PMBOK knowledge areas

The PMBOK® Guide is the internationally recognised project management standard text that establishes ten knowledge areas typical of almost all projects.

PMBOK (the Project Management Body of Knowledge) recognises five basic process groups that apply to the ten knowledge areas:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Controlling and monitoring
  5. Closing

The ten knowledge areas are:

1. Project integration management

This knowledge area aims to execute and deliver the project successfully from start to finish. It integrates all the project tasks together and is the only knowledge area with processes in each of the five process groups.

Processes include developing the project charter, directing and managing the project work and performing integrated change control.

2. Project scope management

Most of this knowledge area’s processes belong to planning, including planning the scope management, defining the scope and creating a WBS (work breakdown structure).

The remaining two processes – validating and controlling the scope – belong to the controlling and monitoring process group.

3. Project schedule management

Previously known as time management, this knowledge area has seven processes, of which the majority belong to the planning process group.

This includes schedule management, defining activities and estimating activity durations.

The final process of controlling the schedule sits under the controlling and monitoring process group.

4. Project cost management

This knowledge area aims to complete the project within a planned budget and contains four processes: planning cost management, estimating costs, determining the budget and controlling costs.

5. Project quality management

Helping to meet the project’s quality objectives, this knowledge area has three processes: planning quality management, performing quality assurance and controlling the quality process.

6. Project resource management

Previously known as human resource management, this knowledge area has four processes. These deal with acquiring, developing and managing the project team and planning human resource management.

7. Project communications management

This knowledge area has three processes – planning, managing and controlling communications – that focus on the communication that takes place in a project, both internally and externally.

8. Project risk management

Aiming to reduce impacts of risks to a project, this knowledge area contains six processes, which include identifying risks, performing qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, and planning risk responses.

9. Project procurement management

This knowledge area has four processes, which belong to the planning, executing, controlling and monitoring, and closing process groups.

The main purposes of this knowledge area are the management and coordination of purchasing activities.

10. Project stakeholder management

To help manage stakeholders’ expectations during the project, this knowledge area has four processes: identifying stakeholders, planning stakeholder management, managing stakeholder management and controlling stakeholder management.

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