The following PMP® exam sample question is taken from the Free PMP Exam Simulator (The answer is at the very bottom):
You are currently managing the development of a security system. This project involves the use of some brand new, state-of-the-art technology, which has not yet been adequately tested. You are currently decomposing your project work packages into activities. You are facing problems decomposing the 'Test the System' work package into the final activities required to complete the work package. Detailed testing plans and activities cannot be determined until the system is at least 50% developed and more details become available. The 'System Development' work package will take at least a couple of months to complete. What is the best way to resolve this problem?
A) Obtain expert judgment on the system testing work package and decompose it now before executing the system development work package
Decompose the system development work package now and decompose the system testing work package later
C) Break down the project into multiple phases so that the system testing work package goes into the second project phase. This will allow you to plan for the second phase after the end of the first phase
D) Consult your Project Management Plan to determine what to do in this situation
Hint: You should use Rolling Wave Planning.
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Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
President, OSP International LLC
Answer and Explanation:
The Correct answer is B. "You cannot obtain expert judgment about the issue, because (as the scenario hints) this expert judgment for the state-of-the-art technology is not available. Breaking up the project scope into multiple phases just for the sake of obtaining an escape route for project planning is never a good idea. Projects are divided into multiple phases to obtain more control over the project and the deliverables, not to solve one minor issue of decomposing your WBS. Also, as you are currently planning your project, your project management plan is unfinished; it can't help you at this point in time. The only valid approach is that you should use Rolling Wave Planning and decompose the system development work package now and then decompose the system testing work package later, when more project information becomes available."