Project ManagementCategory: Objective Test
60-minute test administered during the NLC.
Objective Test Competencies: Project Definition; Project Plan Development; Project Management; Risk Management; Project Times and Cost Estimates; Project Team Management; Progress and Performance Measurement and Evaluation; Project Audit and Closure; Project Selection; Resource Scheduling
Skills: The ability to prepare and submit an initial project plan that includes project selection, estimating time and cost, developing a project plan, and managing and closure of the project. This event provides recognition for PBL members who have an understanding of and skill in project management.
Objective Test Guidelines
- No materials may be brought to the testing site.
- Electronic devices must be turned off and out of sight.
- Financial calculators may be used for accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events; calculators will be provided for all other events.
The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.
- Dues: Competitors must have paid PBL national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 15 of the current school year.
- NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
- Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
- Each state may submit three (3) individuals in all events requiring only objective tests and two (2) individuals or teams for all events that require a pre-judged or performance component.
- Each competitor can compete in two (2) events.
- Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.
- A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.
Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the NLC unless one of the following circumstances applies:
- Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
- Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
- Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (Community Service Project).
- Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
- Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
- Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.
- Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
- Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
- Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
- Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
- Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.
- State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
- All prejudged components (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
- All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
- All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
- Desktop Publishing—the finished product must be uploaded in PDF format by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May. Label all documents with the event title, competitor’s name, state, and school.
- All production tests must be uploaded online.
- State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.
The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (Community Service Project and Local Chapter Annual Business Report).
- Financial calculators may be brought to objective testing and used for any accounting, finance, or analysis & decision making events.
- Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.
Recording of Presentations
No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.
Graduate students may compete in all PBL events.
- Dress for Success—Members must be in business attire. Please review the the FBLA-PBL Dress Code. If you question if you are properly attired, then change.
- Read and follow explicitly the state and national competitive events guidelines. Be aware of differences between state and national guidelines.
- Check the status of membership dues. Students must be dues-paid members by April 15 to compete in national competition. The sooner dues are paid the sooner members will receive PBL benefits.
- All materials must be received by the national center by the second Friday in May. Normally the state submits these materials, but some states request the local chapters submit their reports, website URLs, interview materials, etc.
- Remember, when competing at the district or state levels, materials are not sent to the national office.
- Become completely familiar with the procedures to be followed for participation in each type of event at the state and national levels.
- Determine from the rating sheets and guidelines the areas that will be judged and the weight given to each area.
- Obtain a variety of updated information on different subject areas and provide access to students for study.
- Contact former and current chapter members who have competed in previous years for suggestions.
- Find mentors and other experts who can help members prepare for competition. Involve faculty, advisory committee members, Professional Division members, businesspeople, community volunteers, and parents in study sessions and event preparation.
- Try to recreate as realistically as possible the conditions under which the competition will take place and PRACTICE.
- Make certain that the copies of materials to be submitted to judges are error-free and in the proper format.
- Make sure all materials are submitted by the deadline.
- PBL members and advisers must recognize the value of competitive events, maintain a professional attitude toward the events, and keep them in proper perspective. While competitive events are an important element of PBL’s overall program, events are just a portion of the many other activities and programs that build a successful organization.
- All objective tests are done online and consist of 100 multiple choice questions.
- Ask your professors to share with you the different textbooks they use as resources. Look over the end-of-chapter summary and the glossary words.
- Avoid talking to others as you enter the room.
- Instructions for online testing will be given to you once seated at a computer.
- The calculator function on the computer will be available for use. Financial calculators can be used for all accounting, finance, and “Analysis & Decision Making” events.
- If the equipment doesn’t work, raise your hand until help comes.
Sample Practice Materials
- 10 Steps To Creating A Project Plan
- Risk Analysis and Management
- Project Management Time & Cost Estimation Techniques: An Overview
- A Guide to Project Performance Metrics
- Creating Gantt Charts
2. Describe how to manage projects throughout the five major process groups..
3. Define the characteristics of a project.
4. Explain the project management knowledge areas.
5. Define a project life cycle.
6. Identify and define project stakeholders.
7. Explain the responsibilities, skills, and characteristics of an effective project manager.
8. Explain the relationship between program requirements and program scope.
9. Define the roles of the project manager, the project team member, and effectively communicate with the project team, clients, and customer.
10. Explain the trends and the need for project management.
2. Identify and explain planning aids.
3. Describe the major implementation activities, responsibilities, and project constraints.
4. Specify influences of organizational structures on project management.
5. Define the total scope of a project and create the detail scope statement.
6. Describe the components of the plan and the functions of a good project plan.
7. Apply the sequential steps of the project management framework.
8. Explain the importance and function of project management and apply the project process of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the project.
9. Produce a statement of work (SOW) and decompose overall project goals.
10. Develop a work breakdown structure (WBS), using established tools and techniques, to achieve stated project objectives.
11. Produce a task flow network, using established tools and techniques, and analyze the contingencies, interrelationships, and critical paths of the work elements.
12. Explain the proposal preparation process and create a project plan.
13. Describe contract administration policies and procedures including vendor selection, contract negotiation, and administration.
14. Produce a Gantt chart, using established tools and techniques, to schedule the completion of all work elements.
2. Explain methods for assuring quality through quality planning.
3. Discuss ways for handling and voiding project pitfalls
4. Explain utilizing Project Management Maturity Models.
5. Develop the major chart types used for project management.
6. Apply basic project scope management techniques, including introductory configuration management techniques.
7. Define the execution of the project plan.
8. Explain key indicators essential to effective project management.
9. Discuss techniques for change management and control.
10. Execute the project, control the project objects and manage changes in project.
11. Explain the importance of monitoring and controlling.
12. Establish performance milestones including “go” and “no-go” decision points.
13. Define the elements of project integration management, project quality management, project procurement management, and project human resource management.
14. Restate the role that project management plays in organizations.
15. List the features of the project management process including strategic views of the project life cycle.
16. Analyze the approaches to managing a project’s strategic issues.
17. Describe contract administration policies and procedures.
18. Describe reviewing computerized project management tools.
2. Describe techniques for identifying and categorizing risks.
3. Contrast qualitative risk analysis and quantitative risk analysis.
4. Identify risk response strategies and develop a risk response plan including risk monitoring and control strategies.
5. Describe risk consequences and contingencies.
6. Develop a risk management strategy/plan for a project.
7. Analyze the risk management process cycle within a company.
8. Defend the role of risk management in overall project management.
9. Identify risk management activities throughout the project life cycle.
10. List the short cuts of risk management.
2. Discuss methods of project budgeting and prepare budget plans.
3. Conduct a cost estimate through analogous estimating, bottom up estimating, parametric estimating, and computerized estimating tools.
4. Calculate Present Value, Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, Payback Period, Benefit Cost Ratio, and Opportunity Cost.
5. Determine variable cost, fixed costs, direct cost, and indirect cost.
6. Explain Project Life Cycle Costing.
7. List considerations when making project cost estimates.
8. Develop cost summaries for tracking project expenditures to budgeted costs.
9. Develop cost forecasts to proactively control future planned expenditures.
10. Determine the project break-even point.
11. Calculate the impact of change on project cost and performance.
12. Estimate the duration of the project through the use of CPM, PER, and Monte Carlo.
13. Develop a schedule management plan and schedule control.
14. Define the elements and apply project time management concepts to the final project.
15. Determine critical path, non-critical paths, and earliest start and finish times.
2. Describe the process of setting team goals.
3. Define operating processes to perform project tasks.
4. List the process of reporting and rewarding progress.
5. Describe the process of assessing team performance.
6. Organize project teams using organizational breakdown structures.
7. Describe techniques for team building, resolving conflicts, and human resource constraints.
8. Define work to be done and discuss methods of subdivision.
9. Create the WBS and describes its uses.
10. Define the roles of the team members and the critical skills needed.
11. Explain the roles and responsibilities of project team members.
12. Explain the relationship between project managers and line managers, especially in terms of the division of responsibility and authority.
13. Identify sources of diversity, either corporate or ethnic, that impact project team effectiveness.
14. Assess the strategic issues facing a project team.
15. Describe how to build and work with cross-functional teams within a project.
2. Explain the methodology for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data.
3. Define earned value analysis and use earned value management (EVM) to evaluate project performance.
4. Explain controlling scope creep with change control systems.
5. Establish the use of baselines to monitor the progress of the project
6. Explain impacts of poor quality.
7. Describe the tools used for quality management planning and develop a quality management plan
8. Describe quality control through Fishbone Diagram, Pareto Diagram, and Control Chart.
9. Prepare progress reports.
10. Define requirements to meet needs, including performance based outcomes and setting performance standards.
11. Formulate the key features of the test and evaluation program, including modeling and simulation.
12. Describe how project management information systems (PMIS) are used to monitor, evaluate, and control planned cost and schedule performance.
13. Describe the procedure for conducting periodic project performance evaluation audits.
2. Explain the purpose of a post-implementation evaluation.
3. Describe administrative closure vs. contractual closure.
4. Categorize project closure by project endings: integration, starvation, addition, or extinction.
5. Explain how project managers must communicate audit results to customers and management in order to manage expectations.
6. Explain how project managers must communicate audit results to customers and management in order to manage expectations.
7. Describe how, as a result of project audits, project managers conduct trade-off analyses of project performances versus cost and schedule constraints.
8. Identify causes associated with project success and failure.
9. Specify ways in which a project can be terminated upon completion.
10. Describe the contract termination procedures.
11. Record lessons learned for future use and communication with other company projects.
2. Define the elements and importance of the project charter.
3. Highlight methods for project selection.
4. Identify project constraints.
5. List the advantages and disadvantages of contract type selection.
6. Assess a project’s potential profit and evaluate and rank project using a matrix.
7. Select relevant financial data for decision making.
8. Assess project portfolio risk using quantitative measures.
9. Define the scope of the final project selected.
2. Discuss leveling resources.
3. Describe setting resource priorities and explain assigning resources to a project.
4. Explain the importance of the project schedule’s critical path.
5. Explain methods for developing a schedule.
6. Develop network diagrams (PERT, CPM, and PDM charts).
7. Calculate slack, crashing, and fast tracking a project.
8. Develop a schedule management plan.
9. Determine the sequence of activities.
10. Develop and document an integrated master schedule.
11. Analyze optimal labor utilization for cost effectiveness and schedule efficiency by using a resource-loading chart.
12. Explain types of scheduling diagrams and construct a project schedule.