10 PMP Questions
1. Your company provides specialized IT support services for firmware upgrades. Your
country’s government has passed regulations stating that firmware of all
telecommunication equipment must be upgraded to support IPv6. A government
agency has approached your company to upgrade the firmware of all installed
equipment at the major airports in the country. For your company, this project is a
result of which of the following:
A) Market demand
B) Strategic opportunity
C) Customer request
D) Legal requirement
Hint: The government agency is asking your company to do a project.
PMBOK Guide 5th Edition, page 69
This is a tricky scenario and the answer is at first a bit surprising. Let’s look at this from the point of
view of both the government and your company:
The government agency approached your company to do this project because they are bound by their
own regulations. So for the government, this project was initiated as a result of their own legal
requirement.For your company, however, the project is initiated by a customer request.
Remember that you don’t own the airports nor the equipment installed there so you don’t have a legal
requirement to update the firmware. The government, on the other hand, owns the airports/equipment
and is therefore asking you to perform this update. In this case, the government is a customer like any
other customer and you are doing this project as result of their request.
2. Nancy is the project manager for a project that will be closing shortly. During a quality
inspection, Nancy detects that the project team has added additional features to one of the
project deliverables that was not authorized. However, Nancy believes that these new
features will add to customer satisfaction. What is Nancy’s best alternative in this situation?
A) Submit a change request to remove these additional features
B) Accept these additional features and proudly present them to the customer
C) Ask the project sponsor for his opinion
D) Ask the customers for their opinion
Hint: Unauthorized feature additions are called gold-plating and this needs to be avoided.
Unauthorized feature additions are called gold-plating and this needs to be avoided. If such features have
been included, they need to be removed using a change request, even if they add to customer satisfaction.
Every project must conform to its approved requirements; nothing more, nothing less.
PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct:
3. Marilyn’s project is behind schedule. Marilyn opens her scheduling tool and adjusts some
leads and lags in order to fast track the project. As a result, the project is aligned with the
current time constraint. However, when Marilyn uses the “Level Resources” feature, the
project finish date again goes past the time constraint. What is Marilyn’s best option?
A) Marilyn must make sure that she did not make a mistake when using the “Level Resources”
B) Marilyn must not use the “Level Resources” feature after fast tracking the project
C) Marilyn must crash the project after fast tracking it
D) Marilyn must issue a change request
Hint: When the “Resource Leveling” feature delays a project, it means that the resources were over-
When the “Resource Leveling” feature delays a project, it means that the resources were over-allocated.
Completing the project on time at the cost of over-utilizing the resources, and especially human resources,
is not ethical. If fast tracking followed by resource leveling does not help in reducing the project time
requirements, Marilyn must consider issuing a change request to obtain additional resources or get the
project deadline extended.
PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, Honesty
PMBOK Guide 5th Edition, page 179
4. You are managing an automated security system design project. You now want to analyze the
relationship between the consumption of project funds and the physical work being
accomplished for these expenditures. Which of the following should you have completed
before you can perform this activity?
B) Reserve Analysis
C) Trend Analysis
D) Project Funding Requirements
Hint: The scenario describes an activity in the Control Costs process.
Did this question confuse you? If yes, then you first need to decipher it. The activity that you want to carry
out is an example of which project management process? The Control Costs process. Once you realize this,
you will see that “Project Management Plan”, “Project Funding Requirements” and “Work Performance
Data” are important inputs to the Control Costs process.
PMBOK Guide 5th Edition, page 215
5. You have just been assigned as the project manager for a process improvement project. You
have broken down your project work into a number of work packages including stakeholder
interviews, surveys, statistical analysis, flow charting of the current processes, analysis of the
processes, cost estimations, and recommendations. You are currently performing the Plan
Quality Management process. Which quality technique should you use during your project
and in your Quality Management Plan if you wish to analyze all the possible process points of
failure and the potential impact they may have?
A) Kaizen approach
B) Total Quality Management (TQM)
C) Failure mode and effects analysis
D) Six Sigma
This technique was formally introduced in the late 1940′s for military use by the U.S. Armed Forces. It was
later used for aerospace/rocket development to avoid errors in small sample sizes of costly rocket
technology. An example of this is the Apollo space program.
Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) is a procedure in operations management for analysis of
potential failure modes within a system for classification by severity or determination of the effect of
failures on the system. Failure modes are any errors or defects in a process, design, or item, especially
those that affect the customer, and can be potential or actual. Effects analysis refers to studying the
consequences of those failures.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failure_mode_and_effects_analysis PMBOK Guide 5th Edition, page 540
6. You are in the executing phase of your project. You have spent a lot of time negotiating for
the best human resources but the people you have obtained do not have the expertise
necessary to complete the project activities, according to the Project Management Plan.
What is the first thing you should do to try to remedy this situation?
A) Update the Human Resource Management Plan
B) Issue a change request
C) Renegotiate for the required human resources
D) Provide training to the under-skilled human resources
The scenario says that you were unable to acquire a project team according to your plan.
Renegotiating is not a good option as you have already acquired resources. You only issue a change
request when there is a required change in the project baselines. You will also most likely need to provide
training to your under-skilled staff. However, the first thing you need to do is to update the Human
Resource Management Plan to reflect your current staff’s expertise levels and training requirements.
PMBOK Guide 5th Edition, page 272
7. You are managing a telecom project. You have two teams reporting to you. One team is
responsible for equipment installation and the other team is responsible for commissioning
and testing the equipment. Both teams are working in parallel so that as soon as the
installation team finishes equipment installation at one site, they move on to another site for
installation. This allows the commissioning and testing team to start their activities on the
newly installed site. The reporting structure is such that each of the teams has five engineers
and a separate team lead. Each team member interacts with each other but only the team
leads interact with you. Both team leads also interact with each other to synchronize their
operations. How many communication channels do you have on your project?
Calculate communication channels for each team and add them together.
This was a difficult question wasn’t it? Let’s analyze the scenario to calculate the answer. We have two
independent teams. Each team has six members (five engineers and one team lead). Each team
member is interacting with each other so communication channels for each team are (6)*(6-1)/2=15.
And because we have two teams like this, the total is 2*15=30. Both team leads are communicating
with you so there are two communication channels for this interaction. In addition, because both team
leads are interacting with each other, there is one additional communication channel. Therefore, the
total communication channels on your project is 30+2+1=33.
PMBOK Guide 5th Edition, page 292
8. Rhonda’s project is half-way complete. None of the project risks have occurred and none of
the contingency reserves have been used. Rhonda finds a few new risks to the project that
were not added to the risk register during the planning phase. Rhonda quickly calculates the
expected values of these risks and requests management to increase the contingency reserve
by the amount required to manage these new risks. What’s wrong with Rhonda’s approach to
dealing with risks?
A) Rhonda should not have requested the increase
B) New risks must be managed with the available management reserves
C) Rhonda should have done a reserve analysis first
D) Rhonda should have first used the contingency amounts for those risks that did not occur
If new and unidentified risks occur, they are managed using management reserves (after management
approval to use the funds). However in this case, the new risks have not occurred, they have only just
In this scenario, new risks have been identified. Rhonda can request an increase in the contingency
reserves after she carries out a reserve analysis to determine if the additional funds are indeed
PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, Responsibility
PMBOK Guide 5th Edition, page 352
9. You are managing a construction project. You have outsourced the labor workforce to a
contractor using a Time and Materials contract. As per the contract, your contractor is
claiming $10 per hour for labor and an average of 10 hours a day per each labor resource
provided. You know that on average only 8 of these 10 hours per day were actually
productive time spent on the project. However, your contract doesn’t state anything
specifically about charging for unproductive time. You now have a hold on all of the
contractor’s invoices until you reach a resolution. Which of the following might be a factor
contributing to this situation?
A) Your contractor is being unreasonable
B) You are being unreasonable towards the contractor
C) You have not drafted the contract properly
D) You have not negotiated the contract properly
Why doesn’t your contract say anything about this?
Don’t get distracted by the scenario. The scenario may put you in the shoes of the project manger, but it
does not mean that you are always right! Assume that you are not the project manager for a moment. In
that case you cannot resolve this dispute in any party’s favor just with the information given. However, you
can easily spot the weakness in the contract since it should have clauses regarding issues such as these.
PMBOK Guide 5th Edition, page 364
10. You are running a public library construction project in which two key stakeholders are in
continuous conflict with each other over location and design of the building. As a project
manager, you have spent many hours resolving their conflicts, but it isn’t getting any better.
What should you do next?
A) Refer to the Project Charter for the escalation process
B) Refer to the Communications Plan for the escalation process
C) Involve the core project team
D) Involve the sponsor
The Communications Plan contains the information about the escalation process.
If a project manager cannot resolve the conflict between stakeholders, he/she should escalate the issue
based on the escalation process listed in the Communications Plan.
PMBOK Guide 5th Edition, page 406