PMP Practice Questions #24
You are the Project Manager for a pioneering software project in a domain unfamiliar to your organization. Due to the novel nature of the project, there are numerous assumptions, and stakeholders are uncertain about its market success. To mitigate risks and validate the project direction, which of the following approaches is BEST to employ?
A) Plan the development in detail and do aggressive risk management to address uncertainties.
B) Plan to develop a fully-featured version of the software to gain comprehensive feedback.
C) Ask for spending a few months on extensive research so the assumptions can be improved from the start.
D) Develop and release a Minimum Viable Product to test the core concept and gather early feedback.
This question targets your decision-making as a Project Manager in a situation filled with uncertainties and unknowns due to the project’s innovative nature. It tests your ability to choose an approach that not only mitigates risks but also validates the project’s direction in a context lacking clear market success indicators.
The question sets a scenario where you’re handling a groundbreaking software project in a new domain for your organization. With the innovative aspect comes a lot of assumptions and uncertainties, especially concerning market success. The correct approach should aim to mitigate these uncertainties and validate the project’s trajectory efficiently.
Analysis of Options:
Option A: Plan the development in detail and do aggressive risk management to address uncertainties. This option suggests detailed development planning and aggressive risk management. However, given the high degree of uncertainty and lack of historical data in this novel domain, detailed planning isn’t feasible. While risk management is essential, the unpredictability involved makes an adaptive approach more suitable than a predictive one. This option, leaning towards a predictive life cycle, doesn’t effectively address the core need to validate assumptions iteratively.
Option B: Plan to develop a fully-featured version of the software to gain comprehensive feedback. Proposing the development of a fully-featured version to gather comprehensive feedback overlooks the fundamental need to validate the project’s direction before significant resource investment. It suggests a high-risk strategy of complete development before receiving any market feedback, which contradicts the early and fast delivery principle given the uncertainties involved.
Option C: Ask for spending a few months on extensive research so the assumptions can be improved from the start. While this option advocates for extensive research to enhance assumptions, it relies heavily on a predictive approach, assuming that enough analysis can clarify the uncertainties. However, the nature of the project suggests that even with deep research, complete clarity is unattainable before market testing. It’s an improvement over Option A but still lacks the iterative feedback component critical in this scenario.
Option D: Develop and release a Minimum Viable Product to test the core concept and gather early feedback. This option aligns perfectly with the need for an adaptive approach in the face of uncertainties. Developing and releasing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) allows for testing the core concept and obtaining early market feedback. It supports iterative learning and validation, letting the team adjust based on real-world data before any large-scale implementation. This approach not only mitigates risks but also ensures that the project direction aligns with market needs.
Conclusion: This scenario needs an adaptive life cycle and the MVP concept to validate assumptions, mitigate risks, and determine the project’s real-world applicability and potential success. MVP is the smallest collection of features that can be included in a product for customers to consider it functional. The question is also related to Project Governance which is a framework, functions, and processes that guide project management activities to create a unique product, service, or result to meet organizational, strategic, and operational goals.
Option D stands out as it addresses the project’s novelty and inherent uncertainties by advocating for early, real-world validation before substantial resource allocation.
PMP Exam Content Outline Mapping
|Process||Task 1: Evaluate and deliver project benefits and value|
|Process||Task 3: Assess and manage risks|
|Process||Task 13: Determine appropriate project methodology/methods and practices|
- Project Governance
- Project Life Cycle
- Iteratively Approach
- Agile Risk Management
- Minimum Viable Product (MVP)