PMP Certification Study Notes 2/3 – Project Management Processes and Knowledge Areas

PMP Process Groups and 47 processes of project management

Introduction: This part of PMP® exam study notes is based on the 2nd and 3rd chapter of the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition. It gives an overview of the 47 processes of project management in the PMBOK® Guide and the process groups. More information on my PMP® certification exam preparation can be found at my PMP® exam and certification journey here.

The Project Management Process Groups (IPECC)

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closing
  • Planning and Executing are iterative. Monitoring and Controlling is exercised over Planning and Executing.
  • A phase is not a process group. The 5 processes can happen in 1 phase.
  • The process groups is not in sequence
  • The PM should tailor the choices of processes to fit in individual processes (tailoring)
  • deliverables are often incremental in nature


  • align project purposes with stakeholders’ expectations
  • assign a project manager
  • identify stakeholders and develop project charter
  • document business case (created by initiator, maybe well before the initiating process group) and cost-benfit analysis, identify high-level risks, identify project selection criteria
  • early in the process, the staffing, costs and chance of success are low, risk and stakeholder influence are high
  • may be performed at portfolio/program level (i.e. outside the project’s level of control)


  • create Project Management Plan [why the project? what to deliver? who do what? when accepted? how executed?], subsidiary documents (schedule baseline, cost baseline, performance management baseline, scope baseline (scope statement, WBS, WBS dictionary) and subsidiary management plans (scope, schedule, budget, quality, human resources [roles & responsibility, organization chart and staffing management plan include the staff need, rewards, safety and training need] , stakeholder, requirements, process improvement, communication, change, risk and procurement) – all are not finalized until a thorough risk management has been performed, need to be approved before work begins
  • all plan and documents can be formal or informal, generalized or detailed, depending on needs
  • Project Management Plan maybe continually updated during the project with rolling wave planning / progressive elaboration
  • obtain approval of plan from designated stakeholders, changes to the project management plan and subsidiary documents/plans need formal procedures described in the change control system
  • hold kick-off meeting
  • planning process group is MOST important, with over 1/2 of all the 47 process in this group
  • may need re-planning when significant changes to the baseline is observed in the executing/monitoring processes


  • to satisfy project specifications
  • coordinating human/infrastructure resources in accordance with the project management plan
  • updates and re-baselining the project management plan and subsidiary management plans
  • normal execution, manage contracts, acquire, develop & manager project team, perform quality assurance and manage stakeholder expectation/communication
  • direct and manage project work
  • continuous improvement process (quality assurance)
  • use up the largest share of resources

Monitoring and Controlling

  • measure performance, address change requests, recommend corrective/preventive measures and rectify defects
  • usually performed at regular intervals
  • control the quality, inspection and reporting, problem solving, identify new risks
  • reassess control process
  • should there be any internal deviance from the stated plan, the PM should make correction (use contingency reserve if necessary)
  • monitor and control project work and integrate change control
  • make sure only approved changes (through integrated change control) are incorporated


  • either project finished or cancelled
  • final product verification, contract closure, produce final report (closeout documentation), obtain formal acceptance, archive, release resources, close project
  • feedback, review and lessons learned (about the process), transition of deliverables to operation
  • procurement closure and administrative closure

Product-oriented Processes

  • initiating
  • planning and organizing
  • executing
  • closing

PMI Knowledge Areas

  1. Project Integration Management – assemble and combine all parts into a coherent whole
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Time Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Human Resource Management
  7. Project Communications Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management
  10. Project Stakeholder Management

47 processes of Project Management

The 47 processes of project management belongs to one of the process groups and one of the knowledge areas and will be discussed in more details in the upcoming study notes.

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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2 Responses

  1. Olivene says:

    Definitely appreciate the helpful notes and tips. Thank you Edward!

  2. Rahul says:

    These notes are very good, thanks !

November 12, 2013