Master the ITTOs for the PMP® & CAPM® Exams

In the PMBOK® Guide, there are 49 project management processes.  These “processes” are the things (or activities) we perform in project management.  For example, we “define the scope” and “develop the schedule.”  Each of those process has inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs (ITTOs).  They are like the recipes for project management.  Trying to master the ITTOs for the PMP® and CAPM® exams can be overwhelming.  There are lots of them.  Here are a few tools and tips for making them stick.

ITTO Study Tools

As you study the ITTOs, we these tools in our Free Prep Pack to help:

  1. Process Reference – Includes a description of each of the 49 PMBOK® processes along with their process group and knowledge area.
  2. ITTO Spreadsheet – Includes a detailed listing of the ITTOs for each PMBOK® process — along with helpful tips to master them.
  3. ITTO Blank Sheets – Includes an ITTO table for each process so you can write them down.  Writing helps us to remember and see patterns.

ITTO Tips

  • Know their purpose.  If you understand why each ITTO is needed, it becomes easier to associate them with a process.  For example, if you know the purpose and components of a Project Charter, you will know that is needed as input to Develop the Project Management Plan process.  As you study the ITTOs, ask yourself, “What is this thing, and why do I need it?”
  • Write them down.  Writing often helps us learn and remember.  It’s called kinesthetic learning.  By doing this, you will also start to see that (1) many ITTOs are the same across processes and (2) outputs of one process often become inputs to another.  In our Free Prep Pack, we have blank ITTO sheets that you can use to write them down.
  • Master 2 processes a day.  Your studies will be less stressful, if you provide yourself more time to absorb the ITTOs.  Focus on the ITTOs for two processes each day. Then, when starting a new day, review the ITTOs that you already mastered before learning more.
  • Learn the common ITTOs.  The ITTOs are repetitive.  Many of them reappear — an almost every process.  For example, the Project Management Plan is input on 47 of 49 processes, and Project Documents Updates are outputs on 39 of 49 processes.  The common ITTOs are listed in the ITTO spreadsheet in our Free Prep Pack.
  • Understand the ITTO patterns.  Many of the ITTOs are repeated across several processes.  Understanding these patterns can make task of remembering the ITTOs easier.  Shown below is an explanation of many of those patterns.  They are also listed in the ITTO spreadsheet in our Free Prep Pack.

ITTO Rules & Patterns

  1. Outputs of one process often become inputs to later processes.
  2. Inputs and outputs are often documents.  Tools and techniques are often actions.
  3. The “Project Management Plan” is an input to nearly every process.
  4. “Org. Process Assets” and “Enterprise Environmental Factors” are inputs to most processes.
  5. “Expert Judgment”, “Data Analysis”, and “Meetings” are tools/techniques on many processes.
  6. “Project Documents Updates” and “PMP Updates” are outputs of many processes.
  7. Anything that includes “updates” will always be an output (never an input or tool).
  8. Anything that includes “system” will always be a tool (never an input or output).
  9. Individual plans (e.g. “Risk Mgmt. Plan”) are almost always an output of “Plan …” processes.
  10. “Work Performance Data” is an input on “Monitoring” processes.  (Except in “Integration”)
  11. “Changes Requests” are an output on “Monitoring” processes.  (Except in “Integration”)
  12. “Work Performance Info.” is an output on “Monitoring” processes.  (Except in “Integration”)