PMP® certification Exam – Important Terms and Concepts – Part – II
"I'm always working on concepts and ideas for the future"- Perry Farrell

In my last article, we took a look at some important terms and concepts which are important for the PMP® Certification exam. By studying these terms and concepts initially, aspirants can reduce their time to prepare for the knowledge areas, process groups and the processes. In this article, we will go through the following important terms and concepts that play a vital role in PMP®Certification training.

Important terms and concepts

  • Historical Information Any information from previous projects that has been archived by the organizations. Historical information can be used to help evaluate future project decisions. This information includes documents and data on prior projects including project files, records, correspondence, closed contracts and closed projects.
  • ITTO's (Input, tools and techniques, and Outputs) Each process listed in the PMBOK® Guide has a set of inputs, tools and techniques and outputs. Each process has got a specific and unique into each project management process that is used as a building block for that process. Tools and techniques are the actions or methods that are used to transform inputs into outputs. Tools could be many things such as the method of decomposition which is used to decompose a work breakdown structure into progressively smaller components until the last level of work package is reached.Techniques are methods, such as flowcharting, which helps us to frame, approach or solve the problem. PMI® combines tools and techniques since they both used to solve problems and create outputs. According to the PMBOK® Guide version 4, there are 516 inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs for the 42 processes listed in the PMBOK® Guide.

Knowledge Area:
The knowledge areas in this material have been organized into nine groups. Each of the 42 processes defined in the PMBOK® Guide version 4, fits into any one of the nine knowledge area. The nine knowledge areas which are listed in the PMBOK® Guide version 4 are

  • Project Integration Management Knowledge Area
  • Project Scope Management Knowledge Area
  • Project Time Management Knowledge Area
  • Project Cost Management Knowledge Area
  • Project Quality Management Knowledge Area
  • Project Human Resource Management Knowledge Area
  • Project Communication Management Knowledge Area
  • Project Risk Management Knowledge Area
  • Project Procurement Management Knowledge Area

Lessons Learned
Lessons Learned are documents focused on variance created at the end of each phase that detail what lessons learned should be shared with future projects. Lessons Learned are organizational project assets which are an input into many planning processes. It is quite important that lessons learned should put a special emphasis on what was planned to happen, what actually happened, and what you would have done differently in order to avoid these variances.

  • Milestone Milestone could be any notable event in the project, program or portfolio. A milestone may be a date, project deliverable, or any significant point of interest.

Project Constraints
Constraints could be any external factor that limits the ability to plan. The most common constraints are scope, time, cost, but they could be any factors such as law, weather, or resource availability. Constraints are used to help evaluate competing demands. Management directly or indirectly sets the priority for each constraint. Project managers use this constraint prioritization to successfully plan and implement the project.

  • Regulation Regulations are requirements imposed by a government body. These regulations can establish product, project or service characteristics. Regulations include applicable administrative provisions that have government mandated compliance.
  • Standard A document that provides, for common and repeated use, rules and guidelines or characteristics, for their activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in the given context.
  • System The rules, processes, procedures, people and other elements that support and outcome or process is known as a system. Several systems could be defined in project management, including project management information systems, change control systems, and work authorization system.

PMP® aspirants need to work on some of the important terms and concepts before they can focus on the process areas, processes and knowledge areas. By understanding these terms and concepts properly, aspirants could reduce their time to study for the PMP® certification exam.


PMP and PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. 

About the Author


Sabyasachi has over a decade’s experience in leading IT and non IT projects in the Healthcare, Oil and Energy, eCommerce, Public Sector Undertaking and Services industry . He is a PMI certified Project Management Professional , PMP, and a volunteer in the Project management community with a focus on best practice and mentoring other project management professionals . His writings are regularly published in several blogs , forums and online project management communities .

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.