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Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide 6th) Explained – Easy to Understand

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) is the Project Management Institute’s flagship publication. The guide outlines commonly used, well-proven, consensus-based approaches.

Projects are inevitable, and so is project management. Whether technically recognized or not, project management is vital for businesses of all types and sizes. However, establishing a project management standard and professionalizing the project manager’s function for large businesses can help improve outcomes.

Active project management practitioners and subject matter experts created the PMBOK® Guide. Before it is released, it is reviewed by the project management community to ensure that it accurately reflects the field’s current status.

The Project Management Institute

PMI stands for the Project Management Institute. It is a leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project management profession. The association aims to provide tools, networks, and best practices to those who seek help to successfully manage their projects and portfolios.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is a global non-profit professional organization for project management. The PMI serves over 2.9 million professionals, including over 500,000 members in 208 countries and territories worldwide. 

PMI offers multiple certifications that “recognize knowledge and competency,” including the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, which serves as the standard of professionalism in the field. To earn a PMI credential, candidates must document that they have met the required education and experience requirements and then pass an exam. 

What is the purpose of PMBOK ®?

PMBOK ® is the standard PMI that provides PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. PMP is an important industry-recognized project management credential. The purpose of the PMBOK ® is to help companies standardize project management techniques across departments. It also enables project managers to collaborate across enterprises using a common framework. That means a project manager can transfer their skills from one organization to another.

The approaches are well-documented and concentrate on tried-and-true techniques. The manual also covers what doesn’t work so managers can prevent typical blunders.

The PMBOK ® Terminology and Guidelines

There are 5 process groups10 knowledge areas, and 49 project management processes in the PMBOK® structure. The project management procedures are organized into knowledge areas based on project management content.

5 Process Groups

The 49 project management processes are grouped into five distinct sets:


The first process group, initiating, is responsible for defining project success and setting the vision for what will be accomplished. The sponsor approves the project, the project manager is assigned, the scope is specified, and stakeholders are identified at this phase. Only some projects will make it past the planning stage.


The planning process group involves activities that further hone the project’s scope, including identifying risks, milestones, and budget. A planning process called progressive elaboration occurs, and project documents are developed.


The planning process group consists of tasks that help refine the project’s scope, such as defining risks, milestones, and a budget. Project documents are created as part of a planning process known as progressive elaboration.

Monitoring and Controlling

Processes for tracking, reviewing, and regulating the project’s progress and performance are included in monitoring and controlling.


Because projects are time or milestone-limited, project management differs from other types of management. The closure process includes receiving client approval, archiving documents, completing contracts, analyzing lessons learned, and celebrating accomplishments.

10 Knowledge Areas

The 10 knowledge areas define the fundamentals that every effective project manager needs to know and understand.

Project Integration Management

The coordination of all project parts is known as project integration management. It includes resolving disputes between different project areas, making trade-offs between conflicting requests, appraising resources, and coordinating tasks, resources, stakeholders, and other project elements.

Project Scope Management

Project scope management refers to the total amount of work required to deliver a product, service, or outcome with defined capabilities and features. It encompasses everything that must be included in a project. At the same time, excluding anything that isn’t, as well as what determines its success.

Project Schedule Management

The listing of activities, deliverables, and milestones within a project is referred to as scheduling in project management. A timetable usually includes the following:

  • A scheduled start and finish date.
  • The duration of each activity.
  • The resources allotted to it.

Effective project scheduling is a key component of time management success.

Project Cost Management

Project Cost Management is a strategy for measuring cost and productivity over the whole life cycle of enterprise-level projects using technology. PCM includes estimates, work controls, field data gathering, scheduling, accounting, and design, among other project management responsibilities.

Project Quality Management

Quality assurance is planned, scoped, implemented, and monitored across all project phases, from inception to completion. Quality management is known as the art of organizing and managing a team of people to achieve a qualitative goal within an effective cost and time period, resulting in the development of a quality product or service. It comprises determining the specification requirements and the methods and procedures required to ensure that quality is maintained throughout the process.

Project Resource Management

Project resource management is a collection of integrated processes that allow project managers (potentially in collaboration with the PMO and other decision-makers) to identify, obtain, allocate, develop, and monitor the resources needed to finish a project successfully. It includes both human and non-human resources.

Project Communication Management

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) defines project communication management as “the processes required to ensure timely and appropriate generation, collection, dissemination, storage, and ultimate disposition of project information.”

Project managers have more data at their disposal than ever before in the Information Age. We will be assaulted with more and more knowledge as our technology matures and advance into the next century, and it will arrive at us faster than we can comprehend. Project managers will be forced to learn skills to deal with information overload, which can result from getting too much or contradicting information and a lack of ability to convey data efficiently due to this quick influx. Communication management difficulties are used to describe such issues.

Project Risk Management

Risk analysis and management is an important approach that ensures your project runs smoothly with the fewest possible surprises. While we can never forecast the future with precision, we can use a basic and streamlined risk management method to anticipate project risks and reduce their incidence or impact. It increases the likelihood of successful project completion and decreases its risks.

Project Procurement Management

The formation and maintenance of ties with external resources required to accomplish a project are known as project procurement management. A project procurement manager works with suppliers to purchase, rent, or contract products and services required to meet project goals.

Project Stakeholder Management

The practice of arranging communication with stakeholders and managing stakeholder expectations is known as project stakeholder management. Many components of a project, including stakeholder management, are coordinated by project managers. Stakeholders are individuals who have an interest in or influence over a project.

How does PMBOK work? 

Although the approach provides structure to project management, each project is unique and has a unique project lifecycle, whereas the project management lifecycle remains the same for most projects.

If preparing for the PMP exam in 2022, you must go through PMBOK 6th at least twice, along with the Agile Practice Guide by PMI.

If you are an organization willing to standardize project management, you must choose the processes aligned with the nature of the work.

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