Communications Knowledge Area

Communications is about timely and appropriate planning, documentation, and distribution of status and information related to the project.

Of all the ten Knowledge Areas, communications typically takes the most time from a project manager. This is because a project manager works with team members and stakeholders who have varying levels of interest in and influence on the project, and different demands from the project.

 

A project manager needs to make sure that the stakeholders have an interest in the project progress, and they provide the resources and support required for successfully completing the project.

 

Questions for the Communications Knowledge Area
 
Question 1
  • Email is an example of:

    1. Mass communication

    2. Network communication

    3. Public communication

    4. Push communication

Question 2

  • In a meeting, there is a discussion about outsourcing the application testing to a third-party. After an hour of discussion of the costs and benefits, the project sponsor made the decision for the group to not outsource the testing. This type of decision-making is referred to as:

    1. Dictatorship or autocratic

    2. Unanimity

    3. Majority

    4. Plurality
       

Question 3

  • Albert Gonzales is a project manager engaged in construction of commercial complexes for clients. For which of the following situations should he use formal and written communications?

    1. Provide cost and schedule variance for stakeholder review

    2. Send a status report at the end of each week

    3. Make a scope change to a signed contract

    4. Provide details of construction material used for the roofs and walls

Question 4

  • You are in a meeting with two project resources to discuss the proposed Disaster Recovery (DR) solution for a new application. You know that these two usually disagree. During the discussion, what should you focus on?

  1. Pay attention to the words that they speak.

  2. Ensure they try to accommodate each other’s solution and arrive at a consensus.

  3. Observe their non-verbal communication and focus the discussion on the merits and demerits of each proposal.

  4. Make sure that they honestly discuss the advantages and problems about their proposed solution without trying to force their point or withdraw from the discussion.

Question 5

  • Rick Rupert is a project manager for a global facility management services (FMS) firm. He has been asked by his firm to maintain formal communications for all important project decisions. Which of the following should Rick not use for documenting key decisions related to project baselines?

    1. Project status reports prepared for stakeholders

    2. 1:1 emails

    3. Weekly project meeting notes

    4. Project change requests

 

Question 6

  • You are managing a project team where you have 11 members, including yourself. How many potential communication channels exist in the project?

    1. 66

    2. 10

    3. 11

    4. 55

Question 7

  • A communication type where the audience needs to download and view the content when they are free to do so, is known as:

    1. Pull communication

    2. Interactive communication

    3. Network communication

    4. Discretionary communication

 

Question 8

  • An agile team of 9 members has started the first iteration to build a complex application for a global shipping and logistics company. The application objectives are not clear. The user stories, backlog product items,  and epics are also vague and do not have a story point estimates or business value. The team has a lot of planning and grooming to do. What would be the most effective communication method to resolve the issues?

    1. Official and written communication

    2. Informal and oral communication

    3. Email communication

    4. Face-to-face communication

 

Question 9

  • Which of these signifies a minimal connection between the sender and recipients?

    1. Mass communication

    2. Public communication

    3. Push communication

    4. Social computing communication

 


Question 10

  • Jason Johnson has joined a global retail conglomerate as a project manager. He is in-charge of a new project to establish a new supply chain management (SCM) process to enable just-in-time (JIT) order fulfillment.

However, several stakeholders in different countries are resistant to the project objectives. The progress is stalled due to a lack of support. Which of the following is most likely to help Jason develop consensus among the stakeholders?

  1. Use of video-conference during meetings so everyone can see non-verbal communication and interpret those.

  2. Use of verbal communications.

  3. Use of written and formal communications.

  4. Use of written and informal communications.

 

ANSWERS

 

ANSWEr 1

       The correct answer is Choice 4.

Push communication is one that is sent directly to specific recipients who need to know about that. But there is no guarantee that the communication eventually reached the audience and whether they understood the message.

ANSWER 2 

      The correct answer is Choice 1.

Since one person has decided for the entire group, it is a form of autocratic decision. Note that the different types of decision-making are:

  • autocratic (decision made by one person),

  • plurality (a decision that is supported by the largest group, even if the largest group has less than 50% of the total population),

  • majority (supported by more than 50% of the total population), and

  • unanimity (a decision that is supported by 100%).    

ANSWER 3 

      The correct answer is Choice 3.

A written formal communication is good for all the choices. The best answer is C because it deals with a change in the contract terms. 

ANSWER 4

       The correct answer is Choice 3.

While all the options are valid and right actions, the most important action is to observe the unspoken, non-verbal communication or body language. That will tell you a lot if the disagreement is due to the proposed solutions or with the ‘chemistry and getting along’ between those two resources. Also, it is important to focus on the merits /demerits of the proposed solutions 

 

ANSWER 5 

        The correct answer is Choice 2.

Again, watch for keywords such as not, always or must in the question! Emails are widely used but are not a formal tool for documenting a project decision. An email is just a mechanism to send formal information such as meeting minutes or reports.

ANSWER 6 
        The correct answer is Choice 4.

The number of communication channels is (n)*(n-1)/2 where n is the number of persons involved in the communications. In this case, the number of persons is 11 including the project manager. Therefore, the number of communication channels = 11*10/2 = 55 channels.

ANSWER 7

        The correct answer is Choice 1.

Pull communication is one where the audience needs to reach out and view the content whenever they wish.

ANSWER 8

         The correct answer is Choice 4.

The most effective communication for agile projects is face-to-face communications because disagreements and conflicts can be resolve quickly and in real-time. Also, there is more quantity of information that is shared when the participants meet in-person rather than relying on phone conversations or emails. Colocation, working in the same place, and having no cubicle walls, lead to an increased collaboration and exchange of information.  

 

ANSWER 9

      The correct answer is Choice 1.

Mass communication is the correct answer because the end-recipient is an anonymous and large group.

 

ANSWEr 10

        The correct answer is Choice 3.

Written and formal communications is the best answer because the stakeholders are in various countries and there is a strategic need to change stakeholder support for the project objectives. Written and formal communication establishes authenticity and mutual respect.

This guide is based on the PMBOK 6th Edition® and is meant for PMP® Exams conducted until December 31, 2020