PMP Ch 5 – Time Management Questions (Rita Ch 6)

1. To control the schedule, a project manager is reanalyzing the project to predict project duration. She does this by analyzing the sequence of activities with the least amount of scheduling flexibility. What technique is she using?

A. Critical path method
B. Flowchart
C. Precedence diagramming
D. Work breakdown structure

Answer A

There are only two choices related to scheduling: A and C. Choice C, however, is a diagramming technique that deals with the relationship between activities, not schedule flexibility.

2. A dependency requiring that design be completed before manufacturing can start is an example of a:

A. Discretionary dependency
B. External dependency
C. Mandatory dependency
D. Scope dependency

Answer C

Since the dependency is required, it could not be discretionary (choice A) and therefore must be man da tory. No mention is made that the dependency comes from a source outside the project, so external (choice B) is not correct. Scope dependency (choice D) is not a defined term. The key word in this question is “requires”. The question defines a mandatory dependency.

3. Which of the following are GENERALLY illustrated BETTER by bar charts than network diagrams?

A. Logical relationships
B. Critical paths
C. Resource trade-offs
D. Progress or status

Answer D

The bar chart (or Gantt chart) is designed to show a relationship to time. This is best used when demonstrating progress or status as a factor of time.

4. If the optimistic estimate for an activity is 12 days, and the pessimistic estimate is 18 days, what is the standard deviation of this activity?

A. 1
B. l.3
C. 6
D. 3

Answer A

The standard deviation is computed by (P – 0)/6.
Therefore, the answer is (18 – 12)/6 = 6/6 = 1.

5. A heuristic is BEST described as a:

A. Control tool
B. Scheduling method
C. Planning tool
D. Rule of thumb

Answer D

A heuristic is a rule of thumb. Examples are cost per line of code, cost per square foot of floor space, etc.

6. Lag means:

A. The amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying the project finish date
B. The amount of time an activity can be delayed without delaying the early start date of its successor
C. Waiting time
D. The product of a forward and backward pass

Answer C

Total float and free float (choices A and B) are the time an activity can be delayed without impacting the entire project or the next activity. Critical path method (choice D) is a network analysis technique, not waiting time. Choice C is the correct answer.

7. Which of the following is the BEST project management tool to use to determine the longest time the project will take?

B. Network diagram
C. Bar chart
D. Project charter

Answer B

The bar chart (choice C) may show an end date, but it is not used to determine dates and show progress. The project charter (choice D) may include any required end dates, but not a logical determination ofhow long the project will take. The network diagram (choice B) takes the work packages from the work breakdown structure (choice A) and adds dependencies. The dependencies allow us to look at the various paths through the diagram. The longest duration path is the critical path. Choice B is the best answer.

8. Which of the following is CORRECT?

A. The critical path helps prove how long the project will take
B. There can be only one critical path
C. The network diagram will change every time the end date changes
D. A project can never have negative float

Answer A

This question tests your knowledge about a number of topics. There can often be more than one critical path (choice B) but you might adjust to decrease risk and have only one critical path. Choice C uses the word “will:’ The network diagram may change or it may not, depending on the amount of schedule reserve and the reason for the change to the schedule. You can have negative float (choice D) if you are behind schedule. Only choice A is correct.

9. What is the duration of a milestone?

A. Shorter than the duration of the longest activity
B. Shorter than the activity it represents
C. There is no duration
D. Same length as the activity it represents

Answer C

A milestone shows the completion of a series of activities or work packages. Therefore, it takes no time of its own.
With this in mind, choice C is the best answer.

10. Which ofthe following BEST describes the relationship between standard deviation and risk?

A. Nothing
B. Standard deviation tells you if the estimate is accurate
C. Standard deviation tells you how unsure the estimate is
D. Standard deviation tells you if the estimate indudes a pad

10. Answer C

Choice A is not best, as the standard deviation tells you the amount of uncertainty or risk involved in the estimate for the activity. An estimate can have a wide range (choice B) and still be accurate if the item estimated includes risks. Choice D cannot be the best answer since there is no such thing as a pad in proper project management.
An estimate might be inflated, but it is because of risks, not padding.

11. The float of an activity is determined by:

A. Performing a Monte Carlo analysis
B. Determining the waiting time between activities
C. Determining lag
D. Determining the amount of time the activity can be delayed before it delays the critical path

Answer D
This question does not specify what type of float. Total float is the amount of time an activity can be delayed without impacting the end date of the project. Free float is the amount of time an activity can be delayed without impacting the early start of the next activity. The only choice matching either of these definitions is choice D.
12. A project has three critical paths. Which of the following BEST describes how this affects the project?

A. It makes it easier to manage
B. It increases the project risk
C. It requires more people
D. It makes it more expensive

Answer B

Though having three critical paths COULD require more people (choice C) or cost more (choice D), the answer that is definitely and always true is choice B. Because you need to manage three critical paths, there is more risk that something could happen to delay the project.

13. If project time and cost are not as important as the number of resources used each month, which of the following is the BEST thing to do?

A. Perform a Monte Carlo analysis
B. Fast track the project
C. Perform resource leveling
D. Analyze the life cycle costs

Answer C

Fast tracking (choice B) would affect time and cost. Monte Carlo analysis and life cycle costs (choices A and D) do not directly deal with resources. Leveling (choice C) is the only choice that will definitely affect resources.

14. When would a milestone chart be used instead of a bar chart?

A. Project planning
B. Reporting to team members
C. Reporting to management
D. Risk analysis

Answer C

Project planning (choice A) would use both types of charts. Team members (choice B) need to see details and so they need a bar chart rather than a milestone chart. Risk analysis (choice D) COULD make use ofboth charts. A milestone chart is used instead of a bar chart for any situation where you want to report in a less detailed way (choice C). Bar charts can scare people with their complexity and often show too much detail to be worthwhile on a management level.
Milestone charts are more effective for reporting to management.

15. Your project management plan results in a project schedule that is too long. If the project network diagram cannot change but you have extra personnel resources, what is the BEST thing to do?

A. Fast track the project
B. Level the resources
C. Crash the project
D. Monte Carlo analysis

Answer C

Leveling resources (choice B) generally extends the schedule. Monte Carlo analysis (choice D) does not directly address the constraints of this situation. To compress the schedule, you could either crash or fast track. However, the situation says that the network diagram cannot change. This eliminates the fast tracking option (choice A), leaving choice C as the best answer.

16. Which of the following is the BEST thing to do to try to complete a project two days earlier?

A. Tell senior management that the project’s critical path does not allow the project to be finished earlier
B. Tell your boss
C. Meet with the team and look for options for crashing or fast tracking the critical path
D. Work hard and see what the project status is next month

Answer C

This is another question that asks about problem solving. Only choice C relates to “evaluate,” Choices Band D do not try to solve the real problem. Choice A is just an untrue statement.

17. In attempting to complete the project faster, the project manager looks at the cost associated with crashing each activity. The BEST approach to crashing would also indude looking at the:

A. Risk impact of crashing each activity
B. Customers opinion of which activities to crash
C. Bosss opinion of which activities to crash and in which order.
D. Project life cyde phase in which the activity is due to occur.

Answer A

You may or may not need your customer’s (choice B) or your boss’s (choice C) input, but you will definitely need to include an analysis of risk. Choice A is broader than choice D and therefore is better.

18. Which of the following processes indudes asking team members about the time estimates for their activities and reaching agreement on the calendar date for each activity?

A. Sequence Activities
B. Develop Schedule
C. Define Scope
D. Develop Project Charter

Answer B

By the time this process is taking place, Sequence Activities (choice A), Define Scope (choice C), and Develop Project Charter (choice D) would be completed.

19. A project manager is in the middle of the executing process of a very large construction project when he discovers that the time needed to complete the project is longer than the time available. What is the BEST thing to do?

A. Cut product scope
B. Meet with management and tell them that the required date cannot be met
C. Work overtime
D. Determine options for schedule compression and present management with his recommended option

Answer D

This question tests whether you know how to solve problems, especially if you are one of those project managers who has not realized that an unrealistic schedule is something you should deal with before beginning work. Since cutting product scope affects the customer, choice A has a great negative effect and is therefore not best. A project manager’s job is to determine options for meeting any end date or time, therefore choice B cannot be correct. Working overtime (choice C) is expensive and
unnecessary when there are so many other choices that could be selected first. Choice D could have the least negative effect on the project.

20. During project planning, you estimate the time needed for each activity and then add the estimates to create the project estimate. You commit to completing the project by this date. What is wrong with this scenario?

A. The team did not create the estimate, and estimating takes too long using that method
B. The team did not create the estimate, and a network diagram was not used
C. The estimate is too long and should be created by management
D. The project estimate should be the same as the customer’s required completion date

Answer B

Time estimates for the activities should be created by the team and should not be added. Some activities may take place concurrently. Therefore, choice B must be the correct answer.

21. You are a project manager on a $5,000,000 software development project. While working with your project team to develop a network diagram, you notice a series of activities that can be worked in parallel but must finish in a specific sequence. What type of activity sequencing method is required for these activities?

A. Precedence diagramming method
B. Arrow diagramming method
C. Critical path method
D. Operational diagramming method

Answer A

The question implies a finish-to-finish relationship between activities. The arrow diagramming method (choice B) does not support these types of relationships. Choice C is not a diagramming method, and choice D is a made-up term.

22. You are a project manager on a $5,000,000 software development project. While working with your project team to develop a network diagram, your data architects suggest that quality could be improved if the data model is approved by senior management before moving on to other design elements. They support this suggestion with an article from a leading software development journal. Which of the following BEST describes what this type of input is called?

A. Mandatory dependency
B. Discretionary dependency
C. External dependency
D. Heuristic

Answer B

The situation is neither mandatory (choice A), nor driven by an external source (choice C). A rule of thumb (choice D) is something that can be used consistently. This situation is a unique occurrence. The situation is a suggestion of a preferred method, so choice B is the best answer.

23. Based on the following, if you needed to shorten the duration of the project, what activity would you try to shorten?

Activity Precedessor Duration
Start ____ None ________ 0
A ______ Start _________ 1
B ______ Start _________ 2
C ______ Start _________ 6
D ______ A __________ 10
E ______ B, C _________ 1
F ______ C ___________ 2
G ______ D ___________ 3
H ______ E ___________ 9
I _______ F ___________ 1
End ____ G, H, I _______ 0

A. Activity G
B. Activity D
C. Activity H
D. Activity C

Answer D

This is one of the two-stage questions you will find on the exam. First you need to draw the network diagram and find the critical path, and then make a decision.

___ Paths ___________ Duration
Start, A, D, G, End ________ 14
Start, B, E, H, End _________12
Start, C, E, H, End ________ 16
Start, C, F, I, End __________ 9

Many people immediately look for the longest duration activity on the project to cut. Here activity D is the longest, at 10 weeks. However, that activity is not on the critical path, and cutting it would not shorten the projects duration. You must change the critical path. In this case, both activity C and activity H are on the critical path. If you have a choice, all things being equal, choose the earlier option. Therefore, activity C (choice D) is the best answer.

24. You have a project with the following activities: Activity A takes 40 hours and can start after the project starts. Activity B takes 25 hours and should happen after the project starts. Activity C must happen after activity A and takes 35 hours. Activity D must happen after activities Band C and takes 30 hours. Activity E must take place after activity C and takes 10 hours. Activity F takes place after Activity E and takes 22 hours. Activities F and D are the last activities of the project. Which of the following is TRUE if activity B actually takes 37 hours?

A. The critical path is 67 hours
B. The critical path changes to Start, B, D, End
C. The critical path is Start, A, C, E, F, End
D. The critical path increases by 12 hours

Answer C

Did you notice how difficult this question was to read? Such wording is intentional, to prepare you for interpreting questions on the real exam. Looking at this situation, you see that there are three paths through the network. They are Start, A, C, E, F, End with a duration of 40 + 35 + 10 + 22 = 107; Start, A, C, D, End with a duration of 40 + 35 + 30 = 105; and Start, B, D, End with a duration of25 + 30 = 55. If the duration of activity B changes from 25 to 37, the activity will take 12 hours longer. As the activity is only on the third path, it will only change the duration of that path from 55 to 55 + 12 = 67 hours. Since the duration of the critical path is 107 hours, the delay with activity B will have no impact on the project timeline or the current critical path.

25. A project manager has received activity duration estimates from his team. Which of the following does he need in order to complete the Develop Schedule process?

A. Change requests
B. Schedule change control system
C. Recommended corrective actions
D. Reserves

Answer D
Develop Schedule includes all work and uses all inputs needed to come up with a finalized, realistic schedule. One would need time reserves (choice D) in order to complete a schedule. All of the other items are parts of Control Schedule and occur after Develop Schedule.
26. A project manager is taking over a project from another project manager during the planning process group. If the new project manager wants to see what the previous project manager planned for managing changes to the schedule, it would be BEST to look at the:

A. Communications management plan
B. Update management plan
C. Staffing management plan
D. Schedule management plan

Answer D

Answer D is the most correct answer. The schedule management plan is the repository for plans for schedule changes. Note that choice B is a made-up term.

27. A project manager is using weighted average duration estimates to perform schedule network analysis. Which type of mathematical analysis is being used?

A. Critical path method
C. Monte Carlo
D. Resource leveling

Answer B

PERT uses a weighted average to compute activity durations.

28. The WBS, estimates for each work package, and the network diagram are completed. Which of the following would be the NEXT thing for the project manager to do?

A. Sequence the activities
B. Verify that they have the correct scope
C. Create a preliminary schedule and get the teams approval
D. Complete risk management

Answer C

Choice A is the same thing as create a network diagram. Choice B is another name for Verify Scope, which is done during the monitoring and controlling process group, not during project planning. Since a schedule is an input to risk management, choice D comes after choice C and so it is not the “next thing to do,” The only remaining choice is C.

29. A new product development project has four levels in the work breakdown structure and has been sequenced using the precedence diagramming method. The activity duration estimates have been received. What should be done NEXT?

A. Create an activity list
B. Begin the work breakdown structure
C. Finalize the schedule
D. Compress the schedule

Answer D

The question is really asking, “What is done after Estimate Activity Durations?” Choices A and B are done before Estimate Activity Durations. Schedule compression (choice D) occurs before finalizing the schedule (choice C) and is, therefore, the best answer.

30. You are a project manager for a new product development project that has four levels in the work breakdown structure. A network diagram has been created, the duration estimates have been compressed, and a schedule has been developed. What time management activity should you do NEXT?

A. Begin Control Schedule
B. Estimate Activity Resources
C. Analogously estimate the schedule
D. Gain approval

Answer D

Notice how this question and the previous one seem very similar. This is intended to prepare you for similar questions on the exam. Choices B and C should have already been completed. The situation described is within the Develop Schedule process of time management. Choice A is the next time management process after Develop Schedule, but the Develop Schedule process is not finished. Final approval (choice D) of the schedule by the stakeholders is needed before one has a project schedule .

31. A team member from research and development tells you that her work is too creative to provide you with a fixed single estimate for the activity. You both decide to use the labor hours per installation from past projects to predict the future. This is an example of which of the following?

A. Parametric estimating
B. Three-point estimating
C. Analogous estimating
D. Monte Carlo analysis

Answer A

Past history is being used to calculate an estimate. Monte Carlo (choice D) relates to what-if analysis. Choice B uses three time estimates per activity. One could use past projects to come up with the estimate (choice C), but the best answer is choice A because an estimate such as hours per installation is a chief characteristic of parametric estimates.

32. An activity has an early start (ES) of day 3, a late start (LS) of day 13, an early finish (EF) of day 9, and a late finish (LF) of day 19. The activity:

A. Is on the critical path
B. Has a lag
C. Is progressing well
D. Is not on the critical path

Answer D

The activity described has float because there is a difference between the early start and late start. An activity that has float is probably not on the critical path. There is no information presented about lag (choice B) or progress (choice C), so choice D is the best answer.

33. The project is calculated to be completed four days after the desired completion date. You do not have access to additional resources. The project is low risk, the benefit cost ratio (BCR) is expected to be 1.6, and the dependencies are preferential. Under these circumstances, what would be the BEST thing to do?

A. Cut resources from an activity
B. Make more activities concurrent
C. Move resources from the preferential dependencies to the external dependencies
D. Remove an activity from the project

Answer B

Cutting resources from an activity (choice A) would not save time, nor would moving resources in the way described (choice C). Removing an activity from the project (choice D) is a possibility, but since the dependencies are preferential and the risk is low, the best choice would be to make more activities concurrent (choice B), as this would have less impact on the project.

34. A project manager for a small construction company has a project that was budgeted for $130,000 over a six-week period. According to her schedule, the project should have cost $60,000 to date. However, it has cost US $90,000 to date. The project is also behind schedule, because the original estimates were not accurate. Who has the PRIMARY responsibility to solve this problem?

A. Project manager
B. Senior management
C. Project sponsor
D. Manager of the project management office

Answer A

Did you get lost looking at all the numbers presented in this question? Notice that there are no calculations required, simply an understanding of what the problem is. This question describes schedule management, which is a responsibility of the project manager.

35. Senior management is complaining that they are not able to easily determine the status of ongoing projects in the organization. Which of the following types of reports would help provide summary information to senior management?

A. Detailed cost estimates
B. Project management plans
C. Bar charts
D. Milestone reports

Answer D

Detailed estimates (choice A) have nothing to do with the situation described. Project management plans (choice B) will have more detail than is necessary for the situation described and may distract from the conversation if used in this situation. Bar charts (choice C) are usually only for the team. The best answer is choice D because milestone reports present the right level of detail for upper management.

36. Rearranging resources so that a constant number of resources is used each month is called:

A. Crashing
B. Floating
C. Leveling
D. Fast tracking

Answer C

The key to this question is the phrase “constant number used each month”. Only leveling, choice C, has such an effect on the schedule.

37. Which of the following is a benefit of an analogous project estimate?

A. The estimate will be closer to what the work will actually require
B. It is based on a detailed understanding of what the work requires
C. It gives the project team an understanding of management’s expectations
D. It helps the project manager determine if the project will meet the schedule

Answer C

Remember for the exam that analogous estimates are considered to be top-down, high-level estimates, even though a high-level or even a definitive estimate can be estimated analogously. Therefore, choices A and B cannot be correct. The project manager needs more than an analogous (high-level) estimate to determine whether or not the project will meet the schedule (choice D). It is a benefit to know management’s expectations ofhow much the project will cost so that any differences between the analogous estimate and the detailed bottom-up estimate can be reconciled in the planning processes. The best choice is C.

38. During project executing, a large number of changes are made to the project. The project manager should:

A. Wait until all changes are known and print out a new schedule
B. Make approved changes as needed, but retain the schedule baseline
C. Make only the changes approved by management
D. Talk to management before any changes are made

Answer B

A project manager must be more in control of the project than choices C and D reflect. Choice A is a common error many project managers make.
Instead, the project manager should be controlling the project throughout the completion of the project.