Passing the #PMP Exam: Inputs and Outputs—Integration Knowledge Area (part 2)



 1. Introduction

In this next series of posts on memorizing the processes, we move on to the final step 6, which is memorizing the INPUTS & OUTPUTS associated with each of the 42 processes. In order to breakdown the memorization into more bite-size chunks, I am going to break down this topic into at least 9 posts, one for each knowledge area. (There may be some knowledge areas that require more than one post.)

 This post covers chapter 4 of the PMBOK® Guide, which covers the Integration Knowledge Area. This knowledge area contains 6 processes, with at least one process in each of the 5 process groups, with Monitoring & Controlling Process having two processes from this area.

 I am splitting the discussion of the Inputs & Outputs into two different posts; this post will cover Processes 4.4 through 4.6.

2. Review of processes in Integration Knowledge Area

As a review, here is a chart which gives a summary of the processes themselves, plus the tools & techniques used as part of that process.

Process
Number & Name
Process Description Tools & Techniques
4.1 Develop Project Charter Develops document that formally authorizes project and documents stakeholder needs & expectations

 

1. Expert judgment
4.2 Develop Project Management Plan Documents integration of all subsidiary plans (from all knowledge areas); project management plan is primary source on how to manage project across all PM process groups

 

1. Expert judgment
4.3 Direct and Manage Project Execution Performing work defined in project management plan 1. Expert judgment

2. Project management information system

 

4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work Tracking progress to meet performance objectives defined in project management plan

 

1. Expert judgment
4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control Reviewing change requests and managing changes to deliverables, or project management plan itself

 

1. Expert judgment

2. Change control meetings

4.6 Close Project or Phase Finalizes project across all PM process groups; formally closes project 1. Expert judgment

3. Definition of inputs, outputs

The inputs for a given process are the documents or results of other processes that are used in order to do the process. The results of going through the process are the outputs. These outputs are then used as inputs for some other process.

4. Generic inputs

Before we start, there are two “generic” inputs that are used in many, many processes. The term “generic” inputs is not to be found in the PMBOK® guide; that’s just my term I made up in our study group to clue people in to the fact that they are included as an input in more processes than you could probably name off the top of your head.

A. ENVIRONMENTAL ENTERPRISE FACTORS (EEF)

This is the “company culture”, or factors that are external to the project but which influence the project’s success. These can include the company databases and, in particular, the project management software used by the company.

B. OPERATIONAL PROCESS ASSETS (OPA)

Written procedures, policies, and guidelines that are used by the company to guide all operations, including projects. Lessons learned would be an important part of OPA.

Think of the operational process assets as the “hard copy” (written procedures), and the environmental enterprise factors as the “soft copy” (software and the company culture or “unwritten rules” that govern how work is done).

NOTE: Tools & Techniques will be listed for the purpose of completeness and for reference, but their detailed description will be omitted, because it is contained in the blog posts specifically covering Tools & Techniques for that knowledge area.

4.4 MONITOR AND CONTROL PROJECT WORK

INPUTS

4.4.1 Project Management Plan

The project management plan is what the performance of the project is going to be measured against.

4.4.2 Performance Reports

The performance reports show how the project is measuring up against the project management plan (4.4.1).

4.4.3 EEF

The usual suspect, the project management information system, is required. Just as in the executing phase, the shareholder risk tolerances need to be made aware of. Finally, the company work authorization system needs to be referenced as this process may end up producing change requests.

4.4.4 OPA

Lessons learned, risk control procedures, defect management procedures, etc.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

4.4.1 Expert Judgment

OUTPUTS

4.4.1 Change Requests

As a result of comparing the planned results (from the project management plan Input 4.4.1) to the actual results (from the performance reports Input 4.4.2), change requests may be issued. These could be actions to bring the results in line with the plan (changes to product deliverables), or it could be a change in the plan itself (changes to the project management plan).

Here are some change requests that affect the performance against the baselines.

Category Explanation
1. Corrective action Changes future performance so that the results are in line with the project management plan and the performance baseline.
2. Preventive action Reducing either the probability or impact of negative project risks so that the project remains along the performance baseline.
3. Defect repair Repairs products already produced as part of a project that are defective or replaces them.

However, as mentioned above, there could be changes which affect the project baselines themselves.

4.4.2 Project Management Plan Updates

Of course, if it is decided that the plan itself needs to be changed, then the Project Management Plan is updated. This could include any one of the component plans, or simply to one of the performance baselines (scope, schedule, or cost performance).

4.4.3 Project Document Updates

If issues are uncovered as a result of this monitoring and controlling process, then the issue logs will need to be updated. Also, forecasts of the overall budget (estimate at completion or EAC) and their comparison with the budget as originally planned (budget at completion) will need to be updated as well.

4.5 PERFORM INTEGRATED CHANGE CONTROL

First a word about the process of Perform Integrated Change Control. Just remember that there is configuration control, and change control. Change control refers to changes in the project work. Configuration control refers to changes in the deliverables or products that are the result of the project work.

INPUTS

4.5.1 Project Management Plan

The project management plan tells what the performance of the project is supposed to be.

4.5.2 Work Performance Information

The project management plan tells what the performance of the project actually is.

4.5.3 Change Requests

As a result of comparing the planned results (from the project management plan Input 4.4.1) to the actual results (from the performance reports Input 4.4.2), change requests may be issued. These could be actions to bring the results in line with the plan (changes to product deliverables), or it could be a change in the plan itself (changes to the project management plan).

Here are some change requests that affect the performance against the baselines.

Category Explanation
1. Corrective action Changes future performance so that the results are in line with the project management plan and the performance baseline.
2. Preventive action Reducing either the probability or impact of negative project risks so that the project remains along the performance baseline.
3. Defect repair Repairs products already produced as part of a project that are defective or replaces them.

However, as mentioned above, there could be changes which affect the project baselines themselves.

NOTE: These inputs to the Perform Integrated Change Control are the same as the Outputs to the previous process Monitor & Control Project Work.

4.5.4 EEF

Project management information system.

4.5.5 OPA

Change control procedures, procedures for approving and issuing change authorizations (it may require a different level of authority to approve the change depending on its extent), process measurements database.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

4.5.1 Expert Judgment

4.5.2 Change Control Meetings

OUTPUTS

4.5.1 Change Request Status Updates

The change requests are processed according to the change control system by a Change Control Board or whatever system the company has in place. If the result of the change control system is that the change is approved, then and only then is it implemented by the Direct and Manage Execution process (see diagram below). the change request log gives the status of the change requests and tells whether the change is accepted or rejected.

4.5.2 Project Management Plan Updates

If the project management plan is changed or the performance baseline is changed, then updates to these are made.

4.5.3 Project Document Updates

The change request log (mentioned in output 4.5.1 Change Request Status Updates) is updated.

4.5 CLOSE PROJECT OR PHASE

INPUTS

4.6.1 Project Management Plan

The final version of the project management plan is used.

4.6.2 Accepted Deliverables

These are deliverables that are accepted by the customer, and are thus outputs of the 5.4 Verify Scope Process.

4.6.3 OPA

Project closure guidelines, and lessons learned knowledge base (to be updated as part of the process).

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

4.6.1 Expert Judgment

INPUTS

4.6.1 Final product, service, or result transition

This is the hand-off of the final deliverable of the project, be it a product, service or result to the customer or sponsor.

4.6.2 OPA Updates

  • All of the documents from the project, such as the project management plan and the performance reports.
  • Project closure documents, such as the formal acceptance of the deliverable from the customer or the completed contract from the supplier.
  • Updated lessons learned database.

These are the inputs and outputs of processes 4.4 through 4.6.

The next posts will cover the inputs and outputs of the next Knowledge Area, that of Scope.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: