PMP Certification: Planning Knowledge and Skills

By Cynthia Snyder Stackpole

The Planning the Project domain is one of five performance domains covered on the PMP (project management professional) certification exam. Of the 200 questions on the PMP exam, the Planning the Project domain accounts for 24%. Eleven tasks are associated with this domain, as well as 13 knowledge and skill topics.

The 11 tasks associated with Planning the Project appear in the following table:

Task 1 Assess detailed project requirements, constraints, and
assumptions with stakeholders based on the project charter, lessons
learned from previous projects, and the use of
requirement-gathering techniques (for example, planning sessions,
brainstorming, focus groups), in order to establish the project
deliverables.
Task 2 Create the work breakdown structure (WBS) with the team by
deconstructing the scope, in order to manage the scope of the
project.
Task 3 Develop a budget plan based on the project scope using
estimating techniques, in order to manage project cost.
Task 4 Develop a project schedule based on the project timeline,
scope, and resource plan, in order to manage timely completion of
the project.
Task 5 Develop a human resource management plan by defining the roles
and responsibilities of the project team members, in order to
create an effective project organization structure and provide
guidance regarding how resources will be used and managed.
Task 6 Develop a communication plan based on the project organization
structure and external stakeholder requirements, in order to manage
the flow of project information.
Task 7 Develop a procurement plan based on the project scope and
schedule, in order to ensure that the required project resources
will be available.
Task 8 Develop a quality management plan based on the project scope
and requirements, in order to prevent the occurrence of defects and
to reduce the cost of quality.
Task 9 Develop a change management plan by defining how changes will
be handled, in order to track and manage changes.
Task 10 Plan risk management by developing a risk management plan, and
identifying, analyzing, and prioritizing project risks in the risk
register and defining risk response strategies, in order to manage
uncertainty throughout the project life cycle.
Task 11 Present the project plan to the key stakeholders (if required),
in order to obtain approval to execute the project.

The 13 knowledge and skills topics are

  • Knowledge of requirements-gathering techniques

  • Knowledge of WBS tools and techniques

  • Skills in developing time-, budget-, and cost-estimating techniques

  • Skills in scope management techniques

  • Knowledge of the resource planning process

  • Skills in workflow diagramming techniques

  • Knowledge of the types and uses of organization charts

  • Knowledge and skills of the elements, purpose, and techniques of project planning

  • Knowledge and skills of the elements, purpose, and techniques of communications planning

  • Knowledge and skills of the elements, purpose, and techniques of procurement planning

  • Knowledge and skills of the elements, purpose, and techniques of quality management planning

  • Knowledge and skills of the elements, purpose, and techniques of change management planning

  • Knowledge and skills of the elements, purpose, and techniques of risk management planning