Join Oliver Yarbrough for an in-depth discussion in this video ITTO question, part of Exam Tips: Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®.
- You will almost certainly see inputs, tools and techniques, and output questions on the exam. We know that because there are over 600 ITTOs referenced in the PMBOK. In order to answer an ITTO question, we need to understand why PMI offers CAPM certification in the first place. The CAPM exam is geared towards people who have very little project management experience. It allows test takers an opportunity to prove they've mastered the terminology, processes, and practices that form the building blocks of project management.
ITTO questions demonstrate your thorough understanding of the processes and how they interact with each other. Each process is composed of inputs, things the project requires in order to proceed. You can think of them as ingredients into a process. Tools are things used to turn inputs into outputs. You can think of them tools in your tool belt that you can use to accomplish specific tasks. Techniques are approaches to turning inputs into outputs.
Think of them as methods you use to accomplish specific tasks. And outputs are things produced by a process. You can think of them as the end result of your efforts. Let's look at an example of an ITTO question. Which of the following is an input to the Determine Budget process? Expert judgment, scope baseline, enterprise environmental factors, or all of the above? At first glance, this might appear to be an easy question.
And it is, if you know your ITTOs. The challenge is to correctly answer these questions without memorizing all 600 of them. The secret lies in understanding how the process flows. You can then break the question down and deduce the best answer through a process of elimination. This is the preferred method, because it helps ensure you pick the best answer rather than simply a right answer. Determine budget is a planning process.
It lies at the intersection of the planning process group and cost management. With this basic understanding, we can begin to eliminate answer choices. Since expert judgment is a technique, it can never be an input. We can eliminate this choice. Instinctively, we know that scope is needed in order to come up with our budget. We should keep this choice. Enterprise environmental factors are inputs to most processes.
However, they aren't in this case. The reason being is these factors have already been taken into account in earlier cost management planning processes. We can eliminate this choice. The final choice would only be optimal if all the previous choices were correct. However, we have eliminated all but one of the answer choices, so we can eliminate this choice. Through a process of elimination, we're left with one possible answer, B.
By understanding how the process flowed, and then breaking it down, you turned a potentially tricky question into an easy question. This approach applies to all questions. If nothing else, it will help keep you honest.
- What to expect on exam day
- Reviewing the fundamental aspects of project management
- Key success factors
- Navigating the CAPM® exam
- Managing your time on the exam
- Reviewing practice questions
- Establishing a solid study routine
- Reading for understanding