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



In the last post, I went through the 4 processes in the Human Resources knowledge area (chapter 9 of the PMBOK® Guide).

In this post, I go through the 4 processes in the Communications knowledge area (chapter 10 of the PMBOK® Guide).

NOTE:   Due to an editing error, the diagram below says HUMAN RESOURCES when it should say COMMUNICATIONS under “Step 3 The Matrix”.

Here’s where we are so far: the boxes in green are what has already been covered, and the boxes in yellow are being covered in this post. (Boxes in grey are to be covered in future posts.)

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

Here’s the portion of the process matrix that lists the processes in the Quality knowledge area, which is chapter 8 of the PMBOK® Guide.

Knowledge area # Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring & Controlling Closing
Communications 5

1

1

2

1

Here’s a description of the five processes that are included in the Communications Knowledge Area, 1 of which is in the Initiating Planning Process Group, 1 of which is in the Planning Process Group, 2 of which are in the Executing Process Group, and the remaining 1of which is in the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group.

Process
Group
Process
Number
Process
Name
Process Description
Initiating 10.1 Identify Stakeholders Identifying project stakeholders, that is, people impacted by the project, and documenting their interests, involvement, and impact on the project.
Planning 10.2 Plan Communications Determining the needs of project stakeholders for information and defining a communication approach.
Executing 10.3 Distribute Information Making relevant information available to project stakeholders.
10.4 Manage Stakeholder Expectations Communicating with project stakeholders to meet their needs and address issues as they occur.
Monitoring & Controlling 10.5 Report Performance Collecting and distributing performance information (status reports, progress measurements, forecasts) to project stakeholders.

10.1 Identify Stakeholders

Note that this is the only other knowledge area other than Integration which has a process under the Initiating Process Group. Identifying stakeholders is vital because these contain people who will give formal approval for the project to start, and who will acknowledge the formal closing of the project. Documenting their interests and influence in the project is important because that will help in prioritizing communications.

10.2 Plan Communications

Using the list of stakeholders and the analysis of their interests in the project, you can now plan on answering the 5 questions of information:

  • who gets told,
  • what information is given them,
  • at what frequency (when)
  • in what form, and
  • by whom

For example, routine status reports may go to a group of stakeholders, whereas critical issues may only go to a subset of them. Once you have planned all of the communication, you can then go on to do the project.

10.3 Distribute Information

And in executing the project, you will now send the information to stakeholders as planned in process 10.2 Plan Communications.

10.4 Manage Stakeholder Expectations

When the stakeholders receive the information, they may react with questions, objections, etc., and their response is managed in this process.

10.5 Report Performance

On a regular basis, when you get word of how the project is coming along, you will want to, from time to time, inform stakeholders according to the plan set forth in process 10.2 Plan Communications.

These processes are relatively clear from the title, except perhaps Manage Stakeholder Expectations, because in reality, you are expected to do something somewhat wider in scope than that, in particular, to address issues or problems that may be expressed by the stakeholders.

The next post will be on Chapter 11, Project Risk Management.

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