Project management has evolved from few simple principles to a wide subject with many complex concepts. To make it easier for people to understand project management, all PMBoK knowledge areas are classified into nine categories by PMBOK Guide. It is one of the most comprehensive model documents for project managers. In this article, we will take a deeper look at each of these knowledge areas to give you a better perspective of project management.
1. Project Integration Management
PMI defines project integration management as, “Processes and activities needed to identify, define, combine, unify and coordinate different processes and activities with project management process groups.” In short, project managers will have to keep an eye on every aspect of a project and check if everything is going according to the plan.
Good project integration is not possible without good teamwork. In order to be successful, you should have the resources who know their role and responsibilities. It is the responsibility of project managers to make project objectives clear and manage the inter-dependencies effectively to complete projects successfully. Therefore, project managers should focus on the bigger picture and follow a strategic approach to project management. Keep an eye on the obstacles and address them quickly before the problem gets out of hand.
2. Project Scope Management
Scope creep and lack of proper scope document is one of the main reasons behind project failure. Furthermore, defining and documenting all the work comes under scope management. Your project team should know what the deliverables are and what problems your project will solve. All this makes it easier for your team members to achieve the goals and helps clients in knowing what to expect from the projects. Therefore, project scope should also contain milestones related to projects.
There are five sub-processes involved in the project scope management process.
- Collect requirements (Document stakeholder requirements)
- Define scope (Detailed description of project and what it will do)
- Create work breakdown structure (Dividing projects into smaller tasks)
- Verify scope (Getting acceptance of project deliverables from stakeholders)
- Control scope (Difference between actual and approved scope)
3. Project Time Management
One of the biggest challenges for project managers is to complete projects on time. However, most project managers do not understand this knowledge area. Hence, most projects under their supervision fail to complete before the deadline. There are six sub-processes associated with the project time management knowledge area that every project manager should know in order to complete projects on time.
Here are the six sub-processes:
- Define activities
- Sequence activities
- Estimate the resources required
- Estimate the time required
- Develop a schedule
- Control schedule
4. Project Cost Management
Most project managers consider managing costs against their project as their biggest challenge. However, cost management can be a difference maker between a successful project and a project failure. Many projects are abandoned due to budget constraints. If you do not want this to happen to your projects, then you should learn the art of effective project cost management and complete projects within the specified budgets. Latest tools and techniques can help you in this regard.
Here are three main sub-processes involved in project cost management.
- Estimate costs
- Determine budget
- Control costs
Make sure that you keep an eye on budget and expenditures so that you do not end up exceeding the budget. Unfortunately, most project managers do not pay attention to cost management from the beginning, spends a major chunk initially without any record and struggles to keep the project inside the budget later on. To keep project costs in check, you should track every dollar and where it is spent.
5. Project Quality Management
No matter how you define quality, a high-quality project is one which satisfies the customer needs and does not contain any defects and deficiencies. In order to achieve the highest project quality, project managers and their team should focus on customer requirements they have gathered initially, try to know what the customer wants and which problems your project will solve.
Develop a prototype of the project and give it to the end user to use it. Their feedback will allow you to make necessary adjustments before you deliver the final product to the customer. At the end of it all, the project should completely align with the user requirements in order to be called a high-quality project. Hence, all the requirements should be well documented so that your team can deliver a project that satisfies customer’s requirement.
6. Project Human Resource Management
Another knowledge area of project management that usually is ignored is project human resource management. It is the set of processes and activities involved in organizing, leading and managing project teams. It is how you manage the most valuable asset of your company i.e. people. To be successful at it, project managers should have a clear strategy when it comes to hiring and staffing people and inducting them into project teams. Hiring the right people can increase the chances of your success.
Project Human Resource Management process involves following sub-processes:
- Developing a human resource plan
- Hire the project team
- Develop a project team
- Manage project team
7. Project Communication Management
Poor project communications can wreck havoc on your project progress. Moreover, it can take your project towards failure. So, if you want to complete projects successfully, all team members should be on the same page. Moreover, they should work as a team to achieve the common objective. If you want that to happen, then you will have to communicate effectively and regularly. Project managers can enhance collaboration and communication among their team members by using task management software that offers communications and collaboration features. Here are some of the key activities that project managers need to undertake to ensure uninterrupted communications throughout the project:
- Identify stakeholders
- Plan communications
- Distribute information
- Manage stakeholder expectations
- Report performance
8. Project Risk Management
Most project managers consider risk management as the most important factor in completing projects successfully. Therefore, effective risk management plays an important role in preventing your projects from failure. In addition to this, project managers can reduce the risk by following a proactive approach and managing risks at the initial stage. Project managers who ignore minor risks have to suffer from project failure because these minor risks can turn into major risk and can lead to a project disaster if left unattended. Here are some of the activities that project managers will have to undertake in project risk management:
- Plan risk management
- Identify risks
- Perform qualitative and quantitative risk analysis
- Plan risk response
- Monitor and control risks
9. Project Procurement Management
The Project Procurement Management knowledge area covers all the aspects related to purchase and acquiring of products and services needed to complete projects effectively. Although, the procurement process is quite transparent and conducted through a contract or agreement, it important for project managers to ensure that there are no discrepancies. Whether you are a buyer or seller, you need to understand both perspectives to get a better knowledge of the project procurement process. Additionally, cost benefit analysis, cost utility analysis, and risk analysis also comes under project procurement management.
- Plan procurement
- Conduct procurement
- Administer procurement
- Close procurement