Simplified Processes Matrix

There is a lot emphasis on matrices in PMI project management and the word “matrix” is an important one. You probably know the Requirement Traceability Matrix, the Responsibility Assignment Matrix, RACI chart, sometimes called matrix, yet arguably the most prominent of them all – the one containing processes – stands somewhat in the background. It is however priceless if you can picture it in your mind each time processes, inputs, outputs and tools and techniques are mentioned. And they are mentioned very frequently. In fact the better you understand them, the better your chance of succeeding in the exam. And once in the exam, you will have enough other worries than recalling where this or that process stands within the structure. Let’s unofficially call it “Simplified Processes Matrix” and the objective is to write it down as part of your brain dump in the few minutes available before the exam. It will take a lot of strain out of your studies.

The idea is: you don’t have to rigidly memorize all the names. You rather remember WHAT they stand for and WHERE they are in the overall picture. This is best done when you have some sort of equivalent SHORT “placeholder” for them.
In saying that, let’s assume that:
a = Initiating
b = Planning
c = Executing
d = Monitoring and Controling
e = Closing
and
1 = Integration Management
2 = Scope Management
3 = Time Management
4 = Cost Management
5 = Quality Management
6 = HR Management
7 = Communication Management
8 = Risk Management
9 = Procurement Management
10 = Stakeholder Management
(Look at it and try to memorize it. Believe me, it will become very handy later.)
Now you can sketch a chart.
Once you have that, stay assured that ‘nods’ that will give you most hard time are the ones with multiple processes. And this is where graphics come extremely handy.
Now focus on the following:
2b —-> 4 processes
3b —-> 6 processes
4b —-> 3 processes
5c —-> 3 processes
1d —-> 2 processes
2d —-> 2 processes
Tip: Get used to the single sheet of paper and simple pencil right from the beginning and try not to write more than 2 pages. Just like a pro tennis player, look after the routine, eat your banana :), use the right gear in training, you know, don’t let anything take you by surprise when you’re in the real match.

Rejoice now! All the rest of them will have only one process per node which will be easy to remember.
If you want to exercise your brain a bit more, you can even train yourself in the following coding:
e.g.:
Which process is 2b3/4? Yes, you guessed it! It’s Define Scope.
What is 3b3/6? Yes, Sequence Activities.
4b2/3? Yes, it’s Estimate Costs.
5c2/3? Develop Team, that’s right.

But don’t push it. It doesn’t necessarily have to work for you. The simple process chart will be enough. You can all find it there and look it up in an instant.
Now, why am I going through all that trouble? Why make it even more complicated? – as if it wasn’t complicated enough already!
Well, I suggest that you simply use it each time you have to refer to a process, its input/output or T&T. Try that and you will see the benefits soon enough.