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CompTIA Project+ PK0-004 Practice Test Questions and Answers, CompTIA Project+ PK0-004 Exam Dumps - PrepAway
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Creating the Project Scope
11. Utilizing a control account plan
In the last lecture, I introduced the concept of control account plans. Well, I want to take just a couple of minutes to really nail this point about the control account plan because it's really important for your exam and it's really important for your role as a project manager. So a control account plan is something we're going to look at that. Let's dive in. I use the example of a kitchen. It's my favourite Goto example when I talk about controlled account plans.
Well, in this kitchen, we know we're going to have some cabinets, flooring, countertops, and appliances, but we don't know which ones we're going to choose. We've got lots of choices. So on day one, when we build this house, I don't have to decide on day one what the flooring will be in the kitchen. Now, my foreman or the construction company would probably love for me to decide that, but I don't have to know. On day one, they probably will say, "Okay, Joe, you have to decide by August 1," and then we're ready to go. So my control account plan takes a segment of that WBS and assigns some money and assigns a deadline for the kitchen. In this case, or whatever chunk of the WBS becomes your control account plan, Well, what we do is take our WBS, and you can see in this example that if you look to the right, we have the house and the first floor all the way down to the kitchen.
The kitchen has a question mark, and that becomes my control account plan. So it signifies decisions that are yet to be made, and then there's some money and time associated with those decisions. Now, within the kitchen, we have the flooring, we have cabinets, we have appliances, and we have countertops. Those are the planning packages I was talking about. And this is what it would look like in the WBS. And then, as that information became known, we decided, "Okay, on the flooring, we're going to put in tile floors, and that's going to cost $5,000." Well, our cap was 50,000. Our control account plan allowed for 50,000. So now I have 450 for everything else. And then I buy some cabinets. And the cabinets are going to cost, let's say I'll be their great cabinets, $20,000 So now I only have 25,000 left in my Control account plan for the kitchen, and on and on it goes. So that's the idea of a Control Account Plan and planning packages. You.
12. Validating the project scope
Throughout the project, you'll work with your stakeholders to validate the scope. Validate scope is the inspection of deliverables with the project stakeholders with the goal of acceptance. So in other words, if you're building something, I am going to inspect that work, and you want me to approve what you've done. So validate the scope; this is a project management activity. It's all about acceptance, but how you inspect acceptance is an inspection-driven process.
So if you were building this house for me, I would inspect the work periodically, typically at the end of each phase and at the end of the project. That inspection might just be called a review; it could be called an audit or a walkthrough. But the goal of scope validation is for the customer to accept the work that's been done. Now, the inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs of validating scope The inputs are the project management plan, the requirements, the documentation, and the traceability matrix. Verified deliverables and work performance data, tools, and techniques Here, inspecting the work is the primary tool and technique. You could have some group decisionmaking techniques, since lots of people are going to inspect it.
So it might have some testing that's been done to validate the scope with lots of testers' outputs. You have the accepted deliverables; you have change requests because there could be some errors that happen in the work, and the customer discovers the error, doesn't like what you've done, or changes their mind. All of those could generate a change request. And then you have work performance information—the actual reports and facts about the work that's been done—and that's usually earned value management or key performance indicators. And then you may have project document updates.
Now, when inspecting the work, it's not usually just a quick walkthrough. I mean, it's really an examination of what you've done. Now, although we use the term "walkthrough," generally, "walkthrough" implies that it's really high and breezy. Really, what's happening is that you're measuring, examining, testing, and really looking for evidence that what was delivered is what was promised. You could have reviews. So you may have to go back and look not only at the work but also at the finances and just a little more in depth at how well the project adhered to the requirements for performance.
So deadlines, budget, and scope And then, of course, the walkthrough is part of the process. And then you may have audits of the work. The goal is the formal acceptance of the project work that you want the customer to formally accept what you've done. And so typically, it's a signoff after each phase or after each scope validation.
Change requests are one possible output. And then there's a difference here between scope verification and quality control. And we'll see quality control coming up. But while we're here, I'm going to go ahead and nail down the difference. Scope verification is done with the customer. In order for the customer to accept the work, quality control is done without the customer's knowledge. It's an internal inspection of the work, and the goal is to keep mistakes away from the customer. So quality control precedes scope verification. You.
Managing the Project Schedule
1. Planning schedule management
Planning the project schedule is a very important project management process because stakeholders are going to want to know when the project will be done. to know when the project can realistically be done. There are many factors we have to consider. We have to consider the work, the resources, dealing with vendors, and a host of other activities. So planning the project schedule is a very intense, hands-on activity that will really define how you will develop the schedule, how you will manage that schedule, how you will execute it to ensure you're going to hit your deadlines and milestones, and then how you will control the schedule.
Basically, how will you respond to variances within the schedule? This process defines the schedule management approach for the entire project. Now, if you recall from an earlier discussion, we talked about predictive plans and iterative plans. So that's the schedule management approach we're talking about here. Are you going to plan out the entire project, or are you going to plan out just a portion of it and then come back to it periodically? In either case, chances are you'll be coming back to planning from execution or back to planning from monitoring and controlling because things are going to happen in your project.
Because this is a project management process, we have several inputs and tools and just one output. The inputs here are the plan schedule management, the project management plan, the project charter, enterprise, environmental factors, organisational process assets, tools, and techniques. You'll use expert judgment and analytical techniques because you'll have to study the work, study the resources, and combine those factors to predict an end date. And then you'll have meetings with the experts, with your project team, and even with your stakeholders. The output is just one item in the schedule management plan. So what exactly is in the schedule management plan? Well, you'll have this project schedule and model development. That's basically the project network diagram and the dates of when activities will happen.
You'll also define a level of accuracy. So you might say we're going to hit this milestone on October 15, plus or minus 10%. How will you measure time so we do it in hours? Will it be days or weeks? What are the organisational procedure links? In other words, how will you deal with procurement in a matrix environment? The other functional units you're involved with—how do you deal with vendors? The project schedule model maintenance—how will you keep the schedule current? What are your control thresholds? Like if you're late by more than three days? How do you respond to those rules for performance measurements? Are you using earned value management, or are you just tracking variances in reporting formats? Who will need to know what information and when, and then process descriptions? So, how will you track activity completion, your workflow, your work authorization systems, and things of that nature? So this is all defined in the schedule management plan. You.
2. Dealing with deadlines and end dates
Many times, when a project begins, you already have a deadline or a due date for the project. And while that may work in many instances, there are many other instances where the scope of the project, the work, and other constraints don't make that deadline realistic. So we have to take a look at the constraints, the feasibility, and how you manage preexisting deadlines and due dates to just see if it's feasible to hit a predetermined deadline.
One of the most common things that you'll see as a project manager is a due date. And so the due date has some type of reason, whether it's a promise to a client, a trade show, past experience, or a due date for the project to complete. So what we have to do as project managers is say, "Okay, if this is due by August 31, what is the real duration of the project?" Can I realistically hit August 31? Now, sometimes that duration is obviously longer than the due date. So we either have to change the due date or we have to take things out of scope.
Now, this is not something the PM does on its own; the stakeholders take things out of scope in order to shorten the scope to match the time available. You may also have a predefined due date where the customers come to you and say, "Okay, August 31." And it absolutely has to be August 31. In that instance, I had to say, "Well, why has the determination already been made that we can finish on August 31?" It may be that that's 60 days from now, and this is the type of project you do over and over and over. So 60 days is realistic. It may also be a regulation, a law, a trade show, or a promise to a customer.
And so we have to determine what that predefined due date is. Now, there are two things that you have to consider with any project that has a predefined due date. The availability of resources affects how quickly you can complete the project work. Remember, resources are primarily people, or labor. But resources can also be equipment and facilities. So if I need a particular piece of equipment and it breaks down, well, that piece of equipment is going to cause a delay in the project. If I need to use Jane, the senior engineer, and Jane's on vacation for two weeks, that totally affects my project end date. So I really need to know: are these resources going to be available? And examine that assumption that they are. And then, if they're not available, I have to react accordingly. Now, critical events are things in your project that, if they're delayed, if activities are delayed, then it's going to affect the end of your project.
And this is setting us up for something we'll talk about in just a moment called the critical path, where we will make a workflow, a project network diagram, to get from task A all the way to the last task of the project. The path that has the longest duration is considered critical. So activities that are on that critical path—if any of those activities are late—then our project is going to be late. And we'll look at that in more detail in the sections that follow. Milestone due dates Remember back when we talked about requirements? We had tiers of deliverables, and we had the idea that within deliverables they must have or should have certain features. And we also had some conditional "if then" type deliverables. Well, due dates may say, "Okay, if you can complete all of the must-haves by August 1, then go back and start on the nice-to-haves or should-haves." So sometimes tiered deliverables can have a tiered due date as well. Or If the conditions for creating these supplemental or ancillary deliverables are met, now cross-programme needs It may be that your project's deliverables are needed for other projects to move forward.
So you can imagine if you're developing a piece of software that needs to be done, let's say, by August 1, and then it's given to another project within a program, and then that project is going to package it and be able to send that image out to all the clients. So when there are cross-programme needs, that means that your project has to finish by a particular date or it's going to affect other projects' abilities to finish on time. If you're working in a client-vendor relationship, let's say that you're a vendor and you're building something for a client in your contract, you may have a bonus if you get it done early. So an incentive fee is that bonus.
So the project is due by August 31, but if you can get it done by the 20th, you'll get a $100,000 bonus. If you can get it done by the 10th, you'll get a $150,000 bonus, and so on. So incentive fees are where you know up front what that bonus structure is and you look at how feasible it is to hit the 10th, the 15th, or August 31. and then you work accordingly. You work towards getting that bonus for the project. constraints—you know, anything that limits your options. So there are some obvious constraints when it comes to scheduling because you have vendors.
If you're waiting for a vendor to ship materials, that's going to create a constraint if they're late, city inspectors, or inspectors on your work resources like Jane, the senior engineer, and then a new term for you, force major. Major force, sometimes called "acts of God," means that there are things outside of anyone's control, like a hurricane, an earthquake, or a fire. So "force majeure" is something that you often see in a contract that represents those things that are outside of your control. There's nothing you can do to stop a hurricane. So those, though, can be a constraint on your schedule. Now we have two other terms for you: effort-driven and fixed-duration activities. An effort-driven activity means the more labour we can put into an activity, the quicker we can get that activity done. So let's just say we have a big ballroom to paint. We have to paint this huge—let's say it's a 3000 square foot ballroom. We have to prime it and paint it. The more people we can add to help paint, the quicker it will get done.
If we just have two people on it, it might take a week or two, but if we can put 20 people on it, we might get done in a couple of days. Effort-driven activities, though, are constrained by the law of diminishing returns. The law of diminishing returns states that regardless of how much effort or labour you add to an activity, the yield is going to be constant.
So, in other words, in that 3000 square foot ballroom, we're going to get paid $8,000 to paint it. We can't really just keep adding labour and more labour and expect to be done in a day or two and not pay for that labor. So it may get to the point where you've added so much labour that you're spending more on labour than the value of completing the project. So it has to be a balance there. That the yield, the value that the $8,000 tops off in that ballroom, is in proportion to the amount of effort that we add to the activity. We also can't just keep adding labour and more labour and expect to be done in five minutes.
You can't exponentially add labour to reduce duration because, at some point, we're just going to get in each other's way, step on each other, and just make a big mess. So effort-driven activities, though, mean we can apply more labour to finish quicker. Fixed duration means that the activity will remain the same duration regardless of the amount of labour you add to it. If you are a software developer and you have to go through a month of testing, regardless, you can't keep adding labour and expect to reduce that duration. You're going to let that work through for a month. It's like the old saying goes: "You can't make one baby in a month with nine women." You have to have nine months to make a baby with one woman. That's a fixed-duration activity. So that's how you can remember those two. Effort-driven, you're going to add effort; fixed duration; it's remaining constant. You can't speed up the installation of a piece of software by having more people sit in front of the computer. not going to matter.
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