Project Management Process Groups 101

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) describes five major process groups that are achieved throughout the stages of a project lifecycle.

Here’s a handy project management graphic that summarizes the main features of each group—Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing, together with its processes (by knowledge area) and main outputs.

The Five Process Groups Explained

1) Project Management Process Group

A process group is a logical grouping of project management activities, inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs required for any type of project.

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

2) 5 Project Management Process Groups, by processes and key outputs


Define a new project or new phase of the project, identify stakeholders, and obtain authorization.


  • Develop Project Charter (Integration), Identify Stakeholders (Stakeholder)

Key Outputs

  • Project Charter, Stakeholder Register


Establish the scope of the project, refine the objectives, and define the course of action required to attain project objectives.


  • Develop Project Management Plan (Integration)
  • Plan Scope Management (Scope)
  • Collect Requirements (Scope)
  • Define Scope (Scope)
  • Create WBS (Scope)
  • Plan Schedule Management (Time)
  • Define Activities (Time)
  • Sequence Activities (Time)
  • Estimate Activity Resources (Time)
  • Estimate Activity Duration (Time)
  • Develop Schedule (Time)
  • Plan Cost Management (Cost)
  • Estimate Costs (Cost)
  • Determine Budget (Cost)
  • Plan Quality Management (Quality)
  • Plan Human Resource Management (Human Resource)
  • Plan Communications Management (Communications)
  • Plan Risk Management (Risk)
  • Identify Risks (Risk)
  • Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis (Risk)
  • Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis (Risk)
  • Plan Risk Responses (Risk)
  • Plan Procurements Management (Procurements)
  • Plan Stakeholder Management (Stakeholder)

Key Outputs

  • Project Mgt. Plans & Related Documents
  • Scope
  • Requirements
  • Schedule
  • Cost
  • Quality
  • Human Resources
  • Communication
  • Risk
  • Procurement
  • Change
  • Stakeholders


Complete the work to satisfy project objectives.


  • Direct & Manage Project Work (Integration)
  • Perform Quality Assurance (Quality)
  • Acquire Project Team (Human Resource)
  • Develop Project Team (Human Resource)
  • Manage Project Team (Human Resource)
  • Manage Communications (Communications)
  • Conduct Procurements (Procurements)
  • Manage Stakeholder Engagement (Stakeholder)

Key Outputs

  • Project Deliverables
  • Work Performance Data
  • Team Performance Assessments
  • Project Communications
  • Selected Suppliers & Agreements
  • Change Requests


Track, review, and regulate progress and performance of the project; manage variance and initiate corresponding changes.


  • Monitor & Control project work (Integration)
  • Perform Integrated Change control (Integration)
  • Validate Scope (Scope)
  • Control Scope (Scope)
  • Control Schedule (Time)
  • Control Costs (Cost)
  • Control Quality (Quality)
  • Control Communications (Communications)
  • Control Risks (Risk)
  • Control Procurements (Procurements)
  • Control Stakeholder Engagement (Stakeholder)

Key Outputs

  • Change Logs
  • Approved Change Requests
  • Work Performance Information
  • Schedule Forecasts
  • Cost Forecasts
  • Updates to Project Plan


Finalize all activities across all process groups to formally close the project or phase.


  • Close Project or Phase (Integration)
  • Close Procurements (Procurement)

Key Outputs

  • Final Product, Service, or Result
  • Closed Procurement
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