Project Management as we know is a systematic approach and practice of managing projects within the allotted resources in order to accomplish its intended objectives. The project is temporary but a unique initiative. A project manager who is assigned to this project will be responsible/authorized to utilize the allotted resources until its completion and closure.
According to PMBoK 6th edition
A Project Management Process Group is a substantial grouping of Project Management processes for accomplishing specific project objectives. According to PMBoK 6th edition table 1.4, there are 49 project management processes grouped under 5 process groups spanning across 10 knowledge areas. These processes are chosen based on the project type and the business case. The project management undergoes all these five process groups which are generally termed as “Project Life Cycle”. Below are the five process groups.
1. Initiating Process Group
In this process group processes implemented to determine a new project or a new phase of an existing project by getting an authorization to begin the project or phase.
During this process group, a vision is set for the project with very high-level parameters. The project is formally authorized by the sponsor; the initial scope of the project is defined. All the key stakeholders associated with the project are identified and listed in the stakeholder register. Identification of stakeholders is one of the crucial activities here as this shall have an impact on the outcome of the project.
There are only 02 (two) project processes associated with this process group.
This process group ensures that all projects or the program are aligned with the strategic objectives of the organization.
The project manager is identified, assigned and authorized during this process group.
- Project Charter and Stakeholder Register are the key documents created during this process group.
2. Planning Process Group
In this process group, processes are performed to build the scope of the project, improve the objectives and set the course of the action needed to accomplish the goals that the project was undertaken to obtain.
This planning process group is the most important process group among all the five process groups as most of the project planning is done during the project group. There are 24 project processes associated with this process group spreading across all the knowledge areas thus contributing almost 49% of the total number of processes.
The process team along with the project manager chose the appropriate processes based on the type of the project assigned. Hence, most of the project preparation is done here. The success and the failure of the project depends on project planning and its accuracy.
This process group ensures that all the high-level parameters set in the project charter are elaborated here and sets the total scope for the project. All the associated project documents are prepared in detail.
Though the planning is iterative and continuous throughout the project, this process group covers most of the planning aspects to ensure all the scope but only the scope is included.
- The Master Project Management Plan (consists of the management plans from all the knowledge areas) is created during this process group.
In addition, all the project baselines like Scope, Cost, Schedule along with risk register are prepared and documented. These baselines would assist in tracking the project performance against the agreed constraints during the Monitoring & Controlling process group.
3. Executing Process Group
In this process group processes performed to complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy the project requirements.
There are 10 project processes associated with process groups spreading across different knowledge areas.
In this process group, the project work would actually commence. It means the project plan gets executed and starts delivering the project scope as the project moves on.
This is the process group wherein all the project resources are expended according to the project baselines and the project manager coordinates with those resources (men, money, time, etc.,).
The key responsibility of the project manager during this process group is to develop the project which he has acquired as part of the Human Resources Management plan. He has to ensure that the allotted resources are assigned with respective tasks and monitor the individual’s performance. The project completion depends on the performance of this team and also the skills of the project manager, exhibit in managing the team.
He/She is also involved in managing stakeholder’s expectations by providing communications on the project progress and the performance as per the communication management plan.
During this progress group, all the project procurements contracts are finalized by selecting competent vendors/suppliers. The project manager coordinates with the procurement manager in technical requirements while providing a project procurement schedule. The project manager also ensures the quality of the procurements and the quality on deliverables according to the agreed project quality standards by conducting periodic inspection
Another important aspect of this process group is that most of the project budget would be spent during this process group and project deliverables are produced.
During this process group, the project manager also needs to address the stakeholders change requests and decide on the inclusion of these change requests based on the approval or rejection of these change requests from the Change Control Board.
- No documents are prepared during this process group, the project documents get updated.
4. Monitoring & Controlling Process Group
Those processes required to track, review and regulate the progress and development of the project; identify any areas in which changes to the plan are needed, and initiate the corresponding changes.
There are 12 project processes associated with process groups spreading across different knowledge areas.
This process group ensures that the project progress & performance is on track by using appropriate tools & techniques and shall initiate the controlling measures if found any variance as compared with project baselines (scope, schedule, and cost).
No documents are created here in this process group, but project documents are updated.
5. Closing Process Group
Those processes performed to formally complete or close the project, phase, or contract. There is only one (01) project associated with this process group.
From the name itself, everyone is apparent that this process group initiates the action required to formally close the project or phase or the project procurement contract while getting the sign-off or acceptance from the customer.
The project manager formally closes the project by archiving the project records, updating the project repository, updating the lessons learned, celebrating the project success (if) and finally releasing the project team.
It is understood that projects undergo five process groups comprises of 49 project management processes mapped across 10 knowledge areas.
Initiating process group authorizes the project existence formally.
Planning is the most important process group among the five process groups wherein most of the project planning is done that finally decides the success or failure of the project.
The execution process group implements the project plan and consumes most of the project budget.
Monitoring & Controlling process group regulates the project progress & the performance against the project baselines. Initiates the action to bring back the project on track if there are any variations.
The closing process group formally closes the project or phase or the contracts that exist during the project period.