Practice Exams:

PMI PMP Project Management Professional – PMP Blitz Review

  1. Section Overview: PMP Blitz Review

Welcome to the PMP blitz review. This is a mini cram session, if you will, of everything that we’ve talked about throughout this course. It’s jammed, packed, but I don’t linger. I mean, we move really fast through this section. So I’m warning you now. So the PMP Blitz Review, we’re going to talk about the initiating group planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing all the way back to the beginning of the course. Then I’m going to hit the headlines from the nine knowledge areas that we’re going to look at integration management, scope management, schedule management, cost quality, resources, communications, risk, procurement, and stakeholder.

I’m going to walk through the memory cards that I’ve mentioned throughout this course, and then I have an assignment for you. And it’s a big one, but a valuable one, where you’re going to map out all of the Edo’s. It’s not fun, I’m going to tell you now, but it’s really important. It’s everything that we’ve talked about in the course. So it’s an opportunity to complete that activity and to really have a refresher of all that we’ve discussed. So let’s hop in here to the Blitz Review and knock it out right now.

  1. Project Integration Management

Now let’s talk about some project integration management terms you’ll need to know that are used throughout the project. First off, actions and execution. Remember, corrective action, you’re realigning project performance. Preventive action. You don’t want that to enter the project. You want to make certain that future performance remains in alignment with the project. Defect repair, they painted the room the wrong color or the material were bad, so you have to fix it. All of these typically require a change request. So corrective preventive and defect repair need a change request. Knowledge Management remember, we have two types of knowledge.

We have explicit knowledge and we have tacit knowledge. Explicit is knowledge that can be given very quickly like explicit knowledge in our course. I can tell you the ten knowledge areas project integration management, scope schedule, cost, quality. That’s explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is let me share with you how we did quality control in an It project. So it’s a little bit more in depth, it’s based on experience. It’s sometimes difficult to give tacit knowledge, it’s just that know how and years of experience. So recognize those two. Explicit is kind of just a quick list.

Very easy to say one, two, three or these are the steps to do this activity or task that is more like your personal beliefs and values. So recognize those, probably see those on your exam. You must know, you must know. Integrated Change Control there are workflow here, so let’s take a look. We have change request that can come from anywhere in the project scope cost schedule contract. Typically you might have one of those actions, might be some procedures or policies that require change request. Those go into if they affect the features and functions of the product, they’ll go into configuration management and the change management system.

Everything else just flows to the change management system. Now, what’s the change management system? I’m really just talking about your project management information system where you capture and document the change. Then it goes into integrated change control. Or it could go to a change control board. And you may have some metrics that say anything over $10,000 has to go to the board or anything that touches the scope has to go to the change control board. If you don’t have a change control board, it flows through integrated change control. Integrated change control is the examination of what does this change do to scope schedule, our cost, quality, resources, communications, risk procurement and stakeholders.

So what effect does any change have on the project as a whole then the change, whether you’re doing this through integrated change control or through the change control board, the change will then be approved, declined or deferred. If it’s approved, you update your project management plan. You may have to update your project documents like your scope statement, your WBS, your cost baseline, your schedule baseline, and you’ll have to update the change log no matter what.

If it’s approved or declined or deferred, you still document that. So those are some really key terms and the things you want to know for your exam. So if you aren’t familiar with this, go back to chapter four in the Pinball Guide and spend a little bit more time here. All right? Great job. Keep moving forward.

  1. Project Scope Management

When we talk about a predictive life cycle versus an agile or adaptive life cycle we need to go back and look at the idea of the triple constraints and predictive versus the agile triangle of constraints. In a predictive the scope is typically fixed. This is what you have to create. These are the requirements where in an agile the scope varies because of that product backlog it can shift and priorities change. Time and cost typically vary in triple constraints where the scope remains constant time and cost and agile is fixed. So it’s considered an inverted triangle when we talk about the agile triangle of constraints.

So just be familiar with that idea that an agile time and cost is fixed and the scope varies versus triple constraints where time and cost can vary and the scope should remain constant. The difference between the charter and the scope so we go back to the idea of the charter. The charter is all about high level the project or purpose or justification, the measurable project objectives, what are the high level requirements, the description, what’s the overall project risk and our milestones? Do we have pre approved financial resources?

So how much, what’s the summary budget here? Stakeholder list you have some requirements to start with you have the project manager, what’s the roles and responsibilities for the PM and the name and authority of the sponsor. So the charter is all about authorizing the work and authorizing the project manager. The scope is all about what we will create.

So we have the authority now we create it in the scope. So what is the project scope description, what are the deliverables, how do we know we’re done so? What’s the acceptance criteria and are there any project exclusions? So things that are out of scope so that’s very important to note another scope management process you must be familiar with is Validate scope.

Validate scope is about the customer receiving, signing off, accepting what we’ve created. It is an inspection driven process and our goal is the customer to accept the work, to have formal acceptance. Remember, this could happen at the end of a phase, always at the end of a project or when you create a major deliverable you could validate scope. So those are some key things you want to know from chapter five in the Pmbok on scope management.

  1. Project Schedule Management

A term or a theory you want to be familiar with is the theory of constraints. Remember, this theory goes to what’s the most limiting factor, what’s the most important limiting factor and then we work to eliminate that factor or reduce its impact. The constraint is often the bottleneck in your schedule. So it’s a scientific method to improvement and this is used in lean manufacturing and of course it’s based on the book The Goal. So the theory of constraints think of the bottleneck and you’re trying to improve the bottleneck. Then we have some dependency determination. You should know mandatory dependencies ABC has to be done in that order. That’s hard logic. Discretionary dependencies is soft logic. You can do it in any particular order that you want. External dependencies are an external constraint. I’m waiting for the vendor to deliver the materials. I can’t get to work until I have the materials. So I have a constraint that’s outside of my control. Internal dependencies are also a type of hard logic. So my project is dependent on your project and until you complete that deliverable from your project, my project is kind of stalled out. So we have an internal dependency, some hard logic.

In chapter six you want to go back and make sure you’re familiar with the schedule network diagram. You want to know the forward path and the backward path. So some tips here to remember when you get a network diagram, the first thing you want to do is to write down all the paths to completion and their duration and that alone will show you the critical path. Remember, the critical path is the longest path to completion. We also want to be certain that we look at the forward pass and backward pass. Some of the forward pass we look at when we have two activities feeding into like activity C there. So you can see B and F both feed into C.

You can’t start C until both of the predecessors are complete. So you don’t want to just go all the way through one path on your forward path. You have to do it methodically that you have to pay attention when you have two tasks that feed into it. And in this example you can see that C, the early start for C is twelve. That even though activity B ends on day eight, f ends on day eleven. So B and F both have to be done before C can start. So our forward pass, our backward pass and then you find the float. So if you’re still sketchy on this, I encourage you to go back to chapter six in the pmbok, back to our course in that section on schedule management and dig in and look at the float scenario and the videos.

There some other terms with schedule leads and Lags. Remember, lead is accelerated. Time lead allows activities to overlap. You bring them closer together and overlap. Lag is always waiting time you’re moving you are purposely moving things apart in your network. Diagram lag. Two days of lag would be like plus two on this downstream activity. Lead. Two days of lead would be negative. Two that you bring it back two days off of its start date. So lag is a way lead is negative. You’re bringing it closer to the project start date. So a couple of terms here on float. Remember, we have free float. That’s how long an activity can be delayed without affecting the successor activity. Total float is how long an activity can be delayed without affecting the project end date.

And project float means you’ve got a big window to get this project done, and so you can pick up and put down the project as you want. So it’s a 30 day project, but you have 90 days to complete it. You have a lot of project float there. So those are some terms with finding float. Two terms you want to know also when it comes to managing resources and how many hours they can work per week, we have Resource Leveling. Resource Leveling remembers is that all resources, regardless of who they are and what they’re doing, there’s a cap on how many hours they can work in a given time period. So, for example, here you can see we have each one of these bars represents a different team member. So anything above 40 hours, they have to do next week.

So it could cause the project to take longer. Because you’re limited to the amount of hours you can do in one work week, that’s Resource Leveling. Now, resource smoothing means that we limit the labor as well, 40 hours max. Unless you have activities that are on the critical path, we will allow those individuals to continue to work more than the 40 hours max. Because smoothing is it smooths it out. It doesn’t just slice it off where Leveling is. Level smoothing is okay, we’re going to generally smooth this out. People can only get overtime if they’re on a critical pass activity. So that’s smoothing and Leveling don’t get tricked on those. Smoothing is you’re smoothing it down. Leveling is like you just slice it off. It’s level don’t care what type of activity you’re on. All right, great job. Those are some terms for schedule management. Keep moving forward.

  1. Project Cost Management

Let’s take a look at some things you need to know for your exam on project cost management. Cost management, chapter seven of the Pmbok. We talked about different estimate types. Remember, we had analogous, we had parametric, we had definitive or a bottom up. But there’s one I want you to really know, or actually two I want you to really know, and that’s our three point estimate types. Remember that we had triangular and we have beta. Triangular is just an average. So you sum up optimistic, most likely pessimistic, and you average it out.

And you can do this in schedule or cost. So I kind of saved it here for cost. But remember, this can go with schedule as well. Apart is beta, and it’s the one that’s weighted towards most likely. So remember, it’s optimistic plus four times the most likely, plus pessimistic divided by six. Why six? Because you have six factors, four most likely, one pessimistic, one optimistic, so it’s giving more weight towards the most likely. So pert is beta. And remember, sometimes you could see this with a little c or the o attached to the formula. That means you’re doing cost or time. Our cost performance baseline, mentioned this a little bit earlier. Our cost performance baseline is what we think things will cost in the project. The blue line is our cost baseline. In this example, our red line is our actual cost.

The difference between the two is our cost variance. And then that black line is our expenditures where we’re actually purchasing things. The red stair steps, like it looks like a stairstep because it’s step funding. I get just enough money to go to this point I wasn’t going to sing that song. I get just enough money I got just enough money to get to this point. All right, that’s step funding. So I have just enough to get to this phase, and then I get some funding.

So I have step funding at that phase gate, and that’s enough money to get to the next phase, in the next phase, and so on. So it’s a way to do some I don’t have to finance everything at once. I do it by phases. So those are usually tied to stage gates or phase gates. So step funding. And then the idea is, you can see on our y axis there the cumulative values. As I get closer and closer to the end of the project, I should be running out of money because I’m towards the end of the project. So those are some key terms you want to know for cost. Keep going.

  1. Project Quality Management

Quality. Got to know a lot of terms about quality, but really we’re just talking about quality planning. We’re talking about managing quality and controlling quality. So within this knowledge area remember our dimming plan do check act. Our PDCA plan. Do check act. That’s pretty standard approach to quality is what we do do in our projects. Customer satisfaction means we are conforming to requirements. We’re delivering exactly what was requested and it’s fit for use. Prevention is one of our goals in project quality management, that we do the work correctly, that quality is planned into the process, not inspected. In management responsibility, management has a responsibility to give us the tools, the mechanisms to achieve the expected level of quality.

So zero defects, all right, we can do that, but we’ll need to slow down our process so much to ensure zero defects or have the right tools, the right resources, the right people. So management responsibility needs to be in proportion to the expectations of quality. Quality and grade are not the same thing. Quality is about meeting and fulfilling requirements, delivering the product scope, it’s implied needs as well. Low quality is always a problem. Grade is a category or ranking or a classification of services like first class versus coach or a particular type of material, and then like a different grade of that material. So oak is wood and plywood is wood.

So you have a particular type of tile, then you can get cheaper tile and so on. So marble versus ceramic. So those are grades and materials. Sometimes low grade is what’s needed. It fits the budget, it fits the purpose, it’s what the customer agrees to. But low grade isn’t necessarily a problem. Low quality is always a problem. You’ll need to know these types of quality costs. We have prevention, appraisal and failure. Prevention we’re talking about.

We don’t want mistakes to enter. So quality assurance type programs. Appraisal is inspection, so quality control, inspecting, and that takes time. Failure is the worst case scenario. You have scrap and rework. So you’ve found a mistake and you have to throw it away and start over. So you have to pay for it, the wrong one. Now you have to pay to do it again. Prevention, do it right. Appraisal is inspection and failure is the worst case.

A term you either know is designed for X, designed for x or DFX. X represents one characteristic, one variable that the project is trying to address. So cost, uptime, return on investment. What is X? What are you trying to do? So this is a term that you want to know. Remember cause and effect charts, also known as a fishbone chart or an ishikawa. Don’t try to say all those at once. Cause and effect fishbone ishikawa there you go. Remember our control chart. We have our upper specs and lower specs, our upper and lower control limit and our mean. And then we have measurements, each one of those peaks and valleys is a measurement.

Anything below our control limit is considered out of control and assignable cause the results of seven measurements, all on one side of the mean seven consecutive measurements, all on one side of the mean up or down, is called the rule of seven. That’s a trend, it’s non random. So that’s a control chart. Our pareto chart categories of defects from largest to smallest. So that’s our pareto chart. Pareto known for 80 20, but this is tracking our largest down to our smallest. A Scatter diagram shows the correlation between two or more variables. So correlation here height and shoe size, soup in temperature, shoe and annual incomes. You can see the closer they trend together, where in this example, the taller height and the shoe size, they correlate soup sales.

The hotter it is, the fewer sales that we really sell, the colder it is, we sell more. And then shoe size and the income, there’s no correlation. So that’s a scatter diagram. The closer they trend together, the more likely there is a relationship. A run chart shows the results of measurements over time. The closer the dots are, the more you’ve accumulated in a shorter amount of time.

So each dot would be 1000 runs, for example. Well, the closer they are and on the calendar you can see it didn’t take very long to accumulate. If you have five going up consecutively or five going down consecutively, that’s a trend. So you can and see here we have a trend, we have five measurements in a row going up and then it just crashes, it just drops off there. So what’s happening? All right, so those are some things with quality control and quality assurance and planning for quality, or the processes in the Pmbok plan for quality, manage quality and control quality. All right, keep going.