CompTIA Project+ Study Guide
eBook - ePub

CompTIA Project+ Study Guide

Exam PK0-004

Kim Heldman

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eBook - ePub

CompTIA Project+ Study Guide

Exam PK0-004

Kim Heldman

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The bestselling Project+ preparation guide, updated for the latest exam

The CompTIA Project+ Study Guide, Second Edition is your comprehensive resource for taking Exam PK0-004. With 100% coverage of all exam objectives, bolstered by real-world scenarios and the Sybex interactive learning environment, this book gives you everything you need to approach the exam with confidence. Detailed explanations and superior study tools cover and reinforce setup, initiation, planning, execution, delivery, change, control, communication, and closure, and the author Kim Heldman's twenty-five years of project management experience provide deep insight into real-world applications. Study tools include access to two bonus practice exams, allowing you to focus on areas you need further review, and electronic flashcards provide last minute review on key concepts.

The Project+ exam is a first step into the complex world of project management, and serves as a springboard to the Project Management Institute's (PMI) PMP certification. This study guide helps you build the knowledge you need to be confident on exam day.

  • Review 100 percent of the Project+ exam objectives
  • Understand the real-world applications of each concept
  • Gain expert insight drawn from real-world experience
  • Access online practice exams, electronic flashcards, and more

Every industry needs people who know how to deliver successful project outcomes. The Project+ exam parallels the PMI's A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK© Guide), so this smart study guide gives you a solid foundation for additional project management training and certification. The CompTIA Project+ Study Guide, Second Edition combines industry-leading expertise with Sybex resources to help you successfully begin your project management journey.

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Chapter 1
Initiating the Project


  • 1.1 Summarize the properties of a project.
    • Temporary
    • Start and finish
    • Unique
    • Reason/purpose
    • Project as part of a program
    • Project as part of a portfolio
  • 1.5 Identify common project team organizational structures.
    • Functional
      • Resources reporting to functional manager
      • Project manager has limited or no authority.
    • Matrix
      • Authority is shared between functional managers and project managers.
      • Resources assigned from Functional area to project
      • Project manager authority ranges from weak to strong.
      • Projectized
      • Project manager has full authority.
      • Resources report to project manager.
      • Ad hoc resources
Your decision to take the CompTIA Project+ exam is an important step in your career aspirations. Certification is important for project managers because many employers look for project management certification in addition to real-life experience and evidence of formal education from job applicants. This book is designed to provide you with the necessary concepts to prepare for the Project+ exam. Much of the information here will be based on the Knowledge Areas documented in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide®) published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). The book will include tips on how to prepare for the exam, as well as examples and real-world scenarios to illustrate the concepts.
This chapter will cover the definitions and characteristics of a project, provide a high-level overview of project management, describe the difference between a program and a portfolio, and explain how organizations are structured.

Defining the Project

Projects exist to bring about or fulfill the goals of the organization. Most projects benefit from the application of a set of processes and standards known as project management. Let’s start with some fundamental questions.
  • What makes a new assignment a project?
  • How do you know if you are working on a project?
  • What distinguishes a project from an operational activity?
Projects involve a team of people, and so do day-to-day business activities. They both involve following a process or a plan, and they both result in activities that help reach a goal. So, what is so different about a project? Let’s explore all of these questions in the following sections.

Identifying the Project

A project is a temporary endeavor that has definite beginning and ending dates, and it results in a unique product, service, or result. A project is considered a success when the goals it sets out to accomplish are fulfilled and the stakeholders are satisfied with the results.
Projects also bring about a product, service, or result that never existed before. This may include creating tangible goods, implementing software, writing a book, planning and executing an employee appreciation event, constructing a building, and more. There is no limit to what can be considered a project as long as it fits the following criteria:
Unique A project is typically undertaken to meet a specific business objective. It involves doing something new, which means that the end result should be a unique product or service. These products may be marketed to others, may be used internally, may provide support for ongoing operations, and so on.
Temporary Projects have definite start and end dates. The time it takes to complete the work of the project can vary in overall length from a few weeks to several years, but there is always a start date and an end date.
Reason or Purpose A project comes about to fulfill a purpose. This might include introducing a new product, fulfilling a business objective or strategic goal, satisfying a social need, and any number of other reasons. It’s important to document and communicate the purpose and reasons for the project so that team members remain focused on achieving the goals of the project.
Stakeholder Satisfaction A project starts once it’s been identified, the objectives have been outlined in the project charter, and appropriate stakeholders have approved the project plan. A project ends when those goals have been met to the satisfaction of the stakeholders.
Once you’ve identified the project, you’ll validate the project (we’ll cover this topic in the section “Validating the Project” later in this chapter) and then write the project charter and obtain approval for the charter. We’ll talk in more detail about the project charter in Chapter 3, “Creating the Project Charter.”

Programs and Portfolios

Projects are sometimes managed as part of a program or portfolio. A program is a group of related projects that are managed together using coordinated processes and techniques. The collective management of a group of projects can bring about benefits that wouldn’t be achievable if the projects were managed separately.
Portfolios are collections of programs, subportfolios, and projects that support strategic business goals or objectives. Unlike programs, portfolios may consist of projects that are not related.
Here’s an example to help clarify the difference between programs and portfolios. Let’s say your company is in the construction business. The organization has several business units: retail construction, single-family residential buildings, and multifamily residential buildings. Individually, each of the business units may comprise a program. For example, retail construction is a program because all the projects within this program exist to create new retail-oriented buildings. This is not the same as single-family home construction (a different program), which is not the same as multifamily residential construction (a different program). Collectively, the programs and projects within all of these business units make up the portfolio. Other projects and programs may exist within this portfolio as well, such as parking structures, landscaping, and so on.
Programs and projects within a portfolio are not necessarily related to one another in a direct way. And projects may independently exist within the portfolio (in other words, the project isn’t related to a program but belongs to the portfolio). However, the overall objective of any program or project in a portfolio is to meet the strategic objectives of the portfolio, which in turn should meet the strategic objectives of the business unit or corporation.

Understanding Operations

Operations are ongoing and repetitive. They don’t have a beginning date or an ending date, unless you’re starting a new operation or retiring an old one. Operations typically involve ongoing functions that support the production of goods or services. Projects, on the other hand, come about to meet a specific, unique result and then conclude.
It’s important t...