5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Memorizing the Processes: Step 3 (Integration Knowledge Area)


1.   Introduction

In the last post, I showed how you can use logic and the memorizing of some key numbers to memorize the pattern of where the 47 process groups go in the matrix formed by the 5 process groups and 10 knowledge areas.   This is the result that shows how many processes go in which of the 5 process groups and 10 knowledge areas.

Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring & Controlling Closing
Integration 6

1

1

1

2

1

Scope 6

4

2

Time 7

6

1

Cost 4

3

1

Quality 3

1

1

1

Human Resources 4

1

3

Communications 3

1

1

1

Risk 6

5

1

Procurements 4

1

1

1

1

Stakeholder 4      1

1

1

1

 47

2

24

8

11

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.

2.  Integration Management knowledge area

Let’s take the Integration Management Processes first.

Here’s the portion of the above matrix of 47 processes that lists the processes in the Integration Management knowledge area, which is chapter 4 of the PMBOK® Guide.

Knowledge Area

Total # of Processes Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring & Controlling

Closing

Integration

6

1 1 1

2

1

Now, here is a chart that contains a list of the six processes, with their process numbers which have a) the chapter of the Guide where they are find (the Integration Knowledge area is chapter 4) followed after the period by the number from 1 to 6 which shows the order in which they are found.    The process name and a summary process description are also given.

ProcessGroup ProcessNumber Process
Name
Process Description
Initiating 4.1 Develop Project Charter Develops document that formally authorizes project and provides project manager with authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.
Planning 4.2 Develop Project Management Plan Defines, prepares, and coordinates all subsidiary plans and baselines (from all 9 other knowledge areas) and integrates them into a comprehensive project management plan.
Executing 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work Leads and performs work defined in project management plan and implements approved changes to achieve the project’s objectives.

Monitoring

& Controlling

4.4

Monitor and Control Project Work Tracks, reviews, and reports project progress against performance  objectives defined in project management plan.
4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control Reviews change requests; approves changes and manages changes to deliverables, OPAs, or project management plan itself; communicates their disposition
Closing 4.6 Close Project or Phase Finalizes project across all PM process groups; formally closes project or phase

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.    Since it is the formal start to the project, it is therefore easy to see that it is in the “initiating” process group.    It is only one out of 2 processes that start even before detailed level planning.

4.2 Develop Project Management Plan

The output of this process is the Project Management Plan.   It is not a single plan, but is actually the “mother of all plans”, meaning it combines a) the individual plans for each of the 10 knowledge areas, b) the performance baseline (the scope, time, and cost baselines), plus c) 4 more subsidiary plans (change management, configuration management, process improvement management, and requirements management), and integrates them all into one interlocking master plan.

Since it has the word “plan” in it, this is the clue to you that it is in the planning process group.

4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work

What’s in the plan that comes out of process 4.2 Plan Project Management gets DONE here.   Remember the plan-do-check-act cycle? This is the DO part.    That’s why it is in the “executing” process group.

4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work

This is the “check” part of the “plan-do-check-act” cycle.   It is easy to memorize that this is in the “monitoring & controlling” process group, because the words “monitor” and “control” are part of its title.

4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control

In the last process 4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work, if you monitor the project work and you see there is a need for a correction, then you must control the project to get “back on track” by making a change request.    This process 4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control  is where the change request is evaluated by analyzing what impact the requested change (usually in the “scope” of the project) will have on the other constraints of the project (such as “time”, “cost”, or “quality”).   Then the decision to accept or reject the requested change is made according to the Change Management Plan.

There are two possible types of changes, a) one that changes what the project work is in order to accommodate the schedule and/or budget, or b) if that schedule and/or budget is now seen to be unrealistic, you may have to change those in order to accommodate the new reality of the project work.    If a change to the project work is accepted, you go and “integrate” that change by looping back through the 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work process.    If a change to the project schedule and/or budget is accepted, you change the appropriate parts of the Project Management Plan.

This process also has the word “control” in it, so it is easy to see why it is the Monitoring & Controlling process group.   You can see why it follows the only other process to be in that group, 4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work, because you can’t make a change in the project unless you first monitor it to see whether it needs changing in the first place.

4.6 Close Project or Phase

If the project does proceed to the point where the deliverables of the project are completed as specified by the plan developed in process 4.2 Develop Project Management Plan, 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.   Since it has the word “close” in the process name, it is easy to see why it is in the closing process group.

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.     Just remember that it is the only knowledge area to have processes in each of the 5 process groups.    Only the Monitoring & Controlling process group gets 2 of the processes; all of the others have 1 process each.    That is why there are a total of 6 processes in this knowledge area.

Tomorrow I go through the Scope Management Knowledge Area processes.

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