PMBOK: Process-Based Approach to Project Management

5 Min Read
PMBOK: Process-Based Approach to Project Management

Every company, regardless of size or industry, requires project management. Although it might not be official, PM is almost standard for the success of any organisation. 

The trouble, though, is that project management comprises many elements, which can make it hard for professionals to fulfil their responsibilities. With companies having to incorporate never-ending changes into their systems and processes, the work gets even harder for project managers. 

So, it became necessary to find a way to unify the various aspects of PM, leading to the creation of the Project Management Body of Knowledge. PMBOK is a widely used standard that allows organisations to monitor projects from start to finish. Learning what your enterprise stands to gain from the framework is necessary if you are to invest in it.

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What is PMBOK? What does PMBOK stand for?

PMBOK stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge

The PMI Project management Institute developed the PMBOK or Project Management Body of Knowledge a process-based methodology for managing projects.

A guide for people working in project programs, project management or portfolio management.

What is the history of PMBOK?

PMBOK was created by the project management institute which was established over 50 years ago in 1969. It was initially created to act as a “community group,” a place to share information and discuss problems being encountered in all areas of the project management industry.

In 1984, they began issuing certification of competence: PMP – Project Management Professional.

In 1987 a whitepaper PMBOK was published, and then the PMBOK Guide followed in 1994.

Currently, the guide, published last in 2017, is in its sixth edition and is now available in 12 languages.

The PMI updates the standards as necessary.

What is PMBOK Methodology?

PMBOK methodology is more of an industry framework than a methodology.  Methodologies are systems, techniques, procedures, and rules whereas PMBOK is a reference guide on how best to complete the project.

It is a set of guidelines, best practices, processes and tools for managing projects. It’s an internationally recognised standard that the Project Management Institute developed to establish the fundamentals of Project Management. 

Often associated with other project management methodologies like the waterfall methodology, critical path method, Lean, kanban, and six sigma are project management methodologies examples but also compatible with newer methodologies like agile, scrum.

Sometimes a structured approach isn’t always right for your project. Sometimes, a more agile methodology by break the project up into several different phases. 

What is Pmbok used for?

The simple aim is to increase project success and in the timeframe set out. By providing the best practices for project management, the framework increases the chances of success. Regardless of the industry, from retail to manufacturing to tech, the PM Body of Knowledge creates value. 

Companies have the freedom to choose which processes from the framework best satisfy their PM situations. The Project Management Institute doesn’t recommend any specific elements to be the best ones. Therefore, managers must analyse the needs of their projects, teams and companies carefully before deciding. 

The PMI has a PM Body of Knowledge Guide that breaks down the framework for industry professionals.  monitoring and controlling and project closing.

The project management guidelines are not constant, though. They change with time to reflect new methods, practices and standards in project management. 

5 PMBOK Process Groups

The PMBOK guide breaks down project management into 49 processes.  These are then grouped under process groups or knowledge areas. 

PMBOK  five process groups:

  • Project Initiation Process: Processes needed to launch a new project. 
  • Planning Process: Processes defining and planning the project, and how it will be executed. 
  • Execution Process: Processes related to actual completion of project tasks, procedures and activities. 
  • Monitoring and controlling Process: Processes controlling project performance and progress. From tracking, monitoring, analysis and reporting. 
  • Project Closing Process: Processes required to finish and complete either the project or project phase. 

What are the 10 PMBOK Knowledge Areas?

There are 10 knowledge areas that define the PM Body of Knowledge. These areas occur in the different process groups and are paramount in developing effective projects. Here’s a quick look at the knowledge areas.

Project Integration Management – This section covers the critical aspects of a project from initiation to completion. It includes all the groundwork like project planning, appointing managers and getting approval.

Project Scope Management – It defines the amount of work that the project intends to cover. Therefore, you get to identify a project’s requirements and the different roles for everyone.

Project Schedule Management – In this stage, you divide tasks and set deadlines. A project schedule requires revisions over time and takes significant preparations.

Project Cost Management – The area involves budget estimation, which helps monitor the use of funds during the project.

Project Quality Management – A project has to meet certain standards, which means setting quality requirements.

Project Resource Management – The human element is the most crucial factor in a project. So, an HR management plan allows you to assemble the right team.

Project Communication Management – This area ensures that you develop a communication policy for the team and project stakeholders.

Project Risk Management – Executing a successful project means knowing about the risks and how to deal with them. This area involves risk assessment.

Project Procurement Management – For projects that need outside subcontractors procurement management ensures that you get the right professionals and resources.

Project Stakeholder Management – Conducting a stakeholder analysis lets you identify who is involved in the project and what they need.

PMBOK provides industry-approved guidelines for dealing with the different challenges that projects face. The methodological approach guides professionals on how to leverage the best elements of a project. It is designed to help managers complete projects within budgets and deadlines.

Process Management with Checkify

There are many different ways to organise and manage projects. Here at Checkify we can help you document your processes, assign to the correct people and schedule daily tasks.

Document your processes to assist project managers with reference steps throughout the project, and a detailed guide in how the task should be completed and the project successfully.

Do you need to layout every process or task to run in sequential order? Do you need to know who is working on the task, where you are within the process and accountability and an audit trail with analysis? Know what needs doing, when and what is running late.

Try Checkify process management software to help with your project management.

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