Project Management Processes

In the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, the basic project management processes are discussed. This approach to finding a way to look at the project management process uses the systems management approach to project management. By this we mean that project management is a process that takes inputs, processes them, and produces outputs. Within the project management process are other process groups: the initiating process group, the planning process group, the executing process group, the monitoring and control process group, and the closeout process group.

The initiating process group includes the processes that authorize the start of a new project or the next phase of a project. The rough estimates of the project success are estimated and a preliminary scope definition is made. These estimates are used to per form, at least, a preliminary project justification. The project is authorized by the project charter. Prior to the issuing of the project charter, the project does not officially exist.

The planning process group includes the processes that make it possible to plan the project. At this time the project is ''progressively elaborated'' (sometimes called ''rolling wave planning''), and the project scope is matured and more clearly defined. These processes are used to gather much additional information about the project from many sources both inside and outside of the project.

The executing process group includes the processes that are required to actually do and complete the work defined in the project plan. This work will result in the accomplishment of the project's objectives and the delivering of the deliverables to the stakeholders. During the execution process there will be more resources used than at any other time in the project. A great deal of effort must be spent coordinating these resources. It is therefore necessary to have a quality effort that will ensure that the project will meet the stakeholder expectations.

The monitoring and control process group includes the processes that are required to monitor and control the execution phase. The project is monitored for results and performance according to the project plan. Recommendations for corrective action are made and the results of the corrective actions are monitored. The change management system is part of this group and is essential to controlling ''scope creep'' and ''creeping elegance.''

The closing process group includes the processes that are required to formally terminate the project. With this group we put an end to the project. The deliverables are delivered and accepted by the stakeholders, accounts that were opened for the project are closed, and purchasing activities are reconciled.

Of course, each of the knowledge areas mentioned in the Guide to the PMBOK operates in each of these major processes. For example, the knowledge area of cost management is concerned with the initiation process, because we must have preliminary estimates for a project to be able to move forward into the planning phase or process. We must have cost information for the planning process, because we must know how much our project is going to cost when it is actually done. In the execution process we must collect actual cost data to allow us to control the project. In the closeout phase of the project we must have cost information to close out the accounts and make sure that all of the bills associated with the project are paid.

The process groups all take place over the life of the project. That is, if we look at a project from beginning to end each of the process groups will have taken place. It is important to note that all of the process groups will take place during each phase or subproject of the project. In other words, if a particular phase of a project produces deliverables, either internal or external, we must go through the initiation processes, the planning processes, the execution processes, the monitoring and control processes, and the closeout processes. It is also important to note that the process groups do not necessar ily occur in sequence. There can be considerable overlap from one process or process group to the next.

In each of the knowledge areas—integration management, scope management, time management, cost management, quality management, human resources management, communications management, risk management, and contracts and procurement management—it can be seen that they all may apply to each and every one of the processes. One could say that some knowledge from each of the knowledge areas is required in every one of the process groups.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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