Project Management Process Groups - Explained!

Project Management Process Groups - Explained!

Project Management 5 Basic Process Groups

There are two main categories in the realm of project management, which are to be skillfully mastered to succeed: Knowledge Areas and Process Groups. These two categories are considered as the backbone of the PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge). For one to successfully develop into a Project Management Professional, he or she must become proficient in both Knowledge area and process groups. The Process Groups are the methods through which one executes the processes required to do the project management. Learning and implementing process groups are two different things because every project is unique in its own way, and the process groups are shaped and molded accordingly to fit the project.

Why Process Groups? 

Even before we get into the discussion of knowing why these five process groups are essential for project managers, let's see as to how these groups came about. Project Management International has spent numerous hours and resources conducting researches to know what contributed towards effective project management. Upon completing the examination, PMI has organized the best practices with proper evidence from experts across the globe. One has to be accustomed to the process groups of Project Management Processes so as to that their skills are aligned with the already existing proven tactics. Once the individuals have understood the process groups, they can lead projects most efficiently and successfully possible.

  1. Initiating Process Group

    The crucial step involved in project management is casting a vision for what is to be accomplished in the duration of the project and when that is to be achieved. Without proper planning being laid, and without a foundation being set, constructing anything is close to impossible. The initiation process creates a firm foundation on which the other four Process Groups are built. The initiation group includes all the processes that are used to initiate a project.

    Initiation is a process that sets the direction of the project. Hence, skipping or avoiding this particular stage could be fatal. The minute details are to be looked into carefully, and the slightest of deviations can result in the complete failure of the project and its objectives. Until and unless one has a clear view of what the objectives of the project are and what approaches are to be taken, the professional should not get into the second phase - Planning!

    The initiation stage includes procedures like organizing teams, acquiring approvals, and laying down the initial work orders in place. It is the project manager’s responsibility at this stage to identify risks, keep track of the resources needed, dependencies required, and project objectives, timelines, scope and deliverables of the undertaken project.

  2. Planning Process Group

    The second phase of the Process Groups is planning. Some project managers are of the opinion that the scope is accomplished to its fullest in the initiation stage, but on the contrary, in the planning stage, the scope is further elaborated and developed at a much more detailed level through a process called as progressive elaboration.

    It’s a common fact that failing to plan is planning to fail. Usually, organizations commence a project with only minimal planning assuming that everything will gradually fall into place as the project progresses. But later do they realize that, without any real or sufficient planning, disaster strikes in the project.

    A project manager has to spend some quality time in mapping out all the details of the project, and these details are later on merged into a master document or project management plan. This project management plan helps all the team members, stakeholders, and leaders to refer the document throughout the project and can be submitted for final authorization and approval before officially beginning work on the project.

    • Defining and detailing the project scope

    • Selecting project teams and leaders

    • Setting proper plans for maximum productivity

    • Developing project schedule

    • Providing infrastructure to achieve objectives

    • Establishing effective communication among project team and stakeholders

    • Focusing on project timeline and budget allocation

  3. Executing Process Group

    The immediate step after the planning phase is the phase of execution. Execution is the phase where the project teams carry out their respective individual tasks which were assigned to them during the planning stage. Every team member works in tandem to achieve the set deliverables, and the project manager keeps track of the resources and budgets restraints. As the execution phase is the place where most of the budget is spent, stakeholders of the project get involved during this stage to make desired changes or requests.

    The project manager during the executive process group manages teams effectively while orchestrating timeline expectations and reaching benchmark goals. The project manager has to establish proper communication with his team at all levels so as to that; he can address the team concerns or other complex situations related to getting the project completed with the fixed time frame and budget.

    The project execution phase has no time limit; it depends on the project. It could take days, months, or years for the completion of a project. But just the execution phase is not enough to ensure that the project is on track and gets completed, rather it also requires further detailed attention. By detailed attention we mean, Monitoring and Controlling Process which we are going to discuss in the further topics.

  4. Monitoring and Controlling Process Group

    The fourth in the list of project management process groups is 'Monitoring and controlling.' This particular stage inspects all the tasks and their performance to ensure that the approved and authorized project is within the scope of the project management plan. The project at all times must be within the allocated budget limit and must be completed within the fixed time frame. Monitoring and Controlling is the stage where the project's actual performance is compared with the planned performance so that effective measures can be taken to alter any significant differences.

    Monitoring and the Controlling process are continuously performed throughout the project life-cycle. The core skills and competencies involved in this process are addressing the on-going budget considerations and reducing unforeseen situations which could hamper the team's ability to meet with the project deliverables that are set within the project management plan. Project managers keep the momentum going forward and protect the project from being interrupted by actively monitoring progress and using foresight and quick response to address project challenges.

  5. Closing Process Group

    As every other project management process group has its objective, even the closing phase has its particular objectives. The Closing Process Group consists of processes performed to conclude all the activities related to the entire project to ensure that the project is formally are completed. During the project’s last phase, i.e., project closure, everything should be detailed in order to measure to see if the project was executed as planned and if the outcome is in align with the customer needs.

    At last, the project manager should properly close the project by archiving records, conducting a lessons learned session, finalizing payments, completing contract closure procedures, releasing the existing resources, and handing off the completed product. The project manager has to ensure that lesson learned mainly, and the historical information about the project are centrally archived and stored, so that they can be used as inputs for future projects, instead of going through the entire processes again.

It’s vital that professional project managers are familiar with the practice and execution of those mentioned above five main process groups. The only way to make oneself most worthy or valuable to a company is to know who one can effectively initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and close a project. As the project manager undertakes and leads more projects, he/she gains enough experience which is necessary to understand as to what works best for the progress and growth of the company. Every project manager is committed to upholding their standards, and the best way to do that is to follow the protocol contained within the PMBOK Guide which leads vital information for driving effective projects in any industry. Project Managers should develop advanced project management skills through the expertise of PMBOK process groups which will help them leverage their competitive edge.

 

Know more about project management best practices through Invensis Learning’s Project Management certification training on PMP, CAPM, PRINCE2, Project Management Fundamentals, P3O, and MSP. We are a trusted training partner for Fortune 500 companies and Government institutions globally. For on-site group training, please e-mail us at corporate@invensislearning.com.

Subscribe to receive awesome resources, offers, and updates straight to your inbox

Success! Thank You for Your Subscription.