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TOPIC: Why is the answer like this?

Why is the answer like this? 9 years 8 months ago #4312

  • Hannah
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Here is the question: (source: www.oliverlehmann.com/pmp-self-test/75-free-questions.htm )

9. In order to speed up a project, you made a decision to fast-track a phase currently performed with
five team members, and another one which was planned to begin in four weeks time with another
five team members. Which of the following activities should you do first?

A. Make sure that all exit criteria of the consecutive phase have been met to ensure theflow of
communications in a team situation which is more complex by a factor of 2.
B. Make sure that all entry criteria of the previous phase have been met by planning and
performing a phase gate meeting to assess technical aptness.
C. Make sure that all exit criteria of the previous phase have been met by planning and
performing a phase gate meeting to assess technical performance.
D. Restructure your team and delegate tasks in order to ensure the flow of communications in a
team with the number of communication channels increased by a factor of 4.5.

The answer is D. The explanation is: Additional communication channel is the first step for the fast-track to be successful. Instead of the current communication channel of 5 * (5-1) / = 10 , the communication channels need to be increased to 10 * (10-1) / 2 = 45. So there is a factor of 4.5.

Then here the problem is : This kind of calculation assumes that the current 5 members including the PM. This assumption is already questionable as there is so such statement. And what's more, when talking about the new team, the 5 members doesn't include the PM. (the same PM is in charge of both projects as he can make the decision for both phases)

I think a more logical calculation should be: In the first phase, the total channel should be: 6 * (6-1) = 15. With the need of more communication channel, the total channel should be: 11* (11-1) = 55. Of course in this case no option given is correct.

All inputs are welcome :)

Why is the answer like this? 9 years 8 months ago #4326

  • Oliver F. Lehmann, PMP
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Dear Hannah

Your considerations and calculations are absolutely correct. It is also correct that the result of your calculations (a factor of 3.67) did not come up in the answers. Otherwise, there would have been two correct answers, which is not possible in the forced choice examination layout.

There are two ways to look at the relationship between a project manager and a team:
  1. The project manager is considered part of the team. This is the situation that you perfectly described.
  2. The project manager supervises a team, but does not consider himself/herself a member of it. A reason why this might be true is that the project manager may lack the technical knowledge that the team has and needs, and needs to rely on the team members. Sometimes, a project manager should simply step out of the way and allow team members to solve his/her problems.

If there are more than one interpretation for a question, but only one of them leads to a result, this is the one that you should choose.

Kind regards

Oliver F. Lehmann, PMP

Why is the answer like this? 9 years 6 months ago #4556

  • Funmilola
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Hello Oliver,
Many thanks for your response to Hannah'a question. I am just getting to know for the first time from your response, that the PM is not always part of the communication channel. I think Hannah, like many of us is so used to sample questions where the PM is considered part of the team and we automatically assume he has to be included in the communication channel. My question then is that how do we ascertain when the PM is part of the team or not? i have seen sample questions where the options included both the figure you get if you calculated the communication channel with the PM included and otherwise. How then does one know when to include and exclude the PM from the communication channel please?
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