Project Management

Preparing for the Exam with PMBOK Guide—Fifth Edition (Part 2): Process Groups

Following 20 years at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, Bruce established the project management consulting firm Solutions Management Inc (SMI). Since 1999, he has provided contract project/program management services, been a source for project management support personnel and created/delivered courses to over 7,000 participants in Canada, the United States and England.

The first time at a gym almost always feels good: It’s our body’s way of saying, “This wont be so bad.” It’s also a bit of trick to get you to keep at it. Even though we know some discomfort is coming, we return to continue the program.

You’ve done better than many already by coming back and sticking with your Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) or Project Management Professional (PMP) exam preparation. Let’s go to page 47 (pages may vary slightly due to the revision of the print) and look at Chapter 3: “Project Management Processes”. PMI defines a process as “a set of interrelated actions ad activities performed to create a pre-specified product, service, or result.” It is the responsibility of the project team to select the appropriate processes to be used to meet the objectives of the project. The question you should be having right now is, “What processes am I choosing from?”

The first thing to understand is there are groups of processes, aptly called process groups. There are only five of these groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing. Don’t confuse them with a lifecycle…this is explicitly spelled out in bold letters in the description on page 52. Also note that each process group name ends with “ing”. If you …

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I'd rather be a failure at something I love, than a success at something I hate.

- George Burns