PMI divides the wide field of project management into 10 sections known as the project management knowledge areas. You will come across 10 knowledge areas of project management in the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide-6th Edition. To enable efficient project management and run projects smoothly, there is a need for project managers to understand and know about the project management knowledge areas.
Regardless, knowing about the knowledge areas is essential for project managers, professionals studying for their project management certifications or simply candidates who are looking to freshen their project management knowledge. In this guide, we will talk about the top 10 project management knowledge areas in their depth and how essential they are for project management.
What are Knowledge Areas in Project Management?
Knowledge areas in project management are defined as standard guidelines for the different areas of project management. Project managers use these knowledge areas to manage the projects and work in alignment to the set scope and objectives for the project.
Furthermore, A knowledge area is a project management area that has been determined. It is defined by the knowledge criteria listed in the bulleted list below. So, Given the fact that the knowledge areas are interconnected, they are defined independently from the viewpoint of project management.
The 10 knowledge areas are :
1 – Project Integration Management
Within the Project Management Process Groups, the processes in this knowledge area are used in order to identify, define, integrate, unite, and coordinate the numerous processes and project management activities.
Project integration management is a knowledge area which is used in all 5 phases of project management, namely-initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing. This is a knowledge area which is crucial for holding the processes and tasks together and converts them into one big project with defined deliverables.
Project Integration management includes the following 7 processes:
- Development of Project Charter- It is for initiating the project and defining the stakeholders of the project.
- Development of Project Management Plan- It includes the outline of the project plan and how to get the desired results for favorable outcomes.
- Direct and Manage Project Work- It includes the production and the release of project deliverables.
- Manage Project Knowledge- It refers to clear communication among the project team or cross-functional teams to increase productivity and enhance the project outputs.
- Monitoring and Controlling Project Work- it refers to project performance monitoring and ensuring the project deliverables are on schedule.
- Performing Integrated Change Control- It refers to any changes with respect to project sponsors, or administrative tasks etc.
- Closing Project or Phase- it includes the tasks and activities for closing the project.
2 – A Project Scope Management
For instance, The processes, which are part of this knowledge area. These are performed in order to ensure the project includes all the work required. the work required to complete the project successfully.
Project scope management includes the work or tasks for completing a project. The project deliverables are planned in alliance with the stakeholder’s needs. Therefore, the project scope management has the following 6 processes:
- Planning Scope Management- It refers to the creation of scope management plans.
- Collecting Requirements- It refers to gathering the requirements for further refining the deliverables and defining the requirements of the project stakeholders.
- Defining the Scope- It refers to creating a detailed description for the project scope.
- Creating WBS(Work Breakdown Structure)- it refers to the graphical representation of the entire project into different work components.
- Validating the Scope- It refers to stakeholders approving and accepting the project deliverables.
- Controlling Scope- it refers to ensuring the project deliverables are completed in accordance to the set scope and requirements.
3 – Project Schedule Management
The processes, which are part of this knowledge area, are performed in order to manage the timely completion of the project.
This is again a crucial knowledge area as it ensures that the project is on time and the deliverables are released on deadlines. A project manager is responsible for defining the project tasks and then creating a schedule with starting and ending dates. Project Schedule Management has the following processes:
- Planning Schedule Management- It refers to activity to define a schedule and the employee responsible for the execution of a particular task within a time limit.
- Defining Activities- As the name suggests, it refers to explaining the activities of the project in detail with respect to the WBS.
- Sequence of tasks and activities- It refers to the sequence that the project team is going to follow. It includes the allocation of times such as finish-to-start (FS), Finish-to-finish (FF), Start-to-start (SS), and start-to-finish (SF)
- Estimating the duration of activity- It refers to defining the time that should take for each task.
- Developing a schedule- It involves creating a diagram with a critical path. Schedule development also includes tying different tasks along with the necessary resources with their start time and end time.
- Controlling Schedule- it refers to evaluating the project progress as per the defined schedule.
4 – Project Cost Management
The processes, which are part of this knowledge area, are performed to plan, estimate, budget, finance, and fund, manage and control costs so the project can be completed within the approved budget. Project cost management involves the following:
- Planning Cost Management- A project manager determines the procedures and methodologies to define the project budget and an overall cost.
- Estimating the Costs- It refers to cost estimation for the project.
- Determining the Budget- Here the separate budget estimations are combined to form a detailed project budget.
- Controlling Costs- it refers to the analysis of the budget spent going forward.
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5 – Project Quality Management
As a result, The processes, which are part of this knowledge area, are performed to incorporate the organization’s quality policy about planning, managing, and controlling project and product quality requirements to meet stakeholder’s expectations. This knowledge area includes the following processes:
- Planning Quality Management- It refers to documenting the specifications for defining the quality of the deliverables.
- Manage the Quality- It includes checking and approving the quality.
- Control Quality- As the name suggests, it refers to ensuring whether quality levels meet quality requirements.
6 – A Project Resource Management
The procedures in this knowledge area are used in order to identify, acquire, and manage the resources required to complete the project successfully. A project manager is responsible for considering the resources to be used for the project completion. It includes people, equipment, facilities, fundings, etc. Project resource management has the following processes.
- Plan Resource Management- It includes defining the resources for the project.
- Estimate Activity Resources- It refers to an estimation of the resources required for project completion
- Acquire Resources- It refers to the acquisition of the project resources.
- Team development- it refers to providing the team with the necessary training and it also includes team-building and improving the interaction among the team.
- Team management- it refers to monitoring the project team and guiding them to deliver good results.
- Resource Control- It refers to the evaluation and monitoring of the resources spent.
7 – Project Communications Management
The processes in this knowledge area are used to ensure that project information is planned, created, distributed, stored, retrieved, managed, controlled, monitored, and finally disposed of in a timely and suitable manner.
- Project Communication Management- It refers to setting the meetings schedule for the project teams, the means of communication for daily interactions, and other steps that are undertaken for unexpected events.
- Manage Communications- it refers to the implementation of a communication plan.
- Monitor Communications- It refers to checking how the communication plan is executed.
8 – Project Risk Management –
For instance, Risk management planning, identification, analysis, reaction planning, response implementation, and risk monitoring are all processes that fall under this knowledge area.
Risks are an inevitable part of projects, and that is why project risk management plays a crucial role in minimizing the risk factor. Project risk management includes the following processes:
- Plan Risk Management- it refers to the creation of a risk management plan that categorizes and prioritizes the project risks.
- Identify Risks- A project manager is responsible for identifying the project risks.
- Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis- It refers to categorizing the risks with respect to the probability of their occurrence.
- Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis- It refers to estimating the project risks and how they can affect the various aspects of a project such as budget, timelines, team, etc.
- Plan Risk Responses- it refers to a course of action in case of major risks.
- Implement Risk Responses- It refers to executing the risk responses in case of risks.
- Monitor Risks- It includes supervising and monitoring the risk management.
9 – Project Procurement Management
The processes in this knowledge area are used in order to buy or acquire products, services, or results that are required outside of the project.
Project procurement management has the following processes:
- Plan Procurement Management- it refers to defining the project needs and the requirement for hiring extra specialists.
- Conduct Procurements- It refers to the process of hiring employees or an outsourcing company.
- Control Procurements- It refers to the management of contracts.
10 -Project Stakeholder Management
The processes in this knowledge area is use to identify people, groups, or organizations that may have an impact on or can be affect by the project, analyze stakeholder expectations andDevelop suitable management techniques for effectively engaging stakeholders in project decisions and execution, as well as their influence on the project.
Project Stakeholder Management includes the following processes:
- Identifying Stakeholders- It refers to defining the stakeholders of the project.
- Plan Stakeholder Management- it includes a detailed document of the project stakeholder’s role, responsibilities, and their impact on the project.
- Manage Stakeholder Management- It is about meeting and managing the project stakeholder’s expectations.
- Monitor Stakeholder Engagement- It refers to ensuring whether the needs of the stakeholders are met or not.
These are the top 10 project management knowledge areas that every project manager has to keep in mind while executing the projects. These knowledge areas act as guidelines and support the project managers to implement various project approaches, frameworks, take care of budget, allocate resources efficiently, and so on.
Now, it can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to how to start or how to implement each of these knowledge areas, but with experience you might as well become a professional and can implement these knowledge areas easily and align them with your specific project tasks.
Also, Check this Complete Guide on PMP Certification