Project Management Knowledge Areas 101

Note if you are taking the PMP® exam from 26 March 2018 onwards: click here to read the updated PMP® study material based on PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition.

Cheers, Stefania

Project management consists of ten knowledge areas.

Project managers must develop key competencies – knowledge and skills – in all of these areas to make their project successful. Project management knowledge areas group project processes by subject matter or, to put it another way, what a project manager needs to know.

Groupings and processes involved in each area of specialization are what the following graphic covers.

Image titled Project Management Knowledge Areas 101

The Ten Knowledge Areas Explained

1) Project Management Knowledge Areas

A knowledge area is an area of specialization that includes a set of concepts, key words and activities specific to that particular field of project management.

The project management process groups tell you what you have to know during each process of your project.

2) 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas, by Process Groups


Identify, define, combine, unify, and coordinate the various processes and project management activities within the project management process groups.


Develop Project Charter (Initiating); Develop Project Management Plan (Planning); Direct and Manage Project Work (Executing); Monitor and Control Project Work (Monitoring & Controlling); Perform Integrated Change Control (Monitoring & Controlling); Close Project or Phase (Closing).

2.2) SCOPE

Ensure that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully.


Plan Scope Management (Planning); Collect Requirements (Planning); Define Scope (Planning); Create WBS (Planning); Validate Scope (Monitoring & Controlling); Control Scope (Monitoring & Controlling).

2.3) TIME

Manage the timely completion of the project.


Plan Schedule Management (Planning); Define Activities (Planning); Sequence Activities (Planning); Estimate Activity Resources (Planning); Estimate Activity Durations (Planning); Develop Schedule (Planning); Control Schedule (Monitoring & Controlling).

2.4) COST

Plan, estimate, budget, finance, fund, manage, and control costs so that the project can be completed within the approved budget.


Plan Cost Management (Planning); Estimate Costs (Planning); Determine Budget (Planning); Control Costs (Monitoring & Controlling).


Determine quality policies, objectives, and responsibilities so that the project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken.


Plan Quality Management (Planning); Perform Quality Assurance (Executing); Quality Control (Monitoring & Controlling).


Organize, manage, and lead the project team.


Plan Human Resource Management (Planning); Acquire Project Team (Executing); Develop Project Team (Executing); Manage Project Team (Executing).


Ensure timely and appropriate planning, collection, creation, distribution, storage, retrieval, management, control, monitoring, and the ultimate disposition of project information.


Plan Communications Management (Planning); Manage Communications (Executing); Control Communications (Monitoring & Controlling).

2.8) RISK

Conduct risk management planning, identification, analysis, response planning, and control risk on a project.


Plan Risk Management (Planning); Identify Risks (Planning); Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis (Planning); Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis (Planning); Plan Risk Responses (Planning); Monitor and Control Risks (Monitoring & Controlling).


Purchase or acquire products, services, or results needed from outside the project team.


Plan Procurements (Planning); Conduct Procurements (Executing); Control Procurements (Monitoring & Controlling); Close Procurements (Closing).


Identify all people or organizations impacted by the project, analyzing stakeholder expectations and impact on the project, and developing appropriate management strategies for effectively engaging stakeholders in project decisions and execution.


Identify Stakeholders (Initiating); Plan Stakeholder Management (Planning); Manage Stakeholder Engagement (Executing); Control Stakeholder Engagement (Monitoring & Controlling).


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Hi, I am Stefania, hearth and keyboard behind Tipsographic, a free online resource for everybody interested in project management and agile. I specialize in project management tips, tools, and tricks. When I'm not writing, you can find me road cycling around Tuscany or spending time with friends and family.

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