Prepare Yourself to Pass the PMP Exam

After completing the appropriate training, our free PMP study guide provides the essential knowledge you’ll need in order to be successful on the certification exam. Review project, program and portfolio fundamentals, as well as the project initiation process as well as important terms such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with this free study guide. Need more depth? Take our PMP training course today.

PMI’s Project Management Exam is commonly referred to as one of the most challenging certification exams for professionals, and rightfully so: the four hour, 200 question exam is quite extensive. Thus, the need for appropriate review and study is required to earn the PMP certification. But before you begin a review of the exam content, you must make sure that you have knowledge of the training content as well. Cybrary provides comprehensive training in our Project Management Professional course for those who need introduction to the world of project management, as well as those who need to refresh prior knowledge.

Project, Program and Portfolio Fundamentals

Program Fundamentals: A project is a problem for which a solution is sought by working systematically. It includes defining the task to be achieved, planning how to achieve, undertaking and monitoring the plan. A project is an endeavor possessing the following characteristics:

  • A project is a short-term endeavor
  • A project is structured around a schedule with a fixed start and end date
  • A project is executed to achieve a specific goal which can entail:
  • Producing a product or service that fulfills a need or a process that achieves something specific
  • A project ends when all objectives are met or when the process is terminated

Program Fundamentals: A program is a series of interconnected projects. They contain the same elements or are similar in content and assembled into a program. A program includes projects designed to achieve a shared objective; projects that rely on the sharing resources; or projects that are interdependent. Organizing multiple projects into a single program assists in simplifying processes of an organization by sustaining efficiency. The life cycle of a program exceeds that of a single project and is ongoing until shared objectives among projects are met. Portfolio Fundamentals:


The grouping of interconnected programs and projects is called a Portfolio. Portfolios are structured to meet specified needs

The Project Management Office

Regarded as a key part of many organizations, The Project Management Office (also known as the PMO), manages the communication, technical components, human resources and financial resources between projects. It makes sure there is a steady supply of resources for project team members. It establishes the role of Project Manager to assist with administering and maintaining management standards and procedures of the organization. Its objective is…


…to raise productivity, lower costs, and improve processes.

What is Project Management?

Project Management is the utilization of knowledge to meet specific project goals. It methodically goes through the life cycle of each project to deliver intended goals. The purpose of utilizing all the knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques is to meet the objectives of the project. It consists of outlining a series of tasks required to meet these objectives within a given time frame and budget. Project Management processes fall into five groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling and Closing. Project management is used to help businesses ensure an efficient use of resources and to provide…


…a greater likelihood of achieving the desired result of a project.

The Knowledge Areas of Project Management

The life cycle of a project entails 44 processes. These processes are derived from nine knowledge areas. The nine knowledge areas are:

  1. Integration Management
  2. Scope Management
  3. Time Management
  4. Cost Management
  5. Quality Management
  6. Human Resource Management
  7. Communication Management
  8. Risk Management


  1. Procurement Management

Integration, Scope, Time and Cost Management

Integration Management: This area is responsible for integrating the different elements of a project: developing project plans, overseeing implementation of these plans, monitoring the process and closing the project. Scope Management: SM ensures that all processes required to complete the projects are performed. Defining the scope of the project, development, verification and control are examples of these processes. Time Management: This area is responsible for making certain the project is completed within the intended timeframe. These processes execute logical sequencing and scheduling of tasks, ensuring that the timeline is adhered to. Cost Management:


CM is a critical component to successfully executing a project. It is tasked with ensuring budget constraints are followed. All functions that support cost management are under this knowledge area.

Quality, Human Resource and Communications Management

Quality Management: This knowledge area is responsible for making certain project deliverables meet the expected level of quality, and project objectives are fulfilled. Human Resource Management: These functions manage and organize participating team members of the project. Communications Management: Communications are an important aspect of the success or failure of a project. CM involves tasks that manage communications logistics among team members…


…how, when and with whom team members are to communicate.

Risk and Procurement Management

Risk Management: Risk management is defined as the ongoing process to identify, analyze, evaluate and treat loss exposures and monitor risk control in order to mitigate the damaging effects of loss. Risk management is essentially a two-step process, and involves determining the existence of risks (that is, having the fortitude and knowledge to identify risks seen and unseen) and handling risks (figuring out the best way to deal with them without turning everything upside down). This includes the procedures that conduct risk management activities: Risk analysis, response, planning and control. Procurement Management: Procurement management refers to the professional management of goods and services as it relates to a project. Procurement involves the preparation and processing of a demand in addition to the end receipt and approval of payment. Procurement managers face tasks such as price negotiation, value analysis, supplier research and section and making the purchase…


This area also manages the procurement of resources necessary for the completion of the project, such as vendor management.

The Stages of a Project Life Cycle

The project manager and supporting team collaborate for a single objective, which is to work on the project to achieve those objectives. Every project cycles through a structured sequence of activities to meet project goals. This is known as the Life Cycle of a project. This term is applied to all stages a project cycles through. Activities at the outset of the project, or its inception, are distinct from activities executed at later stages, or the project’s completion. Important points regarding the Life Cycle:


  • A Project always undergoes Progressive Elaboration, meaning as the project progresses, an understanding of the specific plans and projections become apparent. Plans become more definitive as work progresses.
  • With each task accomplished toward the objective the risk factor is lowered. Knowledge and risk in the execution of a project are interrelated. As knowledge in a project is increased, progressive elaboration is experienced and therefore the risks involved decrease.
  • With each step performed towards a project’s completion, the influence of the stakeholders decreases. As work progresses, it becomes challenging to implement adjustments based on the requests or needs of the stakeholders. As the project advances the feasibility of options starts to decrease.
  • Changes are easier to implement at the beginning stages. As the project moves forward it becomes more costly. Because less work has been done in the earlier stages, changes are less costly to implement.
  • Costs and activity are both at minimal levels at the beginning of the project, high at the middle and again decreased towards the completion of the project. Though every project is unique they do share certain activities. These activities can be clustered under various phases or stages:

The Initiation and Planning Stages: Project Life Cycle

  1. Initiation: The initial stage in the life cycle of a project is initiation, or where the project comes into form. Designated goals and other processes that will facilitate a project’s success are defined at this stage. The project scope along with strategies to achieve deliverables is established. A project manager is also chosen. He or she is responsible for choosing the project team members. The processes and tools selected at this stage are: Project Charter, Business Plan, Project Framework, Business Case Justification and Milestone Reviews.
  2. Planning: The second stage is planning. Here the project is dissected into smaller and achievable tasks. This is a critical phase of the project lifecycle of a project as defined processes and tasks can predetermine efficiency. Each task to be executed through the end of the project is identified. In this phase the stakeholders are identified along with consensus on frequency of reporting and chosen channels. Risk Analysis also performed. Efficiency of planning influences the quality level of results in terms of the outcome and resource consumption.

Objectives of the Planning Phase:

  1. Business requirements
  2. Costs, schedules and resource consumption
  3. Foundation for the next phase — the main processes executed in this phase below:


  • Scope Planning
  • Preparing Work Breakdown
  • Resource Planning
  • Project Schedule Development
  • Budget Planning
  • Procurement Planning
  • Communication Planning
  • Quality Planning
  • Risk Management Planning
  • Configuration Management Planning

Execution, Controlling and Project Closure: The Program Life Cycle

  • Execution: In the Execution stage, pre-established processes and functions of the project are carried out. It is ensured that the project is carried out as planned. Here team members perform assigned roles with the goal of fulfilling project deliverables. Testing, production and support work in tandem during this phase.
  • Controlling: The fourth stage is project control where methods are undertaken to maintain resource optimization and risk reduction. The controlling phase keeps the project on track to reach the deliverables in accordance with the time schedule.
  • Project Closure: The fifth and final stage where the project reaches its concluding point. The attained goal or product officially becomes a…


…deliverable at this stage, and these items are in place: formal review reports; project delivery and implementation; team rewards. Additionally, project management is formally informed about project closure.

The Stakeholders in a Project

A project is taken on to fulfill a need. A need may originate with an individual but the likelihood of more people being affected by the same requirement in an organization is greater. Those people affected or who have an interest in a given project are called stakeholders. The stakeholders declare their needs and desired goals from the project, and shape its final outcome. Stakeholders may change during the Life Cycle of a project. In the Initiation phase stakeholders are identified and a list is created. It’s important to name all key stakeholders as a project’s success relies on their role. In some instances it may not be feasible to tap every individual stakeholder therefore representatives can be requested to speak on behalf of a group holding a common interest. Key stakeholders: Project Manager Customer/User Service Provider Management Definitions below:


Customer/User: A need arises and the end project is delivered. They are directly impacted by the success or the failure of the project. Service Provider: The organization that takes on the project is a key stakeholder. Management: The management of the organization that will provide the service is also a major stakeholder. Project Manager: This person is responsible for overseeing the project and its team members. Other Stakeholders: Project Team, Project Management Office, Project Sponsors & Influencers.

Role of a Project Manager

The Project Manager is a major stakeholder in the project. Though, he does not have the final authority over the project, he is a visible stakeholder. He represents the project team, and is also responsible for getting the work done from it. A project manager may or may not have control over the resources. A project manager needs to be assigned until the first phase of the project life cycle is complete but should ideally be assigned before the second stage, that is, planning is undertaken. A project manager who participates in drafting the project charter is able to plan the project in a better manner. A project manager performs the project management functions. An effective project manager is expected to have the following qualities:


  • Good Communication Skills
  • Team Building Skills
  • Problem Solving Abilities
  • Enthusiasm, Empathy & Discipline
  • Commitment & Integrity
  • Knowledge & Versatility
  • Creativity & Competence
  • Ability to Handle Pressure

What is Project Initiation?

This is the very first phase through which a project passes. The purpose of this phase is to specify the goals of the project. Initiation is also the opportunity to decide whether or not to launch the project. Primary goals, secondary goals, and the time frame are the basic elements that are outlined in project initiation. The processes involved in Project Initiation: Creation of a Product: Facets of the product or service to be created are described. Creation of a Project Feasibility Document: While preparing this document, thought is given to project constraints, alternatives, and assumptions. In this document any problems and their potential solutions are outlined in detail. The document also explains tactics to be used while working on the recommended solutions. Creation of Project Concept Document: As this document is prepared, the production value of the project is determined. It breaks down the what, how and why behind the project. Creation of Project Charter: This document discusses the scope, influence and the success factors of a project. Initiating Process Group Processes:


This is normally performed at the beginning but may be required to be repeated at later stages of a project. With larger projects, this phase is done more than once. The advancement of a project is measured by inputs made at the initiation stage. Revaluation of merits, seeking extensions, and approvals necessitate the team and management to go back to the documents prepared at this stage. In some cases, the foundation work is done prior to the project initiation phase. Project boundaries and initiation dates are not absolute for this reason. The need for a project comes about before the project is technically launched. As well, documentation of the need of the project occurs long before the actual project starts. Information assembled during this stage forms the basis of a crucial decision.

Importance of the Project Charter

There are two processes involved in the project initiation phase: development of the Project Charter and development of the Preliminary Project Scope Statement. The project charter is the first official document created. It contains a comprehensive description of the project. Once the project charter is approved, the project is then considered authorized. The absence of a project charter is something that should concern the project manager. The project charter is authorized by the stakeholders and then assigned to a project manager. With the framework and deliverables prepared, the project manager appropriates the resources. Once this is completed, the foundation to begin the work is in place. Table 1 illustrates the inputs and the tools and techniques that are utilized for creating a project charter.


The project charter contains information that outlines the need of the business and how that need will be met. It specifies how the project will be undertaken in order to fulfill the needs of the business. There is no fixed format that a project charter is required to follow, but it is expected to contain the following

  • The assumptions and constraints governing the project
  • The need or justification behind the project
  • The stakeholders in the project
  • The time frame that the project is expected to adhere to
  • The budget constraints
  • The Project Manager

Role of the Project Initiator

The project initiator is the person who begins the project. He or she, along with the stakeholders, is responsible for choosing a project manager and authorizing that person. The project initiator is also tasked with funding the project consumption of resources is often underway before the project is officially initiated. The project initiator gathers and compiles all the required information into a project charter. This process should involve the stakeholders. The project charter offers stakeholders the opportunity to consider the proposed project before the work starts. A project manager has the role of executing the plan to achieve the deliverables. This person receives all his authorizations from the project initiator and the stakeholders. The processes involved in Project Initiation The two process involved are:

  • Developing the Project charter
  • Developing the Preliminary Project Scope Statement

Further explanation of these processes follow below:


Developing the Project Charter — Tools and Techniques: The process of collecting information begins once the decision to initiate the project is made. The project boundaries are still being defined at this stage. Developing the charter requires a measurement of resources to be spent as the project initiator should determine. At this stage, the project is an initiated project; it is not officially authorized. Once a charter is established the decision of whether to move forward with an authorized project is made. In cases where projects are not moved forward, resources that have already been consumed to prepare the project charter prevent further expending of resources. This makes the project initiation phase a critical stage of the project life cycle.

Project Selection Methods

When considering a project formal selection methods are followed as comparison of the benefits of multiple projects. These formal selection methods assist in setting specific standards and gauge the benefits of a given project against the minimum specified standards. The project selection methods are as follows:

  • Benefit Measurement Models
  • Mathematical Models

Benefit Measurement Methods: This puts perspective on accumulated benefits at the completion of the project. The projects are compared based on their impacts. Mathematical Methods: This rates the project…


…on a scale from 1 to 100. The rating determines the decision of project selection.

Project Management Tools and Concepts

Project Management Methodology: This integrates an organization’s standard practices and project management standards. The method that is adopted is based on the organization’s culture and other elements controlling the project charter. General standards, guidelines, and practices are followed in combination to manage projects. Project Management Information System: PMIS is a collection of computerized tools. These tools are used to support the project while it goes through its life cycle. These gather and log data, analyze and interpret data into information for the project.

  • Expert Judgment
  • MBO
  • Accounting Concepts

Expert Judgment: This tool is applied in project initiation. Expert opinion may be needed for both technical as well as procedural details. Customers, stakeholders, professional associations, industry groups or even dissociated people can be called on for expert input. Using Management by Objectives: Management by objectives is an important technique in management information systems. This technique attunes objectives within different levels of an organization or within multiple areas. The initiation process offers an understanding of the project; fosters awareness of the value of the project and what it provides to the organization; and confirms the project is authorized by the organization. It is considered an effective management tool for:

  • Implementing goal setting
  • Suggests activities similar to the project control process
  • Makes sure the goals are consistent with larger goals of the organization
  • MBO and sound project management needs the support of management to be successful

MBO can be applied in 3 steps:

  • Establish clear objectives that should be attainable.
  • Check that objectives are being met.
  • Undertake corrective measures in case of inconsistencies.

Accounting Concepts Used with Project Initiation: A project manager should have working knowledge of basic accounting principles. Accounting and valuation are…


…an essential aspect of each phase of the project life cycle. Any project selection method cannot be performed without a basic understanding of the accounting methods.

How to Develop the Preliminary Scope Statement

Developing the Preliminary Project Scope Statement: This is the second process to be performed during project initiation. This statement clearly outlines the scope of the project; specifically, what it aims to accomplish and what it will not accomplish. The goal of this statement is to provide a declaration that summarizes the intent of the project. The boundaries of the project are outlined in this statement. At this stage, what is developed is a preliminary project statement at the stage of planning a more detailed statement is presented. It’s important that the preliminary statement offers an informative framework. The information is drawn from: The Initiator

  • Stakeholders & Customers
  • Brainstorming and discussion among team members for generating maximum information
  • Project Charter and supporting inputs – this contains information that covers:


  • Approval and acceptance requirements in the organization
  • Budget Considerations
  • Industry Standards
  • Preliminary work breakdown structure
  • Project Boundaries
  • Project Constraints and Assumptions
  • Project Deliverables
  • Project Objectives
  • Project Risks
  • Quality Constraints
  • Time Frame

A scope statement can have similar information that’s presented in the project charter, but the two are intended for very different audiences. It benefits every person who is interested in learning what the project intends to achieve. This statement is available to all internal members as well as external associates. A scope statement is essential for the success of a project and should be drafted with care. It gives a direction to the entire process. A poorly crafted statement can indicate a project will under deliver or an overly detailed statement will potentially result in attaching unnecessary work with the project.

Project Planning

The second phase of the life cycle of a project is planning. This means that the project has been authorized once the planning phase begins. To get started with the second phase of the life cycle the first phase of Initiation provides two documents:

  • Project Charter
  • Preliminary Project Scope Statement

Planning involves a concurrence of multiple processes. The Planning Process Group Process Interactions The processes in the planning phase inform how the deliverables will be achieved. The output of these planning processes explains how the goals will be met by the project. Planning is a very important stage in the life cycle of a project. If the planning process is handled poorly it can compromise the success of a project. Poor planning can culminate in wasted effort and time. Effective communication among the support team is crucial during the planning stage. The project manager should demonstrate strong leadership skills and keep the team well informed for positive results. What is understood by the Project Management Plan?


The project Management Plan is also termed as Project Framework. The Project Management Plan gives answers to the why, what, how, who and when of the project. It functions as a prerequisite for planning, monitoring, and implementation of the entire project plan. It functions as a guideline to other processes involved in the planning and connects the subsidiary plans. It does this by adopting them into the major project plan. It charts the progress of the project from beginning to end. Reviewing subsidiary plans defines the scope and the importance of the Project Management Plan. The following subsidiary elements are part of the PMP.

  • Communication Management Plan
  • Cost Management
  • Process Improvement
  • Procurement Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Quality Management
  • Risk Management
  • Schedule Management
  • Staffing Management

A project management plan contains a higher degree of detail than the project schedule. All known information about the project is centralized within the management plan.

Scope Management Fundamentals

The scope of a project is the most fundamental element as all subsequent processes and resources are reliant on it. Scope Management is a set of processes that make certain the needs of the customer are carefully recorded. A project has to be protected against scope creep. It also has a key role in keeping the development of the project on point and ensures it reaches its intended goal. It functions in filtering out any distractions and makes certain resources aren’t squandered. The scope of a project needs to be managed and controlled. It explicitly outlines the work to be performed to achieve the deliverables. Scope Management can be subdivided into two processes:


Scope Planning: Scope planning specifies, controls, and verifies the scope. The bigger the project, the more work invested in the scope planning process. Scope Definition: This is the end result after the preliminary scope statement is refined. The definition provides absolute clarity about what the project aims to achieve and what it won’t achieve. The scope definition is established with documents that shape the scope statement. After identifying and outlining the processes required to achieve deliverables, they’re included in the scope definition. It should offer a comprehensive breakdown as it determines the extent of work that will be required to achieve the project. The support team can refer to the Scope Definition for a…


…clear understanding of the expectations from the project. It plays a critical role in determining the project’s success or failure and should be drafted after extensive consideration.

Work Breakdown Structure vs. Word Breakdown Dictionary

Work Breakdown Structure: Also known as WBS, this is an important tool and directs the planning for the rest of the project. WBS is the process of breaking down a project into smaller functions and sub-functions. It structures the project into hierarchical tasks. This assists in clearly defining roles and administration of work. The smaller segments of work are called work packages. This outlines a list of processes required for successful execution of the project. Preparing a WBS is a time-consuming task. Identifying work packages are the sub-steps that need to be completed to meet the deliverables and achieve project goals. It’s a blueprint of the whole project and each work package is reviewed in a detailed manner. The WBS process continues until the work is not broken down into smaller units. Within the hierarchical structure, the project itself is at the highest level. Work Breakdown Dictionary: A valuable tool used in the second phase of the life cycle. It lists for each facet or work package. It has the scope, the deliverables, the period, and the list of functions that are associated with each work package. It contains information including:


  • Name of the package
  • Owner of the package
  • Description of the work
  • Accounting Control Account
  • Technical and Quality Specifications
  • Resource Requirement
  • Work Schedule

What is Activity Planning?

The next step in project planning is working on the schedule of the project. Several automated tools are available so project managers can schedule the work with efficiency. A WBS is needed to determine the activity plan. A thoroughly outlined WBS helps minimize task redundancy and makes certain the work is within the scope of the project. Activity Planning breaks down into two processes:

  • Defining Activities
  • Sequencing Activities

Defining Activities: The first task is defining the term activity. In reference to project management, the term activity means a specific event or occurrence. Team members are required to participate in an activity. This can also mean the project as a whole. Activity planning begins with outlining the structure of work breakdown. The goal of activity planning is pinpointing activities required to achieve deliverables. It addresses this question: “What activities are to be performed to meet the requirements of the work package?” The data gathered to answer this question is the lineup of activities arranged in a sequence. This sequence is known as activity planning in project management. Every project cycles through a process known as progressive elaboration. As work progresses, corresponding knowledge is acquired. Additional knowledge indicates an adjustment in planning which means details will need to be reviewed or reworked. Progressive elaboration is the unfolding of project progression and details worked through. Project plans should be revisited and reviewed as the project moves forward. This assures the project will meet expectations and plans remain flexible if details need to be changed. Ongoing planning as the project moves forward is termed rolling wave planning. Sequencing Activities: Once the activities have been clearly outlined, they are…


…sequenced in a logical structure. Sequencing of activities is based on various factors such as time needed for completion, the resource input, activities that need to be completed prior to a certain activity. In this process the correlations between various activities are established and noted.

Types of Network Diagrams

It’s critical to know how to create and read network diagrams. These diagrams are a graphical presentation of activities and their interconnected functions. Diagrams are a key management tool. They’re done with two methods:

  • Precedence Diagram Method
  • Arrow Diagram Method

Precedence Diagramming Method: These diagrams are also known as Activity on Node Diagrams (AON) as the activity including pertinent information listed on the node. AON is applied to the scheduling of activities. The method uses boxes (known as nodes) to reflect the activities. The connection between the activities is demonstrated with the help of arrows. Start Date: The earliest date when the project can start Duration: The duration for which the activity will last Finish Date: The earliest date by which the activity can finish Late Start: The latest date by which the project can start Late Finish: The latest date by which the project can finish Slack Period: The difference between the early start date and late start date Finish to Start: The most common dependency type. The start of the successor activity is dependent on the completion of the successor activity. Finish to Finish: The completion of the predecessor activity controls the completion of the successor activity. Start to Start: The start of the successor activity depends on the start of the predecessor activity Start to Finish: The completion of the successor activity is controlled by the start of the predecessor activity. Arrow Diagramming Method: This is the method…


…followed by arrow diagramming parallels the PDM. The difference is with ADM all dependencies are Finish to Start. The duration of the activity is relayed on the arrow rather than being conveyed in the node. These diagrams are also referred to as Activity on Arrow (AOA) diagrams.

The Process of Estimating Activity Resources

The next task entailed in the planning phase is processing the estimates of the resources needed to successfully complete the project. This is another process that must be done with care and caution. The project team is responsible for producing a list of estimated resources. This list covers:

  • The Activity List
  • The Activity Attributes
  • The Organizational Process Assets
  • The Enterprise Environmental Factors
  • The Project Management Plan
  • The Resource Availability

For every activity, resources are needed. The various resources than an activity can need are:

  • Equipment
  • Materials and Supply
  • Funds
  • Human Resource

The table given below illustrates the inputs, tools, techniques and outputs of Activity Resource Estimation.


Activity Resource Methods

In determining activity resources, two methods can be applied:


Alternative Analysis: This method is the analysis of other resources available to achieve a specific result. Alternatives could include better options that minimize costs, improved quality, quick completions, and so forth. This is also employed if a primary resource is unavailable. Bottom Up Estimating: The WBS is developed so the scope of work can be divided up into smaller work packages. This not only assists in the completion of tasks but it also helps determine resource availability and estimates. Using this method, estimates are figured from the lowest level to the top level. Bottom Up Estimating offers…


…accurate estimates and are handled by the people who will carry out the task.

The Estimating Activity Durations Process

Once the resource estimates have been calculated, the next task is to calculate the amount of time required to complete scheduled activities. Determining the activity span assumes resources are readily available for that work package.

Analogous Estimation: Using analogous estimation, the precise time spent in a similar activity is noted. The similar activity could be of the same project or a different project. Parametric Estimation: Using parametric estimation, the amount of work to be done is multiplied by the rate of productivity. This method is most effective for activities that have been standardized and are repetitive in function. Three Point Estimates: This method uses three estimated values per activity…


  • Most likely
  • Optimistic
  • Pessimistic

The Project Scheduling Process

One estimating activity duration is completed, the process of formulating the project schedule begins. In this process, all activity information serves as the input resulting in an initial schedule. As the project progresses, the schedule becomes fluid as any changes that occur adjust the timetable. This scheduling process is a vital element and requires ongoing administration by the project manager.

Critical Path:


The most prolonged path from start to finish. Any detainment or extended duration of the activities reflects a consequent delay in the project. Thus it’s very important that all activities on the Critical Path be completed in adherence to the schedule.

The Factors That Have a Vital Role in Cost Estimations

The process of cost estimating is calculating the expected cost or performing each activity. For calculating costs the following are taken into account:

  • Cost of Labor
  • Cost of Material
  • Cost of Equipment
  • Other Direct Costs

The costs are calculated in monetary terms. Any unanticipated occurrence can lead to a substantial rise or decline in the cost estimates. The table below illustrates the inputs, tools and techniques and outputs as it relates to cost estimating.


The Cost Budgeting Process

Cost estimates are fundamental in calculating the project budget. Cost budgeting is the completed tally of activity cost estimates. These estimates are contained in a single document. [The table given below illustrates the inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs for the cost budgeting process].


Risk Management Analysis

Every project has an element of risk to one degree or another. These risks can be planned, anticipated and mitigated. Risk analysis probes the team to consider and determine if the project is moving in the right direction or not. Risk Management Analysis is the process that specifies how risk management activities will be employed. The first task is risk management planning. Here the project manager plans for backup procedures in the event of unexpected events and how to respond to risks that may arise during the developmental phase of the project. Risk management planning is a crucial process. Any oversights could adversely impact the project. Planning meetings are usually held to identify risks and backup plans. In some cases, risk managers are chosen to oversee the process. It is imperative that risks be…


…clearly identified, properly monitored and effectively mitigated. As well, it’s important to ensure the project is not overtaken by risk management. Risks should be known and accepted without overburdening the process of controlling them. This is important as anxieties about risks will not allow the project to flow. The higher the amount of known risks, the longer it will take to reach project completion. Identifying risks at the beginning phase of a project helps the team and project manager to streamline the work and resources. Further, it helps to minimize complications arising at a later stage. Every situation is unique. Certain scenarios may be a risk for a particular project or organization while being an opportunity for another project or organization. Each situation needs to be evaluated based on the given circumstances. Risk Management requires effective and ongoing communication between the staff members, managers and stakeholders. As well, it’s critical that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. Accountability and transparency should play an essential role in project development to mitigate risks.

Key Principles Governing Risk Management

Managing risks is a vital element of any project. Risk Management is a fundamental part of project management. Risk methodology integrates tools and techniques used to mitigate the risks to a project. It breaks down specific steps to be taken to manage risks. The tools used for this process: the risk register, the risk breakdown structure, the probability and impact matrix and checklists. The fundamental principles governing risk management:


  • The process should create value
  • It should be an integral part of the organizational process
  • It should factor into the overall decision making process
  • It must explicitly address uncertainty
  • It should be systematic and structured
  • It should be based on the best available information
  • It should be tailored to the project
  • It must take into account human factors
  • It should be transparent and all-inclusive
  • It should be dynamic and adaptable to change
  • It should be continuously monitored and improved upon as the project moves forward

Risk Identification

Risk Identification: Risk identification is the process of identifying risks involved in a project or process. The process is ongoing throughout the life cycle of the project. Before a risk can be effectively handled or a strategy in place to address the risk, it must be identified. This should be done after detailed analysis. Likely risks should be carefully documented. The inputs required for identifying risks:


  • Commercial Databases
  • Industry/academic/benchmarking studies
  • Information from Internal Database
  • Scope Statement
  • Project Management Plan

Nature of Risk Definition

There are two types of risk: Positive and Negative. The response of the project manager, team, the management, and the other stakeholders varies for both. Positive Risks are regarded as opportunities and proactive measures are taken to increase them. Negative Risks can compromise success of a project therefore the team and project manager must make efforts to minimize these risks. The project manager needs to…


…ensure there’s not an over-expenditure of time and resources in managing risks as it can delay or thwart the project’s progress.

Assessment of Risks, Risk Probability and Impact

Assessment of Risks: A risk is assessed based on likelihood of its occurrence and resulting impact on the project. Risk Probability and Impact: An analysis of the degree of probability of the risks to occur. This can be expressed in two ways:

  • Mathematically
  • High, Low or Medium

Impact Analysis: a study of the impact of a risk, also expressed on a mathematical scale or as high, low and medium. These analyses are…


…documented during the planning phase. A probability and impact matrix can also be used for this analysis.

What is a Risk Category?

Risk Categories is assessing risks by classifications based on various factors. Risks can be classified as: technical risks, organizational risks, internal risks, external risks, group risks, or even environmental risks. Categories can be broken into sub-categories. Classifying risks in these categories is…


…an effective method as the response to a certain risk, its level of importance, and resulting impact all depends on the type of risk.

The Risk Breakdown Structure

A Risk Breakdown Structure is a method used to organize risks in a hierarchical structure. As the project progresses there will be a number of scenarios that will be regarded as risks for its success or development. Risk Management entails organization of risks prior to their occurrence and developing a contingency plan. RBS is a useful tool in this process. It outlines details of the risks and is classified in categories. The classification could be based on: the nature of risk, the cause of risk, and the remedy of the risk to specify a few. RBS can be customized based on the project structure. Risks can be classified in these categories:


  • Technical Risks
  • Organizational Risks
  • Costs
  • Schedules
  • Resources

What is a Risk Register?

The risk register is an important tool for tracking and logging the risks. It records both qualitative as and quantitative risks, along with their descriptions and categories to be recorded in a risk register. In general terms, the information is logged under the following:


  • Risk Description
  • Date when Risk was Identified
  • Category of Risk
  • Potential Responses to the Risk
  • Current Status

The Monte Carlo Analysis

The MCA technique uses simulated situations and probability. It measures quantitative risk analysis. The project manager and team calculate the project’s total value and project schedule along with randomly chosen input values. Values are ascertained by…


…working out probabilities according to cost and time. This analysis is a tool to determine situations where total costs can be distributed. These are also calculated over potential completion dates.

Decision Tree Analysis

Decision Tree analysis is a method that uses a tree diagram to aid in decision making. In this structured technique, the branches of the tree reflect various options and their consequences.It’s commonly used to aid in creative sessions. The benefits of this tool are that…


…it assures all factors – probabilities, costs, and rewards are taken into account.

Risk Management vs. Risk Response Planning

These are distinctly different processes, as explained: Risk Management Planning: After risks have been identified, organized and placed into categories, the project member and team will then outline the best method to contend with these risks. This is achieved with an effective risk plan where strategies are put in place. The risk management plan logs the inputs and outputs for addressing risks. The plan can be drawn up in a formal or informal document. Working on this plan is known as Risk Management Planning. Risk Response Planning: After risks have been identified and categorized, risk response planning is…


…the next phase. A list is drawn up, outlining the options that are available when responding to a risk. The end goal of response planning is to minimize the risk and the response time to a risk.

Qualitative Risks vs. Quantitative Risks

Qualitative Analysis: In this process, a complete and a thorough analysis is done either before or during planning of the project. QA is designed to determine the degree of probability and resulting impact of a certain risk. A high probability risk necessitates proactive response as opposed to risks of low probability. The same applies to high impact and low impact risk. It prioritizes the risk through the process of planning, monitoring and control. Quantitative Risk Analysis: Quantitative Risk Analysis is…


…another important process for a project manager and his team. It aids in clarifying the potential level of risks to the project. It factors in high priority risks while conducting qualitative analysis. This analysis is done to quantify the probabilities of outcomes and work on logical scopes.

Negative and Positive Risks

Responses to a risk are recorded in the risk register. The responses to a negative risk include:

  • Avoiding the risk
  • Transferring the risk
  • Mitigating the risk
  • Accepting the risk

The responses to a positive risk:

  • Exploiting the risk
  • Sharing the risk
  • Enhancing the risk
  • Accepting the risk

The table below provides additional background:


The Human Resource Planning Process

Human Resource planning is the process that ascertains the type and quantum of human resource needed to complete the project within the scheduled time. Acquisition of necessary human resources also falls under the purview of this process. Once the human resource quota is determined, the next step is the assigning of roles and responsibilities of the team members. Organization charts and staff management plans are created. The Project Manager leads the team. They are his or her responsibility. The human resource functions of a Project Manager:


  • Ascertain the HR need of the project
  • Negotiate with line managers for procuring internal resources
  • Acquisition of external resources through the procurement process
  • Determine the training needs of team members
  • Determine the performance review approach for a project’s human resource
  • Responsible for the rewards and recognition of team members
  • Document the team structure and ascertain responsibilities of team members
  • Create organization charts
  • Develop staffing management plan

Key Human resource principles applied:

  • Human Resource Management is a process used for managing the project staff
  • The project manager, sponsor and other people responsible for planning, controlling and closing the project are classified as a project team
  • HR planning is undertaken to deliver organization charts, staffing management plan and dividing on the roles and duties of each team member

The table below illustrates important aspects of the human resources process.

Quality Management Planning

Quality Management process is a group of procedures and methods followed to ensure the project deliverables meet expected standards by the client and the industry. QMP is an essential process to assist in the project’s success. Quality targets are determined. After meeting with the client and key stakeholders, the outlining of these standards is put in place. The Quality Management Process helps to pinpoint and resolve issues regarding quality. Quality Management processes are incorporated through:


Quality Assurance Process: This refers to the processes used to produce deliverables and are performed by the stakeholders, e.g., the client. Checklists and project audits are the two methods used to determine the quality assurance. Quality Control Process: This includes tasks involved with the creation of the result of the project. These are performed to assure the end product meets the expected quality, is complete and accurate. The objectives in this process are:

  • Delver to the prescribed quality standards by the client
  • Deliver to the prescribed quality standards as per the industry norms
  • To improve the quality of deliverables
  • To enhance the team’s output

Quality planning is the first task in the quality management process is quality planning. It serves as a supplementary management process undertaken in the planning phase. The project manager is responsible for identifying the quality standards pertaining to a project. He or she is required to document the quality standards as well as the methods and procedures to meet them.

Main Principles of Quality Management

Though the project manager is responsible for assuring the quality of deliverables in the project, it’s crucial to bear in mind he or she alone cannot make sure quality standards are adhered to throughout the entire lifecycle. The team also has a role in assuring the deliverables meet all the prescribed quality standards. Each team member should be clear on the importance of his or her role and contribution to the project. The collective attitude of team members has significant influence on the process. Transparency and open discussions of issues are an essential component to assure quality standards are met. In the quality management plan, an outlined strategy to ensure quality is to be decided but the following applies:


  • Preventing a mistake is better than rectifying it in terms of cost, time and effort
  • Quality programs need a strong support from the management to be successful
  • Quality is considered important and the fourth factor to scope, coast and time
  • The cost of quality means cost of implementing a quality program
  • It is important to understand the needs and expectations of the client for delivering a project that meets quality standards
  • The quality program should revolved around continuous improvement

Quality Theories of Project Management

The different quality theories and standards recognized in the industry:

  • International Organization for Standardization
  • Total Quality Management
  • Six Sigma
  • Continuous Improvement (Kaizen) Theory
  • The Deming Cycle or Plan-Do-Check-Act
  • Capability Maturity Model (CMM)

The table below outlines these theories in more detail: Answer:

The Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle

PDCA, also known as the Deming Cycle, is named after its pioneer Dr. W. Edward Deming. The Deming Cycle is a concept that’s applied for ensuring quality and interaction between various project management processes. It is regarded as a scientific method. This approach allows effective planning as well as testing and active feedback. The advantages of PDCA:


Plans: It plans improvement. It outlines the objectives and procedures required for a delivery that will meet the expectations of the client. It focuses on output and works to sustain effective results. Do: It executes the planned improvement: The improvement plan is implemented on a small scale. Check: It measures the improvement. The outcomes of the new plan are compared to the expected results. Act: In case there are differences, an analysis is done to examine the causes for these differences. The entire process is repeated from planning improvements until the results do not match the expectations. Once the results are measured and checked the action is taken. The action could be:

  • Improving on a standard
  • Modifying the improvement
  • Abandoning the improvement

Total Quality Management Philosophy

Total Quality Management: TQM is a management technique used to ensure the considerations play a part in all phases of the project. Its goal is to meet the highest quality standards through the participation of all team members who have a role in project development. TCM is used as a management tool in industries across all areas and improves on the principle of standardization. The three paradigms that form the basis of TCM:

  • Planning encompassing all phases of the project lifecycle
  • Education and Training the team on quality standards and expectations
  • Managing the process of quality assurance

To implement total quality it’s critical that…


…planning carried through the entire lifecycle of the project. Total quality can’t be guaranteed without the element of planning and projected scope of the entire project. It is vital that potential risks are identified and measured, along with developing the plan to deal with these risks. As well, it’s imperative to have the techniques and tools to inspect, evaluate, report and amend when required. Team members should be educated with the TCM process for ensuring total quality. Informing and training the team with the quality process will not only ensure quality but also yield a higher level of commitment from them. Critical tasks can’t be accomplished without effective management of the process. To ensure total quality the quality planning and implementation needs to be an organized process. Corrective measures, training, and reporting of deficiencies, need to be monitored for best results.

The Six Sigma Theory

The Six Sigma theory was first developed by Motorola in 1981 and currently sees expansive application across industries. The theory is based on the doctrine of mitigation of defects and consequently improving the quality of deliverables. It addresses the principle of minimizing variability to successfully attain quality. It integrates quality management and statistical tools to produce a system within the organization. Using this theory, specific steps are defined to reach specific targets. Designated targets can be anything that is imperative for the client or the project that is being developed. It could be related to costs, time frame, or safety mechanisms. The cornerstones of Six Sigma theory:

  • For definite results, continuous effort is important
  • Every business has characteristics that can be quantified, analyzed and improved
  • For sustaining and attaining quality a commitment from the entire organization is essential

Distinctive elements of this theory:


  • The focus is set and clearly defined. The focus is set on a target which can be measured in monetary terms
  • It places stress rigorous and effective management and leadership
  • It creates an infrastructure wherein people are designated as Champions, Black Belts, Master Black Belts to lead, implement and supervise the implementation of the Six Sigma approach
  • The basis of all decisions is data which can be verified rather than working on assumptions.

Six Sigma adheres to two methods in projects that are based on Deming’s Cycle:


The DMAIC Methodology

DMAIC refers to: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. This methodology consists of five steps:


  • Defining the problem
  • Measuring the key aspects for collecting relevant data
  • Analyzing the data collected to understand the cause and effects
  • Improve the existing process and set up a test run to establish its results
  • Controlling the future processes to deal with deviations beforehand.

The DMADV MethodologyThe DMADV Methodology:

DMADV: Known as: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify. This method is also referred to as DFSS, or Design for Six Sigma. New products and method designs are created using this methodology. It also approaches quality planning through five steps:


  • Defining goals which are consistent with the needs of the customer
  • Measuring the key aspects that are critical for the success of the project. These characteristics are capabilities of the products and production processes, risk involved
  • Analyzing the data collected to work for alternative designs; understand the cause and effects;
  • Designing details of the design selected and work for optimizing it
  • Verify the design and set up test runs and give to the process owner

The tools used in implementing the Six Sigma theory:

  • 5 Whys
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Business Process Mapping
  • Cause & Effects Diagram (also known as fishbone or Ishikawa diagram)
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Root cause analysis
  • SIPOC Analysis (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers)

The Continuous Improvement Theory

The theory is also known as the Kaizen Theory. This Japanese theory is focused on a philosophy centered around ongoing improvement in industries, business processes, and management. The theory has been widely implemented. For the purposes of project management it refers to tasks that enhance the functions performed while developing a project. It is applied as a daily process and has been thought to…


…to make the work environment more human. It allows people to test methods that reduce waste of effort and resources, and increases productivity. It’s focused on achieving quality via the human resource of an organization. It brings incremental but continued improvements. Changes are implemented and results carefully observed and then procedures adjusted. The benefits of implementing the Kaizen Theory are that smaller changes implemented are expected to yield bigger ones. Team members find it easy to adapt and upscale.

Process Improvement and Procurement Management

Process Improvement Plan: this is one of the secondary processes forming a part of the second phase of the life cycle. This plan is focused on ascertaining process boundaries, configuration, and enhanced targets. Procurement Management Plan: this is also a secondary process forming a part of the second phase of the project life cycle. This part of planning is focused on implementing external resources based on the requirement. It involves making a determination of whether to make the resource in-house or from an outside agency. Once a decision is made to procure from an outside agency, the next step is determining whether the resource is to be purchased, or rented/leased. A procurement plan is made outlining how the procurement process will be carried out. While preparing the procurement plan the following items are considered:


  • Cost of resources
  • Quality of goods to be procured
  • Technical, financial capabilities of the vendors
  • Technical approach to the project

The Principles Behind Procurement Management

Procurement Management administers communications between the buyer and the seller. The hiring of services, products and other required resources is handled by the project team. A Procurement Management Plan is a set of fundamental guidelines that the organization expects to be followed while making purchases. Any purchases made without planning can lead to wasted resources such as time and expense. In addition to procurement management, urgent situations and contingency plans are also considered. Each organization uses its own set of rules for procurement management. The project manager should take the lead in following these rules. He or she should consider the following while procuring products and services for the project:


  • Cost of Resources
  • Quality of goods to be procured
  • Technical, Financial capabilities of the vendors
  • Technical approach to the project

These factors are further determined by the availability of the seller or the provider. If several vendors are supplying the goods, cost, quality and conditions of supply can be discussed. In situations where there’s a single source supplier, the conditions may not be favorable for the buyer. The Law of Diminishing Returns is applicable to technology and should be taken into account. Hardware or software that is loaded with features is going to be taxing on time, effort, and money. It’s critical to yield to the most important and basic features while making procurements.

Steps in Procurement Management

Key principles governing procurement management: Preparation of SOW: The first step is drafting a statement of work or SOW. This statement is created at the start of the project and is used as an input and output device. It outlines detailed descriptions of the products and services to be delivered at the end of a contract. The project scope statement and WBS are referred to while creating the SOW. A project can have several Statements of Work. The purpose of this statement:

  • It puts the expectations of the buyer and the deliverables by the seller on a single platform
  • It serves a crucial role in case of discrepancy between the demand and supply

Type of Contract: A contract is a formal document drafted to record the terms and conditions governing the negotiations between the seller and buyer. Three types of contracts that can be used

  • Fixed Price Contract: In this arrangement, the seller is paid a fixed amount for the products or services provided by it. The predetermined amount does not change due to any contingency. This kind of contract allows the suppliers to charge a higher amount and keeps the buyer relaxed as nothing will trigger a change in the price.
  • Time and Material: In this type of contract, the prices between the seller and the buyer are agreed on a unit basis. These contracts do not have a fixed structure and are more flexible than fixed price contracts.
  • Cost Reimbursement: Here the seller is reimbursed for the actual costs incurred. Additionally, the seller is paid a fee as a profit. The costs are categorized as:


Direct Costs: Costs which have been actually incurred for the project. Staff salaries and equipment are examples of direct costs. Indirect Costs: These costs involve a wider range of provisions and are general in nature. Incentives and bonuses are examples of these contracts.

Make or Buy Decision: The first task in procurement management is determining if products & services are to be purchased or produced in-house. This decision is finalized when making purchases and acquisitions. This is a very crucial process that needs to be carefully handled. There can be several reasons for deciding either way. The main reasons that influence this process:

  • The costs involved
  • The time and effort required to produce
  • The technology required to produce

The cost factor plays a primary role in this decision. The contract states and answers the decisions of what to buy, from whom, and at what price. Other conditions will be stated as well. It is essential to discuss and specify in the contracts the effects of default in conditions if made by both ends.

The Communication Management Plan

A Communication Management Plan is an integral part of a project. The significance of this plan is based on communication being a paramount factor in the development of a project. The plan distinguishes between mandatory and discretionary communication. Poor communication can compromise the success of the project while effective communication can ensure it. The project manager is in charge of making certain open and regular communication is sustained throughout. Communication from a project manager can be regarded as:


  • Communication that is given out
  • Communication that is received

The project manager also ensures communication is continuous among the various stakeholders such as team members and management. If the team members are not informed about project goals and expectations to achieve that goal, the project will not progress. Communication of course is a two-way street. If the team members fail to keep the project manager informed on what they are doing and have done, it thwarts the manager’s ability to monitor the progress of the project and keep a level of control. The project manager not only clearly outlines team member roles and responsibilities, but also conveys the quality specifications, budget constraints and the time available to complete a specific task. Communication is essential for project vitality. It must be open, regular and unambiguous, and should be sustained from the earliest phase of the life cycle. An early start in effective communication aids relationship building. Both formal and informal meetings can be used as opportunities to keep the channels of communication flowing. It is also important to communicate in the right direction for effective communication.

The Process of Building a Communication Plan

The importance of effective and regular communication is paramount to any business relationship or endeavor. It ensures the success of a project to thus meet the expectations of the client. Drafting a communication plan is an important task in communication planning. Communication starts at the very first stage of the project when the project initiator conveys the needs and goals of the business. It is important that the stakeholders state their needs to the project manager and the team. It is equally important that the project manager communicates the achievable deliverables to the client as well as the management. Open and two-way communication between the project manager and team members cannot be overstated. The table below illustrates the inputs, tools, techniques and outputs as it relates to the communication management plan.


The Third Phase of the Project Lifecycle

The third phase of the project lifecycle is activating a project management plan. Here, the actual work begins. To successfully move forward into this phase all resources required to carry out the project should be in place. This requires effective coordination of resources. At this juncture, the project manager goes from planning to implementation of plans, observing the development of the project and analyzing the work done. Processes needed to complete the work and achieving the deliverables fall under this phase. Plans outlined in the second phase are activated here. The results expected from this phase are deliverables and accomplishing the defined objectives. The scope of the work to be done is determined by the scope statement, and consumption of resources are underway. The project manager is more focused on daily activities as outlined in the scope statement. In essence, execution of the plan, performing required tasks with efficient completion, coordinating and managing project resources all fall under this phase. Several activities need to be performed to successfully complete this phase, such as:


  • Request Vendor Responses
  • Vendor Selection
  • Quality Assurance
  • Direct & Manage Project Execution
  • Team Formation
  • Develop the Project Team
  • Information Distribution

The output to be reached at the end of this phase is the list of deliverables defined in the project scope statement. This is carried out by applying:

  • Project Management Methodology
  • Project Management Information System

Project Control and Monitoring

Project Monitoring and Control process are the procedures and activities performed for monitoring and administering the entire processes done by the project manager and his team during execution. The goal is to ensure:

  • That the processes adhere to the scope of the project. Continuous monitoring ensures that the project stays on track and the work flow is maintained. The progress of the project is measured against the time and the resource schedules.
  • Quality standards are adhered to. This not only ensures quality of the deliverables but also works by reducing the need to rework and modify.
  • Corrective and preventive actions taken whenever necessary. This keeps a check on the risks and further becomes the cause of success or failure of a project.

However, project control and monitoring requires additional work for the project manager and his team. However, it’s an integral function in moving towards the success of the project. The documents produced during initiation and planning serve as the base for the project manager to conduct monitoring and control of the project. The table below demonstrates the project monitoring and control process in detail:


Assuring Quality as Part of Execution

During the planning stage, plans are developed to sustain the quality standards as defined by the client, the management and the industry. During the execution phase, the work required to deliver prescribed standards is done. This phase introduces a significant task for the team members to ensure quality in the deliverables. Improvement is an ongoing process in raising the quality level. Improvement is monitored with continuous analysis throughout the project life cycle. Once improvements are implemented, further process analysis is done. This aids in minimizing waste and eliminating any processes that don’t add value. Process analysis is a detailed-intensive study of the processes that are done, the steps involved in getting them done, and who carries them out. It is important to understand the distinction between quality assurance and quality control. Quality Assurance is an essential element of project management procedure. This procedure is developed, managed, controlled, and monitored by quality assurance. This involves:


Approved Change Requests: Approved Change Requests are requests submitted and approved after going through the change management process. Changes are approved by an authorized member Work Performance Information: Work Performance Information functions as primary guidance to quality assurance. Work Performance Information is gathered information on the status of activities outlined in the project schedule. This information is applied in the processes of quality audits, quality reviews and process analysis. Quality Control Measurements: Quality control is accomplished through quality control tasks. The important tools used in QC:

  • Performance Analysis
  • Quality Audits
  • Root Cause Analysis

Quality Audits

Quality management should be taken on as an ongoing process rather than a one-time event. To make certain a product or service delivers to the quality standards it is crucial that the process be seamless. Quality control and monitoring, updating processes and data should be done repeatedly for optimal results. Sustaining quality is a shared responsibility among the team, management and key stakeholders. Quality Audit is procedural analysis of the quality system. A quality audit can be done internally or by an external agency. The objectives of a project audit are as follows:


  • Identification of existing problems in the project and processes
  • Identifying the areas prone to complications if changes are incorporated
  • To find and support problem resolution by recommending necessary changes

Projects encounter problems when development methods are insufficient or when processes fall short. Quality Audits aid in the improvement of business processes within the organization.

What is Performance Analysis?

Performance Analysis: PA addresses the question: “How is the work being done or how is the project progressing?” The intent of this analysis is to inform stakeholders on how the project is doing in terms process execution and what can be done to enhance performance. Performance Analysis is based on these elements:

  • The Project Scope Statement
  • Performance measures to ascertain the current state of goals and objectives
  • Baselines in terms of resources, objectives and quality
  • Feedback for continuous improvement

Performance Analysis is done to glean:


  • Qualitative Attributes of a project
  • Quantitative Attributes of a project

Performance Analysis is a task that’s done repeatedly. Performance Analysis Reports are referenced at all critical decision-making junctures. These reports are used for:

  • External dealings
  • Internal dealings

Root Cause Analysis

RCA is another important method to ensure quality planning and control. It identifies and deals with issues that exist as hidden causes of a risk, variance or flaw. It analyzes any lurking complications that require prompt attention. It studies those factors that can potentially…


…compromise the project. It is also likely that a single root cause may be leading to multiple consequences in the shape of risks, variance or flaws.

hings a Project Manager Should Focus on to Be Successful

Collaborative effort is responsible for planning, executing and completing a project, making the human resource a pivotal ingredient. Depending on the project, assignment of specific resources may not be solely determined by the project manager, but that person is responsible for obtaining the resources. When it comes to amassing human resources, the project manager should factor in:

  • availability
  • cost
  • interest
  • ability
  • experience

Availability of the resource: It’s imperative to know beforehand each team member’s availability for the project. Ability: In addition to availability, it’s important to know the abilities of the resource and the corresponding demands of the project. Experience: When securing a resource it’s important to ascertain what kind of experience a resource is expected to have and if personal aptitude meets that requirement. Interest: Interest of a resource is a critical factor in deciding whether that person would like to work on the project or not. Cost: The cost of acquiring a resource is another important factor in determining the need. The team is required to have all necessary abilities and qualifications to handle the workload needs of the project. The team should be supplied with the required tools and talent to meet project goals. Multiple tools can be used to assemble the team. (See below)


Team Development in Project Management

Team Development: A team is made up of individual members. One of the chief priorities is ensuring that each member performs and delivers at maximum capacity for sustainable functioning of the project process. Team Development can be defined in two ways:

  • Enhancing the competency of each team member
  • Enhancing interaction and communication between team members to support the efficiency of the team as a whole.

There are several tools applied in Team Development:


  • Management Skills
  • Training
  • Team Building
  • Ground Rules
  • Co-Location
  • Recognition & Awards

General Management Skills: These are also referred to as “soft skills”. These aid in creating a healthy and congenial work atmosphere. These skills include empathy, creativity, influence, and group facilitation skills. Training: This is used to strengthen competency of the team members. Training sessions can be formal or informal and may be conducted in a classroom training, computer-based training, or mentoring. Team Building: These are specialized activities performed to increase team cohesiveness. Activities can be held onsite or offsite. Adventure tours is an example of team building activity. Ground Rules: These are fundamental rules of behavior that have been decided between the team. Co-Location: In contrast to virtual teams, the entire team is situated in one location facilitating interaction and communication. Recognition and Rewards: These are used as motivators to inspire team members to perform. Rewards encourage positive behavior.

Power in Team Development

Power: Power is a critical factor in team development. The project manager cannot impose arbitrary power over the team members. The other members should have some degree of power and flexibility to motivate personal and effective performance. There are various forms of power in a team or a member:

  • Legitimate
  • Referent
  • Expert
  • Reward
  • Coercive

Definitions of these forms of power are below:


Legitimate Power: Power that derives from a legitimate source like position or title. Referent Power: A type of power transferred from a source which possesses legitimate power, for example: management signing the project charter authorizes the project manager to carry out the functions required for project completion. Expert Power: Power derived from knowledge, often recognized as expert knowledge. Coercive Power: Power that’s driven by force or intimidation.

Team Motivation in Project Management

This is a key factor that influences the attitude of the team towards the project as a whole and their respective productivity. A project manager is required to keep the team motivated. Recognition and rewards are key tactics used for project motivation. There are various theories characterizing team motivation. It can be accomplished in three steps:


  • Accountability
  • Provide ownership of the task
  • Timely feedback

Theories of Motivation

Hierarchy of Needs Theory: Developed by Abraham Maslow, this theory states that the needs of people can be arranged in a pyramid and are satisfied based on the level. Once the needs at one level are fulfilled people ascend to a higher level of the pyramid. The lowest level of the pyramid consists of basic needs like food and shelter, moving safety, security, etc. Self-esteem is considered a major motivating factor by this theory. Motivation-Hygiene Theory: Also known as the two factor theory, it was developed by Fredrick Herzberg. The theory focuses on factors considered as motivators and hygiene. In this theory hygiene factors are adequate pay and supplies. These deter dissatisfaction. Examples of motivation factors are learning environments and acquisition of new skills. Expectancy Theory: Developed by Victor Vroom, this theory is straightforward and based on rewards. According to Vroom’s theory, a team performs best when it's acknowledged as high performing, and starts to expect rewards further motivating it to perform. Achievement Theory: Put forth by David McClelland, this theory outlines three motivating factors: Power, affiliation, and achievement. Waning of any one power can lead to poor performance by the team. X and Y Theories: The theories were established by Douglas McGregor William and Ouchi. Theory X asserts that people are lazy and need dictatorship. Theory Y acknowledges people as hard workers that do not require constant supervision. Contingency Theory: The theory was birthed by Fred Fiedler and focuses on situational leadership. The theory is based on interrelations between team members, the task to be completed, and the positional power of the leader that creates a certain outcome. Situational Leadership:


Developed by Ken Blanchard, this theory proposes people move through four stages of development. Emphasis is placed on the leaders and their implementation of the appropriate leadership style. The leader may apply directing, coaching, supporting, delegating, or more than one.

Information Distribution: PMP Life Cycle

Information distribution is executed in the second phase of the life cycle. This assures that all stakeholders are consistently informed as outlined in the communication plan. Addressing ad-hoc requests is included as well. Response to these requests should be prompt and accurate. The project manager is required to monitor information flow to stakeholders. The precise number of communication channels can be calculated with…


…the formula n(n-1)/2. If a team consists of three members, according to the formula the number of communication channels will be 3 x (3 – 1)/2 = 3.

Tools for Information Distribution

The tools for information distribution are categorized as follows:

  • Communication Skills
  • Information Gathering Systems
  • Information Retrieval Systems
  • Information Distribution Systems
  • Lessons Learned

The definitions for each category are below:


Communication Skills: Communication Skills are a fundamental management tool. Communication is a two-way stream between a sender and a receiver. The via media is labeled as the communication channel. It is critical that communication be delivered at the proper time, to the appropriate person, via the right medium. Forms of communication:

  • Formal and Informal Communication
  • Internal and External Communication
  • Vertical and Horizontal Communication
  • Written and oral communication

Information Gathering and Retrieval Systems: Required methods for information retrieval and gathering are addressed during the planning stage. A number of tools are used for information gathering, such as:

  • Document Repository
  • Electronic Databases
  • Manual Filing System
  • Project Management Tools

Information Distribution Systems: The project manager is responsible for information recollection and distribution to the stakeholders. The tools used:

  • Distribution and Filing of printed documents
  • Electronic media (email and fax)
  • Meetings (in person; virtual)
  • Shared access in case of electronic documents
  • Telephone and Voicemail

Lessons Learned: Lessons learned is a term used to refer to certain situations that are documented over the course of the project. Lessons learned are referenced to help improve upon certain processes; make omissions or suggestions; they can also be applied to future projects. They serve as a tool for ongoing improvement. When the project reaches the final stage of the life cycle, lessons learned are reviewed and discussed. The objective is to learn from which methods were effective versus problematic elements. It’s important to document methods and processes that went right over the course of the project. As well, processes that were ineffective need to be clearly documented. Once this is completed, lessons learned can then be formulated into best practices to avoid future mistakes.

Request Seller Responses Process

During the process of project management, acquisition of resources may be obtained through multiple vendors. Solicitation of vendors is referred to as requesting seller responses. The complete process of soliciting the vendors is called request seller responses process. The process is broken down into two aspects:

  • Issuing Requests: Obtaining information from the vendor. The information may be received in the form of proposals, estimates, quotations, bids, offers, etc.
  • Selecting Sellers: Once all information has been obtained the process of vendor selection begins. The vendor is selected after thorough evaluation, which is done under the following criteria:
  • Capabilities (technical, financial, production) of the vendor
  • History of the Vendor
  • Life Cycle Cost
  • Price at which the commodities or services are being offered
  • References
  • Understanding of the need by the vendor

Various tools are available for selecting a vendor:


  • Expert Judgment
  • Seller Rating system
  • Contract Negotiations
  • Screening Systems
  • Independent Estimates
  • Weighting Systems
  • Proposal Evaluation Techniques

Contract Negotiation: Here contract negotiations are used to provide clarification on the proposals. Negotiations are done to go over technical details, financial constraints, payment schedules, etc. Expert Judgment: A team of experts review the proposals from the list of vendors. A selection is based on the evaluation of these experts. Independent Estimates: For preparing independent estimates external agencies are called on. The pricing is compared with these independent estimates. Screening System: Here a minimal degree of performance is predetermined. Vendors that fall short of these minimum standards are eliminated from the screening process. Seller Rating System: This method follows a vendor performance track. Here the past record of the vendor plays a significant role. Weighting System: A value is attached to each criterion based on its importance. A vendor with a higher value for those criteria is chosen. Proposal Evaluation Techniques: A combination of all of the techniques above.

The Basics of Project Control

Project Control is a term that describes a series of tasks and processes performed for managing project risks. These activities are done with the objective of enhancing project performance and resource utilization. These tasks are done frequently based on the requirements of the project. The fundamental elements of project control:

  • Defining Baselines & Milestones
  • Risk definition for proposed corrective or preventive actions
  • Tracking of project activities and resource utilization

Project Control underscores the fact that ineffective control can result in project termination. Specifically, lack of control in these areas:


  • Cost
  • Quality
  • Risk can be detrimental to the success of the project
  • Scope

The Project Control Framework

Project control is an ongoing process. Milestones are an accumulation of work packages and deliverables. Therefore if project control activities are done at their completion, problems might be discovered late in the project. The purpose of project control is to perform multiple adjustments or course corrections along the way rather than making adjustments at a later juncture.


Changes during project development can sometimes create complications. Unwarranted change indicates the project is exempt from external elements for its normal development. Changes can be introduced by people, the environment or by some form of strategy. The project manager needs to make certain organizational processes in place to safeguard against such changes.

  • Best Practices
  • Lessons Learned
  • Work Package Progress
  • Execution Trend Analysis
  • Risk Trigger Management
  • Forecast Reports
  • Corporate Strategy

Approved Changes vs. Unapproved Changes

Once the potential of changes is recognized, it has to be addressed, evaluated for risks, the potential in terms of scope, resources, quality, and communications. This assures that a detailed analysis of potential changes has been performed while keeping the deliverables in check. Gold Plating is a term that refers to a change that has not undergone the change control process. A change that…


…has been evaluated and recognized to have merits with the objectives and deliverables in view is turned over to the project change control team for final evaluations.

Project Change Control Board and Feedback Loop

Project Change Control Board: Also known as the CCB, it is a decisive body entrusted with the task of approving changes to projects and their impacts. It does this in two phases: the first phase is analysis of the proposed change. It is also a granted request for additional information about the change or to delay the decision regarding the change. Every approved change will be conveyed in the baselines. Project Feedback Loop: The entire life cycle of a project is broken down into five phases: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Controlling and Closing. The project cannot be considered completely unaffected and has no impact on external factors. Information gathering and distribution is critical at this juncture. The tasks performed for gathering and distributing information serves the purpose of information feedback loops. A project that does not make use of feedback loops is operating on the assumption that…


…no changes will be required over the course of the project, which means that no requirements will be adjusted. This creates inflexibility within the project structure and eliminates opportunity to implement changes. Unforeseen elements or events can impact the viability of the project as an inflexible structure is a recipe for failure. Examples of unforeseen events are resource reduction, loss of human resources, relocation, etc.

Corrective Action for a Project

Corrective Action is modified action decided to be taken based on evaluation of work progress packages and earned value analysis. The goal is to establish a new direction to a process or on behalf of a project that has gone off course. This new direction should be recorded and then aligned with subsequent processes in order to meet the deliverables. The extent of corrective action can be a project overhaul or a specific task or a process. The earlier corrective action is employed the better the recovery process. Minor corrective actions will have less impact on the entire set of deliverables. Corrective actions that are more significant can result in acquiring of additional resources which would further be needed to reflect in the baselines. Steps that can be taken as corrective action:


  • Updating of baselines with respect to current scenario
  • Add resources to deal with a project that is behind schedule
  • Rearrange activities to be able to conduct parallel activities
  • Outsourcing of the project
  • Scope reduction

The goal of corrective action is to salvage the project with minimum impact. Determining and monitoring schedule and cost variances is very important.

The Role of WBS to Control the Project Scope

Scope Control is the process of regulating the scope of the project and the deliverables. The scope baseline is an important element in the process of scope control as the scope baseline holds a detailed breakdown of the project scope and the deliverables. It provides a guideline for any details that are in “to be determined” status at the initiation phase. Work Breakdown Structure and Work Package Progress Reports:


The aim of a WBS is to establish a path that outlines the activities that are required to reach the deliverables. This document is fluid and will reflect every change in resource usage or any other changes, thus it’s a document that should be drafted carefully.

How Variance is Identified with Earned Value Management

Earned Value Assessment is a tool used to evaluate the performance of a team and status of the project. This analysis is performed in comparison to the project plan, and is determined by three factors:

  • BCWS
  • ACWP

Definitions for these three factors are as follows:


Budgeted cost for work scheduled (BCWS): Also called the planned value or PV. The planned value of a project describes the expected total budget of the project at completion. It is a crucial factor that must be kept in check throughout the process.

Budgeted cost for work performed (BCWP): Also referred to as the earned value for EV. It is an exact and specific value for the entire project. These values are conveyed according to a budget that was prepared and approved. Actual cost for work performed (ACWP): Also known as AC or the actual cost of the project. It reflects the precise total and final costs accumulated over the course of the project. Actual costs should be documented in an itemized manner for each of the resources.

Measuring Quality Control

Quality control should be measured at regular intervals. It includes making sure that the right element or outcome is delivered at the proper time and within the expected budget. Additionally, it should match the expectations of the client. Measuring quality falls under the guidance of the project manager. He or she must ensure who the required reports and checklists are in place. Tools used for assisting the project manager:

  • Ishikawaa
  • Control Charts
  • Six Sigma
  • Three Sigma
  • Pareto Chart
  • Statistical Sampling

More information on the Ishikawaa, Control Charts and the Pareto Chart below:


The Ishikawa: This is also known as the Fishbone or Cause and Effect diagram. Derived from the name, the diagram resembles the shape of a fish bone. [An example of the diagram is illustrated below]. Often used by project managers, it’s a tool to identify both the latent and patent issues compromising the quality of the project. It consists of performing analysis of the variances and risks that may be present in the project or environment. It helps to source the root cause that leads to an unfavorable result. The impact may or may not reflect what is initially conveyed. Control Charts: Control charts are an important tool in measuring quality control. It is used for identifying process points, which are outside the scope of the normal flow of a specific process. They convey process execution boundaries, trending and total performance over a period of time. Pareto Chart: Also known as the 80/20 Rule, the theory was developed by Vilfredo Pareto. The Pareto chart is a histogram. It documents the occurrences and the frequencies. It is a graphical representation of the various occurrences and is an important tool for the project team and its members.

Applicable Theories While Managing a Project Team

In team management, it is crucial team performance be measured to monitor the work being done and manage the expectations of the client. Project resources are organized in sequential order and information shared by managers. To effectively perform these tasks, the project manager should have the following information:

  • Negotiation Techniques
  • Participation in a team
  • Processes followed while acquiring staff
  • Response to conflicts and conflict resolution by the team
  • Response to power by team members

It’s important the project manager gauge the attitude and tone of the team members both individually and collective capacity. When evaluating individual behavior these theories can be referenced as guidelines:


MacGregor’s Theory Y and X: Developed by Douglas McGregor, both theories describe human behavior from different perspectives. Theory X: According to this theory, management operates on the assumption that employees are lazy and avoid work. Thus workers need close supervision and micromanagement. It’s a system that encourages the employees to work. Theory X heavily relies on coercion and threats, and assumes money is the primary motivation for an employee to perform. Theory Y: In contrast to Theory X, this belief system views employees as ambitious, motivated and self-supervised. It surmises that employees equally enjoy work and play. The employees possess aptitude and are creative thinkers. Management is not able to utilize inherent talents of employees. Achieving tasks and fulfilling a role is the motivation behind an employee working. This theory embraces a comfortable environment where communication channels are open. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Established by Abraham Maslow, this theory asserts people are motivated by basic needs. These needs have to be fulfilled before employees carry out their tasks. These needs are organized in a pyramid and one level has to be satisfied to move to the next. Ouchi’s Theory Z: This was established by Dr. William Ouchi. The theory is also known as Theory Z. It focuses on enhancing employee allegiance to the company. This theory proposes that employees can be more participative and can multitask. Methodologies like job rotation, succession planning and ongoing training should be the driving principles in human resource management.

Risk Monitoring and Risk Control

Risk monitoring and control is the ongoing monitoring of risk responses against the risk management plan. It also includes tracking points where new risks to the project are managed. The resulting impact of a risk may extend beyond what’s been measured. A risk can impact the project, the enterprise, or both. Once risks and their resulting impacts have been identified the project team must develop a strategy to deal with the risks. In case of a risk to the enterprise, backup paths for communication should be considered. By finding alternate paths, timely alerts can be delivered to the enterprise risk management function. Risk Monitoring also entails detailing and tracking of previously identified as well as new risks. Consider the following example: a road is expected to be traversed by 20,000 cars a day, due to a contingency that has to take double the traffic in a day. Although the contingency has no relevance to the contractor responsible for the building of the road, he is expected to address issues on how to manage the problem. To calculate the quantum of the risk, the probability is to be multiplied with its material impact. As the probability of the risk escalates, so should the quantum of resources allocated to manage that risk. This resource allocation must be done before the risk takes form. The risk management plan should also include a way to refinish resources as they’re depleted. Risk control is done for these purposes:


  • Attaching a weight (qualitative & quantitative) to the risk after analyzing the probability and the consequences
  • Continuously identifying, measuring, and responding to new risks
  • Identify alternate paths in case of contingencies which cannot be managed
  • Identifying events having a direct impact on the project deliverables

While using the utility theory a value is assigned to a management decision while developing a mitigation strategy for risks. Risks are categorized as negative and positive. The strategy to handle each category varies according to how the project responds to both. Risk Triggers: While identifying risks, certain factors or signals are recognized that will inform towards the risks becoming reality. These are termed Risk Triggers. They’re also known as warning signs or symptoms of risk. These are the unique conditions where a risk can be anticipated. When performing risk monitoring and control, these triggers are recognized. This recognition is done at an early stage. Management closely monitors risks and corresponding triggers. Keeping watch for triggers aids in quality assurance and control in risk management. It also facilitates risk management and sustains efficiency in operations. For every risk identified, a response plan needs to be in place. Failing to create an alternate path or emergency back-up plan is a disservice to the risk management process, and ultimately renders it as a meaningless activity.

Contract Administration

Contract administration is the process of managing contracts that have been developed and initiated. Here vendor performance is compared to the Service Level Agreements (SLA). All team members should be kept informed of legal consequences of changes in the relationship according to the SLAs. Another aspect of the management process is measuring the progress of the seller against the milestones outlined in the contract. In case of any deviations modifying the contract and relationship…


…Contract Administration attends to the relationship between the vendor and the organization not only in relation to the contract but the process in its entirety.

The Final Phase of the Project Lifecycle

Project Closing is the final phase of the project life cycle. At this juncture all attached resources to the project are released, and reference material is produced for future projects. At this point, the processes are organized in order to document what was planned against what has actually been performed. The project is concluded and loose ends taken care of. One of the items that should come out of the project closing is archives: a documentation of the current project to be referenced for better understanding and performance of future projects. To successfully close a project, it’s critical the closing be done in a systematic manner. Documentation is a significant aspect of this phase for the learning and reference objectives. Project Closing is about finalization and symbolizes the shutting down of all activities under all process groups. This can occur:


  • After the deliverables are submitted and accepted
  • Before the deliverables are submitted

The second option is considered to be ideal as it’s an opportunity to reexamine the deliverables and incorporate any requested modifications. The primary factors involved in project closing

  • Contracts involved in the project
  • The agreed deliverables
  • The plan of the project
  • Trends and performance analysis

These are key inputs as they confirm fulfillment of deliverables per the needs of the client. Any tasks that remain unfinished or untested should have plans for their termination. Additionally, their risks have to be measured in relation to the efficiency of project services or products, deadlines and anticipated success of the project. A project does not officially reach its completion once the end is in sight or deliverables have been submitted. There can be several tasks requiring the attention of the project manager:

  • Arrange a release from the project sponsor
  • Ensuring final acceptance
  • Release or project resources
  • Update all the required documentation

The Process Involved When Closing a Project

The processes involved when closing a project

  • Administrative Closure
  • Contract Closure
  • Final Deliverables
  • Organizational process updates

Administrative Closure Procedure: This procedure addresses the formalities required to close a project. Documentary acceptances, documentation of project files, closure documents, recording and updating historical information are attended to during this process.

  • Contract Closure Procedure
  • Final Deliverable
  • Organizational Process Updates

The process of closing out a contract Closing out a contract involves both internal and external contracts. Delivery of products or services during the project is taken and corresponding contracts completed. Internal contracts include any utility, services or products supplied by a corresponding concern. For example a construction unit may supply the need of steel from a sister unit that manufactures steel. The difference between closing an internal contract and an external contract is the human factor involved, or there could be a different set of instructions for each. The term human factor describes the distinctions in culture between the vendor and the set up in acquiring the resource. The nature of contracts, terms regarding costs and revenue sharing may have different frameworks. When closing a contract, the following will be noted:


  • Any review or modifications the original contact was subjected to
  • Early Termination clauses, remedy clauses in a contract and the reasons for invoking the same
  • Performance metrics of the vendor
  • Quality Control Metrics of goods or services that were delivered
  • Schedule Performance of the vendor
  • The accurate deliverables
  • Work packages assigned to a vendor
  • Work Performance Reports in accordance with the SLA

To apprehend and determine the efficacy of a contract for the project the following should be taken into account:

  • Analyzing the designated activities performed in a project process
  • Analyzing the supporting schedules with reference to time, cost and deliverables
  • Management Plan and issue registers
  • Payment Registers
  • Project Delivery Metrics

Once all of the above mentioned are evaluated and the provider execution report submitted, the necessary documents are executed.

Early Closure of Projects

The project manager, the project team and all other stakeholders strive for a successful completion of the project but this isn’t always the outcome. Projects may need to be terminated before the final phase for any of the following reasons:

  • Insufficiency of Resources
  • Technical Constraints
  • Culture of the Organization
  • Financial Constraints
  • Prevailing Market Conditions
  • Customer Needs

More detailed explanations are as follows:


Prevailing Market Conditions: When the project is aborted for the reason that it is not in alignment with the long-term objectives of the organization. Needs of the Customer requirements: The client suggests changes that stretch beyond the current project parameters in terms of initiative, costs or time. Insufficient Resources: Lack of resources could also be a reason for early termination. Technical Constraints: Technical problems can impede a project rendering it to a defunct status. Computers, quality of raw materials, etc., are in this category. Culture of the Organization: The project that has been initiated does not conform to the culture of the company. Financial Constraints: Financial constraints are a significant factor that influences the future of a project. A project may not be seen as acquiring additional market share or profit for the company. Even when a project is terminated early, the following criteria should be considered when wrapping up operations:

  • A formal acceptance of the results by the client
  • Budget
  • Cost metrics and actual expenditures made
  • Lessons Learned
  • Necessary documentation for organizational purposes
  • Performance metrics
  • Performance reports

Before a project can be called off, the participation is needed from these members:

  • Project Manager
  • Quality Assurance Team
  • Sponsor of the Project
  • Team Members

The Importance of Lessons Learned

As previously discussed, lessons learned refers to specific circumstances that are documented during the project. Lessons learned should be logged over the life cycle and as they occur. They should be documented as accurately as possible. Lessons learned serve as a reference tool to understand the decisions, risks and basis for each. Lessons learned might be triggered by the following events:


  • Major corrections have been implemented
  • Corrective or preventive actions
  • The scope has been altered
  • Variance between planned and actual events

Ending a Project/Contract

Ending a project and ending a contract are not inherently the same in every case. Often they can coincide but one cannot substitute the other. Contracts may end for these factors:

  • By Agreement
  • by Breach
  • by Successful Completion

Successful Completion of the contract means all goals and objectives have been delivered. This leads to acceptance of the deliverables and payment. An understanding between the parties facilitates an end to a contract. There is mutual consent of closure. In instances of breach of contract by either or both the parties a contract may come to an end. A breach is a default situation needing legal recourse. Calling on the legal processes is usually taken as the last resort. While deciding on legal action, remedy clauses are given special consideration. A project may terminate due to:

  • Inclusion/Absorption/Addition
  • Starvation/Deterioration
  • Integration
  • Extinction/Collapse

Definitions below:


Integration: When project resources are allocated to other areas and the normal operations of the business it is termed as integration. Generally the resources are merged back from where they were drawn upon. Extinction or Collapsed Mode: A project that concludes before meeting its final objectives is termed as an ending in the collapsed or extinction mode. Inclusion, Absorption or Addition: A project that is approved and transferred into the organization is said to be included, absorbed or added. Deterioration, Starvation: A project with resources that have been cut is said to be in deterioration or starvation mode. Final Review Meeting: This is the last step performed when closing a project. Once the deliverables are sent, resources released, documentation done, the project manager then meets with the project sponsor to obtain a release for himself.

Responsibilities Associated with Project Management

The entire project team is bound by professional responsibilities; however, the project manager is the person who establishes ethical standards through exemplary behavior. The higher degree of transparency a project manager maintains in decision-making, the less likely he or she will deal with allegations of impropriety. The responsibilities towards the profession of project management can be reviewed under the following: Advancement of the profession: Under advancement of profession, one of the key issues is the use of information that has been developed by others. This information is considered as intellectual property. Though in some circumstances it may appear profitable and convenient not to acknowledge someone else’s right to their work, in the long term there can be detrimental consequences. Business processes and techniques are usually copyrighted and patented. Due respect should be paid to this. Candidates Professional Competency: It is considered mandatory that all representations regarding professional qualification and experience be accurate and correct. Certifications, compliance, associations, and true representations should be made by both individuals and companies that take on the task of project management. Compliance with Organizational Rules, Policies, and Standards: This responsibility dictates that compliance with the certification process be made. Any violations, ethical or professional should be communicated to the Project Management Investigators. It is important that cooperative behavior be maintained during the course of an investigation. True Representations: It is recommended that only true, accurate and complete representations regarding application for membership and certification, tests, candidate, continuing professional education should be made. Cooperating with Investigations: It is critical that full cooperation be granted to PMI during investigations of misconduct. Disclosure of Conflict of Interest:


It is regarded as a requirement for any interest, actual or perceived to be promptly communicated to all stakeholders. A relationship with one of the vendors is an interest, and should be declared at the earliest of opportunities available. Violations of Professional Conduct: It is the obligation of every project manager to report any breaches of professional conduct. Responsibilities towards clients or customers In overview of the defined responsibilities of a project manager, and maintaining a high degree of professionalism towards the client, these responsibilities are two-fold and broken down under the following categories: Claims regarding qualification, experience, and performance: It is mandatory that all claims pertaining to professional qualifications and skill be declared with accuracy. Regarding certifications, compliances, associations, and true representations, these should be made by both individuals and companies offering services in project management. A petition for customers through false claims is inappropriate and not appreciated. As well, it’s suggested when drafting estimates, the same be done with due diligence, as this is key information for the client in making their decision. Any modifications should be promptly communicated and discussed with the client prior to their implementation. It is the responsibility of every single team member to direct the project according to the scope agreed upon with the client. Communication channels should be open and frequent with the client. Situations like conflict of interest and other prohibited conducts: As discussed, a conflict of interest should not be allowed to thwart a genuine interest of the client. The project manager engages with the outside world on behalf of the team members and proposed services. Examples of prohibited conducts are as follows:

  • Not being up front with the client
  • Indulging in kickbacks
  • Inflating hours of work
  • Inflating consumption of resources
  • Manipulating progress reports
  • Not communicating sufficiently
  • Communications are not true and genuine