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The ten knowledge areas of PMBOK

If you’re studying project management, you’ll be well aware of the Project Management Institute’s PMBOK. The PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) is a guide, and standards which reflect the evolving project management profession. 

Updated on: 12th November 2019

The PMBOK guide is currently on its sixth edition and explains the processes and methodologies which are best practice within project management. 

We’ve put together a short overview about the PMBOK and the knowledge areas it covers. From time management, cost management to risk management, you’ll gain a better understanding about what you can expect from the PMBOK, and your project management course. 

1. Integration management

Comprising of a plan development, plan execution and an integrated change control process, integration management is the range of processes required to ensure all elements of a project are successfully coordinated.
As scope changes, integration management means assessing objectives and offering alternatives in order to meet the expectations of the project stakeholders.

Learning People | Coffer on desk with notepad and laptop

2. Scope management

Scope includes collating all the information required to begin a project and any features this project requires to meet stakeholder requirements. Successful projects must meet strict deadlines and resource allowances, and scope creep always has a detrimental effect if not managed correctly.

3. Time management

11% of the CAPM exam questions originate from this knowledge area. Time restrictions vary depending on the nature of the project, but a well structured plan and schedule plays an essential part. Time management includes the development of a timeline, decisions of project milestones and the structuring of schedules and activities.

4. Cost management

Including four process areas, a key technique to manage costs is Earned Value Management – EVM. A project manager must practice effective cost management by estimating, budgeting, funding, managing and controlling costs so that they remain within the pre approved project budget.

5. Quality management

A project is no good if it fails to meet sponsor requirements and expected deliverables. An organisation must determine quality policies, responsibilities and project objectives so it meets original needs and specifications.

6. Human resource management

A team must be put together and managed so they perform well and can satisfy the demands of a project. The size of project teams can vary, but all team members must be organised, managed and led effectively.

Learning People | project management meeting

7. Communications management

For a project to be successful, the correct people must receive the right information at the appropriate time. Communication management entails identifying what information should be communicated with the team and who it should be told to who will use the information effectively. Communication includes the planning, creation, distribution, retrieval, management and monitoring of how information is relayed.

8. Risk management

A project manager must be competent in risk management. The practice is crucial in projects to identify, plan for, analyse, respond, and control any factors that might dangerously affect a project and put the project team or end users at risk. Effective risk management maximises the realisation of opportunities.

Learning people | project management notebooks

9. Procurement management

Procurement of resources means purchasing or acquiring materials, services or results required from an outside source. Outside specialists are often needed on more complex and large scale projects and outsourcing is commonplace. Suppliers are invited to bid for the project work and, once chosen, there will be a legally binding contract drawn up.

10. Stakeholder management

Added in the fifth edition of the PMBOK, stakeholder management entails the identification of participants – groups, people, organisations – involved and affected by a project.

This process includes analysing stakeholder expectations and the impact these might have on the project, and engaging and communicating with stakeholders in decisions and the execution of tasks.

Your next steps

If you’re looking to venture into a project management career, then our professional certifications will help you get there, with courses for people at all levels and stages of their career. We can help you reach your career goals, through our consultative approach and tailored support. Get in touch with our team of career consultants for more information.