To ensure success, you must be familiar with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) and PMP exam content, as well as take as many PMP practice exams as possible. We’ve included some sample PMP questions below to help you figure out where you stand!
1. The executive steering committee of your organization is in the process of selecting projects for the next fiscal year. During that meeting you are called in to explain to the committee various approaches to selecting projects. One committee member prefers to use a method that shows the series of the sum of discounted cash flows, given a specific interest rate. Which of the following methods will you use?
A. Net present value
B. Present value
C. Benefit-cost ratio
D. Multi-objective programming
Explanation: Net present value shows the series of the sum of discounted cash flows offset by project costs. Present value explains what the value of a future cash flow would be in terms of the value of that money today. Benefit cost ratio is derived from a benefit cost analysis, wherein the benefits of the project are divided by the cost to complete the project. Multi-objective programming is a mathematical approach using algorithms, or a specific set of steps to solve a particular problem.
2. As a project manager for the development of a new internal payroll system, you are meeting with the Chief Financial Officer, who is also the project sponsor, to gather requirements. In your meeting she states that she requires the new payroll system to be completed and internally tested no later than March 30, so the new system can go live at the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1st. Which of the following is the best description for this date and where will it be documented?
A. This is a requirement and will be documented in the requirements documentation
B. This is a deadline and will be documented in the project charter
C. This is a constraint and will be documented in the constraints log
D. This is a project requirement and is documented in the requirements documentation
Explanation: This is an example of a project constraint. A constraint is any limitation or restriction that limits the team’s options. Answers A & D are incorrect because dates are always considered a constraint, never a requirement. The first part of answer B may be true, the project charter has already been written and it is rarely, if ever, updated.
3. You are the project manager for a Silicon Valley-based hard drive manufacturer. In your newest project, the allowable deviation for hard drive access time is ±100 milliseconds. One of your vendors is producing the key component that affects access time. The vendor delivers documents with the latest shipment that states the components are within specifications. Your team installs a random number of these components and conducts a quality test. The aggregate deviation found by your team is 105 milliseconds, but the team says this variation from the permissible deviation is negligible. As the project manager, your best choice in this situation is which of the following?
A. Allow the product since the vendor’s company has provided the product on time
B. Allow the product this time, but asked the vendor for an explanation
C. Reject the product and insist the vendor provide the product within the allowable deviation
D. Document the low level of quality, allow the product to continue and work with the vendor to find a solution
Explanation: Answer A is incorrect because simply delivering the product on time is no reason to ignore a product’s low level of quality. Answer B and D are incorrect because the product does not meet the allowable limits of deviation. In a contract situation, the product must be delivered as stated in the scope of work and this includes tolerances of quality metrics.
4. As a project manager for a multi-family housing construction project, you decided to phase your project for ease of management. In your discussions with your sponsor and potential vendors, you are taking suggestions for names of the phases so everyone can understand the project. You have whittled the list down to the following four suggestions. Which one of the following would you not choose?
A. Design, Site development, Infrastructure, Structure construction
B. Engineering, Site, Sewer, Water, Roads, Buildings
C. Approval, Design, Site construction, Building construction
D. Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring And Controlling, Closing
Explanation: Project phases can be named anything that the performing organization and the stakeholders understand or desire. Answer D is a list of the names of the process groups in project management and therefore would probably not be used.
5. You have just been assigned and are taking over a project in the middle of planning. You just finished reviewing all of the documentation available to you. You determine that the previous project manager spent more time becoming friends with the team members rather than planning the project. This resulted in great teamwork within the team, but key pieces of information such as the WBS are missing. The project sponsor tells you that planning for this project must be completed in the next few days. As the project manager which of the following items should you do first?
A. Review the project charter to determine the project deadline
B. Go to the project sponsor and ask for more time to plan the project
C. Have the team begin work on the missing information
D. Ask the previous project manager to stay on for a few days to help you understand the team dynamics
Explanation: In this situation having the team began work on the missing information is the first thing you should do. The question states you have reviewed all of the documentation available to you, so you would have already determine the project deadline if it existed as mentioned in answer A. You do not have enough information to know whether or not you need more time, so answer B is also incorrect. Since the sponsors told you that the project planning must be completed within the next few days, having the previous project manager stay on to help you understand team dynamics would not be your first choice since the team is already working well together.
6. You’re working as a project manager for an aircraft parts company. Your team is determining the possible risks in a project for a new type of airline seat. They have identified a possible threat that the new airline seat may not be approved by the FAA, and it has a 50-50 chance this threat will occur. If it does, the cost impact to the project will be $100,000. The team is also identified a threat of a change in technology for the audio systems of the new seat. This threat has a 20% chance of occurring and would cost the project $100,000. What is the total EMV of these threats?
Explanation: When calculating expected monetary value (EMV), the formula is EMV = probability X impact. In this case there is a 50% chance the FAA will not approve the seat, therefore the EMV of this threat is $50,000. The second threat has a 20% chance of occurrence and costs $100,000, so the EMV is $20,000. Adding both of these threats together equals $70,000.
7. In your project you believe the current variances occurred because of extraneous factors, and you do not expect similar variances to occur in future. The information you have is BAC = $300,000; AC = $100,000; EV = $150,000; CPI = 1.5. What is the estimate at completion (EAC) for your project?
Explanation: The formula for EAC when variances are atypical and you do not expect the variances to continue in the future is, AC + (BAC – EV). So plugging in the numbers we have $100,000 + ($300,000 – $150,000) = $250,000
8. You are the project manager for the construction of a new condominium project. During the course of the project, the plumbing and electrical subcontractors are continually having disagreements, causing a delay in the project schedule which is upsetting the customer. There is no resolution of this disagreement in the foreseeable future. You have a meeting with the two subcontractors and everybody agrees on four options to reach a final resolution. Of these four options which is the best?
A. Have the electrical and plumbing contractors work different shifts which will actually result in a shorter schedule, but the customer will not be able to talk to both contractors at the same time.
B. Have the electrical and plumbing contractors develop “rules of engagement” on the job site, which could cause further schedule delays but results in a complete understanding of what is expected of each of them. This course of action causes fewer disagreements and this is what the customer ultimately desires.
C. Have the electrical and plumbing contractors work out their differences on the job site.
D. Have the electrical and plumbing contractors sit with the customer and find out what they want.
Explanation: Resolve conflict, whenever possible, in favor of the customer. Answers A and C would not have desirable outcomes. As the project manager you are responsible for resolving any conflict the team members are not able to resolve themselves, so answer D is not something that we would do.
9. You are the project manager in a pharmaceutical company which has a project-oriented organizational structure and your project is nearing completion. You discover your team members are more interested in finding new projects or positions within the company, rather than completing the project work. Their motivation is based upon:
Explanation: According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, security of employment falls under the category of the safety needs.
10. You recently took over the management of a FDA approved drug delivery project. The project is in the executing phase and the previous project manager has left the organization. You realize the project is seriously behind schedule and over budget. After talking with the project team, and discussions with the project management team regarding the issues, you still have not been able to discern the reason for the schedule variances. The team is working well, and from what you can see, should be on schedule and within budget. As you begin to review the progress that has been made so far, and compare that to the schedule, you see that certain tasks have taken significantly longer and incurred more costs than originally estimated. The research and development work was estimated to take one month, but actually took two months and cost 30% more than anticipated. Development of the initial batch was scheduled to take two months, but actually took three and cost more than planned. Clinical trials also took longer than expected. Your analysis also indicates that the period during which these activities were being carried out had much more FDA oversight than expected. Based on this information, what would be the most likely reason for the variances in the project schedule and budget?
A. Integrated change control was not employed nor being performed
B. The previous project manager was not ensuring that scope validation was being done
C. The scope was not well defined; therefore, the estimates were not accurate
D. Assumptions documented during planning were not validated
Explanation: Nothing in the question mentions the information in answers A, B, or C. During the planning process, assumptions should be well documented and validated throughout the project lifecycle. In this case the assumption that FDA oversight would be normal was not validated throughout the project.
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