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TOPIC: Free PMP® Exam Sample Question

Free PMP® Exam Sample Question 1 month 3 weeks ago #29890

  • Mary Kathrine Padua
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Two team members are arguing over how to organize the work packages in the work breakdown structure (WBS). One says the work packages should be arranged in the order the work is planned to be carried out, while the other insists the order of the work packages in the WBS does not matter. The two ask the project manager for advice.

What is the project manager's best response?

A. Work is decomposed and sequenced in the Define Activities process.
B. Any approach is good as long as the team members avoid the conflict.
C. The chronological order of tasks is defined in the Sequence Activities process.
D. The approach should be defined by the project management office (PMO).

HINT: In what process are project activities sequenced?

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Answer and Explanation:
The correct answer is C.

To answer this question correctly, one should be able to distinguish a deliverable and work package from the schedule and activities. The planned work is contained within the lowest level of the components of the work breakdown structure (WBS).

These components are called work packages. A work package can be used to group the activities where work is scheduled and estimated, monitored, and controlled. In the context of the WBS, work refers to work products or deliverables that are the result of activity and not to the activity itself.

The work packages are further decomposed into schedule activities that are then sequenced to obtain the greatest efficiency given all the project's constraints. The Create WBS process provides a framework of 'what' has to be delivered but does not involve sequencing.

Details for each option:

A. Incorrect. It is true that as part of the Define Activities process, the WBS work packages are decomposed into activities required to produce the deliverables. This decomposition, however, does not involve sequencing. The activities are sequenced in the Sequence Activities process.

B. Incorrect. While getting along with each other is helpful when working on the same team, conflict is inevitable. However, taking any approach solely to avoid a conflict is unlikely to be the best response to the situation described.

C. Correct. Sequence Activities is the process of identifying and documenting relationships among the project activities. The key benefit of this process is that it defines the logical sequence of work to obtain the greatest efficiency given all project constraints, making this choice the best answer to the question asked.

D. Incorrect. The PMO is a management structure that standardizes the project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques. Depending on its type, the PMO would have a different degree of control over projects. While it is reasonable to assume that a controlling or directive PMO may require a specific approach to be applied on the project, best project management practices call for the work packages to be decomposed in the Define Activities process and then sequenced in the Sequence Activities process. Therefore, it is unlikely that the PMO would require otherwise.

Reference: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2017, Page(s) 157, 183, 187
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