Top 50 Project Management Interview Questions You Must Prepare 19.May.2024

  • The project plan is the fundamental document directing all activities in pursuit of the desired objective.
  • The plan may change as time passes, but nevertheless, it represents the project manager's continuing view on what needs to be done by whom and when.

It is the balance of the project’s scope, schedule and cost. It is also called as Dempster’s triangle.

The style of the individual project manager will normally vary for each project. It is the responsibility of senior management to put in place a policy and procedure, supported by a selection of project management tools and formats, which will assure that the status reporting is readable, auditable, and valid.

Yes, there are still risks associated with a project even if it is half over. This also forms a baseline for the remainder of the project.

Pareto Principle is also known as 80/20 principle. It is a management tool to track problem tracking effectively. This principle says that 20% of the problems lead to 80% of other problems. Hence, in order to concentrating on solving 80% of the problems rather, one can concentrate to solve 20 % of the problems which saves lot of troubles. The analysis and concentration is done for only 20% of the vital problems. In a project the vital problems are the first 10% and the last 10% .

System testing is done to see if the system delivers the required features, functional and non-functional requirements & outputs. It doesn’t check each component individually but the whole system is checked as one entity. It is done at developers end. The testing for non-functional requirements includes:

  • Performance Testing.
  • Volume Testing.
  • Stress Testing.
  • Documentation Testing.
  • Robustness Testing.

Fishbone diagrams also called as Ishikawa diagrams (or cause-and-effect diagrams) show the reasons behind a certain event. In project management, this tool is used in Quality Management & Risk Management processes.

Following are some functions of Project Management tool:

  • Task management.
  •  File storage.
  •  Reporting functions.
  •  Commenting and message boards.
  •  Client access.
  •  Subcontractor task assignment.
  •  Time tracking.

Risk identification in the Project Management is often done by using brainstorming sessions to identify and clarify the main risks that may work against the project achieving its stated outcomes. It is important to clearly define the scope of the project so that the identification of risks can remain focused upon what potentially threatens the achievement of outcomes, delivery of outputs, level of resourcing, time, cost and quality.

An issue is a problem or concern that may impede the progress of the project if not addressed.
A risk is any factor (or threat) that may adversely affect the successful completion of the project in terms of achievement of its outcomes, delivery of its outputs or adverse effects upon resourcing, time, cost and quality.

Attaining Six Sigma is a team effort. An organization who wants to attain Six Sigma needs a lot of restructuring and change in attitude. It includes building up the following roles to take up the required responsibilities:

  1. Executive Leadership-Includes CEO and other top management team members. They set up the vision of Six Sigma and empower their team mates with the freedom and resources required for the improvements in the process.
  2. Champions- Responsible for the implementation of the process in an integrated manner throughout the organization. They come from Top management.
  3. Master Black Belts-Act as in-house expert coach for the organization. They assist Champions and train Black Belts and Green Belts.
  4. Black Belts-Apply Six Sigma methodology to specific projects. Their focus is on execution of activities for Six Sigma.
  5. Green Belts-These are like the soldiers on the war front who actually implement the planned action.

  • DMAIC is a series of steps used to measure defects in business processes and improve profitability. The five steps are: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.
  • DMADV - This is also a series of steps to measure and analyze the defects and produce better. The steps here are: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify.

To provide management with valid, auditable status on which to base management decisions.

The benefit of risk management is to increase the likelihood that the project will be completed successfully by ensuring levels of risk and uncertainty in the project is properly managed. It enables those involved to identify possible risks, the manner in which they can be contained and the likely cost of mitigation strategies.

  • 80/20 principle is also called as Pareto's principle.
  • It believes that 20% os tasks consume 80% energy for e.g. - 20% tasks in development consume 80% time, 20% of project personnel perform 80% task etc.

It defines a logical closure of any deliverable or cycle. Example you have completed the requirement phase with sign off from the client on the requirement document. So you put a baseline and say that further any changes to this document are change request. Versioning of source code is one type of baseline.

A work definition policy and format, a scheduling procedure, a resource budgeting methodology and format, a real time data collection/reporting system, a material control and accountability subsystem, a change control subsystem, and a monthly formal status review format to be used by senior management.

Project stakeholders are individuals and organizations that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be affected as a result of project execution or project completion. They may also exert influence over the project’s objectives and outcomes. The project management team must identify the stakeholders, determine their requirements and expectations, and, to the extent possible, manage their influence in relation to the requirements to ensure a successful project.

Business Object is a new query and report software program. It is a part of CSC software package. It is capable of performing more sophisticated mathematical calculations than IQ objects.

Unit testing, also called Component testing is performed by programmers to test that a specified unit of the program meets the expected output when a particular input is provided. Here, the programmer has to know the internal logic and code of the system. It is a way of performing the White box testing. It involves checking that each feature specified in the “Component Design” is implemented in the components.

A Unit in unit testing means a module self contained and by itself.

  • Fish Bone Diagram is also called Ishikawa Diagram or Cause and Effect Diagram.
  • It is called Fish Bone Diagram because of its structure.
  • Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa invented it so it is called Ishikawa Diagram.
  • It performs the job of analyzing the causes and their effects pertaining to the Project. So, it is called Cause and Effect Diagram.
  • It helps in identifying the potential causes of problems and finally the root cause which make a difference on the performance of the project. This helps in finding the solutions to the problems which have affected the performance of the last project.

MPMM is a Project Management Methodology which provides a complete "framework" for managing projects. This framework provides you with a step-by-step walkthrough of the phases, activities and tasks to be undertaken to complete a project. By following the Project Life Cycle framework for your project, you will greatly enhance your chances of project success.

White box testing is done to test the accuracy of logic and code of the program. It is done by programmers who know the logical flow of the system. It can be done by testing the classes or components in isolation. One of the ways of doing it is Unit Testing.

A stakeholder is anyone who has something to gain or lose as a result of the completion or failure of this project or phase.

  1. A Project is a temporary endeavor to provide unique product or service.
  2. Project is a temporary effort of work, a one-time event that meets the following criteria:
  • Has a start and an end date.
  • Has schedule, cost, and quality constraints.
  • Is a unique endeavor and contains risk.

A Project Manager is active doer, not bystander.

Project Manager Add Value By:

  • Define Proper Communication Plan.
  • Maintain Clear Functional and Technical Documentation.
  • Arrange Brainstorming session within the team to deliver best quality of services.
  • Improve Technical competency in team through different approach.
  • Maintain Team Morale with Creative and fun activities.
  • appropriate resource backup and risk plan.

SIX sigma is one of the business management strategies. Six Sigma is used to improve quality of process outputs which identifies and removes the causes of defects and variations in manufacturing and business processes. It implements a set of management methods and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization who are the experts in these methods. A well defined sequence of steps is followed by each six sigma project and has quantified financial targets.

The main reason for planning a project is for cost expediency. Proper project planning will insure that the amount of work to be accomplished, the time allotted to satisfactory complete the work scope, and the resources required to complete the work scope are equally balanced. Every project undergoes some amount of change while in progress. Proper planning allows for the assessment of the impact of change prior to implementing the change.

CAR Casual analysis and resolution:

CAR identifies problem and perform a root cause analysis of the same. CAR needs to be performed at every project phase. Fishbone diagram is one of the ways to perform CAR.

DAR- Decision Analysis and Resolution:

This is to analyze possible decisions using a formal evaluation process that identifies alternatives against current resources.

SDLC - stands for Software Development Life Cycle.

It can be divided in to 7 phases they are:

  1. Preliminary Investigation (Feasibility Study).
  2. Requirement Analysis (Analysis).
  3. Design of the System.
  4. Software Construction.
  5. System Testing.
  6. System Implementation.
  7. System Maintenance.

The work breakdown structure defines the total project. A work breakdown structure is a product oriented, family tree composed of hardware elements, software elements, and service elements. The work breakdown structure relates project elements or work scope definitions to each other and to the end product. The work breakdown structure is not an organization chart of company personnel.

It is one way of tackling problem in management. It says 20% of the problems lead to other 80% of the problems. According to this principle, we should focus on 20% of the problem. In any software project first 10% and last 10% from the vital part of the project.

In case of development CMMI ratings are awarded from 2 to 5.

  • Level 2 - Managed
  • Level 3 - Defined
  • Level 4 - Quantitatively Managed
  • Level 5- Optimizing

  • CMMI stands for Capability Maturity Model Integration.
  • It is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements for effective process improvement.

Project Management Institute (PMI).

Waterfall model:

This is the oldest model. It represents sequence of stages; output of one stage becomes input of others.

Spiral Model:

This is improved version of waterfall model. Here we have scope to reiterate and go back to the earlier stages number of times as project progresses.

Build and fix model:

This is a risky and most unorganized model. In this, developers keep writing code until the customer is happy.

Rapid Prototype Model:

In this model, we develop prototype which acts like a final product. Once prototype is approved, then the actual development starts.

Incremental Model:

In this model, the product is divided into sections and each section of the product are created and tested separately.

A Customizing object in a SAP component is an object which is customized with the same contents in another component. The contents of the customizing objects have to be corresponding in different systems in a system landscape.

The three basic elements that the project scheduling systems should provide are; a common basis for communication at all operational levels of the project, a basis for regular status reporting, the use of the management by exception technique.

The elements in functions points are:

  • External Inputs: It is an elementary process which allows the data to cross the boundary from outside to inside.
  • External Outputs: A elementary process which allows the data passes across the boundary from inside to outside
  • External Inquiry: It is an elementary process which has both input and output components which results data retrieval from one or more internal logical files and external interface files.
  • Internal Logical Files: An identifiable group of logically related data that resides entirely within the applications boundary and is maintained through external inputs.
  • External Interface Files: An identifiable group of logically related data that is used only for reference purpose. The data is completely persisted outside the application and is maintained by another application.

Capability Maturity Model(CMM) is a maturity model of certain business processes in software engineering.

The CMM identifies five levels of process maturity for an organization:

  • Initial - the starting point for use of a new process.
  • Repeatable – the process is used repeatedly.
  • Defined – the process is defined or confirmed as a standard business process.
  • Managed – process management and measurement takes place.
  • Optimizing – process management includes deliberate process optimization and improvement

Waterfall Model: The waterfall model is a software development process which follows a sequential approach. This approach steadily flows downwards like a waterfall which includes the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing and maintenance.

Spiral Model: The spiral model is one of the software development processes which combines the design and prototyping -in -stages together to gain the advantage of top-down and bottom-up approaches.

Build and Fix model: This model is one of the worst model for project development. The project is built without specifications and lacks design steps. Essentially, the project is developed, tested, modified as many times as possible. This process continues until the client’s satisfaction is attained. The cost is greater compared to other models. The software engineers are discouraged to use this model.

Rapid prototyping Model: To determine and identify the design flaws and obtaining feedback during design process is done by using rapid prototyping model. Product designers and engineers are allowed to view their designs look and function in real world situations by using Rapid Prototyping Model.

Incremental Model: The evolution of waterfall model is incremental model. The integration testing, product design and development is done as a series of incremental builds. A popular software evolution model used by many software companies. Incremental model is suitable and applicable where software requirements are well defined, but their implementation may be delayed; and the basic software functionality are required early.

Black box testing or functional testing means testing the software for the outputs when specified inputs are provided. It is usually performed to see if the software meets the user’s requirements. There’s no focus on what goes behind running that software. An example of this could be manual testing of the system by a tester, assembly testing.

Fish bone diagrams are the diagrams that show the causes of a certain events. In designing products, to identify the potential reasons / factors that cause overall effect, the fishbone diagrams are used.

The Dual Vee Model, like the V-Model is a systems development model designed to simplify the understanding of the complexity associated with developing systems. In systems engineering it is used to define a uniform procedure for product or project development.

The model addresses the necessary concurrent development of a system’s architecture with the entities of that architecture and illuminates the necessary interactions and sequences recommended for orderly maturation of a system and systems of systems. This article explains the power of the Dual Vee Model when applied as a reminder model for development of complex systems.

The waterfall model is a sequential software development process, in which progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of Conception, Initiation, Analysis, Design (validation), Construction, Testing and maintenance.

Project Planning defines in detail the project activities and the product that will be produced, and describes how the project activities will be accomplished. Project Planning defines all major tasks, estimates the time and resources necessary to complete them, and provides a framework for management review and control.

Project Planning activities include defining and documenting the following:

  • Work to be performed,
  • Project goals,
  •  Estimates for planning, tracking, executing, and controlling the project,
  •  Commitments of the affected groups, and,
  •  Project alternatives, assumptions, and constraints.

Assembly testing moves one step ahead of Unit testing. It checks if two or more modules are able to communicate and produce expected results or not. No Unit in the system can perform stand alone activities. The output of one module may be used as input by another, so it is highly important if the related modules are able to connect and produce the desired result. Assembly testing is a way of Black box testing and can be done through the UI.

The different Project Management tools are MS Project, Templates, eBooks, flowcharts Compliant with PMBOK 4th Edition, EPOs (Electronic Project Offices) etc.

Project cost, schedule and scope are depicted as a project management triangle. The triangle is formed by customer as the center point and the three aspects form the sides of triangle. In order to gain customer satisfaction, the project management team should deliver scope in propose schedule and cost. In case any leg is gets disturbed, the other two legs gets affected. For example, if the customer increases the scope, then the other two legs-schedule and cost- get affected a lot.