Consider the following scenario, which is straight out of a PMP exam prep book:
The project manager of a large software implementation project just finished a project status meeting. In the meeting, he learned that a crucial piece of the software his team was creating is faulty. The news will cause the project to be late by at least one month and will likely cost additional fees for the developers' time. What is the next step the project manager should take?
- Fire the project team member responsible for the mistake.
- Create a change request for the immediate correction to the software.
- Complete a root-cause analysis to determine why the problem occurred.
- Present the news to management and the customer with a solution to resolve the problem.
My first instinct is that the "next step" should be #3, preform a root-cause analysis. However, the exam prep book states the following:
Number 4 is correct. The project manager needs to share the news with management and the customers with a solution to fix the problem. The project manager should never go to management with a problem without a solution.
Number 3 is incorrect. Root-cause analysis can be helpful, but it should be completed after informing both management and the customer.
I'm having trouble understanding their line of reasoning, and my question is two-fold:
- In a real-world life environment (not the PMP exam), would it really be appropriate to come up with a solution before doing root-cause analysis? And if so, how are you supposed to determine a solution, if you haven't even figured out the root-cause of the problem?
- Even on the PMP exam, is what the book is presenting accurate? How can the PMP exam authors consider you able to present a solution if you haven't done a root-cause analysis?