7 Strategies To Answer PMBOK ITTO Questions

How do You Solve PMBOK ITTO Questions?

PMP ITTO Questions

In this post I will describe strategies to solve PMBOK ITTO (Input, Tools & Techniques, Outputs) questions without the need to memorize the ITTOs.

Every month, thousands of people attend the PMP training  but only a fraction of them apply for the exam. Many of them wait for years before they can muster enough courage to take the exam. With each passing day, the number of such aspirants just increases. I keep on meeting such people.

Do you know what is their biggest fear? It is learning and memorizing PMP ITTO.

It is not altogether strange. There is lot of misconception about the ITTOs. Let me try to reduce this fear.

pmbok itto questions

Control your destiny

Alter your preparation strategy

And Delete your fear

 
 

Do You Need To Memorize PMBOK ITTO?

The answer to this question is Yes and No.

You should not blindly mug up the ITTOs. Pure cramming will not help your cause. It will only increase your anxiety. Rather, you should understand them logically and try to find the relationships between different processes. You might need to remember a few ITTOs, but most of them can be logically understood.

You would find my opinion contrary to the popular wisdom. You would find many people telling you that you cannot pass the exam without memorizing the ITTOs. Strangely enough many of these people are experienced PMP instructors. They will tell you that PMP Exam is all about ITTO but it is not so. In fact giving too much attention to ITTOs may lead to failure – 15 Reasons Why People Failed the PMP Exam.

 

To get a good answer to the above question, you should talk to someone who has attained the PMP certification in the recent past. The best tips, invariably, come from people who have recently passed the exam.

Many of my students call me after passing the Exam. Most of them say that blind memorization is not useful.

I have compiled a few posts where my students have shared their experience. You should go through these posts. Reading their experience would be helpful in mitigating your fear.

After reading these posts, you would have realized that all of them have downplayed the importance of ITTOs.

Most of the questions in PMP Exam are knowledge based & situational. Even the direct ITTO questions come in the garb of the situational questions.

 

Does it mean it is fruitless to learn PMBOK ITTO?

No.

You should certainly learn PMBOK ITTO but pure mugging-up will not help you. It will only increase your anxiety and frustrate you. Rather, you should understand the PMBOK Guide concepts, process relationships and logic behind the ITTO. Let us take a look at an example.

 

PMP ITTO Question Example

Let us look at a typical ITTO question. This question was posted by an aspirant on the Linkedin group that I moderate.

You are a project manager of a large project and you are identifying some alternative techniques to generate different approaches to execute and perform the work of a project. You are doing it as a part of:

A.Collect Requirements
B.Control Scope
C.Validate Scope
D.Define Scope

 

The question looks challenging. But you will find it straightforward if you have understood the Guide conceptually. You will be able to answer the question correctly without breaking a sweat. Let us read the question again.

You are a project manager of a large project and you are identifying some alternative techniques to generate different approaches to execute and perform the work of a project. You are doing it as a part of:

 

The answer to the question is within the question itself. I have highlighted the key phrase in green color. The question says “…some alternative techniques to generate different approaches…”.

It is very difficult to answer this question correctly, if you cannot identify the key phrase. In addition to identifying the key phrase, you need to understand the meaning of “alternative techniques”.

But before we look at the key phrase let us look at some other phrases. I have highlighted two more phrases. Let us understand them.

 

If you see the words like “…identifying…”, then the question is most likely from either Initiating or Planning Process Group.

The question might try to throw you off course by including phrases like “…execute and perform the work…”. You may think that it is an Executing Process Group question. But if you read the question carefully, it says “…identifying…something…to execute…”. So the main task is “identifying” and not “execute”.

Now you can easily eliminate options B & C, since they are Monitoring & Controlling processes.

 

Let us go back to the key phrase. This is where conceptual understanding is important. You would know that “Collect Requirements” process is about documenting the requirements while “Define Scope” process is about defining the scope based on the documented requirements. It means that output of “Collect Requirements” is an Input to “Define Scope”. The question is asking about “Alternative Generation” which can be done only in “Define Scope” and not in “Collect Requirements”

 

Hence, the answer to this question is option D.

Strategies to Answer PMP ITTO Questions

  1. Read the question carefully. The answer will be in the question itself.
  2. Identify the Process Group.
  3. Identify the Knowledge Area.
  4. Identify the key phrase(s) in the question.
  5. Understand PMBOK Guide processes conceptually.
  6. Try to find relationships between different processes e.g. output of process X is input to process Y.
  7. Use Data Flow Diagrams to understand process and ITTO flow.

Conclusion

After going through the example question and reading the 7 strategies, you would have realized that concepts are more important than the memorization. You need to understand PMBOK® Guide processes conceptually to answer the ITTO questions correctly. A little bit of memorization is helpful, but pure mugging-up will not take you anywhere.

I have created a detailed PMP ITTO Guide. It provides 55 helpful techniques for answering ITTO questions. It provides a comprehensive solution to solve the question correctly. The guide also contains solutions & explanations of few sample questions (taken from popular public sources) using these techniques. I think you should buy PMP ITTO Guide – it will help you in your exam preparation and boost your confidence.

Over To You

Have you tried to memorize the ITTOs? Do you find questions based on them difficult? Please leave a comment.

All the best for your exam.

 

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Praveen Malik, PMP is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 20+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor and Consultant. He regularly conducts Project Management workshops in India & abroad.

3 thoughts on “7 Strategies To Answer PMBOK ITTO Questions

  1. I agree to what you have mentioned that answer to the question lies in question. Thanks for providing this tip.

    -Mayank

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