Standard for Project Management
By: Date: 28/01/2024 Categories: PMI Tags:

What are process groups?

The five process groups are the following:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitoring and controlling
  • Closing the project or phase

Each of the process groups describes the actions that the project team will take to formally kick-off a project, plan for the needs of the project, execute the work, and update as needed until the deliverables are approved and the project or phase can be closed out formally. Process groups are not to be confused with a life cycle. Many projects have different kinds of life cycles, some of which will have a repeating series of initiations through closes until the project is completed.

Process groups can best be described as containers of individual processes and distinct ways of managing your projects based on the knowledge necessary. Yeah, that sounds confusing. Let me put it a different way. If you are looking at a home renovation project, you would need to do several things to make sure the project is successful. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it is a good overview of the processes and knowledge areas across the five process groups:

  1. You would need to determine, at a high level, what success looks like (initiation).
  2. You would need to identify your vendors, get permits, establish a high-level budget, and schedule milestones (initiation).
  3. You would need to identify your stakeholders or those people involved in the project who have requirements (initiation and throughout).
  4. You would need to put together a plan that includes a specific scope of work, a schedule, and a budgetary baseline, determine quality requirements, and assess risk (planning and throughout).
  5. You would need a way to communicate effectively on the project and potentially identify, acquire, develop, and manage other resources of people, equipment, and materials (planning and throughout).
  6. You would need to agree on the quality of the result and keep track of it throughout the project (planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling).
  7. You may need to enter into a contractual relationship with sellers and potential workers (planning and execution).
  8. The work would begin to be executed and reviewed for correctness (execution and monitoring and controlling).
  9. If the work isn’t going to plan, you will need to determine whether a change is necessary and identify the impacts of those changes on scope, time, cost, and quality. Then, you’d need to discover the best solution and work the changes into the plan (monitoring and controlling).
  10. During the work, you will be watching to make sure that quality can be verified as correct and validate the scope of work is correct before you sign off on the projects as complete (monitoring and controlling).
  11. You would close out the project, pay the workers, close out procurements, and document your lessons learned (close project or phase).

Just like the preceding simple project overview, projects are temporary and unique. There may be times when you need excessive information on the scope of work, and other times, you are doing something similar on another project and less information is required. Some projects are much larger and need in-depth planning and an integrated project management plan, while others not so much. Some projects will involve procurement, and others will not. So, you can see that projects are unique and that means you will need certain specific knowledge to appropriately initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control, and close the project or phase.

You may be asked on your exam, “what are the characteristics of a project?”. The correct answer is temporary and unique.

Now that we are aware of what process groups are, let’s cover the basics of knowledge areas.

Refer- PMBOK® Guide