7 Strategies to Answer PMBOK ITTO Questions

Last updated on September 7, 2016

How do You Solve PMBOK ITTO Questions?

pmbok itto questions

I keep on meeting PMP® aspirants who went through 35 hours training but did not apply for the exam. Even though they completed the training a few years ago, they could not muster enough courage to take the exam. With each passing day, the number of such aspirants just increases. Every month, thousands of people attend the PMP® training  but only a fraction of them sit in the exam within 2-3 months of the training. One of the main reasons behind this strange occurrence is fear of Inputs, Toots & Techniques, Outputs (ITTO) questions.

Let me try to reduce this fear.

Control your destiny

Alter your preparation strategy

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 PMBOK® ITTO. 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 ITTO, 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 PMP® Exam is all about ITTO. They would suggest that without memorizing ITTO, you cannot pass the Exam. These people could be experienced PMP® instructors and/or your well-wishers. But to get a safe answer to the above question, you should talk to someone who got his PMP® certification in 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. They share their experience with me. 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 questions (PMBOK ITTO questions) come in the garb of the situational questions.

Does it mean that you should not worry about PMBOK ITTO Questions?


You should certainly review PMBOK® ITTO. But pure mugging-up will not help you. It will only increase your anxiety and frustrate you. You should understand the PMBOK® Guide concepts, process relationships and logical links. Let us take a look at an example.


PMBOK 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 if you understand PMBOK® Guide conceptually, you will find it straightforward . You will be able to answer the question correctly, if you have read and understood the ITTO well. 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 approaches…”. The question is asking about “Alternative Generation” which is part of “Define Scope” process. Hence, the answer to this question is D.

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


I have also highlighted some other 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”.


Strategies to Answer PMBOK ITTO Questions

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



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 comprehensive PMP ITTO Guide. It provides 55 helpful techniques to solve ITTO questions and solves a few example 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.

I would also recommend that you buy ITTO Memory Jogger by Cornelius Fichtner, which will complement my PMP ITTO Guide. You can also look at PMP Exam Flashcards by Cornelius Fichtner, which provides a comprehensive knowledge of PMBOK Guide terminology. It would help you in understanding processes & ITTO.

Please leave a comment, if any PMBOK ITTO questions is bothering you. I will answer them and provide explanations.

All the best for your exam.


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Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links – it means that, if you buy from any of these links, then I will receive a small commission that would help me in maintaining this blog for free. However, for you, there is no extra cost. I recommend only those products that I believe will definitely help the certification aspirants.

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.


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