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


1.   Introduction

After memorizing the 5 process groups (step #1) and the 10 knowledge areas (step #2), the next step in mastering the memorization of the processes is figuring out where the 47 project management processes fit in the matrix made by those process groups and knowledge areas.    The best way to do that is to first memorize the names and order of the processes by knowledge area.    In previous posts, I have covered the knowledge areas of Integration (chapter 4 of the PMBOK® Guide), Scope (Chapter 5), Time (chapter 6), Cost (chapter 7), Quality (chapter 8), and Human Resources (chapter 9).   This post will cover the processes involved in the Communications Resources Management knowledge area, which is covered by chapter 10 of the PMBOK® Guide.

Here are the 47 processes of project management; the chart indicates how many are in each knowledge area and process group.

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

 

2.  Communications Management knowledge area

Here’s the portion of the above matrix of 47 processes that lists the processes in the Communications Resources Management knowledge area, which is covered in chapter 10 of the 5th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide.

Knowledge Area Total # of Processes Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring & Controlling Closing
Communications

3

1  1  1

You may notice that, for the Communications knowledge area, the pattern of distribution of the processes in the process groups is EXACTLY the same as in the Quality knowledge area:   there are three processes, one of each in the Planning, Executing, and Monitoring & Controlling Process Groups.

NOTE:    The new knowledge area of Stakeholder Management, which is covered by Chapter 13 of the the 5th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide, was an outgrowth of the Communications Management knowledge area.    However, PMI felt that it was more important than just to passively communicate with the stakeholders, but to actively engage them in the course of the project, and that is why it became its own knowledge area.

Here’s a chart which gives the names of the four processes and a brief process description.

 

Process

Group

Process

Number

Process
Name
Process Description
Planning 10.1 Plan Communications Management Developing an appropriate approach and plan for project communications based on stakeholders’ needs and requirements, and available organizational assets.
Executing 10.2 Manage Communications Process of creating, collecting, distributing, storing, retrieving project information.
Monitoring & Controlling 10.3 Control Communications Process of monitoring and controlling communications throughout the entire project life cycle.

10.1 Plan Communications Management

The purpose of this process is to set the appropriate approach for communications throughout the project; in effect, to give the framework for all of the other processes in the Communications knowledge area.    It has as an output the Communications Management Plan, which shows what information various stakeholders need based on their requirements, and the format in which those communications will take place, given the organization’s available assets.   It is a planning process, which one can immediately see by the word “Plan” in the title.

10.2 Manage Communications

This is the process of carrying out the communications throughout the course of the project according to the Communications Management Plan.    Hence it is in the Executing Process group.    Some examples of things that are important to communicate with stakeholders are the performance results on an ongoing basis, and any proposed changes to the scope of the project.

10.3 Control Communications

The monitoring & controlling of the communications process is important so that if there are issues related to communications based on feedback from the stakeholders, these can be addressed through changes to the Communications Management Plan.

With this knowledge area, if you remember that there are 3 processes, the keywords “Plan”, “Manage”, and “Control” should be helpful in remembering the names of the three processes and putting them in their correct processes of Planning, Executing (= Managing), and Monitoring & Controlling.

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

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