The following PMP® exam sample question is taken from the Free PMP Exam Simulator at http://free.pm-exam-simulator.com – The answer is at the very bottom:
You are managing a hardware design project in India with locally trained engineers but your client is based in the U.S. You are unable to meet your client face-to-face and you cannot talk to your client on the phone because of the different time zones. Instructions are sent via email but there is a communication breakdown and your team fails to understand the messages. What is causing this issue?
A.) Poor message encoding
B.) Poor message decoding
Hint: We are faced with a language problem between native and non-native English speakers.
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ANSWER AND EXPLANATION:
The correct answer is C
Explanation: This is an example of noise. The PMBOK Guide defines noise as “Anything that interferes with the transmission and understanding of the message (e.g. distance, unfamiliar technology, or lack of background information)”. In this case the “noise” is the fact that your team members who are local to India do not speak English as well as your customer. This interferes with the understanding of the message.
Reference: PMBOK Guide 4th Edition, page 255