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The 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas (PMBOK)
What do you need to know to succeed at project management? Everything! While there’s some truth to that joke, this answer can be narrowed down by looking at the project management knowledge areas as defined in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), a book by the Project Management Institute (PMI), which compiles the fundamental concepts of project management .
What Are the Project Management Knowledge Areas?
The project management knowledge areas can be simply defined as the key aspects of project management that should be overseen by project managers so they can plan, schedule, track and deliver projects successfully with the help of the project team and project stakeholders.
Each of these project management knowledge areas needs to be managed throughout the five project life cycle phases, which are project initiation, project planning, project execution, monitoring and controlling, and project closing. These are the chronological phases that every project goes through, also referred to as project management process groups in PMI’s PMBOK.
The PMBOK knowledge areas take place during any one of these process groups. You can think of the process groups as horizontal, while the knowledge areas are vertical. The knowledge areas are the core technical subject matter, which is necessary for effective project management.
The 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas
Here’s an overview of each of the 10 knowledge areas of project management, including a brief description of the key project management documents needed to control each of them. All of these project documents are part of the project management plan which includes information about all knowledge areas of project management.
1. Project Integration Management
Project integration management can be simply defined as the framework that allows project managers to coordinate tasks, resources, stakeholders, changes and project variables. Project managers can use different tools to make sure there are solid project integration management practices in place. For example, the project management plan is important for project integration because it works as a roadmap for the project to reach a successful end. Once created, the project plan is approved by stakeholders and/or sponsors before it’s monitored and tracked by the project management team.
Project management software, like ProjectManager , is ideal for project integration management because it’s an online platform that project managers can use to create a project plan, oversee project management knowledge areas and collaborate with their teams online. Choose between online Gantt charts, kanban boards, project calendars and other project management views to plan, schedule and track your projects. ProjectManager also has project reporting features that allow project managers to create project reports they can share with project stakeholders to keep them informed.
The project integration area also includes the directing and managing of the project work, which is the production of its deliverables. This process is monitored, analyzed and reported on to identify and control any changes or problems that might occur.
Also, any change control will be carried out. That might require request forms, approval from stakeholders and/or sponsors or another admin. This area is also part of the project closure at the end of the project.
2. Project Scope Management
Project scope management is one of the most important project management knowledge areas. It consists of managing your project scope, which refers to the work that needs to be executed in a project. To manage your project scope , you’ll need to build a project scope management plan, a document where you’ll define what will be done in your project.
To start building your scope management plan , begin by writing a scope statement. This statement is anything from a sentence to a bulleted list that’s comprehensive to reduce major project risks. Another part of this area is a work breakdown structure (WBS), which is a graphic breakdown of project work.
Validate scope during the project, which means making sure that the deliverables are being approved regularly by the sponsor or stakeholder. This occurs during the monitoring and controlling process groups and is about accepting the deliverables, not the specs laid out during planning.
The scope statement is likely going to change over the course of the project to control the scope, such as if a project falls behind schedule.
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3. Project Time Management
Project time management involves estimating your project duration, creating a project schedule and tracking the project team’s progress to ensure the project is completed on time. To do so, the first thing to do is to define your project scope to identify the tasks that should go into your project schedule.
Those project tasks are then put in an order that makes sense, and any dependencies between them are noted. These dependencies are then determined to be either finish-to-start (FS), finish-to-finish (FF), start-to-start (SS) or start-to-finish (SF). This is mostly for larger projects.
With the tasks now sequenced, the project resources required for each must be estimated and assigned. The duration of each task is also determined at this point. All of this leads to a schedule by first determining the critical path and float for each task. You should use project management tools like Gantt charts , kanban boards or project calendars to place the tasks on a timeline, and then work on resource leveling to balance resource usage.
Once the project schedule is made, plans to control the schedule are necessary. Earned value management is performed regularly to make sure that the actual plan is proceeding as planned.
4. Project Cost Management
This project management knowledge area involves estimating project costs to create a project budget . To do so, you’ll need to use cost-estimating tools and techniques to make sure that the funds cover the project expenses and are being monitored regularly to keep stakeholders or sponsors informed.
As with other project management knowledge areas, the cost management plan is the document where you’ll explain the method to establish the budget, which includes how and if it will change and what procedures will be used to control it. Each project task will have to be estimated for cost , which means including all resources such as labor, materials, equipment and anything else needed to complete the task.
5. Project Quality Management
A project can come in on time and within budget, but if the quality isn’t up to standard, then the project is a failure. This means that quality management is one of the most critical project management knowledge areas. Your project management plan should include a quality management plan section that specifies the quality control and quality assurance guidelines for your project.
Therefore, to control quality, the deliverables must be inspected to ensure that the standards outlined in the quality management plan are being met.
6. Project Human Resource Management
The project team is your most important resource, so it’s crucial to assemble the best team and make sure they’re happy. But also you need to track their performance to ensure that the project is progressing as planned. A human resource management plan identifies the roles and requirements for those positions, as well as how they fit into the overall project structure.
After you’ve determined the project roles , it’s time to fill those positions and acquire a project team. This can be done in-house by drawing from other departments in the organization, getting new hires or a combination of both. The team needs development, possibly training and other things that’ll make them viable for the project.
Managing the project team is an ongoing responsibility of the project manager. The team is monitored to make sure they’re working productively and that there are no internal conflicts, so everyone is satisfied.
7. Project Communications Management
All knowledge areas of project management are important, but communication management might be paramount as it informs every aspect of the project. Communications inform the team and stakeholders, therefore the need to plan communications management is a critical step in any project.
Related: Free Communication Plan Template
It’s at this point that the dissemination of communications is determined, including how it’s done and with what frequency. Target who needs what and when. Also, note how communications will occur when issues such as changes arise in the project.
Manage the communications when the project is executed to make sure it runs as planned. This also involves controlling communications by reviewing their effectiveness regularly and adjusting as needed.
8. Project Risk Management
Risk management plans identify how the risks will be itemized, categorized and prioritized. This involves identifying risks that might occur during the execution of the project by making a risk register .
Perform qualitative risk analysis after the biggest risks have been identified and classified by likelihood and impact. Then prioritize them. Then perform quantitative analysis according to their impact on the project, such as its budget, schedule, etc.
Now you’ll need to plan risk responses . If those risks in fact become issues, then a response needs to have been written in advance, with an owner who can make sure the risk is properly identified and handled. Controlling risk involves regularly reviewing the risk register and crossing off those risks that are no longer going to impact the project.
9. Project Procurement Management
This project management knowledge area deals with outside procurement, which is part of most projects, such as hiring subcontractors. This will impact on the budget and schedule. Procurement management planning starts by identifying the outside needs of the project and how those contractors will be involved.
Now conduct those procurements by hiring the contractors, which includes a statement of work , terms of reference, request for proposals and choosing a vendor. You’ll want to control the procurement process by managing and monitoring, and then closing the contracts once the work has been done to everyone’s satisfaction.
10. Project Stakeholder Management
The stakeholders must be happy, as the project has been created for their needs. Therefore, they must be actively managed like any other part of the project. To start, identify the stakeholders through stakeholder analysis and find out what concerns they have. It’s not always easy, but it’s a crucial part of starting any project.
Now plan stakeholder management , which means listing each stakeholder and prioritizing their concerns and how they might impact the project. This will lead to managing stakeholders’ expectations to make sure their needs are met and that you’re in communication with them.
Throughout the project, you’ll want to control stakeholder engagement by determining if the stakeholders’ needs are being addressed. If not, figure out what changes need to be made to either satisfy those needs or adjust the expectations.
Project Management Knowledge Areas vs. Project Management Process Groups
Now that we have a better understanding of what the project management knowledge areas are, let’s explore the differences between them and other similar project management concepts.
We’ve discussed the project management knowledge areas and they’re related to the project management process groups , but they’re not the same thing. The project management knowledge areas are guidelines for the technical side of running a project.
The project management process groups, on the other hand, work with the project management knowledge areas to run the project. The project management process groups are the five main phases of a project: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closing.
Project Management Knowledge Areas vs. Project Management Skills
Again, the project management knowledge areas are how the project is managed. They offer various methods to get work planned, managed, tracked, etc. Project management skills , like process groups, work together with the knowledge area. For example, many of the project management skills are technical, or hard, skills. These include those key knowledge area disciplines from planning to risk and everything in between.
But project management skills go beyond technical skills. These are called soft skills and include things such as being a good leader, having strong communication skills and facilitating collaboration. While these skills are often harder to teach, they’re no less important to the success of the project. Project managers need to be problem-solvers, manage their time wisely, be organized and have critical thinking skills or all the hard skills in the world won’t deliver a successful project.
ProjectManager Helps You Apply the Project Management Knowledge Areas
Project management knowledge areas need powerful tools to be implemented throughout the project’s life cycle. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that has the features you need to plan, manage and track your project in real time. Our task management, risk management and resource management features give project managers and their teams the tools they need to deliver their projects on time and within budget.
Use Multiple Project Management Views
Every project has a diverse team working together for the same goals, but not necessarily using the same tools. When you’re applying all the project management knowledge areas, you need diversity. That’s why our software gives project managers robust online Gantt charts to plan and schedule their projects while teams can choose between task lists and kanban boards. Stakeholders, who don’t need to get into the weeds of the project, can view progress on calendars. All project views update simultaneously in real time so everyone is on the same page.
Monitor With Real-Time Project Tracking
The project management knowledge areas require monitoring and control to work. You can’t expect the executed project to align with the project plan; you need to review and revise as needed. That is why our software has a variety of tracking tools. You can get a high-level overview of the project with our real-time dashboard , which automatically tracks time, cost and more with easy-to-read graphs and charts. Also, there’s no time-consuming setup required as with other software. We also have secure timesheets to monitor your team’s progress on their tasks and a color-coded workload chart that makes it easy to balance workload and keep teams productive and working at capacity.
Create Project Reports in Minutes
Another tool to track progress and performance is our customizable reports . You can get more data than from the dashboard by generating a report in only a couple of keystrokes. Get reports on project or portfolio status, workload, timesheets, variance and much more. All reports can be filtered to focus on only what you want to see. Then they can be shared in a variety of formats to keep stakeholders informed.
Project management knowledge areas bring a project to life, but life can be chaotic and complex, which is why project managers need a tool to help manage all these moving parts of a project. ProjectManager is online project management software with real-time dashboards and Gantt charts to monitor the project accurately throughout its many phases. See how it can help you manage your projects by taking this free 30-day trial.
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What Is Project Communication Management?
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Introduction to Project Communication Management
Project communication management is a crucial aspect of project management as it ensures all stakeholders are kept informed about the project’s progress, issues, and changes, thereby facilitating effective decision making and collaboration.
In this article, we will dive deep into project communication management, exploring everything from the creation of a project communication plan to strategies for achieving success in its implementation.
Before we begin, you can unlock a free trial with Wrike right now to communicate and collaborate effortlessly in real time.
What is project communication management?
Project communication management is a collection of processes that help make sure the right messages are sent, received, and understood by the right people.
Project communication management is one of the 10 key knowledge areas in the PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge). The processes included in this area have changed over the years but, in the current version, there are three primary project communication management processes.
- Plan communications management
- Manage communications
- Monitor communications
How to create a project communication management plan
Project managers need to clearly outline how they will manage communications across their projects. This is done by creating a project communication management plan.
When creating a plan, project managers should follow these five steps:
- Decide your objectives: What will be the purpose of your communication? You may use some communication tools for awareness, such as a status report. Others may require action, such as requiring a sponsor to authorize spending or a customer to approve project testing.
- Determine your audience: Who are the stakeholders in this project? You should make an extensive list of everyone involved. Consider anyone impacted by the project or who influences its success. This list should include team members, sponsors, customers, and other interested parties.
- Write your message: What will the message be for each type of communication? This is the actual content that will be shared. Key components to be communicated include scope, schedule , budget, objectives, risks, and deliverables .
- Choose your channel: How will the message be delivered? Will it be a formal report emailed out to all stakeholders? Or will it be an informal verbal debrief during a team meeting?
- Set a timeline: When will you deliver your message? Do your stakeholders require weekly or monthly reports? Is there a deadline to meet? Consider varying time zones and employee schedules here.
Your project communication management plan should be detailed enough to lay out why you’re sending a message, who you’re sending it to, what specific information will be sent, how you’re going to send it, and when.
Involving your stakeholders in the creation of this plan is important. You need to understand their communication preferences and expectations. If you over-communicate, they may stop paying attention. But, if you under-communicate, it can lead to misunderstandings and issues.
The golden rule here is that, to be a good communicator, you need to be a good listener. It may seem obvious, but Harvard Business Review points out that listening is an overlooked leadership tool . Pay attention to all the factors and take every opinion into account before creating your project communication management plan.
Manage project communication
Once the project communication management plan has been created and approved, it’s the project manager’s job to ensure it’s carried out successfully. This means the plan needs to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to reflect any changes to the project or its stakeholders.
The project manager also has to manage the execution of the project communication management plan. This includes:
- Collection and analysis of data
- Creation of messages for communication
- Transmission or distribution of communications
- Storage of any communication reports, files, or documents
- Retrieval of any stored communications
- Disposal of any old communications upon project closure or a set date
Monitor project communication
This process used to be called ‘control communications,’ but was updated in the sixth edition of the PMBOK. Despite the title change, the process is the same. It involves monitoring and controlling project communications throughout the entire lifecycle.
This may include the confirmation of the following:
- Communications went out as planned
- They were received by the proper stakeholders
- Messages were understood
- Any relevant feedback was provided to the appropriate project members
The actual type of monitoring, including method and frequency, should be a part of the project communication management plan.
Manage and monitor communication effortlessly in one platform
How to be successful at project communication management.
Excellent communication is a critical component of project success. In fact, poor communication is one of the main reasons a project can fail . Project communication management ensures that does not happen.
Successful project managers use formal and informal communication methods across various channels. This helps increase the chances that messages are received. Use simple language, stick to relevant topics, keep messages concise, and include all information in one place to reduce your chances of communication failure .
The following communication management skills can also increase a project manager’s chances of success:
- Strong active listening skills
- Proficient writing skills
- Excellent speaking ability
- Asking questions and probing for more information
- Setting and managing expectations
- Motivating people to become and stay engaged
- Conflict resolution skills
- The ability to summarize and recap what you’ve heard
Why use Wrike for project communication management?
Wrike’s project management platform is a powerful tool for project managers. It is intuitive, easy to use, and versatile enough to be tailored to your specific project needs. Wrike also has a variety of features that can help project managers increase and improve communication throughout their various project stages. These include:
- Custom request forms : By automating requests, project managers can efficiently communicate task requirements in seconds, and add extra information in custom fields.
- @mentions : Tag a team member to send a notification directly to their Wrike inbox. This ensures that no messages are lost in unread emails.
- Integrations : Keep all your project communication on one platform by integrating Wrike with your favorite messaging apps, including Slack and Microsoft Teams.
- Live Editor : With this tool, you can edit task descriptions in real-time, meaning several people can communicate changes quickly with each other. This is especially useful for remote teams working together on a group project.
- Calendars : Share updates in team calendars, so that everyone is kept in the loop. Edit project deadlines and due dates easily.
Take a tour of Wrike’s work management platform and find out how you can boost your project communication management.
So, why not embrace the principles of project communication management and harness the power of Wrike? Doing so can significantly enhance the success rate of your projects, leading to satisfied stakeholders, a motivated team, and a thriving business. After all, effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful project, and Wrike is here to help you achieve just that.
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- 5 Ways to Save Your Team from Communication Breakdowns
- The 5 Ws of Virtual Communication
Basic Project Management
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10 Knowledge Areas of Project Management: A Helpful Guide
Effective project management requires planning, communication, and task management. But do you know all the main project management knowledge areas and how they work together?
These 10 project management knowledge areas will provide you with the essential information and skillsets you need to run smoother projects, delight your stakeholders, and fight fewer fires.
In this 10-knowledge area guide for project management you will discover,
What are the 10 knowledge areas of project management?
- 1. Project integration management
- 2. Project scope management
- 3. Project time management
- 4. Project cost management
- 5. Project quality management
- 6. Project resource management
- 7. Project communications management
- 8. Project risk management
- 9. Project procurement management
- 10. Project stakeholder management
- Understanding the project management knowledge areas
The project management knowledge areas are essentially what you need to know about effective project management. The project management knowledge areas found in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) are a good place to start.
Whether you’re a project manager studying for your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam, freshening up your knowledge, or just looking to streamline and understand your project management knowledge, understanding each area can help improve your skillset.
Below we cover each of the 10 knowledge areas of project management at a high level, along with a few of the process groups or action items associated with each of them.
1. Project integration management.
Project integration management is the umbrella that covers all other project management knowledge areas. It knits together individual processes and tasks into one project with defined goals and deliverables .
If you’re looking at the big picture and how your project fits into your larger organization, this is the project management knowledge area you need. Because this is the broadest area, you may want to save it for last or at least revisit it at the end of your project plan.
How will this help me?
Project integration management helps by co-ordinating all the various parts of a project, ensuring different team members follow one overall plan. It helps to keep the project running smoothly and efficiently.
Learn more about project integration management
2. Project scope management.
How many times have you started a project just to have extraneous tasks slipped in, making your completion times creep up? This is why project scope must be well-defined and defended throughout the process.
As you complete your scope process groups, you’ll create a management plan that defines, validates, and controls scope. These processes will ensure you stay on task and that everyone, including the project requester, understands what tasks will be included in the project to prevent frustrating changes and unmet expectations.
Project scope management helps you to stay on top of extra tasks that might be added during the course of the project. Therefore, it makes dealing with any expected or unexpected increases in costs or workflow much more manageable.
Learn more about scope management
3. Project time management.
Nearly all projects rely on several different timelines and the schedules of multiple people. Some team members may overestimate how much time it will take to complete a project in order to leave a cushion and not feel hurried.
Others may underestimate their time. And, of course, unexpected problems will throw off your timeline as well. But these variables are exactly why effective time management is so critical.
Your plans will determine which tasks can be adjusted and how the team’s resources will be allocated and managed throughout the project. When those tricky problems surface, you’ll be glad to have a plan to refer back to and quell the panic.
Project time management will help you to manage the project within the deadlines and schedules originally set. With this, you’ll be better able to ensure the project moves smoothly to completion in a timely manner.
Learn more about project time management
4. Project cost management.
With or without a budget, your project will cost money. Keeping costs low, or at least at an expected or reasonable level, is a fundamental part of showing ROI on a project. After all, if you can’t definitively lay out how much a project will cost, how will you be able to quantify if you’ve made any money?
Your role in cost management isn’t just a one-and-done task of creating a budget. You’ll need to continuously evaluate your costs to avoid any surprises at the end of a project.
Project cost management is critical to make sure you remain within budget. Financial challenges that arise during a project can throw up unplanned surprises and affect profitability — project cost management can help avoid this.
Learn more about project cost management
5. Project quality management.
In project management, quality isn’t the same as perfection. It’s not practical to spend the time and resources to take a project to perfection — and in many cases, that’s not even attainable. The goal of project quality management is to achieve consistency across your projects.
If you know and understand the expectations of your stakeholders and have created reasonable agreements with them and your team, quality control will ensure you deliver great work every time. Should projects not meet results, you can adjust course and implement changes to the process or product to get back on track.
Completing a project on time is one thing — but completing it to a high standard of work is arguably more important. Project quality management allows you to make sure what you deliver meets with client approval.
Learn more about project quality management
6. Project resource management.
Working with people is part of the reason you signed up for project management, right? One of the most rewarding parts of this process is creating teams that click and helping individual team members grow and learn new tasks. That’s why this project management knowledge area is more than just setting schedules and assigning tasks.
Effective resource management requires you to know and work with the bandwidth of your team. Identify their individual strengths, weaknesses, and synergy with other team members. It all comes back to that part about helping team members grow.
You should also identify knowledge gaps and opportunities for continued training for individual team members and the entire team based on current and upcoming projects. You’ll set your team up for success and increase commitment as you invest in their skills and growth.
Project resource management is a benefit for knowing who, and what, you need in place for the project to be a success. You can check that you have enough people, the right people, and project team — and look for extra resource if there are any gaps.
Learn more about project resource management
7. Project communications management.
How many times have you heard the phrase: “Keep me in the loop?” And yet, when changes happen, maybe important stakeholders were left out?
There is a fine line between under and over communication. Your communications management plan is crucial to help identify who needs to know what and when before your project starts.
On any large-scale project, communication is key — making sure everyone involved is informed on changes, updates and issues at the right time. A breakdown in communications can be problematic, so it’s not an area where you want to be weak.
Learn more about project communications management
8. Project risk management.
The truth is that no project goes off without a hitch. And it’s unrealistic to look at a project and assume everything will go smoothly.
If you can manage your firefighting by identifying major project risks and the mitigation plans associated with them, your team and project requesters will be prepared and more forgiving when issues in a project come up. As an added bonus, you’ll have the benefits of time and energy upfront, rather than trying to troubleshoot at the eleventh hour when your team is stressed and up against a deadline.
It’s rare that a project doesn’t come up against a stumbling block or two. Project risk management can flag upcoming problems and equip you with the means to work around and through them, rather than causing major complications.
Learn more about project risk management
9. Project procurement management.
In some cases or areas of a project, you won’t have the resources or team members in-house to complete a task. If you hire contractors or vendors to take on certain tasks, you’ll want them to seamlessly integrate into the team.
This project management knowledge area provides the blueprint for which tasks or services will be completed by outside contractors. It also builds and plans the legal paperwork and coordination process ahead of time. This may not be a knowledge area you use every time or even very often, but it’s incredibly valuable when you do need it.
You may not have the expertise and experience you need in-house for every aspect of a project — project procurement management allows for quick onboarding so any contractors hit the ground running.
Learn more about project procurement management
10. Stakeholder project management.
Ultimately, the success or failure of a project depends on the delivery of your project to the stakeholders. But, who are your stakeholders?
Stakeholders include not only the project requester, but also team members who have worked on the project, contractors, suppliers, customers or the public, and many other people internal and external to the organization. Not all stakeholders are equal in the eyes of the project.
Identifying who is a stakeholder in a project and how they are involved in the process will make sure everyone gets the information they need to know — no more, no less.
There’s a lot of people to keep happy during the course of a project, and any stakeholders are right up there in terms of the most important. Making sure they have the information they need throughout is crucial and could save you problems further down the line.
Learn more about project stakeholder management
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Understanding the project management knowledge areas.
These project management knowledge areas cover a lot of ground. It can be intimidating to look at this list of processes and tasks, and you might even wonder how you’ll fit any of it into your schedule.
But implementing these skills into your projects will keep you out of — or at least drastically reduce — crisis management and move you into forward thinking and proactive decision making. And as you refine and iterate them in your projects, you’ll become a master at managing projects and the people involved in them.
Frequently asked questions.
How many different phases are there in project management?
As well as the 10 knowledge areas, according to the PMBOK® Guide there are 49 processes , incorporated into five phases of project management. These are the:
- Initiation Phase
- Planning Phase
- Execution Phase
- Monitoring and Controlling Phase
- Closing Phase
What are the 49 processes of project management?
The PMBOK® Guide lists 49 processes within the 10 knowledge areas, with different processes falling under each area. Consult the guide to learn all 49, but an example would be Project Cost Management, which comprises four processes:
- Plan Cost Management
- Estimate Costs
- Determine Budget
- Control Costs
Can project management knowledge areas change?
As technology continues to develop and methods are enhanced and improved, it’s no surprise that project management processes and best practices will also change. The PMBOK® Guide is frequently updated to reflect these, so modern marketers and project managers should make sure they monitor the latest innovations.
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1.5 Introduction to the Project Management Knowledge Areas
- Identify the tasks performed in a project start-up.
- Describe the areas of project management knowledge as defined by the Project Management Institute.
Projects are divided into components, and a project manager must be knowledgeable in each area. Each of these areas of knowledge will be explored in more depth in subsequent chapters.
Project Start-Up and Integration
The start-up of a project is similar to the start-up of a new organization. The project leader develops the project infrastructure used to design and execute the project. The project management team must develop alignment among the major stakeholders—those who have a share or interest—on the project during the early phases or definition phases of the project. The project manager will conduct one or more kickoff meetings or alignment sessions to bring the various parties of the project together and begin the project team building required to operate efficiently during the project.
During project start-up, the project management team refines the scope of work and develops a preliminary schedule and conceptual budget. The project team builds a plan for executing the project based on the project profile. The plan for developing and tracking the detailed schedule, the procurement plan, and the plan for building the budget and estimating and tracking costs are developed during the start-up. The plans for information technology, communication, and tracking client satisfaction are all developed during the start-up phase of the project.
Flowcharts, diagrams, and responsibility matrices are tools to capture the work processes associated with executing the project plan. The first draft of the project procedures manual captures the historic and intuitional knowledge that team members bring to the project. The development and review of these procedures and work processes contribute to the development of the organizational structure of the project.
This is typically an exciting time on a project where all things are possible. The project management team is working many hours developing the initial plan, staffing the project, and building relationships with the client. The project manager sets the tone of the project and sets expectations for each of the project team members. The project start-up phase on complex projects can be chaotic, and until plans are developed, the project manager becomes the source of information and direction. The project manager creates an environment that encourages team members to fully engage in the project and encourages innovative approaches to developing the project plan.
The project scope is a document that defines the parameters —factors that define a system and determine its behavior—of the project, what work is done within the boundaries of the project, and the work that is outside the project boundaries. The scope of work (SOW) is typically a written document that defines what work will be accomplished by the end of the project—the deliverables of the project. The project scope defines what will be done, and the project execution plan defines how the work will be accomplished.
No template works for all projects. Some projects have a very detailed scope of work, and some have a short summary document. The quality of the scope is measured by the ability of the project manager and project stakeholders to develop and maintain a common understanding of what products or services the project will deliver. The size and detail of the project scope is related to the complexity profile of the project. A more complex project often requires a more detailed and comprehensive scope document.
According to the Project Management Institute (Project Management Institute, Inc., 2008), the scope statement should include the following:
- Description of the scope
- Product acceptance criteria
- Project deliverables
- Project exclusions
- Project constraints
- Project assumptions
The scope document is the basis for agreement by all parties. A clear project scope document is also critical to managing change on a project. Since the project scope reflects what work will be accomplished on the project, any change in expectations that is not captured and documented creates the opportunity for confusion. One of the most common trends on projects is the incremental expansion in the project scope. This trend is labeled scope creep . Scope creep threatens the success of a project because the small increases in scope require additional resources that were not in the plan. Increasing the scope of the project is a common occurrence, and adjustments are made to the project budget and schedule to account for these changes. Scope creep occurs when these changes are not recognized or not managed. The ability of a project manager to identify potential changes is often related to the quality of the scope documents.
Events do occur that require the scope of the project to change. Changes in the marketplace may require change in a product design or the timing of the product delivery. Changes in the client’s management team or the financial health of the client may also result in changes in the project scope. Changes in the project schedule, budget, or product quality will have an effect on the project plan. Generally, the later in the project the change occurs, the greater the increase to the project costs. Establishing a change management system for the project that captures changes to the project scope and assures that these changes are authorized by the appropriate level of management in the client’s organization is the responsibility of the project manager. The project manager also analyzes the cost and schedule impact of these changes and adjusts the project plan to reflect the changes authorized by the client. Changes to the scope can cause costs to increase or decrease.
Project Schedule and Time Management
The definition of project success often includes completing the project on time. The development and management of a project schedule that will complete the project on time is a primary responsibility of the project manager, and completing the project on time requires the development of a realistic plan and the effective management of the plan. On smaller projects, project managers may lead the development of the project plan and build a schedule to meet that plan. On larger and more complex projects, a project controls team that focuses on both costs and schedule planning and controlling functions will assist the project management team in developing the plan and tracking progress against the plan.
To develop the project schedule, the project team does an analysis of the project scope, contract, and other information that helps the team define the project deliverables. Based on this information, the project team develops a milestone schedule . The milestone schedule establishes key dates throughout the life of a project that must be met for the project to finish on time. The key dates are often established to meet contractual obligations or established intervals that will reflect appropriate progress for the project. For less complex projects, a milestone schedule may be sufficient for tracking the progress of the project. For more complex projects, a more detailed schedule is required.
To develop a more detailed schedule, the project team first develops a work breakdown structure (WBS) —a description of tasks arranged in layers of detail. Although the project scope is the primary document for developing the WBS, the WBS incorporates all project deliverables and reflects any documents or information that clarifies the project deliverables. From the WBS, a project plan is developed. The project plan lists the activities that are needed to accomplish the work identified in the WBS. The more detailed the WBS, the more activities that are identified to accomplish the work.
After the project team identifies the activities, the team then sequences the activities according to the order in which the activities are to be accomplished. An outcome from the work process is the project logic diagram . The logic diagram represents the logical sequence of the activities needed to complete the project. The next step in the planning process is to develop an estimation of the time it will take to accomplish each activity or the activity duration. Some activities must be done sequentially, and some activities can be done concurrently. The planning process creates a project schedule by scheduling activities in a way that effectively and efficiently uses project resources and completes the project in the shortest time.
On larger projects, several paths are created that represent a sequence of activities from the beginning to the end of the project. The longest path to the completion of the project is the critical path . If the critical path takes less time than is allowed by the client to complete the project, the project has a positive total float or project slack . If the client’s project completion date precedes the calculated critical path end date, the project has a negative float. Understanding and managing activities on the critical path is an important project management skill.
To successfully manage a project, the project manager must also know how to accelerate a schedule to compensate for unanticipated events that delay critical activities. Compressing— crashing —the schedule is a term used to describe the techniques used to shorten the project schedule. During the life of the project, scheduling conflicts often occur, and the project manager is responsible for reducing these conflicts while maintaining project quality and meeting cost goals.
The definition of project success often includes completing the project within budget. Developing and controlling a project budget that will accomplish the project objectives is a critical project management skill. Although clients expect the project to be executed efficiently, cost pressures vary on projects. On some projects, the project completion or end date is the largest contributor to the project complexity. The development of a new drug to address a critical health issue, the production of a new product that will generate critical cash flow for a company, and the competitive advantage for a company to be first in the marketplace with a new technology are examples of projects with schedule pressures that override project costs.
The accuracy of the project budget is related to the amount of information known by the project team. In the early stages of the project, the amount of information needed to develop a detailed budget is often missing. To address the lack of information, the project team develops different levels of project budget estimates. The conceptual estimate (or “ballpark estimate”) is developed with the least amount of knowledge. The major input into the conceptual estimate is expert knowledge or past experience. A project manager who has executed a similar project in the past can use those costs to estimate the costs of the current project.
When more information is known, the project team can develop a rough order of magnitude (ROM) estimate. Additional information such as the approximate square feet of a building, the production capacity of a plant, and the approximate number of hours needed to develop a software program can provide a basis for providing a ROM estimate. After a project design is more complete, a project detailed estimate can be developed. When the project team knows the number of rooms, the type of materials, and the building location of a home, the project team can provide a detailed estimate. A detailed estimate is not a bid.
The cost of the project is tracked relative to the progress of the work and the estimate for accomplishing that work. Based on the cost estimate, the cost of the work performed is compared against the cost budgeted for that work. If the cost is significantly higher or lower, the project team explores reasons for the difference between expected costs and actual costs.
Project costs may deviate from the budget because the prices in the marketplace were different from what was expected. For example, the estimated costs for lumber on a housing project may be higher than budgeted or the hourly cost for labor may be lower than budgeted. Project costs may also deviate based on project performance. For example, the project team estimated that the steel design for a bridge over the Hudson River would take 800 labor hours, but 846 hours were actually expended. The project team captures the deviation between costs budgeted for work and the actual cost for work, revises the estimate as needed, and takes corrective action if the deviation appears to reflect a trend.
The project manager is responsible for assuring that the project team develops cost estimates based on the best information available and revises those estimates as new or better information becomes available. The project manager is also responsible for tracking costs against the budget and conducting an analysis when project costs deviate significantly from the project estimate. The project manager then takes appropriate corrective action to assure that project performance matches the revised project plan.
Project quality focuses on the end product or service deliverables that reflect the purpose of the project. The project manager is responsible for developing a project execution approach that provides for a clear understanding of the expected project deliverables and the quality specifications. The project manager of a housing construction project not only needs to understand which rooms in the house will be carpeted but also what grade of carpet is needed. A room with a high volume of traffic will need a high-grade carpet.
The project manager is responsible for developing a project quality plan that defines the quality expectations and assures that the specifications and expectations are met. Developing a good understanding of the project deliverables through documenting specifications and expectations is critical to a good quality plan. The processes for assuring that the specifications and expectations are met are integrated into the project execution plan. Just as the project budget and completion dates may change over the life of a project, the project specifications may also change. Changes in quality specifications are typically managed in the same process as cost or schedule changes. The impact of the changes is analyzed for impact on cost and schedule, and with appropriate approvals, changes are made to the project execution plan.
The Project Management Institute’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) has an extensive chapter on project quality management. The material found in this chapter would be similar to material found in a good operational management text. Although any of the quality management techniques designed to make incremental improvement to work processes can be applied to a project work process, the character of a project (unique and relatively short in duration) makes small improvements less attractive on projects.
Rework on projects, as with manufacturing operations, increases the cost of the product or service and often increases the time needed to complete the reworked activities. Because of the duration constraints of a project, the development of the appropriate skills, materials, and work process early in the project is critical to project success. On more complex projects, time is allocated to developing a plan to understand and develop the appropriate levels of skills and work processes.
Project management organizations that execute several similar types of projects may find the process improvement tools useful in identifying and improving the baseline processes used on their projects. Process improvement tools may also be helpful in identifying cost and schedule improvement opportunities. Opportunities for improvement must be found quickly to influence project performance. The investment in time and resources to find improvements is greatest during the early stages of the project, when the project is in the planning stages. During later project stages, as pressures to meet project schedule goals increase, the culture of the project is less conducive to making changes in work processes.
Another opportunity for applying process improvement tools is on projects that have repetitive processes. A housing contractor that is building several identical houses may benefit from evaluating work processes in the first few houses to explore the opportunities available to improve the work processes. The investment of $1,000 in a work process that saves $200 per house is a good investment as long as the contractor is building more than five houses.
Project Team: Human Resources and Communications
Staffing the project with the right skills, at the right place, and at the right time is an important responsibility of the project management team. The project usually has two types of team members: functional managers and process managers. The functional managers and team focus on the technology of the project. On a construction project, the functional managers would include the engineering manager and construction superintendents. On a training project, the functional manager would include the professional trainers; on an information technology project, the software development managers would be functional managers. The project management team also includes project process managers. The project controls team would include process managers who have expertise in estimating, cost tracking, planning, and scheduling. The project manager needs functional and process expertise to plan and execute a successful project.
Because projects are temporary, the staffing plan for a project typically reflects both the long-term goals of skilled team members needed for the project and short-term commitment that reflects the nature of the project. Exact start and end dates for team members are often negotiated to best meet the needs of individuals and the project. The staffing plan is also determined by the different phases of the project. Team members needed in the early or conceptual phases of the project are often not needed during the later phases or project closeout phases. Team members needed during the execution phase are often not needed during the conceptual or closeout phases. Each phase has staffing requirements, and the staffing of a complex project requires detailed planning to have the right skills, at the right place, at the right time.
Typically a core project management team is dedicated to the project from start-up to closeout. This core team would include members of the project management team: project manager, project controls, project procurement, and key members of the function management or experts in the technology of the project. Although longer projects may experience more team turnover than shorter projects, it is important on all projects to have team members who can provide continuity through the project phases.
For example, on a large commercial building project, the civil engineering team that designs the site work where the building will be constructed would make their largest contribution during the early phases of the design. The civil engineering lead would bring on different civil engineering specialties as they were needed. As the civil engineering work is completed and the structural engineering is well under way, a large portion of the civil engineers would be released from the project. The functional managers, the engineering manager, and civil engineering lead would provide expertise during the entire length of the project, addressing technical questions that may arise and addressing change requests.
Project team members can be assigned to the project from a number of different sources. The organization that charters the project can assign talented managers and staff from functional units within the organization, contract with individuals or agencies to staff positions on the project, temporarily hire staff for the project, or use any combination of these staffing options. This staffing approach allows the project manager to create the project organizational culture. Some project cultures are more structured and detail oriented, and some are less structured with less formal roles and communication requirements. The type of culture the project manager creates depends greatly on the type of project.
Completing a complex project successfully requires teamwork, and teamwork requires good communication among team members. If those team members work in the same building, they can arrange regular meetings, simply stop by each other’s office space to get a quick answer, or even discuss a project informally at other office functions. Many complex projects in today’s global economy involve team members from widely separated locations, and the types of meetings that work within the same building are not possible. Teams that use electronic methods of communicating without face-to-face meetings are called virtual teams .
Communicating can be divided into two categories: synchronous and asynchronous . If all the parties to the communication are taking part in the exchange at the same time, the communication is synchronous. A telephone conference call is an example of synchronous communication. When the participants are not interacting at the same time, the communication is asynchronous. The letter a at the beginning of the word means not . Communications technologies require a variety of compatible devices, software, and service providers, and communication with a global virtual team can involve many different time zones. Establishing effective communications requires a communications plan.
Risk exists on all projects. The role of the project management team is to understand the kinds and levels of risks on the project and then to develop and implement plans to mitigate these risks. Risk represents the likelihood that an event will happen during the life of the project that will negatively affect the achievement of project goals. The type and amount of risk varies by industry type, complexity, and phase of the project. The project risk plan will also reflect the risk profile of the project manager and key stakeholders. People have different comfort levels with risk, and some members of the project team will be more risk adverse than others.
The first step in developing a risk management plan involves identifying potential project risks. Some risks are easy to identify, such as the potential for a damaging storm in the Caribbean, and some are less obvious. Many industries or companies have risk checklists developed from past experience. The Construction Industry Institute published a one-hundred-item risk checklist (Construction Industry Institute Cost/Schedule Task Force, 1989) that provides examples and areas of project risks. No risk checklist will include all potential risks. The value of a checklist is the stimulation of discussion and thought about the potential risks on a project.
The project team then analyzes the identified risks and estimates the likelihood of the risks occurring. The team then estimates the potential impact of project goals if the event does occur. The outcome from this process is a prioritized list of estimated project risks with a value that represents the likelihood of occurrence and the potential impact on the project.
The project team then develops a risk mitigation plan that reduces the likelihood of an event occurring or reduces the impact on the project if the event does occur. The risk management plan is integrated into the project execution plan, and mitigation activities are assigned to the appropriate project team member. The likelihood that all the potential events identified in the risk analysis would occur is extremely rare. The likelihood that one or more events will happen is high.
The project risk plan reflects the risk profile of the project and balances the investment of the mitigation against the benefit for the project. One of the more common risk mitigation approaches is the use of contingency. Contingency is funds set aside by the project team to address unforeseen events. Projects with a high-risk profile will typically have a large contingency budget. If the team knows which activities have the highest risk, contingency can be allocated to activities with the highest risk. When risks are less identifiable to specific activities, contingency is identified in a separate line item. The plan includes periodic risk plan reviews during the life of the project. The risk review evaluates the effectiveness of the current plan and explores for possible risks not identified in earlier sessions.
The procurement effort on projects varies widely and depends on the type of project. Often the client organization will provide procurement services on less complex projects. In this case, the project team identifies the materials, equipment, and supplies needed by the project and provides product specifications and a detailed delivery schedule. When the procurement department of the parent organization provides procurement services, a liaison from the project can help the procurement team better understand the unique requirements of the project and the time-sensitive or critical items of the project schedule.
On larger, more complex projects, personnel are dedicated to procuring and managing the equipment, supplies, and materials needed by the project. Because of the temporary nature of projects, equipment, supplies, and materials are procured as part of the product of the project or for the execution of the project. For example, the bricks procured for a construction project would be procured for the product of the project, and the mortar mixer would be equipment procured for the execution of the project work. At the end of the project, equipment bought or rented for the execution of the work of the project are sold, returned to rental organizations, or disposed of some other way.
More complex projects will typically procure through different procurement and management methods. Commodities are common products that are purchased based on the lowest bid. Commodities include items like concrete for building projects, office supplies, or even lab equipment for a research project. The second type of procurement includes products that are specified for the project. Vendors who can produce these products bid for a contract. The awarding of a contract can include price, ability to meet the project schedule, the fit for purpose of the product, and other considerations important to the project. Manufacturing a furnace for a new steel mill would be provided by a project vendor. Equipment especially designed and built for a research project is another example. These vendors’ performances become important parts of the project, and the project manager assigns resources to coordinate the work and schedule of the vendor. The third procurement approach is the development of one or more partners. A design firm that is awarded the design contract for a major part of the steel mill and a research firm that is conducting critical subparts of the research are examples of potential project partners. A partner contributes to and is integrated into the execution plan. Partners perform best when they share the project vision of success and are emotionally invested in the project. The project management team builds and implements a project procurement plan that recognizes the most efficient and effective procurement approach to support the project schedule and goals.
- During the start-up phase, the project leader develops the project infrastructure used to design and execute the project. A team is formed to create agreement among project stakeholders on the goals, cost, and completion date. Plans for executing the project, managing the schedule and quality, and controlling the budget are created.
- The scope statement establishes project parameters that define what will be done.
- The project schedule begins with a milestone schedule followed by a WBS and a project diagram. The longest path through the project diagram is the critical path, and the difference between the completion of the critical path and the project finish date is the float. Shortening the critical path is called crashing the project.
- Cost estimating begins with a conceptual or ballpark estimate that is followed by a ROM estimate. A project budget is determined from the cost of the tasks in the WBS. Costs are monitored during the project and estimates updated if the costs vary from expectations.
- Project quality begins with the specifications of materials and labor. A quality plan creates a process for assuring the requirements and specifications of the project are met. Quality improvement tools can be applied to projects if the company has several similar projects.
- Team members are selected to manage functions and processes. The staffing plan assigns people as needed. Sources of team members are company employees, contractors, new hires, and partners.
- The risk on a project reflects the number of things that can possibly happen that will have a negative effect on the project and the probability of those events happening.
- The provider of procurement management depends on the size of the project and the organization. Commodities are purchased from the lowest bidder, while specialty items are purchased from bids or from partners.
- During the start-up phase, the first estimate of the cost of the project is called the __________ or ballpark estimate.
- Shortening the schedule to meet the project completion date is called ___________the schedule.
- Why would it be important to get the stakeholders in a project to actually sign the scope statement?
- What is the difference between a milestone schedule and a work breakdown schedule?
Areas of Knowledge
Write one or two sentences in which you describe each area of project management knowledge—as defined by the Project Management Institute.
- Team selection (human resources)
Construction Industry Institute Cost/Schedule Task Force, Management of Project Risks and Uncertainties (Austin, TX: Construction Industry Institute, 1989).
Project Management Institute, Inc., A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) , 4th ed. (Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Inc., 2008), 115–16.
Project Management from Simple to Complex Copyright © 2016 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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Project Management/PMBOK/Communications Management
In this PMBOK area, project managers focus on making sure that stakeholders are understood in terms of their communications needs. It also involves determining what communication outputs will be exchanged over the course of the project (i.e. status updates, minutes of meetings, reports on deliverables etc.). Project managers make careful plans to outline who receives which communications, who is responsible to deliver and respond to communication content, and how and when communications will be delivered. These details are summarized in a communications plan, which is created in the planning phase. Communications plans are then executed and monitored over the course of project implementation.
- 1.3 Techniques
- 1.4 Outputs
- 2 Manage Communications  
- 3 Control Communications
- 4 References
Plan Communications Management [ edit | edit source ]
Preparing a communication plan in Project Management involves six key points, which are defining the audience, defining the requirements, building a communications schedule, finding a responsible team member for preparing and scheduling the piece of communication, defining the medium of communication, and finally preparing the content.
Defining the audience:
Defining the audience is the simplest part in building a communications plan. What needs to be done in this area is, listing the key stakeholders who need information about the course of events in the project.
Defining the requirements:
In this part, the project manager answers the question: “What do the key stakeholders want to know?” This question should be answered according to the audience’s level of technical knowledge.
Building a communications schedule:
At this point, the project manager should have the audience and requirements information. Now, it is time to answer the question: “When to do it?” A flexible schedule should be prepared and verified by the audience. The schedule must be flexible and should give response to the situations in which a meeting (or meetings) was/were missed. This plan should also be in coordination with the project development schedule.
Finding the responsible team member:
Project manager can do this on his/her own, but involving team members or executives in the communication ensures high level of commitment to the project. So, at this phase, the group who will lead the communication process is selected.
Defining the medium of communication:
Presenting the information smoothly is important – especially for stakeholders. They are not involved in the project, but they need to know what is going on. An appropriate medium should be selected at this step to ensure that the information is delivered successfully to the stakeholders.
Preparing the content:
Now that everything is defined, the project manager (or the assigned team member) should prepare the content of communication. The content must be checked by the project manager before presenting to the stakeholders. The content should include the purpose of the process, the steps involved in undertaking the process, and the roles and responsibilities of team members at the current stage of the project. Using a template to prepare the content generally speeds up this final step.
Inputs [ edit | edit source ]
The four inputs are as follows:
- Project management plan.
- Stakeholder register.
- Enterprise environmental factors.
- Organizational process assets.
Communications requirements: Sum of the information requirements of the project stakeholders.
Communications technology: The technologies or methods used to transfer information back and forth.
Constraints: Factors that will limit the project management team's options.
Assumptions: Factors that will be considered true, real, or certain for planning purposes. (Assumptions generally involve a degree of risk and may be identified here or in the risk identification process).
Tools [ edit | edit source ]
There are many tools with which to use for communication. What you need to communicate will depend on what you use to send it.
Some communication tools are:
- Instant Messaging
Techniques [ edit | edit source ]
There are many techniques in managing communication, for example, one is to “establish a communication schedule”, which plans when events happen and keep your clients up to date throughout the project. Another technique used is “managing the flow of information”, in and out of the project. Then you need to put yourself in your audiences shoes and ask yourself, what do they need to know, what do they want to hear?, and what will stop them from listening. Using the data gathered you can plan how and when to communicate the necessary information to who ever needs it.
Outputs [ edit | edit source ]
The key to getting the best output is communicating with all the members of the team. This is also when you discuss the steps of strategy process and they have a clear understanding of what you are doing. There should be no surprises for them. This communication can be with target audience, stakeholders, management team etc. in various different forms.
The output can be in different forms such as:
- Reports like direct mail, online informational output
- To management in the form of e-mail, discussion forums
- To stakeholders in form of advertisement, public relations
At the project’s end, be sure to issue a closedown announcement/memo and give a copy to all the members of the project team as well as management folks who should be aware a particular project is complete. A proper accountability has to be set.
The report has the progress information of the project. This can be in detailed to tell about the various status part of the project. It can be put in the form of a documented detailed report.
- It can have graphs, histograms, charts of various form or tables which can show the structure of the budget and its analysis.
- The future analysis can be done also.
- If any changes or corrections has to made in the report this has to be done immediately and notify the team about the update.
- It can be mailed directly to them.In order to involve the stakeholder they should be told about the planning process, the different stages, roles and importance of these. The knowledge of all these steps are important to them in order to understand their involvement in the phase.
Manage Communications   [ edit | edit source ]
The Manage Communications process executes the tasks defined in the communications management plan to gather the project information, distribute it to the stakeholders in a timely manner, and, finally, store it. Moreover, a project manager uses the Manage Communications process to answer the stakeholders’ requests for additional information or clarification of information.
Most of the communications critical for a smooth and successful running of any project take place in the Manage Communications process.
Control Communications [ edit | edit source ]
WHAT Control Communications Is. The Control Communications process ensures that the communications management plan is effective, by comparing that with the outcome of the Manage Communication process and, eventually, making the required adjustments.
Since shortcomings in Communications Management Plan or Project Communications may develop and the communications needs of stakeholders may change during a project life cycle, getting the plan right and then executing it well prevents the communication issues responsible for project problems and failures.
References [ edit | edit source ]
- ↑ A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (fifth ed.), p. 287, Project Management Institute, 2013
- ↑ PMP Certification Exam Prep – Project Communications Management
- Book:Project Management
The 10 areas of knowledge. 7: Project Communications Management
Oct 4, 2017
As in any other area, the information follows the communication management 5W and the project manager should take them into account if they want to succeed.
Our starting point are the communications which, sometimes, are even more important than the technical project itself because they allow information to flow normally without misunderstandings or confusions within the project management.
Project communication management is divided into three main parts:
- Communications management plan
- Use of communications
- Control of communications
Communicate with your entire project team with a collaborative tool. Try ITM Platform for free.
1. Project communications plan
The right project communication, both with the members involved and with the interested stakeholders, is crucial for the plan to be carried out successful. Many projects don’t catch on due to poor communications. Therefore, heavy focus must be on the initial strategy that will lead to the achievement of the goals.
The PMBOK guide states that we have to identify basic or standard needs: progress updates and newsletters to investors among others. The contents of these communications must have been planned in advanced and this planning is captured in the strategy itself in two different sections: exit and entry.
The entry or internal communications section includes:
- Project management plan
- Record of the interested people
- Enviromental factors of the enterpirse
- Assets of the organizational processes.
In order to do that, as in the two following points, the tools and techniques used are linked with information technology, communication models, methods and meetings.
The exit or external communications section includes:
- Management plan
- Project documents with their corresponding updates
It cannot be ignored that project planning deliverables are communication tools and that project managers are communicators who collect, unify and distribute information so that the team can act in a coordinated way. The documents are valuable, but they do not speak for themselves.
2. Management of project communications
During the project execution stage, the management of the communication is crucial. The communications with the agents involved or part of the involved target groups must be identified in the communications management plan.
For example, if the project was about developing a programme for the urbanisation of an area, the agents involved or affected by the project could be the owners of the land and the administrations, even though the consumer is the final buyer of the house. If we don’t correctly manage the communication with the agents involved who are not participating actively on the project development, we may receive negative opinions that might complicate or even stop the development of the plan.
We must ensure everything and not facilitate random communications. The creation, distribution and storage of communications is an important process within project management and it requires the full attention of its manager.
3. Project communications control
Considering that communication plays an essential role in the development of our project, having strong and strict control is a mandatory task that provides security and confidence. In order to do so, it is very important to analyse the given results and to make reports from these.
The project manager must be part of the Control and Monitoring team to know, which is the state of each stage, task or activity with the objective of supervising its functioning and to check that it achieves the set goals. In addition, the manager or person in charge of the plan oversees quality control, scope and other control elements and he/she must also ensure that each actor receives appropriate communication and assesses possible changes to improve processes.
The area referred to the entries includes, apart from the ones mentioned before, the registry issuance. The tools and techniques are based on the information management system, the judgement or criteria of an expert and the meetings.
In the exit section, we should include:
- Information about the performance at work
- Change requests
- Plan updates
- The documentation that refers to the organizational aspects of the assets that intervene in the processes
This article belongs to a series on the 10 areas of knowledge of PMBOK. Take a look at the articles already published:
The 10 areas of knowledge. 1: Project integration management
Integration with the ITM Platform Project Menu
The 10 areas of knowledge. 2: Project scope management
The 10 areas of knowledge. 3: Project Time Management
The 10 areas of knowledge. 4: Project Cost Management
Managing Project Quality: Insurance case study
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Project Communication Management
- Jitesh J. Thakkar 3
- First Online: 02 September 2022
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Thakkar, J.J. (2022). Project Communication Management. In: Project Management. Management and Industrial Engineering. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-3695-3_15
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-3695-3_15
Published : 02 September 2022
Publisher Name : Springer, Singapore
Print ISBN : 978-981-15-3694-6
Online ISBN : 978-981-15-3695-3
eBook Packages : Engineering Engineering (R0)
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The 10 Knowledge Areas & 49 Processes (PMBOK®, 6th ed.)
The PMI framework of project management consists of 49 processes which are categorized in 10 knowledge areas as set out in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®, 6 th edition). This is based on the philosophy that project management consists of a one-off and recurring processes for which the PMBOK describes common good practices.
When you are managing a project in line with the PMI methodology or when you are preparing for your CAPM or PMP certification exam, you will need to be familiar with these processes and knowledge areas.
This article provides you with an overview of the 10 knowledge areas and 49 processes in a nutshell (source: PMBOK®, 6 th ed.)
Overview of the PMBOK Knowledge Areas
Develop project charter, develop project management plan, direct and manage project work, manage project knowledge, monitor and control project work, perform integrated change control, close project or phase, plan scope management, collect requirements, define scope, validate scope, control scope, plan schedule management, define activities, sequence activities, estimate activity durations, develop schedule, control schedule, plan cost management, estimate costs, determine budget, control costs, plan quality management, manage quality, control quality, plan resource management, estimate activity resources, acquire resources, develop team, manage team, control resources, plan communications management, manage communications, monitor communications, plan risk management, identify risks, perform qualitative risk analysis, perform quantitative risk analysis, plan risk responses, implement risk responses, monitor risks, plan procurement management, conduct procurements, control procurements, identify stakeholders, plan stakeholder engagement, manage stakeholder engagement, monitor stakeholder engagement.
The following table contains the 10 knowledge areas and the 49 processes:
Read on to find a short description of each of these processes “in a nutshell”.
1) Project Integration Management
In this process, a project charter is developed that authorizes the project and links it with the strategic objectives of the organization.
Frequency: once or at specified points during the project
The content and goal of this process are defining, preparing and coordinating all plan components,
This process comprises leading and performing the work that was defined in the project management plan as well as implementing approved changes,
This process describes the use of existing and the creation of new pieces of knowledge in order to achieve the project objectives and support organizational learning.
In this process, the overall progress is tracked, reviewed and reported to meet the performance objectives defined in the project management plan.
The content of this process is reviewing all change requests, getting approval for changes, and managing changes to deliverables, documents and plans. This also includes the communication of those changes.
In the ‘close’ process, all activities of a project, a phase or a contract are finalized. This includes archiving project or phase information as well as releasing team resources
2) Project Scope Management
The goal of this process is to create a scope management plan that sets out the framework of the definition, validation and controlling of the project and product scope.
In this process, the determination, documentation, and management of stakeholder needs and requirements are performed in order to meet the project objectives. This process helps create the foundation of the project and product scope.
This process is about developing a detailed description of the project and product, incl. the result boundaries and acceptance criteria.
Creating the work breakdown structure means breaking down project deliverables and project work into relatively small and manageable components.
This process formalizes the acceptance of the completed project deliverables. It sets out the objectivity and the procedure of acceptance of the final product based on the acceptance of each deliverable.
Frequency: when necessary
This process sets out the monitoring of the project status and product scope as well as the management of changes to the scope baseline . It also ensures that the scope baseline is accurately maintained and updated ongoing.
3) Project Schedule Management
This process contains the establishment of policies, procedures, and documentation of the project schedule management.
In this process, the actions needed to produce the project deliverables are identified and defined.
This process comprises the identification and documentation of the relationships among the project activities.
In this process, the durations to perform each activity are estimated.
When developing the project schedule , activity sequences, durations, resource requirements, and schedule constraints are taken into consideration.
This process defines the monitoring of the project status in order to update the project schedule as well as the management of changes to the schedule baseline .
4) Project Cost Management
This process is about defining the approaches and procedures to estimate, budget, manage, monitor and control project costs.
In this process, an approximation of the cost of required resources is estimated.
Aggregation of the estimated cost of all activities and work packages which is the foundation of the authorized cost baseline.
This process is about monitoring, managing and updating actual and planned project costs as well as the cost baseline.
5) Project Quality Management
In this process, quality requirements and standards are identified. One of the outputs is the documentation of how they are maintained ongoing.
This process is the transformation of the quality management plan into individual activities that incorporate the quality requirements/standards into the project. Thus, it facilitates achieving the quality goals and identifying ineffective processes and causes of poor quality.
The content of this process is the monitoring and controlling of the results of quality management activities. This also includes verifying that project deliverables and the project work are in line with the requirements for final acceptance.
6) Project Resource Management
This process is about defining how the team and physical resources will be estimated, acquired, managed, and used during the project.
This process contains the estimation of the team headcount and physical resources that are needed to perform project work.
Frequency: recurring, when necessary
In this process, team members are hired and on-boarded and physical resources are acquired. This includes the selection of sources as well as the assignment of resources to specific activities.
This process aims to improve skills and competencies, interactions and the environment of project teams in order to enhance the overall project performance.
This process includes performance tracking, feedback, and management of changes and adjustments to the project team.
This process helps ensure that the physical resources are available and utilized as planned. This may also include corrective actions if required.
7) Project Communications Management
In this process, the approach and plan for project communications are developed. Thereby, stakeholders’ and the project’s information needs as well as available organizational assets are taken into account.
Manage communications is the ongoing process of ensuring timely and appropriate communication in order to facilitate an efficient and effective information flow between the project team and stakeholders.
This process makes sure that the information needs of the project and the stakeholders are met properly and timely.
8) Project Risk Management
This process comprises the planning of risk management activities for the project which includes tailoring of risk management considerations to the individual situation.
This process focuses on identifying and documenting individual risks as well as sources of overall project risks.
In the process of qualitative risk analysis, the probability and the potential impact of individual project risks are assessed, which is the basis for their prioritization.
This process consists of statistical analyses (e.g. Monte Carlo simulation) of identified individual project risks and other sources of ambiguity or uncertainty. This is typically not applied to small or less critical projects.
In this process, the ways to address overall and individual project risks are identified and assessed, incl. definition of activities as potential risk responses.
This process is conducted when risks require a response, i.e. the previously selected risk responses (activities) are implemented.
In this process, risk responses and identified risks are monitored and tracked. In addition, new risks are identified and assessed.
9) Project Procurement Management
Planning procurement management includes documenting the way project procurement decisions are made, specifying the approach and identifying potential sellers.
This process comprises selecting a seller and implementing the agreements and contracts for delivery.
In this process, procurement relationships are managed and contract performance is monitored. This may also extend to changes and corrections as well as closing out contracts.
10) Project Stakeholder Management
This process implies identifying stakeholders and their respective interests, involvement, power, and potential impact on the project.
This planning process is about developing how to involve stakeholders and how to interact effectively with them during the project.
The management of stakeholder engagement includes communicating and working with stakeholders to meet their needs and expectations. The goal of this process is to ensure their support and reduce resistance from stakeholders.
This process describes the monitoring of relationships and the adjustment of strategies in order to engage stakeholders in an optimal way.
Project Management Project Management Knowledge Areas — All You Need to Know in 2023
Daily Jobs › Project Management
Project Management Knowledge Areas — All You Need to Know in 2023
For a project manager launching a new project is always connected with tension. So that everything goes smoothly, they should have a high proficiency level in project management knowledge areas and process groups.
In this article, you’ll learn about PMBOK 10 knowledge areas and PMBOK 5 process groups , how they differ, and how to implement them in practice (and exploring how the incorporation of a time tracker can bolster project management endeavors). This will help project managers to:
✅ organize project parts into a logical structure with progressive steps; ✅ link business processes to each step; ✅ allocate tools, resources, individual and collective inputs, techniques, deadlines, and expected deliverables to each method.
10 Project Management Knowledge Areas
There are 10 major knowledge areas of project management.
These areas of knowledge are recognized and accepted by most of the world’s project managers. All because they were determined and described in detail by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading association, in their PMBOK Guide , one of the more influential documents in the project management field.
PMBOK stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge. It’s a standardized set of definitions and terminologies, rules, and guidelines systematized and written by the Project Management Institute.
Each of PMBOK knowledge areas covers different parts of a project and involves several project management processes. They determine the processes’ requirements, tools, techniques, and outcomes for every process presented in a project.
Now, let’s dive a little deeper into the PMBOK knowledge areas.
1. Project Integration Management
This area covers all PM activities from project initiation to closure. It helps to link processes and tasks together. This creates a single, coherent project lifecycle. Project Integration Management covers the following:
- Project Charter Development to initiate your project and define the project stakeholders.
- Project Management Plan Development outlines how to manage the project to get results.
- Directing and Management of Project Work focuses on the production and release of the project’s deliverables.
- Project Knowledge Managemen t is about knowledge acquisition and sharing. It’s especially important if your team works in international or cross-functional teams. This way team members build knowledge and share it with their colleagues, improving project quality. Ensuring that it finishes on time without exceeding its budget.
- Monitoring and Controlling of Project Work involves project performance monitoring, estimation of achieved results, identification of possible project challenges, and changes.
- Performance of Integrated Change Control if your project needs changing administrative parts, such as a project sponsor or reviewing the project documentation, then it involves integrated change control tasks.
- Closure of the Project or Phase covers tasks or objectives that are needed to close the project or its phases.
2. Project Scope Management
Project Scope Management defines the scope of work to complete during the project. It’s essential as it sets boundaries to the amount of work that can be included in one project. This prevents the addition of unauthorized or unnecessary tasks. Also, it helps avoid going over budget. It includes the following processes:
- Scope Management planning involves the creation of the scope management plan. It’s usually included in the project management plan.
- Requirements Collection involves gathering detailed requirements to define the deliverable features and project stakeholders’ requirements for the project management process.
- Scope Definition is about the preparation of a detailed description of the project scope. It helps to uncover the hidden risks and other issues. The project scope should be built up gradually and become more precise with each iteration.
- WBS Creation . WBS stands for a Work Breakdown Structure. It involves the graphical breakdown of your project into components. These components represent the scope of work arranged hierarchically.
- Scope Validation is about approving and accepting the released project deliverables by project stakeholders.
- Scope Control is a revision of scope statements to ensure that the project work was completed within the set requirements.
3. Project Schedule Management
Project schedule management is one of the most sophisticated among all the knowledge areas. It requires a lot of pre-preparation. A project manager has to define project tasks first and after create a schedule where they mark the starting and finishing dates. Moreover, the project plan and timetable often change. That’s why a project management schedule needs frequent revisions and stakeholders’ approval. Project Schedule Management includes:
- Schedule Management Planning . This activity means that you list in your schedule management plan the employee responsible for its execution, how strict it should be, and under which circumstances you can alter it.
- Activities Definition divides a project into separate tasks. Basically, this activity matches with the creation of WBS.
- Activities Sequence is about ordering the tasks on a timeline. That’s the point where you need to allocate Finish-to-Start (FS), Finish-to-Finish (FF), Start-to-Start (SS), and Start-to-Finish (SF) times.
- Estimation of Activity Durations overlaps with the previous point. At this stage, you need to define the duration of each task.
- Schedule Development stage creates a diagram with a critical path. This is the longest way between starting and finishing points, a graphical bar chart with activities that have their early starting dates, and the resource usage allocated to each activity. That means you allocate your resources effectively.
- Schedule Control is the evaluation of project progress following the schedule. At this stage, you can define if the project goes ahead or is late.
4. Project Cost Management
Get to know the ins and outs of estimation of the project budget. This knowledge area provides effective estimation techniques that help to define the sums you need to spend on your project. By doing so, you ensure that project owners and stakeholders stay satisfied with the amounts they need to spend on product development. Project Cost Management involves:
- Cost Management Planning is the creation of a plan that determines the procedures and methodologies to estimate the project budget. It involves planning, management, expenditure, and control of project costs.
- Costs Estimation includes the processes of cost estimation. Here you include the estimation of labor, materials, and equipment costs needed.
- Budget Determining entails separate budget estimations into one project budget.
- Costs Control involves analyzing how the project budget is spent, and its status at a definite time.
5. Project Quality Management
Project Quality Management heavily depends on Project Time and Project Cost knowledge areas. The more the time and budget, the better the quality. Therefore, the deliverable quality level should be defined at the stage of project planning and a project manager should specify it in the overall project management plan. Project Quality Management includes:
- Quality Management Planning . This process involves creating a separate document that includes the specifications that define the deliverables’ quality.
- Quality Management entails that the quality of the deliverables. It should be regularly checked and approved.
- Quality Control means that the quality level meets the quality requirements.
6. Project Resource Management
Project Resource Management includes people, equipment, facilities, and others to ensure successful project fulfillment. However, equipment and budgeting play an essential role in project performance. The project team is the key factor that often determines the time and money spent on a project and influences the deliverable quality level. That’s why it’s particularly important to focus on the team when planning your project resources. Project Resource Management includes:
- Resource Management Planning involves a document that defines the resources for the project. Usually, this plan is devoted to human resource management . It determines the roles in a project team and role requirements, and how they’re applicable to the project.
- Activity Resource Estimation ensures that you have all the resources available to fulfill the project.
- Resource Acquisition is about acquiring the needed resources for the project.
- Team Development means that you provide your team with the needed training, if necessary. It also involves team building to establish strong interaction among the team members.
- Team Management is the process of monitoring and helping your team to deliver high-quality products.
- Resource Control is about monitoring and evaluating how the resources are spent. It also covers how your team interacts throughout the project.
7. Project Communication Management
When you develop your project plan, you need to establish a policy on how the project stakeholders shall communicate during the project execution, and in case of its changing. It’s important to develop the communication rules for stakeholders to get in touch quickly once there appear unforeseen issues. For successful project communication, a project manager should perform the following activities:
- Communication Management Planning . The development of this plan involves defining communication requirements. Including: how often and when to have meetings, what kind of means of communication to use for daily interaction, communications steps to undertake in case of unforeseen issues.
- Communication Management entails the implementation of a communication management plan.
- Communication Monitoring involves monitoring and revision of how the communication plan is executed.
8. Project Risk Management
Project risks are often hidden and can’t be seen at a mere glance. That’s why to ensure successful project execution and minimize unexpected issues, project managers should perform a deep analysis of possible risks. To estimate project risks successfully, a project manager should carry out these tasks:
- Risk Management Planning involves the creation of a risk management plan that explains how to categorize and prioritize possible risks.
- Risks Identification means that a project manager should identify the project risks. They record them for monitoring and prevention of their occurrence.
- Qualitative Risk Analysis means classification and categorization of the risks by their probability to occur and impact.
- Quantitative Risk Analysis involves estimation risks in numbers and how they influence every project aspect such as budget, team, timelines, and so on.
- Risk Response Planning is the outlined way of action on how to respond if the major risks appear.
- Risk Response Implementation is about executing the steps planned in the risk response planning.
- Risks Monitoring is the supervision of project development and evaluation of the occurrence of the risks. If the risks become outdated or irrelevant, you can cross them off the risk register.
9. Project Procurement Management
Not every project requires the procurement of outside subcontractors to speed up the project development or involve niche specialists. However, if you feel the necessity to add an extra workforce to the project, you’ll need a set of clear steps on how to do it. It’ll minimize the possibility to exceed the budget or time limits. This keeps your project within the boundaries of your project plan.
For effective project procurement, a project manager should perform the following activities:
- Procurement Management Planning helps to define the project needs and sets the parameters for hiring extra specialists.
- Procurement Conducting involves the process of searching and hiring an employee or an outsourcing company. This step also defines under what conditions you outsource part of your work and what project requirements the responsible party has to fulfill.
- Procurement Control implies management and monitoring of contracts and informing the parties in case of project changes.
10. Project Stakeholder Management
Stakeholders’ management is a fundamental part of any project. They initiate the project, identify product requirements, model project processes, estimate the project outcomes, and declare project success. Each stakeholder has a set of functions in a project. Therefore, a project manager should establish these roles and responsibilities.
It’s important to set the rules for stakeholders so that they effectively interact and add value to the successful project development. That’s why a project manager should perform these activities:
- Stakeholders Identification is one of the first steps done to initiate a project. Project stakeholders and their roles are usually outlined in one of the first project documents — a stakeholders’ register.
- Stakeholder Engagement Planning is about making a list of stakeholders and estimating their impact on a project, their roles, and responsibilities.
- Stakeholder Engagement Management involves the identification and meeting expectations of the stakeholders. For example, if they have enough tools to accomplish parts of the project, what project problems they might face in the future, and others.
- Monitoring of Stakeholder Engagement is about monitoring if the stakeholders’ needs were met and what they might need in the future.
PMBOK project management knowledge areas sort 49 project processes into logical groups, facilitating their selection for a project. As a project manager, you don’t need to pick up all of them. The number of processes you choose depends on the individual characteristics of each project. They can be determined by the scope of the project, budget, time, resources involved, and other factors.
Once you’ve decided which project processes you want to include in your project, you need to make them work. You can do it with PMBOK process groups. They line the processes upon the timeline, making it easier to understand which process you should start, move forward, and finish your project with.
5 PMBOK Process Groups
While knowledge management areas are implemented more theoretically and used to better define and understand project management processes, PMBOK process groups outline the practical approach to project organization. They represent consecutive stages on a timeline your project walks through with its development.
PMBOK process groups work like this:
- At the initiating stage , a project manager drafts a document with the project idea, main objectives, stakeholders, defines general processes and resources needed to develop a product.
- The planning stage involves detailing parts of the project, establishing milestones and deadlines, investigating stakeholders’ needs to accomplish the project, and developing a plan on how to tackle the possible risks.
- The execution stage is about bringing all the planned activities to life and working on the deliverables.
- At the monitoring and controlling stage , project stakeholders monitor and evaluate project outcomes, estimate project risks, and adapt the project plan and its development in line with the stakeholders’ requirements and necessities. This stage often overlaps with the execution stage.
- The closing stage is about the evaluation of the final product and the retrospection of the project execution processes to improve the future projects of the company.
Any given project passes through all these stages. However, the project processes inside each stage can vary. You can learn more about PMBOK process groups here:
What Are the 5 Project Management Process Groups
Our breakdown of project management process groups as seen by the Project Management Institute.
PMBOK Knowledge Areas VS Process Groups: What’s the Difference?
As you already know, PMBOK knowledge areas cover the theoretical part of project management, and process groups have practical stages that every project undergoes. Knowledge areas are vertical and occur at any time during a project, while process groups are horizontal and time-dependent.
For you to easier understand how it works here is a table that shows how PMBOK knowledge areas and process groups correlate:
PM Knowledge Areas: Wrap Up
Project management knowledge areas are an important realm of knowledge every project manager should be acquainted with. These areas help to systemize and prioritize project management processes, resulting in successful project execution.
However, project management areas relate to a theoretical part of project management. They can be traced in practical implementation in 5 PMBOK process groups. These groups show how a project develops on a timeline, passing through all the project management stages. Each project management stage involves its own project management processes which are, in turn, defined by the PMBOK knowledge areas.
We, at Everhour, hope that the project management knowledge areas have become a bit clearer to you and you can put this knowledge into practice. We wish all your projects to be a success!
IT entrepreneur, executive and a former engineer. Responsible for company growth as well as the team’s motivation. Big fan of playing tennis, snowboarding, traveling, reading books, and (of course) I live and breathe our product.
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