The project management processes as defined by PMI® PMBOK® 6 consists of Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling and Closing. Every project is a temporary endeavor and will need to be executed well based on the proper planning to avoid unnecessary overruns and schedule deviations. Managing projects is no wonder a challenge that entails conceiving a certain strategy and creating a workable methodology apart from problem-solving, communication, and team-building skills. These parameters divide a project into different phases as defined by PMI’s PMBOK and understanding and applying these PM process will help to acquaint with project management process and why it is necessary to execute a project in specific steps.
The following video will walk you through the different stages and processes involved in project management.
Let us now see how the project lifecycle interacts with overall project management process. In predictive small projects, the project management processes will be followed throughout the entire project though some of the processes may be iterated throughout the cycle.
Nevertheless, large projects may require each lifecycle phases to be managed by the process groups. The example given below has each phase of the project lifecycle go through the project management process groups due to its demand. An overall initiating effort will be done by the project manager leading to project charter creation and do high-level planning to get approvals. Once this is done, there would be separate phases for each stage in the project planning, execution, control, and closure which would typically hand out deliverables for that phase. Then the project management process will be repeated for the next stage of the project lifecycle.
The initiating process formally kickstarts the project or project phase. This involves identifying and analyzing stakeholders for alignment with their goals and objectives. This phase provides a guiding vision for the project that will help achieve high-level scope and any known constraints. The initiating phase formally gives the project manager the needed authority and information necessary to start the project.
The output of the initiating phase is project charter and stakeholder register.
Project Planning is a very important phase of any project that gives details about the project and helps in getting it organized before the start of the work. This presents a great opportunity to save time, cost, and resources. In the planning phase, the project manager and the team performs a detailed analysis of whether the project can be executed according to the details present in the project charter. Then they decide on how to achieve the strategic objectives through the project management process and knowledge areas. The project planning is iterative and not a one-time effort. This is because each process will use the results of the previous processes and may affect the outcomes. In the real world, the project plan and documents are revisited after identification of the risks, performing qualitative and quantitative risk analysis. The level of project planning by the project manager and the team always depends on the needs of the project. A highly visible project on an accelerated timetable with very limited variance demands detailed project planning rather than a low priority project with adjustable schedules.
The output of the planning process are project management plans and project documents that will provide directions for execution and control of the project.
The objective of executing process group is to complete the work defined in the project management plans to meet the objectives. The main goal is to achieve the outcome by adhering to budget, timeline, and schedule as mentioned in the project management plan and project documents. This phase is where the actual work will be done and will be focused on managing process, people and communicating according to plan. The project manager constantly updates the project management plan and project documents to accurately reflect the current status of the project. He or she also creates issues log to record and maintain project issue details, resolution and also who will be responsible for resolving the issues within the time.
Monitoring and Controlling process will measure the actual performance of the project against project management plan and approving changes through change management including corrective and preventive actions along with defect fix. The project manager uses the project baseline documents (scope, cost, schedule) to compare against the actual performance and suggest course corrections. He/She also obtains formal acceptance of interim deliverables from the customer. If the project does not go according to plan due to scope changes, the project manager re-plans and makes updates to the project management plans and project baseline documents to reflect the approved changes.
The final processes group is the closing group where the product scope is completed. This will have administrative activities including finalizing the paperwork needed to finish the project. The project will also have retrospectives from customers and team that goes into the “lessons learned” document. The project manager ensures all the project management documents are updated to complete status and hands off all project deliverables to appropriate stakeholders.
The project management process is the core of any project that helps the project manager navigate through all issues that arise in the project. The project management plans and the baseline documents serve as important documents and a guiding light for the project manager to make the project a great success.