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PM Concepts: Processes and Knowledge Areas

  • June 7, 2007
  • By Aleksey Shevchenko
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The goal of this article is to outline Project Management Processes and PM Knowledge Areas of a project. You will cover five project management process groups and nine PM Knowledge Areas. You will also list 44 major processes that comprise each process group and learn how these processes align with PM Knowledge Areas. Finally, I will summary each process.

Project Management Processes of a Project

Project management is archived via processes. A Project Management Process is defined as "a set of interrelated actions and activities that are performed to achieve a pre-specified set of products, results, or services" (PMBOK® Guide, Chapter 3).

Almost all projects usually use the same set of processes to accomplish project management successfully. The Project Management team is responsible for selecting appropriate processes to meet/comply with project requirements and balance the "triple constraints" (time, scope, and budget) of a project.

Each process and its inputs and outputs should serve as a high-level guide for a project management team. The project management team should "tailor" each process to the individual needs of a project. Project Management Processes deal with initiation, execution, monitoring, control, and closing a project. All processes interact throughout the project via their constituent inputs and outputs. "Successful project management includes actively managing these interactions to successfully meet stakeholder requirements." (PMBOK® Guide, Chapter 3)

Project Management Process Groups

The management processes are aggregated into five project management process groups:

  1. Initiating Process Group: Defines and authorizes the project or a project phase
  2. Planning Process Group: Defines and refines objectives, and plans the course of action required to attain the objective and scope
  3. Executing Process Group: Integrates people and resources to carry out the project management plan for the project
  4. Monitoring and Controlling Initiating Process Group: Measures and monitors progress to identify if the correction action can be taken to meet project objectives
  5. Closing Process Group: Formalizes acceptance of the product, services, or result and brings the project or a project phase to an orderly end

The interaction among five process groups is depicted by the following figure that is derived from a simpler Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle diagram.

Figure 1: Modified PDCA Cycle Diagram

Project Management Knowledge Areas

There are nine Project Management Knowledge Areas. These areas group 44 Project Management Processes. The following list briefly describes each PM Knowledge Area:

  1. Project Integration Management: Deals with processes that integrate different aspects of project management. This knowledge area deals with developing Project Charter, Preliminary Project Scope, and Project Management Plan. It also deals with monitoring and controlling project work, integrated change control, and closing a project.
  2. Project Scope Management: Encapsulates processes that are responsible for controlling project scope. It consists of Scope Planning, Definition, Verification, and Control.
  3. Project Time Management: Includes processes concerning the time constraints of the project. It deals with Activity definition, sequencing, resource estimating, and duration estimating. It also deals with schedule development and control.
  4. Project Cost Management: Includes processes concerning the cost constrains of the project. Some of the processes that are part of this knowledge area are Cost Estimating, Budgeting, and Control.
  5. Project Quality Management: Describes the processes that assure that the project meets its quality obligations. It consists of Quality Planning, Quality Assurance, and Quality Control.
  6. Project Human Resources Management: Includes the processes that deal with obtaining and managing the project team. Some of the processes of this knowledge area are Human Resource Planning, Acquire Project Team, Develop Project Team, and Manage Project Team.
  7. Project Communication Management: Describes the processes concerning communication mechanisms of a project, namely, Communication Planning, Performance Reporting, and Information Distribution.
  8. Project Risk Management: Describes the processes concerned with project-related risk management. It consists of Risk Identification, Quantitative and Qualitative Risk Analysis, Risk Response Planning, and Risk Monitoring.
  9. Project Procurement Management: Includes all processes that deal with obtaining products and services needed to complete a project. It consists of Plan Contracting, Select Seller Responses, Select Seller, and Contract Closer.

Project Management Process Mapping

As I stated earlier in the article, Project Management is composed of 44 processes that are mapped to one of nine Project Management Knowledge Areas listed in the previous section. The following table maps 44 processes to process groups and knowledge areas.

Knowledge Area Processes Project Management Process Groups
Initiating Process Group Planning Process Group Executing Process Group Monitoring and Controlling Process Group Closing Process Group
Project Management Integration

Develop Project Charter

Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement

Develop Project Management Plan Direct and Manage Project Execution

Monitor and Control Project Work

Integrated Change Control

Close Project
Project Scope Management  

Scope Planning

Scope Definition

Scope WBS

 

Scope Verification

Scope Control

 
Project Time Management  

Activity Definition

Activity Sequencing

Activity Resource Estimating

Activity Duration Estimation

Schedule Development

  Schedule Control  
Project Cost Management  

Cost Estimating

Cost Budgeting

  Cost Control  
Project Quality Management   Quality Planning Perform Quality Assurance Perform Quality Control  
Project Human Resources Management   Human Resources Planning

Acquire Project Team

Develop Project Team

Manage Project Team  
Project Communication Management   Communications Planning Information Distribution

Performance Reporting

Manage Stakeholders

 
Project Procurement Planning  

Plan Purchase and Acquisitions

Plan Contracting

Request Seller Responses

Select Sellers

Contract Administration Contract Closure
Project Risk Management  

Risk Management Planning

Risk Identification

Qualitative Risk Analysis

Quantitative Risk Analysis

Risk Response Planning

  Risk Monitoring and Control  

Figure 2: Mapping of 44 processes to process groups and knowledge areas





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