Passing the #PMP Exam—Study Group Discussions (The Process Matrix—Integration Knowledge Area)



 In the last post, I showed how you can use logic and a few numbers to memorize the pattern of where the 42 process groups go in the matrix formed by the 5 process groups and 9 knowledge areas.

Here’s the final result.

Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring & Controlling Closing
Integration 6

1

1

1

2

1

Scope 5

3

2

Time 6

5

1

Cost 3

2

1

Quality 3

1

1

1

Human Resources 4

1

3

Communications 5

1

1

2

1

Risk 6

5

1

Procurements 4

1

1

1

1

2

20

8

10

2

Of course, this just tells you WHERE the processes go. The next step of learning the processes is learning the NAME of the processes. Our study group found that it was best to memorize them row by row, in other words, by each knowledge area.

The reason for this is simply that this is the order the material is presented by the PMBOK® Guide. If you are studying the knowledge areas chapter by chapter, then thematically grouping the processes by knowledge area helps you put it together in your mind.

Let’s take the Integration Management Processes first.

Here’s the portion of the process matrix that lists the processes in the Integration knowledge area, which is chapter 4 of the PMBOK® Guide.

Knowledge area # Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring & Controlling Closing
Integration 6

1

1

1

2

1

Here’s a description of the six processes that are included in the Integration Knowledge Area.

ProcessGroup ProcessNumber Process
Name
Process Description
Initiating 4.1 Develop Project Charter Develops document that formally authorizes project and documents stakeholder needs & expectations
Planning 4.2 Develop Project Management Plan Documents integration of all subsidiary plans (from all knowledge areas); project management plan is primary source on how to manage project across all PM  process groups
Executing 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Execution Performing work defined in project management plan
Monitoring & Controlling 4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work Tracking progress to meet performance objectives defined in project management plan
4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control Reviewing change requests and managing changes to deliverables, or project management plan itself
Closing 4.6 Close Project or Phase Finalizes project across all PM process groups; formally closes project

In the above table, I have listed in bold those words in the process descriptions that match the process groups they are in.   This may help in memorizing them.   Let’s take a closer look at the process descriptions.

4.1 Develop Project Charter

The Project Charter is the formal “green light” to the project and is done as part of the initiating process. Just think of “green light” and “go.” It’s the high-level statement of what the objectives of the project are.

4.2 Develop Project Management Plan

The Project Management or PM Plan is actually the “mother of all plans”, meaning it combines the individual plans that cover all of the other knowledge areas and integrates them together.

NOTE: All of the processes in the Executing and Monitoring & Controlling Process groups have the phrase “project management plan” in them, so it shows you how vital this process is.

4.3 Direct and Manage Project Execution

What’s in the plan that comes out of process 4.2 gets DONE here. Remember the plan-do-check-act cycle? This is the DO part.

4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work

This is the CHECK part of the plan-do-check-act cycle. What are you checking for? To see if the project is progressing as planned in process 4.2. What happens if you’re NOT on track and you want to get back? Then you go to the NEXT process, which is

4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control

Here is where you evaluate requests for changes to get you “back on track” to complete the project according to the plan developed in 4.2. Let’s say you’re behind schedule, and you want to get back on schedule. Then this process evaluates the request for a change. You may end up changing the deliverables themselves if the scope changes, and you will have to change the plan itself to accommodate this change.

4.6 Close Project or Phase

If the project does proceed to the point where the deliverables are completed within the plan developed in process 4.2, then you get formal closure of the project or phase from the customer and/or sponsor of the project. This process shares the word “formal” in common with the first process 4.1.

If you look at the definitions of the processes and see how they are related, then it is easier to memorize the process names and their order.

Tomorrow I go through the Scope Management Knowledge Area processes.

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