Introduction to Project Management Processes and Process Groups
June 4, 2014
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A process is a series of activities carried out in an order to achieve the desired results. A project process is a series of activities needed to achieve the project target. Project processes can be classified into two main categories:
- Project management process: These are defined by the performing organizations and it mainly describes and organizes the work of a project.
- Product oriented process: These are defined by the life cycle of the product. It mainly specifies and creates products and related work.
All the processes involved in the project management can be grouped together based in the life cycle phase they are needed in. So the major project management process groups are:
- Initiating processes: These processes initiate the project and establishes scope of the project and commitment.
- Planning processes: These processes are meant for devising and maintaining a workable scheme to accomplish the business need.
- Executing processes: These processes are used for coordinating people to carry out the plan.
- Monitoring and Controlling processes: These processes monitor and measure progress and take remedial action.
- Closing processes: These processes are meant for formalising acceptance and bringing project to an orderly end.
Connection between Process groups
All these Process groups are connected to each other in the following way:
Relation between Project processes and Knowledge areas
Project Management is composed of 44 project management processes that are mapped to one of nine Project Management Knowledge Areas. Each of these processes also falls into one of the five process groups. Let us now try to list down all the 44 project management processes and try to map them to the process group and the knowledge area.
Note: Click on the image below to see it in full screen.
Process group interaction and their features
The individual processes from a process group overlap and interact throughout a project or its various phases. Now let us look at features of Process Group:
- Inputs: All the client documents converted to action plans to be acted upon.
- Tools and techniques: all the mechanisms applied on to the inputs to create desired outputs
- Outputs: All the documents that are results of the process
Now let us look at the nature of interactions of each of the process groups:
- Initiating Processes: Every process is initiated by management.
- Planning Processes: Interactions focus on planning. Planning processes are highly interdependent. If the cost is unacceptable, scope and time may need to be redefined.
- Executing Processes: Interactions in this group depend on the nature of the work. They are dynamic and dependent on team innovations.
- Controlling Processes: The interactions are aimed at measuring project performance [time, cost, quality] and identifying the variances from the plan. Project plans are updated and corrective action is taken.
- Closing Processes: The interactions revolve around review of the project, findings and analysis of the project performance with respect to various processes.
On a closing note, it is important to understand that it is also ok to customize the project management processes as some of the projects might need some customization based on the requirement of the product. Large projects may need details, Smaller projects may need relatively less details or Process details might change for other reasons irrespective of the size of the project.