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Direct and Manage Project Work Inputs and Outputs You Should Know for the PMP Certification Exam

The PMP Certification Exam will ask questions about carrying out the work in the project management plan and integrating the various plans and activities of the project. You will call on several areas of exam preparation for this portion.

Direct and Manage Project Work: Inputs

Most of what you work with when creating deliverables is following the guidance of the project management plan, which is an important input to this process. You are subject to the organizational processes and constraints. The most common ones to keep in mind are

  • Organizational policies

  • Procedures

  • Work guidelines

  • Information from past projects

  • Organizational infrastructure

  • Information systems

Approved change requests are also inputs to the Direct and Manage Project Work process. The PMBOK Guide uses the term “change request” as an umbrella to encompass not only a request to change some aspect of the product or project, but also corrective action, preventive action, and defect repairs. There are specific definitions for each of those terms.

Change Request. A formal proposal to modify any document, deliverable, or baseline.

Corrective Action. An intentional activity that realigns the performance of the project work with the project management plan.

Preventive Action. An intentional activity that ensures that the future performance of the project work is aligned with the project management plan.

Defect. An imperfection or deficiency in a project component where that component does not meet its requirements or specifications and needs to be either repaired or replaced.

Defect Repair. An intentional activity to modify a nonconforming product or product component.

You will generally see change requests as an output from the Monitoring and Control processes, and some of the Executing processes. They are inputs to the Perform Integrated Change Control process, where they are analyzed to determine whether they should be accepted, rejected, or deferred. The Direct and Manage Project Work process is where the approved change requests come to be implemented.

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Direct and Manage Project Work: Outputs

The outputs of executing the project work are fairly logical. You have your deliverables and the work performance data. Work performance information is an input to nine Monitoring and Controlling processes.

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Some specific definitions are associated with deliverables and work performance information. Take a look at them to make sure you understand what PMI means by these terms.

Deliverable. Any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that is required to be produced to complete a process, phase, or project.

Product. An artifact that is produced, is quantifiable, and can be either an end item in itself or a component item. Additional words for products are material and goods.

Result. An output from performing project management processes and activities. Results include outcomes (for example, integrated systems, revised process, restructured organization, tests, trained personnel, and so on) and documents (for example, policies, plans, studies, procedures, specifications, reports, and so on).

Work Performance Data. The raw observations and measurements identified during activities being performed to carry out the project work.

You might have change requests and you will update components of the project management plan and project documents. Change requests that are a result of this process can address project or product issues. You might see a change request to revise work instructions, the schedule, scope, budget, or requirements. It’s common to see requests for preventive and/or corrective actions as a result of this process.

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