One source of major consternation for PMP aspirants are a category of the Project Management Framework called the ITTOs. “ITTOs” stand for Inputs, Outputs, Tools and Techniques. The framework currently is comprised of 49 project management processes that span five domains or process groups -- Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitor and Control, and Closing. So, for all 49 of these processes there are items that go into the process (inputs), things we do while executing the process (tools and techniques) and results that come out of the process (outputs). For example, let’s take one of the very first processes we do called “Develop Project Charter.” For this process an input would be the business case for why we are taking on this project. One of the tools used would be meetings, and, no surprise here, but the output is the Project Charter.
That’s simple enough, but when you consider that all 49 processes have multiple ITTOs, you quickly realize that it can be quite confusing to remember all of them, as there are over 600 ITTOs in all. However, there’s no need to worry because as a PMP aspirant you don’t really need to memorize all of them as much as you need to understand the flow of them. Think about the example above: Does it make sense that a business case would be an input to developing a charter? Of course it does. And does it make sense we would have meetings while developing the charter? Yes it does. Is it obvious that the main output of this process is the charter itself? It is. And while that charter document is an ‘output’ from this process, it then becomes an ‘input’ to the subsequent process of developing a project management plan. So, as you can see, there is a method to this madness. What you need to do is spend enough time reviewing the ITTOs so that you become comfortable with the ebbs and flows in and around this framework.
This, precisely, is why I insist that you don’t need to memorize the ITTOs with a simple repetitive and rote learning approach. Instead, you should get yourself a simple and easy to use ITTO Simplifier Tool and practice using it every day for a short period of time. I suggest you take 5-10 minutes each day to explore the ITTOs, asking yourself, “Why is this an input here” or, “Why is this a tool of this process?” If you are unable to answer your own question, then maybe it’s time to break open a text book, look up that process or ITTO, and review it more thoroughly. That way, when you are actually taking the PM exam, you have the true knowledge you need to find the right answer. If you want to test your understanding of the ITTOs, you may want to consider taking a Free ITTO Mock Exam.
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