How Can We Help?

All Knowledge Base

<Go Back

PMP Practice Questions #42

Sarah, the project manager of a new software development project, observes that the project’s agility and responsiveness are hindered because decisions consistently need her approval. Believing that empowering her team could expedite the decision-making process, what should Sarah do FIRST to address this concern?

A) Delegate all decision-making authority to the team leads.
B) Revisit the team charter to determine which decisions can be made at various levels of the team.
C) Coach the Product Owner to make decisions.
D) Instruct the team to make decisions on their own.


The question asks what Sarah, the project manager, should do first to improve agility and responsiveness in her software development project by reducing the bottleneck caused by all decisions needing her approval. The primary goal is to empower the team to make decisions in a more decentralized manner.

Analysis of Options:

Option A: Delegate all decision-making authority to the team leads. This option proposes a significant shift of decision-making from the project manager to the team leads, assuming they are ready for this responsibility. While it aims to reduce the bottleneck of decisions needing the project manager’s approval, it risks creating a new centralization around team leads and overlooks other team members. This abrupt delegation could lead to inconsistent decision quality if team leads are unprepared, or if the scope of their decision-making authority is not clearly defined.

Option B: Revisit the team charter to determine which decisions can be made at various levels of the team. This option seems like a structured approach to decision-making. It suggests revisiting and possibly revising the team charter to clearly delineate the levels of decision-making authority within the team. This method promotes a balanced distribution of decision-making power and encourages team involvement. It avoids abrupt changes and instead fosters an environment of collaboration and empowerment across all team levels.

Option C: Coach the Product Owner to make decisions. This assumes that the Product Owner is not already empowered or lacks decision-making skills, which is not mentioned in the scenario. Also, this approach might not address the broader issue of team empowerment as it centralizes decision-making within a single role. It also assumes that the current bottleneck is due to the Product Owner’s inability to make decisions, which may not be the case. This option does not consider the potential of other team members in the decision-making process and might not contribute to overall team agility.

Option D: Instruct the team to make decisions on their own. Similar to option A, this is too direct. It suggests a hands-off approach by instructing the team to make their own decisions. While it aims to empower the team, it lacks structure and guidance, which could lead to uncoordinated and potentially chaotic decision-making. This approach does not account for the varying levels of decision-making authority or expertise within the team and could result in important decisions being made without adequate oversight or input.

Conclusion: Option B, which involves revisiting the team charter to define decision-making levels, is the most comprehensive and balanced approach. It not only addresses the immediate concern of decision-making bottlenecks but also fosters a collaborative environment for the entire team. Options A, C, and D, despite their intentions to decentralize decision-making, each have significant drawbacks such as potential over-centralization around specific roles (A and C) or risk of unstructured, chaotic decision-making (D). Therefore, Option B emerges as the most effective solution for empowering the team and enhancing project agility.

PMP Exam Content Outline Mapping

People Task 4: Empower team members and stakeholders
People Task 2: Lead a team
PeopleTask 12: Define team ground rules

Topics Covered

  • Self-Organizing Team Dynamics
  • Decentralization of Decision-Making
  • Establishing Team Charter, Ground Rules, Working Agreement

Was this article helpful?
4.5 out of 5 stars

1 rating

5 Stars 0%
4 Stars 100%
3 Stars 0%
2 Stars 0%
1 Stars 0%
Please Share Your Feedback
How Can We Improve This Article?