How To Crack PMBOK Guide 6th Edition PMP ITTO Questions?

pmp itto learning strategies

In this post I have described the strategies to answer PMP ITTO (Input, Tools & Techniques, Outputs) questions without the need to memorize them. These strategies will help you to learn PMBOK ITTO for answering CAPM and PMP exam questions.

This post is based on my PMBOK ITTO Concepts eBook. The eBook contains ITTO learning strategies for successfully passing the CAPM & PMP certification exam in the first attempt without remembering or memorizing the ITTOs.

The eBook is quite detailed and comprehensive. I have compiled it after understanding the challenges faced by PMP aspirants. I have applied a few of the eBook’s strategies to answer a sample ITTO question in this post.

Buy ITTO Concepts eBook

Every month, thousands of people attend 35 contact hour 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 people just increase.

Do you know why aspirants are not able to write the exam? One of the prime reasons is that they are afraid of PMBOK ITTOs.

Let me show you a way to overcome this fear and answer the exam questions logically.

Note: You can also download free PMP ITTO Chart before reading further. It will help you in your studies.

Sample CAPM / PMP ITTO Question

Most of the questions in the exam are knowledge based & situational. Even the direct input/output questions come in the garb of the situational questions.

Let me show you it to you with the help of an example. Let us look at a typical 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

How to Answer Sample ITTO Question?

Initially, you will find this question a bit challenging. But, after reading the rest of the post, you will find it extremely straightforward. In future, you will be able to answer such questions 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.

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.

You might ask Why “Define Scope” and not “Collect Requirements”. In “Define Scope”, you look for options and alternatives while “Collect Requirements” deals with freezing the requirements. This is where conceptual understanding of PMBOK Guide Terms is important.

To help you with the conceptual understanding of various terms, I have created PMP Mind Maps eBook. It provides keywords associated with each PMBOK Guide term. It has mind maps for all 5 Process Groups, 10 Knowledge Areas and 49 processes.

7 Strategies To Answer PMBOK ITTO Questions Without The Need For Learning Or Memorizing

After going through the sample question, you would have realized that concepts are more important than the memorization. You need to understand the processes and inputs/outputs conceptually to answer the exam questions correctly. A little bit of memorization is helpful, but pure mugging-up will not take you anywhere.

Let us summarize the 7 strategies for answering the 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 the purpose of 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 described in the PMBOK Guide to understand process and inputs/outputs flow.

CAPM / PMP ITTO Concepts eBook

I have created a comprehensive PMBOK Guide Concepts eBook. It has 16 steps for learning processes and ITTO. It also has 45+ helpful techniques and 20 explanatory flow charts for answering the exam questions correctly. It provides solutions & explanations of 10 sample questions by applying the suggested techniques. The sample questions are taken from popular public sources to avoid any bias. The eBook will help you in your exam preparation and boost your confidence.

Buy ITTO Concepts eBook

Over To You

Do you find questions based on ITTOs difficult? Have you ever tried to memorize the inputs/outputs? Was it easy? What has been your overall study approach so far?

Please leave a comment.

All the best for your exam.

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Praveen Malik, PMP

​Praveen Malik ​is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 23+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor, Coach and ​Advisor. He ​has successfully trained thousands of aspirants for the PM certification exams.

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