5th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Step 6: Memorizing Inputs & Outputs (Scope Management Part 3)


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 47 processes.   In order to breakdown the memorization into more bite-size chunks, I am breaking down the processes in the 10 knowledge areas into 2 or 3 posts each.

This post covers chapter 5 of the PMBOK® Guide, which covers the Scope Knowledge Area. This knowledge area contains 6 processes,

2.  Review of processes 5.5 and 5.6 and their ITTOs

NOTE:   ITTOs is an acronym for Inputs, Tools & Techniques, and Outputs

There are a total of six processes in the Scope Knowledge Area.   Because of the large number of inputs and outputs, I am splitting my discussion of the inputs and outputs into three different posts, each one of which will cover two of the processes.    In that way, I can describe the inputs and outputs for these processes in a little bit of detail without the post becoming too long.

Here is a chart which shows the fifth and sixth process, 5.5 Validate Scope and 5.6 Control Scope, together with their tools & techniques (which are discussed in a previous post) and their inputs & outputs.

NOTE:  the generic inputs known as Environmental Enterprise Factors and Operational Process Assets are given by their acronyms EEFs and OPAs, respectively.

Process Name Tools & Techniques Inputs Outputs
5.5 Validate Scope 1. Inspection

2. Group decision-making techniques

1. Project management plan

2. Requirements documentation

3.  Requirements traceability matrix

4. Verified deliverables

5. Work performance data

1.  Accepted deliverables

2. Change requests

3.  Work performance information

4. Project documents updates

5.6 Control Scope 1. Variance analysis 1. Project management plan

2. Requirements documentation

3. Requirements traceability matrix

4. Work performance data

5. OPAs

1. Work performance information

2. Change requests

3. Project management plan updates

4. Project documents updates

5. OPAs updates

3.  Outputs of processes 5.5 and 5.6

a. Accepted deliverables (5.5 Validate Scope)

The process 5.5 Validate Scope is one where the customer takes the verified deliverables (internally checked by the organization doing the project through the 8.3 Control Quality process), and then checks them or validates them based on the acceptance criteria set forth at the beginning of the project.    That is why accepted deliverables (accepted by the customer, that is) are the main output of this process.

b. Change requests (5.5 Validate Scope)

What happens if the deliverables are NOT accepted, or only PARTIALLY accepted?   That is where the change request comes in.   If there are nonconformities that are discovered in the 5.5 Validate Scope process, then a request for defect repair may occur.

c. Work performance information (5.5 Validate Scope and 5.6 Control Scope)

After the customer has done an inspection of deliverables, then information on which deliverables have been finished so far, and which have been accepted by the customer, is documented for communication to stakeholders.

d. Project management plan updates (5.6 Control Scope)

If change requests are made and approved, the updates may include:

  • Scope baseline updates (if project scope statement, WBS and/or WBS dictionary are revised)
  • Schedule, cost baseline updates (if scope changes cause corresponding changes in schedule and/or budget)

e.  Project documents updates (5.5 Validate Scope and 5.6 Control Scope)

For the 5.5 Validate Scope process, the outputs that may be updated could include:

  • Product completion status report
  • Approvals of deliverables from customer or sponsor

For the 5.6 Control Scope process, the documents that may be updated could include:

  • Requirements documentation
  • Requirements traceability matrix

f.  OPAs updates (5.6 Control Scope)

  • Causes of variances (the result of the main tool & technique of this process, Variance Analysis)
  • Corrective action chosen based on the cause of variance
  • Lessons learned from project scope control (for use on future projects)

4.  Inputs of processes 5.3 and 5.4

a. Project management plan (5.5 Validate Scope and 5.6 Control Scope)

The elements of the project management that are inputs to the process 5.5 Validate Scope are

  • Scope Management Plan–specifies how formal acceptance of the completed project deliverables will be obtained
  • Scope baseline (project scope statement, WBS, & WBS dictionary)–used as a basis for comparison between the actual deliverable and the approved scope

The elements of the project management that are inputs to the process 5.6 Control Scope are

  • Scope baseline (project scope statement, WBS, & WBS dictionary)–compared to actual results to determine if changes are necessary
  • Scope management plan–describes how scope will be monitored and controlled
  • Change management plan–describes process for managing changes on the project
  • Configuration management plan–defines those items that require formal change control, and outlines process for controlling changes to those items
  • Requirements management plan–describes how the requirements will be managed

b. Requirements documentation (5.5 Validate Scope and 5.6 Control Scope)

Lists all the various types of requirements for the product and the project, as well as their acceptance criteria.  Well-documented requirements make it easier to detect any deviation in the scope agreed for the project or product.

c. Requirements traceability matrix (5.5 Validate Scope and 5.6 Control Scope)

Links the requirements to their origin and tracks them throughout the project life cycle.  Helps detect the impact of any change or deviation from the scope baseline.

d. Verified deliverables (5.5 Validate Scope)

Deliverables that have been internally checked through the 8.3 Control Quality process or verified, and are ready to be sent to the customer to be checked through the 5.5 Validate Scope process or validated.

e. Work performance data (5.5 Validate Scope and 5.6 Control Scope)

This may include such relevant data for 5.5 Validate Scope

  • degree of compliance with requirements
  • number of nonconformities
  • degree of nonconformities

For 5.6 Control Scope, may include

  • Number of change requests received
  • Number of change requests accepted

f.  OPAs (5.6 Control Scope)

  • Policies, procedures, and guidelines for formal and informal scope control
  • Methods and templates used to monitor & control scope

As I have mentioned before in other posts, do not try to memorize the lists of inputs and outputs.   If you know what the process does, and you know what the tools & techniques of that process are, then if you are presented with a list of inputs and/or outputs, you should be able to pick out which ones belong to that process.    This is what you will have to do on the exam.    A way to test to see if you are sufficiently conversant in what inputs and outputs go with what process, take six pieces of paper and write down the names of the six processes in the Scope Management knowledge area.    Take a series of index cards (or post-it notes) and write down the names of the inputs and outputs.   Then shuffle these cards (it’s harder to shuffle post-it notes) and then look at the inputs and outputs one by one and try to match them with the process you think it belongs to.    Then check with the PMBOK® Guide to see how many you got right.   You’ll be surprised at how many you get right the first time, IF you have taken the trouble to understand the process and the tools & techniques that are used in the process.

The next post will start a series of three posts on chapter 6, which covers the 7 processes of the Time Management Area.   I will cover processes 6.1-6.3 in the first post, 6.4 and 6.5 in the second post, and finally 6.6 and 6.7 in the third post.

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