The 10 PMBOK® Knowledge Areas - A Brief Introduction
Project Management Process Groups and Knowledge Areas are the core technical subject matters of the project management profession, and these processes along with their individual inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs bring the project to life. There are ten project management knowledge areas covered by the PMBOK® 6th edition Guide.
The PMBOK® 6th Edition embraces 49 processes which are expanded from the earlier 47 processes. There are two knowledge areas which are renamed - Project Schedule Management which was earlier termed as Project Time Management and Project Resource Management which was previously called Project Human Resource Management. The earlier process called 'Close Procurements' has been deleted, and 3 new processes have been added into the PMBOK® 6th edition namely ‘Manage Project Knowledge’, ‘Implement Risk Responses’, and ‘Control Resources.’
10 PMBOK® Knowledge Areas Guide
Project Integration Management
It is the knowledge area which contains the tasks that withhold the overall project together and integrates the project into a unified whole. This particular knowledge area touches the five phases of the project - Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. Starting from scheduling tasks, purchasing tasks, replacing team members, addressing risks, and re-scheduling tasks everything is covered under this particular phase.
The Project Integration Management has seven processes included in it which are:
- Develop Project Charter
- Develop Project Management Plan
- Direct and Manage Project Work
- Manage Project Knowledge
- Monitor and Control Project Work
- Perform Integrated Change Control
- Close Project or Phase
Project Scope Management
Project Scope Management involves the project scope, that is, the work that is included in the project. The process is all about making sure that everyone concerned with the project is clear about what the project is aimed at and what it includes. Scope changes and alters mostly the project itself, so it is essential that the project boundaries are well defined from the beginning and are carefully monitored. Changes can occur at any point of time, but even the simplest of change can have a lasting result in the outcome of the project.
The Project Scope Management includes six processes:
- Plan Scope Management
- Collect Requirements
- Define Scope
- Create WBS
- Validate Scope
- Control Scope
Project Schedule Management
Project Schedule Management is a process which refers to how the project manager manages his schedule for a particular project. It includes the time that is catered to complete each individual tasks pertaining to the project’s objectives with the desired skills, tools, and techniques. In order to become a successful project manager one has to clearly understand the activities of the project and should possess the necessary skills to plan, schedule, and control a project within its timeline. Apart from these skills, one must also be able to utilize schedule management tools to help them analyze, measure, and assess their time management techniques.
There are six important processes in project schedule management, and they are:
- Plan Schedule Management
- Define Activities
- Sequence Activities
- Estimate Activity Duration
- Develop Schedule
- Control Schedule
Project Cost Management
Project Cost Management is the process that is concerned with planning and controlling the budget of the project. This process includes activities such as planning, budgeting, estimating, financing, funding, managing, and monitoring costs to make sure that the project is finished within the scheduled budget. It's all about handling the project's financial requirement. This phase covers and tracks the project's total expenditure against the actual budget to make sure that the project is moving on track and within the fixed budget.
The Project Cost Management Process are:
- Plan Cost Management
- Estimate Costs
- Determine Budget
- Control Costs
Project Quality Management
Project Quality Management is the main criteria when it comes to determining the value of a project. The project at all times is required to meet the standards which were originally defined for it. The bottom-line is that the quality of the project has to meet the needs of the stakeholders.
This Project Quality Management knowledge Area covers three processes:
- Plan quality management
- Manage Quality
- Control Quality
Project Resource Management
In this method, it’s all about how the project manager runs the project team. Firstly, he has to understand as to what resources (people, equipment, facilities, funding) are required to complete the project at hand and then organize a team to execute the work involved. This method mainly concentrates on how the project is carried out utilizing the desired resources to complete a project activity.
The processes included in this knowledge area are:
- Plan Resource Management
- Estimate Activity Resources
- Acquire Resources
- Develop Team
- Manage Team
- Control Resources
Project Communications Management
As the name suggests it is mostly about communication. 80% of the project manager's job is to do with communication. Project communication is what keeps all the team members on the same page, if there exists a gap in the communication level, the project can have a negative impact on the final product of the project. Communication has to take place between the project manager, his team members, and the stakeholders involved in the project.
This knowledge area also includes three processes:
- Plan Communications Management
- Manage Communications
- Monitor Communications
There should be planning to determine what information needs to be communicated to all stakeholders involved in the project. This particular information must be readily available to the stakeholders and generated in a timely fashion. The performance of the project must be accounted for by reporting the status of the project, measuring and forecasting the project. Effective communication must be carried out through the stakeholders so that all the requirements are met, and the existing issues are promptly resolved.
Project Risk Management
Initially in the Project Risk Management process the project manager should conduct risk management work, and then identify and analyze risks, later he/she should develop risk response plan, which will control risks on an ongoing basis. These methods are introduced one-by-one to understand and assess the risks related to the project. It all depends on how one performs quantitative and qualitative risk assessments.
There are seven project management processes involved in the Risk Management Knowledge Area:
- Plan Risk Management
- Identify Risks
- Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
- Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
- Plan Risk Responses
- Implement Risk Responses
- Monitor Risks
Project Procurement Management
Procurement management process isn't something that the project manager has to do on all projects, but it is quite common. This knowledge area relates to the process of purchasing or acquiring products, services, or results from outside the project team. This project knowledge area keeps track of all the project procurement and supplier work starting from planning on what needs to be bought, to get involved in the surrendering and acquiring process to executing the task of the supplier and closing the contract when the project is finished.
Project Procurement Management processes include the following:
- Plan Procurement Management
- Conduct Procurements
- Control Procurements
Project Stakeholder Management
This is the last knowledge area in the PMBOK 6th edition. Stakeholders play an important role in determining the success and failure of a project. Getting stakeholders involved in the project right from the beginning is crucial because they are the ones who decide on what changes are to be made to meet their requirements. If the project manager fails to involve them at the initial stage, the changes set forth by the stakeholders at a later stage will hamper the quality and value of the project.
The four process involved in Project Stakeholder Management:
- Identifying Stakeholders
- Plan Stakeholder Engagement
- Manage Stakeholder Engagement
- Monitor Stakeholder Engagement
These project management knowledge areas cover a lot of ground. These have one or more processes belonging to the five project management process groups. When the project manager is well aware of all the project management knowledge areas, they can execute a project more efficiently and productively. The skills acquired by understanding these knowledge areas will assist the project manager to avoid crisis, and scope deviation and enable the project manager to make proactive decisions. So, once the project manager thoroughly understands the concepts of knowledge areas, they become proficient at managing any given projects and the people involved in them.
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