Friday, April 21, 2017

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in Project Management

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The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of the project. While creating WBS, we sub-divide the project scope into smaller, more manageable components. Each descending level of WBS represents an increasing level of details of the project.

The lowest level of WBS are known as work packages. The decomposition in WBS happens to the level for which cost and duration can be estimated and managed. Adequate care should be taken as excessive decomposition might lead to non-productive management effort, inefficient use of resources, decreased efficiency in performing the work and difficulty in schedule and cost estimates.

A sample, simplified version of work breakdown structure (WBS) is shown below for a construction project. You can create similar work breakdown structure in software project management or any other project you are working on.

work breakdown structure (WBS) in project management

Characteristics or Benefits of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in Software Project Management

The following are some of the characteristics of benefits of using Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in Software Project Management:
  • The WBS serves as an effective communication tool among various stakeholders involved in the project
  • The WBS components represent verifiable products, services or results.
  • The WBS include all product and project scope, including the project management work.
  • The WBS should ensure that all necessary work is performed, but no extra work is performed. This is known as the 100 percent rule.
  • The WBS allows team buy-in of all the work to be performed in the project. It allows team members to understand how their individual contribution fits in the overall project scenario
  • The WBS is the foundation for all project management planning. It provides the framework for the schedule and cost management plans, allowing for consistency with the estimates, schedules, budgets and control. One of the key reasons for excessive changes in a project
  • The WBS provides the relationships among all the components of the project and the project deliverables.
  • The WBS provides a structured depiction of what has to be delivered by the project.

5 steps to creating Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

The typical steps required to create a work breakdown structure is as follows:
  • Identifying and analyzing the project deliverables
  • Organizing the WBS structure
  • Decomposing the project deliverables to the level of work packages
  • Developing and assigning identification codes to the WBS components (Code of Accounts is a numbering system used to uniquely identify each component of the work breakdown structure)
  • Verification of the created WBS

What is Scope Baseline?

Scope Baseline includes the following components:
  • Project scope statement
  • WBS and
  • WBS dictionary
The WBS dictionary provides detailed information about the deliverables and a description of the work for each work package in the WBS. It might include details like unique identifier, description of the work to be done, assumptions, constraints, acceptance criteria, person or unit responsible for delivering the work, milestones, etc. The development of WBS dictionary helps in identifying any missing information or errors in WBS.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Answers to Mock PMP Exam Questions

By With No comments:
I have written a short list of 10 mock PMP exam questions. In this article, I have given the correct answer choices to those PMP exam questions. Relevant explanations are also given for you to understand why the answer choice is the best choice available.

If you still have any doubts, you can drop your comments in the section below. If you feel the correct answer choice should be something else, please provide your line of thought and we can discuss.

Answers to Mock PMP Exam Questions

Mock PMP Exam Question No: 1

Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Project Manager is in the Plan Schedule Management process; this is the process of establishing the policies, procedures and documentation for planning, developing, managing, executing and controlling the project schedule. Expert judgment, Meetings and Analytical Techniques are all the Tools & Techniques of Plan Schedule Management.

The only exception is Decomposition. Decomposition is used as a tool in "Create WBS" and "Define Activities".

Mock PMP Exam Question No: 2

Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Historical information, Templates and Change Control Procedures are all examples of Organizational Process Assets. Organizational Structure is not an Organizational Process Asset; it is part of the Enterprise Environmental Factors.

Mock PMP Exam Question No: 3

Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Define Activities is the process of identifying and documenting the specific actions to be performed to produce the project deliverables.The output of define activities is a list of activities.

So, the immediate next action would be to identify the relationships among the activities. This process of identifying and documenting the relationships among project activities is called "Sequence Activities".

So, the correct answer is "Sequence Activities".

Mock PMP Exam Question No: 4

Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The relationship is: Finish laying of road =>Wait 28 days => Start using the road.

Here, 28 days is the lag for which the next activity should wait. So, the relationship is Laying of road => FS+28d => Start of use of the road.

The correct answer choice is Option C.

Mock PMP Exam Question No: 5

Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Resource leveling is a technique in which start and finish dates are adjusted based on resource constraints with the goal of balancing demand for resources with the available supply.

Mock PMP Exam Question No: 6

Correct Answer: B
Explanation: A project is a temporary endeavor; but, it does not necessarily mean the duraion of the project is short. Please note that repetitive elements may be present in some project deliverables and activities; but, this repetition does not change the fundamental, unique characteristics of the project work. You also should understand a project can involve a single or mulitple individuals, a single organization or multiple organizations.

Mock PMP Exam Question No: 7

Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The project charter is created long before you start identifying work packages and activities. Project charter typically contains only high level information while work packages are created with detailed information.

Mock PMP Exam Question No: 8

Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Delphi technique is an information gathering technique. The remaining three are quantitative risk analysis techniques

Mock PMP Exam Question No: 9

Correct Answer: B
Explanation: FV = PV(1+i)^n. In this problem, Future Value FV = $48,400, rate of return I = 10% and number of years n =2. Substituting these values in the formula, you will get Present Value PV = $40,000

Mock PMP Exam Question No: 10

Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Project B was preferred over project A. So, the opportunity cost would be the NPV of project A, which was not chosen.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

PMP Exam Questions and Answers - FREE

By With 16 comments:
Here, you will find a list of mock PMP exam questions that are designed to represent the actual PMP exam questions as closely as possible. These free mock PMP exam questions are framed based on my personal experience in appearing for the PMP exam and the PMI-RMP exam.

The real PMP exam questions are not easier; but the more you practice, it would be better for you to face the actual PMP exam questions with ease at the exam.

Mock PMP Exam Questions

1. You are the project manager for a software project. You are in the process of establishing the policies, procedures and documentation for planning, developing, managing, executing and controlling the project schedule. You may use all of the following Tools & Techniques EXCEPT:

(A) Expert judgment
(B) Meetings
(C) Decomposition
(D) Analytical techniques

2. The following are all examples of Organizational Process Assets EXCEPT:

(A) Historical information
(B) Organizational structure
(C) Templates
(D) Change control procedures

3. You are the project manager of a $400 million construction project. You, along with your team, have identified and documented the specific actions to be performed to produce the project deliverables. What would be your immediate next action be?:

(A) Develop Schedule
(B) Collect Requirements
(C) Sequence Activities
(D) Select Sellers

4. Your project involves the construction of a temporary concrete road. The road is expected to be in use for 6 months before it gets demolished. You have completed the laying of the temporary concrete road. But, the customer specification states that you have to wait for 28 days before using the road. Which of the following relationships most likely represents the relationship of the start of the use of the road to the completion of the construction of the road?

(A) Finish-to-start with a 28 days lead
(B) Finish-to-finish with a 6 months lag
(C) Finish-to-start with a 28 days lag
(D) Start-to-finish with a 28 days lag

5. You are in the planning process of a $1b project. You realize that your schedule requires more resources in certain months of the project than that are available to you. Your senior management has clearly instructed that you will not be able to obtain any additional resources for the project. So, you instruct your planner to adjust the schedule to accommodate these constraints. What are you instructing the planner to do?

(A) Crashing
(B) Resource leveling
(C) Programme Evaluation and Review Technique
(D) Fast tracking

You may also be interested in:

6. Projects are a means of achieving objectives within an organization's strategic plan. Which of the following statements is NOT true about projects?

(A) Every project creates a unique product, service or result
(B) The duration of the project is short
(C) Repetitive elements may be present in some project deliverables and activities
(D) A project can involve a single individual

7. The project charter contains high level information. Which of the following elements is NOT typically found in a project charter?

(A) Project purpose or justification
(B) Summary milestone schedule
(C) Work packages
(D) Stakeholder list

8. The key benefit of performing quantitative risk analysis is that it produces quantitative risk information to support decision making in order to reduce project uncertainty. Which of the following is NOT a commonly used quantitative risk anlaysis and modeling technique?

(A) Tornado diagram
(B) Decision tree diagram
(C) Monte Carlo Technique
(D) Delphi Technique

9. An organization invests certain amount of money into a project and makes $48,400 after 2 years. If the rate of return is 10%, how much money did the organization invest in the project?

(A) $44,000
(B) $40,000
(C) $47921
(D) $47446

10. An organization is trying to choose between two projects. Project A has an estimated cost of $400,000 and an estimated NPV of $90,000. Another project B has an estimated cost of $360,000 and an estimated NPV of $110,000. If the senior management decides to go ahead with project B, what would be the opportunity cost?

(A) $40,000
(B) $20,000
(C) $90,000
(D) $110,000

Answers to the above questions are available at:


I am confident that you would find the above questions helpful in your PMP exam Prep. The answers and detailed explanations with references for the above PMP exam questions would be uploaded soon. I would also update this list with more questions. IF you have any comment/ suggestions/ feedback on the above PMP exam questions, you may leave your comment below.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Answer Key for Oliver Lehmann PMP Exam

By With 4 comments:
Oliver F. Lehmann is one of the well known project management trainers. Being a trainer since 1995, he primarily focusses on PMP certification preparation. His 75 free sample questions (PMP® Exam Self-Assessment Test) is very popular. If you have not tried the test yet, please STOP reading this article.

He has given the answers and relevant references for all the 75 questions. He has not given any answer explanations, probably to encourage candidates to research themselves. I do encourage you to think and do a research before reading further on.

Question No. 2 from Oliver Lehmann PMP Exam Self Assessment Test

I took question #2 from the sample test to solve here. Read further only if you have failed to solve yourself and really need a guidance.

Answer Key for Oliver Lehmann PMP Exam Question No. 2

Answer Key for Oliver Lehmann PMP Exam Question No. 2

There are two projects in the question. We need to choose the project with a better returns based on the Net Present Value (NPV). The below table shows the given data.

Project #DurationCostReturns
19 months$250,000$120,000/ year
29 months$250,0001st year: $15,000
2nd year: $125,000
3rd year: $220,000

Since the cost and duration are the same for both projects, let us ignore those data; we will look into the returns/ benefits of the project only to compare.

Net Present Value (NPV) = FV/(1+r)t, where
FV = Future Value
r = rate of interest
t = time period

So, the NPV of project 1 considering first three years
= 120000 / 1.05 + 120000 / 1.052 + 120000 / 1.053
= $326790

NPV of project 2 considering first three years
= 15000 / 1.05 + 125000 / 1.052 + 220000 / 1.053
= $317709

Comparing the two values, project #1 is better. By, what percentage?
= (326790-317709) / 317709
= 0.029
= 2.90% (approximately 3%)

So, the first project is more attractive by approximately 3%.


Hope the above explanation helps. If you need any further information/ help regarding this question, please leave a comment below.

Monday, November 23, 2015

How did I prepare for PMI-RMP Certification?

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What is PMI-RMP® Certification? How did I prepare for PMI-RMP® Certification? You will find answers to these questions in this article.

PMI-RMP® Certification is the prestigious Risk Management Professional Certification from PMI (Project Management Institute). It demonstrates your ability to identify and analyze project risks, avoid/ transfer/ mitigate threats and capitalize on opportunities. PMI states that

83% of organizations that are high performers in project management practice risk management frequently while just 49 percent of low performers do so (Pulse of the Profession®: Capturing the Value of Project Management, February 2015)

Get ready for PMI-RMP Certification

How did I prepare for PMI-RMP Certification?

I became a Certified Risk Management Professional and earned my PMI-RMP® Credential about two years back. In this article, I would like to share the various mock exams I tried and the scores I obtained in those. I am just jotting down the journey towards obtaining PMI-RMP® Certification.

Date of the Mock TestService ProviderDescriptionNo. of questionsScore Obtained
124-06-2013SimpliLearnFree PMP test17578.9 %
215-07-2013UcertifyFree RMP Test1573 %
316-07-2013UcertifyChapter Quiz2677 %
417-07-2013The PM InstructorsFree PMI-RMP Questions2085 %
522-07-2013Rita MulcahyPretest2584 %
628-07-2013Abdulla J. AlkuwaitiPractice Questions6587.1 %
729-07-2013PMXCEL.comSample Quiz2592 %
802-08-2013Head First PMPRisk Management Chapter Questions2095 %
903-08-2013VTCRMP Part 14095 %
1004-08-2013VTCRMP Part 25088 %
1105-08-2013ScordoRisk Management Questions1080 %
1206-08-2013Oliver LehmannPMP Test7580 %
1306-08-2013VTCRMP Part 312589 %
1407-08-2013VTCPMI-SP Part 14085 %
1510-08-2013Rita MulcahyHuman Resource Chapter3476 %
1610-08-2013Rita MulcahyQuality Chapter3591 %
1712-08-2013Rita MulcahyTime Chapter3894.7 %
1814-08-2013EdwelFree PMP Exam20079 %
1912-08-2013Rita MulcahyCost Chapter3894.7 %
 20 15-08-2013Rita MulcahyProcurement Chapter4092.5 %

I believe that only practice can help you. I believe that most of the candidates who prepare for the risk management exam are already certified PMPs. So, they have the knowledge and basic understanding of how the risks are identified, assessed, risk responses planned, monitored and controlled. So, all they need is to practice more and more mock tests/ practice questions to get it right. Please go ahead and successfully obtain your PMI-RMP Credential!