The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)

The PMBOK, published by the PMI, is a compilation of the project management guidelines to be adopted as a best practice for the successful execution of a project. It serves as a guiding principle for achieving the scope, cost, schedule and quality constraints of a project and is rigorously followed by numerous organizations throughout the world. The PMBOK establishes five process groups for any project, irrespective of the type of industry. These process groups are: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. Each of these process groups has its own inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. The inputs for a process group include the list of documents that are required to be in place before starting off a particular process.

For instance, before starting the scope planning process, you need to have the project charter and the list of assumptions and constraints for the project. The tools and techniques for each process group include the mechanism or the procedure that should be applied to the inputs to attain the desired outputs. During the scope planning process, you need to perform a benefit/cost analysis and use expert judgment to derive the scope statement for the project. The benefit/cost analysis and expert judgment in this example are the tools and techniques to be applied whereas the scope statement is the output of the scope planning process.

There are nine knowledge areas recognized by the PMBOK. These include the processes that need to be completed for the successful execution of a project. The nine knowledge areas are: Project Integration Management, Project Scope Management, Project Time Management, Project Cost Management, Project Quality Management, Project Human Resource Management, Project Communications Management, Project Risk Management, and Project Procurement Management. Each of these knowledge areas go through the initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and control, and closure phases.

The following table represents the matrix of the knowledge areas vs. the process groups:

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check out the final article (The Secret to Clearing the PMP Certification Exam (Part 3)) which will include practical ideas on how to prepare and what resources to use in preparation for the exam.

Note: PMI®, PMP®, and PMBOK® are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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    • No, to my best knowledge, you can’t. The PMP exam is only available in English. However, you can request a language aid (available also in French) during the test to assist you in case your English is weak.

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