Project Management Processes

The project management processes involve:
  • Start – Initiating the project
  • Plan – Planning the project
  • Act – Executing the project
  • Check and Act – Monitoring and Controlling the project
  • End – Closing the project

Project Management Processes

Official authorization of the project is received in the Initiating Process Group. The project manager receives necessary information to begin the project. It formally starts a new project.

Initiating Process Group can involve starting the project selection process. A project charter is created, stakeholders are identified and high-level needs of these stakeholders are identified. Outputs of this process group involve project charter, identified stakeholders, and the strategy for managing those stakeholders.

The inputs to Initiating Process Group may include:
  • Business case
  • Product description
  • Linkage of company’s strategy with the project
  • Likely stakeholders
  • Contracts
  • Current Industry Standards
  • Change Control System
  • Defined processes and procedures
  • Templates from past projects
  • Historical Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
  • Historical Estimates
  • Understanding company’s culture
  • Possible team members
Let’s discuss these points in detail:

The process of continually refining estimates and scope is termed as Progressive Elaboration.

The project manager is assigned during the Initiating phase in the project.

Business Case defines the reason why the project was started. The project manager needs to know the reason why the project was started. If the reasons are known, the project activities get impacted in the right way and the project team is able to bring the right outcome for the project.

High-level planning involves:
  1. Creation of High-level WBS
  2. Perform order of magnitude estimating
  3. Perform high-level risk identification
The high-level planning effort is a part of creating project charter, which is further used to document project objectives, milestone schedules, and initial budget of the project.

Planning process allows creation of a blue-print of the project i.e. getting the project organized before actually doing the work. Project planning presents a good opportunity to save time, resources and money. A detailed analysis of whether the project team can achieve the project objectives is done in the Planning process. All of the knowledge areas of the project are assessed and a roadmap is identified to accomplish the project successfully.

Planning Process Group involves:
  • Creating a Project Management Plan
  • Identifying Stakeholders and their needs
  • Collecting Requirements
  • Defining Scope
  • Creating WBS
  • Defining Work packages and Activities
  • Sequencing Activities
  • Estimating Activity Resources
  • Estimating Activity Durations
  • Developing Schedule
  • Estimating Costs
  • Determining Budget
  • Planning Quality
  • Developing Human Resource Planning
  • Planning Communication
  • Planning Risk Management
  • Identifying Risks
  • Performing Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Analysis
  • Planning Risk Responses
  • Planning Procurements
The output of the planning effort includes project management plan and project documents. Project planning is iterative. The individual management plans are combined together into the overall project management plan. The amount of time spent in project planning and the level of detail achieved in the plan should be appropriate to the needs of the project. Some projects cannot be fully planned to a detailed degree at the start of the project. These projects are organized by phases. Everyone is involved in the project planning process. Project manager compiles the project plan with inputs from stakeholders, historical records, company policies, etc.

As changes occur, project plan needs to accommodate those changes.

Completing the work as defined in the project management plan and meeting the project objectives is the purpose of Executing Process Group. The focus is on managing people, following processes, and distributing information.

The actions required for Executing Process Group are:
  • Direct and Manage Project Execution
  • Perform Quality Assurance
  • Acquire Project Team
  • Develop Project Team
  • Manage Project Team
  • Distribute Information
  • Manage Stakeholder Expectations
  • Conduct Procurements
The process of project management is iterative and thus, not always performed in the same sequence. Thus, execution means executing the latest revision of the project management plan.

Monitoring and Controlling Process Group requires several activities. It involves measuring the performance of the project with the project management plan, approving change requests, including corrective and preventive actions and defect repair.

The actions required in Monitoring and Controlling Process Group are:
  • Monitor and Control Project Work
  • Perform Integrated Change Control
  • Verify Scope
  • Control Scope
  • Control Schedule
  • Control Costs
  • Perform Quality Control
  • Report Performance
  • Monitor and Control Risks
  • Administer Procurements
Project is completed only when the project closure is completed. The actions required for Closing Process Group are:
  • Close Project or Phase
  • Close Procurements
Once the administrative pieces of project closure are completed and formal sign-off that the product of the project is acceptable is received from the customer, other stakeholders, and/or the sponsor, the project is closed. The project manager can thus release any resources who had been helping to close the project.

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