PM Process Groups in PMBOK

The processes carried out in a project can be hard to handle, also they can be hard to be correctly interpreted. Therefore in order to create a simpler understanding of what these processes are about and what are our objectives while carrying them out. In an indirect way for sure. 

According to the PMBOK, the lifecycle of a project can be broken down into five distinct pm process groups that organize a project from start to finish. This decomposition is made by taking the famous Deming Cycle as a basis. Another categorization is knowledge areas which is made according to the common knowledge characteristics of processes.

If we take a high-level look at each of these process groups and how they depend on each other to guide the project to a successful finish, as a project manager we will gain a better understanding of project management as a whole.

What are the five recognized project management process groups in PMBOK?

The initiating process group: This process group is executed when the project is authorized by the sponsor and senior management. This group also encompasses when the project manager is chosen and high-level goals are set by the major stakeholders.

The planning process group: This is when we refine and define the project objectives and then plans. The steps necessary to achieve those objectives within the project scope is planned in the scope of this process group. This is when budgets are estimated timelines are set and the deliverable is defined.

The executing process group: Takes the project management plan and puts it into action. This is when all the project work gets done. During this process, resources are combined with the project management plan to carry out the plan for the project throughout the project lifecycle.

The Monitoring and Controlling Process Group: Here we make sure that the project is on-time and on-budget while still producing a quality deliverable. During the monitoring and controlling process, project change requests get approved or rejected. Defect repairs are approved and updates to the project scope and the project management plan are reviewed. This is the process group that is ultimately responsible for approving the final deliverables of the project after all the deliverables of the project are created.

The closing process group: Even if we controlled project outcomes beforehand, we still have to close the overall project and provide the deliverables to the customer. Vendors need to get paid and accounts need to be updated. It's during this process when the formal acceptance of the product or service is obtained from the customer.