I’m taking a course right now to prepare for the PMP exam. One of the things we’re working to memorize is the categorization of 47 processes into knowledge areas and process groups. Those categorizations form a grid. Memorizing the number of processes in each column and row really helped my table recreate the grid from memory and impress the instructor.
In addition to those arbitrary sequences of numbers, I have a few additional observations about the distribution of processes according to PMI:
The Initiating process group includes only two processes: developing the project charter (authorizing the project) and identifying stakeholders. These make sense, since before the project manager even gets involved, somebody figured out that they wanted the project to occur, and they had some idea about who is involved in some way. Once the project manager has these in hand, the project planning can start.
The Closing process group includes only two processes: closing project work and closing procurements. The distinction here is between the value generated by the team itself and the value acquired from an outside source.
There are four knowledge areas that have nothing in the Executing process group, and they are the ones that are essentially the project constraints and risks to them: Scope, Time, Cost, and Risk. These each have a large number of Planning processes and one Control process. Scope has the extra validate process under Monitor & Control to ensure that the project resulted in what was promised.
The one knowledge area with no Monitor & Control process is the Human Resource one. This is presumably because monitoring and controlling is about ensuring that your personnel are accomplishing the project as expected within the specified constraints, and thus one in this intersection would be redundant.
Each of the knowledge areas that have at least one Executing process have only a single Planning process: Integration, Quality, Human Resource, Communications, Procurement, and Stakeholder. Half of these are about the actual accomplishment of work (HR, Procurement, and Stakeholder). The other three are the core of what a project manager does: coordination (Communications), management (Integration), and oversight (QA).
More memorization tomorrow. Good night.