Series Project Management Basis: Knowledge Areas

Table of Contents

This is the Second in a series of CVG-articles delivering simple and practical Project Management advice through the lens of Construction Project Management. Last week to talked about Process Groups. Let’s start with The Knowledge Areas The areas are your toolbox we will elaborate on each in future articles about each of them.

Knowledge Areas  give you a toolbox for your project.  Each Area represents a complete area of specialization including jargon, tools, concepts and tasks. In other words, you it gives us the path to learn about each of them in order to be able to successfully manage a project.

Depending on the project you’ll need to know more or less about each one – you might not need to procure anything on a small project, for example, so you might not need to spend as much time in one or two of the areas of knowledge.  Keep in mind that the Knowledge Areas are made up of processes.

What are the Project Management Knowledge Areas ?

First let’s start with the Knowledge Areas- Sixth Edition-. There are ten of them. In the order that they appear in the PMBOK® Guide **they are:

1.         Project Integration Management

2.         Project Scope Management

3.         Project Schedule Management

4.         Project Cost Management

5.         Project Quality Management

6.         Project Resource Management

7.         Project Communications Management

8.         Project Risk Management

9.         Project Procurement Management

10.   Project Stakeholder Management.

Why do we have Knowledge Areas?

In most projects, no matter what’s our specialization is, we will use most of these areas all of the time. The best practice is  you have to be able to work across these areas in order to get your project done. The Knowledge Areas are a handy way to group together theory and practical techniques. They link up the major themes or professional fields that a project manager has to operate in to get a project done.

Something to remember is that this list of ten is not exclusive. You may have to draw on any other professional skill in order to complete your project, like leadership or litigation. However, for most people (not project managers), being proficient in the areas covered in the PMBOK® Guide will be enough. The Knowledge Areas give you a broad base from which to draw.

We should always keep in mind the use of these tools is not linear. It sure would be nice if your project walked through each of these Groups in a neat, linear order. That doesn’t happen in real life.

In other words, the Process Groups are not the same thing as a project life cycle. A life cycle shows how the project moves from start to finish in different phases. Within one phase you might go through all the Process Groups, or just some of them, so don’t confuse the two.

What is exactly is the difference between Knowledge Areas and Process Groups?

The easiest way to remember the difference is:

Knowledge Areas cover what you need to KNOW

Process Groups cover what you need to DO

Please look at the table below, we will see how they interact. In the PMBOK® Guide shows you the Knowledge Areas down the side, the Process Groups along the top and then maps the difference processes in the relevant boxes where those two axes cross. For example, at the junction of Project Integration Management and the Initiating Process Group you have the process to ‘Develop Project Charter’. This table explains the project management process groups and knowledge areas mapping.

You’ll see that some cells in the table are blank. That means that there are no processes associated with that particular stop along the project journey. There’s very little in the Initiating Process Group actually, but you’ll see that each Process Group has at least two processes (otherwise it wouldn’t be a group, it would just be a single process).

We will start elaborating on each of these concepts on our next article. Don’t forget to visit our site

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