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PMBOK® Guide Processes
The PMBOK® Guide has organized project management into 49 processes. These processes are allocated across the project management process groups of Initiating, Planning, Executing, Closing, and Monitoring and Controlling; and across the ten knowledge areas are Integration, Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Resources, Communication, Risk, Procurement, and Stakeholders.
When to use
The processes of the PMBOK® Guide should be used on every project. Different processes apply at different stages in a project lifecycle. Also, based upon the unique characteristics of a project some processes may not be required. (For example if there are no suppliers being used on an in-house project, the Procurement processes are not required.) The specific timing for each process will be addressed when that process is discussed.
Knowing all of the processes found in the PMBOK® Guide will prepare an individual to manage a project. These processes are project management processes, which mean that they are universally applicable across industries and project type.
Not included in the PMBOK® Guide are product management processes which are unique to the type of product or the industry. For instance there are no processes for managing software quality assurance, processes for managing construction permits, or processes for managing the preparation of an automotive PPAP. The product development processes are important for a project manager to know and manage, but those are related to the unique product, industry, or project type and therefore are not covered in the PMBOK® Guide, which is meant to be a universal standard.
Each process is described using the format of: inputs, tools & techniques, outputs. The inputs and outputs are often the linkages between the processes as an output from one process becomes an input to another process. The tools and techniques are the best practices that have been identified for accomplishing the process. Your organization may have its own unique practice for accomplishing the process. Those listed are the universally accepted practices.
The 49 processes are allocated across the five process groups which address a type of project management activity. These are:
- Initiating – start the project or phase.
- Planning – define the course of action.
- Executing – complete the work.
- Monitoring & Controlling – regulate progress.
- Closing – close the project or phase.
The relationship between the process groups is shown in this figure.
Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2017, Figure X3-3, Page 668.
The processes have also been allocated across ten knowledge areas. Each of these knowledge areas has a dedicated chapter in the PMBOK® Guide. Each knowledge area represents a category of project management activity. For convenience and as a memory aid, I have color-coded the knowledge areas. This coding is unique to this course, but I have found it helpful when trying to remember which processes are related.
- Project Integration Management
- Project Scope Management
- Project Time Management
- Project Cost Management
- Project Quality Management
- Project Resource Management
- Project Communication Management
- Project Risk Management
- Project Procurement Management
- Project Stakeholder Management
The processes are shown in the table below, allocated by process group and knowledge area.
Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2017, Table 1-4, Page 25.
PMBOK is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
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PMI, PMP and PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.