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How to Handle Scope Questions on the PMP Exam

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The Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam will feature a good number of scope-related questions, which means that test-takers must understand the topic well. To keep it simple, know that scope also means the work to be executed on the project. Once the customer is clear regarding the final product, service, or result, the project team will define the work and how it will get done.

Start with the Customer

The customer often speaks from the standpoint of what they want the deliverable to do. For example, “We’re want the building to include state-of-the-art technology that allows our workers to stay connected at all times.” The project team must ensure what is meant by “state-of-the-art” and “stay connected.”The customer has an idea or vision regarding the output, but the details are often left to the subject matter experts (SMEs). Of course, it’s important to have a good idea regarding the budget so that the recommendations are viable.

Know the Order of the Scope Management Processes

One can expect many tricky questions on the PMP exam related to scope, but knowing the processes in order for this knowledge area can make your job easier when selecting the BEST answer. For example, one must know that requirements are collected before the scope is defined. In the “real world,” the requirements may be gathered as the project is moving forward, and sometimes the project team assumes they know what the customer wants and will skip the process of collect requirements.

Here are the processes in Scope Management, and I will share a short definition to make them easier to understand:

Plan Scope Management (5.1): The process that creates the scope management plan, and explains how both project and product scope are defined, validated, and controlled.
Collect Requirements (5.1): The process of determining the stakeholder needs.
Define Scope (5.3): The process of developing a detailed description of the work to be performed.
Create WBS (5.4): The process of decomposing the project work into manageable pieces.
Validate Scope (5.5): The process of confirming the work completed has met the requirements as stated in the project scope statement.
Control Scope (5.6): The process of taking corrective action when there is a variance with scope, such as when the customer requests additional work beyond what was agreed (i.e., scope creep).
I recommend that you go through all 47 processes, and create your own short definition. By doing so, you will have more control when taking the exam. The questions are written to test your overall knowledge, which means that memorization will have little value.



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