The Project Management Institute gives the Project Management Professional Certification Exam to aspiring project managers. A major component of the exam is the ITTO, which stands for Inputs, Tools, Techniques & Outputs. The ITTOs can be found in the Project Management Book of Knowledge, a book that forms the foundation of project management methodology and vocabulary. The PMBOK Version 5 contains 47 project management processes, each with its own set of ITTOs. Rather than memorizing each set of ITTOs, test-takers would be better served understanding the processes.
The inputs form the basis for starting a project. Most project types found in the PMBOK have similar inputs. These inputs include Project Charters, Project Management Plans, Requirements Documentation Plans and Change Requests. As the project progresses, the outputs from the previous process will often become inputs for the next process. This methodology will allow the test-taker to rely more on logic and experience and less on rote memorization.
Tools & Techniques
The tools and techniques used in each process often depend on the stage of the project. If the question identifies the process name, the test-taker should know the Knowledge Area tied to that process and identify which tools and techniques relate to that Knowledge Area. For instance, all of the processes in the Integration Management Knowledge Area include "Experts Judgment" in the Tools and Techniques section, while nearly all of those in the Communications Management Knowledge Area include "Communication Methods" in their Tools and Techniques.
Depending on the phase of the project, the inputs for one process of a project can come from the outputs of an earlier process. For instance, the output of the Develop Project Charter process is the Project Charter Document, which forms one of the inputs in the Develop Project Management Plan process. The output in the Develop Project Management Plan process is the Project Management Plan, which is one of the inputs in every subsequent process in the Integration Management Knowledge Area.
The purpose of testing for ITTOs is to measure how well project managers understand how inputs, tools, techniques and outputs relate to one another to produce a successful project, not to test how well the test-takers can memorize each of the ITTOs in each of the project processes. PMI never intended for test-takers to memorize every aspect of ITTO. Test-takers who attempt to memorize the ITTOs to pass the certification exam are ignoring the logic behind these ITTOs.
Living in Houston, Gerald Hanks has been a writer since 2008. He has contributed to several special-interest national publications. Before starting his writing career, Gerald was a web programmer and database developer for 12 years.