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Project Management, PMP Training - Understanding the Ring of Fire

Project Management, PMP Training - Understanding the Ring of Fire - this area will be updated soon

Updated by Nereda Haque, PMP 11-10-13 aligning this information to Version 5. Updated 2/20/16

Note to SmartPath LLC trainees: Remember the Ring of fire we discuss in class. You have the three legged stool of Scope, Time & Cost (STC), Quality sits in the middle & the ring of fire (risk) encompasses everything. Let's learn from this picture.

Look at this illustration in our pmWorkbook and follow our story. Holding the 3 legged stool together is Quality - change anything in STC and you will affect quality. When you identify risks, perform qualitative and quantitative analysis, and Plan Risk Response (your strategies) STC and Quality will have many identified risks. Change anything in Scope (including WBS as it will be reflected there) and you have a risk response. Change quality and you will affect STC and identifying risks etc starts all over again. You will identify risks throughout the project life cycle, not just in planning. It starts with reviewing the SOW where you will identify assumptions & constraints, and legal compliance that must be adhered to.

People often mix up requirements and scope. These are not interchangeable.

Requirements are outside the ring of fire driving Scope. For example, the requirements document is one of the outputs of the process, Collect Requirements. Requirement Documentation then inputs the processes of Validate Scope, Control Scope, Define Scope and Create WBS, Plan Quality Management, and Plan Procurement Management.

Getting back to this ring of fire illustration: Scope drives Time (Schedule). The activities required to perform the work outlined in scope and reflected in the WBS and WBS dictionary will require specific durations. The Scope Baseline inputs Define Activities, the outputs of which input every additional processes in Time Management Planning. Scope & Time together drive the cost - doing the work costs money! In monitoring and controlling (M & C) you are going to need to control scope, schedule and cost. There will be changes to the requirements which will in turn require corrective actions, for example. Requirement changes have to be traced backwards and forwards in order to make sure that they still align to the organization's goals and objectives.

Work Performance Data (the Output of Direct & Manage Project Work) inputs all the non-integration layer processes in Monitoring & Controlling. While doing the work, you will Control these processes and produce Work Performance Information including determining risks to Scope, Time, Cost and Quality etc.

WPI also inputs Monitor & Control Project Work, an Integration Knowledge area process. From this Integration layer you will report on the project's performance by generating Work Performance Reports (WPR) giving the total picture. And Change Control (PICC) consumes these reports so you can manage the stakeholder's changes. These reports are also required to communicate project performance to the Stakeholders (Management Communications), to inform the Team (Manage Project Team), to Control Risks, and Control Procurements.

Summary: You cannot ignore the Stakeholder's Change Logs (Manage Stakeholder Engagement - input is WPR) and Issues (Control Stakeholder Engagement - input is WPD). Inadequate level of communication to Stakeholders can cause big risks. Relationship management is important in order to keep the support of the stakeholders.

To identify risks, you will need 5 Plans: Risk, Cost, Schedule, Quality, HR and the Scope Baseline, All of the Project's Documents, Procurement Documents, Activity Cost Estimates and Activity Duration Estimates and the Stakeholder Register, EEF and OPA.

From Reviewing the SOW to Closing the project where you perform administrative closure (leaving no liabilities behind) you are ever mindful of Risk. You identify, qualify, quantify and plan risk response throughout the project.

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