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Direct and Manage Project Work Tools and Techniques on the PMP Certification Exam

The work in this process is accomplished by the expert judgment on your team. The PMP Certification Exam will directly address this concept. Your team members, including any vendors, have the technical expertise and experience to complete the work. You will also use the supporting information systems to accomplish work.

As the project manager, you’ll be busy applying your expertise with the following types of activities:

  • Implementing policies and procedures: All work needs to be accomplished according to company policy. Think about safety policies, quality policies, human resource policies, and the like.

  • Making sure team members have work authorization and are using approved methods of accomplishing work: If you think about managing a large project with multiple vendors doing work, you want to make sure that you maintain visibility and control of when work starts and how it progresses. A work authorization system is designed to do that.

    Work Authorization: A permission and direction, typically written, to begin work on a specific schedule activity or work package or control account. It is a method for sanctioning project work to ensure that the work is done by the identified organization, at the right time, and in the proper sequence.

  • Ensuring a common understanding of the work: One of the most frustrating events that can happen on a project is to have team members doing their best to meet the project objectives but not having the same understanding of what that means. Part of your job is to make sure everyone has the same understanding of the work that needs to be done and how it should be prioritized.

  • Enabling: A big part of your job is enabling the team members to perform their work. This includes removing barriers, solving problems, and fostering communication among team members.

  • Managing interfaces: A large project has many interfaces, both internal as well as outside the organization. Internal interfaces can include interfacing with operations, with other projects, and inside the project. External interfaces can be almost anything from regulatory and government agencies to the public to suppliers.

  • Implementing risk management actions: While executing the project, you will implement planned risk responses, such as taking mitigating actions or transferring risk via procurement. You may also need to implement a contingency plan if a risk event occurs.

  • Making decisions: Regardless of the decision-making process you use, your job is to make decisions that impact the project. Most project managers will consult with their team members and interview stakeholders before making decisions, but a big part of your everyday job is making decisions, whether they are little decisions or major decisions that impact the entire project.

Use a decision log to keep track of your decisions. It can be frustrating to make a decision in a team meeting and then revisit the same decision months later because no one can remember what the team decided on. A decision log tracks the decision, the impacted parties, the date, and any comments. It can also log approval if the decision needs buy-in from other stakeholders.

Meetings are an integral part of any project. You hold meetings to both inform stakeholders and to get information from them. You can hold meetings to brainstorm, evaluate options, and resolve problems and issues. You can also use meetings to make decisions about the product or the project.

Best practices for meeting management include

  • Make sure that all the appropriate stakeholders and decision makers are at the meeting.

  • Communicate the purpose of the meeting.

  • Have an agenda.

  • Manage participation so that all meeting attendees have time to interact, ask questions, discuss options, and so forth.

  • Take notes or minutes.

  • Document and follow up on action items and issues.

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