Passing the #PMP Exam: Inputs and Outputs—Human Knowledge Area



 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 9 of the PMBOK® Guide, which covers the Cost Knowledge Area. This knowledge area contains 4 processes, one of which is in the Planning Process group, and three of which are in the Executing Process Group.

2. Review of processes in Quality 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
9.1 Develop Human Resource Plan Identifying project roles and responsibilities, create staffing management plan. 1. Organizational charts and position descriptions

2. Networking

3. Organizational Theory

 

9.2 Acquire Project Team Confirming human resource availability and obtaining team. 1. Pre-assignment

2. Negotiation

3. Acquisition

4. Virtual teams

 

9.3 Develop Project Team Improving team interaction and team environment. 1. Interpersonal skills

2. Training

3. Team-building skills

4. Ground rules

5. Co-location

6. Recognition and rewards

 

9.4 Manage Project Team Optimizing team performance by tracking member performance, resolving conflicts, providing feedback. 1. Observation and conversation

2. Project performance appraisals

3. Conflict management

4. Issue log

5. Interpersonal skills

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.

9.1 DEVELOP HUMAN RESOURCE PLAN

To remember the inputs for this process, remember that the purpose of this 9.1 Develop HR Plan is to identify the project roles and responsibilities, as well as the required skills to do the project, and to create a staffing management plan.

INPUTS

9.1.1 Activity resource requirements

This is an output of the process 6.3 Estimate Activity Resources. This contains the preliminary requirements for the people needed on the project. This is elaborated as part of this process.

9.1.2 Enterprise environmental factors

HR policies

9.1.3 Organizational process assets

Organizational charts, historical information on previous projects

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES (for details, see Tools & Techniques HR post)

9.1.1 Organizational charts and position descriptions

9.1.2 Networking

9.1.3 Organizational theory

OUTPUTS

9.1.1 Human resource plan

The human resource plan is the output of the 9.1 Develop HR plan process. It contains the following elements

  • Roles and responsibilities for the project
  • Project organizational charts
  • Staffing management plan (resource calendars, training needs, criteria for recognition and rewards)

9.2 ACQUIRE PROJECT TEAM

This 9.2 Develop Project Team process confirms the availability of human resources and obtains the team necessary to complete project assignments.

INPUTS

9.2.1 Project management plan

The HR plan that is part of the project management plan is an output of the 4.2 Develop Project Management Plan, and is an input to this process.

9.2.2 Enterprise environmental factors

Information on availability of human resources.

9.2.3 Organizational process assets

HR policies of the organization.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES (see Tools & Techniques HR post for details)

9.2.1 Pre-assignment

9.2.2 Negotiation

9.2.3 Acquisition

9.2.4 Virtual teams

OUTPUTS

9.2.1 Project staff assignments

The process takes the appropriate people and assigns them to the various activities for the duration of the project.

9.2.2 Resource calendars

This lists the time periods when each project team member can work at the project. This is used as an essential input to the 6.5 Develop Schedule process.

9.2.3 Project management plan updates

The HR plan is updated as part of this process.

9.3 DEVELOP PROJECT TEAM

The purpose of this process is to improve the team interaction of the various members of the project in order to enhance their performance as a team on the project.

INPUTS

9.3.1 Project staff assignments

This is an output of the previous process 9.2 Acquire Project Team.

9.3.2 Project management plan

The HR plan that is part of the project management plan is an output of the 4.2 Develop Project Management Plan, and is an input to this process. In particular, the strategies for training team members and the criteria for recognition and rewards of team members are useful for this process.

9.3.3 Resource calendars

This is the output from the previous 9.2 Acquire Project Team process.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES (see Tools & Techniques QUALITY post for details)

9.3.1 Interpersonal skills

9.3.2 Training

9.3.3 Team-building activities

9.3.4 Co-location

9.3.5 Recognition and rewards

OUTPUTS

9.3.1 Team performance assessments

This is an evaluation of the effectives of the team, which in turn indicates how effective the team-building activities were that were a part of this process.

9.3.2 Enterprise environmental factors updates

The training records for the team members will be updated as part of this process.

9.4 MANAGE PROJECT TEAM

This process tracks the team members’ performance in order to optimize project performance.

INPUTS

9.4.1 Project staff assessments

This is an output of the 9.2 Acquire Project Team process. This has the list of project team members.

9.4.2 Project management plan

In particular, the human resource plan (which is part of the project management plan) is used in this process, in particular the staffing management plan.

9.4.3 Team performance assessments

This is the output of the previous process 9.3 Develop Project Team which is an evaluation of the team’s performance.

9.4.4 Performance reports

The performance reports are for the progress of the project as compared to the project forecasts.

9.4.5 Organizational process assets

Criteria for recognition and rewards as incentives for good individual and team performance.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

9.4.1 Observation and conversation

9.4.2 Project performance appraisals

9.4.3 Conflict management

9.4.4 Issue log

9.4.5 Interpersonal skills

OUTPUTS

9.4.1 Enterprise environmental factors updates

Performance appraisals and personnel skill updates.

9.4.2 Organization process assets updates

Organizational standard processes with regards to conflict management and other issues related to interpersonal relations.

9.4.3 Change requests

If there are unforeseen events that occur on the project, staffing changes may be necessary. These changes could include outsourcing some of the work that was previously done in-house, or moving people to different projects within the organization.

9.4.4 Project management plan updates

The staffing management plan may need to be updated.

The next post will cover the inputs and outputs of the Communications Knowledge Area.

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