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Daily PMP Questions from Mosaic

"I am always doing what I can’t do so that I may learn how to do it."
Pablo Picasso
 

     
This weeks Questions + Answer:
   
     
Today's Question:
   

A stakeholder meeting is discussing the amount of detail to be included in the statement of work (SOW). The senior corporate managers are pushing for a high level of detail. The senior engineering managers are asking for the SOW to only define the functional requirements.  The project is high profile and important, but most of the work will be done by a supplier.  As the project manager what would you recommend to the stakeholders?

A.  The SOW should be as detailed as necessary for the type of project.
B.  The SOW should be detailed to establish a good bargaining position with the suppler.
C.  The SOW should be general to allow the supplier flexibility to deliver the best result.
D.  The SOW should be general to allow clarification after the seller is selected.

Today's Answer:
   
Best Answer : A
 
Reason :

The SOW should always be as precise as possible but when the supplier has more expertise than the buyer; the SOW would describe the required performance or function rather then a detailed list of works. This applies to both the Project Statement of Works and any Procurement Statements of Work. As this type of question generally does not provide enough information to allow you to choose one of the specific answers (detail or general?) it is usually best to select the ‘motherhood is good’ statement that will always apply.
For more on the SOW see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/WhitePapers/WP1070_SoW.pdf  

Reference:
PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition 12.1.3.2

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The Last Week's Questions* The Last Week's Answers Question relevant for:
PMP CAPM PMI-SP
Monday:

A stakeholder meeting is discussing the amount of detail to be included in the statement of work (SOW). The senior corporate managers are pushing for a high level of detail. The senior engineering managers are asking for the SOW to only define the functional requirements.  The project is high profile and important, but most of the work will be done by a supplier.  As the project manager what would you recommend to the stakeholders?

A.  The SOW should be as detailed as necessary for the type of project.
B.  The SOW should be detailed to establish a good bargaining position with the suppler.
C.  The SOW should be general to allow the supplier flexibility to deliver the best result.
D.  The SOW should be general to allow clarification after the seller is selected.

Best Answer : A
   
Reason :
The SOW should always be as precise as possible but when the supplier has more expertise than the buyer; the SOW would describe the required performance or function rather then a detailed list of works. This applies to both the Project Statement of Works and any Procurement Statements of Work. As this type of question generally does not provide enough information to allow you to choose one of the specific answers (detail or general?) it is usually best to select the ‘motherhood is good’ statement that will always apply.
For more on the SOW see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/WhitePapers/WP1070_SoW.pdf  

Reference:
PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition 12.1.3.2

Sunday:
Managing projects, programs and portfolios generally have all of the following in common except:

A.  Balancing, managing and negotiating about resources.
B.  Planning and monitoring progress.
C.  Working to achieve planned elements of the businesses overall strategy.
D.  The realisation of business benefits over an extended period.

Best Answer : D

Reason :  
Projects tend to focus on outputs (deliverables) and close once the deliverables have been accepted by the client; they do not have a 'long term' responsibility for realising benefits.  Programs and portfolios tend to focus on outcomes (delivering business benefits over an extended period), and in conjunction with the sponsor and the organisations functional management, have responsibility for ensuring the project’s deliverables achieve the planned benefits. For more on benefits realisation see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/WhitePapers/WP1023_Benefits_and_Value.pdf  

Reference:
PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition 1.4 & Table 1-1

Saturday:
You are managing a project that is well into its execution phase when there is a management reorganisation resulting in the appointment of a new project sponsor.  What document will best serve to inform the new sponsor about the project?

A.  The project charter.
B.  The minutes of team meetings.
C.  Project issues and exception logs.
D.  The project plan.

Best Answer : D
  
Reason : 
“The project management plan defines how the project is executed, monitored and controlled and closed”.  The project plan (or a concise executive summary thereof) includes information on the charter, scope, time, cost, risk and any other important factors needed to understand the nature of the project, the business objective it is intended to deliver, its current status and future direction.
The project charter is included in the project plan; the charter does not deal with status and planning issues. The other documents are likely to be too detailed and fragmented.

Reference:
PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition 4.2

Friday:
 
During a review, you discover that a design error will prevent the product achieving its technical performance objectives.  Your preferred response is to:

A.  Develop alternate solutions to the problem.
B.  Decrease the performance requirements to align with the achievable values.
C.  Simplify the overall project to reduce problems.
D.  Sack the designers and start cost recovery actions.

Best Answer : A
   
Reason : 
Before making any decisions, it is essential to understand the problem and the available options/solutions (and their consequences in respect of cost, time, quality and scope).  Once this information is available, the project manager is in a position to know if the problem can be resolved within the project’s parameters or if external agreement/input is needed.
Downgrading the project’s deliverables is unacceptable (at least in the first instance), the project manager’s job is to deliver the agreed scope and quality. Sacking people is a last resort option and should never be contemplated for a mistake, it does not resolve anything. for more on problem solving see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/WhitePapers/WP1013_Problem_Solving.pdf

Reference:
PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition 1.7.2 and Appendix X3.6

Thursday:
 

A contract is legally binding once it has been signed unless:

A.  It is declared null and void by one of the parties’ legal representative.
B.  One of the parties is unable to finance its part of the work.
C.  It is in violation of the applicable law.
D.  One of the parties is unable to perform its part of the work.

Best Answer : D
   
Reason : 
The contract is legally binding on both parties once it is signed, irrespective of opinions, or the situation of one of the parties. The contract is void if it is contrary to law (to be enforceable the contract must have a legal purpose)  - it its purpose is to breach a provision of the Trade Practices Act or any other law the contract will be void. This is one of the very few situations where a contract cannot be enforced. The contact may only be discontinued or changed if both of the parties agree to the change.

Reference:
PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition 12.1.1.5
Wednesday:
   


You have to decide on the best procurement option for the development of a new software module valued at $2million.  Your options are either to use internal resources from the organisation or subcontract the work externally.  After allowing for all of the expected costs, the remaining profit from each of the options and the probability of it occurring is shown in the table above.  Which option offers the best potential return?

A.  Use internal resources.
B.  Sub-contract the development.
C.  Hire new staff.
D.  Train existing staff.
Best Answer : D
   
Reason : 
The decision is between internal resources and sub-contract.
The expected monetary value of sub-contracting is: (320 x 0.55) + (400 x 0.45) = $356K.
The expected monetary value of using internal staff is: (100 x 0.30) + (450 x 0.45) + (300 x 0.25) = $307.5K.
Whilst training staff offers the best potential profit, there is only a 45% chance of this option being possible if the decision is made to use internal resources for the development.  The lower profits from the other options makes this choice more risky than sub-contracting by a factor of almost $50K.  And ‘Hire new staff’ and ‘train existing staff’ are not options. 

Reference:
PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition 11.4.2.2
Tuesday:
 

You are participating in a project selection process. Based on the benefit cost ratio (BCR) values listed, which project offers the best value to the business:

A.  1.0
B.  1.3
C.  0.98
D.  1.25
Best Answer : B
   
Reason :

BCR is calculated by dividing the expected benefits by the estimated costs for the project. Values greater than 1.0 indicate the benefits are greater than the costs.  The higher the ratio, the greater the expected profit. BCR may be a factor used in the project selection processes (Portfolio Management).

Reference:
PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition 1.4.2 & Standard for Portfolio Management 5.3.2.3


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Additional Information:
   
Why train with Mosaic:
  • Decades of experience managing major projects in the 'real world'. We bring this internationally recognised experience into our training courses.
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Your Trainers
We run our courses, ourselves
In a typical PMP or CAPM course, Lynda will teach the 'soft skills' of communication and stakeholder management, Patrick will teach the 'hard skills' of scope, time and cost, and we share the rest.
 
Dr Lynda Bourne Dr. Lynda Bourne DPM, PMP, FACS, FAIM.
Lynda is an internationally recognised consultant, author and trainer. She has extensive experience as a Senior Project Manager and Project Director specialising in delivery of IT and other business-related projects and has worked as a Senior IT Project Management Consultant.  

Lynda is Director of Professional Services with Mosaic Project Services and the Managing Director and CEO of Stakeholder Management Pty Ltd.
 
See Lynda's CV
   
Follow Lynda: 
Patrick Weaver Patrick Weaver PMP, PMI-SP, FAICD, FCIOB.
Patrick has over thirty five years experience in the Project Management industry and has been a PMI member for over 25 years.  His career initially focused on the planning and managing of construction and engineering projects. The last twenty years has seen his businesses and experience expand to include the successful implementation of project controls in a range of government, defence, ICT and business environments and the development of a range of sophisticated training options.

Patrick is
the Managing Director of Mosaic Project Services Pty Ltd.
   


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