Starting with Project Management Knowledge Areas

Table of Contents

This is the third in a series of CVG-articles delivering simple and practical Project Management advice through the lens of Construction Project Management. To catch up on the first article and second articles, please click here and here or go to

In the first article in this Project Management series, we discussed the five Process Groups that guide effective process management:  Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing. And in the second article, we described Knowledge Areas and explored the interaction between Process Groups and Knowledge Areas.

Project’s Life Cycle

As a brief recap, each process group is made up of a collection of elements also known as the project’s Life Cycle, and there are ten processes that comprise the Project Management Knowledge Areas. These Knowledge Areas bring together processes that have characteristics in common. For example, the Project Cost Management Knowledge Area involves all aspects of the budgeting process, and as such will include processes related to cost estimation, determination of budget, and establishment of Control Costs.

However, the tricky part is that: these processes do not belong to the same project management process groups (i.e. Estimate Costs and Determine Budget belong to the Planning Process Group, while Control Costs belongs to the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group). In other words, Knowledge Areas bring together processes sharing similar attributes, whereas project management process groups are essentially designed sequentially through the project management process. As mentioned in prior articles, it is more than OK to consider each process more than once.

Below, we revisit each Knowledge Area and the processes involved in the second and third Knowledge Areas, Project Scope Management and Project Schedule Management, respectively.

Areas of Knowledge:

  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

Project Scope Management Processes (with corresponding Process Group):

  1. Collect Requirements:  Planning

  2. Define Scope:  Planning

  3. Create WBS:  Planning

  4. Validate Scope:  Monitoring and Controlling

  5. Control Scope:  Monitoring and Controlling

Project Scope Management is concerned with defining the totality of work for the project in the leanest manner to successfully produce project goals. These processes are highly interactive. They define and control what is and what is not part of the project. Each process occurs at least once – and often many times – throughout the project’s life.

Scope Management comprises both product scope and project scope. Product scope concerns the characteristics of the product, service, or result of the project and is measured against the product requirements to determine successful completion or fulfillment. Project scope involves managing the work of the project and only the work of the project.

Project scope is measured against the project management plan. The scope baseline emerges from the project scope statement, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), and the WBS dictionary.

Project Schedule Management Processes (with corresponding Process Group):

  1. Plan Schedule Management: Planning

  2. Define Activities:  Planning

  3. Sequence Activities: Planning

  4. Estimate: Activity

  5. Resources: Planning

  6. Estimate: Activity

  7. Durations: Planning

  8. Develop Schedule: Planning

  9. Control Schedule: Monitoring & Controlling

Project Schedule Management is concerned with estimating the duration of the project activities, devising a project schedule, and monitoring/controlling deviations from the schedule.

Collectively, this Knowledge Area deals with completing the project in a timely manner.

Schedule management is critical and ensures project activities are on track.  Activities are regularly Monitored against the project management plan to ensure that the project is completed per the established timeline.  Certain processes within a Knowledge Area, such as Schedule Management, are ongoing for the life of a project and those processes, particularly on smaller projects, may overlap (for instance, Sequence Activities, Estimate Activity Durations, and Develop Schedule are completed as a single process).

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