The basics around knowledge areas & process groups of project management

The beginning of a new project is always a source of anxiety and uncertainty for project managers. To run as smoothly as possible, they should have a high level of proficiency in project management knowledge areas and process groups. Project Management is in essence about delivering a product.

Learn the differences between PMBOK’s 10 knowledge areas, and their 5 process groups in this article, as well as how to put them into practice in the real world. – Project managers will be able to accomplish the following:

  • The phases of a project are organized into a logical structure with a series of incremental steps.
  • Connect the project phases to the approval processes used by the company at each stage of the process.
  • Each method should have its own set of required inputs, techniques & tools, and outputs, all of which should be distinct.
  • The requirements of the project determine the number of iterations and interactions between processes.
  • Organize the knowledge areas into distinct process groups for each phase of the project.

PLEASE NOTE: Project Process Groups and Project Phases are not the same things. In a subsequent article, we will discuss the various project phases.

5 Project Management Process Groups

Project management has five process groups: Initiating; Planning, Execution, Monitoring & Control, and Closing.

Initiating Process Group

The initiation phase of a project is when brainstorming, requirements gathering, and other related activities happen.

Planning Process Group

The planning phase of a project comprises three steps: defining the scope, design, and creation. There’s a lot that goes into planning for something big. You need to know what you’re doing, set goals, and then plan accordingly

Execution Process Group

The execution phase of a project is the most exciting. This is where you lay out all of your plans and then eventually see them come to life! So the execution of a project is crucial, so it’s essential to be organized and prepared. But don’t worry! The plan’s implementation will go smoothly if you have a good designer or developer working on the visuals and the user experience.

Monitoring and Controls Process Group

The monitoring and controls process group are where you track, measure progress, report, identify any changes, and implement required changes. It is the most important part of completing a project within budget, time, quality, and in line with the stakeholder’s expectations, i.e., successfully!


Closing Process Group

The closing phase of a project is the most important one since it’s where you verify whether or not what you did was done correctly. The closing phase of a project is where we tie up all the loose ends and make sure there are no errors. It’s one of the more exciting phases because it means that many people will use our project work that is delivered! The closing phase of a project includes checking everything off the list. It’s when you’re finally done with all your tasks, and you can go home for the day


10 Project Management Knowledge Areas

It is recognized and accepted by project managers worldwide that these areas of knowledge are critical to their success. Everything is because they were determined and described in detail by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s foremost professional organization, in their PMBOK Guide, which is widely regarded as one of the most influential documents in project management.

PMBOK is an abbreviation for Project Management Body of Knowledge, which is used in project management. In collaboration with the Project Management Institute, they have developed and written a standardized set of definitions, methodologies, and terminologies and rules, standards, and guidelines.

Each of the project management body of knowledge’s knowledge areas is concerned with a different aspect of a project and involves several project management processes. For each process presented in the project, they define the requirements, tools, techniques, and outcomes for each process presented, and then they put those processes into action.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the PMBOK knowledge areas one by one.

1. Project Integration Management

This area encompasses all project management activities, from the inception of the project to its completion. It facilitates the coordination of processes and tasks. As a result, a single, coherent project lifecycle is created. Project Integration Management is comprised of the following activities:

  • To get your project started and define the project stakeholders, you’ll need to create a project charter.
  • The Development of a project management plan outlines how to manage the project in order to achieve desired results.
  • Use Project Work Areas or Project Work Packages for expert focus on the project’s
  • Project Knowledge Management (KM) is concerned with the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge. It assists in completing a project on time and within budget.
  • KM is especially critical if your team collaborates with other international or cross-functional teams. As a result, team members gain knowledge and share it with their colleagues, thereby improving the overall quality of the project.
  • Monitoring and controlling project work entails keeping track of project performance, estimating achieved results, identifying potential project challenges, and making changes as needed.
  • A project must perform and measure Integrated Change Control
  • If your project necessitates the replacement of administrative components, such as a project sponsor or the revision of project documentation, it will necessitate the use of integrated change control tasks. In other words, Revision Control.
  • The term “Closure of the Project or Phase” refers to the tasks or objectives that are required to bring the project or its phases to a close.

The Development of a project charter serves as a springboard for your project and identifies the various stakeholders involved.

The Development of a project management plan outlines how the project will be managed in order to achieve the desired outcomes.

KM is important if your team collaborates with other international or cross-functional groups. Project team members gain knowledge as a result, and they are encouraged to share that knowledge with their colleagues, thereby elevating the overall quality of the project. In addition, it is critical to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.

In order to monitor and control project work, it is necessary to keep track of the project’s progress, estimate achieved results, identify potential project challenges, and make changes as needed.

The project team must implement Integration of Change Control (ICC). Approving and managing changes of the deliverables is a requirement for integrated change control tasks in your project.

For a project or its phases to be defined as completed, all tasks or objectives must be delivered as part of the closure process.

2. Project Scope Management

Project Scope Management is the second step. The scope management process defines the scope of work to be completed during the project. It is necessary because it establishes limits on the amount of work that can be completed in a single project. This prevents the addition of tasks that are not authorized or that are not necessary. Additionally, it assists in avoiding budget overruns. It is comprised of the following procedures:

  • The creation of a scope management plan is an important part of scope management planning. It’s usually included in the Project Management Plan requirements to define the deliverable features and the requirements of project stakeholders for the project management process.
  • Definition of Scope refers to the process of putting together a detailed description of the project’s scope. It aids in the discovery of hidden risks and other issues that may exist. The project scope should be built up gradually and refined with each iteration, with the final product becoming more precise.
  • Developing a work breakdown structure (WBS). Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is an abbreviation for Work Breakdown Structure. It consists in the graphical breakdown of your project into its constituent parts. All of these components represent the scope of work and are organized in a hierarchical manner.
  • Scope Validation is the process of project stakeholders approving and accepting the delivered project deliverables that have been released.
  • Controlling scope statements is a process of revising scope statements to ensure that the project work is completed within the parameters that have been established.

3. Project Schedule Management

Project Schedule Management is probably the most important step next to scope management. It is among the most sophisticated knowledge areas, and project schedule management is one of the most complex. It necessitates a significant amount of preparation. A project manager must first define project tasks and then create a schedule to indicate each task’s start and end dates and subtask. Furthermore, the project plan and timetable are subject to frequent revision. Learn the ins and outs of planning and scheduling for a project by taking this course. As a result, a project management schedule must be revised regularly and approved by all stakeholders. Project Schedule Management is comprised of the following activities:

  • Schedule Management Planning. This activity requires that you include in your schedule management plan the employee who will be responsible for its execution, as well as the degree to which it should be strictly enforced and the circumstances under which it can be relaxed.
  • Activities Definition is a method of breaking down a project into discrete tasks. Essentially, this activity corresponds to the creation of a work breakdown structure (WBS).
  • Activities sequencing is concerned with the order in which tasks are completed on a timeline. It would be best if you now allocated time for Finish-to-Start (FS), Finish-to-Finish (FF), Start-to-Start (SS), and Start-to-Finish (SF) operations.
  • Estimation of the Activity The term “duration” is used in conjunction with the previous point. At this point, you must determine the length of time that each task will take.
  • The Schedule Development stage generates a diagram that depicts a critical path through the process. This is the longest route between starting and finishing points, a graphical bar chart with activities that have early starting dates, and a resource usage chart with the amount of resources allocated to each of the activities. This implies that you are efficient in your resource allocation.
  • Schedule Control is the process of evaluating how well a project is progressing in relation to the schedule. At this point, you can determine whether the project will proceed as planned or whether it will be delayed.

4. Project Cost Management.

Project Cost Management is an important aspect of any project. Learn the ins and outs of estimating the budget for a project by taking this course. This knowledge area contains effective estimation techniques that can assist you in determining the amount of money you will need to spend on your project. Consequently, you ensure that project owners and stakeholders are satisfied with the amounts they must spend on product development throughout the project’s lifecycle.

  • There are several steps involved in project cost management, including cost management planning, which is the Development of a plan that determines the procedures and methodologies to be used in estimating the project budget. Cost management is a process that includes the planning, management, expenditure, and control of project costs.
  • The processes of cost estimation are included in the Costs Estimation category. You should include an estimate of the labour, materials, and equipment costs that will be required.
  • Budget Determination entails combining multiple budget estimates into a single project budget.
  • Costs Control is the process of examining how a project’s budget is spent and how the project is performing at a specific point in time.

5. Project Quality Management

Project Quality Management is an important aspect of any project. Project Quality Management is heavily reliant on the knowledge areas of Project Time and Project Cost management. The greater the amount of time and money available, the higher the quality. Because of this, the deliverable quality level should be defined during the project planning phase, and the project manager should include it in the project management plan as part of the overall Project Management plan. Project Quality Management is comprised of the following activities:

  • Quality Management Planning. This procedure entails the creation of a separate document that contains the specifications that define the quality of the deliverables to be produced.
  • The term “Quality Management” refers to the process of ensuring the quality of delivered products. It should be checked and approved on a regular basis.
  • Quality Control indicates that the level of quality follows the quality requirements.

6. Project Resource Management

Project Resource Management is the sixth step in the project lifecycle. Project Resource Management includes managing people, equipment, facilities, and other resources to ensure the successful completion of a project. Despite this, the equipment and budgeting are critical to the project’s overall success or failure. The project team is the most important factor that frequently determines the amount of time and money spent on a project and impacts the quality of the deliverables. As a result, it is particularly important to keep the team in mind when planning your project resources. Project Resource Management is comprised of the following activities:

  • Resource Management Planning is a process that involves creating a document that defines the resources that will be used for the project. Typically, this plan is devoted to the management of human resources. In addition, it establishes the roles and responsibilities of project team members and how they apply to the project.
  • Activity Resource Estimation ensures that you have all of the resources necessary to complete your project.
  • Resource Acquisition is the process of acquiring the resources that will be required for the project.
  • Team Development refers to the process of providing your team with the necessary training, if any is required. The process also entails team building in order to foster strong interaction among the group’s members.
  • Team management is the process of monitoring and assisting your team in the delivery of high-quality products on time.
  • Resource Control is concerned with the monitoring and evaluation of how resources are allocated. It also includes information on how your team interacts with one another throughout the project.

7. Project Communication Management

When developing your project plan, you should consider establishing a policy for how the project stakeholders will communicate during the project’s execution and in the event that the project’s scope is altered. As unforeseen issues arise, it is critical to develop communication rules that allow stakeholders to communicate with one another as quickly as possible. A project manager should carry out the following activities in order to ensure successful project communication:

  • Communication Management Strategy Development. The Definition of communication requirements is an important part of the Development of this plan. Included are topics such as how frequently and when to hold meetings, what type of communication methods to employ for daily interaction, and what communications procedures to follow in the event of an emergency.
  • Communication Management entails the Development and implementation of a communication management strategy and action plan.
  • Communication Monitoring is the process of observing and revising the manner in which the communication plan is carried out.

8. Project Risk Management

Project risks are frequently difficult to detect and cannot be identified at first glance. As a result, to ensure successful project execution and reduce the likelihood of unexpected issues, project managers should conduct a thorough risk assessment. In order to successfully estimate project risks, a project manager should complete the following tasks:

  • Preparation for Risk Management Planning consists in the Development of a risk management plan that outlines how to categorize and prioritize potential risks.
  • The term “risk identification” refers to the process by which a project manager should identify project risks. They keep track of them in order to monitor their occurrence and prevent it from happening again.
  • Quality Risk Analysis is the classification and categorization of risks based on their likelihood of occurrence and impact on the organization.
  • Calculating risks in numbers and understanding how they affect each project aspect, such as the budget, team, and timelines, are all part of the quantitative risk analysis process.
  • Essentially, Risk Response Planning is a method of determining how to respond in the event of a major risk occurring.
  • Risk Response Implementation is the process of carrying out the steps that were planned during the risk response planning process.
  • Risk monitoring is the process of overseeing the Development of a project and evaluating the likelihood of risks occurring. You can remove risks from the risk register if they become out of date or no longer have relevance.

9. Project Procurement Management (also known as procurement management)

Project Procurement Management (also known as supply chain management). Not every project necessitates hiring outside subcontractors to expedite the project’s Development or bring in specialized knowledge from outside sources. If, on the other hand, you believe it is necessary to bring on additional personnel for the project, you will require a clear set of instructions on how to go about it. It will reduce the likelihood of exceeding the budget or time limits set forth. This helps to keep your project within the parameters of your project plan.

A project manager should carry out the following activities in order to ensure effective project procurement:

  • Procurement Management Planning assists in the Definition of project requirements as well as the establishment of parameters for the hiring of additional specialists.
  • The process of searching for and hiring an employee or an outsourcing company is referred to as procurement conducting. This step also specifies the conditions under which you will outsource a portion of your work as well as the project requirements that the responsible party must meet.
  • Procurement Control entails the administration and monitoring of contracts and notifying the parties in the event of project changes.

10 Project Stakeholder Management

The management of stakeholders is an essential component of any project. They initiate the project, identify product requirements, model project processes, estimate project outcomes, and declare the project a success when the project is completed successfully. Each stakeholder has a unique set of responsibilities within a project. Because of this, project managers should clearly define their roles and responsibilities from the get-go.

It is critical to establish rules for stakeholders in order for them to interact effectively and contribute value to the successful Development of the project. As a result, the following activities should be carried out by the project manager:

  • Identifying project stakeholders is one of the first tasks that must be completed before a project can be launched. One of the first project documents is usually a stakeholders’ register, which outlines all of the stakeholders and their respective roles in the project.
  • Creating a list of stakeholders and estimating their impact on a project, and defining their roles and responsibilities is what Stakeholder Engagement Planning is all about.
  • It is necessary to identify and meet all stakeholders’ expectations to effectively manage stakeholder engagement. If they have enough tools to complete certain parts of the project, what project problems they might encounter in the future, and other such questions are all valid concerns.
  • Monitoring Stakeholder Engagement is concerned with determining whether or not the needs of the stakeholders have been met, as well as what they may require in the future.

The project management knowledge areas of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) organize 49 project processes into logical groups, making their selection for a project easier. As a project manager, you are not required to pick up all of the responsibilities. Instead, your decision on the number of processes to use is based on the unique characteristics of each project. They can be determined by a variety of factors, including the scope of the project, the budget, the timeline, the resources involved, and other considerations.

It is necessary to put in place the project processes you have chosen to include in your project after deciding which ones to include. It is possible to do so using PMBOK process groups. They organize the processes according to the timeline, making it easier to understand which process you should begin with, continue with, and finish with in order to complete your project.

5 Process Groups in the PMBOK

While knowledge management areas are implemented more theoretically and used to better define and understand Project Management processes, PMBOK process groups outline the practical approach to project organization that should be used in real-world situations. They represent the stages of Development that your project will go through as it progresses through the stages of Development.

The PMBOK process groups operate in the following ways:

  • The initiating stage is when a project manager drafts a document containing the project idea, main objectives, and stakeholders and defines the general processes and resources that will be used in developing a new product or service.
  • The planning stage entails detailing specific aspects of the project, establishing milestones and deadlines, investigating the needs of stakeholders in order to complete the project, and developing a strategy for dealing with any potential risks that may arise.
  • Execution refers to the process of bringing all of the planned activities to fruition and working on the deliverables.
  • The monitoring and controlling stage involves project stakeholders keeping track of and evaluating project outcomes and estimating project risks and adapting the project plan and its Development to meet the requirements and requirements of the stakeholders. This stage frequently overlaps with the stage of execution.
  • The closing stage. This stage is concerned with evaluating the final product and the retrospective analysis of project execution processes to improve future projects undertaken by the company.

Any given project will go through each of these stages. The project processes that take place within each stage, on the other hand, can differ. More information on the PMBOK process groups can be found here:

Knowledge Areas versus Process Groups in the PMBOK: What Is the Distinction Between the Two?

Project management knowledge areas and process groups, as you are aware, cover the theoretical aspects of project management, while project stages are the practical stages that every project must go through. Unlike process groups, which are horizontal and time-dependent, knowledge areas can occur at any point during the course of a project’s lifespan.

Here is a table that illustrates the relationship between PMBOK knowledge areas and process groups to make it easier to understand how it works:

Project Management Process Groups
Knowledge areas Initiating Process Group Planning Process Group Executing Process Group Monitoring and Controlling Process Group Closing Process Group
4. Project Integration Management 4.1 Develop Project Charter 4.2 Develop Project Management Plan 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work 4.5 Monitor and Control Project Work 4.7 Close Project or Phase
4.4 Manage Project Knowledge 4.6 Perform Integrated Change Control
5. Project Scope Management 5.1 Plan Scope Management 5.5 Validate Scope
5.2 Collect Requirements 5.6 Control Scope
5.3 Define Scope
5.4 Create WBS
6. Project Schedule Management 6.1 Plan Schedule Management 6.6 Control Schedule
6.2 Define Activities
6.3 Sequence Activities
6.4 Estimate Activity Durations
6.5 Develop Schedule
7. Project Cost Management 7.1 Plan Cost Management 7.4 Control Costs
7.2 Estimate Costs
7.3 Determine Budget
8. Project Quality Management 8.1 Plan Quality Management 8.2 Manage Quality 8.3 Control Quality
9. Project Resource Management 9.1 Plan Resource Management 9.3 Acquired Resources 9.6 Control Resources
9.2 Estimate Activity Resources 9.4 Develop Team
9.5 Manage Team
10. Project Communications Management 10.1 Plan Communications Management 10.2 Manage Communications 10.3 Monitor Communications
11. Project Risk Management 11.1 Plan Risk Management 11.6 Implement Risk Responses 11.7 MonitorRisks
11.2 Identify Risks
11.3 Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
11.4 Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
11.5 Plan Risk Responses
12. Project Procurement Management 12.1 Plan Procurement Management 12.2 Conduct Procurements 12.3 Control Procurements
13. Project Stakeholder Management 13.1 Identify Stakeholders 13.2 Plan Stakeholder Engagement 13.3 Manage Stakeholder Engagement 13.4 Monitor Stakeholder Engagement


PM Knowledge Areas: Concluding Remarks

Areas of expertise in project management are important domains of knowledge that every project manager should be familiar with and understand. Furthermore, these areas contribute to the methodologies and prioritization of Project Management processes, resulting in the successful completion of projects.

Project management areas, on the other hand, are concerned with a theoretical aspect of project management. Nevertheless, it is possible to trace them back to their practical implementation in five PMBOK process groups. Process groups depict the progression of a project along a timeline, as it moves through all of the project management stages. Thus, several project management processes are involved in each stage of the project management lifecycle, and the PMBOK knowledge areas define these processes.

We hope that by reading this article, you have gained a better understanding of the project management knowledge areas, allowing you to put what you have learned into practice in the field of project management. In all of your endeavors, we wish you the best of luck!