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Sample APM Exam & Learning Outcomes

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 3rd September 2012

Hi John

I was going through the sample APM exam paper and there were a few questions I wasn’t sure about, largely because I’m unsure whether the questions are referring to a specific part of a process or to the process as a whole:

1. In addition to choosing the response strategy state four actions that a project manager should take when preparing responses to top priority risks. – Would this be referring to the generic risk management process (initiate, identify, assess, plan response, implement response) or to the things the PM would need to consider i.e. the risk event, the consequences, the how to reduce the probability, the contingency?

2. List five actions that need to be done to prepare for a negotiation with a supplier of goods and services to a project. Describe the relevance of each action. – Again I’m not sure if this refers to the generic process for procurement – procurement strategy, deciding terms of payment, reimbursement methods, stupplier selection or actually it involves the supplier selection process only? The term ‘prepare for negotiation’ is what is confusing for me.

3. Explain a process that can be used to analyse stakeholde needs and expectations. Make five relevant points. – Same problem I’m having – distinguishing between whether the question is referring to the entire process i.e. stakeholder identify, assess, communicate, influence, review, OR just to the stages involved in the analysis of stakeholder influence and power?

It would be great if you could help clarify this for me. 

Lastly, as an aside – to test my knowledge I’ve been going through the learning outcomes for each section within in each module. I noticed that a few learning outcomes are not explicitly covered as the majority of outcomes are. For example:

Prog Management D: Explain the challenges that organisations face when using prog management

Portfolio Management A: Distinguish between portfolio management and project management

B: Explain situations where portfolio management would be appropriate

Project Sponsorship B: Explain the importance of project sponsorship in project management

Am I right in my understanding that these are not speciifcally addressed as they can essentially be inferred from the rest of the information provided? I do think the exception to this is Portfolio Management B – and I would be grateful if you could provide me some such situations?

Many thanks and apologies for the long post.

Sabrina

 

 

  1. Student says:

    Hi Paul

    That does indeed help, thanks very much! I think I just need to get into the habit of thinking of the question wording as they are quite specific. Thanks again.
    Sabrina

  2. Student says:

    Lets take each of these one at a time:
    1) In addition to choosing the response strategy state four actions that a project manager should take when preparing responses to top priority risks. – Would this be referring to the generic risk management process (initiate, identify, assess, plan response, implement response) or to the things the PM would need to consider i.e. the risk event, the consequences, the how to reduce the probability, the contingency?

    This question is referring to the actions to take once the risk have been assessed. So it it not the whole risk process just simple actions such as

    a) Allocate a budget for the risk reduction measure
    b) Appoint a single person as a risk reduction action owner
    c) Set a target date by which time the action should be complete
    d) Evaluate the effectiveness of the action at reducing the risk once it is completed.

    To get full marks these will need to be expanded into a couple of sentences each.

    2. List five actions that need to be done to prepare for a negotiation with a supplier of goods and services to a project. Describe the relevance of each action. – Again I’m not sure if this refers to the generic process for procurement – procurement strategy, deciding terms of payment, reimbursement methods, stupplier selection or actually it involves the supplier selection process only? The term ‘prepare for negotiation’ is what is confusing for me.

    Again this is a very specific question about preparing for negotiation. So the actions you would take are:
    a) Decide what you hope to get out of the negotiation and what is your fall back limit.
    b) Decide who you need to involve in your negotiation team
    c) get the reliant authority from senior managers required to embark on the negotiation
    d) Review the contract in detail to identify the areas that need to be negotiated and identify any flexibility you may have
    e) Understand what the other side is likely to want to get out of the negotiation

    To get full marks these will need to be expanded into a couple of sentences each.

    3. Explain a process that can be used to analyse stakeholde needs and expectations. Make five relevant points. – Same problem I’m having – distinguishing between whether the question is referring to the entire process i.e. stakeholder identify, assess, communicate, influence, review, OR just to the stages involved in the analysis of stakeholder influence and power?

    The question again asks about stakeholder analysis (not the whole process). So the answer is something like

    1) Identify the relative power of the identified stakeholders. Those with more power will need to receive more attention.
    2) Identify the relative interest in the project and decide if this is appropriate for the power to affect the project. For example a sponsor who is uninterested in the project would be a problem.
    3) Identify the attitude to the project……….
    4) |Identify any changes in the power and influence of stakeholders on the project
    5) Identify any linkages which may be made between the different stakeholders and how these could affect the project, for example the users may influence the sponsor to act in a negative way.

    To get full marks these will need to be expanded into a couple of sentences each.

    I hope this helps.

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