Project Management Processes
The Project Management Processes make sure of an efficient and steady flow of the project throughout its entire life cycle. The defined processes include tools and techniques needed to apply the skills and abilities under the 10 knowledge areas (The process groups will be discussed further under the knowledge areas). There are 5 basic project management processes (Process Groups) defined by PMBOK (5th Edition)
- Initiating Process Group
- Planning Process Group
- Executing Process Group
- Monitoring and Controlling Process Group
- Closing Process Group
Initiating Process Group
This process group contains the processes stated to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project by receiving the authority to initiate the project. Under this process group, the initial scope of the project is defined. Initial internal and external stakeholders are identified. The project manager will be selected to handle the project. In order to handover the authority of the project to the selected project manager, the project charter will be prepared.
Planning Process Group
This process group consists of the processes required to find out the total scope of the effort to complete the project (Scope, Schedule, Cost) and develop the relevant actions necessary to achieve the project objectives. The planning process group will develop the project management plan that includes all the required documents to carry out the project. While the project is being carried out, this plan will be changed accordingly. This process is known as ‘Progressing Elaboration’ stating that the planning and documentations are iterative and ongoing tasks. Under the project management plan, all the 10 knowledge areas will be covered.
Executing Process Group
The executing process group includes the activities that need to be carried out to complete the work defined in the project management plan to achieve the project objectives. The most of the project budget and schedule will need to be spent under this process group. Apart from the main tasks, the change requests to baseline the project towards its objectives (corrective actions, preventive actions and defect repairs) will also require to be looked into.
Monitoring and Controlling Process Group
This process group is considered one of the most important process groups in Project Management. It includes the processes to track the progress and performance of the project. In addition, it also supports the project management team to identify any variances between the planned and actual and re-baseline the project plan to bring the project towards the expected level. The continuous monitoring of the project always helps to keep the project under a healthy status while producing a error-free final product.
Closing Process Group
This is the final process of a project which contains the activities to conclude and formally close the project, phase or the contractual obligations. This also includes establishing the premature closure of the project. (Cancelled / aborted projects, projects with critical conditions) At the time of closing the project, a formal acceptance from the customer is required. And the lessons learned throughout the project life-cycle need to be documented for future use. All the agreements need to be signed off and formally closed. Assess the team members’ performances and release the project resources accordingly.
Below figure explains how the process groups interact in a project / phase.