PMBOK Knowledge Areas

Project Communication Management

Project Communication Management

Project Communication Management

Most of the time project managers spend in communication. Communication does not mean only writing, speaking, explaining, justify and defending. It is just one part of communication. Communication means to listen, comprehend, analyze and respond. For an effective communication, a project manager need to understand following aspects of communication

  • Who should be communicated?
  • Who will communicate?
  • What information need to be communicated?
  • What if that information is not communicated to that person or that time?
  • How that need to be communicated (phone, email, face to face discussion)?
  • What is the format of communication?
  • What is the content of the document being shared?
  • At what regular frequency this document need to be shared?
  • What is the cost of communication?
  • What is the return of communication (benefit)?
  • Is it written or verbal?
  • Is it formal or informal?

Pre and post communication we need to understand following

  • From where the information come for reporting?
  • How to ensure the security of information (available only to the intended people)?
  • How to index the information so that you ensure that information is available quickly when needed?
  • How long should the information be preserved?
  • Information security audit need to ensure that communication management plan is implemented properly

To ensure that stakeholders are getting information proactively or getting whenever they need it to know the progress or status or to make the decision.

To ensure all this communication management knowledge area has 3 processes.

  1. Plan Communication Management
  2. Manage Communications
  3. Control Communications

Project Cost Management

Project Cost Management

A project is not like typical operations which earn money for the organization, during the life of a project. Projects are funded by sponsor based on the benefits which he perceives. A project exists to create a unique product, service or results. This output of the project is useful only after the project is complete and project output (product, service or result) is handed over to the user. In a long term project getting needed funding throughout project lifecycle (PLC) is extremely important for project success. Therefore it necessary for a project manager to understand

  • Overall how much money is required for the project
  • How much money is required for what deliverable and activity
  • At what point of time that money is required in PLC
  • Who is funding project?
  • Why are they funding this project? What output do they expect?
  • How to convince sponsor that value of deliverable are as per the plan
  • How to convince the customer, user, manager that there is a cost involved in incorporating a change therefore change should be funded?
  • Establish funding requirements
  • Tracks cost of incorporating changes against the plan
  • Separately manage funds required to manage risk
  • Establish cost tracking and reporting systems
  • Understand risk tolerance and risk appetite of stakeholders, so that estimation can consider that input
  • What are different types of cost which project should estimate, baseline, track and report
  • How and who will estimate  the cost

There are different contract types and based on the contract performance money is released by the sponsor as per the contract. A project also needs to purchase many products, services or results from different vendors. So, different kinds of contracts are signed with vendors. Based on the vendor’s contract performance project also need to pay to the vendors.

To manage all these aspects of cost in the project there are 4 processes in this knowledge area

  1. Plan Cost Management
  2. Estimate Cost
  3. Determine Budget
  4. Control Cost


Project Cost Management

Project Human Resource Management

Project Human Resource Management

Project HR Management

A project team is a heterogeneous team. Work in the project is completed by human resources, either these resources are part of organization or organization is taking services from some vendor and resources are the contractual resource, who are providing services as per the vendor contract. All those human resources which are part of the organization, directly managed by the project manager and dedicated for the project are managed using the processes of this knowledge area. Those human resources which are not part of the organization or not fully dedicated to the project or contractual resources and works as an external consultant from a vendor are not managed using the processes of this knowledge area.

In a functional organization where project manager’s do not have any direct control over resources or where almost all the work is done through vendors or different department functions, a project manager does not have enough opportunity to implement the processes of this knowledge area, or he is just limited to communicate the resource requirement to HR or procurement department. In non-projectized organizations, a project manager does not have much control over following.

  • What resource will be provided to the project?
  • Motivating the human resources (either vendor or their functional managers takes care of this)
  • Appraisal of work and career path for a team member
  • Influencing the productivity, efficiency, and quality
  • Balancing and prioritizing between different activities of resource

Due to above reasons in smaller projects, non-projectized organizations human resource management is either handled by HR department or procurement department.

But any project manager whether he is part of a non-projectized organization or smaller organization must understand that to get the work done from the human is a challenging task and therefore he needs to understand following things they must be in place either by his direct efforts or indirect efforts.

  • Map correctly between the skills of an individual, role of an individual, organization designation of an individual and skill need of the project
  • Understand motivation of each individual
  • Organization culture, project environment (including customer, vendor, and regulators) and adopt an appropriate leadership style to get the work done
  • Define ground rules for the project team
  • Create a constructively playing and winning team
  • Identify skill gap and training need. And ensure training gaps are timely filled
  • Resources are taken on board on the project on time
  • Conflict management between team members

In order to ensure a project manager do everything so that project team is constructively contributing to the project, PMBOK defines following 4 processes.

  1. Plan Human Resource Management
  2. Acquire Project Team
  3. Develop Project Team
  4. Manage Project Team


Project Integration Management

Project Integration Management

Project Integration Management

The objective of Project Integration management knowledge area in PMBOK is to integrate all processes, activities, and output across all project life cycle and across other knowledge areas. With the processes of this knowledge area, you start a project and close project. This knowledge area helps you doing following.

  • Decide the rigor of the processes throughout the project lifecycle, in general in any project.
  • Prepare a list of processes which will be tailored and justification of tailoring.
  • Project management methodology
  • Lengths of the project phases from management perspective (not technical)
  • How various knowledge area processes will interact with each other, a high-level flow
  • What happens when some process shows output is not as expected? To which processes a project manager should go? It is documented here.
  • Identify various metrics required to manage a project, align these metrics with the balanced scorecard
  • From the understanding perspective, each process is different and it has well-defined input and output but in real-life so many things will happen in a parallel and cyclical way. So, how to balance between different processes. That is understood for a project in this knowledge area (KA)
  • Across project in various phases processes will get repeated but the rigor may change. So understand that try to define and implemented that with the help of this KA.

Formalities of this knowledge area become very much critical when project size is big, complex, large team size, virtual team, long term.

To harmonize all the work defined above there are 6 processes in Project Integration Management Knowledge Area

  1. Develop Project Charter
  2. Develop Project Management Plan
  3. Direct and Manage Project Work
  4. Monitor and Control Project Work
  5. Perform Integrated Change Control
  6. Close Project or Phase

Project Procurement Management

Project Procurement Management

A project is a catalyst for change. If an organization cannot manage that change independently then they outsource the work to somebody who is more competent or who is the sole supplier of product or services. Sometimes a project can be managed by the organization independently but not by the project manager. He has a dependency on many other departments and his project team cannot complete the project work on his own. This is the place where understanding project procurements become critical. A procurement may be purchasing testing service, hiring some consultant from a service organization, purchasing some raw material, purchase some machine or equipment, getting some technical training, get help in instructional design work from an expert organization, travel planning, food catering services, security services etc.

In a small organization or small project, most of the work of procurement is done by an independent procurement department of the organization or different functional heads of the organization provides their services towards the project and project manager ensure project get completed successfully. Here managing dependency becomes a very critical function of a project manager. But whatever is the case project manager need to understand following to ensure project success.

  • What are the resources which my project need?
  • Specification of product or services needed
  • When do I need those (earliest, latest date)
  • How to measure the work done by the vendor is successfully meeting the expectations?
  • Who will verify the quality of vendor’s products or services?
  • What kind of contract type should be signed for a particular type of work?
  • What is my max budget for particular procurement need?
  • What are the quality expectation?
  • If vendor engagement is for long time and at any time if we want to change the requirement then how to proceed?
  • How reward, penalty and payment are attached to various milestones of the procurement?
  • Who and where are my potential vendor of a particular product or service?
  • What is the process of procurement within my organization?
  • Is there any source selection criteria defined at organization level? Do I need to add, edit anything in the existing criteria or I can use them directly.
  • How copyright, patent, trademarks ownership will be handled, if any

To answer all these question either directly or through procurement department (indirectly) PMBOK provides 4 processes.

  1. Plan Procurement Management
  2. Conduct Procurement
  3. Control Procurement
  4. Close Procurement


Project Procurement Management