I am preparing for PMP, currently in Chapter 3 of Rita Mulcahy 's book. I prefer understanding over memorization, the 'why' rather than the 'what'.

I searched on the web to understand why the planning processes are in the order they are listed in Rita's process chart. Some of them are straight forward, but some are not.

Does anyone know where I can find more explanation on the reasoning behind the sequence?

Or is it simply that it is explained better in later chapters, so just memorize for now and understand later? Please help!

2 Answers 2


Like you, I prefer to understand rather than to memorize. I memorized this section. I played the process order game over and over until I could reliably order the process. (I won't provide the URL here because I don't know the current state of the copyright issues associated with the game.)

There is some logic underlying the order. IMHO the first five are kind of obvious.

First, memorize # 6 and #19. If you can group anything into "before six" "Between six and 19" and "after 19" you're halfway there.

1-6 and 6-13 are fairely logical. The tasks flow naturally.

As far as I'm concerned 19-25 are rote memorization with a little dash of logic.

Hope that helps.

  1. Plan the plan - nothing should come before this.
  2. Finalize requirements - If you don't know what you're building you'll fail.
  3. Create Scope Statement - Transform requirements into scope.
  4. Determine what to purchase - what will you build, what will you buy?
  5. Determine team - what kind of people do you need?
  6. WBS & Dictionary - Break down the scope into capabilities, deliverables and tasks. This must be early.
  7. Activity List - tightly bound to the previous;
  8. Network Diagram - very tightly bound to the previous 2
  9. Estimate resource requirements - Just convince yourself that it is tightly bound to WBS. Memorize this one.
  10. Estimate Time & Cost - tightly bound
  11. Determine Critical path -tightly bound
  12. Develop Schedule - Tightly bound
  13. Develop Budget - tightly bound
  14. Quality/Standards/Process/Metrics - Memorize this, but remember that now that you have a fairly clear picture of What is to be done, and WHo is to do it, it is time to decide how it will be judged.
  15. Process Improvement Plan - I percevie this as tightly bound to #14.
  16. Roles & Responsibilities - Memorize this
  17. Plan Communication - Tightly bound to 16
  18. Perform Risk Identification, Risk Analysis & Risk Planning - Memorize this. Logically before #19
  19. Go back - iteration - Memorize this first
  20. Prepare Procurement Documents
  21. Create Change Management Plan
  22. Finalize "how to execute & control"
  23. Develop the final PM plan & Performance Measurements
  24. Formal approval
  25. Kick off meeting

...is it simply that it is explained better in later chapters, so just memorize for now and understand later?


How far along are you? I recently finished the Rita book, and felt that the order as well as the impact of the whole Process Chart is hammered on throughout. It leads off every chapter and many of the exercises deal specifically with the process chart and relating that particular chapters info to the process chart.

Put another way, it didn't make a lot of sense to me when it was introduced, but is much more useful now that I've made it all the way through and have a better perspective of the whole.

Does anyone know where I can find more explanation on the reasoning behind the sequence?

Unfortunately, the correct answer here (as it is for most PMP specific questions) is "read the PMBOK". I did all the practice exams at the end of each chapter and referenced the PMBOK for questions that needed more explanation and the order makes sense now. So somewhere in the combination of reading the Rita book, doing practice questions, and reading the PMBOK your clarification and reasoning lies.

  • Thank you. I am just about to finish chapter 3 a second time.
    – Brian
    May 15, 2013 at 19:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.