20+ TOP Project Management Interview Questions & Answers
1. What is project management?
Applying knowledge, skills, tools, techniques in project and deliver project deliverables is a short definition of project management.It’s basically managing project time, cost and scope.
2. Is spending in IT projects constant through out the project?
Normally in initial stage of projects (requirement and design phase) the cost is very less (as you need maximum business analyst and architecture), but as the project proceeds cost factor starts increasing. The cost is maximum in coding phase (this is where you require programmers, project leads and project manager). Later when the project is in testing and acceptance phase cost is less as we will need only one or two programmers for removing bugs.
3. Who is a stakeholder ?
A stakeholder is anyone who has something to gain or lose as a result of the completion or failure of this project or phase It’s not only the end customer the stakeholder. Project managers, Project Lead, even programmers, testing department etc. so be clear about the terminology.
4. Can you explain project life cycle ? or How many phases are there in software project ?
There are five stages of any project initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closeout. These are general phases and change according to domain. but During Software project management interview expected answer is requirement phase, design phase, coding phase, testing phase and project closure. .
5. Are risk constant through out the project ?
Risk is high at the start of projects, but by proper POC (Proof of concept) risk is brought in control.Good project managers always have proper risk mitigation plan at the start of project. As the project continues one by one risk is eliminated thus bringing down the risk. .
6. Can you explain different software development life cycles ?
SDLC (System Development Life Cycle) is overall process of developing information systems through multi stage process systems from investigation of initial requirements through analysis, design, implementation and maintenance. The days are gone when one COBOL programmer used to analyze, test and implement software systems. Systems have become complex, huge team members are involved, architects, analyst, programmers, testers, users etc. To manage this number of SDLC models have been created.
Following are popular models which are listed:-
Build and Fix model.
Rapid prototyping Model.
This section we will go into depth of different SDLC models.
1. Water Fall Model:
This is the oldest model. It has sequence of stages; output of one stage becomes input of other. Following are stages in Waterfall model:-
System Requirement: –
This is initial stage of the project where end user requirements are gathered and documented. System Design: – In this stage detail requirements, screen layout, business rules, process diagram, pseudo code and other documentations are prepared. This is first step in technical phase.
Depending on the design document actual code is written here.
Integration and Testing: –
All pieces are brought together and tested. Bugs are removed in this phase.
Acceptance, Installation and Deployment: –
This is final stage where software is put in production and runs actual business.
This is least glamorous phase which runs forever. Code Changes, correction, addition etc are done in this phase. Waterfall is suited for low risk in areas of User Interface and performance requirements, but high risk in budget and schedule predictability and control. Waterfall assumes that all requirements can be specified in advance. But unfortunately requirement grows and changes through various stages, so it needs feedback from one stage to other.
2. Spiral Model:
Spiral Model removes the drawback of waterfall model, by providing emphasis to go back and reiterate earlier stages a number of times as project progresses. On broader level it’s a series of short waterfall cycles, each producing an early prototype representing a part of entire project. It also helps demonstrate a Proof of Concept at early software life cycle.
3. Build and Fix Model
This is the way free-lancers work Write some code and keep modifying it until the customer is happy. This approach can be quite dangerous and risky.
4. Rapid Prototyping Model
This model is also called as Rapid Application Development. The initial emphasis is on creating prototype that look and acts like the desired product. Prototype can be created by using tools which is different from those used for final product. Once the prototype is approved, its discarded and real software development is started from scratch. The problem with this model is that sometimes the prototype moves ahead to become the final live product which can be bad from design point of view. It’s a effective model but can have higher costing than other models as you require programmers during the initial phase of the software cycle.
5. Incremental Model
In this model we divide products into builds, where section of product are created and tested separately. Here errors are found in requirement phase itself, user feedback is taken for each stage and code is tested after it is written.
7. What is triple constraint triangle in project management ?
Project Management triangle is depicted as Cost, Schedule and scope.These three aspects form the sides of triangle and the customer is the center point.As customer is always concerned about Cost,Scope and Schedule, so in order to get customer satisfaction project manager should deliver all scope in propose schedule and cost. If we want to disturb any one of the legs then the other two legs get affected. Example if customer increases the scope then other two sides of the triangle also get affected a lot.
8. What is a project baselines ?
It defines a logical closure of any deliverable or cycle. Example you have completed the requirement phase with sign off from the client on the requirement document.So you put a baseline and say that further any changes to this document are change request. Versioning of source code is one type of baseline.
9. What is effort variance?
Effort Variance = (Actual effort – Estimated Effort) / Estimated Effort.
10. How is normally a project management plan document organized ?
project management plan (PMP) document forms the bible of a project. It has normally these sections :-
=> Project organization hierarchy
=> WBS / Activity list to be performed with schedule.
=> Work product identification (In short who will do what)
=>Project schedule( GANNT chart or PERT chart).
=>Estimated Cost and completion.
=>Configuration management section.
=>Action Item status.
11. How do you estimate a project?
There are many techniques available for estimating a project:-
=> Use Case points
12. What is CAR (Causal Analysis and Resolution)?
The basic purpose of CAR is to analyze all defects, problems and good practices/positive triggers in projects, perform a root cause analysis of the same, identify respective corrective and preventive actions and track these to closure. The advantage of CAR is that root causes are scientifically identified and their corrective and preventive actions are carried out. CAR needs to be performed at project initiation, all phase and project ends and on a monthly basis. Fishbone diagram is one of the ways you can do CAR.
13. What is DAR (Decision Analysis and Resolution) ?
Decision Analysis and Resolution is to analyze possible decisions using a formal evaluation process that identifies alternatives against established criteria. Example in a project you are said to use third party tools so you will not depend on only one tool but evaluate three to four more tools so that in case of problems you have alternatives. This is called as DAR
14. What is a fish bone diagram ? What is Ishikawa diagram ?
Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, invented the fishbone diagram. Therefore, it can be also referred as Ishikawa diagram. Fishbone diagram is an analysis diagram which provides a systematic way of looking at effects and the causes that create or contribute to those effects. Because of the function of the fishbone diagram, it may be referred to as a cause-and-effect diagram. The design of the diagram looks much like the skeleton of a fish. Therefore, it is often referred to as the fishbone diagram.
Fishbone diagram helps in categorizing potential causes of problems or issues in an orderly way and in identifying root causes.
15. What is pareto principle ? What is 80/20 principle ?
Pareto principle also paraphrased as 80/20 principle is simple effective problem tackling way in management. It says that 20% of your problems lead to other 80 % of problems. So rather than concentrating on the 80% of problem if you concentrate on 20% of problems you can save lot of trouble. So in pareto you analyze the problems and only concentrate on 20% of your vital problems. In projects the first 10% and the last 10% of project form the vital part of project.
16. How do you handle change request ?
Normally change request are handled by preparing an Impact analysis document and then doing re-estimation. Example you have an on going project, which has a customer table. Now customer want to also have addresses assigned to it. So you normally raise a change request and then do an impact analysis of the same. Depending on the impact you estimate and let know the client about the financial aspect of the project. Once client sign off or the upper management agrees to the change request you move ahead with implementation.
17. What is internal change request?
Internal change request are not normally billable change request, it has no financial gains from the client. Example your architecture division of your company has said in mid of the project that the architecture has to be modified. Definitely this has nothing to do with the client, but you make changes to it this is called as Internal change request.
18. What is difference between SITP and UTP in testing ?
UTP (Unit Test Plan) are done at smallest unit level or stand alone mode. Example you have Customer and invoicing module. So you will do test on Customer and Invoice module independently. But later when we want test both customer and invoice in one set we integrate them and test it. So that’s is SITP (System Integration Test Plan) UTP can be done using NUNIT. Unit testing is done normally by developers and System testing is done normally by testing department in integration mode.
19. What is the software you have used for project management?
Many companies have there own software defined. There are many project management software available at this moment in market but this can vary from company to company , worst it can very from project to project. But Microsoft project is the most used software at this moment.So just brush your skills on Microsoft project , its used heavily across industry.
20. What are the metrics followed in project management? What metrics will you look at in order to see the project is moving successfully?
Most metric sets deal with a variation of these attributes and are chosen to help project managers gain insight into their product (size, software quality, rework), process (rework, software quality) and project (effort, schedule).
But below is a broader classification :-
Project Management Metrics
number of milestones number of proved requirements per milestone controlling level metrics
probability of resources availability probability of the requirements validity risk indicators (long schedules, inadequate cost estimating, excessive paperwork, error-prone modules, canceled projects, excessive schedule pressure, low quality, cost overruns, creeping user requirements, excessive time to market, unused or unusable software, unanticipated acceptance criteria, hidden errors) application risk metrics
walkthrough metrics traceability metrics variance metrics
size of control elements structure of control elements documentation level tool application level
management database metrics
data quality metrics management data complexity data handling level (performance metrics) visualization level safety and security metrics.