You don’t have to know all 47 PMP(r), 5th Edition ITTO (Inputs Tools and Techniques and Outputs). In fact, if you tried, you may drive yourself crazy. Each process has approximately 7 ITTOs, which is more than 300 total ITTOs.
The PMP(r), not memorization skills, is designed to test your understanding of project management concepts. You will need to understand the functions of each ITTO, how to use them, and how they relate to each other for your PMP(r).
It is normal to feel anxiety about the ITTOs. Many candidates feel anxious when they first see the ITTO. But, if you can translate the ITTO into words, then you will see that PMI is trying tell a story using these complex diagrams.
What is an ITTO?
The building blocks of processes are PMP(r), ITTOs. They provide all the information you need to complete the process and the final result. They provide a standard for the development and execution of processes.
An ITTO analogy to help you understand how they function.
ITTO can be described as cooking. Your inputs are the ingredients you use to cook. Your tools and techniques are the methods you use to cook the ingredients. Your final dish is what you produce.
You can mix flour, eggs, and sugar (your inputs), bake it in 30 minutes (your method), and then you get a cake (your output).
You use your project charter (your input), to work with your experts and create your project management plan (your output).
You will learn a lot faster if you relate a concept from the PMBOK(r) to an actual event in your life.
How do you read an ITTO table?
Let’s take the Develop Project Charter process for an example. This is what the chart below will tell you if it were translated into words.
You will need to meet with experts (SMEs, clients, sponsors, consultants, etc.) to create the project charter. They will review the existing project documents, including your client’s business case, project statement of work, and any agreements with you. Sometimes experts might not agree with one another. You need to facilitate the discussion, and keep the conversation focused.
Also, you need to consider the current political environment and systems within your organization (aka Enterprise Environmental Factors), as well as existing policies, procedures and processes (aka Organizational Assets). Sometimes the environment you work in can limit or expand your options.
See? It is much easier to understand the ITTO when it is translated into plain English. Now it is your turn. Translate the ITTO process into plain English the next time you study it to understand the story it is trying to tell.
Take a look at the bigger picture, beyond the ITTOs
You don’t have to know all the ITTOs but you should be able to understand them and, naturally, be able to deduce what they are.
Each of the 47 processes can be broken down into its ITTOs. Understanding the process is key to determining which ITTO you will need. The process names are a good indicator. The Develop Project Charter process creates the project charter.
Once you have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish, you can start to think about what you would need to achieve that goal in real life. What was it that you needed to create project charters for projects you have been involved in? You will probably find the answer in agreements, SOW, and business cases.
The process can be viewed from a higher level by being compared to the one before it and the one after it. You will see that the process are only telling the story about how the project is finished.