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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Project Management Basics – The PMBOK

If you had read the article on Tips & Tricks to pass the PMI ACP exam in the first attempt, you would’ve noticed that, one of the tips there was to review the PMBOK guide. We all know that this series of articles is about the Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) so, you are probably wondering why I put up that point – right? 

Does Agile Project Management need the PMBOK? 

Irrespective of whether we are talking about Traditional or Agile methodology, both are aimed at accomplishing one thing – To Manage a Project Better. The Project Management Body of Knowledge is still going to be valid here because we are still talking about Managing Projects. 

Of course, the entire content of the PMBOK may not be valid for the PMI ACP examination but many of the concepts that the PMBOK covers are very much a part of the PMI ACP Exam syllabus. 

As you can see from the Top Navigation Bar of this blog, I have already published numerous articles about the PMP certification where the syllabus is the PMBOK. So, during the course of this ACP Exam series, wherever a topic that is covered by the PMBOK comes up, I will place a reference to the old article from the PMP Series for you to refer for more information. 

Sounds Good? Lets move on… 

PMBOK Basics 

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is a guidebook, published by the PMI, which is used as a standard worldwide for managing various projects across many industries. The PMBOK describes project management processes, tools, and techniques used to manage a project toward a successful outcome. 

This standard is unique to the field of Project Management and is interrelated with other disciplines like Program and Portfolio Management. The 5th Edition of the PMBOK Guide contains 47 Processes that can be categorized as either by Process Groups (which are organized per the Project Life cycle Stage) or Knowledge Areas. 

Exam Tip: The ACP Exam is not going to test your ability to memorise the PMBOK or the names of the processes, its inputs, tools or outputs like in the PMP Exam. However, knowing the names and how the processes interact with each other at a high level including the life cycle stage where they happen will help you correlate to their equivalent activites (where applicable) in an agile projects life cycle and answer situational questions better. 

What is a Process? 

process is a set of interrelated activities performed to create pre-specified products, services, or results. Simple right? 

What is a Process Group? 

A set of Processes that are related to the same life cycle stage of a Project. for example the Initiation Process group contains all of the processes that need to be executed when a Project gets Initiated. We have a total of 5 Process groups where the 47 processes are distributed as follows:
1. Initiation – 2  
2. Planning – 24  
3. Execution – 8  
4. Monitoring & Controlling – 11  
5. Closing – 2 

To know more about the Project Life cycle Stages, check out this article:  Click Here

What is a Knowledge Area

There are various different aspects of the project that you as the Project Manager would need to properly Manage and take care of. The easiest example would be Project Scope. All the Processes that need to be executed, that pertain to the Project’s Scope get grouped into the knowledge area called Project Scope Management. Get the picture? 

The PMBOK version 5 has a total of 10 Knowledge areas where the 47 Processes are distributed. They are: 
1. Integration Management – 6  
2. Scope Management – 6  
3. Time Management – 7 
4. Cost Management – 4  
5. Quality Management – 3 
6. Human Resource Management – 4 
7. Communications Management – 3 
8. Risk Management – 6 
9. Procurement Management – 4 
10. Stakeholder Management – 4 

To know more about the different Knowledge Areas, check out this Article: Click Here

Note: As of PMBOK 4th Edition, we only had 42 processes and 9 Knowledge areas. The Stakeholder Management knowledge area was introduced in PMBOK 5th Edition along with one extra process in the Time Management area taking the total process count to 47. The picture below will tell you the names of all these 47 Processes. I would recommend you try to memorize at least the names and the knowledge area/process group each of these processes belong to. 

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