Some years ago Frank Saladis and Al Zeitoun compiled a list of Project Management Professional Responsibility Questions. These questions are an example of what might appear on the the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) exam. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to post them here. How many did you get right? Post your answer on the comments section for this blog posting.
There are 29 questions total and the first 15 are published here. The answers to the questions appear at the end of this posting, and the remaining questions will be posted in the next few days.
1. While working on an external project your customer asks you to perform some additional tasks that are not included in the formal contract. You should:
a) Honor the customer's request as sign of cooperation to ensure future business
b) Refuse the request and report the customer to your sponsor
c) Acknowledge the request and advise the customer to submit a formal change request
d) Convene a meeting of the project team and rewrite the scope statement
2. You are managing an internal R&D project. The initial test results are very poor. You are afraid your management might cancel the project, and this could reflect poorly upon you. Verification testing could be done quickly and inexpensively. You should:
a) Be the first to recommend canceling the project
b) Inform management about the results and wait for a response
c) Inform management immediately and recommend retesting for verification
d) Withhold the information from management until you perform additional tests to verify the initial results
3. During an informal meeting with your project client you are offered a substantial monetary incentive to alter the configuration of the product to meet the client's personal need. This change may result in additional project costs and schedule delays. The appropriate action to take would be:
a) Refrain from accepting the offer and advise the customer to submit a request to the change control board.
b) Accept the offer and issue an internal configuration change request to the design group
c) Obtain additional information about the request and the customer's personal need before accepting the offer.
d) Delay acceptance of the offer until you can ensure that you can protect yourself from any legal liabilities.
4. As the project manager for a very large and highly visible project you receive a preliminary press release for your approval before distribution. You are expected to approve the release without comment. Your review identifies a major discrepancy regarding some key project financial estimates that may mislead the intended recipients. As the project manager it is your responsibility to:
a) Inform the project sponsor of the discrepancy and refuse to approve the release
b) Approve the release but send a memo to the sponsor advising that you are aware of the discrepancy and will refer any questions your receive to the sponsor
c) Completely rewrite the press release and include the correct information
d) Approve the release as requested
5. Your project is running out of cash and significant work remains. You are directed by senior management to instruct your people to use another project's charge numbers while working on your project. You should:
a) Follow instructions
b) Inform the corporate auditors
c) Understand the background of management's instructions before taking any action
d) Shut down the project, if possible
6. While reviewing the estimates from the functional managers assigned to your project you discover that one cost estimate is clearly higher than those submitted for previous projects. You should:
a) Reject the estimate and remove the functional manager from the project
b) Request the supporting details for the estimate to ensure it has been properly prepared.
c) Accept the estimate and plan to use the additional funding as a reserve.
d) Question each functional manager for information about this estimate.
7. You are working in a country where it is customary to exchange gifts between contractor and customer. Your company code of conduct clearly states that you cannot accept gifts from any client. Failure to accept the gift from this client may result in termination of the contract. The action to take in this case would be:
a) Provide the customer with a copy of your company code of conduct and refuse the gifts.
b) Exchange gifts with the customer and keep the exchange confidential
c) Contact your project sponsor and /or your legal or public relations group for assistance.
d) Ask the project sponsor or project executive to exchange gifts.
8. During your assignment as project manager you add a new member to your project team. This new team member was recently hired from a competitor and offers to share a substantial amount of proprietary information from his previous company. This information could put you and your team in a very strong position for future business. You are aware of a non compete
clause in the new hire's condition of employment. You should:
a) Accept the information and agree to keep it confidential between you and the new hire.
b) Review the condition of employment with the new hire and advise her to reconsider the offer.
c) Review the information and only accept only what may have a direct impact on the project's financial status.
d) Ignore the offer to share and move forward with the project
9. You are asked to write a paper for your sponsor so that he/she can present it at a technical meeting. You are informed that his/her name will be the only name on the paper. You should:
a) Follow instructions
b) Follow instructions but demand that your name also appears
c) Refuse to follow the instructions
d) Go over the head of your sponsor seeking advice
10. An example of a conflict of interest would be:
a) As a public official you make a decision about a contract award that will benefit you personally
b) You and a functional manager disagree with a task cost estimate
c) Your sponsor decides to cancel your project because it no longer supports the company strategy
d) Your personality conflicts with that of a key member of your project team.
11. Each of the following describes the use of an ethical approach except:
a) Attempting to understand the religious and cultural sensitivities of the country in which you have been assigned.
b) Ensuring that personal interest does not interfere with your decision making process.
c) Accepting gifts in exchange for favoring one contractor over another
d) Maintaining confidentiality of sensitive information obtained during the project life cycle.
12. To maintain the customer's schedule, massive overtime will be required between Christmas and New Years. Many of your team members have put in for vacation during this time. You should:
a) Let the schedule slip and inform the customer
b) First give the employees the choice of working overtime
c) Make the employees cancel their vacation plans and work overtime
d) Hire temporary employees for the overtime
13. Which of the following situations describes a violation of the PMP® Professional Code of Conduct?
a) Accepting a gift that is within the customary guidelines of the country or province you are currently working in.
b) Use of confidential information to advance your position or influence a critical decision.
c) Complying with laws and regulations of the state or province in which project management services are provided
d) Disclosing information to a customer about a situation that may have an appearance of impropriety.
14. In order to balance the needs of the many stakeholders involved in your project the most desirable method to achieve resolution of conflicts would be:
15. You receive a contract to perform testing for an external client. After contract award, the customer provides you with the test matrix to use for your 16 tests. The vice president for engineering says that the customer's test matrix is wrong, and she will use a different test matrix, which should give better results. This is a violation to the SOW. Suppose your sponsor is also the vice president for engineering. You should:
a) Use the customer's test matrix
b) Use the engineering test matrix without telling the customer
c) Use the engineering test matrix and inform the customer
d) Tell your sponsor that you want to set up a meeting with the customer to resolve the conflict