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5 months 1 week ago #17877

Mary Kathrine Padua

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Hello everyone! Here is this week's free PMP® exam sample question from the PM Exam Simulator.

You are facing problems decomposing the testing work package into the final activities required to complete the work package. Detailed testing plans and activities cannot be determined until the system is at least 50% developed and more details become available. The system development work package will take at least three months to complete. What is the best way to resolve this problem?

A. Use product analysis techniques such as product breakdown and systems analysis to decompose the system testing work package
B. Decompose the system development work package now and decompose the system testing work package later
C. Break down the project into multiple phases so that the system testing work package goes into the second project phase
D. Consult the project management plan to determine what to do in this situation

HINT: Which of the available choices describes rolling wave planning?

All our questions are updated to the latest A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) standard. Stop by at free.pm-exam-simulator.com/ and try the PM Exam Simulator free for 7 days. We are a Project Management Institute (PMI)® Registered Education Provider.

Answer and Explanation:
The correct answer is B.

Delaying the decomposition of the system testing work package until later in the project is an example of rolling wave planning. Rolling wave planning is an iterative planning technique in which the work to be accomplished in the near term is planned in detail, while the work in the future is planned at a higher level. Decomposition may not be possible for a deliverable or subcomponent that will be accomplished far into the future. The project management team usually waits until the deliverable or subcomponent is agreed on, so the details of the work breakdown structure (WBS) can be developed. Therefore, the best approach is to use rolling wave planning and decompose the system development work package now and then decompose the system testing work package later, when more project information becomes available.

Details for Each Option:

A. Use product analysis techniques such as product breakdown and systems analysis to decompose the system testing work package
Incorrect. Product analysis is a method, used in the Define Scope process, to convert the product description into project deliverables and requirements. In the scenario described, you are decomposing work packages into activities, suggesting the project is in the Define Activities process. Therefore, this answer choice can be eliminated.

B. Decompose the system development work package now and decompose the system testing work package later
Correct. Rolling wave planning is an iterative planning technique in which the work to be accomplished in the near term is planned in detail, while the work in the future is planned at a higher level. The best approach for the situation described by the question is to use rolling wave planning by decomposing the system development work package now and then decomposing the system testing work package later when more project information becomes available.

C. Break down the project into multiple phases so that the system testing work package goes into the second project phase
Incorrect. Breaking up the project scope into multiple phases just for the sake of delaying decomposition of the testing work package is not the best solution to the problem. Projects are divided into multiple phases to obtain more control over the project and the deliverables, not to solve a minor issue of decomposing the work breakdown structure (WBS).

D. Consult the project management plan to determine what to do in this situation
Incorrect. The scenario implies that the Define Activities process is being performed. At this stage of planning, the project management plan is typically incomplete and not likely to provide much guidance.

Reference: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2017, Page(s) 160, 185

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