Is it really required to learn or remember ITTO s for the PMP exam?
Quite often, I hear this question from many PMP aspirants about ITTO s.
The simple answer to the above question is, you need learn the ITTO s for the PMP exam. However you do not need to remember all ITTO s. The key to learn these ITTO s is to understand clearly the PMP processes and the inputs/outputs flow between different PMP processes.
What are ITTO s all about?
PMP process framework contains 47 project management processes. Each process contains Inputs, tools and techniques and outputs (ITTO s).
In each process, tools and techniques transform the inputs to outputs.
In this post, we will see some of the most common ITTO s (inputs/Outputs and Tools & techniques) that we encounter in the PMP process framework.
Common Inputs/ Outputs
Eventually input of one process may become the output of some other process. So it is not feasible to distinguish between inputs and outputs.
Hence I used this section to describe common inputs and outputs together, that we see in many processes in the PMP process framework.
Enterprise Environmental Factors
When you look at the common ITTO s, enterprise environmental factor (EEF) occupies the first seat.
Enterprise environmental factors (EEF) is the most common input for majority of the processes in PMP process framework.
So, what are Enterprise environmental factors all about?
Enterprise Environmental Factors are the factors that may influence the project, though they are not in the scope of the project.
So the project manager must understand and be on top of these factors to manage the project successfully.
Some of the examples of Enterprise Environmental Factors are…
- Culture of the organization (that is., the way people are managed in the organization, process, policies)
- Market for the product
- Risk tolerance of the organization or the customer
- Organization’s PMIS (Project Management Information Systems)
- Local government regulatory or laws
- Project Management Information System (PMIS)
All the above mentioned points are self-explanatory. So let us talk about PMIS a little bit.
PMIS is the collection of information systems that the organization is using, such as
- Project scheduling software
- Configuration management system
- Shared file system in the network
- Document repository
- Project management and/or tracking software
- Time management software
The above mentioned list is just a sample for you to understand. All such systems collectively called as PMIS in PMI terminology.
Organizational Process Assets
Eventually every organization will have templates, documents, procedures, policies, lessons learned from previous projects and any other historical project data, based on the norms defined in the organization.
PMI calls all these artifacts as “Organizational Process Assets”. Let us shortly call it as OPA.
The historical information will benefit the projects to a greater extent, in order to know previous occurrences of the similar issues, handling the same clients, reusing the existing plans with required modifications.
So, the organizational process assets are also the very common ITTO s across PMP process framework.
Majority of the PMP processes requires organization templates, procedures, historical information from previous projects. So, OPA (Organizational process assets) is an input to many PMP processes.
Lessons Learned is one of the best example for Organizational process assets.
Fundamentally lesson learned is part of Organizational process assets and very helpful to any project. You use the lessons learned from previous similar projects as input to understand the issues and perspectives that may be applicable to your current project.
After you complete your project you would deliver lessons learned as an output of your project to the Organizational process asset library, so as to use it as a reference for future projects.
Lessons Learned generally contain the following items:
- In the project, what went wrong and what went right
- What are the causes of issues faced and change requests occurred, with justifications
- How better you could have handled the issues that you have faced in the project
- Updating best practices and check lists
Other than the lessons learned below are some common examples of the organizational process assets library.
- Templates project documents
- Project management artifacts
- Organization information such as policies, guidelines, etc.…
- Software, Tools, etc…
- Knowledge base
Project documents are the documentation or artifacts the project produce. These could be any documents that influence the project such as contracts, agreements, legal documents, project related documents etc.
In many cases project documents are “inputs” to the project management processes.
However, in some of the project management processes, project documents repository would require updates. In such cases, project documents will be an “output” to the PMP processes.
Project Management Plan
Project management plan is a single approved document that directs the project executing, monitoring and controlling and closing of the project.
Several sub project management plans integrated together to form the project management plan.
The following are the component plans (sub project plans) that will integrate together to make the project management plan.
- Scope Management plan & Requirements Management plan
- Schedule management plan
- Cost management plan
- Quality management plan
- Human Resource management plan
- Communication management plan
- Risk management plan
- Procurement management plan
- Stakeholder management plan
- Integration Management plan
In integration management knowledge area, “Develop project management plan” process integrates all above mentioned component plans to make the project management plan.
Essentially the project management plan is not a single document. However after the approval of all component (sub) plans, project management plan is treated as a single formal approved document.
Work Performance Data
During the execution of the project, the project manager collects the data points from the project team pertaining to the work or activities, duration, status, etc.
All these data points collectively referred as work performance data.
Work Performance Information
Eventually taking the work performance data as input and analyze the data further and assess the impacts on project to form meaningful information related to the project.
Work Performance Reports
Always, reports are to address specific stakeholder concerns.
So you create work performance information to address specific set of stakeholder concerns.
Finally, the project manager communicates these reports according to communications management plan.
To know more about Work performance data, information and reports, please read my recent blog post on The key differences – Work Performance Data Vs Work Performance Information Vs Work Performance Reports.
You might have heard that famous quote.
“The only thing that never changes is change.”
Eventually change requests are any changes that are not part of the original scope baseline.
During project execution changes may occur.
Every change passes through Perform Integrated change control process to assess the project impacts and to approve or reject the change request.
If change requests approve, there may be changes to the project component plans and project management plan.
Common Tools and Techniques
Eventually, analytical techniques are general techniques to understand the root cause of a problem or to gather information to forecast a scenario.
Taking an expert opinion or help from an SME (Subject matter Expert) pertaining to the topic is expert judgment
When the project manager or the project team does not have sufficient expertise to deal with a subject matter, they often take consultancy from an internal or external source to help them in that subject matter.
The expert (SME) may be internal to the organization or external from other organization.
Again, expert judgement is a very common ITTO across many PMP processes.
Where ever project manager requires advice, he may consult the SME for expert judgement. So, expert judgement is a tool for the project manager, to break the un-familiar areas.
Facilitators or a moderator conducts a workshop to draw conclusion on a specific problem.
Facilitators will use different techniques such as brainstorming, conflict resolution, problem solving and meeting management to draw consensus.
Eventually meetings are structured or unstructured conversation, with the intent of discussing one or more points to agree or to notify the stakeholders.
It is always good to have proper plan and agenda for the meeting.
Nevertheless to say, the project manager has to communicate this agenda to the relevant stakeholders well in advance to conduct the meeting efficiently.
Meetings should have minutes documented, clear action plans drawn, where necessary. Facilitator should follow up with stakeholders for the action points.
Understanding these common ITTO s is very vital for the exam, as you can expect some direct questions from the PMP exam on the ITTO s.
As a final point, while preparing for PMP exam, try to understand the process conceptually and importantly the flow of inputs and outputs in the process. This will you don’t need remember the ITTO s in your mind.
Besides the above mentioned ITTO s, there are other ITTO s you will see in coming blog posts or tutorials.
However, this blog post scope is only limited to discuss the very common ITTO s that you see in PMP processes.