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Introduction to Project Management II - Project Management Knowledge Areas, Process Groups and Processes #KontenthISLTrainings


Introduction to Project Management II
Project Management Knowledge Areas, Process Groups and Processes

1. Project Management Processes

A process is a set of interrelated activities carried out to create a pre-specified product or service or result. It simply means what you need to do to manage the work. The project management process includes the management efforts of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing the project. The high-level bird eye view at the project management process include:

a. Initiating the project (Begin)
b. Planning the project (Plan)
c. Executing the project (Do, Work)
d. Monitoring and controlling the project (Check and act/correct)
e. Closing the project (End)

There are 49 processes identified by PMI which are essential to a project success. These processes are not to be followed in order but are important so you can use them to tailor your project to a successful completion. These 49 processes are further grouped into 5 and are referred to as the Process Groups. Details below.

2. Project Management Process Groups

There are five PM process groups. They are the Initiating Process Group, Planning Process Group, Executing Process Group, Monitoring and Controlling Process Group and Closing Process Group.
Initiating Process Group contains processes that formally signify the start of a new project or phase. It begins with the identifying and analyzing the expectations and visions of the stakeholders. The scope, cost and other constraints are discussed at high level. Here the project manager is assigned and the project is formally authorized.

Planning Process Group entails walking through the project and get it organized before actually executing the work. It presents an ample opportunity to save time, money and resources if we harness the power of adequate planning in project. Even stakeholders will buy into your project and commit to it. The project team analyses the project and decide how the project objectives will be achieved by adopting the necessary processes to complete the project.

Executing Process Group aims at completing the project according to the project management plan. The goal is to achieve the project deliverables with the planned budget and schedule and to meet any other objectives as defined for the project. This is the “Do” step. In this stage, the project manager serves a guide, proactively referring back to the project management plan.

Monitoring and controlling Process Group involves measuring or comparing the performance of the project against the project management plan and other approved change requests. The project manager spends most of his time in this stage/group as he must ensure that the work been done meets with the plan and within the baselines of the project.

You have completed the project scope. Is the project finished? No. there still remains work to be done. The closing of the project is where the project is finished. The Closing Process Group include activities and paperwork needed to complete the project, the technical handing over and the client/sponsor signing off on the project that it has been completed. Also, lesson learnt is gathered and stored for future reference in the closing phase of the project.

3. Project Management Knowledge Areas.

In addition to the process groups above, processes are also grouped into knowledge areas. A knowledge area is an area of project management defined by its knowledge requirements and processes, inputs, outputs, tools and techniques. They include

A. Project Integration Management
B. Project Scope Management
C. Project Schedule Management
D. Project Cost Management
E. Project Quality Management
F. Project Resource Management
G. Project Communications Management
H. Project Risk Management
I. Project Procurement Management
J. Project Stakeholders Management

These knowledge areas form the core of Project Management.

1. Project Stakeholders

Stakeholders are any people or organizations whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by the project or its product. They can include a lot of parties who may not have thought about before. Therefore, it is important that you as a project manager identify them and manage the expectations. Stakeholders include sponsor, customers and users, business partners, organizational groups, functional managers, government regulators, consultants, subject matter experts, financial institutions etc.

2. Enterprise Environmental Factors and Organizational Process Assets

Project takes place in an environment and various factors and procedure can affect the way it is managed. The organizational influences of EEF and OPA on projects affects the methods used for staffing, managing and executing projects.

Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEFs) are conditions, not under the control of the project team that influence or constrains the project. They can be internal or external in nature. Examples are work authorization systems, existing human resources, distribution of facilities and resources, government or industry regulations, political climate etc.

Organizational Process Assets (OPAs) are corporate knowledge bases and policies, processes and procedures that are used by the performing organization. These process assets include the organization’s knowledge bases such as lesson learned and historical information.

3. The Project Life Cycle

A project life cycle is the series of phases a project passes through from its initiation to its closure. It is like a methodology adopted by the performing organization for projects. A breakdown of what you need to do to produce the deliverables of the projects.

Project life cycles ranges from plan-driven to change-driven. Plan-driven has a predictive life cycle (they are sometimes called traditional life cycles) which moves from initiating stage to the closing stage. It is most common with construction projects. The change-driven or adaptive life cycle are very fluid and vary from one stage of the project to another.

4. Work Performance Data, Information and Reports.

Throughout the life of the project, a great deal of data and information will be generated, considered and communicated from observations and measurements to analyzed reports and contents. The PMBOK Guide uses three different terms to define their forms.

Work performance data are the initial measurements and details about activities gathered while executing the work.

During monitoring and controlling, the work performance data are analyzed to make sure they conform to the project management plan and assess what they mean for the project as a whole, the result is a work performance information.

Work performance information are now organized and included into work performance reports to be communicated or forwarded to the various stakeholders who need to receive them to act on the information these reports provide. Examples include status reports, memos, updates, information notes etc.

5. Project Management Office

The project management office (PMO) centralizes and standardizes the management of projects in the performing organization and they take any of the three forms below.

Directive PMOs has a high level of control over the projects by directly managing them. They provide the project managers and all the resources they need.

Controlling PMOs provide support and guidance on how to manage projects. They have a moderate level of control over projects.

Supportive PMOs provide a consultative role to projects when needed. They provide templates, training, access to information, historical data and lesson learned from other projects. The level of control here is low.

Thank you.

Olakunle Akinola
Course Facilitator



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