How To Learn PMBOK ITTO For PMP Exam Questions?

7 Strategies To Answer PMP ITTO Questions

how to learn PMP ITTO Questions

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

I have also created a comprehensive and detailed PMBOK ITTO pdf guide based on these strategies. The pdf guide is very useful for successfully passing the exam in first attempt without remembering or memorizing the PMP ITTOs. If you like this article, you can buy it here.

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 increases.

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.

how to remember and memorize pmbok itto questions

Control your destiny

Alter your preparation strategy

And Delete your fear



Sample PMBOK 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


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. 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.


How to Answer PMP ITTO Questions?

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.



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


Over To You

Have you ever tried to memorize the inputs/outputs? Do you find questions based on them difficult? What has been your overall study approach. 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.

6 thoughts on “How To Learn PMBOK ITTO For PMP Exam Questions?

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


  2. Thank you for your post. Now I am intrigued, can’t the identification of alternative techniques be also part of collect requirements? As you say, output of “Collect Requirements” is an Input to “Define Scope”, I understand why this would be “Define Scope”, however, before feeding the input into the “Define Scope” and establish which techniques should the project consider, I will be gathering information on alternative techniques, in order to select which ones should be more adequate, and this step will be performed during the “Collect Requirements”. Can’t I say that this is part of the “Collect Requirements” as well? Clearly the keyword here is identifying, so I am assuming that “identifying” relate us to “Define Scope”, if instead “identifying” the word in question was “collecting” or “gathering” this would indicate we were in the “Collect Requirements” stage?
    Thank you for your post. It will be useful for me next year when I start my study towards PMP.
    Have a nice Christmas.
    Helder Silva

    • Hi Helder

      Thanks for your comment.

      As I have suggested in the blog post, it is important to understand the logical concepts behind ITTO. Specifically (for this Q) the meaning of “alternative generation” should be understood. Without conceptual understanding Q will go wrong.

      “Alternatives Generation” cannot be used for Collecting Requirements. The PMBOK Guide states that “Alternatives Generation is a technique used to…different approaches…perform the work”. Collect Requirements is about “what to do” whereas Define scope is about “what to do, what not to do and how to do”. “Different approaches” is part of “how to do”.

      Hope it helps. Good luck.


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