Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Notes – Project Management Processes for a Project (Chapter 3)

Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide 4th Edition
Chapter 3 – Project Management Processes for a Project

Core Definitions

  • Process – A set of interrelated actions and activities performed to achieve a pre-specified product, result, or service. Each process is characterized by its inputs, the tools and techniques that can be applied, and the resulting outputs.
  • Project Management Processes – Ensure the effective flow of the project throughout its existence and encompass the tools and techniques involved in applying the skills and capabilities described in the Knowledge Areas.
  • Product-Oriented Processes – Specify and create the project’s product and are typically defined by the project life cycle and vary by application area.
  • Tailoring – Carefully addressing each process and its constituent inputs and outputs while managing a project.
  • Project Management Process Groups (or just “Process Groups”)
    • Initiating – Those processes performed to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project by obtaining authorization to start the project or phase.
    • Planning – Those processes required to establish the scope of the project, refine the objectives, and define the course of action required to attain the objectives that the project was undertaken to achieve.
    • Executing – Those processes performed to complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy the project specifications.
    • Monitoring and Controlling – Those processes required to track, review, and regulate the progress and performance of the project; identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required; and initiate the corresponding changes.
    • Closing – Those processes performed to finalize all activities across all Process Groups to formally close the project or phase.
  • “Rolling Wave” Planning – Progressive detailing of the project management plan through iterative, ongoing planning and documentation efforts, usually needed due to significant changes occurring throughout the project life cycle.

Figure 1. Project Management Process Groups & Interaction Flow

General Notes

  • (3.0) In order for a project to be successful, the Project Team must: select appropriate processes required to meet the project objectives; use a defined approach that can be adopted to meet requirements; comply with requirements to meet stakeholder needs and expectations; and balance the competing demands of scope, time, cost, quality, resources, and risk to produce the specified product, service, or result.
  • (3.2) Process Groups are not project phases. As projects are separated into distinct phases or subprojects such as feasibility study, concept development, design, prototype, build, test, etc., all of the Process Groups would normally be repeated for each phase or subproject.
  • (3.3) Involving the customers and other stakeholders during initiation generally improves the probability of shared ownership, deliverable acceptance, and customer and other stakeholder satisfaction.
  • (3.3-3.7) Project Management Processes, by Process Group:
    • (3.3) Initiating Process Group
      • Develop Project Charter
      • Identify Stakeholders
    • (3.4) Planning Process Group
      • Develop Project Management Plan
      • Collect Requirements
      • Define Scope
      • Create Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
      • Define Activities
      • Sequence Activities
      • Estimate Activity Resources
      • Estimate Activity Durations
      • Develop Schedule
      • Estimate Costs
      • Determine Budget
      • Plan Quality
      • Develop Human Resource Plan
      • Plan Communications
      • Plan Risk Management
      • Identify Risks
      • Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
      • Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
      • Plan Risk Responses
      • Plan Procurements
    • (3.5) Executing Process Group
      • Direct & Manage Project Execution
      • Perform Quality Assurance
      • Acquire Project Team
      • Develop Project Team
      • Manage Project Team
      • Distribute Information
      • Manage Stakeholder Expectations
      • Conduct Procurements
    • (3.6) Monitoring & Controlling Process Group
      • Monitor & Control Project Work
      • Perform Integrated Change Control
      • Verify Scope
      • Control Scope
      • Control Schedule
      • Control Costs
      • Perform Quality Control
      • Report Performance
      • Monitor & Control Risks
      • Administer Procurements
    • (3.7) Closing Process Group
      • Close Project or Phase
      • Close Procurements

Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Notes – Project Life Cycle and Organization (Chapter 2)

Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide 4th Edition
Chapter 2 – Project Life Cycle and Organization

Core Definitions

  • Project Life Cycle: A collection of generally sequential and sometimes overlapping project phases whose name and number are determined by the management and control needs of the organization or organizations involved in the project, the nature of the project itself, and its area of application. The project life cycle provides the basic framework for managing a project, regardless of the specific work involved.
  • Project Phases: Divisions within a project where extra control is needed to effectively manage the completion of a major deliverable. Project phases are typically completed sequentially, but can overlap in some situations.
  • Stakeholders: Persons or organizations (e.g. customers, sponsors, the performing organization, the public) who are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by the performance or completion of the project. Stakeholders also may exert influence over the project, its deliverables, and the project team members.
  • Organizational Process Assets: These include any or all process related assets, from any or all of the organizations involved in the project that can be used to influence the project’s success. Organizational process assets can be categorized as either processes and procedures (e.g. SOPs, guidelines, templates) or corporate knowledge base (e.g. measurement databases, project files, lessons learned, configuration management databases, issue management databases, financial databases).


General Notes

  • (2.0) It is important to remember that projects and project management take place in an environment that is broader than that of the project itself.
  • (2.1) Every project has a definite start and a definite end.
  • (2.1.1) Generic life cycle structure: starting the project, organizing and preparing, carrying out the project work, closing the project.
  • (2.1.1) Stakeholder influence, risk, uncertainty, and ability to influence the final characteristics of any/all outputs are high while cost and staffing levels are low at the beginning of the project life cycle.
  • (2.1.2) Project life cycles occur in one or more phases of a product life cycle, and the two can be very much intertwined.
  • (2.1.3.2) The three basic types of phase-to-phase relationships are: sequential, overlapping, and iterative.
  • (2.2) Operations work supports the business environment where projects are executed. As a result, there is generally a significant amount of interaction between operations departments and a project team as they work together to achieve project goals.
  • (2.3) Common stakeholders include: customers/users, sponsors, portfolio managers, program managers, the project management office (PMO), project managers, project team, functional managers, operations management, and business partners.