Human Resource Management: PMP Questions to Study

If you are taking the PMP exam and never interact with others, you might want to get on that! Experienced project managers typically spend less of their time studying the Human Resource Management chapter of the PMBOK guide for exactly that reason: they have developed and motivated many, many project team members throughout their careers.

But wait! If you’re thinking about leaving to study a different chapter, there are some unusual terms and definitions in the human resource management chapter that can get you some easy points. It’s definitely worth sticking around to make sure you know everything you need to know.

But you’re here for the questions. Open a sticky note on your computer or grab some extra paper. Thoroughly read and do the answers, then read the solutions, then consult the PMBOK guide for more details on the ones you get wrong.

Human Resource Management PMP

How will you manage these folks for your project?

Human Resource Management PMP Questions

1. You are using a RACI matrix to keep track of deliverables. How many individuals can be “Accountable” for a particular deliverable?

A. 0
B. 1
C. 2
D. There is no limit.

2. As the project manager, you are reading through the Project Management Plan again. Your project requires an employee with high technical skills in a particular areas for success. You have asked your fellow project managers and HR department if they know anyone in the company who would be a good fit for the role. No one seems to think that anyone at your company has that particular technical skill. What should you do next?

A. Ask a functional manager for an employee that almost has the skills.
B. Look outside of your organization for a consultant or subcontractor.
C. Use a virtual team to see if the resource exists elsewhere in your company.
D. Cancel the project.

3. You have the human resource management plan and the project staff assignments. What do you need before you can start to develop the project team?

A. Team-building
B. Training
C. Ground rules
D. Resource calendars

4. You are a project manager in a matrix environment, so you share supervision of your project team members with their functional manager. Sometime there are competing priorities, and your team members are spending too much time on their function, which may lead your project to fall behind schedule. You decide to go to each of your project team member’s office to ask questions and listen to their concerns about the project. You persuade them, while clearly articulating your points and positions, that they should be spending more time on the project. What skill are you using?

A. Smoothing/accommodating
B. Influencing
C. Effective decision-making
D. Bribing

5. Your project team members are feeling stressed because they can’t seem to complete their required work in the given time. What document can you consult to determine how much time your project team members have available?

A. Resource histogram
B. Project organization charts
C. Compliance plan
D. RACI chart

6. Project performance appraisals are a tool in which project management process?

A. Monitor and Control Project Work
B. Control Quality
C. Manage Project Team
D. Validate Scope

7. You, the project manager, start to develop your project team. You decide to allow the team to set ground rules. Who enforces ground rules?

A. HR department
B. The project manager
C. The project management team
D. The project team

8. Bob and Sue are arguing about the design of a deliverable and are having a hard time coming to consensus. You as the project manager have encouraged them to work out their differences together, but it hasn’t worked so far. When you sit with them to discuss, you eventually suggest that they use portions of each of their ideas in the design of the project. They are amenable to this solution. Which conflict management strategy have you applied?

A. Compromise/reconcile
B. Smooth/accommodate
C. Withdraw/avoid
D. Collaborate/problem solve

9. What is the best solution to managing conflict?

A. Smooth/accommodate
B. Collaborate/problem solve
C. Compromise/reconcile
D. Force/direct

10. Your team has recently stopped arguing and jostling for power. Now they are just beginning to learn to trust each other and adjust their work habits to each other. What stage of team development are they in?

A. Forming
B. Storming
C. Norming
D. Performing


1. B. 1. A RACI matrix is a specific tool and technique of the Plan Human Resource Management process. “RACI” is an acronym for Responsible-Accountable-Consult-Inform. Only one person can be “Accountable” for a particular deliverable, and any number of people can be responsivle, consult, or be informed. To remember RACI, try implementing one of these matrices on your next project. They are really useful, and it will help you remember the acronym (PMBOK, 262).

2. B. Look outside of your organization for a consultant or subcontractor. First, can you figure out where you are in the Human Resource Management process? Since you are reading the Human Resource Plan, it is likely that you in the next process, Acquire Project Team. Next, choose the right tool and technique for your particular problem. You don’t want someone who “almost” has the skills, so eliminate A. Your fellow PMs & HR department already told you that the expertise does not exist in your company, so eliminate choice C. D is silly, so choose B. B refers to Acquisition — a tool & technique in the Acquire Project Team process (PMBOK, 270).

3. D. Resource calendars. There are three inputs to the Develop Project Team process: the HR management plan, project staff assignments, and resource calendars. The three other wrong options are tools and techniques in the Develop Project Team process. Remember, you can do any of these if you don’t know if your team members are available (PMBOK, 275-278).

4. B. Influencing. You are not bribing your team members (don’t do it, ever!), so eliminate D. Smoothing/accommodating is a strategy for conflict management, so eliminate A. Now you need to choose between influencing and effective decision-making, both of which are interpersonal skills, which are tools & techniques in the Manage Project Team process. Based on the definitions, it’s clear that the project manager is influencing here (PMBOK, 284).

5. A. Resource histogram. If you remember that a resource histogram plots the available time an employee has, you’ve got this question. If you don’t, re-read the Human Resource Management Outputs to be sure you have a good sense of them. (PMBOK, 265-266).

6. C. Manage Project Team. Since all of these questions are about Human Resource Management, this question in context may have seen easy. But step back for a moment: if you didn’t know the tools and techniques well, could you have mistaken it for a tool in the Monitor and Control Project Work process. Know your ITTOs! (PMBOK, 282).

7. D. The project team. First, you need to know that the entire project team is responsible for keeping others accountable for the ground rules set in the develop project team process. Then, you need to know the difference between the project team and the project management team to correctly answer this question. Of course, it’s all in the word “management” — the project management team is limited to those involved in the management activities, while the project team is anyone who works on the project (PMBOK, 277, 555, 556).

8. A. Compromise/reconcile. Knowing the conflict management strategies is key for the exam, because you may see a question like this that requires you to identify the strategy being used. Head to the PMBOK guide, and write down an instance where you used or observed each of the strategies to help them stick in your memory forever. (PMBOK, 283).

9. B. Collaborate/problem solve. Knowing a few basic ground rules will help you answer all PMP questions like this, even if you don’t know all of the conflict resolution techniques. Think of the Project Manager as the most upstanding citizen in the world of project management — the PM’s eternal motto is “do the right thing” (check out PMI’s Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct if you don’t believe me). Even if collaborate and problem solve isn’t always possible in the real world on your projects, you should choose it as the best option for the PMP exam. (PMBOK, 283).

10. C. Norming. Ah, Tuckman’s ladder! This theory of team development, from the Team-Building Activities in the tools and techniques of develop project team, is one of those areas that you need to memorize if you haven’t already. The language in this definition is lifted almost directly from the PMBOK guide. (PMBOK, 276).

How did you do? What is the toughest area in HR management for you? What study strategies are you using to conquer this part of the PMP exam? Share below!

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