PMBOK Knowledge Areas

PMBOK Knowledge Areas – 10 PM Knowledge Areas

5 min. read

In the project life cycle, there are five process groups: The initiating process group, the planning process group, the executing process group, the monitoring & controlling process group, and lastly the project closing process group. All project management processes belong to these process groups. But also, in project management, there are ten knowledge areas which are also known as PMBOK knowledge areas or PMP knowledge areas as well. And the processes belong to these PMBOK project management knowledge areas as well.

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Each of the PMBOK knowledge areas has several processes and these processes belong to one of the process groups. Briefly, we can say that there is a strong matrix structure that includes process groups, and project management knowledge areas.

Project Management Knowledge Areas

According to the PMBOK guide or project management body of knowledge, the project management knowledge areas help to achieve efficient project management. As you can also learn in the PMP certification training, all these project management knowledge areas include the processes which need to be performed in their own discipline.

This article will provide you a general mapping of which processes belong to which project management knowledge areas. Also, we are going to summarize the main purposes of all these 10 project management knowledge areas. Although if you want a more detailed review of these project management knowledge areas, you can enroll in an online PMP training.

What are the 10 PMBOK knowledge areas?

There are 10 knowledge areas. Let’s review which processes of which PMBOK knowledge areas belong to which process group.

Watch our “What are the PMP®, PMBOK®, Project Management Knowledge Areas?” video

Integration PMBOK Knowledge Area:

This is the only project management knowledge area that has processes in each five process groups. These processes are developing the project charter, developing the project management plan, directing and managing the project work, monitoring and controlling the project work, performing integrated change control, and closing the project or phase. The main purpose of the integration management PMBOK knowledge area processes is the execution and delivery of the project work end-to-end successfully.
Note that, project management processes are documented and controlled with the help of project management templates. You can see sample free project management templates to have an idea of how they work.

Scope Management PMBOK Knowledge Area:

This project management knowledge area has six processes. Four of them belong to planning. These are planning the scope management, collecting requirements, defining the scope, and creating WBS. Two processes belong to the monitoring and controlling process group. These are validating the scope and controlling the scope. Scope management PMP Knowledge area processes aim to control the scope of a project and protect against scope creep.

PMBOK knowledge areas

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Schedule Management PMBOK Knowledge Area:

This project management knowledge area has seven processes, six of them are in the planning phase and only one process belongs to the monitoring and controlling process group. These are: planning the schedule management, defining activities, sequencing activities, estimating activity resources, estimating activity durations, developing the schedule, and controlling the schedule. The main objective of the schedule management process is completing a project on time without variance.

Note that, this PMBOK knowledge area was known as Time Management before PMBOK 7th Edition change.

Cost Management PMP Knowledge Area:

This PMP knowledge area has four processes. These are planning cost management, estimating costs, determining the budget, and controlling costs. Cost management processes aim to complete the project under a planned budget.

project management knowledge areas

Quality Management PMBOK Knowledge Area:

This PMBOK knowledge area has three processes. Planning the quality management process belongs to the planning step, performing the quality assurance process belongs to the executing, and controlling the quality process belongs to the monitoring and controlling. Quality management processes ensure to meet the projects’ quality objectives.

Resource Management Knowledge Area:

This project management knowledge area has four processes. Planning the resource management process belongs to the planning phase and three other processes belong to the executing process group. These are: acquiring the project team, developing the project team, and managing the project team. Project activities are performed by project team members. Resource management processes mainly aim to people management of project resources.

Note that, this knowledge area was known as Human Resource Management Knowledge area before PMBOK changed.

Communications Management Knowledge Area:

This PMBOK knowledge area has three processes. These are planning the communications management which belongs to the planning phase, managing communications which belongs to executing phase, and controlling communications which belongs to the monitoring and controlling. A certain amount of communication will take place in a project internally and externally. Management of information dissemination is done with the help of communication management processes.

project management knowledge areas

Risk Management Knowledge Area:

Since risks are evaluated mainly in the planning phase, five out of six processes belong to the planning phase. These are planning the risk management, identifying risks, performing qualitative risk analysis, performing quantitative risk analysis, and planning risk responses. And one process that belongs to the monitoring phase is controlling risks. Risk management processes mainly aim to reduce the impacts of risks on the project once they occur.

Procurement Management Knowledge Area:

This PMP knowledge area has four processes. Planning procurement management belongs to planning, conducting procurements belong to executing phase, controlling procurements belong to the monitoring and controlling phase and closing procurements belong to project closure. The main purpose of procurement processes is the management and coordination of purchasing activities in a project.

Stakeholder Management Knowledge Area:

This PMBOK knowledge area has four processes. These are: identifying stakeholders, planning stakeholder management, managing stakeholder management, and controlling stakeholder management. Stakeholder management processes help to manage the expectations of project stakeholders during the project.

As you see all project management knowledge areas have one or more processes belonging to the 5 project management process groups. When the project managers are well aware of all the project management knowledge areas, they can conduct a project more efficiently. 

project management knowledge areas

Project Management Knowledge Areas
Review by: Margie Flores
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