Project Management Processes in PMBOK®

Project management is a complex and broad field with foreseeable challenges. This can make it difficult to understand and find consistency in the process. New project management managers often create the misconception that they have a problem not understanding the process groups that are mentioned below when they just need to review them more closely. This is why the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) comes into the picture. Let’s get to know more about it.

The process groups of PMBOK

The Project Management Institute (PMI) developed the PMBOK, a set of guidelines and principles for managing projects. It contains recommended practices and standard principles to organize your project. It also uses common terminology each project manager can understand. The PMBoK is the project management bible. It's a detailed text that goes above and beyond outlining and describing your project schedule or quality management. They'll have their processes to account for any size projects you have.

The PMBOK® Guide defines a process as “a set of interrelated actions and activities to create a pre-specified product, service or result.” The Guide goes on to say that processes are what get things done.

Process groups are what you need to do, and knowledge areas are what you need to know. The matrix format connects the processes to their corresponding process group and knowledge area, encompassing all 49 processes.

When you need to do a process, a few things are required first. You'll need the tools and techniques used in the process and the prerequisites. Once everything is set up and ready to go, you can start your process. Once it's complete, you'll have one or more things that show when the process is done (or until the next time something goes wrong).

Process groups will help you complete projects in a systematic way, ensuring that every aspect is carefully considered. It includes the traditional five-step processes, which are, initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling. Plus, it uses a less traditional form of project management—so even new project managers can easily follow what’s going on.


If your project is approved, the first process group you'll work with is the Development group. This group has two main processes− developing a charter for your project and identifying key stakeholders.

While there are still no set requirements, this process has two outcomes. The project charter document and the stakeholder register help you to determine who will be involved in your project. For example, stakeholders are employees, customers, or members of the project that have vested interests. They may be responsible for a piece of the business or have seats on your business' board. Lastly, we offer advice about how often to communicate with them.

What should a project charter look like? This three-point list shares the basics of a good project charter

There are a few key components of a project charter −

  • Resources needed

  • Stakeholders

  • Key milestones

  • Estimations of costs

  • Dependencies


The Project Management Processes in PMBOK®, Sixth Edition, provides a comprehensive framework for project management. The Planning Process in PMBOK® defines the project's purpose, objectives, and key success factors that identify stakeholders' needs and requirements and determine the work scope.


Most of the budget spending and actual deliverables happen in the executing group. It is also where most of the collective work occurs on a project.

In order to execute projects, it's necessary to allocate resources. This includes tasks like communications, risk responses, and stakeholder engagements. It's important for groups to set clear expectations and objectives, measure outcomes, and be accountable for the timeline.

The project manager gathers all of the information related to the project and directs and manages it. They also are responsible for managing the project knowledge, which includes detailed requirements documentation, meeting minutes, and lessons learned. They work to acquire resources and manage a team throughout the project.

Control and Monitor

There are many processes in the control and monitoring process. They happen at different stages of the project to make sure you have sufficient oversight. The control and monitoring process will also identify and mitigate any potential issues which can make the project smoother and improve quality across all processes.

Project management results largely depend on its ability to monitor and update projects adequately. When these essential tools are properly used, it's hard for the mistakes made in a project to result in more overages and errors. Managing progress is often made through some sort of software.


One of the final steps in project management is to verify that all the final deliverables have been accepted and confirmed. This includes making sure any necessary documentation is finalized and stored. Once everything has been taken care of, it's time for closing. This generally happens at the end of the project life cycle.

PMBOK Benefits

The PMBOK approach provides a template that you can easily replicate for any project. The process groups included will ensure that all resources are making the most of their time and maximizing efficiency.

When managing a project, it's important to understand how the various processes work together. A project manager with experience would know exactly which processes need to be completed first on the timeline and coordinate accordingly for maximum success. Project managers must possess unique skill sets with expertise in each process and their interactions with other processes.

Updated on: 01-Dec-2022


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