Project Management Processes
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements. Project management is accomplished through processes, using project management knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques that receive inputs and generate outputs.
In order for a project to be successful, the project team must:
- Select appropriate processes within the Project Management Process Groups (also known as Process Groups) that are required to meet the project objectives
- Use a defined approach to adapt the product specifications and plans to meet project and product requirements
- Comply with requirements to meet stakeholder needs, wants and expectations
- Balance the competing demands of scope, time, cost, quality, resources, and risk to produce a quality product.
The PMBOK documents information needed to initiate, plan, execute, monitor and control, and close a single project, and identifies those project management processes that have been recognized as good practice on most projects most of the time. These processes apply globally and across industry groups. Good practice means there is general agreement that the application of those project management processes has been shown to enhance the chances of success over a wide range of projects.
A process is a set of interrelated actions and activities that are performed to achieve a pre-specified set of products, results, or services. The project processes are performed by the project team, and generally fall into one of two major categories:
- The project management processes common to most projects most of the time are associated with each other by their performance for an integrated purpose. The purpose is to initiate, plan, execute, monitor and control, and close a project. These processes interact with each other in complex ways that cannot be completely explained in a document or with graphics The processes may also interact in relation to project scope, cost, schedule, etc., which are called Knowledge Areas
- Product-oriented processes specify and create the project’s product. Product oriented processes are typically defined by the project life cycle and vary by application area. Project management processes and product-oriented processes overlap and interact throughout the project. For example, the scope of the project cannot be defined in the absence of some basic understanding of how to create the specified product.
Project management is an integrative undertaking. Project management integration requires each project and product process to be appropriately aligned and connected with the other processes to facilitate their coordination. These process interactions often require tradeoffs among project requirements and objectives. A large and complex project may have some processes that will have to be iterated several times to define and meet stakeholder requirements and reach agreement on the processes outcome.
Failure to take action during one process will usually affect that process and other related processes. For example, a scope change will almost always affect project cost, but the scope change may or may not affect team morale or product quality. The specific performance tradeoffs will vary from project to project and organization to organization. Successful project management includes actively managing these interactions to successfully meet sponsor, customer and other stakeholder requirements.
The PMBOK describes the nature of project management processes in terms of the integration between the processes, the interactions within them, and the purposes they serve. These processes are aggregated into five groups, defined as the Project Management Process Groups:
- Initiating Process Group
- Planning Process Group
- Executing Process Group
- Monitoring and Controlling Process Group
- Closing Process Group.