5 Project Management Process Groups

All 49 processes and 10 Knowledge areas are tied back to the 5 Foundational process groups. These processes provide the essential framework for any project. 

While preparing for your PMP® Exam, the term process will be one the most frequently encountered topic. Processes are composed of three elements: inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. These elements are combined to create the processes. Inputs represent the starting point, tools and techniques are methods used to transform inputs into the outputs, and outputs are results of the efforts.

There are 49 unique processes that you will need to intimately learn to pass the exam. The processes along with the 10 Knowledge Areas are all tied back to the 5 process groups.  Understanding rather than memorizing these processes will serve better to answer the 200 multiple choice questions on the exam.

1. Initiating 

This group consists of those processes performed to start new a project or new phase. Authorization is required. Within this process, the initial scope is defined, and initial financial resources are committed. Key outputs - Develop Project Charter and Identify Stakeholders.

2. Planning

This group focuses on establishing the criteria and activities to create the project schedule. The schedule focuses on the project milestones, activities and project deliverables.  Key outputs – Project Scope Statement, Project Management Plan, WBS, Project Schedule, Baselines, Various project plans, Activity Cost Estimates, etc.

3. Executing

This group consists of those processes performed to complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy the project requirements. Key outputs – Deliverables, Change Requests, Updates to the Project Plan, Quality Reports, Project Team Assignments, Updates to the Issue Log.

4. Monitoring and Controlling 

This group consists of those processes required to review, track and arrange the performance of a project; identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required, and start the corresponding changes. Key outputs – Validate Scope, Control Scope, Quality Control Measurements, Control Communications, Control Risks.

5. Closing

This group is made up of all final processes that are needed to close a project as well as deliver all final reports, products, and services to the stakeholders. The completion of this process formally completes a project or phase Key outputs – Project Document Updates, Final Product, Service or Result Transition, Final Report, Updates to Organizational Process Assets.

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Reference - A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge, 5th Edition © 2013 PMI

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