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PMP Practice Questions #16

You are the Project Manager of a high-priority infrastructure project. During a team meeting, four critical impediments are identified:

  1. A main supplier has suddenly declared bankruptcy, making it uncertain if they can deliver the materials on time.
  2. The city has issued a new zoning ordinance, requiring an immediate review of your project plans to ensure compliance.
  3. Your lead engineer has contracted a severe illness, which will likely keep them unavailable for the next three months.
  4. Many of your project team members are unable to use the project management system for recording risks, creating confusion.

Based on the given situation, which impediment should you prioritize FIRST?

A) Addressing the supplier’s bankruptcy issue to secure the materials.
B) Reviewing the project plans to ensure they align with the new city zoning ordinance.
C) Finding a replacement or backup for the lead engineer during their absence.
D) Fix the project management system for recording risks. 


The presented scenario involves a high-priority infrastructure project encountering four significant impediments. The project manager must prioritize addressing these impediments, which include a key supplier’s bankruptcy, a new city zoning ordinance, the lead engineer’s severe illness, and issues with the project management system. Given the context, the project manager is expected to make a judgment in line with the PMP exam, prioritizing issues based on their immediacy, impact on compliance, and the project’s external environment.

Analysis of Options:

Option A: Addressing the supplier’s bankruptcy issue to secure the materials. This option, while critical, deals with uncertainty rather than an immediate halt in the project. While the supplier’s bankruptcy might pose risks to material delivery, the possibility of finding alternative suppliers reduces its urgency. The immediate impact is not definitively stated, making it a significant concern but perhaps not the most urgent to address first.

Option B: Reviewing the project plans to ensure they align with the new city zoning ordinance. This option takes precedence due to the “immediacy” factor and its potential direct impact on project compliance. Non-compliance could lead to legal penalties or project cessation, making it crucial to address right away. Additionally, the new zoning laws might affect various aspects of the project, including the type of materials allowed, rendering other issues if not addressed. Hence, understanding and adapting to these changes is paramount.

Option C: Finding a replacement or backup for the lead engineer during their absence. The unavailability of the lead engineer is a serious concern but doesn’t pose an immediate threat to the project’s compliance or its alignment with external factors. While human resources are vital, the issue can likely be mitigated with interim measures, and it doesn’t necessitate immediate resolution before understanding the implications of the new zoning ordinance.

Option D: Fix the project management system for recording risks. While efficient risk management is crucial for project success, the issue with the system, in this case, is more of an internal process inefficiency. It needs to be addressed, but it doesn’t carry the immediate compliance and external implications that the new zoning ordinance presents. This option, though important, is not the most urgent in the given circumstances.

Conclusion: Given these considerations, option B, which involves ensuring the project’s compliance with the new zoning ordinance, stands out as the most urgent action to take. The PMP exam places high emphasis on legal compliance and responsiveness to changes in the project’s external environment.

PMP Exam Content Outline Mapping

BusinessTask 1: Plan and manage project compliance
ProcessTask 3: Assess and manage risks
ProcessTask 10: Manage project changes
ProcessTask 15: Manage project issues

Topics Covered

  • Project Compliance
  • Iteratively assess and prioritize risks
  • Address the issue with the optimal actions

If you’re gearing up for the PMP Exam, we highly recommend enrolling in our PMP Exam prep program. Not only does it offer a comprehensive solution for exam preparation, but it also enhances your project management capabilities. Ensure success and skill development with our tailored program.

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