Sif E. Elharti's Blog

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Project Management: Part 5 – Basic concepts – Mapping Project Management Process Groups and Knowledge Areas

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Manage a project is a hard to summarize task. By the PMBOK standard, it’s about managing the following NINE areas, but not restricted to: Integration, Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Human Resources, Communication, Risk and Procurement. 

Each area has a defined set of processes. The set of all the processes for all the areas can be partitioned in FIVE process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Managing and Controlling and Closing. 

PMBOK definition: “A process is 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.”  

Thus, project management consist of selecting the processes that apply for the underlying project and execute these processes in order to achieve the target of the project. 

Many factors can influence the subset of selected processes and the way they are applied. But the main elements to consider are: The organization process asset and the enterprise environment factors. Those two must be watched all over the project life. 


You may wonder where all these are coming from. Recall, from our previous posts, that a lot of projects have is undertaken, and a large common experience was developed during ages. And this is the common experience as seen and addressed by the PMI. 

We’ll see each the process groups, the knowledge areas, and the processes listed progressively (fig. above). 

But keep in mind the here following points: 

  • Even if we are talking about processes here, the job is actually done by people. So the focus on process will help define a path to follow but will never replace the special care to be given to people to make that path leading to the projected target of the project.
  • On the other hand, each project is unique, and one must not be flowed thinking that if he applies religiously all the processes, the result is guaranteed. It takes some “Agility” to take the “right” decisions, or may I say the “best”, at the right time depending on the information available and the special context of the project.
  • And the last one: if you are new to the domain do not try to be so much innovator. Try first to understand, apply and experiment and find your way smoothly. But most of all, learn from others and share your experience.

See you later.

Sif E. Elharti,


Written by selharti

March 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm

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