PMP Project Management

January 31, 2009
By

Cary Franklin

Quality Management Facts The cost of quality is the money spent investing in training; in meeting requirements for safety and other laws and regulations; and in taking steps to ensure quality acceptance. The cost of nonconformance is the cost associated with rework, downtime, lost sales, and waste of materials. Some common quality management charts and methods include the following: Ishikawa diagrams (are also called fishbone diagrams) are used to find cause-and-effects that contribute to a problem. Flow charts show the relationship between components and the flow of a process through a system. Pareto diagrams identify project problems and their frequencies. These are based on the 80/20 Rule: 80 percent of project problems stem from 20 percent of the work. Control charts plot out the result of samplings to determine if projects are ‘in control’ or ‘out of control.’

Kaizen technologies comprise approaches to make small improvements in an effort to reduce costs and achieve consistency. Just-in-time ordering reduces the cost of inventory but requires additional quality because materials would not be readily available if mistakes occur. Human Resource Facts There are several human resource theories the PMP candidate should be familiar with on the PMP Exam. They are the following: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs There are five layers of needs for all humans: physiological, safety, social needs (such as love and friendship), self-esteem, and the crowning jewel, self-actualization. Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation There are two catalysts for workers: hygiene agents and motivating agents. Hygiene agents These do nothing to motivate, but their absence demotivates workers. Hygiene agents are the expectations all workers have: job security, a paycheck, clean and safe working conditions, a sense of belonging, civil working relationships, and other basic attributes associated with employment.

Motivating agents These are the elements that motivate people to excel. They include responsibility, appreciation of work, recognition, opportunity to excel, education, and other opportunities associated with work other than just financial rewards. McGregory’s Theory of X and Y This theory states ‘X’ people are lazy, don’t want to work, and need to be micromanaged. ‘Y’ people are self-led, motivated, and can accomplish things on their own. Ouchi’s Theory Z This theory holds that the workers are motivated by a sense of commitment, opportunity, and advancement. Workers will work if they are challenged and motivated. Think participative management. Expectancy Theory People will behave based on what they expect as a result of their behavior. In other words, people will work in relation to the expected reward of the work.

Communication Facts Communicating is the most important skill for the project manager. With that in mind, here are some key facts on communications: Communication channels formula: N(N-1)/2. N represents the number of stakeholders. For example, if you have 10 stakeholders the formula would read 10(10-1)/2 for 45 communication channels. Pay special attention to questions wanting to know how many additional communication channels you have based on added stakeholders. For example, if you have 25 stakeholders on your project and have recently added 5 team members, how many additional communication channels do you now have? You’ll have to calculate the original number of communication channels, 25(25-1)/2=300; then calculate the new number with the added team members, 30(30-1)/2=435; and finally, subtract the difference between the two: 435-300=135, the number of additional communication channels. 55 percent of communication is nonverbal. Effective listening is the ability to watch the speaker’s body language, interpret paralingual clues, and decipher facial expressions. Following the message, effective listening has the listener asking questions to achieve clarity and offering feedback. Active listening requires receivers of the message to offer clues, such as nodding the head to indicate they are listening. It also requires receivers to repeat the message, ask questions, and continue the discussion if clarification is needed.

Communication can be hindered by trendy phrases, jargon, and extremely pessimistic comments. In addition, other communication barriers include noise, hostility, cultural differences, and technical interruptions. Risk Management Facts Risks are unplanned events that can have positive or negative effects on the projects. Most risks are seen as threats to the project success-but not all risks are bad. For example, there is a 20 percent probability that the project will realize a discount in shipping, which will save the project $15,000. If this risk happens the project will save money, if the risk doesn’t happen the project will have to spend the $15,000. Risks should be identified as early as possible in the planning process. A person’s willingness to accept risk is the Utility Function (also called the Utility Theory). The Delphi Technique can be used to build consensus on project risks. The only output of the risk planning is the Risk Management Plan. There are two broad types of risks: Business risk The loss of time and finances (where a downside and upside exist). Pure risk The loss of life, injury, and theft (where only a downside exists).

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