Dear PM Advisor. March 4, 2013

Dear PM Advisor, I'm sitting for my PMP test soon and can't get straight which processes fit into the Execution group and which in Monitoring and Controlling. I've been a PM for a long time and know they both happen at the same time. But PMI want's you to know the difference. Do you have any hints for getting these questions right? I've taken a few practice tests and keep getting them mixed up.

Executioner in Branchburg, NJ.

Dear Executioner,

I like to use homonyms to help me remember things like this. In this case, I remember that Measure starts with an M just like Monitor. So if the process includes some kind of measurement, it must fit in the Monitoring and Controlling group. You have to Measure in order to Report Performance or Verify Scope so it must be in this group. The other word is Control and that encompasses all the other processes like Control Costs, Schedule and Scope.

Execution consists of doing the work you planned in the previous phase. Monitoring and Controlling consists of Measuring the output of that work and Controlling the constraints. Of the six constraints on any project: Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Resources and Risk, all but Resources have a Control Process in this group. I guess the PMI realized there is no controlling of resources.

So look for any aspect of Measurement within the tools used or the word Control within the process and you can be sure that the work falls in the Monitoring and Controlling Group. Otherwise, you are just doing the work, Executing.

Good luck,

PM Advisor

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