Know All 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas of PMBOK Guide 6th Edition

Know All 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas of PMBOK Guide 6th Edition

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Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Jul 5, 2022 09:41 IST

Project managers fulfil multiple responsibilities for the team and stakeholders. Despite resource limitations and risks, they deliver projects smoothly. Those who are PMP certified tackle constraints by implementing correlated techniques and tools the Project Management Institute’s PMBOK guide describes. Managing these connected processes through the guided standards refer to knowledge areas. There are 10 project management knowledge areas ensuring success in every project deliverable. So, whether you are preparing for the PMP exam or new to project management, this blog has you covered. 


PMBOK in Project Management

PMBOK is the acronym for Project Management Body of Knowledge. This standard guide from Project Management Institute was originally published in 1996. It is currently in the 7th edition that was published this August. The latest revised edition covers a new framework called project tailoring and replaces the knowledge areas with performance domains. 

The PMBOK Guide 6th edition features the 10 project management knowledge areas which are not present in the new version but are available to members of PMI online. It categorises 49 processes that are logically interrelated into five process groups and 10 project management knowledge areas. But first, you must understand how the project lifecycle is determined by the Project Management Institute. 

Project Lifecycle in PMBOK 6th Edition

Any project has a sequential or overlapping set of phases from beginning to end. Depending on the deliverable, the framework can range from predictive to hybrid. 

In the predictive or waterfall lifecycle framework, the deliverable is determined when the project starts. The lifecycle of a project can also be adaptive, that is, it changes with new requirements before delivering the product. The hybrid project lifecycle is a combination of predictive and adaptive. 

Let’s move on to the process groups. 

5 Process Groups in PMBOK 6th Edition

All the essential process groups in the 6th edition of PMBOK are mentioned below. These groups are mapped to 49 connected processes. 

  • Initiation – This process group involves defining the goals of the project. Project managers evaluate the feasibility of the organisation to meet the stakeholders’ demands. It also revolves around taking approval from stakeholders. 
  • Planning – This crucial process grouping aligns team members through delegation of tasks, evaluating timelines, tools, costs associated, etc. They would typically follow a work breakdown structure. 
  • Execution – Here project managers manage timelines, costs and inform shareholders about the progress. 
  • Monitoring and Controlling – This process group analyses the performance through KPIs against the main goal. Challenges may arise during the project and the project manager has to find working solutions for them to comply with the needs of the stakeholder. 
  • Closing – This set of processes look into the quality aspect of the deliverable along with checking into cost and time taken as per the objectives. 

10 Project Management Knowledge Areas

The above process groups are further clustered into 10 knowledge areas of project management according to the 6th edition of the PMBOK guide. 

Project Integration Management 

This knowledge area focuses on combining the separate processes of the project to comply with the common objective. Project managers also revisit this step if changes have to be made during the lifecycle of the project. 

Project Scope Management

The scope of the project must be properly defined at the beginning and unplanned tasks or budgetary concerns should not expand the workload in between the lifecycle. Project scope management handles this aspect. 

Project Schedule/Time Management 

Depending on the team division, there are different schedules. It is vital for project managers to keep a check on the schedules of allotted tasks and if necessary, they must adjust deadlines. 

Project Cost Management 

The project manager has to control the budget of the project to align with the planned and approved costs. You may check how a project cost management plan is made. 

Project Quality Management 

This is to establish benchmarks in quality and is usually done at the beginning of the project. Each stage in the lifecycle needs to meet optimal quality standards. Find out more on project quality management.

Project Resource Management 

It is vital to understand the strengths and expertise of individual team members in order to assign work. It is needed to assemble a team by finding the right people who are able to deliver results as per the objective. Project resource management also helps personnel become successful in a planned manner. 

Project Communications Management 

This kind of management is important for keeping everyone in the team and stakeholders in the loop. Without having proper control in communications with anyone involved, a plan does not work efficiently. 

Project Risk Management

Identifying potential risks in every stage of the lifecycle is important for delivering the desired objective. Project managers also analyse risks that may affect quality, time, scope and costs.

Project Procurement Management 

Here, all the contractors outside the organisation required for the project must be acquired. Project managers look into their involvement during the project and monitor them. 

Project Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder satisfaction is important for every project. It is also essential to identify the stakeholders both internally and externally and their levels of involvement in the project lifecycle. 

Final Thoughts

Delivering a project smoothly requires the handling of several processes. This is where the 10 project management knowledge areas streamline the workflow. 

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Which countries follow the PMBOK guide?

The PMBOK guide is accepted in many parts of the world. Currently, there are around 214 countries and territories with PMP professionals. As the Project Management Institute is from the United States and is the authoritative body offering the PMP certification, it is accepted in the American continents and many countries in Asia, including India. Project managers from the UK and many parts of Europe use the standards of PRINCE2.u00a0

Why should I follow the PMBOK guide for 10 project management knowledge areas instead of following the PRINCE2 methodology?

The project management knowledge areas included in the PMBOK guide are more descriptive and have set a standard for best-updated practices almost everywhere. The PRINCE2 methodology caters to a different set of project management challenges that may or may not be accepted in some countries and organisational project cultures. In short, both can complement each other.u00a0

Why are the 10 project management knowledge areas important?

The 10 knowledge areas of project management improve decision-making. They are split into several tasks that provide a holistic picture of deliverables.

About the Author
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio