If you are working toward your PMP certification, there’s a lot to learn. With five process groups and ten knowledge areas, that’s a lot of subject matter to cover.
While studying for the PMP examination, you’ll want to be sure you thoroughly understand Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEFs) and Organizational Process Assets (OPAs), because they are the most important areas of focus for all processes in the “Project Integration Management” knowledge area. Memorize ITTO (Input, Tools & Techniques, and Output), but be ready to answer questions about EFFs and OPAs.
So, what are Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEFs) and Organizational Process Assets (OPAs)? Why are they required for a project’s success? As a project manager, you need to know the answers to these questions.
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Enterprise Environment Factors (EEF)
You need different approaches to deal effectively with the cultural, political, and legal environments the project is operating within the organization. Enterprise Environment Factors (EEFs) include all policies, practices, procedures, and legislation that exist both inside and outside of the organization that will impact the way you manage a project.
This ranges from environmental, anti-discrimination, and occupational health and safety legislation to the choice of the project management system used by the organization, its personnel management policies, and PMI’s Code of Ethics. Some elements of the EEF are mandatory, while others represent good practice or cultural norms. But regardless of the nature of the factor, you have to work within the physical and cultural environment to be effective.
These are very important inputs for project planning. You must know the organizational culture, norms, and policies for your project success. Here are a few examples of EEFs:
- Organizational culture, processes, and infrastructure
- Product standards
- Quality standards
- Government standards
- Market standards and conditions
- Codes of conduct
- Staffing guidelines
- Reviews and training records
- Work authorization systems
- Political unrest
- Organizational communication channels
- Risk databases
- Project management information systems (PMIS) — Automation tools like scheduling tools
Enterprise environmental factors are so important that they can enhance or reduce the project management options and positively or negatively impact project success.
What are Organizational Process Assets (OPA)?
Most organizations have developed a range of templates, contracts, registers, and assessment tools to assist the management of their projects. Organizations have also acquired knowledge in the form of lessons learned—and the organization’s knowledge base that can be very useful.
Therefore, Organizational Process Assets would include anything the organization has acquired that you can use in the management of the project. They include formal and informal plans, policies, procedures, and guidelines. These are very important for the planning stage, irrespective of the nature of the project. Whether your project is long-term or short-term, OPAs are a must.
Here’s a list of common OPAs:
- Standardized guidelines
- Proposal evaluation criteria
- Work breakdown structure templates
- Project schedule network diagram templates
- Risk templates
- Organizational standard processes
- Project closure guidelines
- Defect management processes
- Lessons learned and historical databases
- Change control procedures
- Financial control procedures
- Project files
An ideal project manager will include all this information during project planning. You can seek the help of the organization’s PMO (Project Management Office) to get this information or seek the advice of the identified key stakeholders.
To sum it up, OPAs improve the management of the project and EEFs establish guidelines to help you manage the project. Both OPAs and EEFs can be updated if there’s any change implemented in your project.
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