PMP Basics

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Baseline
  • Original plan with all approved changes incorporated.
  • Used to monitor the project against scope, schedule and time.

 

Enterprise Environmental Factors
  • Factors which govern the project but beyond the control of the project.
  • Exs: organizational structure of a company, organizations' tolerance for risks, state/country laws that govern the projects, market conditions etc.
  • Projects are sometimes bound by the limitation of the EEFs and could certainly affect the outcome of the project.
Project

A series of activities undertaken to produce a unique service or a product in a specified amount of time with a definitive beginning and an end.

  • Unique
  • Has a definitive beginning and an end [time-bound]
  • Results in a product or service
Project coordinator
  • Does not operate along with the project manager.
  • Present in place of a project manager.
  • Weaker  than PM and with lesser authority.
  • Can only assign resources and NOT authorized to spend monitory resources.
Project expeditor
  • Weaker than PM, weaker than project coordinator.
  • Cannot spend monitory resources. Cannot assign resources.
  • Only monitors to make sure project moves as planned and completes as scheduled.
Project Manager
  • A person solely responsible for the success or the failure of the project.
  • Has the responsibility of making sure the project succeeds within the constraints of scope, time, cost, quality, customer satisfaction and other relevant parameters that dictate the project.
  • Responsible for project integration
Project Management
  • Art of managing a project by applying knowledge, skills, tools and techniques for an effective outcome of the work being undertaken.
  • A successful management refers to completing a project within the constraints of scope, schedule, cost, quality and customer satisfaction.
Project Management Office, PMO

An office in a organization responsible for setting-up project performance boundaries, supplying templates, and storing all information related to the projects performed by the organization – organizational process assets and historical information. 

Project Management Plan
  • A single approved document that guides all aspects of project : planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
  • Though it is a single document,  please remember it is a collection of all management plans - scope management plan, requirements management plan, schedule management plan, cost management plan, quality management plan, process improvement plan, HR management plan, communications management plan, risk management plan, procurement management plan, stakeholder management plan, change management plan, configuration management plan, and the scope, schedule and cost baselines.
Program
  • A collection of inter-related projects that are run in a coordinated manner.
  • There could be sharing of human and material resources across projects as a part of program management to save on time and cost.
  • Ongoing Operations are also a part of the program.
Portfolio

A collection of programs that is strategically beneficial to the company in terms of monetary gain.

Process
  • Nothing but a task, or job, to be performed. Ex. Developing a Project Charter is a task where all aspects of developing the charter for a project are performed in a coordinated fashion.
  • Each process comprises of Inputs, Tools and Techniques, and OutputsITTOs.
  • There are 47 processes under 10 knowledge areas and 5 process groups, as per PMBOK 5.
Phase
  • All projects can have arbitrary or overlapping phases : conceptual phase, design phase, planning phase, coding phase, testing phase, implementation phase etc.
  • The output of every phase is a deliverable.
  • In essence, the phases in a project make it easier to manage the projects.
Progressive Elaboration
  • You might not know everything about a project during the conceptual/initial phases.
  • Clarity on many aspects comes-in as you progress thro’ the project. This concept is called Progressive Elaboration.
  • You elaborate on issues as you progress thro' the project, Rolling Wave Planning
Project Life Cycle
  • A collection of phases as determined by the organization guiding the execution of the project.
  • Provides a framework for project management.
Functional Organization
  • Very common type of organization,
  • Project Managers have less power and authority than Functional Managers.
  • Resources are under the control of the functional managers. Departments are structured based on the areas of expertise – engineering, human resources etc.
  • Man, material and monetary resources are controlled by Functional manager
Types of Organization
  • Functional - FM has most of the authority
  • Projectized - PM has most of the authority
  • Weak matrix - PM has less authority
  • Balanced matrix - PM and FM have equal authority
  • Strong matrix - PM has a fair amount of authority
Knowledge Areas
  • There are 10 knowledge areas as per PMBOK 5 – Integration Management, Scope Management, Schedule Management, Cost Management, Quality Management, Human Resources Management, Communications Management, Risk Management, Procurement Management, and Stakeholder Management.
  • All the processes in each of these knowledge areas tie back to the respective Process Groups.
Process Groups
  • Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing.
  • For a complete picture of Knowledge Areas and Process Groups, please see the table by clicking Show All processes
Historical Information
  • PMP maintains all relevant information about all projects conducted by the organization.
  • Helps the Project Manager draw parallels between the project he is about to undertake and similar projects conducted by the organization in the past. 
  • During project execution, this information helps PMs to assess the performance trends.
  • Part of the Organizational Process Assets
Sponsor
  • Person, or a group, that provides funding for the project.
  • An important stakeholder.
  • Dictates due dates, functionalities of the product/service.
  • Mediates, and resolves, any conflicts between PM and the client.
  • Approves/denies major funding changes.
  • Ideally works with PM to ensure project success
Project Management Skills
  • Leadership
  • Effective Communication
  • Goal-oriented problem solving
  • Negotiating with clients, team members, stakeholders, senior management
  • Effective people management [aka soft skills]
  • Exert influence and power wherever and whenever required
Work Authorization System
  • Ensures project work done in the right sequence, at the right time, by the right organization/individual
  • Part of the Project Management Information Systems, which in turn is a part of the Enterprise Environmental  Factors
Expert Judgment
  • A tool extensively used during planning and execution phases
  • May be from within or outside the performing organization
  • These services may be paid or free of cost
Project Mgt Info System
  • A tool where a lot of the information about the project is stored, helps with communication, a hub of information about the ongoing project. 
  • Its an automated system and contains the Configuration Management System.
  • Considered to be a part of the Enterprise Environmental Factors, EEFs.
  • Work Authorization System is a part of PMIS
  • Helps keep track of the deliverables.
Organizational Process Assets
  • Software tools, project templates, policies, procedures, guidelines concerning the project
  • Compilation of lessons learned from previous projects, knowledge base,
  • Historical information gathered from within and outside the organization relevant to the project to be undertaken
Triple Constraint
  • Also called the Iron Triangle, refers to the 3 main aspects of a project – Scope, Schedule/Time, and Cost.
  • If one changes, the other two WILL change. A Project Manager should always evaluate one over the other before making any changes to the project.
Product Life Cycle

A series of phases during which a product goes thro’ from its release to the subsequent  withdrawal, or eventual demise.

Functional Managers
  • If they exist, they are more powerful than Project Managers.
  • Can be heads/directors of various departments, like Engineering, Human Resources.
  • Many a times, they are Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) themselves.
  • Depending on the type of organization, PMs need to negotiate with FMs for man, material and monetary resources.
Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Measures the return on an investment in relation to the cost of investment
  • Measured using a simple formula (Profit - Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment
  • Expressed as a percentage gain
  • Bigger the ROI the better
Project Charter
  • Contains all high-level info on scope, schedule, cost.
  • Serves as the BASIS for further planning, initiates the project.
  • Contains the justification of the project being undertaken, info on final deliverables, high-level assumptions, limitations, key stakeholders, project statement of work, etc.
  • Signed, and approved, by senior management and sponsor
  • Names, and Authorizes the PM to utilize the resources – man, material, and monitory resources.
  • No project charter, no official project. Project does not exist without the project charter.
Business Case
  • Defines the profitability of the project to be undertaken
  • Measures the Benefit : Cost ratio Benefit/Cost
  • Bigger the ratio, the better
ITTOs
  • Inputs
  • Tools and Techniques
  • Outputs
Organizational culture
  • Shaped by the common experiences of members of the organization
  • Most organizations have developed unique cultures over time by practice and common usage.
  • Ex : shared visions, mission, values, beliefs, risk tolerance, etc.
Colocation
  • Also referred to as “tight matrix”, involves placing many or all of the most active project team members in the same physical location.
  • Clears misunderstandings and communication gaps
  • Enhances cooperation, team performance
Virtual Teams
  • Groups of people with a shared goal who fulfill their roles with little or no time spent meeting face to face during planning, execution or implementation phases.
  • Virtual teams create new possibilities when acquiring project team members.
Project Scope

The work performed to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.

Product Scope

The features and functions that characterize a product, service, or result.