PMP Concepts: Enterprise Environmental Factors

This entry is part of 8 in the series PMP Concepts

Enterprise environmental factors is the concept that you meet most frequently while reading the PMBOK Guide. In fact, it is used as an input for almost every planning processes. Therefore, it is essential to understand this concept completely.

The definition of enterprise environmental factors is given on page 14, the PMBOK Guide, 4th Edition.

Enterprise environmental factors refer to both internal and external factors that surround or influence a project’s success.  These factors may come from any or all of the enterprises involved in the project. Enterprise environmental factors may enhance or constrain project management options and may have a positive or negative influence on the outcome. They are considered as inputs to most planning processes

Enterprise environmental factors is a general term in the PMBOK Guide. However, on the exam, you rarely see questions where this term is stated explicitly. Rather, the questions will be about concrete factors or conditions that may affect the project outcomes. So, each time you see the environmental factors as an input for a process in the PMBOK Guide, I recommend you to think about it more deeply by asking yourself 3 questions

  1. Which are some typical factors for this process
  2. Why they are used in this process
  3. How they are used in this process

For example, let’s look at the process Develop Human Resources Plan (PMBOK Guide, 4th Edition, page 218). Enterprise environmental factors are one of its input.

Instead of just memorizing enterprise environmental factors as an input for this process, try to answer by your own words 3 questions above.

Which are some typical factors for this process

You can find some typical factors in the PMBOK Guide: organizational culture and structure, existing human resources, personnel administration policies.

The list is not limited to these examples. You can think of some other factors, based on your project management experience.

For example, your customer’s organizational culture is also a factor, if your team will conduct most of the project works at customer office.

Why are they used in this process

Personnel administration policies are considered, for instant, because your company may have a limit on how much resources can be utilized on a project of particular size. Also, your company may have policies about rewards that you must follow.

How they are used in this process

How customer’s organizational culture is used as an input for this process? If some project team memers need to work at customer office, you may want to choose people that are easily adaptable to your customer culture.

By answering these questions, you will understand this concept more deeply. As a result, you do not need to memorize the inputs of processes. Rather, you understand the inputs in their real application for projects.

Visit the Project Management Prepcast for more lessons on the PMP exam

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