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TOPIC: Problems to understand certain kind of questions

Problems to understand certain kind of questions 2 years 2 weeks ago #4800

  • Florian
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Hi folks,

I am currently studying for the PMP exam. During my studies I encountered similar questions which I don't really understand. Maybe you can help me? ;)
This is just an example to show you which kind of questions I mean. This is not a copy of a published question but just from my memory.

Q: A project has a CPI of 0.94 and a SPI of 1.0. Which statement is true
1. The project was finished on time and under budget
2. The project was finished on time and over budget
3. The project was cancelled before completion and at this time was under budget
4. The project was terminated and was not entirely completed

I do understand the meaning of the CPI and SPI numbers but don't seem to find a logic in these questions.
Is there any structure which I can follow?

Thank you for your help.
Regards
Florian

Problems to understand certain kind of questions 2 years 2 weeks ago #4802

  • Craig Arcuri
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I try to be very methodical with these, go step by step, and write down what I know (of course on the real exam these equations would hopefully be on your brain dump):

cv = ev - ac, sv = ev - pv, cpi = ev/ac, spi = ev/pv. what do i know:

negative cv or sv is bad (over budget or behind schedule).

cpi or spi less than 1 is bad. greater than 1 is good. For this particular question, with spi = 1, that is an important clue. For a completed project, earned value is equal to planned value, therefore spi = 1. Remember, you are looking for the BEST answer. You are not told in the question that the project is closed, but with an spi of 1, that is certainly a possibility.

With a cpi of .94, the project is over budget. With an spi of 1, the project is on schedule (or possibly complete).

Stepping thru the answers:

1. Wrong. The project is not under budget. If it was, it would have a cpi GREATER than 1.
2. Seems promising. cpi = .94 indicates over budget. spi = 1, indicates the project COULD be complete.
3. Cancelled? How could we know? Not enough information. And with a cpi = .94 it's certainly not under budget.
4. Project was terminated? Not enough information to make that conclusion.

I would select #2 as the BEST answer through process of elimination.

Hope this is helpful Florian.
Craig Arcuri, PMP, CSM
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Last Edit: 2 years 2 weeks ago by Craig Arcuri. Reason: typo
The following user(s) said Thank You: Sandeep Kulkarni

Problems to understand certain kind of questions 2 years 2 weeks ago #4803

  • Florian
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Hi Craig,

thank you very much for your answer and help.

It makes me more comfortable knowing that the approach to answer these questions is the "BEST" answer.
I was confused about some solutions from previous questions because there were multiple right or good answers from my perspective (not in my made up question though).

Regards
Florian

Problems to understand certain kind of questions 2 years 2 weeks ago #4804

  • Sandeep Kulkarni
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Excellent explanation offered!

I also would go by the elimination method to get rid of last 2 answers - Not enough information to conclude any of those statements.

CPI is 0.94 means, for every 1 dollar spent; only 0.94 dollar worth of work is being done. Project is going over budget for sure.

SPI is 1 = Project is on time.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Craig Arcuri

Problems to understand certain kind of questions 2 years 2 weeks ago #4806

  • Craig Arcuri
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You're very welcome Florian. A key for me was taking several full practice exams (PM Exam Simulator). OK, I took 7! But I was confident that I had the time and the mental stamina to perform an in depth analysis on the difficult questions. I found almost exclusively that I could narrow it down to 2 possible answers and then try to choose the best answer. On the actual exam, I remember 2 answers for which I had no clue. I rationalized that they were probably one of the questions which weren't being graded ;). But of course I filled in an answer for those two and took my 25% chance of being correct.
Craig Arcuri, PMP, CSM
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Problems to understand certain kind of questions 2 years 2 weeks ago #4808

  • Joy Iyer
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SPI or CPI will not give you any idea of whether the project has been cancelled or terminated or has finished on time, because there values can be calculated at any time during or after the project.
Based on this I would immediately eliminate options 3 and 4.

SPI=1 indicates on schedule and CPI<1 implies behind budget. So the answer would be 2.
Since there are no other options we would assume here that the project has actually finished.
Joy Iyer, PMP, FS Eng (TÜV Rheinland, SIS, PH&RA) & Community Moderator
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