Project Management Knowledge Areas are the essential components of project management, which provide the basis for managing projects and achieving successful outcomes.
A great starting point for project management knowledge is the PMBOK Guide.
This article will review the ten recognized PMBOK knowledge areas and explain how they work together to form a project management system.
Whether you want to become a project manager or seek a better grasp of the subject, this article is a great place to start.
What are the key project management knowledge areas?
Here are the ten key knowledge areas outlined in the PMBOK Guide.
1. Project integration management
Project integration management is an essential component of project management. It involves overseeing the processes used to bring together various project elements.
This includes the physical and digital features and the people involved in the project. It also involves managing relationships between stakeholders and managing changes that arise during the project.
2. Project scope management
Project scope management ensures that a project’s objectives are achieved within the constraints of available resources and timeframes.
This involves developing a plan for the project, determining what tasks need to be done and in which order they should be completed, estimating costs, and tracking progress against the plan.
3. Project time management
Project time management is integral to planning a successful project. It includes creating timelines, setting deadlines, scheduling resources, and allocating time to each task or resource required for project completion.
4. Project cost management
Project cost management is all about managing costs associated with completing a project on time and within budget. This involves setting a budget, tracking prices and expenses related to the project, and identifying ways to reduce costs or maximize resources.
5. Project quality management
Project quality management is all about ensuring that the deliverables and processes associated with a project meet predetermined standards of excellence. This includes developing plans for quality assurance, testing products before release, and auditing results to ensure compliance with established quality standards.
6. Project resource management
Project resource management involves managing people and other resources to complete a project successfully. This includes recruiting team members, assigning project tasks according to their skillset, motivating them to perform at their best, and monitoring resources used throughout the project lifecycle.
7. Project communications management
Project communications management ensures that all stakeholders know the project’s progress and have access to the information they need at the right time. This includes setting up a communication plan, establishing channels for communication, communicating effectively with team members and other stakeholders, and managing conflicts among stakeholders.
8. Project risk management
Project risk management is all about identifying potential risks or issues that can slow down the project and creating plans or strategies to respond to them if they arise. According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK), it includes quantitative risk analysis associated with the project, developing contingency plans in case those risks materialize, and monitoring risks throughout the project’s lifecycle.
9. Project procurement management
Project procurement management is concerned with acquiring goods and services required to complete a project. From identifying potential vendors, evaluating offers from suppliers, negotiating contracts and terms, managing the procurement process, and ensuring compliance with legal requirements, it all falls within this step of the PM knowledge areas.
10. Project stakeholder management
Project stakeholder management is an integral part of any successful project. It involves identifying stakeholders and their interests in the project, engaging with them throughout the project’s life cycle, responding to their concerns or questions promptly, and keeping them informed about the progress made toward completion. By doing so, stakeholders can be sure that their goals are being taken into account when making decisions about the project.
Putting it all together as per project management body of knowledge (PMBoK)
Project management uses various strategies, techniques, and project management best practices to complete projects successfully.
This includes developing plans, managing time and costs, ensuring quality standards are met, managing resources and communications, identifying risks, conducting procurement activities, and engaging with stakeholders.
By understanding these different project management best practices and applying them appropriately during the project lifecycle, teams can be sure that they will be able to complete their objectives successfully within constraints imposed by available resources and timelines.
When creating a successful project implementation plan, it is essential to consider all these project management best practices and understand how they can be applied together to ensure the best results. Keeping track of progress and evaluating results regularly will help teams identify areas that require improvement or adjustments. Ultimately, the goal should always be to deliver the best possible outcome for a given set of constraints.
With plenty of project manager certifications, courses, and resources, and dedicated person can become a successful project manager.
In which situations are project management knowledge areas useful?
Let’s now consider some situations where project management knowledge areas are used.
First, consider a project manager tasked with creating a new website for their company. Amongst other tasks, they will need to use project scope management to:
- Define the objectives and constraints of the project
- Create a detailed plan that considers how the process needs to be managed
- Develop quality standards for the deliverables
- Identify which resources are required and how they should be allocated
- Manage communications between stakeholders, including customers and suppliers, and more.
Now consider a project manager working on developing a new mobile application.
Here, they will need to use project time management to:
- Estimate the amount of time it’ll take to complete each phase of the project
- Allocate task times and deadlines among team members
- Track progress against set timelines and adjust plans when needed, and more.
Finally, consider a project manager running an international event.
In this instance, they will need to use project risk management to:
- Identify risks associated with the event
- Assess the potential impacts of those risks on the project
- Develop strategies for mitigating the identified risks and more.
From these examples, it’s clear that project management knowledge areas are essential in ensuring the successful completion of projects.
By understanding how the various project management knowledge areas can be used in different contexts, teams can better plan, manage and deliver successful projects.
Real-Life business examples
Here are five real-life examples of how project management knowledge areas can be used in business.
1. Developing a new product
Let’s take a company developing a new consumer product in the electronics industry.
Considering some of the project management knowledge areas—scope, time, cost, quality, resources, communications, and stakeholders—the company needs to perform the following activities:
- Scope: Let’s say the project scope is to create a new smartphone with enhanced features. The team will need to define the product requirements, create design drafts, and develop prototypes.
- Time: The development cycle needs to be completed within a certain timeline. A schedule of activities needs to be created that identifies key milestones, tasks, and deliverables. In this case, the time might be set to 12 months from the start of the project.
- Cost: The team needs to establish a budget for product development and determine what resources need to be allocated. They might also consider outsourcing certain tasks to keep project cost management in control. The project’s cost should be compared to potential revenue to determine if the product is worth developing.
- Quality: The team will need to determine what quality standards are necessary for the product and how these standards can be met. They may decide to test the prototypes with customers to get feedback on the design and functionality of the product.
- Resources: The team needs to consider the resources needed in order to complete the project. This includes human resources (e.g., engineers, designers, marketers), and financial resources (e.g., equipment, materials).
- Communications: The team will need to ensure an efficient flow of communication between all stakeholders involved in the project. This includes customers, suppliers, and other external parties.
- Project stakeholder management: The team needs to identify the project’s stakeholders and how their interests can be taken into account. These stakeholders may include customers, shareholders, employees, and more.
By understanding how these project management knowledge areas can be used for developing a new product, the team can ensure a successful outcome for the project.
2. Offering chalets for rent
Next, consider a company that’s offering chalets for rent. Knowing some project management knowledge areas—scope, time, cost, quality, resources, communications, and stakeholders—will help them plan and manage their business more effectively.
Consider that the project’s scope is to offer two-bedroom chalets for rent. The team needs to determine what features should be included in the chalet and how they will be built.
The quality of the chalets must also be considered, including any safety requirements that need to be met. The team needs to ensure that they have enough resources (e.g., materials, labor) available to finish the project on time and within budget.
Communication between all stakeholders (e.g., customers and suppliers) needs to be maintained throughout the project, and their interests should also be considered.
By understanding how these project management knowledge areas can be used to offer rent chalets, the team can ensure a successful outcome for the project.
3. Improving customer experience
Consider a large services-based company (like a contact center) that wants to improve its customer experience (CX). In this case, they need to consider the project management knowledge areas—scope, resources, budgeting, timeline, and communication—to ensure their successful completion.
The objectives of such a project would be to reduce call waiting time, issue resolution time, and provide users with a unified experience. The team needs to define the project scope by creating a list of existing issues, their solutions, and the associated cost behind them.
After that, they need to identify the resource needed—such as DevOps, to fix/improve the tech stack, more employees to reduce call waiting time, and use better tools like the cloud-based phone system, call routing software, noise cancellation tools, workforce management software, etc, to improve customer experience.
The team also needs to identify any potential risks associated with the project, such as budget overruns.
The timeline should be established so that everyone knows when tasks need to be completed and how long the project is expected to take. Finally, the team needs to create a communication plan that outlines how the different stakeholders and team members can stay in touch throughout the project.
By following these key project management knowledge areas, a contact center can ensure their project of improving the end user’s experience is achieved.
4. Building a new facility
Here’s an example from a company planning a new manufacturing facility.
In this industry, project management knowledge can help the team effectively manage this large-scale project.
The scope should include defining the size and specifications of the facility, such as the number of floors, departments, and machinery required. It should also include any additional features that might be necessary to make it suitable for manufacturing.
The resources should include hiring skilled personnel, procuring the necessary materials, and understanding any zoning or construction regulations that might apply.
With costs being a critical component of any major project, the team must create a budget that accounts for all the materials and personnel needed. They should also factor in any potential risks or delays during the construction process.
The timeline should identify key milestones and tasks and when deliverables are expected to be completed. In this case, such milestones might include the excavation of the site, setting up the foundation, and installing the machinery.
Finally, to ensure everyone is on the same page throughout the project, they need a communication plan outlining how all stakeholders can stay in touch and receive updates.
5. Car title loans
Finally, let’s look at a project related to car title loans. In this case, the team might establish the project’s scope. This could include deciding what services to offer, such as loan terms and interest rates, and any additional features customers might want.
The team needs to identify the resources necessary for this project, such as a loan officer or customer service representative. They should also create a budget that accounts for any potential costs associated with offering car title loans.
The timeline should account for any steps needed to provide these loans, such as acquiring legal documents and setting up an online system.
Finally, they need a communication plan so everyone involved is kept informed throughout the process and customer feedback can be collected.
Project management knowledge areas are important to the success of any project. They help ensure that all facets of a project are properly addressed and managed both at the beginning and throughout its entire life cycle.
While some knowledge areas overlap others, each is unique in its approach to managing different aspects of a project.
Project management knowledge areas – FAQ
Do all the knowledge areas have to be used for every project?
No, not all the knowledge areas need to be used for every project.
Different projects require different approaches and strategies, so each will have unique needs and requirements. The key is to assess the project's scope and determine which knowledge areas are most applicable and necessary to complete it successfully. By doing this, teams can ensure they utilize the most appropriate tools and techniques to achieve their goals.
What is the importance of the ten project management knowledge areas?
The ten project management knowledge areas are essential components of a successful project. These areas provide the framework for effective planning, execution, and control of projects.
They enable teams to define objectives, manage risks, allocate resources, evaluate performance and close out projects. By applying these principles to their projects, teams can ensure that they deliver high-quality results on time and within budget.
What is the best way to manage project change?
The best way to manage project change is by having a well-defined process. This should include identifying potential changes and assessing their impact on the project objectives and timeline.
Teams should create contingency plans outlining how they will handle unanticipated changes. They should also make sure to update stakeholders regularly to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Finally, it is essential to have a system of checks and balances to monitor changes and ensure that they do not endanger the project's success.
How can teams maximize their efficiency when managing projects?
There are many different ways teams can increase their efficiency when managing projects. One way is to invest in training and development opportunities for team members so they are up-to-date on best practices and emerging trends.
Additionally, teams should use project management software or other digital tools to streamline processes and automate tasks whenever possible. They should also track progress regularly and make adjustments to stay on target. Finally, teams should focus on communication between stakeholders, both internally and externally, to ensure that everyone has the same understanding of project goals and objectives.