CAPM Practice Test

Rizwan’s project is behind schedule but it needs to be delivered by a certain date. She requests additional resources to complete the project faster. Which of the following terms is this an example of?

Answer: B - The definition of crashing means adding more resources to a project in an attempt to complete the project sooner. Key Takeaway: Crashing typically helps your Schedule Performance Index (SPI), but will badly hurt your Cost Performance Index (CPI). The return is rarely cost effective, as it usually means bringing in new resources who have to get up to speed or paying people to work overtime. Crashing is most effective when you have resources familiar with the project who can work more. For instance, if you have a part-time contractor who can go full-time for a few weeks, this can be an effective way to crash in a cost-effective manner. As such, keep resources with capacity can be an effective risk management technique.

Paralingual communication pertains to the way that the pitch and tone of a voice convey meaning.

Answer: True. Paralingual communication specifically refers to the part of communication that is encoded in the pitch and tone of a voice. Key Takeaway: Anyone who has a passive aggressive co-worker will be familiar with the idea that much of the meaning of words lies in the way you say them. Be wary of team members who do not seem to understand this, either in their own communication style or the way that they interpret others. This can be an instant red flag for someone who needs to be managed tightly.

Calvin Butterball is working as a Project Manager at the Half-Baked Ham Company. One day, he realizes that his last status report to the project’s stakeholders contains a serious mistake. According to the Code of Professional Conduct, what concept best represents the situation at hand, and what should Calvin do?

Answer: D - According to the Code of Professional Conduct, project managers should present the project truthfully and accurately to its stakeholders. Mistakes do happen, but pretending they don't happen is going against the Code of Professional Conduct, which specifies that Project Managers need to be truthful, even about errors. Putting the project’s needs before your own is something project managers should practice; however, by not addressing the mistake, Calvin would be dishonest about the project's status. Key Take Away: Project managers are obligated to fully disclose any errors affecting the project. Saving face should not take precedent. Everyone makes honest mistakes, and taking accountability is usually appreciated and treated with respect.

Caroline is managing a project at The Forrester Company. In the project charter she helped draft, it’s noted that Systems A and B are assumed to be the only systems impacted; however, it comes to light several weeks later that System C is also impacted. Which statement is correct about this particular situation?

Answer: c - In this case though we might want to pick “Start from scratch,” the correct answer is that both the constraints and assumptions will need to be revisited and the project plan amended to fit the new requirements. Key Take Away: In complex, large-scale projects, highly-effective Project Managers, even if they are strapped for time and begging for more time in a day to get things done, take time out to revisit requirements periodically to be sure nothing has changed or been overlooked. This is key to effectively manage risk. The earlier adjustments are made, the easier changes are. Jay Forrester at MIT created system dynamics, which deals with the simulation of interactions between objects in dynamic systems. We named the company in this question in tribute to him, and suggest that it would be a worthwhile experience to learn some system dynamics if your busy schedule permits.

David was in the middle of his procurement management process when he realized he was missing organizational process assets. Which is an example of an organizational process asset?

Answer: D - Rick was missing lessons learned from prior projects. Organizational process assets are processes, documents and information from other projects that can aid in future projects. Other examples of organizational assets are existing organization procedures and contracts templates (or past contracts). Risk register, current contracts and the project scope statement are all additional items needed in the procurement management process but are not part of this asset group. Key Take Away: Project Managers should realize the benefit of organizational assets and fold them into their process more; that is, if they can find them. They are often poorly maintained and hard to find!

Which of the following is not recommended as it tends to take the focus off of meeting the client’s intended requirements?

Answer: A - Gold plating is adding extra features to a product in order to deliver more than what was expected to a client. Given that a majority of projects are completed without meeting their initial requirements, gold plating is discouraged as a form of client service. Just in time refers to a money saving method used by companies to deliver goods as they are needed by clients. Prevention over inspection supports the notion that quality must be maintained through regular checkups during production, and not just at the end of the process. Continuous improvement refers to companies making small changes to their processes to better workflow and increase efficiency. Key Take Away: Although gold plating is discouraged here with respect to delivering more features, it can be “replaced” with a superb client experience - such as delivering a high-quality product and utilizing effective, timely communication. If there is surplus of time to be deployed after all requirements have been met, then the project sponsors should decide how to deploy it. Suggest features that you might gold-plate to your project sponsor as something they can elect to include, but make them aware of the costs of doing so.

What is true of corrective action?

Answer: C - A corrective action is an action to bring project performance in line with what has been planned. Key Takeaway: Monitor closely throughout the project and take any corrective actions as soon as possible.

True or false: Project manager alone creates The WBS.

Answer: False - the WBS is created by the project manager with the team. Key Takeaway: We want to drive home the point that the WBS is created with the assistance of all the team members who are relevant in the planning process.

What is mutual exclusivity?

Answer: A - Mutual exclusivity means that if one event occurs, the other cannot. It is an important statistical term to know in quality management. Key Takeaway: Many key probability calculations will require you to recognize that events are mutually exclusive. If you already know this, we apologize. We found that a lot of people have forgotten the term since their high school stats class.

Dave, the Project Manager has just recently received the Statement of Work he was awaiting from Bill. Which best describes Bill’s role in the project?

Answer: c - Statements of work typically originate from the Sponsor, not from a Team Member, Stakeholder or Functional Manager. Key Take Away: In most organizations, the project manager, or another team member, may be enlisted to fill out the Statement of Work paperwork based on what their knowledge of the sponsor’s requirements is. Regardless, the sponsor should review and sign-off on the Statement of Work.

True or False: A work authorization system is always required by PMI standards.

True or false: According to the PMBOK, legitimate power is always the best way to get someone to do some work .

Answer: False. It really depends on the situation. We want to emphasize that part of being the project manager is using influence in intelligent ways. Key Takeaway: Often expert power is the most effective. If people respect you and believe you know what you are talking about, you may be able to get people to do things without ever exercising formal power.

Patrick, a Project Manager at the Ponzi Financial Services firm, is staffed on a key strategic project and is privy to the firm’s client information. His manager Bernie has asked him to keep the information confidential. What would be considered an inappropriate use of Patrick’s access to information according to the Code?

Answer: A - According to the Code, Project Managers should be careful in safeguarding confidential information and should not share confidential client information with anyone outside of the project team. Discussing portions of client information as it pertains to the project is permissible with other stakeholders if care is taken to safeguard the client’s identity. Giving a project status to stakeholders who request it is permissible, and since stakeholders are team members, they must also guard confidential information. Key Take Away: Experienced Project Managers exercise superior discretion relative to what information they discuss with whom, and where. You never know who might be listening, no matter how benign the situation may seem. Be careful when taking calls in public areas. The best thing to do is to always be a professional.

Which set of standards does a project manager typically have the least control over?

Answer: a - Project managers have the most control over standards that are closer to their home-base, and the least amount of control on standards on items on a grander scale, such as environmental standards, which are set by various governing boards. A project manager may have some say on standards depending on his seniority and stature in the company.

True or false: Specific percentage of each budget should be reserved by management .

Answer: True. A management reserve is a discretionary account that is typically set aside in budgeting, but not included in the baseline for a variety of events that might occur to affect the project adversely. Management must approve its expenditure.

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