As a certified PMI (2005) my preference lie in using the approach and methodology offered by the Project Management Institute, PMI.

PMI has recruited volunteers to create industry standards, such as the "body of knowledge", which has been recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The PMI also provides services including the development of standards, research, education, publication, networking-opportunities in local chapters, hosting conferences and training seminars, and providing accreditation in project management.

This body of knowledge evolves over time and is presented in "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" (PMBOK). The Guide is a document resulting from work overseen by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Following ANSIs adoption of the PMBOK, ISO too adapted the project managementprocesses from the PMBOK Guide 4th edition in 2012. As of 2018, the latest release of PMBOK was in 2017, when the sixth edition became available.

The Sixth Edition provides guidelines for managing individual projects and defines project management related concepts. It also describes the project management life cycle and its related processes, as well as the project life cycle. and for the first time it includes an "Agile Practice Guide".

The PMBOK Guide is process-based, meaning it describes work as being accomplished by processes. This approach is consistent with other management standards such as ISO 9000 and the Software Engineering Institute's CMMI. Processes overlap and interact throughout a project or its various phases by means of:

  • Inputs (documents, plans, designs, etc.)
  • Tools and Techniques (mechanisms applied to inputs)
  • Outputs (documents, plans, designs, etc.)



The PMBOK as described in the Guide recognizes 49 processes that fall into five basic process groups and ten knowledge areas that are typical of most projects, most of the time.


  • Initiating: processes performed to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project by obtaining authorization to start the project or phase.
  • Planning: Those processes required to establish the scope of the project, refine the objectives, and define the course of action required to attain the objectives that the project was undertaken to achieve.
  • Executing: Those processes performed to complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy the project specifications
  • Monitoring and Controlling: Those processes required to track, review, and regulate the progress and performance of the project; identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required; and initiate the corresponding changes.
  • Closing: Those processes performed to finalize all activities across all Process Groups to formally close the project or phase.


The TEN KNOWLEDGE AREAS, each of which contains some or all of the project management processes, are:

  • Project Integration Management: the processes and activities needed to identify, define, combine, unify, and coordinate the various processes and project management activities within the project management process groups.
  • Project Scope management: the processes required to ensure that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully.
  • Project Schedule Management: the processes required to manage the timely completion of the project. Until the 6th edition of the PMBOK Guide this was called "Project Time Management"
  • Project Cost Management: the processes involved in planning, estimating, budgeting, financing, funding, managing, and controlling costs so that the project can be completed within the approved budget.
  • Project Quality Management: the processes and activities of the performing organization that determine quality policies, objectives, and responsibilities so that the project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken.
  • Project Resource Management: the processes that organize, manage, and lead the project team. Until the 6th edition of the PMBOK Guide this was called "Project Human Resource Management"
  • Project Communications Management: the processes that are required to ensure timely and appropriate planning, collection, creation, distribution, storage, retrieval, management, control, monitoring, and the ultimate disposition of project information.
  • Project Risk Management: the processes of conducting risk management planning, identification, analysis, response planning, and controlling risk on a project.
  • Project Procurement Management: the processes necessary to purchase or acquire products, services, or results needed from outside the project team. Processes in this area include Procurement Planning, Solicitation Planning, Solicitation, Source Selection, Contract Administration, and Contract Closeout.
  • Project Stakeholder Management: the processes required to identify all people or organizations impacted by the project, analyzing stakeholder expectations and impact on the project, and developing appropriate management strategies for effectively engaging stakeholders in project decisions and execution.

Each of the ten knowledge areas contains the processes that need to be accomplished within its discipline in order to achieve effectiveness. Each of these processes also falls into one of the five process groups, creating a matrix structure such that every process can be related to one knowledge area and one process group.


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