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Project Management & PMBOK

In 1969, five volunteers founded the Project Management Institute
(PMI). Their aim was to set standards for project management,
conduct research in improving the way projects are managed, and to
provide the growing number of project managers the opportunity, to
exchange knowledge, and educate themselves in the disciplines of
project management.
Since then, PMI has been recognized by the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI) as an accredited standards developer.
One particular standard is the Guide to the Project Management Book
of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). The standard began in 1987 as an
attempt to standardize the information and practices of project
Management, that are generally accepted as good practice, by
the community of project managers.
The PMBOK Guide breaks project management into 44 processes,
that loosely for into five basic process groups, and nine areas of
knowledge. The PMBOK is comprehensive enough to provide a
general guide to managing most projects, and flexible enough to be
adapted to specialized projects, such as construction or government
projects, which has encouraged the development of standards specific
to those industries.
The approach used by by PMBOK is compatible with ISO 9000, and
the Software Engineering Institute's CMMI (Capability Maturity Model
Integration). The processes found within the PMBOK overlap and
interact throughout the life of a project, which is defined in the five
process groupings.
Projects are focused on creating deliverables: tangible items which
show the successful progress of the project. It is not enough to simply
go to the store; one must return with something. Deliverables play out
the same concept: showing the efforts of the work by the team.
At the core of creating deliverables is defining the work that needs to
be done to meet the deliverable. This is accomplished by creating a
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Attached to the WBS is a
schedule for the work to be done, along with the resources required to
complete the work. Some of the tasks found in the WBS may have
some interdependence with other tasks. Some share the same
resources, even if the timing of the tasks are farther apart.
Essentially, the project can be broken down into the deliverables, the
WBS to meet the deliverables, the schedule for doing the work defined
by the WBS, and the resources required to meet the schedule and
The only thing left on the project is managing the execution of the
For the discipline of project management to be properly applied,
someone has to be assigned the task of doing so. This individual is
referred to as the Project Manager. Though professional project
managers do exist, many of the people managing projects are not
project managers, but individuals who have some management
authority and are usually a major stakeholder in the successful
outcome of the project.
Unfortunately, the numbers of projects that can be found in a company
are, at times, greater in number than the group of professional project
managers available to handle them. In these situations, companies
usually assign a professional project manager to projects that will
have the greatest impact on the company if it succeeds or fails,
allowing non-professionals to work on the lower risk projects. In some
cases, the body of professional project managers serve as mentors to
those who are not certified as project managers.
Project Managers have a unique responsibility inside the organization.
They are responsible for changes to the business, in whatever form
that change takes. In operational mode, the basic hierarchical
structure of a business is a number of employees in various
departments being managed by business managers who are
responsible for a specific part of the business that may or may not
have any understanding of other parts of the business and the impact
their departments have on the business as a whole.
The larger the company, the more layers of management occur up to
the top executive managers, who make the decisions that directly
impact the business. The Project Manager typically takes direction
from executive management or, at the very least, ensures that the
project is in line with the guidance of the executive management.

They work mostly with middle management to obtain the resources

necessary to execute the project, and typically require the workforce to
successfully implement the product or service which is the focus of the
The Project Manager typically works outside the operations of the
Business, when working on a project, but they have to stay in touch
with the operational portion, to comprehend how the project will impact
the operations or vice versa.
In should be noted that the Project Manager alone does not
successfully execute a project. Projects are completed by a team of
professionals, who come from the operational side of the business,
tasked with taking guidance and assisting the Project Manager, to
minimize the risk of implementing the project into the business
The knowledge, skills, and passion of the project team are ultimately
just as important as the project manager, and applying the discipline of
project management. Because of this, it is very important to carefully
consider the makeup of the project team, and ensure that right people
are assigned to the project. In addition, to the core project team, there
are typically other individuals who will provide their knowledge and
skills as resources to the project operations.
PMBOK treats project management as a set of processes. As
processes, each set of activities have certain similar characteristics to
them, namely they all have inputs, outputs, and the tools and
techniques required. The processes, however, are not typically
performed one after another, but in conjunction with each other. In
essence, the project is a group of processes interacting with each
other all the time.
At some stages of the project, some processes are in focus more
than others, and the focus will change at other stages of the process.
The purpose of each process within project management, is to create
a definable and recognizable result. Processes fall into two
categories. Ultimately, a project is concerned with bringing a new
product or service to the environment, therefore one category of a
project processes focus on the processes that are most concerned
with the specification and creation of the product or service.
The lifecycle of the product is distinguishable from the lifecycle of the
project. During the life a product, several projects will be initiated and
executed for the benefit of the product. For instance, the development
of a new release in software may be an entire project that is a small
portion of the total life of the product. Therefore, the likelihood of
processes that focus on the success of the product is high, and these
product-oriented processes are separate from the project
management processes.
The second category of processes are those that are strictly
concerned with describing and organizing the work required by the
project. The two sets of processes constantly work congruently with
each other. The difference is one set is focused on managing the
project, while the other focuses on the product of the project itself
when the project ends, the project management processes will cease
to continue, while the product-oriented processes will still be in place.
The PMBOK organizes the project management processes into five
process groups. The groups follow the project life cycle and consist of
one or more of the 44 total processes found in the PMBOK.
The groups are:
1. Initiate
2. Plan
3. Executing
4. Controlling
5. Closing
• Initiate:
The processes in this group are used to recognize that a project of
phase should begin and gathers the commitment required to get it

• Plan:
Part of the project is to devise and maintain a schedule of tasks and
resources that are required to fulfill the business need the project is
about to address. The processes in this group are used to identify the
plan and resources for that schedule.
• Executing:
After creating a workable plan, the next set of processes provide the
methods for coordinating the people and resources to execute the
project tasks.

• Controlling:
Handling unexpected hurdles and keeping promises are two of the
factors involved in ensuring the project is a success. This grouping of
processes aids the project manager in ensuring the project objectives
are met by monitoring and measuring the progress of the project.
• Closing:
When the deliverables of the project are complete, the last set of
processes formalize the acknowledgment that the project is complete
and brings it to an orderly end.
The results of one process group is the input to the next group, though
the processes are iterated. Though everything is planned out early on
in the project, a change in requirements may require an update to the
schedule later on in the project. As such, the project management
processes are not single instance occurrences in the life cycle of a
project, but overlapping activities which happen at varying degrees at
every phase of the project.
Additionally, the process groupings not only define the flow of the
entire project life cycle, but also the general flow of each of the phases
in the project. For instance, before a design document can be
executed on, it must be “closed” by customer acceptance.
Therefore, the closing processes are utilized in some degree before
leaving the planning phase of the project.
Fortunately, the customer acceptance can serve to obtain commitment
for execution phase which is the focus of the initiate processes. The
advantage to reiterating the processes constantly throughout the
project phases ensures that any new information impacting the project
is handled appropriately and returns the focus of the process to
meeting business need.
PMBOK – Initiating the Project
Within a business there are a variety of ways in which a project can be
initiated. Some companies insist on having a specific set of criteria
established to determine whether a project is a project. Others treat
any change to the environment as a project. Within IT companies,
arguments have ensued around the difference between project
management and change management, which is an IT operational
process for controlling changes to the configuration of the IT
infrastructure. Some companies do not recognize projects that do not
have a certified project management professional leading them.
PMBOK – Initiating the Project
Despite the varying definition of a project for a company may be,
where the projects come from can also be confusing. Projects need
executive support, so some people insist that true projects can only
come from the top levels of the company. Others stand that the most
effective projects stem from problems identified by the workforce.
Still others will state that projects are results of marketing innovative
solutions to both the executives and the workforce, like a middle
PMBOK – Initiating the Project
Some projects are technical in nature, while others are business
driven. Organizational changes are usually projects or projects can
have an element of all types. Some projects add to the environment,
while others take away.
PMBOK – Initiating the Project
The basic fact is that every consideration already stated is valid and
only shows the importance of understanding project management but
also the importance of initiating a project appropriately. To initiate a
project, one simply needs a commitment by the organization to begin
the next phase of the project. The commitment should come from the
stakeholders, those individuals responsible for the areas of business
which are directly impacted by the results of the project.
PMBOK – Initiating the Project
For the most part, the stakeholders will provide the necessary
resources to successfully complete the project; the resources can be
finances, people, information, equipment, or all of the above. If a
department can absorb the cost of the project and provide all the
resources, then a project can be initiated at the department level.
However, if more resources are required than the department can
provide, the proposal may need to go to the next level. In some
cases, a project may be initiated simply to create a proper and
comprehensive proposal for a project at the executive management
PMBOK – Planning the Project
Projects generally involve doing something new in the environment. In
a business context, something new or different typically translates into
risk. Therefore, project planning is of utmost importance. Most of the
project management processes can be found within the planning
process group. This does not indicate that the bulk of project work is
planning the project, only the importance of the work.
PMBOK – Planning the Project
The amount of planning required is proportionate to the scope of the
project, the risk associated to the endeavor, and the usefulness of the
information developed inside the planning phase.
PMBOK – Planning the Project
The processes within the Planning group are further categorized as
the core processes and the facilitating processes. The core
processes have clear dependencies placed on them and have to be
performed in the same order on most projects.
PMBOK – Planning the Project
These processes may be iterated several times during any phase of
the project and include:

• Scope Planning – develop a written scope statement to be used in

future decisions related to the project.
• Scope Definition – divide the major project deliverables into smaller,
manageable components.
• Activity Definition – identify the activities required to product each
major project deliverable.
PMBOK – Planning the Project
• Activity Sequencing – identify and document the dependencies
between activities.
• Activity Duration Estimating – creation of estimates for the number
of work periods required to complete individual activities.
• Schedule Development – create a project schedule based on
activity sequencing, activity duration, and resource requirements.
• Resource Planning – determine what resources and their quantities
are required to perform activities. Resources can be people,
equipment and materials.
PMBOK – Planning the Project
• Cost Estimating – develop an estimate of the resource cost
required to complete the project.
• Project Plan Development – use the results of the preceding
process to create a coherent and consistent document.
PMBOK – Planning the Project
The facilitating processes are used based on the nature of the project.
Some projects are no risk processes so some of the risk management
processes would not be used, compared to a highly aggressive and
risky project. However, these processes are not optional; they are
simply performed intermittently as the need arises.
PMBOK – Planning the Project
• Quality Planning – identify and satisfy any relevant quality
• Organizational Planning – identify, document, and assign project
roles, responsibility and reporting requirements.
• Staff Acquisition – obtain the appropriate human resources needed
for the project.
• Communications Planning – determine the information and needs
for communication of the stakeholders, creating an understanding
for who gets what information, when they will get the information,
and in what manner it will be conveyed.
PMBOK – Planning the Project
• Risk Identification – determine the risks that will most likely impact
the project and document the characteristics of the risks.
• Risk Quantification – evaluate the individual risks to determine the
range of possible project outcomes.
• Risk Response Development – determine the steps for
opportunities and responses to threats to the project.
• Procurement Planning – determine what to procure and when.
• Solicitation Planning – document product requirements and identify
potential sources.
PMBOK – Executing the Project
The bulk of project work is done under the Execution process group.
This is the time when the project team takes what was detailed out in
the planning phase and executed according to design. Core and
facilitating processes exist within this process group with
Project Plan Execution being the only core process.
PMBOK – Executing the Project
The facilitating processes include:
• Scope Verification – obtain formal acceptance of the project scope.
• Quality Assurance – evaluate overall project performance regularly
to ensure that the project will meet the relevant quality standards.
• Team Development – develop skills of individuals and groups to
enhance project performance.
• Information Distribution – ensure that the necessary information is
available project stakeholders in a timely manner.
• Solicitation – when appropriate, obtain quotations, bids, offers, or
• Source Selection – choose from among potential sellers.
• Contract Administration – manage relationships with sellers.
PMBOK – Controlling the Project
During the execution of the process any number of things could
happen. The hopes of the project team are that the planning
performed before the execution was extensive enough to identify and
plan for all the hurdles that may occur. In all likelihood, no matter how
much planning was done, something will always occur during
execution. The best a project manager can do is catching the problem
quickly and resolve it. Therefore, the project's performance should
constantly be measured to identify variances from the plan.
PMBOK – Controlling the Project
These variances are entered into the control processes in the nine
processes areas. If the variances are significant, adjustments are
made to the plan. For instance, if a finish date for an activity is
missed, then any later dependence need to be pushed out or other
plans put in place to return to the planned schedule.
PMBOK – Controlling the Project
The core processes for the Process group, Controlling and Monitoring
include Performance Reporting and Overall Change Control.
Performance Reporting supports the collection and dissemination of
performance information. This information typically takes the form of
status reporting, progress measurements, and forecasting. Ideally,
the areas that are measures are project dates, resource use, and cost.
The intent is to identify if the project is on track and if not, how far
above or below the planned estimates.
PMBOK – Controlling the Project
The second core process is Overall Change Control. Whenever the
project is off track either by being under or over the
estimate, the project may need to be adjusted. The need for a change
is a possibility based on the extent of the project planning performed.
Some project planners may make a single value estimate. Others
create a range for the estimate, creating a worst case and best case
estimate for time, money, and resources.
PMBOK – Controlling the Project
In the second estimate style, the variance may force a change if it falls
outside the estimate range. If a change is required, it can have an
impact on every future aspect of the project just like ripple across
water. Many aspects of the schedule, the budget, or the resources
may be hard coded to the plan, meaning that they cannot be changed.
The planning should have identified these situations, and revisiting the
plan should adjust to meet these objectives.
PMBOK – Controlling the Project
Facilitating processes serve to support the core processes. They
• Scope Change Control – control change to project scope.
• Schedule Control – control changes to the project schedule.
• Cost Control – control changes to the project budget.
• Quality Control – monitor project results for compliance to quality
standards that apply and identify methods for resolving
• Risk Response Control – respond to changes in risk over the life of
the project.
PMBOK – Closing the Project
Closing out the project involves two processes: Administrative
Closure and Contract Close-out. Administrative Closure happens at
the end of each project phase and the end of the project to formally
close out the cycle of work. The purpose of this process is to
generate, gather, and disseminate information related to the cycle
being closed.
PMBOK – Closing the Project
The information will typically consist of reporting on the work that has
been done and the resources that were used. The information is
usually supplied to business managers, human resources, or financial
accountants, as well as stakeholders.
PMBOK – Closing the Project
A project typically starts with a contract, or a written agreement
describing the scope and deliverables of the project. Contract Close-
out encompasses the activities required to validate that the project has
met the terms of the written agreement. It allows the project manager
to go back to the customer and finalize any outstanding issues or
discoveries that may have risen out of the course of the project but not
resolved usually because the action would have been outside the
scope of the project.
Framing Project Management
PMBOK - Framing Project Management
To this point, the project and the disciplines used to manage the
project have been discussed in terms of cycles, both for the project
phases and the life cycle of the process. Core processes in the
project cycle build on each other to transform input into a workable
result for the next phase of the project.

The core must be used on all projects. Facilitating processes exist to

support the core processes. Although all the facilitating processes are
utilized in a project, their use is varied based on the situation at hand.
PMBOK - Framing Project Management
Many people would think that executing a project is simply doing the
work to create a deliverable and, though that this is part of a project
and the bulk of the effort for the project, it is not all of what
encompasses successfully completing the project. There are nine
areas of knowledge that are applied to the discipline of project
management, each covers a portion of the necessary disciplines
required to move a project from beginning to end.
PMBOK - Framing Project Management
The 44 processes utilized to create the cycles are broken down into
these nine knowledge areas. They are:
1. Project Integration Management handles the coordination of key
elements of the project. The processes included in this area are
project plan development, project plan execution, and overall
change control.
2. Project Scope Management ensures that the work required to
successfully complete the project is included in the project plan.
Any work that is not required for the success of the project is kept
out of the scope. The included processes are initiation, scope
planning, scope definition, scope verification, and scope change
PMBOK - Framing Project Management
3. Project Time Management ensures the timely completion of the
project. Activity definition, activity sequencing, activity duration
estimating, schedule development, and schedule control are the
processes contained within this area.
4. Project Cost Management ensures that the project is completed
within the approved budget. Contained in this area are resource
planning, cost estimating, cost budgeting, and cost control.
5. Project Quality Management ensures the project meets the needs
that the project intended to fulfill. The knowledge area contains
the processes of quality planning, quality assurance, and quality
PMBOK - Framing Project Management
6. Project Human Resource Management makes effective use of the
people involved with the project. Contained in the knowledge area
are organizational planning, staff acquisition, and team
7. Project Communications Management ensures that the
generation, collection, dissemination, storage, and disposition of
information is performed in an appropriate and timely manner.
The included processes are communications planning, information
distribution, performance reporting, and administrative closure.
PMBOK - Framing Project Management
8. Project Risk Management focuses on those processes that are
used to identify, analyze, and respond to risks to the project. The
processes contained in this knowledge area are risk identification,
risk quantification, risk response development, and risk response
9. Project Procurement Management assists in the acquisition of
goods and services from outside the performing organization. The
processes included are procurement planning, solicitation
planning, solicitation, source selection, contract administration, and
contract close-out.
PMBOK - Framing Project Management
The knowledge required for managing projects are usually specific to
the project management discipline, however sometimes overlap is
found with other management disciplines. General management
focuses on the planning, organization, staffing, execution, and control
of the operations.

Many of the disciplines used in project management are also found in

general management including organizational behavior, financial
forecasting, and planning techniques.
PMBOK - Framing Project Management
Some projects are definable by the industries that they are utilized.
Called application areas, the projects found within these areas have
common elements significant to related projects but not needed in all

The applications areas are generally defined as technical elements

which are found in software development, pharmaceuticals, and
construction engineering projects; management elements found in
government contracting and new product development; and industry
groups such as automotive, chemicals, and financial services.
PMBOK - Framing Project Management
The processes used by project management interact with the
processes within an individual knowledge area as well as with
the processes in other knowledge areas. How or when the processes
interact depend on the type of project involved, the application area,
the management structure of the performing organization, and the
constraints and limitations on the project.
PMBOK – Initiating the Project Plan
The project manager's primary responsibility is to deliver acceptable
results to the customer in a timely and affordable manner. To
accomplish this, a great deal of coordination of the project elements is
required. Project Integration Management provides the framework for
this coordination. The processes that make up this framework
assisting in the development, execution, and change of the overall
project plan.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
There are many processes found in project management that deal
with the specific planning of project components, such as time,
resources, and budget. The plans need to be integrated together as a
whole and then executed. As the project progresses, events may
occur that impact one or more of the plans and they have to be
reevaluated and adjusted. When the individual plans are readjusted,
the overall project plan also needs to be adjusted.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
While integration of the project processes is important, several other
integration activities are also required. A work of the project must
integrate with the ongoing operations of the business. Operations will
not halt or be slowed simply because a project exists. Many business
operations have deadlines, quotas, and expectations placed on them.
The project cannot interfere with the fulfillment of those operational
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
Many operations have continual improvement mechanisms in place,
so the construct of the operational state at the beginning of a project
may be different than the operational state at the end of project.
Staying abreast of any operational changes can be valuable
information for the success or failure of a project.

Sometimes, issues are identified that are not within the scope of the
project to resolve but once communicated, a resolution is sought
through another project or through the operational improvement
processes of the business.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
Awareness of these actions is prudent for coordinating project
activities. Additionally, deliverables to the project may be found:
these are products that are necessary to the project but are outside of
the scope of the project either because they are assumed to already
exist or because they are performed by members outside of the body
of stakeholders. For example, an assessment of power consumption
may be the product of the electrical engineering department and
required by the project, but the creation of the assessment is outside
the boundaries of the project.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
In this case, the project manager needs to integrate the activities of
the project to coincide with the development of the assessment of an
outside entity, namely the electrical engineering department. Quality
assessment because of regulatory standards may require the skills of
a quality management professional, but the assigned project work is
only one task in the project. This professional may not become a core
team member for the project, so the project manager has to
coordinate with the quality control department to ensure that the work
is done in a timely manner.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
The major focus of the integration management processes is the
creation and maintenance of the project plan. The project plan is a
consistent and coherent document that encompasses the outputs of
the planning processes to guide both project execution and project
control. The project plan is a living document, subject to change
throughout the life of the project.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
The goal of project management is to identify a final project plan as
quickly as possible and apply change control to the project plan to
manage how and when the plan is changed. The purpose of the
project plan is to guide project execution, document project
assumptions, document plan decisions with primary paths and
alternate paths if any, facilitate communication with all stakeholders,
define key management reviews, and provide the baseline for
measurement project effectiveness, progress and control.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
In addition to the outputs of other planning processes, the
development of the project plan can also include historical information,
organizational policies, constraints and assumptions. Historical
information is typically consulted on during other planning processes
and involves statistical information, past project information, and other
information that may affect how the project proceeds. For instance,
budget constraints may be time stamped; that is, the project has a
certain amount of money for a set time, but a different amount after a
specific date.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
This can impact how and when money is spent on the project. Or this
is the second time this project has been initiated. The first attempt
failed and the project manager looks at the conditions of the failed
attempt to ensure the same mistakes are not repeated.

Every organization has formal and informal policies that may affect the
project. Many of these policies will come from governing entities
outside of the project that have responsibilities related to the
operational side of the business. The more common governing
entities are responsible for quality management, personnel
administration, and financial controls.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
Assumptions and constraints are factors that affect the project
planning, execution, and outcome. Assumptions are typically
generated within the planning stage and should be noted in all
occurrences. For instance, the delivery date of a resource is
uncertain, so the project team assumes a specific date for planning
purposes. Assumptions are considered to be true, real, or certain for
the project plan. As the project progresses, the assumptions may
prove to be false, unreal, or uncertain and the project plan is impacted.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
There is an element of risk involved with assumptions. Constraints
are defined factors that limit the project in some way. A budget is a
constraint that limits the amount of money spent. A time table limits
the amount of time given to complete the project. The scope of the
project constrains the work done by the project. Contracts provide a
number of constraints that must be incorporated into the project and
adhered to under all conditions.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
The tools and techniques utilized for development of the project plan
include any number of methodologies available for project planning,
the skills and knowledge of the stakeholders, and any adopted Project
Management Information System (PMIS) by the company. Many
ways for organizing and presenting project plans can be found and
many have the same common elements found in them.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
PMBOK does not require any particular method be used to develop,
organize, or present a project plan be used; it does however identify
those elements that have recognized value to the project.

Some of the elements promoted for the final draft of a project plan
• Project charter
• Description of the approach or strategy for project management
• Scope statement with project deliverables and objectives
• Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
• Cost estimates, scheduled start dates, and responsibility
assignments integrated with the WBS.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
• Performance measurements baselines, specifically around cost and
• Major milestones and target dates
• Key or required staff
• Key risks, including constraints and assumptions and the responses
planned for each
• Subsidiary management plans, i.e. scope, time, budget, etc.
• Open issues and pending decisions.
PMBOK - Initiating the Project Plan
Also included could be the following supporting details:
• Additional information found during the planning phase but does
impact the planned scope of the project
• Technical documentation such as requirements, specifications, and
• Documentation of relevant standards and regulations.
PMBOK – Executing the Project Plan
The primary process of providing the project deliverables and meeting
project objectives will be performed in the project plan execution
process. The guide to project execution is the final project plan and
any supporting details, organizational policies and/or procedures that
need to be followed, and as the project progresses, any corrective
action put into place to realign the project.
PMBOK – Executing the Project Plan
The execution of the project plan relies heavily on the team members
of the project and any key individuals required to support the product
or service that the project is affecting. As such, skill and knowledge
related to the product or services is typically the most important
requirement for successful execution. To ensure that the proper
staffing is in place at any given time of the project, a work
authorization system may be involved.
PMBOK - Executing the Project Plan
This formal procedure ensures that the right people are working the
project at the right time by fulfilling written authorizations. The
authorization typically includes the required skills and knowledge, the
work to be done, and the time and cost limitations in place for the
PMBOK - Executing the Project Plan
To properly execute the project plans, general management skills may
be required, such as leadership, communication, and negotiating.
These skills will definitely be required by the project manager, but may
also be necessary for the team members of the project. In many
situations, team members may be tasked with activities that will be
performed away from any of the other team members in parallel to the
activities assigned to those team members.
PMBOK - Executing the Project Plan
Status review meetings provide an opportunity for the project team to
communicate with each other on the progress of their assigned tasks,
to communicate any issues and risks that may have been identified, or
to declare any dependencies that need to be fulfilled.
PMBOK - Executing the Project Plan
Project team members may be asked to update any existing project
management information systems that may require project progress
information. Depending on the system and the work involved, the task
of updating the system may fall on the project manager to complete.
The execution of the project plan lead to either work results or change
requests. Either the activities identified by the project plan produced
the result intended or they didn't. Many times, the expectation of the
work results are unfulfilled because of a change of assumptions,
constraints, issue, or misinformation. The result may require a change
to the project which is initiated by the creation of a change request.
PMBOK – Controlling Change to the Project Plan
Changes to the project plan have to be coordinated and controls to
minimize the impact of the change to the entire project. In most
projects, change will be present, therefore it is prudent for the project
manager to plan for change and establish controls from the very
beginning of the project on how and when changes will be made to the
project plan.
PMBOK – Controlling Change to the Project Plan
The requirement of change control is rooted in:
• The necessity of maintaining performance baselines. Every change
should be reflected in the project plan, but only changes in scope
will change the performance baselines established.
• The possibility of changes to product scope forcing a change to
project scope and minimizing the impact of such as change.
• Coordinating changes across knowledge areas: a change in
schedule may impact cost, risk, quality, and staffing.
PMBOK – Controlling Change to the Project Plan
Overall change control utilizes the project plan as the basis for its
work. The process is initiated by performance reports and change
requests. Typically, a formal, documented set of procedures for
controlling change is already in place for use by the project. If not, the
project team may have to develop one. Many change control systems
apply a formal review and approve procedure and the opportunity for
stakeholders to approve or reject a change request.
PMBOK – Controlling Change to the Project Plan
Most change control systems have the ability to handle emergencies;
these are changes that need to be approved and executed but cannot
wait for formal review of the change request. Some systems will even
allow for “automatic” approvals for certain predefined changes. All
changes must be properly and completely documented.
PMBOK – Controlling Change to the Project Plan
Configuration management is used by change control as a
documented procedure for applying technical and administrative
direction and monitoring. The purpose of configuration management
form a project perspective is that it identifies and documents the
functional and physical characteristics of an item or system, controls
the changes to such characteristics, record and report any changes
made, and audit the items or systems to verify requirement conformity.
PMBOK – Controlling Change to the Project Plan
It is important to note a change control process may exist within the
operational aspect of the business as well as the project management
aspect. Sometimes, the process is different for both but they use the
same change control system. Sometimes the process utilizes
completely different systems that need to talk to each other. Any
some instances such as configuration management require that both
systems provide the necessary output of changes to the appropriate
PMBOK – Controlling Change to the Project Plan
Change control may utilize performance measurement, the project
management information system, and additional planning as tools and
techniques for ensure success for controlling change. Change
request going through the overall change control process typically
result into updates to the project plan, corrective action and/or an
exercise called lessons learned which identifies the causes of project
variances and the reasons for actions resolving or mitigating the