While studying for your PMP exam, you’ll come across the terms Tools and Techniques very often.

In fact each project management process has it’s own T&T, and I do not recommend to memorize them all by heart, I do recommend that you had a good, solid, understanding about each tool or technique and their role.

Some T&T are used more frequent than others, some are used only once.

Sections (jump to…)

A through C

Acquisition

Obtaining human and material resources necessary to perform project activities. Acquisition implies a cost of resources, and is not necessarily financial.

Additional Quality Planning Tools

A set of tools used to define the quality requirements and to plan effective quality management activities. They include, but are not limited to: brainstorming, force field analysis, nominal group techniques and quality management and control tools.

Advertising

The process of calling public attention to a project or effort.

Alternative analysis

A technique used to evaluate identified options in order to select which options or approaches to use to execute and perform the work of the project.

Alternative Generation

A technique used to develop as many potential options as possible in order to identify different approaches to execute and perform the work of the project.

Analogous Estimating

A technique for estimating the duration or cost of an activity or a project using historical data from a similar activity or project.

  • Analogous Estimating is top-down estimating method.
  • A form of expert judgement, it is based on the actual cost of other similar projects.
  • Most acceptable in early stages of a project when actual data and estimates do not exist.
  • Advantages
    • Quick, takes less time to create than parametric (bottom-top_ estimating.
    • Involves activities identification
    • Maps overall project costs
  • Disadvantages
    • Less accurate than parametric estimating.
    • Requires experience  to do well.
    • Very difficult to do for projects with high level of uncertainty, and does not take into account that no two projects are exactly the same.

 

Analytical Techniques

Various techniques used to evaluate, analyze, or forecast potential outcomes based on possible variations of project or environmental variables and their relationships with other variables.

Approved Change Requests Review

A review of the change requests to verify that these were implemented as approved.

Assumptions Analysis

A technique that explores the accuracy of assumptions and identifies risks to the project from inaccuracy, inconsistency, or incompleteness of assumptions.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking is the comparison of actual or planned practices, such as processes and operations, to those of comparable organizations to identify best practices, generate ideas for improvement, and provide a basis for measuring performance.

Bidder Conference

The meetings with prospective sellers prior to the preparation of a bid or proposal to ensure all prospective vendors have a clear and common understanding of the procurement. Also known as contractor conferences, vendor conferences, or pre-bid conferences.

Bottom-Up Estimating

A method of estimating project duration or cost by aggregating the estimates of the lower-level components of the work breakdown structure (WBS).

Change Control Tools

Manual or automated tools to assist with change and/or configuration management. At a minimum, the tools should support the activities of the CCB.

Checklist Analysis

A technique for systematically reviewing materials using a list for accuracy and completeness.

Claims Administration

The process of processing, adjudicating, and communicating contract claims

Colocation

An organizational placement strategy where the project team members are physically located close to one another in order to improve communication, working relationships, and productivity.

Communication Methods

A systematic procedure, technique, or process used to transfer information among project stakeholders.

Communication Models

A description, analogy or schematic used to represent how the communication process will be performed for the project.

Communication Requirements Analysis

An analytical technique to determine the information needs of the project stakeholders through interviews, workshops, study of lessons learned from previous projects, etc.

Communication Technology

Specific tools, systems, computer programs, etc., used to transfer information among project stakeholders.

Conflict Management

Handling, controlling, and guiding a conflictual situation to achieve a resolution.

Context Diagrams

A visual depiction of the product scope showing a business system (process, equipment, computer system, etc.), and how people and other systems (actors) interact with it.

Contingent Response Strategies

Responses provided which may be used in the event that a specific trigger occurs.

Contract Change Control System

The system used to collect, track, adjudicate, and communicate changes to a contract.

Cost Aggregation

Summing the lower-level cost estimates associated with the various work packages for a given level within the project’s WBS or for a given cost control account.

Cost Benefit Analysis

A financial analysis tool used to determine the benefits provided by a project against its costs.

Cost of Quality. (COO)

A method of determining the costs incurred to ensure quality. Prevention and appraisal costs (cost of conformance) include costs for quality planning, quality control (QC), and quality assurance to ensure compliance to requirements (i.e., training, QC systems, etc.). Failure costs (cost of non-conformance) include costs to rework products, components, or processes that are non-compliant, costs of warranty work and waste, and loss of reputation.

Critical chain method

A schedule method that allows the project team to place buffers on any project schedule path to account for limited resources and project uncertainties.

Critical Path Method (CPM)

A method used to estimate the minimum project duration and determine the amount of scheduling flexibility on the logical network paths within the schedule model.

D through M

Data Gathering and Representation Techniques

Techniques used to collect, organize, and present data and information.

Decomposition

A technique used for dividing and subdividing the project scope and project deliverables into smaller, more manageable parts

Dependency determination

A technique used to identify the type of dependency that is used to create the logical relationships between predecessor and successor activities.

Design of Experiments

A statistical method for identifying which factors may influence specific variables of a product or process under development or in production.

Diagramming Techniques

Approaches to presenting information with logical linkages that aid in understanding.

Documents Analysis

An elicitation technique that analyzes existing documentation and identifies information relevant to the requirements.

Documentation Reviews

The process of gathering a corpus of information and reviewing it to determine accuracy and completeness.

Earned Value Management

A methodology that combines scope, schedule, and resource measurements to assess project performance and progress.

Expert judgment

Judgment provided based upon expertise in an application area, knowledge area, discipline, industry, etc., as appropriate for the activity being performed. Such expertise may be provided by any group or person with specialized education, knowledge, skill, experience, or training.

Facilitated Workshops

An elicitation technique using focused sessions that bring key cross-functional stakeholders together to define product requirements.

Facilitation Techniques

Process of intervention in the working environment to increase productivity and efficiency of the team and to prevent failures. This process aims to ensure success in project delivery.It should result in forming a well trained, experienced,committed team.

Focus Groups

An elicitation technique that brings together prequalified stakeholders and subject matter experts to learn about their expectations and attitudes about a proposed product, service, or result.

Forecast / Forecasting

An estimate or prediction of conditions and events in the project’s future based on information and knowledge available at the time of the forecast. The information is based on the project’s past performance and expected future performance, and includes information that could impact the project in the future, such as estimate at completion and estimate to complete.

Funding Limit Reconciliation

he process of comparing the planned expenditure of project funds against any limits on the commitment of funds for the project to identify any variances between the funding limits and the planned expenditures.

Ground rules

Expectations regarding acceptable behavior by project team members.

Group Creativity Techniques

Techniques that are used to generate ideas within a group of stakeholders.

Group Decision Making Techniques

Techniques to assess multiple alternatives that will be used to generate, classify, and prioritize product requirements.

Historical Information / Relationships

Documents and data on prior projects including project files, records, correspondence, closed contracts, and closed projects.

Independent Estimates

A process of using a third party to obtain and analyze information to support prediction of cost, schedule, or other items.

Information Gathering Techniques

Repeatable processes used to assemble and organize data across a spectrum of sources.

Information Management Systems

Facilities, processes, and procedures used to collect, store, and distribute information between producers and consumers of information in physical or electronic format.

Inspection

Examining or measuring to verify whether an activity, component, product, result, or service conforms to specified requirements.

Inspections and Audits

A process to observe performance of contracted work or a promised product against agreed-upon requirements.

Interpersonal Skills

Ability to establish and maintain relationships with other people.

Interviews

A formal or informal approach to elicit information from stakeholders by talking to them directly.

Leads and lags

Lead – The amount of time whereby a successor activity can be advanced with respect to a predecessor activity.

Lag – The amount of time whereby a successor activity is required to be delayed with respect to a predecessor activity. 

Make-or-Buy Analysis

The process of gathering and organizing data about product requirements and analyzing them against available alternatives including the purchase or internal manufacture of the product.

Management Skills

The ability to plan, organize, direct, and control individuals or groups of people to achieve specific goals.

Market Research / Analysis

The process of gathering information at conferences, online reviews, and a variety of sources to identify market capabilities.

Meeting(s)

A gathering of two or more people that has been convened for the purpose of achieving a common goal through verbal interaction, such as sharing information or reaching agreement.

Multi Criteria Decision Analysis

This technique utilizes a decision matrix to provide a systematic analytical approach for establishing criteria, such as risk levels, uncertainty, and valuation, to evaluate and rank many ideas.

N through Z

Negotiation(s)

The process and activities to resolving disputes through consultations between involved parties.

Networking

Establishing connections and relationships with other people from the same or other organizations.

Observations

Technique that provides a direct way of viewing individuals in their environment performing their jobs or tasks and carrying out processes.

Parametric Estimating

An estimating technique in which an algorithm is used to calculate cost or duration based on historical data and project parameters.

  • A form of bottom-top estimating, estimates are made on a component level then rolled up.
  • Uses a mathematical model to calculate and predict costs based on project parameters.
  • Results of parametric estimating are most reliable when
    • There is accurate historic information.
    • Project parameters used in the model are quantifiable.
    • The model fits both large and small projects (scalable).
  • Advantages
    • More accurate
    • Based on more detailed analysis of the project
    • Gains personal accountability and buy-on from the team, as they are the ones estimating,
    • Provider basis for monitor and control activities.
  • Disadvantages
    • Takes time and required decomposition.
    • Requires better understanding and definitions of the project.
Payment Systems

The system used to provide and track supplier’s invoices and payments for services and products.

Performance Reporting / Work Performance Reports

The physical or electronic representation of work performance information compiled in project documents, intended to generate decisions, actions, or awareness.

Performance Reviews

A technique that is used to measure, compare, and analyze actual performance of work in progress on the project against the baseline.

Precedence diagramming method (PDM)

A technique used for constructing a schedule model in which activities are represented by nodes and are graphically linked by one or more logical relationships to show the sequence in which the activities are to be performed.

Process Analysis

A process that follows the steps outlined in the process improvement plan to identify needed improvements.

Product Analysis

A tool to define scope that generally means asking questions about a product and forming answers to describe the use, characteristics, and other the relevant aspects of what is going to be manufactured.

Probability and Impact Matrix

A grid for mapping the probability of each risk occurrence and its impact on project objectives if that risk occurs.

Procurement Audits

he review of contracts and contracting processes for completeness, accuracy, and effectiveness.

Procurement Performance Reviews

A structured review of the seller’s progress to deliver project scope and quality, within cost and on schedule, as compared to the contract.

Project Management Information Systems

Facilities, processes, and procedures used to collect, store, and distribute information between producers and consumers of information in physical or electronic format.

Proposal Evaluation Techniques

The process of reviewing proposals provided by suppliers to support contract award decisions.

Prototypes

A method of obtaining early feedback on requirements by providing a working model of the expected product before actually building it.

Quality Audits

A quality audit is a structured, independent process to determine if project activities comply with organizational and project policies, processes, and procedures.

Quality Management and Control Tools

They are a type of quality planning tools used to link and sequence the activities identified.

Quantitative Risk Analysis and Modeling Techniques

Commonly used techniques for both event-oriented and project-oriented analysis approaches.

Questionnaires and Surveys

Written sets of questions designed to quickly accumulate information from a large number of respondents.

Records Management System

A specific set of processes, related control functions, and tools that are consolidated and combined to record and retain information about the project.

Requirements documentation

A description of how individual requirements meet the business need for the project.

Reserve Analysis

An analytical technique to determine the essential features and relationships of components in the project management plan to establish a reserve for the schedule duration, budget, estimated cost, or funds for a project.

Resource Optimization Techniques

A technique that is used to adjust the start and finish dates of activities that adjust planned resource use to be equal to or less than resource availability.

Risk Audits

Examination and documentation of the effectiveness of risk responses in dealing with identified risks and their root causes, as well as the effectiveness of the risk management process.

Risk Categorization

Organization by sources of risk (e.g., using the RBS), the area of the project affected (e.g., using the WBS), or other useful category (e.g., project phase) to determine the areas of the project most exposed to the effects of uncertainty.

Risk Data Quality Assessment

Technique to evaluate the degree to which the data about risks is useful for risk management.

Risk Urgency Assessment

Review and determination of the timing of actions that may need to occur sooner than other risk items.

Risk Reassessment

Risk reassessment is the identification of new risks, reassessment of current risks, and the closing of risks that are outdated.

Risk Trigger

Risk trigger is an event or condition that causes a risk to occur.

Rolling Wave Planning

An iterative planning technique in which the work to be accomplished in the near term is planned in detail, while the work in the future is planned at a higher level.

Schedule Compression

Techniques used to shorten the schedule duration without reducing the project scope. 

Schedule Network Analysis

The technique of identifying early and late start dates, as well as early and late finish dates, for the uncompleted portions of project schedule activities. See also backward pass, critical path method, critical chain method, and resource leveling.

Scheduling Tool

A tool that provides schedule component names, definitions, structural relationships, and formats that support the application of a scheduling method.

Seven Basic Quality Tools

A standard toolkit used by quality management professionals who are responsible for planning, monitoring, and controlling the issues related to quality in an organization.

Stakeholder Analysis

A technique of systematically gathering and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information to determine whose interests should be taken into account throughout the project.

Statistical Sampling

Choosing part of a population of interest for inspection.

SWOT Analysis

Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of an organization, project, or option.

Three-Point Estimate

A technique used to estimate cost or duration by applying an average of optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely estimates when there is uncertainty with the individual activity estimates.

Ce=(Co+4Cm+Cp)/6

Where

  • Ce= Cost estimate
  • Cm = Most likely
  • Co = Optimistic
  • Cp = Pessimistic

Also used for schedule estimates (replace C with S).

To-Complete Performance Index (TCPI)

A measure of the cost performance that is required to be achieved with the remaining resources in order to meet a specified management goal, expressed as the ratio of the cost to finish the outstanding work to the remaining budget.

Trend Analysis

An analytical technique that uses mathematical models to forecast future outcomes based on historical results. It is a method of determining the variance from a baseline of a budget, cost, schedule, or scope parameter by using prior progress reporting periods’ data and projecting how much that parameter’s variance from baseline might be at some future point in the project if no changes are made in executing the project.

Variance Analysis

 A technique for determining the cause and degree of difference between the baseline and actual performance.

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Change log

Version 6 - 17/4/2017

Added – Negotiation(s), Networking, Observation and Conversation, Payment Systems, Performance Reporting, Performance Reviews, Probability and Impact Matrix, Procurement Audits, Procurement Performance Reviews, Proposal Evaluation Techniques, Quality Audits (Prevention), Quality Management and Control Tools, Quantitative Risk Analysis and Modeling Techniques, Records Management system, Requirements documentation, Risk Audits, Risk Categorization, Risk Data Quality Assessment, Risk Reassessment, Risk Urgency Assessment, Seven Basic Quality Tools, Stakeholder Analysis, Statistical Sampling, SWOT Analysis, To Complete Performance Index (TCPI), Variance and Trend Analysis.

Metadata change – Removed unnecessary post tags.

Version 5 - 14/4/2017

Added – Acquisition, Additional Quality Planning Tools, Advertising, Alternative Generation, Approved Change Requests Review, Assumptions Analysis, Bidder Conference, Change Control Tools, Checklist Analysis, Claim Administration, Colocation, Communication Methods, Communication Models, Communication Requirements Analysis, Communication Technology, Conflict Management, Contingent Response Strategies, Contract Change Control System, Cost Aggregation, Cost Benefit Analysis,Data Gathering and Representation Techniques, Design of Experiments, Diagramming Techniques, Documentation Reviews, Earned Value Management (EVM), Forecasting, Funding Limit Reconciliation, Ground rules,Historical Information / Relationships, Independent Estimates, Information Gathering Techniques, Information Management Systems, Inspections and Audits, Interpersonal Skills, Make-or-Buy Analysis, Management Skills, Market Analysis, Multi Criteria Decision Analysis.

Version 4 - 4/2/2017

Added – Analogous Estimating, Parametric Estimating, Three Point Estimating, Reserve Analysis, Cost of Quality.

Version 3 - 26/11/2016

Added – Analytical techniques, Rolling Wave Planning, Precedence diagramming method (PDM), Dependency determination, Leads and lags, Alternative analysis, Bottom up estimating, Schedule Network Analysis, Critical path method, Critical chain method, Resource Optimization Techniques, Schedule Compression, Scheduling Tool.

Version 2 - 5/11/2016

Added – Decomposition, Product Analysis, Process Analysis, Group Decision Making Techniques, Variance Analysis.

Version 1 - 29/10/2016

First Version. Added – Benchmarking, Context Diagrams, Documents Analysis, Expert Judgement, Facilitated Workshops, Facilitation Techniques, Focus Groups, Group Creativity Techniques, Group Decision Making Techniques, Interviews, Meetings, Observations, Project Management, Information System, Prototypes, Questioners and Surveys.

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