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Overview of Project Management Processes

The Project Management process involves:

  • Start - Initiating the project

  • Plan - Planning the project

  • Do - Executing the project

  • Check and Act - Monitoring and Controlling the project

  • End - Closing the project

The following is the detailed description of above-mentioned processes

  • Initiating Process Group

Official authorization of the project is received in the Initiating Process Group. The project manager receives necessary information to begin the project. It formally starts a new project. Initiating Process Group can involve starting the project selection process. A project charter is created, stakeholders are identified and high-level needs of these stakeholders are identified. The outputs of this process group involves project charter, identified stakeholders, and the strategy for managing those Stakeholders.

Inputs To Initiating Process Group

The inputs to Initiating Process Group may include:

1. Business case

2. Product description

3. Linkage of companies strategy with the project

4. Likely stakeholders

5. Contracts

6. Current Industry Standards

7. Change Control System

8. Defined processes and procedures

9. Templates from past projects

10. Historical WBSs

11. Historical Estimates

12. Understanding company’s culture

13. Possible team members

Let's discuss some of the points in detail:

Progressive Elaboration

The process of continually refining estimates and scope is termed as Progressive Elaboration.

Project Manager Assigned

The project manager is assigned during the Initiating phase in the project. Even if this may or may not happen in the real world, for the PMP exam, please assume that the project manager is assigned during the Initiating Phase.

Business Case

Business Case defines the reason why the project was started. The project manager needs to know the reason why the project was started. If the reasons are known, the project activities get impacted in the right way and the project team is able to bring the right outcome for the project. High-Level Planning is done During Project Initiation

High-level planning involves:

  • Creation of High-level WBS

  • Perform order of magnitude estimating

  • Perform high-level risk identification

The high-level planning effort is a part of creating project charter, which is further used to document project objectives, milestone schedules, and initial budget of the project.

  • Planning Process Group

Planning process allows a creation of a blueprint of the project i.e. getting the project organized before actually doing the work. Project planning presents a good opportunity to save time, resources and money. A detailed analysis of whether the project team can achieve the project objectives is done in the Planning process. All of the knowledge areas of the project are assessed and a road map is identified to accomplish the project successfully.

Planning Process Group Involves:

1) Creating a Project Management Plan

2) Identifying Stakeholders and their needs

3) Collecting Requirements

4) Defining Scope

5) Creating WBS

6) Defining Work packages and Activities

7) Sequencing Activities

8) Estimating Activity Resources

9) Estimating Activity Durations

10) Developing Schedule

11) Estimating Costs

12) Determining Budget

13) Planning Quality

14) Developing Human Resource Planning

15) Planning Communication

16) Planning Risk Management

17) Identifying Risks

18) Performing Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Analysis

19) Planning Risk Responses

20) Planning Procurements

The output of the planning effort includes project management plan and project documents. Project planning is iterative. The individual management plans are combined together into the overall project management plan. The amount of time spent in project planning and the level of detail achieved in the plan should be appropriate to the needs of the project. Some projects cannot be fully planned to a detailed degree at the start of the project. These projects are organized by phases. Everyone is involved in the project planning process. Project manager compiles the project plan with inputs from stakeholders, historical records, company policies, etc. as changes occur, project plan needs to accommodate those changes.

  • Executing Process Group

Completing the work as defined in the project management plan and meeting the project objectives is the purpose of Executing Process Group. The focus is on managing people, following processes, and distributing information. The actions required for Executing Process Group are:

1. Direct and Manage Project Execution

2. Perform Quality Assurance

3. Acquire Project Team

4. Develop Project Team

5. Manage Project Team

6. Distribute Information

7. Manage Stakeholder Expectations

8. Conduct Procurements

The process of project management is iterative and thus, not always performed in the same sequence. Thus, execution means executing the latest revision of the project management plan.

Smart Study

The exam assumes problems do not occur very often, nor they should have a major impact on the project. For the exam, assume that proper project management was done unless any other point is explicitly stated in the question.

  • Monitoring And Controlling Process Group

Monitoring and Controlling Process Group requires several activities. It involves measuring the performance of the project with the project management plan, approving change requests, including corrective and preventive actions and defect repair. The actions required in Monitoring and Controlling Process Group are:

1) Monitor and Control Project Work

2) Perform Integrated Change Control

3) Verify Scope

4) Control Scope

5) Control Schedule

6) Control Costs

7) Perform Quality Control

8) Report Performance

9) Monitor and Control Risks

10) Administer Procurements

Smart Study

For the exam, it is important to know:

The project management plan is available with the project manager and it is realistic and complete. The project manager is aware of the procedure and the timing to measure time, cost and scope performance against the performance measurement baseline. A Project manager is accountable to meet the performance measurement baseline. Project performance is measured against the metrics determined for the project and included in the project management plan. For any deviations of the project performance from the baseline, the project manager takes corrective actions.

  • Closing Process Group

A Project is completed only when the project closure is completed. The actions required for Closing Process Group are:

  • Close Project or Phase

  • Close Procurements

Once the administrative pieces of project closure are completed and formal sign-off that the product of the project is acceptable is received from the customer, other stakeholders, and/or the sponsor, the project is closed. The project manager can thus release any resources who had been helping to close the project.

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