The arts and science of Project Management in methodologies of Predictive , Agile and Hybrid is among and beyond
5 Process Groups
10 Knowledge areas
Processes have inputs , Outputs and Tools and Techniques.
I will only speak about Tools and Techniques in this Blog.
Together these are termed as ITTO. My this blog will only speak about Tools and Techniques.
PMP aspirants in nascent stage of Project Management, struggle with Tools & Techniques. Over top of T&T’s adding Inputs & Outputs becomes overwhelming. So it is good idea to release Lessons learned in iterations. My next Blog will talk about other two vital parameters of Project management processes that are Inputs and outputs.
Resources to refer
PMBOK guide explicitly lists all Tools and Techniques from page 685 to 694 in categorized format over all ten knowledge areas.
Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep 10th addition, on page 16 over Topic Recurring Themes-PMI-isms to know for the PMP Exam ,at the very third point from start, mentions
“The Project manager understands the value of the Tools & Techniques of Project Management and knows how to adopt them to a large project.”
Also pages 33,34 in PMP Exam Prep 10th Addition elaborate Tools and Techniques as
“There are over 100 Tools and Techniques in the PMBOK Guide and there are many more that we can discuss in this book. The Key is to use the right ones, for the right purpose, under the right conditions. It is also important to realize Tools & Techniques can have multiple application throughout the Project management process.”
The Prepcast in one of their article with heading as PMP ITTO complete Guide ,Refer Inputs , Tools & Techniques and Outputs as foundation and infrastructure of Project management processes.
Tools: As something tangible, such as template and software program used in performing an activity to produce a product or result. Techniques: A defined systematic procedure employed by a human resource to perform an activity to produce a product or result or deliver a service and may employ one of more tools.
The premium subscribers of Prepcast. get five Exam papers to practice. PMP Exam 5 is especially devoted to Tools & Techniques entirely, it has 220 questions. Even categorized as optional to attempt, it worth to practice.
What are the Best Practices for enhancing your knowledge on T&T
Studying and learning what each tool and what each technique is about, why they are needed in the processes is the way to get yourself familiarized with Tools & Techniques of Project Management. If you as a PMP aspirant attempt to memorize these T&T’s, you will just end up baffling on your contextualization.
So, I am sharing my lessons learned with you.
- Watch out for pattern and Brainstorm.
- Distinguish between categories to Analyse.
- Scribble to brain write for Representation.
Watch Out for pattern
Each of the 49 Processes that are listed in the PMBOK guide, are represented through three columns, the extreme Left column demonstrate Inputs , extreme Right demonstrate outputs and the middle one signifies Tools and Techniques.
In most processes the very first Tool & Technique listed is EXPERT JUDGEMENT.
Obvious you will perceive this Pattern easy. As a Tool & Technique, Expert judgement comes foremost for most processes in Project Management.
But think ahead than your linear set of analogies to brainstorm in yourself “How many processes do not have Expert Judgement as Tool and Technique. Go ahead create a mind map as below
Distinguish Between categories to Analyse
Tools and Techniques are categorized as 4D, 1C, 1I&TS , 1U
- Data Gathering that has 9 T&T’s.
- Data Analysis that has 27 T&T’s.
- Data Representation that has 16 T&T’s.
- Decision Making that has 3 T&T’s.
- Communications Tools & Techniques that has 4 T&T’s.
- Interpersonal & Team Skills, this has 17 T&T’s.
- Un-grouped Tools & Techniques, these are 59 in total.
All 132 Tools and Techniques that are listed in PMBOK sixth addition are under heading Appendix X6 Tools & Techniques. Pages from 685 to 694 represent T&T’s in slots of 10 columns.
Columns represent knowledge areas.
PMBOK explicitly states not just 132 are the only Tools & Techniques that can be used to manage the project. These 132 represent those T&T’s that are considered to be a good practice on most projects most of the time.
Scribble to Brain write for Representation
There are Tools & Techniques which are unique for specific processes such as Communication Competence, Decision making, Pre-assignment, Schedule Network Diagram, Source Selection analysis…. etc.
There are also Tools and Techniques that are used across many processes like Exert Judgement, PMIS, Meetings, Trend analysis…..etc.
Brain-writing helps the PMP aspirant to gain thoroughness about how and why these T&T’s are utilized. Among all 49 Processes in which process a specific T&T’s among 132 are good to employ.
This practice helps to judge the most correct option among the 4 choices listed for a PMP question, in 1.2 secs in real PMP Exam.
Tools and Techniques are definitely wide. Work on all 49 processes, according to Process Groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Planning) consistently keep analyzing to articulate their comprehension.
This is the only way that can help a PMP aspirant to make good judgment about PMP Exam questions.
For Example refer T&T’s of Process 4.1 & 4.2. The only distinction is CHECKLIST
Keep contextualizing, as PMP exam tests your comprehension not memory.
Pass your PMP
Focus, Slow down and think it through