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OPAs versus EEFs

I think I can understand the differences between OPAs and EEFs in most situations, except the following three described as EEFs and which keep coming up in exams:

  1. HR & Personnel records
  2. Commercial Databases (but not the data contained within)
  3. PM Information Systems (but not Work Authorisation Systems)

To me all three look like OPAs.

Can anyone advise or point me to any links which can explain this so I can understand better?




  • Hello Sean,

    Good question.

    Maybe we should start with you explaining why you think these 3 items should be Organizational Process Assets (OPAs). Then we'll take it forward from there.


  • PMBOK defines OPAs as "process related assets ... that can be used to influence the project’s success. These process assets include ... policies, procedures ...guidelines .... knowledge bases such as lessons learned and historical information." To me this covers HR, Personnel records & Commercial Databases. On reading this defintion I now concede that PMIS is systemic and thereby warrants the EEF category, but if so I can't see how you would differentitate this from a Work Authorization System.

  • Accepted Answer

    In my view, OPAs:

    • are "internal" to the Organization
    • exist in the context of "projects" (remember, that an organization doesn't only handle projects - there could be operations or other business units and functions)
    • fall into one of the 2 categories (by definition): "Processes or Procedures" or "Corporate Knowledge Base"

    If you look closely at the OPA section in PMBOK 4 on page 32-33, most (if not all) of the assets listed (under "Processes and Procedures" and "Corporate Knowledge Base") make sense only in the context of the projects.

    Now to directly address your questions:

    1. HR and Personnel Records apply to the entire organization, not just projects.
    2. Commercial Databases are not "internal" to the organization.
    3. PMIS do not fall into "Processes or Procedures" or "Corporate Knowledge Base" category. So by definition, "systems" are not OPAs.

    Hope that helps.

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