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PMP Practice Questions #19

You are the Project Manager for an IT system upgrade project. During the project’s execution phase, your team faces multiple impediments that could impact project delivery. Your senior developer, Mia, has highlighted three significant challenges:

  1. The software platform’s current version has known bugs, causing system crashes.
  2. The vendor is delayed in providing crucial technical support.
  3. One of the project’s critical stakeholders has requested additional features, potentially extending the project scope.

Given these challenges and your responsibility as the Project Manager, which of the following steps should you take FIRST?

A) Use your professional network to find an alternative vendor that can provide quicker technical support.
B) Start implementing the additional features requested by the stakeholder to satisfy their requirements.
C) Assess and prioritize the challenges presented to determine which is most critical to address immediately.
D) Immediately inform all stakeholders of potential delays due to these challenges and suggest pushing the project’s deadline.

Analysis

The question outlines three distinct challenges: the presence of known bugs in the software, a delay in technical support from the vendor, and a stakeholder’s request for additional features that could potentially expand the project’s scope. Central to this dilemma is determining the most immediate action the project manager must undertake in response to these issues.

Analysis of Options:

Option A: Use your professional network to find an alternative vendor that can provide quicker technical support. While leveraging one’s network is a valuable strategy for a Project Manager, this option is reactive and addresses only one of the challenges. It neglects the other pressing issues and may lead to critical aspects of the project being overlooked. Taking immediate action without a comprehensive assessment could result in misaligned priorities and an inefficient allocation of resources.

Option B: Start implementing the additional features requested by the stakeholder to satisfy their requirements. This option might seem like a direct response to stakeholder requests; however, it bypasses essential project management steps such as impact analysis, scope review, and potential change requests. Implementing changes without understanding their implications can lead to scope creep, resource misallocation, and project delays.

Option C: Assess and prioritize the challenges presented to determine which is most critical to address immediately. This option stands out as the most systematic and effective approach. By assessing and prioritizing the issues, the Project Manager can allocate resources and attention to the most critical challenges. This process ensures that issues are recorded, evaluated, and prioritized first, leading to decisions that are based on comprehensive analysis rather than reactive responses. Before taking any practical steps, understanding each issue’s severity, urgency, and potential impact is crucial to ensure that resources and attention are allocated in the most effective manner. This strategic pause does not equate to delayed action; instead, it guarantees that subsequent actions are impactful and targeted, avoiding wasted effort on lower-priority issues.

Option D: Immediately inform all stakeholders of potential delays due to these challenges and suggest pushing the project’s deadline. Premature communication about potential delays and suggesting deadline extensions, without a complete understanding of the issues, could create unnecessary panic among stakeholders. While transparency is important, it’s essential first to assess the situation fully, explore all options, and understand the implications before updating stakeholders. This strategy prevents the spread of misinformation and preserves stakeholder confidence in the project management team.

Conclusion: Option C is the recommended first step, as it emphasizes the need for a structured assessment and prioritization of challenges, ensuring that the Project Manager’s subsequent actions are informed, thoroughly assessed, and in the project’s best interest. It involves diligent issue tracking and resolution.

PMP Exam Content Outline Mapping

DomainTask
ProcessTask 15: Manage project issues
PeopleTask 7: Address and remove impediments, obstacles, and blockers for the team

Topics Covered

  • Impediments / Issue Management
  • Issue Log
  • Stakeholder Engagement

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