PMP Q&A – Section 7: Human Resources Management (51-60)

Section 7: Human Resources Management

You are a project manager leading a cross-functional project team in a weak matrix environment. None of your project team members report to you functionally and you do not have the ability to directly reward their performance. The project is difficult, involving tight date constraints and challenging quality standards. Which of the following types of project management power will likely be the MOST effective in this circumstance?
A. Referent
B. Expert
C. Penalty
D. Formal
Answer: B

Reward and expert are the best sources of power. Reward is not listed as a choice.
Source: PMP? Exam Prep Page: 326

A responsibility assignment matrix includes which two data points?
A. Resource and time estimate
B. Activity and calendar date
C. Activity and resource
D. Resource and usage each month
Answer: C
A responsibility assignment matrix is a correlation between activities and resources. Resources are assigned to accomplish each activity. The matrix shows all the activities and resources for a project.
Source: PMP? Exam Prep Page: 317

A resource histogram includes which two data points?
A. Resource and time estimate
B. Resource and calendar date
C. Activity and resource
D. Resource and usage
Answer: D
The histogram is a set of bars that depict when a resource is being used, and to what level.
Source: PMP? Exam Prep Page: 319

Which chart allows a project manager to indicate the number of resources used each month?
A. Responsibility assignment matrix
B. Resource histogram
C. Project organizational chart
D. Pareto chart
Answer: B
The responsibility assignment matrix (choice A) shows resources and activities. The project organizational chart (choice C) shows organization. The Pareto chart (choice D) is a quality tool and does not show resources. The resource histogram shows resource usage over time in a column format.
Source: PMP? Exam Prep Page: 319

A project manager has been working on a project for six months with the same team, yet the team still shows a lack of support for the project. The BEST thing the project manager can do to obtain the team’s support for the project is to:
A. Reevaluate the effectiveness of the reward system in place.
B. Talk to each team member’s boss with the team member present.
C. Find someone else to be project manager.
D. Tell the team members he needs their support, and ask the team members why they do not support the project.
Answer: A
Many people select choice D. Did you? If so, reread this question and try to figure out what you missed before reading on. Why would you need to talk to each team member’s boss (choice B)? Choice C is not the responsible thing to do, and it does not solve the problem. Although you may feel like quitting, you must continue. Choice D is not the best, as the project manager should have gotten the team’s buy-in to the project during project planning. It is WAY too late to do this six months into the project. One of the powers you can use as project manager is reward power. Rewards, used properly, bring the objectives of the team in line with
the project’s.
Source: PMP? Exam Prep Page: 318

Your project schedule is tight and in danger of falling behind when two team members start disrupting status meetings by arguing with each other. As project manager, what is the BEST thing you can do?
A. Separate the two until the project is back on track.
B. Tell each team member they will not receive a recommendation from you if they continue arguing.
C. Discuss the problem with the two team members.
D. Meet with both team members and their manager to determine the source of conflict.
Answer: C
It is best to deal with the problem directly, before using withdrawal (choice A), penalizing (choice B) or meeting with managers (choice D).
Source: PMP? Exam Prep Page: 328

Team members are arguing about the location of specification limits on a control chart. The discussion is becoming heated when the project manager walks in and says, "It seems that the real problem here is that we do not have enough information about the customer’s specifications. Let’s…" This is an example of:
A. Asserting the project manager’s authority.
B. Problem solving.
C. Compromising.
D. Withdrawal.
Know your conflict resolution techniques. Here, we are problem solving. Problem solving and compromising are considered to be the two best techniques, in that order.
Source: PMP? Exam Prep Page: 329

A project manager has a large team consisting of people from many functional areas of the company. The BEST method to get the team’s cooperation is to use _____ power.
A. Formal
B. Penalty
C. Reward
D. Referent
Answer: C
Rewards, used correctly, bring the team’s objectives in line with each other and with the project.
Source: PMP? Exam Prep Page: 326

You work in a matrix organization when a team member comes to you to admit he is having trouble with his activity. Although not yet in serious trouble, the team member admits he is uncertain of how to perform part of the work on the activity. He suggests a training class available next week. What should you do?
A. Switch to a trained resource to avoid the cost.
B. Determine if anyone else needs training.
C. Get money from the team member’s functional department budget.
D. Get money from the project budget.
Answer: D
As the project manager, you would have analyzed his skills as part of your resource management planning so there is no need for choice A. Although choice B might be a good idea, it does not solve the problem at hand, the team member. The cost of such training for team members is borne by the project, making choice
D a better answer than choice C.
Source: PMP? Exam Prep Page: 323

A new project manager has just been assigned a project that is in progress. The project is two weeks behind schedule. The team members are about to be distributed to another project based on original time estimates provided by the functional manager. What is the FIRST step the project manager should take?
A. She should first revise the bar chart with new timelines.
B. She should initially contact the sponsor and begin with a new team.
C. She should first show sympathy with the current team and delay decision making for another week.
D. She should check the project management plan for contingencies concerning resources and talk to the functional manager.
Answer: D
Simply revising the bar chart (choice A) does not act on the problem. Going to the sponsor (choice B) is also not an initial step. Sympathy is fine, but the team is looking for leadership. A delay in decision making (choice C) is unacceptable, with the project already behind schedule. Talking to the functional manager (choice D) is the best initial choice.
Source: PMP? Exam Prep Page: 309