Project Management Knowledge Areas

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements. Project management is accomplished through the application and integration of the project management processes of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. The project manager is the person responsible for accomplishing the project objectives. Managing a project includes:

  1. Identifying requirements
  2. Establishing clear and achievable objectives
  3. Balancing the competing demands for quality, scope, time and cost
  4. Adapting the specifications, plans, and approach to the different concerns and expectations of the various stakeholders.

Project managers often talk of a ‘triple constraint’ – project scope, time and cost – in managing competing project requirements. Project quality is affected by balancing these three factors. High quality projects deliver the required product, service or result within scope, on time, and within budget. The relationship among these factors is such that if any one of the three factors changes, at least one other factor is likely to be affected. Project managers also manage projects in response to uncertainty. Project risk is an uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on at least one project objective.

It is important to note that many of the processes within project management are iterative because of the existence of, and necessity for, progressive elaboration in a project throughout the project’s life cycle. That is, as a project management team learns more about a project, the team can then manage to a greater level of detail.

The term ‘project management’ is sometimes used to describe an organizational or managerial approach to the management of projects and some ongoing operations, which can be redefined as projects, that is also referred to as ‘management by projects.’ There has been a tendency in recent years to manage more activities in more application areas using project management. More organizations are using ‘management by project.’ This is not to say that all operations can or should be organized into projects. The adoption of ‘management by project’ is also related to the adoption of an organizational culture that is close to the project management. Although, an understanding of project management is critical to an organization that is using ‘management by projects,’ a detailed discussion of the approach itself is outside the scope of this standard.

The Project Management Knowledge Areas

The Project Management Knowledge Areas, organizes the 44 project management processes from the Project Management Process Groups into nine Knowledge Areas, as described below.

The Project Management Knowledge Areas

  1. Project Integration Management: describes the processes and activities that integrate the various elements of project management, which are identified, defined, combined, unified and coordinated within the Project Management Process Groups. It consists of the Develop Project Charter, Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement, Develop Project Management Plan, Direct and Manage Project Execution, Monitor and Control Project Work, Integrated Change Control, and Close Project project management processes.
  2. Project Scope Management: describes the processes involved in ascertaining that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully. It consists of the Scope Planning, Scope Definition, Create WBS, Scope Verification, and Scope Control project management processes.
  3. Project Time Management: describes the processes concerning the timely completion of the project. It consists of the Activity Definition, Activity Sequencing, Activity Resource Estimating, Activity Duration Estimating, Schedule Development, and Schedule Control project management processes.
  4. Project Cost Management: describes the processes involved in planning, estimating, budgeting, and controlling costs so that the project is completed within the approved budget. It consists of the Cost Estimating, Cost Budgeting, and Cost Control project management processes.
  5. Project Quality Management: describes the processes involved in assuring that the project will satisfy the objectives for which it was undertaken. It consists of the Quality Planning, Perform Quality Assurance, and Perform Quality Control project management processes.
  6. Project Human Resource Management: describes the processes that organize and manage the project team. It consists of the Human Resource Planning, Acquire Project Team, Develop Project Team, and Manage Project Team project management processes.
  7. Project Communications Management: describes the processes concerning the timely and appropriate generation, collection, dissemination, storage and ultimate disposition of project information. It consists of the Communications Planning, Information Distribution, Performance Reporting, and Manage Stakeholders project management processes.
  8. Project Risk Management: describes the processes concerned with conducting risk management on a project. It consists of the Risk Management Planning, Risk Identification, Qualitative Risk Analysis, Quantitative Risk Analysis, Risk Response Planning, and Risk Monitoring and Control project management processes.
  9. Project Procurement Management: describes the processes that purchase or acquire products, services or results, as well as contract management processes. It consists of the Plan Purchases and Acquisitions, Plan Contracting, Request Seller Responses, Select Sellers, Contract Administration, and Contract Closure project management processes.

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