PMP® Exam Tip: Expert Judgment is a highly-favored, common tool

Home The Savvy PM Blog PMP® Exam Tip: Expert Judgment is a highly-favored, common tool

156 While preparing to sit for the PMP® Exam®, do not overlook becoming very familiar with the process framework.  The 42 processes and their respective 517 inputs, tools/techniques, and outputs (ITTOs) are quite a lot to learn!  One method to leverage your study time is to understand that several ITTOs are very common among the processes.  As mentioned in yesterday’s post, you only have to understand Organizational Process Assets one time – and then they apply as 34 inputs!  That is extreme leverage!

When it comes to Tools and Techniques, there is only one that is considered very common: Expert Judgment.

In Andy Crowe’s The PMP® Exam, How to Pass on Your First Try, he defines Expert Judgment as “Using knowledgeable groups or individuals to assist in project decisions.”  Now, for a person to be classified as an expert, it does not mean that he must be adjudicated as outstanding in his field and qualified to testify as an expert witness in a court case!  According to the definition, someone who is knowledgeable enough to assist the project team is an expert.  I like to say that a person who has had an experience just one more time than the project team may be used as a data point in making a decision.  The expert may be from inside or outside your organization.  The expert does not need to be a paid consultant to qualify, though sometimes such an expert is needed!  I have heard many times the phrase “Experience is the greatest teacher.”  Let me amplify this thought by stating “Bad experience is the greatest lesson.”  We learn from our mistakes, hence why it is important to continuous improvement to capture lessons learned!  Let’s not repeat mistakes!  In fact, if we can learn from other peoples’ mistakes, then we do not have to suffer the consequences of learning mistakes on our own.  So, Expert Judgment – think of it as learning from our predecessors’ mistakes.

OK, back to the process framework…  Expert Judgment as a tool shows up 19 times in the 42 processes :

  • 2 out of 2 Initiating processes
  • 12 out of 20 Planning processes
  • 2 out of 8 Executing processes
  • 2 out of 10 Monitoring & Controlling processes
  • 1 out 0f 2 Closing processes
  • 6 out of 6 Integration Management Knowledge Area processes

To leverage your study time, learn that Expert Judgment is heavily used as a tool in Initiating and Planning.  Because Expert Judgement is used in each Integration Management process, you know which two Monitoring & Controlling processes as well as which Closing process are involved.  You also know 1 of the Executing processes that uses Expert Judgment.

The other Executing process that uses Expert Judgment is Conduct Procurements. This should be easy to remember on the exam because this procurement process involving contracts necessitates the involvement of purchasing specialists as well as legal representatives – Expert Judgment !

As far as the 12 Planning processes – note that most planning processes that involve estimating, analyzing, scoping, and developing the core project plan use Expert Judgment as a tool.  As a study exercise, examine which 8 Planning processes do not use Expert Judgment as a tool and why…

Expert Judgment – so common a tool that it is observed frequently on the exam.  When narrowing down the possibly correct exam answers, leverage your overall knowledge of Expert Judgment to improve your educated guessing on vague questions.

And, yes, that is my Expert Judgment !