of Mars mission.
The 6 project constraints are similar to this 6 legged
robot.

Each leg represents a constraint, and an issue with any of the constraints may affect the entire project

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How do you identify a Project Manager?


There are other types of managers too in an organization!
It is essential to be able to recognize the duties of a Project Manager as compared to other types of managers that
work in an organization. That is to speak, to know the differences between Functional Manager (FM), Operations
Manager (OM) and Project Manager (PM). Knowing this will help you know if/when your duties overlap that of FM or
OM.

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What does a Functional Manager do?


A Functional Manager is responsible for a specific function of an organization, such as Finance, Customer Success,
Sales, or Human Resources.
If a project manager is working in a matrix organization, she needs to forge and maintain a good relationship with
functional managers in order to ensure project's success. This is because in such organizations project team members
would be reporting to functional managers. In some cases, project manager may even be reporting to a functional
manager. We will learn more about organizational types in an upcoming lesson.

What does an Operations Manager do?


Operations are 'ongoing' activities of an organization, and an Operations Manager is responsible for efficiently
running Operations. For instance, IT team of a company manages IT Operations. A catering service serving food to
patients in a hospital - is also an example of Operations.
Projects can intersect with operations at different milestone points. For instance, when a project phase closes and
the enhanced product is released, Maintenance team is trained on usage and troubleshooting of the new features, so
it can do support customers. Project managers and Operations managers collaborate to plan such activities.

What does a Project manager do?


In brief, a project manager is responsible for leading the team that is achieving project objectives.
But the devil is in the details, right? Project manager should be able to understand, plan for and manage several
aspects of running a project successfully, such as project and product requirements, schedule, costs, quality of
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deliverables, human resources, communication needs, risks, procurement of materials and services and managing
stakeholders needs. These aspects are termed by PMBOK as Knowledge Areas.

What are the differences between these 3 types of managers?


Project managers extent of power over project depends on the organization type. A matrixed organization gives
lesser power and authority to its project manager if it is of weak-matrix type. To the extent that even to get human
resources or budget, project manager needs to have approval from functional managers. It is a well-known fact that
unless you are managing your team directly there is a limit to the amount of influence you may have over the team.
The mind-map below shows responsibilities of three types of managers, and how a project manager interacts with
functional manager and operations manager.

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Figure: Three types of managers in an organization

What does it take to be a good Project Manager?


Being a good (read 'effective') project manager is a hard task. However, the good news is that PMBOK guides us on
everything that is required to become one.
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Three fundamental characteristics of an effective project manager are


1. Knowledge: What do you know about your job
2. Performance: How do you use that knowledge to achieve project objectives
3. Personal skills: How do you deal with people to get them to do it
Now,
The knowledge is available (formed around 47 processes) in PMBOK book.
You need to put that knowledge into practice at your organization and derive a good performance.
Effectiveness as a project manager needs personal skills to deal with team, customer, executive management
and other stakeholders involved in the project. An effective project manager also needs to have great attitude,
analytical skills, ethical mindset, and interpersonal skills such as
Leadership
Team building
Motivation
Communication
Active listening
Influencing
Decision making
Negotiation

What is project management?


Quite simply, project management is the application of knowledge, performance and personal skills of a project
manager to achieve project objectives. However, this is easier said than done.
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Managing a project involves dealing with constraints mainly scope, time, cost, quality, resources and risk we saw in
the earlier lesson on project constraints. Impact on one of the constraints likely will affect other(s).
Project management involves identifying true stakeholders, documenting right requirements, coming up with
optimized schedule, managing resources effectively, keeping costs in check, making project deliverables with accepted
level of quality, managing good relationship with stakeholders, keeping communication channels up and running,
ensuring procurement activities are running smooth, keeping top management abreast of project progress, churning
out right amount of project documentation, managing positive and negative risks well, managing changes to project
scope through change control process, updating various baselines, improving processes, and contributing to
organizational process assets.

What does a project team consist of?


Project manager responsible for managing all project activities and project team to achieve project objectives
Project management team helps project manager on activities such as sending communication, identifying
right templates, creating schedule and creating project documentation. Sometimes this could be just the project
manager. In some cases this could be the entire project team (project manager + project staff)
Project staff people who do the actual project work
We saw different types of managers in an organization and the characteristics of a good project manager in this
lesson. We are looking at several concepts across many lessons in this module. Do not skip them, no matter how
much you are tempted. Understand them thoroughly. As you move on to further sections these concepts start coming
into play and it all starts to make sense.

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Organizational Structures
Which management activities would you perform if you
have absolute control over everything on the project?
Yes, quite a lot of them. From managing people, to
delivery, to planning and execution, to keeping customer
as well as your own management happy with the progress
of the project.
In short, a project manager is responsible for everything
that is required to be done to make the project successful
(unless she works with Functional organization, we shall
see more of this later in this lesson).
Image credit: digital art/freedigitialphotos.net

Some of them are listed in the image below.

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Figure 1: Some of the responsibilities of a project manager

In reality though, a project manager may not get to do all of these, or may be have to do more than these!. What she
can do actually depends on the type of organization her project has.

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A project manager's work can be broadly categorized into two areas


1. People management
2. Project management
Irrespective of which type of organization you work for, you get to handle some aspect of project management for
sure, and may or may not get to do people management.
Consider the scenario Nancy has a designation of Project Manager. She attends all team meetings, makes notes of all decisions taken. She reports
any issues team that members have with appropriate people, and even ends up doing some of administrative work for them.
She does not get to decide on who will work on the team though, nor can she determine budget.
What kind of organization do you think she works in?
For one, she does not seem to have much of authority. She is either a project coordinator or project expediter.
These positions are found in a functional organization or weak-matrix organization.
Figure below shows three types of organization. Notice that as you move towards right of the spectrum, project
manager gets more control over the project (represented by blue color gradient).

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Figure 2: Types of organization

Functional Organization
...is where functional manager has complete control over the project. Project managers need to get a nod for pretty
much everything from functional managers, and they assist them in getting the work done. A sample org structure:
Functional manager decides everything - who works on the team, what is the budget, what is the plan, so on. Team
members report directly to the functional manager.

Weak-matrix Organization
is still structured around functional organization. Project managers have limited powers, such as chairing project
meetings, certain reporting functions - depending on the practices in the organization.

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Balanced-matrix Organization
...is the one where management responsibilities are divided almost equally between functional and project manager.
Usually functional manager takes care of people management responsibilities and project managers take care of
project management responsibilities. If project manager has to make any decision about people she runs it by the
functional manager, and vice versa.
This organization can lead to situations where functional and project managers both may feel responsible for certain
management aspects, leading to issues that impact project delivery, cost and schedule!

Strong-matrix Organization
...is the most likely scenario is most of the organizations. A place where project managers feel a bit more comfortable
- they control good part of the decisions on the project, including selection of resources and decisions on the budget.
Resources need to be made available by the functional managers.
Inputs for performance reviews of team members are shared - project performance inputs from the project manager
and functional expertise related inputs from the functional manager.

Projectized Organization
...is the one where teams are organized around projects. Project manager takes complete responsibility of the project,
its deliverables and the team. Project team reports only to the project manager.
Consulting companies make use of this type of an organization. A team is assembled and a project manager is
assigned for each project. She executes the project without any interference from any of the functions. She gets to
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make all decisions such as budgeting, human resources management and communication planning. If such a project
requires functional expert(s) then PMO, sponsor or management will provide them to the project manager.

Composite Organization
Then there is a hybrid kind of organization called Composite Organization. This type evolves based on the needs to
have different control structure at different levels of the organization. Such needs could be temporary or permanent.

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