Process Groups, Knowledge Areas, and Inputs and Outputs
PMBOK contents are summarized in a formalized guide, which is published by the Project Management Institute. As stated previously in this book, the PMBOK is a process based approach to managing projects.
The five processes covered in the PMBOK are as follows:
- Initiating: defines and authorizes the project (i.e. create project charter).
- Planning: shapes the outcomes/goals for the project by knowledge area.
- Executing: carries out project plans.
- Controlling and Monitoring: assesses actual project outcomes to planned targets and makes corrective actions when necessary.
- Closing: obtains a formal acceptance of the product/service by stakeholders and tapers out project activities in a planned, organized fashion.
How the PMBOK got its name is largely related to how it categorizes key aspects of a project, which are termed as "knowledge areas." There are nine knowledge areas. Knowledge areas are organized by their role in a project. For example, core areas are considered to be the pillars of a project. Changing one aspect of a core area will have direct consequences on other core areas. For example, if a project is modified to include more functionality, then time, cost, and [sometimes] quality factors shift to accommodate changes to scope. This is known as the triple/quadruple constraint. On the other hand, there are knowledge areas that are supportive to project success factors, but are not seen as foundational. These are called facilitating functions. Lastly, what ties all knowledge areas together is integration management, or coordinating all components of a project.
- Core Knowledge Areas
- Facilitating Knowledge Areas
- Coordination Knowledge Area