Project Management: Knowledge Areas & Process Groups

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Project Management: Knowledge Areas & Process Groups

Project management is structured by using both process groups and knowledge areas. Knowledge areas cover everything a project manager needs to know and are not directly associated with the work that is done beyond simply supplying the baseline knowledge to accomplish the work. Process groups, on the other hand, refer to what you need to do, and the steps you take on any project type and in any industry.

10 Knowledge Areas of Project Management

Project management knowledge areas include the core technical subject matter that is necessary to successfully manage projects. The 10 knowledge areas of project management are:

  1. Project integration management: This knowledge area is where you identify and define the work in the project. It includes the knowledge to develop a project charter, the document that sets up the project and assigns a manager.
  2. Project scope management: This is where you plan ways to keep the project within established boundaries. This knowledge area deals with defining scope, project requirements, project work, making the work breakdown structure and managing scope.
  3. Project time management: This is where you set start dates and deadlines and budgets for each task. It’s here where you choose the number of resources required to meet your objectives.
  4. Project cost management: There is where you establish the baseline budget and estimate costs, which requires an excellent estimating tool to ensure the funds cover the extent of the project. This knowledge area will determine the method to establish the budget and what procedures will be used to control costs.
  5. Project quality management: This is the knowledge area in which quality issues are monitored and fixed. There are three processes in this knowledge area and it’s here that the quality requirements for deliverables are planned and tracked.
  6. Project human resources management: It is in this knowledge area that you define the ways human resources will be utilized, developed, acquired and managed. A human resources management plan will identify the roles for the project and the requirement for the positions.
  7. Project communications management: In this knowledge area, you make the communication management plan, ensure it’s followed and control the flow of information within the project. You must review the effectiveness of the communication plan regularly and adjust as needed.
  8. Project risk management: This area is focused on identifying, analyzing and planning responses to threat risks and opportunity risks. Your risk management plan will identify how the risks will be categorized, prioritized and itemized. 
  9. Project procurement management: In project procurement management, you develop a plan for conducting, controlling and closing out outside procurements, such as subcontractors. Planning procurement management means identifying the needs of the project that require subcontractors.
  10. Project stakeholder management: This area encompasses the processes you use to recognize and satisfy the key stakeholders who are affected by the project. Stakeholder management requires you to list stakeholders and prioritize their concerns.

    5 Process Groups of Project Management

    Project management process groups are the five main phases, or steps, necessary to complete any given project and they can be repeated multiple times throughout a project lifecycle. The 5 process groups of project management are:

    1. Initiating: This is the group that triggers the planning process group. In this group, the required documents are prepared and steps are taken to initiate the project.
    2. Planning: This group triggers the execution process group. It’s in this group that the project is planned so the execution phase can begin.
    3. Executing: It’s in this group that most of the project work is delivered.
    4. Monitoring and controlling: In this group, the team checks on whether everything is going as planned and on schedule. This group interacts with all four process groups.
    5. Closing: This group closes the project when objectives are met.

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