Knowledge Areas in PMBOK 6

There are 49 project management processes defined in the PMBOK Guide, which aims at more effective project management by using good practices published by PMI. In order to group these processes, PMI used two different approaches. 

A knowledge area may be defined as a categorization of processes created by taking common characteristics and requirements of knowledge into the consideration. In other terms, we may call knowledge areas as representing talents of a project manager need to develop in order to be successful in his/her projects.

While the first one is process group which is designed by taking the Deming Cycle as a basis the other one is knowledge areas which take common knowledge that processes consist of as a basis. While process groups focus on in which phase of the project did the process happen, knowledge areas examine the knowledge inside these processes. 

While a knowledge area focuses upon one aspect of processes, it may also involve common processes belonging to 5 process groups. The difference between a knowledge area with a process group is simply their basis of categorization. If we assume process groups are asking "when" to processes, knowledge areas ask the question "what kind of?"

PMBOK 6, as it is now, is sorted by using knowledge areas. It starts with project integration management and ends with project stakeholder management. There are 10 knowledge areas in total. More than one process may be included in a knowledge area. However, a process cannot be in two knowledge areas at the same time.

IN PMBOK 7, knowledge areas are no more a part of the standard. The concept of performance domains replaced it. There are 8 different performance domains and each domain has to be carried out in accordance with project management principles and value delivery system. Tools and techniques are now a part of models, methods and artifacts section. All necessary processes and tools are determined by using tailoring processes and the processes in PMBOK 6 may still be used if the appropriate development approach is chosen. Performance domains give more freedom to project team compared to the traditional processes approach.

What are the 10 project management knowledge areas?

10 Knowledge Areas in PMBOK are:

  • Integration Management : Integration management is an area of knowledge that deals with managing the project holistically, ensuring harmony and coordination between all project management processes that affect each other in some way.
  • Scope Management : It is the knowledge area where it is decided which issues should be included in the project and what should be kept outside the scope, the requirements are collected and the scope is kept under control.
  • Schedule Management : It is an area that has processes that consist of estimating the duration of project activities, designing a project timeline, and measurement of deviations in the schedule, and allows the project to be considered in terms of time.
  • Cost Management : it is a knowledge are that has goals such as creating a budget and constantly controlling costs by making cost estimates in order to complete the project within the approved budget.
  • Quality Management: The main objective of this knowledge area is to meet expectations of stakeholders and custormers in terms of quality.
  • Resource Management: It includes estimating the physical and human resources of the project in accordance with the requirements, making the necessary assignments, determining the roles and responsibilities, creating a team and creating rules for working together.
  • Communications Management : It is the knowledge area in which the general needs and expectations of stakeholders and the project are determined in terms of communication, the format and methodology of how the information obtained within the scope of the project will be transferred between stakeholders is analyzed and determined, and the roles and responsibilities of the people who will provide communication are determined. Project communications are actively implemented in this information area and their effectiveness is controlled.
  • Risk Management: It is an area that includes identifying risks that have positive or negative effects that are likely to occur throughout the project, evaluating the quality and quantity of the effects of risks on the project, and managing them by the responsible person or persons by creating appropriate responses to these risks.
  • Procurement Management: It is the knowledge area in which the budget, structure, needs of the project are determined by the products that are decided to outsource in accordance with the technology that it has, and these supplies are managed and controlled in accordance with the contract.
  • Stakeholder Management: It is the part in which the expectations of the needs of stakeholders who have the potential to affect the project in a positive or negative way or are affected in some way by the project and the level of impact and lgi on the project are analyzed, managed and controlled.