The 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas
There’s a lot that goes into a project. The project management knowledge areas were created to help make it easier.
Whether you’re a student or a seasoned professional, using different project management tools will help you get ahead. But since there is a broad range of knowledge and skills to know and understand, the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) was created. This helps to unite and streamline all of the different moving parts that come with project management.
The PMBOK identifies a set of standard guidelines for the different areas of project management. Every project is going to have unique needs, but the overall processes from start to finish will often be the same. These are called the process groups and they work hand-in-hand with the project management knowledge areas.
The process groups work in chronological order and every project goes through them. They include initiating and planning for the project and executing it. And then monitoring and controlling the project, and finally project closing.
Depending on the project management knowledge area, it can take place at any time during one of the process groups. Think of the project management process groups as horizontal steps that each project goes through. The knowledge areas would be listed vertically.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
The 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas
When going through the different knowledge areas, it’s important to keep in mind the five process groups for your project activity:
Each of the project management knowledge areas works within the process groups. Here is everything you need to know about the 10 project management knowledge areas!
1. Project Integration Management
This knowledge area coordinates every aspect of your project plans. There are three main processes that it follows. They include plan development, plan execution and integrated change control.
There would be a project charter that gets developed during the initiation process. The charter outlines and sets up the entire project and also designates who the project manager is. From the charter, the overall plan is then created.
When you transition from the initiation to the planning phase, the project management plan gets put into place. Now all the outlined responsibilities you set can begin the execution stage.
2. Project Scope Management
Have you ever been working on a project and had a long task list or responsibilities somehow sneak their way in? Scope creep can be an unexpected challenge to have to deal with. Having a well-defined project scope from the beginning can help avoid the unexpected.
With this knowledge area, you will create a plan that has set definitions to be able to validate and control the project scope. This way, every team member will know exactly what they need to do. It helps to understand all of the different tasks of a project and avoid any unexpected changes.
3. Project Schedule Management
One of the biggest challenges of any project is managing your time effectively. There can be a bunch of different timelines and several team members. Some might work slower than others, and some might overlook the amount of time they actually have.
The plan that you put in place with this knowledge area will outline all of the tasks that need to get completed. You can then adjust how different resources can get used or managed throughout the project planning.
Being able to look back on the plan you created will assist you with handling any of those unexpected problems that come up.
4. Project Cost Management
Everything costs money and the more you can keep costs low, the better. If you estimate costs within your outlined budget it's an important part of being able to generate a positive return on investment.
When you lay out each step of the project and determine how much it will cost, you can maximize the main areas of your project. How are you supposed to know if you generate any revenue if you don’t know your project budget?
The project cost management knowledge area will need to be continuously monitored. After you determine your overall budget, keep an eye on all the costs as the project unfolds. You can evaluate the costs and make sure you stay within budget and avoid any potential risks.
5. Project Quality Management
The whole goal of the project quality management knowledge area is to have your project be consistent. Nothing is ever going to be perfect, and oftentimes perfect isn’t achievable. But quality requirements are.
One of the biggest areas to focus on for project quality is knowing and understanding your stakeholder's expectations. When you understand those expectations, you and your project team can meet them through your work with quality control.
If something isn’t quite meeting the quality expectations, you can adjust as you go to put in place changes to get the project back on the right track. This can help with project success.
6. Project Resource Management
Managing the resources that your project team has access to includes more than assigning a task or creating a schedule. You need to understand how your team works both individually and collaboratively. And by understanding how your team works you can identify any opportunities to get better.
Project resource management can include more training for an individual team member or the team as a whole. You can find strengths and weaknesses and build off of them to create better team synergy. By investing in learning new skills, your team will be better prepared for success.
7. Project Communications Management
Communication is key in everything that you do. There’s a fine line between under and over-communicating, but bad communication is a recipe for disaster. Project details can get missed and errors can get made without a communications management plan.
What happens if a major change gets made and the right team members aren’t notified or aware of it? Your communications management plan will outline who needs to know what and when they need to know it if a change gets made. This will help streamline the project lifecycle and allow team members to be more productive.
8. Project Risk Management
Have you ever had what you thought was a great idea and jumped into it without thinking about the possible risks? Did the planning process or project objectives end in catastrophe? Or did you get halfway through and think to yourself, “I should have known that might happen”?
No project is going to go from start to finish without a few speed bumps. But identifying those speed bumps and project risks from the beginning will allow you to prepare for them. Instead of reacting at the last minute to handle an issue you aren’t prepared for, you will be ready to navigate it. You can keep the project on track.
9. Project Procurement Management
Depending on your project scope and demands, you might not have all the resources needed to complete it. The project procurement knowledge area provides a breakdown of any tasks or services that you need to hire someone else for. You might not use this knowledge area on every project, but it’s handy to know when you need it.
You already have enough to worry about, so integrating different contractors or vendors into the project needs to be as easy as possible. You can develop any paperwork that’s needed ahead of time and have a plan ready to execute when it’s needed for a successful project.
10. Project Stakeholder Management
Do you know who your project stakeholders are? They can include everyone from whoever requested the project, other team members and your customers. But, not every stakeholder is equal. Knowing who the stakeholders are for your project will ensure you deliver what’s expected.
By identifying the stakeholders, you can make sure that you know who they are and if they are internal or external. That way, everyone receives the right information and you know how they relate to the project.
There is a ton of ground to cover when it comes to project management knowledge areas. It can be a bit overwhelming to try and figure out where you need to start or how to implement each area. You might even wonder if it’s worth your time.
The easy answer to that is yes, these knowledge areas are definitely worth your time and effort. Implementing effective time management throughout your project will help avoid a crisis. Your time will get spent on moving your project forward instead of handling unexpected issues.
You will notice that as you use the different knowledge areas, you can continue to refine them to align with your specific project tasks. Use these different project management knowledge areas with the five process groups to help bring your project to life.
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