Project Management has always been practiced informally, but began to emerge as a distinct profession in the mid-20th century. PMI published a manual entitled "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)" to identify the recurring elements for project management process. The complete Project Management Body of Knowledge includes proven traditional practices that are widely applied, as well as innovative emerging practices for the profession with widespread consensus as to their value and usefulness.
In project management, a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.
A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes people who don't usually work together - sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies.
The development of software for an improved business process, the construction of a building or bridge, the relief effort after a natural disaster, the expansion of sales into a new geographic market - all are projects. And all must be expertly managed to deliver the on-time, on-budget results, learning and integration that organizations need.
Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria. It is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
A project is a unique and transient endeavor undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits. A project is usually deemed to be a success if it achieves the objectives according to their acceptance criteria, within an agreed timescale and budget.
A key factor that distinguishes project management from just 'management' is that it has this final deliverable and a finite timespan, unlike management which is an ongoing process. Because of this a project professional needs a wide range of skills; often technical skills, and certainly people management skills and good business awareness.
PMBOK has been used as the standard by which PMP Certification is obtained. PMP Certification is based upon a survey of many companies' best practices. The advantages of using PMP Certified Project Managers and Team members is that resources have already been trained. PMBOK is valuable for both companies and employees. PMBOK is valuable for many reasons. Here are three:
Finally, project managers who are familiar with PMBOK standards can custom tailor their project management process to best fit their company's needs. There's an old saying, "To break the rules, first you have to know the rules." When project managers invest time into learning the rules, they also are investing time in learning how and where rules can be broken.
Project management as a practice is rapidly growing and spreading worldwide, and is now seen globally as a recognized and strategic competency, a career path and a subject for training and education. The PMBOK framework consists of five process groups, ten knowledge areas and 47 project management (PM) processes. The knowledge areas group the PM processes by project management content.
The initiating process group involves the processes, activities, and skills needed to effectively define the beginning of a project. Setting all permits, authorizations, and initial work orders in place to secure an effective and logical progression of initial project activities sets the stage for subsequent success throughout all project phases. Setting clear phases for work to be completed, initializing teams, and having the budget in place before work begins are vital for a strong start to any project across industry.
Typically activities to be performed in the initiating group:
We also need to mindful of the following points:
The Planning Process Group sets forth the processes needed to define the scope of the project, set strategic plans in place to maximize workflow, and begin to assemble priority lists and plan team needs. This process group also addresses a more narrow clarification of all project goals and expectations and puts in place the project infrastructure necessary to achieve those goals according to the timeline and budgetary constraints.
Typically activities to be performed in the planning group:
The executing process group involves managing teams effectively while orchestrating timeline expectations and reaching benchmark goals. Project managers utilizing this set of skills will demonstrate a high degree of organization and communication skills while addressing team concerns or other complex situations associated with getting the work done on time and within budget.
Here is the typically activities to be performed in this group:
In the Executing phase, most of the budget will be spent and the deliverables of the project will be produced. And it is likely here where we will begin to see stakeholder change requests. While the project team can implement approved changes, only the change control board can approve or reject these changes.
Processing change orders, addressing on-going budget considerations, and mitigating unforeseen circumstances that may affect a team's ability to meet initial project expectations are all part of the core skills and competencies involved in the Monitoring Process Group. Seasoned managers keep the momentum moving forward and guard the project against stalling by actively monitoring progress and using foresight and quick response to address project challenges. While the other process groups occur sequentially, Monitoring and Controlling hover over the whole project and so, happen throughout the project and are not linear. What does it encompass? According to PMBOK GUIDE, these are "processes required to track, review and regulate the progress and performance of the project.
Typically activities to be performed in the monitoring and controlling group:
The biggest challenge of this process group is to bring the project to a successful close which means completing it on time and within the budget allotted. The bottom line is that while these process groups are not necessarily easy to implement, not doing so means the team may never realize the full benefits of their highly strategic projects.
Typically activities to be performed in the monitoring and closing group:
Integration - This is covered first in the PMBOK Guide, but it's about bringing together everything you know so that you are managing your project holistically and not in individual process chunks.
Scope - It is the way to define what your project will deliver. Scope management is all about making sure that everyone is clear about what the project is for and what it includes. It covers collecting requirements and preparing the work breakdown structure.
Time - It relates to how you manage the time people are spending on their project tasks, and how long the project takes overall. This knowledge area helps you understand the activities in the project, the sequence of those activities, and how long they are going to take.
Cost - It is all about handling the project's finances. The big activity in this knowledge area is preparing your budget which includes working out how much each task is going to cost and then determining your project's overall budget forecast.
Quality - This area is where you'll learn about and set up the quality control and quality management activities on your project so that you can be confident the result will meet your customers' expectations.
Procurement - It supports all your procurement and supplier work from planning what you need to buy, to going through the tendering and purchasing process to managing the work of the supplier and closing the contract when the project is finished.
Human resources - First, you have to understand what resources you need to be able to complete your project, then you put your team together. After that, it's all about managing the people on the team including giving them extra skills to do their jobs, if they need it
Communications - Given that a project manager's job is often said to be about 80% communication, in there, the PM writes communications plan for the project and monitor all the incoming and outgoing communications.
Risk management - It involves identifying risks and understanding how to assess risks on your project, that includes how you perform quantitative and qualitative risk assessments. Risk management isn't a one-off activity, it covers controlling your project risks going forward through the project life cycle.
Stakeholder management - It is one of the most important group which takes you through the journey of identifying stakeholders, understanding their role and needs in the project and ensuring that you can deliver those. I think we'll see this area develop further in the next edition of the standard.
If you can grasp all these knowledge areas, you'll have everything you need to know as a project manager covered!
Standardization of processes remains at the heart of all effective business models and plans. In project management, the PMBOK provides a way or transforming isolated processes into a complete, standardized, and collaborative effort. 47 process are classified under 5 different process groups, that associated with the corresponding knowledge areas in the following table:
|Initiation||Planning||Execution||Monitoring and Controlling||Closing|
|Project Charter||Project Management Plan||Cost Management Plan||Project Status Report||Change Request||Lessons Learned|
|Stakeholder Register||Requirements Management Plan||Activity Cost Estimate||Deliverables Status||Change Log|
|Scope Management Plan||Cost Baseline||Change Request||Earned Value Status Report|
|Requirements Documentation||Project Funding Requirements||Project Team Directory|
|Requirements Traceability Matrix||Quality Management Plan||Team Performance Assessment|
|Project Scope Statement||Process Quality Checklists||Enterprise Environment Factors|
|Scope Baseline||Product Quality Checklists||Procurement Agreement|
|Schedule Management Plan||Quality Metrics||Issue Log|
|Activity Attributes||Process Management Plan|
|Activity List||Human Resource Management Plan|
|Milestone List||Communications Management Plan|
|Project Schedule Network||Risk Management Plan|
|Activity Resource Requirements||Risk Register|
|Resource Breakdown Resource||Change Request|
|Activity Duration Estimates||Make-or-Buy Decisions|
|Project Calendar||Procurement Management Plan|
|Project Schedule||Procurement Statement of Work|
|Schedule Baseline||Stakeholder Management Plan|