This question is from Oliver Lehman's current free set of 175.
19. As the project manager in a software project which is currently initiated, you want to assess high-level risks. What should you do?
o Develop the project charter and a risk management plan to start identifying
risks based on those and other documents.
o Identify and analyze risk events using qualitative and quantitative techniques.
o Develop contingency plans and fallback plans in case the original plan proves wrong.
o Discuss the risks documented in your Risk register with the project key stakeholders.
The answer is given as #1. I rejected this answer for two reasons. First, the project is initiated (past tense) hinting the charter is complete. Second, I thought the PMI position was that the Sponsor develops the charter, not the PM. My answer was #4 recognizing this looked like a good input to Plan Risk Mgmt., but the Develop Charter seemed to be out of place. Does PMI consider work on the charter within the scope of the PM?
Bob, you'll find with questions like these that the answer is almost always the obvious. You see word "initiated" so let that be the clue and associate this often with Project Charter. Then key on the term "high level". This word set is almost definitely the key to knowing the question is asking about the initiation phase, and hence the Project Charter, in this case.
Michael DeCicco, PMP
I agree with you that option 1 is not the best option, for the same reasons you mentioned:
1- the project in already initiated, and the project charter already exists.
2- usually, we, the project managers, are usually assigned after the project charter is created. as the project charter has 2 main objectives (authorize the existence of a project, assign and authorize the project manager.)
I would disagree with your conclusion, option#4 is proposing to discuss risks documented in the risk register. since the project is just initiated, we can't assume the risk register is already created. the best answer is #2 "Identify and analyze risk events using qualitative and quantitative techniques"
The subtleness in PMP certification can often be a complicated factor in answering questions. And this one may prove to be so based on the varied answers between the three of us.
To me, I stick with choice A because of the "high level" The project charter is an input to the plan risk management phase where you begin to identify and analyze the risks that are high level. But you haven't got those high level risks. The question is asking you to assess them, meaning, in my interpretation, go find them and write them down on the charter.
Ahmed, you certainly have a point. I think many people could agree with you. In this case, I hope there's a way to verify what the test writer thinks. If not, we might have thoroughly confused a PMP candidate.
Bob, any conclusive thoughts?
Michael DeCicco, PMP
Thanks for the insight, I appreciate your responses. My thought on answer #4 was that it was the next step in formulating plans. I was tempted by #1, but rejected it because my understanding of the PMI definition of the Charter was the PM is not (typically) involved. #2 seemed to be too detailed to meet the "high level" need. The more important question for me, so to better understand the approach to Charter based questions is: Does PMI consider work on the charter within the scope of the PM?
Bob, yes PMI considers the project manager responsible for the charter as it relates to the process of initiating the project. What the PMBOK teaches you is everything that you will be responsible for overseeing from initiation to closing. The business case process belongs to someone above the project manager, who then decides what should be pursued based on value added to the business. That's when you get the tap on the shoulder to become the project manager.
Michael DeCicco, PMP
The PMBOK Guide is very clear in the definition and responsibility of creating the project charter:
the charter is created by the project initiator or sponsor (which is not the project manager).
The charter gives authority to the project manager.
PMBOK 5th edition, Page 70 :
" 126.96.36.199 Project Charter The project charter is the document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities. It documents the business needs, assumptions, constraints, the understanding of the customer’s needs and high-level requirements, and the new product, service, or result that it is intended to satisfy
Let me throw some more gas on the fire. To my surprise, I also found this in the PMBOK 5th ed. in Sec 3.3 Initiating Process Group, pg. 54:
"Although the project management team may help write the Project Charter, this standard assumes that business case assessment, approval, and funding are handled external to the project boundaries."
It is probably safe to assume that questions involving the charter need to be read carefully and put in context to answer properly. This gives me enough confidence not to reject out of hand any question that ties the project team to work on the charter, so I think this resolves it for me.
My Understanding from PMBOK ( and PMPrepcast material, as well as RMC) is as follows.
The Project is usually prepared by the initiator/sponsor, but may be created by the Project Manager as he has the knowledge and skill to develop it. What is important is that the Initiator/Sponsor external to the project has to Approve the charter. And from the Question the Charter is currently initiated ( though a bit vague, I think it is supposed to say it is currently being initiated).
From this my answer is #1,. High level risks are identified as you develop the project charter, meaning you have done some high level Risk Management. Remember Planning and initiating can also begin at the same time, though planning is with less detail. Hence High level and Planning point to #1 as the answer. The rest look way out.
Moderators: Yolanda Mabutas, Ahmed Amin, Scott Gillard, Mary Kathrine Padua, ERIC BARTLETT, Gail Freedman, Kevin Nason, Steven Mudrinich, PMP, Mark Wuenscher, PMP, John Wolverton, Tracy Shagnea, PMP, Jada Garrett
This interview with Simona Fallavollita (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the magnificient Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. We discuss the how, what, why and when of the changes that are coming to the PMP exam.