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The 5 Project Management Process Groups

The lifecycle of project can be broken down into five distinct phases or process groups. These five PMBOK Process Groups describe and organize the project from start to finish. In this article, we will take a high level look at each of these process groups and how they relate and depend on each other to guide the project to a successful end. It is important to note that these process groups are not the sub-components that make up the project but of the project lifecycle.

Initiating
The Initiating phase of the project lifecycle is where the project gets defined and authorized by management. The inputs to this phase are usually a statement of work or a contract given to you by the project sponsor. Other inputs are the environmental factors of your organization such as policies, procedures, and cultures to name a few. The output of the Initiating process is a Project Charter and a Preliminary Project Scope Statement.

Planning
As you've probably guessed, the inputs to the Planning Process is the Project Charter and the Preliminary Project Scope Statement that were the outputs of the Initiating Process. The purpose of the Planning Process is to refine the project objectives and then plan the steps necessary to achieve those objectives within the project scope that was given. The output of the Planning Process is the Project Management Plan.

Executing
The Executing Process Group takes the Project Management Plan as input. It is here that people and other resources are combined with the Project Management Plan to carry out, or execute, the plan for the project. As you can imagine, the outputs of this process are the project deliverables, any changes such as change requests, preventive actions, defect repairs, and performance information about how the project plan performed.

Monitoring and Controlling
Throughout the project there is a need to control change and monitor that the project is on time and on budget while still producing a quality deliverable. The Monitoring and Controlling Process group is where these actions take place. It is here that project change requests get approved or rejected, that defect repairs are approved, and that any updates to the Project Scope and Project Management Plan are reviewed and approved. This is the process group that is ultimately responsible for approving the final deliverables of the project.

Closing
After all the deliverables of the project are created, the closing process group still has to close the overall project and provide the deliverables to the customer. The inputs to this process group are the administrative and contract closeout procedures. You may have had an internal or external vendor that supplied part of the deliverables that needs to get paid. You may have a asset management systems that you now need to update with the new product. You may have other procedures and accounts that need to be updated. It is here that formal acceptance of the product or service is obtained from the customer and a orderly close to the project occurs.

By: David White

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David White ProjectBench.net www.projectbench.net

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