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TOPIC: Strategy for distinguishing between OPAs and EEFs?

Strategy for distinguishing between OPAs and EEFs? 2 months 3 weeks ago #21196

  • Joshua Jordan
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For some reason, I keep getting questions wrong by mixing up OPAs and EEFs. My initial way of remembering the difference is OPAs are standards, policies, etc. that affect project and are within its control, while EEFs are laws, constraints, etc. that affect the project but outside the project's control. This doesn't seem to be detailed enough as several questions indicate items that are clearly outside the project's control still are considered OPAs... Any tips out there?

Strategy for distinguishing between OPAs and EEFs? 2 months 3 weeks ago #21197

  • Devin
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EEFs originate from the environment outside of the project and often outside of the enterprise. EEFs may have an impact at the organizational, portfolio, program, or project level. See Section 2.2 for additional information on EEFs. OPAs are internal to the organization. These may arise from the organization itself, a portfolio, a program, another project, or a combination of these. (PMBOK, pg. 37).

OPAs are internal policies to the organization, templates, knowledge bases like the lessons learned repository where the project lessons learned register is archived at the end of a project.
EFFs are OUTSIDE the project environment (and maybe organization) and are not the same (according to the PMBOK) for each project knowledge area. It would be helpful to read the PMBOK and get a flavor for the EFF types (though don't memorize). Classic EFFs are government regulations, exchange rates, marketplace conditions, the PMIS.

I just took the test, so this is still fresh (but faaaaddddiiiinnnng). I do remember one wierd EFF is commercial databases where you might lookup hourly rates of experts to hire.

Does this help?
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Strategy for distinguishing between OPAs and EEFs? 2 months 3 weeks ago #21199

  • Mohammad Alharbi, PMP, PMI-ACP
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I agree it is getting a little fuzzy sometimes. First thing I used to consider though was that, by definition, OPAs are assets while EEFs are factors. Assets are developed over time and can be within the control of project team to import, and update. Examples include: previous projects reports, plans, baselines, project documents, metrics and all processes that organization has developed over years. EEFs, on the other hand, are things that outside the control of project team (might be within the organization though) but are uncontrollable such as governmental regulations, organization culture. Also if it helps, EEFs are, in quite many cases, related to the area of resource management.
Mohammad Alharbi, PMP, PMI-ACP
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Last edit: by Mohammad Alharbi, PMP, PMI-ACP.

Strategy for distinguishing between OPAs and EEFs? 2 months 3 weeks ago #21202

  • Joshua Jordan
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Thanks all! This is helpful! I missed a question recently on the simulator that said a resource (within the company) was made available to a project by the company. I though clearly this was an OPA bc it was within the enterprise but the answer was EEF. Stuff like this is really frustrating bc it seems really subjective. I've even noticed several points within Rita and PrepCast contradict. They are very nuanced areas and I could see PM experts arguing it out over each other's interpretation of PMBOK. I've learned a lot on this journey, but I think the PMP could probably cut 20-30% of the word-soup and still achieve the goal of standard and effective PM guidance.

Strategy for distinguishing between OPAs and EEFs? 2 months 3 weeks ago #21213

  • Devin
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It can be a judgement call, but then again that's basically what most questions on the exam are like. At a high-level I always think of OPAs as the organization's internal library. All projects in the company are producing documents and putting them in the library. Can I checkout the company's culture from the library? No, then that's an EFF. Can I check out a lesson learned registry from a previous project? Yes, that's an OPA.

Resources (their existence and availability) would be an EFF, I can't check them out of the library.
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Strategy for distinguishing between OPAs and EEFs? 2 months 3 weeks ago #21215

  • Harry Elston
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Joshua:

My short 2-cents here: The words "template," "form," "library," "repository" lean to OPA. Words like "law," "regulation," "standard" lean to EEF.

Harry
+++++
Harry J. Elston, Ph.D., CIH, PMP
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Strategy for distinguishing between OPAs and EEFs? 2 months 3 weeks ago #21216

  • Lisa Sweeney PMP
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Hi Joshua,

I do remember a few questions on my exam about using OPAs and EEFs. You're on the right track to gain an understanding of them. Just an FYI: the real exam spells out the terms Organizational Process Assets and Enterprise Environmental Factors and does not use the acronyms OPA and EEF.

Here's a short video from Cornelius and team about EEFs and OPAs:
PMP Training: Enterprise Environmental Factors

I wish you the best, Joshua.
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Last edit: by Lisa Sweeney PMP. Reason: removed an extra and; added on my exam
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