Monday, September 18, 2017

30 Free PMI-RMP Questions with Answers (Part - 1)

These questions are prepared  based on my understanding of Project Management Institute's (PMI®) Risk Management Professional (RMP®) examination. Feedback from many successful RMPs worldwide, have also helped to shape these questions. 

Many exam takers have informed that such questions made them prepare well for the RMP examination. In fact they say some of the questions are harder than the real exam. 

I believe if you can crack questions which are somewhat tougher, it will be relatively easy for you when you actually answer the questions during your examination. 

Out of 30 free question, in this article, 15 questions are given. I
n another article, you will have the next 15 questions. 

Question - 1: Which of the following statements is TRUE?
(A) High Risk proximity can increase the risk score, but low risk manageability will decrease the score.
(B) Low Risk proximity can decrease the risk score, but high risk manageability will increase the score.
(C) Low Risk proximity can decrease the risk score, but low risk manageability will decrease the score.
(D) High Risk proximity can increase the risk score, but high risk manageability will decrease the score.

Question - 2: For some of the risks which you have identified, you have a contingency plan. Also, you have triggers to invoke the contingency plans. In which process, do you create such triggers?
(A) Identify Risks.
(B) Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis.
(C) Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis.
(D) Plan Risk Responses.

Question 3: You are doing a risk planning for your project along with your team members. During this process, you decided to look at some of the project documents, while identifying the risks. You decided to look for assumptions. Which one of the following will give you the high-level assumptions taken for the project?
(A) Project charter
(B) Project schedule  
(C) Project baseline 
(D) Issue log

Question – 4: You have planned for the risks in your project by creating a risk management plan, which has the information about the probability and impact scales, the probability and impact matrix, the risk audit timings, among others. Next, you identified all possible risks with the help of stakeholders in your project. You have created the risk register, identified and assigned the possible owners for the risks and further elaborated on the risk breakdown structure. What should you do NEXT? 
(A) Analyze the risks qualitatively to find the probability and impact of each risk. 
(B) Find the potential responses, if any, for each risk. 
(C) Find the possible risk responses for each risk. 
(D) Analyze the risks quantitatively to quantity with respect to schedule and cost impact for each risk. 

Question – 5: You are working on a multi-million-dollar contract event management. It will take 4 months to complete. During one of the planning processes, you found out that a significant threat exists to your project from one of the contractors, who may go bankrupt. If that situation arrives, the project will be delayed by a month. Considering it, you decide to be in touch with another contractor who can provide the needed material. 
This is an example of:
(A) Risk Share. 
(B) Risk Transfer.
(C) Risk Acceptance.
(D) Risk Mitigation.

Question - 6: Following is a probability distribution for an activity.
From this, we can infer:
(A) The activity at best can be completed in 5 days, and at worst can be completed in 11 days.
(B) The activity at best can be completed in 4 days, and at worst can be completed in 12 days, but most likely to be completed in 6 days with 100% probability. 
(C) The activity at best can be completed in 6 days with around 30% probability, and at worst can be completed in 12 days with around 30% probability, but most likely to be completed in 6 days with 100% probability. 
(D) The activity at best can be completed in 6 days with around 30% probability, and at worst can be completed in 10 days with around 30% probability, but most likely to be completed in 8 days with 80% probability.

Question – 7: A Monte Carlo analysis has been conducted on a project, which shows below cumulative S-curve. The chances of the project meeting the budget of $75,000 is 30% (shown in red arrows). What is the contingency reserve needed if the chance has to be 60% (shown in yellow arrows)? 

(A) 0% 
(B) 10%
(C) 4.9%
(D) 5.1%

. . .
. . .

The question set is available in the embedded PDF below. 

For the complete question and answer set, send a mail (from your GMail id) to With it, you will also be subscribed to ManagementYogi’s mailing list.

Stay tuned for the next part of this series, which will have the next 15 questions.  

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

PMP Protein: Seven Basic Tools of Quality

By Sathish Babu, PMP

Every organization uses various tools and techniques for quality management on a project. As a project manager, you should know, identify and pick the correct tools and techniques to manage and control the quality of your project. 

One of the important set of tools used in organization is “7 basic quality tools”. These tools can provide much information about problems in the project and hence assist to derive solutions for the same. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them to see what makes them unique.

1. Cause and Effect Diagram
Description: Also, known as Ishikawa or fishbone diagrams. It is a graphical tool that helps identify, sort and display possible causes of a problem or quality characteristics. It is frequently used to find the root causes of the defects.

  • Helps determine root causes.
  • Encourages group participation.
  • Uses an orderly, easy-to-read format.
  • Indicates possible causes of variation.
  • Increases process knowledge.
  • Identifies areas for collecting data.



2. Flow Chart
Definition: It is a diagram that uses graphic symbols to depict the nature and flow of the steps in a process. It can be used to better understand a process in order to determine which steps add value to the process and which ones don’t (and which therefore can be eliminated).

  • Promote process understanding.
  • Provide tool for training.
  • Identify problem areas and improvement opportunities.
  • Helps for decision-making processes.



3. Check Sheet
Definition: Also, known as Tally Sheet or Checklist is a used for gathering and organizing data. It also helps to keep track of data such as quality problems uncovered during inspections.

  • Records data for further analysis.
  • Provide historical record.
  • Introduce Data Collection methods (where, what, who and how).


4. Histogram
Definition: It is a bar chart that shows the distribution of data and a snapshot of data taken from a process. If the histogram is normal, the graph takes the shape of a bell curve. If it is not normal, it may take different shapes based on the condition of the distribution.

  • Summarize large data sets graphically.
  • Compare measurements to specifications.
  • Communicate information to the team.
  • Assist in decision making.

If a project had 125 defects, you might think that they all were critical. So, looking at the chart like the one below would help you to get some perspective on the data.

5. Pareto Chart
Definition: It is a bar chart arranged in descending order of height from left to right. Bars on left relatively more important than those on the right. Joseph Juran adapted Vilfredo Pareto’s 80/20  rule to create the 80/20 principle which states that 80% of the defects are usually caused by 20% of the root causes. 

  • Breaks big problem into smaller pieces.
  • Identifies most significant factors.
  • Shows where to focus efforts.
  • Allows better use of limited resources.
  • Help focus attention on the most critical issues.
  • Prioritize potential “causes” of the problems.
  • Separate the critical few from the uncritical many.


6. Control Chart
Definition: It is used determine if the results of a process are within acceptable limits or not. These limits, i.e., upper control limit (UCL) and lower control limit (LCL), are decided by project manager and other stakeholders. If the variables are within the limit, the project will be treated ‘in control’. There is a line in the middle of the control chart which is known as ‘mean’. It represents the middle of the range of an acceptable variation. If seven variables are found in one side of the mean, but within the control limits, it is known as rule of seven and the project will be treated as ‘out of control’. There is also upper and lower specification limit (USL and LSL) which are decided by the end customers.

These charts allow you to identify the following conditions related to the process that has been monitored,
  • Stability of the process.
  • Predictability of the process.
  • Identification of common cause of variation.
  • Special conditions where the monitoring party needs to react.

Example (reference source - “I Want To Be A PMP” book):

7. Scatter Diagram
Definition: It is used to study and identify the possible relationship between the changes observed in two different sets of variables. A regression line (or trend line) is calculated to show the correlation of variables, and can then be used for estimation and forecasting. 

Given below are the steps to construct a Scatter diagram.
  • Collect two pieces of data and create a summary table of the data.
  • Draw a diagram labeling the horizontal and vertical axes.
  • It is common that the “cause” variable be labeled on the X axis and the “effect” variable be labeled on the Y axis.
  • Plot the data pairs on the diagram.
  • Interpret the scatter diagram for direction and strength.


1.Which of the following tools and techniques is used to show which categories of defects are most common?
A. Control charts
B. Pareto charts
C. Checksheets
D. Flowcharts 

2. Which tool and technique is used to analyze trends?
A. Scatter chart
B. Run chart
C. Checklist
D. Flowchart

3. Which Control Quality tool is used to analyze processes by visualizing them graphically?
A. Checklists
B. Flowcharts
C. Pareto charts
D. Histograms

4. Which of the following is associated with the 80/20 rule?
A. Scatter charts
B. Histogram
C. Control chart
D. Pareto chart

1.B, 2.B, 3.B, 4.D

1. “ Seven Basic Quality Tools” from PMBOK Guide 5th Edition.
2. “8.3: The 7 Basic Tools of Quality” from Book - I Want To Be A PMP by Satya Narayan Dash.
3. “Chapter - 8. Quality Management” from Head First PMP 3rd Edition.
4. “Chapter - 8. Quality Management” from PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy

Written by Sathish Babu:
Sathish Babu is working for Motorola Solutions as a Project Lead and having 11+ years of experience in Product, Project Management and Service Delivery in Telecom domain.

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Book Excerpt from "I Want To Be An ACP" - Fundamentals of Value-Driven Delivery

This article is an excerpt from the Book - I Want To Be An ACP

It is from Chapter – 3: Value-Driven Delivery. 

For the partial index of the book, refer: Book Index - I Want To Be An ACP.


Fundamentals of Value-Driven Delivery

“Value-driven delivery” is perhaps the most important domain in PMI-ACP certification. This is what Agile development is primarily focused on – delivering value to the customer, either external or internal. No wonder, maximum number of questions comes from this domain. In fact, the first principle in the Agile Manifesto says this:

“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”

The focus in Agile is delivery of valuable software or simply delivering business value. As a matter of fact, in agile, we are not only focused on value, but on delivery of highest value first (and early) to the customer. 

But, how do you define what gives value? How do you find out which one of the items in the backlog will give the highest value? Or in other words, how do you prioritize among the items giving the most value? In this chapter – Value-Driven Delivery, we will see the answers to these questions.  

This domain’s key tenet is this:
“Provide value based delivery in an incremental way based on priorities. Take feedback and incorporate them for future increments.” 

As per PMI’s Exam Content Outline, “Value-Driven Delivery” domain has 4 sub-domains with related tasks.

. . . 
. . . 

3.2 Business Value 

When we talk of value in any organization, we are primarily talking of business value. But why value is important in Agile? Let’s see. Organizations can be broadly divided into 3 types [9]:
  • Profit organization: Organization that yields a return for its owners.
  • Nonprofit organization: Organization that uses surplus to help pursue its goal.
  • Government organization: Organization under government ownership.
While every organization may not be business or profit driven, every organization conducts business related activities. They conduct these activities to attain business value. In other words, if there is no value from the activities planned to be taken, organizations – for profit or not for profit or government owned - won’t be doing them. 

As defined by PMI [9], “Business value is the entire value of the business. It is the total sum of all tangible and intangible elements.” Business value can be short, medium or long term depending on the organization. And business values are mostly expressed in financial terms for an organization. 

3.3 Features to Benefits to Value 

But, where does value come from? Value comes from benefits, which are delivered by projects inside a program or a portfolio. Value comes up when the benefits are realized in the hands of the customer(s).

PMI [9] defines benefit as: “A benefit is an outcome of actions, behaviors, products or services that provides utility, value or a positive change to the intended recipients, which can be the sponsoring organization as well as the intended stakeholders.” 

Simply put, benefit provides value to the intended stakeholders. Benefits are typically measurable improvements in financial terms, but they can also be intangible or in non-financial terms. Examples of benefits are:
  • A 25% increase in revenue or gross margin (financial)
  • A 30% increase in sales (financial)
  • Improved employee morale (non-financial)
  • Faster response time (non-financial)
The projects undertaken by the organization give outputs, not benefits. The outputs from projects undertaken by the organization, are converted to outcomes, which are then translated to benefits. 

Let us take an example. Your project is building a smart phone; hence the output is the “smart phone”, i.e., what product will be delivered by the project? Outcomes tells about the features, i.e., what users can do better with the product created? In this case, with the help of the smart phone, the outcomes are - communication is better and quicker, can access social media round the clock and so on. Then what are the benefits? Benefits are mostly noted in measurable improvements – so in this case by phone we have “response time is reduced to zero” or “communication cost reduce by 50% over landlines” and so on.

So, to sum-up, here is what we get.
  • Outputs: Products that the user will use.
  • Outcomes: Things that the users do differently or better.
  • Benefits: The measurable (most of the time) improvements.Benefits can be tangible or intangible, qualifiable or quantifiable, financial or non-financial.
  • Value: Value is created when benefits are realized in the hands of customer(s). 
But here we are talking of value in Agile mode. How does it happen here? Well, agile development is mainly focused on deliverable valuable software, which happens primarily via working software. In fact, one of the 4 core values per Agile Manifesto is: “Working software or product over comprehensive documentation”. 

And this value is directly complemented by many principles out of 12 principles such as:
  • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  • Working software is the primary measure of progress.

As noted before only working software gives value to the customer. In Agile mode, this  happens early, frequently and in an incremental way. That differentiates it from predictive mode of development. 

Alright! So, we need value and value comes from benefit. But how do outputs get converted to outcomes? Outcomes are noted in features of a product. In every product, we talk in terms of features – which are actually requirements, functional or non-functional. Features are part of the Product Backlog (PB) and they are called as Product Backlog Items (PBIs). PB is a live log of requirements as we saw in previous chapter for many Agile methodologies such as Scrum, XP. In Agile, we do not have exhaustive requirement documents or design documents – rather one document called Product Backlog. 

These features or requirements are written in the form of user stories. 

Let's talk of about User Story briefly here. Because, it is User Story, which actually talks of business value.

Introduction to Use Story

A User Story describes the functionality that will be valuable to either a user or purchaser of a system or software. User Stories are written on cards. The cards are typically 4-inch by 6-inch, in size. In real time, they will be in the form of sticky notes or physical paper cards.

The user stories are written in this format: 
“As a <role>, I want <need>, so that <business value>”.

. . . 
. . . 


This section is further explained in the book with: 
  • More on User Story, which actually talks of benefit/value.
  • How does feature translate to benefit and finally to value?
  • How will you calculate the financial value of these features?

It is further followed by Accounting Principles, Prioritization, Relative Priorization, Non-Functional Requirements (NFRs) and Priorization of NFRs, Incremental Delivery, Backlog Refinement (grooming), Considering Risks in Value-driven Delivery, Visualization of Value Delivery, Delivering Value with Quality, Agile Contracting, Agile Compliance, Agile PMO. These can be seen from the index of the book.

Other Excerpts from Book:
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