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PM Concepts: Processes and Knowledge Areas

  • June 7, 2007
  • By Aleksey Shevchenko
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Initiating Process Group

Initiating process group includes two major processes:

  1. Develop Project Charter: Consists of contract, project statement of work, enterprise environmental factors, and organizational process assets.
  2. Develop Preliminary Project Scope: Consists of project charter, project statement of work, enterprise environmental factors, and organizational process assets.

Planning Process Group

The Planning Process group includes 21 major processes:

  1. Develop Project Management Plan: This process integrates all the subsidiary plans from the various knowledge areas into one plan. This complete, consistent, and coherent document is the project management plan. It is crucial that the project manager and the project team spend sufficient time creating the project management plan because this document serves to reduce project uncertainty, improve the efficiency of work, provide a better understanding of the project objectives, and provide a basis for monitoring and controlling. This key document also serves as a communication and educational tool for stakeholders on the project.
  2. Scope Planning: The process formally specifying the project deliverables.
  3. Scope Definition: The process deals with creating a hierarchical, comprehensive description of the project work.
  4. Create WBS: A work breakdown structure is accomplished by defining the scope of the project and breaking the work down into components that can be scheduled and estimated and easily monitored and controlled.
  5. Activity Definition: In this process, the project team documents the activities resulting from the lowest level of the project work breakdown structure (WBS) and assigning an owner to each activity.
  6. Activity Sequencing: In this process, the project team determines dependencies between project activities.
  7. Activity Resource Estimating: This process concerns primarily with human resources. It allows the project manager to understand the type(s) and quantity of each required skill set.
  8. Activity Duration Estimating: This process deals with forecasting durations for all identified project activities.
  9. Schedule Development: This process creates a project schedule based on calendar dates.
  10. Cost Estimating: This process deals with estimating the resources required to complete the project work. The estimate is typically quantitative and can be presented in detail against the WBS components, or summarized in terms of a grand total according to various phases of the project, or its major deliverables.
  11. Cost Budgeting: This process deals with assigning a cost to an individual work package. The goal of this process is to assign costs to the work in the project so it can be measured for performance.
  12. Quality Planning: This process captures the whole process of determining how a product or service will be developed, not simply the tests and measures to inspect the product downstream and to avoid rework and waste.
  13. Human Resources Planning: Includes defining team member roles and responsibilities, establishing an appropriate structure for team reporting, securing the right team members, and bringing them on the project as needed for the appropriate length of time. Human resources planning results are achieved through the development of an organization plan coupled with the acquisition of the staff necessary to complete the project.
  14. Communication Planning: Developing communication strategy with project members and stakeholders.
  15. Risk Management Planning: A process in which the project manager and project team identify project risks, analyze and rank them, and determine what actions, if any, need to be taken to avert these threats. Associated with this process are the costs, time, and quality concerns of the project brought about by the solutions to those risks. In addition, the reactions to risks are analyzed for any secondary risks the solutions may have created.
  16. Risk Identification: A process of identifying risks that can hinder the project's success.
  17. Qualitative Risk Analysis: A process of assessing and prioritizing known project risks.
  18. Quantitative Risk Analysis: The process of assessing risk severity in numerical terms, such as time, cost, or effort.
  19. Risk Response Planning: A process of determining how best to deal with high-severity known risks, preventable risks, and contingency plans for other risks.
  20. Plan Purchase and Acquisitions: A process of identifying what goods or services you're going to purchase from outside of the organization and which project needs can be met by the project team.
  21. Plan Contracting: Procurement documents are a primary output of the plan contracting process. These documents are prepared by the buyer to tell the seller its needs and to solicit proposals.

Executing Process Group

The Planning Process group includes seven major processes:

  1. Direct and Manage Project Execution: This process is used to identify problems and issues so that corrective action can be taken. As the product of the project is created, performance against project baselines must be monitored and reported.
  2. Perform Quality Assurance: This process enforces structured reviews to ensure the project will comply with the planned quality standards. This is usually done by Quality Audit. There are five quality audit techniques such as Deming, Crosby Absolutes of Quality, Juran Trilogy, Total Quality Management (TQM), Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) or Kaizan, and Taguchi. You will learn more these in more detail in the subsequent articles.
  3. Acquire Project Team: This process involves selecting the right people. The selection is usually done by the project manager.
  4. Develop Project Team: This outgoing process involves developing individual team members as well as interactions between them. The results are archived through team building methods and leadership techniques.
  5. Information Distribution: This process provides timely status information to the project team, stakeholders, managers, and others and achieves periodic, accurate reports and presentations, and a thorough, accessible archive for project data
  6. Request Seller Responses: This process obtains responses, such as bids and proposals, from prospective sellers on how project requirements can be met. The prospective sellers, normally at no direct cost to the project or buyer, expend most of the actual effort in this process.
  7. Select Sellers: This process receives bids or proposals and applies evaluation criteria, as applicable, to select one or more sellers who are both qualified and acceptable as a seller.

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