Project management is the most crucial notion in business. Today, companies, big and small, work with projects. Thus, they require a solid organization system. Especially project managers should take into account a number of factors. Since 1996, the Project Management Institute (PMI) gave a helping hand with the creation of a guide called A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). The book explores how the 10 basic project management knowledge areas progress in time, along with their respective processes. The guide also shows how these 10 groundwork areas interconnect. Thus, managers should put them all under supervision throughout the duration of a project
10 basic project management knowledge areas
In this article, we will be focusing on each of them. Monitoring these knowledge areas closely can lead to full project control and success. Keep in mind that setting the right project management framework can improve working processes, teamwork, and the final deliverables.
Project Integration management
This project management knowledge area includes decisions and activities that concern projects from beginning to end. It works as the link between all other knowledge areas since it connects working processes and duties. Overall, it concretizes how a project develops, who is working on it, how knowledge is shared, and who does what. Therefore, the project manager who practices project integration management should be an all-knowing administrator with all the necessary information regarding all project aspects.
Project scope management
Think of the project’s scope as the greater path that a team should follow regarding overall work and individual tasks. During the process of defining the project's scope, teams should agree on regulations about the volume of the work, the expected deliverables, the monitoring of potential issues, and the actual breakdown of tasks. Then, the team will not focus on needless tasks, and the project will stay within budget. In reality, through project scope management, the project manager creates a handbook according to which the project will progress and be assessed at different stages.
Project schedule management
This project management knowledge area is a more complicated one. It takes a lot of internal work and pre-planning for the final schedule that will be followed. To create the optimal schedule, the manager should specify the project tasks, prioritize them according to their importance, and estimate when they should begin and end. As you can imagine, schedules do not remain static due to project changes or updates from the client. Thus, project managers should be ready to communicate with the stakeholders and then apply the necessary changes to the overall schedule and timetable. This process ensures that teams know how, when, and what they will be working on at every project stage. Through project schedule management, managers will be able to understand if a project is on time or runs late.
Project cost management
Project budget estimation is the core of project cost management. In order to define an overall budget, the manager should identify the resources needed and subsequent costs for the completion of a project. The costs, direct and indirect, may be relevant to materials, labor, and various project-related purchases. Then, executives, managers, and other stakeholders should agree on the amount of money to be spent on the project’s development for maximum quality results. In the end, the use of the project budget should be assessed and compared with the final product/service. In turn, the manager will determine if the right choices have been made or if the operations went over budget.
Project quality management
Focusing on this project management knowledge area means that managers should allocate the appropriate time and budget to a project. Therefore, for optimal project quality management, the manager should create a document to gather all the factors that regulate the quality of the end results. Of course, all this information should be included in the project plan. Plus, everyone should follow the quality standards consistently through the development process so that the project reaches the quality standards. Accurate time tracking, task monitoring, and keeping costs in check contribute to the best possible quality control.
Project resource management
Resources do not just include material costs. They also include employees, hardware, tools, facilities, and more. All these elements are essential in how a project will progress and its overall performance. The team should always have available the time, money, and equipment needed to fulfill a project. Of course, proper project resource management implies that the team has received suitable training, and the communication between team members is as effective as possible. At the end of a project, the manager, through resource control, will assess if the team handled the resources effectively.
Project communication management
Evidently, amongst stakeholders, project communication management is critical. People with a stake in a project from the stakeholders, from team members and managers to executives and sponsors. Therefore, the project manager should put together a communication policy in order to specify the frequency of team meetings, the communication methods, and the guidelines to follow when unexpected bumps on the road appear. The stakeholders should also make sure that they follow the set of communication rules throughout the project. So, the involved parties should show accountability and punctuality, qualities fundamental to the smooth progress of a project.
Project risk management
This is quite a distinct project management knowledge area. Having a risk management strategy helps teams pinpoint potential hazards. Then they can determine the ways that they should isolate, characterize, and deal with them. Each risk may bring about different repercussions and require different preventive measures, responses, and solutions. By preparing teams to face upcoming risks, projects will run better and smoother. Moreover, practicing project risk management will save a company from the trouble of addressing problems without prior organization and preparation.
Project procurement management
This specific project management knowledge area does not concern every single project. In some cases, external contractors and specialized professionals may help a project run more effectively and at a faster pace. However, the addition of new people to a project requires new guidelines to avoid collaboration, budget, and time management issues. Managers should hire freelancers that can blend with the existing team, have relevant experience, and measure up to the project demands.
Project stakeholder management
People are at the center of this project management knowledge area. The ultimate goal is to keep every stakeholder satisfied. They are essential to the development of a project. They are the ones that test, organize, assess, and deliver the project results to their company or respective clients. Therefore, the manager should define their responsibilities and positions at the beginning of a project. Simultaneously, communication between stakeholders should be regulated by a set of rules to prevent miscommunication. When the team delivers a project, an evaluation process begins. Through that, the manager would understand if stakeholders faced unexpected problems or had the necessary resources to work efficiently. With all this feedback, the manager will be able to identify possible pitfalls. This whole process will result in modifying project processes in order to increase the chances of success in future projects.
Project management knowledge areas: Why do they matter?
The areas explained in this article make up a project, from beginning to end. They should all be managed properly so that everything can run smoothly. Of course, this is not an isolated occasion. Project management is a core element in business since it builds a central organization structure for the smoother operation of project processes.