This PMP sample questions has been provided to help you study more effectively and familiarize yourself with the actual test format. It contains ten difficult practice questions, each with a detailed explanation. With our free PMP practice test, you can start preparing for the exam right away.
1. You are managing a large database project with more than 100 team members. Several of the experts on your team are nationally known and recognized for their work on such projects. Your team members are both pleased and concerned to be working with such knowledgeable individuals. Your team members in their own right, are very experienced as well but are concerned about sharing their thoughts in front of the nationally known experts. As the project manager which of the following is most important?
A. Create an atmosphere of trust so all team members are motivated to share their knowledge
B. Getting the team to understand the nationally known experts have the final say
C. Contact the customer and let them know what great experts you have
D. Allowing the team time to get to know one another to feel comfortable enough to share their knowledge
Reason: This question concerns knowledge management. Per the PMBOK Guide, the most important part of knowledge management is creating an atmosphere where people are motivated to share their knowledge with others.
2. You are the project manager for a presidential primary campaign. Even though all members of the team have the same philosophical approach and support the candidate, there is conflict between the communications staff and the policy staff. You did not choose the members that fill the leadership position in each of these areas – these were chosen by the candidate. After a few months on the campaign trail, you have made specific observations about each of the leaders in these areas. Through discussion with each person individually you discovered that each one has vastly different reasons for being there. The communications leader is there because they believed in and want to help get the candidate’s message across to help people recover from the recent recession. The leader of the policy staff is there because they want a high-ranking, high-paying position in the US Government once the candidate is elected president. Which of the following theories applies in this situation?
A. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
B. McClellan’s Theory of Needs
C. Sigmund Freud’s Theory of Needs
D. The Expectancy Theory
Reason: As a project manager, knowing the motivation people have were doing what they do can help you in managing them. In this situation both leaders are driven by the need for power as described in McClellan’s Theory of Needs. The communications leader is driven by the need for power but it is socially based, in other words they want to be in charge to help others. The policy staff leader is also driven by the need for power, but you will notice that they are only interested in what they will receive personally. Answer A explains that needs are usually met in a specific order. Answer C is a distractor answer as there is no such thing. Answer D is a theory that states that employees are expecting to be rewarded for their work and they will remain motivated as long as the rewards meet their expectations.
3. During project human resource planning, you identified all resources required to complete the project. You are now getting those resources confirmed when you discover that the engineering department can only provide your project with two engineers, instead of the four you planned. Which of the following is an appropriate first response?
A. Tell the engineering department head that if they do not give you all the resources, you will be forced to go to their boss.
B. Explain to the engineering department head the impacts on the project if they assign only two engineers.
C. Contact the project sponsor, let them know of the situation and tell the sponsor that you will continue work on the project after they straighten out the problem.
D. Re-plan the project with two engineers.
Reason: You should first try to explain the impacts to the engineering department head. They may not be aware of the objectives, constraints and importance of the project.
4. You and the project management team are in the process of identifying stakeholders prior to project planning. As a team, it is decided that stakeholder traits, such as their ability to impose their will on the project and their need for immediate attention will be collected, quantified and graphed. Which of the following tools will you use to display this information?
A. Power/Interest grid
B. Power/Influence grid
C. Power/Attention grid
D. Salience Model
Reason: During the identify stakeholders process the technique of stakeholder analysis is performed. One of the ways to classify stakeholders is through the use of a salience model, which looks at the power, urgency and legitimacy of each stakeholder. Answer C is a distractor answer. Answers A and B look only at the power and interest or the power and influence that a stakeholder has or can exert in the project.
5. During a civil engineering project, one of your team members comes to you and asks you if they can use an unconventional way of estimating. As the project manager, you are somewhat familiar with the application area but you are not an expert. You ask the team member to explain the benefits and the risks of this estimating approach. On the surface this, approach seems to result in more accurate information and takes less than one third of the total time of normal estimating methods in your organization. Prior to giving final approval to the team member to use this new way of estimating what should the project manager do?
A. Discuss the benefits and risks of this estimating approach with the project sponsor
B. Discuss the benefits and risks of this estimating approach with an experienced engineer
C. Discuss the benefits and risks of this estimating approach with the rest of the team
D. Discuss the benefits and risks of this estimating approach with the project customer
Reason: In this scenario you are familiar with the application area but you are not an expert. While you may actually do everything in answers A, C, and D eventually, the first thing the project manager should do is discuss the benefits and the risk of this estimating approach with an experienced engineer, even if the team member requesting to use the unconventional way of estimating is an experienced engineer themselves. As project managers we are expected to gain confirmation or validation of information in which we are not experts.
6. You are the project manager for a new floating bridge project across a lake. The HR department has determined that if the organization does not hire the engineer for the last year of the project, the company will spend $20,000 in overtime wages and benefits. You are asked by senior management to analyze the possible outcome of hiring a new engineer for the last year of the project, and make a decision based on all the probabilities. You have been told by the senior engineer that the probability the new engineer will be a top performer is 40%. The probability the engineer will be an average performer is 60%. The company will spend $5,000 just to hire the engineer. The engineer’s first years salary is estimated at $65,000. If they are a top performer, they will “earn” $65,000 for the project. If they are an average performer, they will “earn” only $35,000 for the project. Should you hire the engineer?
A. Yes, but only if they are a top performer
B. Yes, but only if they are an average performer
C. Yes, regardless of their performance level
Reason: This question is asking for a decision based on all possible outcomes and different probabilities related to those outcomes. This requires the use of a decision tree and expected monetary value (EMV), which is EMV = Probability X Net Impact. So first calculate net impact for a top performer. The net impact of the top performer is -$5,000. You arrive at this by taking the total the total you receive for the engineerâ€™s work in the last year and subtract the total cost of the engineer. In this case it would be $65,000 – $70,000 (65K salary and the 5K hiring cost). To get the EMV, multiply probability they will be a top performer of 40%, by net impact so .4 X -5000 = -2000. Next calculate net impact for an average performer. The net impact of the average performer is -$35,000. You arrive at this same way you did before. In this case it would be $35,000 – $70,000 = -35,000. To get the EMV, multiply the probability they will be an average performer of 60% by NET IMPACT, so .6 X -35,000 = -21,000. To get the total ENV for hiring, add the two previous numbers together -2,000 + -21,000 = -23,000. Compare this to the -20,000 we would spend for not hiring, and the answer would be D, do not hire. Answers A and B do not come into play because we are tasked with making a decision based on all the probabilities. At this point we do not know if the engineer will be a top performer or not and the only way to find out how they perform is to hire them.
7. The project manager of an international corporation is leading and directing a project team in the development of a component for a new product offering. The engineering division is a matrix organization, which part of the project manager’s team comes from, and has a firm policy of no salary bonuses for work done on projects. The success of this project, which has a firm timeline that is already been approved by senior management, is crucial to the success of the new product offering. The project manager has overheard conversations amongst the team members, expressing their displeasure at not being rewarded for their extra effort. What is the first thing the project manager should do?
A. The project manager should discuss this issue with only the disgruntled team members and explain the importance of this project to the success of the new product offering
B. The project manager should discuss this issue with the entire team and explain the importance of this project to the success of the new product offering
C. The project manager should reevaluate the current schedule and possibly negotiate a less aggressive schedule from the project sponsor
D. The project manager should discuss other possible rewards that could be given instead of salary bonuses with senior management
Reason: In this scenario, the project manager is faced with a constraint of no salary bonuses as a matter of company policy. Money is not the only possible reward to give to team members for their hard work on projects. Answers A and B do not actually deal with the problem and answer C goes against the information in the question about the firm timeline.
8. Your company is a nationally-recognized organization for getting projects done on time, on scope, and on budget. Your project is approximately 85% complete and you just finished the monthly status meeting with the customer. In that meeting the customer informed you that they have run out of money to pay for the rest of the project. What is the first thing you should do?
A. Stop all project work
B. Begin closing the project
C. Release the project team
D. Adjust the schedule by shifting work to later in the project to allow the customer to get the funds
Reason: In this scenario, the project manager is faced with an unexpected project closure. Answer A is incorrect because part of the â€œproject workâ€� is closing the project. Answer C and D simply postpone, rather than deal with the issue at hand.
9. Your organization has decided to do project management. You have been assigned as the lead project manager since you have your credential in project management. Upon discussing the company’s vision for performing project management, you develop most of the processes you are familiar to fit into their framework. Where do these processes reside?
A. Governance framework
B. Management framework
C. Project management information system
D. In the PMBOK® Guide
Reason: All policies, procedure, company rules, systems, norms and processes reside within the governance framework. The management framework contains all the authority to complete work, fair pair for work performed, etc. The project management information system is the systems that are used to integrate the outputs of the project management processes. The governance framework should be tailored to the needs of the organization and its structure.
10. You are a team member on a project that has a tight schedule. A fellow team member informs you that there is an issue on their activity and it cannot be started on the day it is scheduled to start. Another manager overhears this conversation and reports to senior management that the project will be late. Later you receive a copy of the project manager’s most recent status report that says “the project is still expected to be completed on time.” Which of the following reasons would serve as a basis for the project manager to make such a statement?
A. The activity in question had a mandatory dependency which allow the project manager to place it at any location in the project
B. The activity has free float and can be rescheduled later in its early-start-to-late-finish window
C. The activity is actually on the critical path that has to be done after another activity which has float
D. The activity is considered near-critical and it actually has less float then the length of the delay
Reason: Answer A is incorrect because a mandatory dependency is usually legally required or due to physical limitations, which does not allow the PM to place it anywhere in the schedule. Answer C is incorrect because if the activity was on the critical path, any delay in that activity would delay the project. Answer D is incorrect because a near critical activity has very little float, and the answer actually says that it has less float than the length of the delay, which would delay the project.
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