By Special Request Some Hard APMP Questions

Paul Naybour

I have been asked for some hard APMP questions so here we go:

1) List and describe five roles of a programme manager and explain how each is different from the role of a project manager. (50)

2) List and describe five reasons why project configuration management is important for successful projects. (50)

3) List and describe five actions a project manager should take when monitoring and updating a project risk register. (50)

4) Describe five duties of a project manager in respect of health and safety (50)

5.1) State the purpose of the business case. (10)

5.2) Explain three different investment appraisal techniques (30)

5.3) Describe one factor that should be considered in addition to the investment appraisal when considering a business case (10)

6.1) Explain the difference between a risk and an issue (1)

6.2) List and describe the different stage in the issue management process.  

Remember to get 10 marks each paragraph should consist of two to three sentences. i recommends the first says what, the second says why and the third gives an example. 

e.g. One role of the programme manger is to define and monitor the realisation of the programme benefits. This is important because as part of it’s governance structure the organisation needs to make sure the promised benefits are delivered. An example of this would be tracking the actual sales of a new product against the assumptions made in the business case. (five more like this for each answer)


5 thoughts on “By Special Request Some Hard APMP Questions”

  1. ANS 6.2:
    A. Identify and Log an issue
    B. Assess the Issue
    C. Escalate the issue
    D. Monitor the issue
    A. An issue can be raised by any stakeholder of the project. The issue will be logged in an issue register. The log is contain : A unique identification number, The date is was raised, The date it was escalated, The author, The current owner and date of resolution. Each Issue raised will be captured in an issue sheet, which contain the same info as the issue log but also a detailed description of the issue, Status of current action, Resolved by date. The issue log is managed by the PM.
    For example Date raised: 3-01-14, Raised by buyer, Issue No: ALFARADAR_1.25, Date escalated: 14-01-14, Current owner: Procurement Director, Date of resolution: 15-03-14, Description: Supplier A for product B has indicated it is had a fire in its plant and the items have been damaged preventing any shipment. Current Action: For procurement director to engage team to identify a suitable replacement supplier to
    B. Once an issue is raised and logged. The PM will assess the status of the issue and establish its validity. The PM will ensure all options in their authority has been engaged and no options available to resolve the issue. The PM will agree with the team a resolution need by date before impacting the project. The issue is analysed against the T,C,Q,Safety and benefits. This will allow a best course of action to be recommended by the PM. Once established the issue is escalated to the sponsor and the steering group.
    C. Escalate the issue. Once the PM established there is no resolution by the project team and manager the issue is escalated to the sponsor and the steering group. The PM will provide their recommendation and the issue log will be updated to indicate the new owner. The sponsor/steering group will assess the issue make its decision and inform the PM who will keep the originator informed.
    Eg: in the above provided example the issue was escalated to the procurement director was the Project team do have the ability or the resources to identify an suitable alternative supplier in the required time frame.
    D. Monitor the issue. The PM will keep a close track of the issue and monitor its progress. If the issue isn’t resolved by the current owner it might require further escalation. If there are many un-resolved issues that it is a sign that the project is out of control.
    In the example the agreed action was for the procurement director to work with the PM daily to establish a suitable alternative supplier within agreed time scale. and by carrying out a salvage action on the current supplier to identify use able material to keep the project going until a alternative supplier is secured.

  2. ANS 6.1: A risk is an event that if left unmanaged could have an affect on the project objectives. This could be either a threat or an opportunity that requires a planned response. An issue is an event that is out with the control of the PM and requires to be escalated to sponsor for resolution. A risk with a high prob and high impact with not mitigating is an issue.

  3. ANS2:
    A. Planning.
    The configuration management plan is part of the PMP and normally agreed with the PM the configuration librarian agrees to what level the product will be configured to. This ensures clear buy in with the customer and project the baseline of the final product. Making it easier to track and control.
    B. Configured baseline.
    Configuration librarian ensures the product and related documentation of the project is configured to an agreed level on the PBS. This is normally done by giving each section a unique number identification. This allows the deliverables to be configured to a baseline that can be tracked and controlled as the project develops. This can include the PMP and BC. For example in Selex ES we use team centre which is managed by the configuration librarian and the projects deliverables baselines are stored electronically in this system under agreed version and id control.
    C. Control and monitor
    Once the products and documentation are configured any changes to any of these configured items will go through an agreed change process. The change once approved the configuration libririan will provide a version for the changes to be incorporated and once completed this new version will be added back into the family tree under a new revision number. This will always ensure change is carefully managed and traceable.
    D. Verification and Audit
    Having a strong configuration management system will ensure there is always a traceable control of the final product. This configuration library is normally handed to the customer along with the final product. Configuration management can provide reports on the history of the changes making it easier for audit and reviews. Provide information to ensure the final deliverable conforms to the requirements. For example in my project we use DOORs as a configured tool that tracks customer requirements to specific test and verification evidence. Allowing the customer to clearly see the verification carried out during handover.
    E. Archiving
    Configure management ensures the data of the project is easily archive able. As the tool would allow users to easily access necessary information using either the unique reference number of product name. This allows other projects to use/ learn from this project. For example in Selex ES team centre stores all archived information for all products and is managed by the configuration librarian.

  4. ANS1:
    A. A programme manager co-ordinates a group of related projects and BAU activities to deliver a strategic change to the business. A project manager normally reports into a programme manager and their projects sits within the overall programme. For example developing and qualifying a sub radar unit can be managed by a project manager that will be delivered into a full development programme to develop and deliver a new radar system for an A/C which would be managed by the Programme manager.
    B A programme manager manages inter-project dependences to ensure the overall programme is on track. Therefore the project managers report their project schedule to the programme manager who then reviews and manages their inter-dependences. For example if one project manager delays delivering a unit of the radar this would result in other units from other PMs waiting for the missing unit to proceed to the next phase of the programme.
    C. A programme manager can manage resource conflicts. As the programme manager holds the overall schedule they are best placed to review schedule conflicts from different projects. And re-allocate the resources to areas either on or close to the critical path of the programme. Project managers would make recommendations on the resources available and required to the programme manager. However cannot make decisions to remove or re-allocate resources to different projects.
    D. A programme manager will manage senior stakeholders of the programme reporting the status of the projects and their alignment to the overall change strategy. The project manager manages their stakeholders including the programme manager by reporting on the progress on the product being produced by the project. For example the project manager will report the progress on the unit of the radar while the programme manager reports of the overall radar delivery plan.
    E. A programme manager manages those risks that have escalated by the project managers since their impacts to the overall programme. These risks if not managed would affect the achievement of the overall change strategy. The project manager manages the risk process of their project. For example a risk that unit A might have missing tested requirements would be a risk that could impact the overall programme which the radar gets integrated and delivered. Therefore this risk would be escalated and carefully monitored.

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