PMP Examination Preparation - Common Input , Tools and Techniques and Outputs ( ITTO's )
The PMP exam is a tough examination which tests your knowledge and your ability to apply the concepts in real life scenarios. While preparing for the exam, you will need to study the processes of each knowledge area. You will also need to understand the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs (ITTO's) of each process to know how each process works.
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As per PMBOK guide version 4, there are 9 knowledge areas, 42 processes and 516 ITTO’s, that an aspirant must go through to prepare for the PMP exam. PMP aspirants taking up the exam after 31st July 2013, will have to study based on the changes made in the PMBOK guide version 5.
As per the PMBOK guide version 5, there are 47 processes and 10 knowledge areas which one must be prepared with for the exam.
There are some inputs, tools and techniques and outputs of processes, which are commonly referenced throughout the PMBOK Guide and many PMP certification training books. By understanding these commonly referenced ITTO’s in the earlier stages of preparation, an aspirant can save a lot of time while working on the processes and the ITTO’s in detail.
In this article therefore we will take a look at some of the commonly referenced ITTO's of processes.
Commonly referenced Inputs, Tools and Techniques, and Outputs
Enterprise Environmental Factors
Enterprise environmental factors are those factors which are not under the control of the project team and yet they influence, control or constrain the project. They are an input to many planning processes.
Some common examples of enterprise environmental factors include
- Your company's organizational structure
- Marketplace conditions
- Government or industry standards (agency regulations, codes of conduct, quality standards etc )
- Political climate
- Your organization's infrastructure
- Commercial Databases
Organizational Process Assets
Organizational process assets are plans , processes , procedures , knowledge bases and policies which are specific to and used by any organization and are used to successfully plan for any project . Organizational process assets can be successfully categorized into
1) Processes & procedures
2) Corporate Knowledge
A few examples of organizational process assets are:
- Historical Information
- Lessons Learned
- Software Tools
- Organizational policies, procedures and guidelines on any area
- Knowledge bases
Special corporate competencies
According to the experts in the profession, anything that can help you on your current or future project may be considered as an organizational process asset. You could keep contributing to these assets as and when possible.
Project Management Plan
The project management plan is a culmination of all planning processes. It is therefore crucial for project management practitioners and PMP aspirants to understand what it is, where it comes from and how it is used.
The project management plan defines how a project is monitored, controlled, executed, and closed.
According to the PMBOK guide , the Develop Project Management Plan is the process of defining, preparing, and coordinating all subsidiary plans and integrating them into a comprehensive project management plan.
The project management plan could be documented at a summary level or may be very detailed.
Some of the components of a project management plan are:
- Requirements Management Plan
- Schedule Management Plan
- Cost Management Plan
- Quality Management Plan
- Process improvement plan
- Human resource plan
- Communications Management Plan
- Risk Management Plan
- Procurement Management Plan
- Schedule Baseline
- Cost Performance Baseline
Work Performance Information
Any valuable piece of information about the project that is a result of Direct and Manage Project Execution process could be considered work performance information. Work performance information provides a sound foundation for project decisions.
Work performance information begins to flow as the actual work on the project is executed. Project stakeholders including team members and customers’ needs to be informed regarding the status of the deliverables, how things are performing against cost and schedule goals, how project team is performing and how the product meets the quality standards.
A few other examples of work performance information are implementation status for change requests, and forecasted estimates to complete.
Project Management Information System (PMIS)
The project management information system is an important concept to know for the exam .It provides access to tools such as scheduling tools, a work authorization system, a configuration management system, or interfaces to other online automated systems. The PMIS is sometimes considered to be an enterprise environmental factor since it is a part of the environment in which the project is performed.
This concept is used throughout the PMBOK guide. Expert judgement could be used from within the organization, from paid consultants or from any other person whenever project managers and team members don’t have sufficient expertise. However, as PMP aspirants, you would need to understand that this tool is highly favoured and very commonly found on planning processes.
As work is performed on a project, it is quite common for changes to be requested. There could be many types of changes including a change request to increase or decrease a scope of the project, alter the quality standards, or increase or decrease the budget.
All changes are brought into the process of integrated change management control where they are evaluated for the impact on the project, and ultimately approved or rejected. Approved change requests usually modify the project management plans including the baselines such as cost baselines etc.
Change requests are usually related to defect repair, preventive action (changes made to avoid the occurrence of a problem), or corrective action (any change to bring future results in line with the plan).
Updates are yet another concept that are commonly used throughout the PMBOK guide. Updates to plans come out of planning, executing, and monitoring and controlling processes. Updates in a project are a common occurrence.
PMP aspirants should study the inputs, tools and techniques, & outputs (ITTO's) of each process as they are an important study topic for the PMP certification exam.
Some of the ITTO's are referenced repeatedly throughout the PMBOK guide. Studying these commonly used ITTO's of various processes initially could help PMP aspirants in reducing the time required to study the processes in each knowledge area.
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