The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide is a reference and a guideline that project managers adhere to for managing the projects and being up-to-date with the latest practices and methods of project management. Moreover, PMBOK is used as a reference guide for various project management certification exams, including the PMP and the CAPM

PMBOK is an essential guide for project managers or other professionals in the project management domain as with the help of this guide, PMI instills standards for reflecting the updated practices in project, program, and portfolio management. 

In this guide, let us take a closer look at what a PMBOK guide is and why it is important. 

What Is PMBOK In Project Management?

PMBOK is short for Project Management Body of Knowledge, and it is a guide with a collection of project management processes. best practices, terminologies, and guidelines that are generally accepted in the project management industry. Companies consider the PMBOK guide to be valuable as it helps in standardizing the project management practices across the different departments, tailoring processes and practices to suit specific project types, and avoiding any project failures. 

Since the project management domain is constantly evolving, and with professionals discovering new methods and practices, there is a need to update the PMBOK guide over time. And this is where the Project Management Institute (PMI), a non-profit association for project management professionals, oversees updating the PMBOK guide.  

What Is the Purpose of PMBOK®?

The purpose of the PMBOK guide is to offer a standard through which candidates can obtain certifications such as PMP or CAPM in accreditation with PMI. The goal of PMBOK is to allow organizations to standardize project management practices and processes across departments. Moreover, it also allows other organizations, irrespective of the industry, to work with a standardized system. It means that as a project manager if you move from one company to another, you will be able to apply the same practices and processes. 

The PMBOK Terminology and Guidelines

To better understand the PMBOK guide structure, it includes 5 process groups, 10 knowledge areas, and around 47 project management processes. Here is a detailed overview of the PMBOK structure.

5 Process Groups 

PMBOK groups the 47 project management processes within the following 5 process groups. 

1. Initiating

The first process group is the initiation phase, which involves setting the project vision and defining the project’s success. In this phase, the sponsors authorize the project, the project manager is assigned, the scope of the project is defined, and the stakeholders are introduced. 

2. Planning

The planning phase includes deciding the project budgets, deadlines, identifying the risks, milestones, etc. Moreover, it also includes defining and expanding the project scope further. 

3. Executing 

In the execution phase, the project managers orchestrate the project tasks and activities as per the project timelines and then communicate the same with the stakeholders and sponsors. Most of the budget set for the project is utilized in the executing phase. 

4. Monitoring and controlling

To review and regulate the progress and performance of the project, monitoring and controlling is an important phase, where processes are tracked. 

5. Closing

In the closing phase, project managers archive the project record, close contracts, review the lessons learned and celebrate the project’s success. 

10 Knowledge Areas

Knowledge areas are important fundamentals that every project manager needs to understand for better project management. Following are the 10 knowledge areas: 

1. Integration

It refers to managing the project as a whole by bringing all the inputs together. 

2. Scope

Defining the scope of the project allows project managers to set clear goals about the project deliveries and what is expected. 

3. Time 

The knowledge area of time refers to the time commitment of each member in the project team with respect to their individual tasks. It ensures that project delivery is within the defined time frame. 

4. Cost 

Project managers must possess cost management skills as they have to adhere to the set budgets for different project tasks or activities. 

5. Quality 

Quality control and management are essential to ensure that every project task is aligned with the expected project outcome. 

6. Procurement 

It includes procuring the necessary supplies and resources for the project in a way that minimizes wastage. 

7. Human resources 

The knowledge area of human resources enables project managers to build excellent project teams and to keep the team motivated and engaged. 

8. Communication 

A project manager’s job is often 80% communication as they are responsible for clear communication to keep the sponsors, stakeholders, and project team informed. 

9. Risk management 

Assessing project risk is essential to avoid project failure and ensure the project goals are met. 

10. Stakeholder management 

It involves keeping the stakeholders aligned with the project’s progress, needs, or concerns. 


PMBOK guides are essential for bringing a high level of sophistication and standardization to the organization. At Techcanvass, project management training courses involve an in-depth understanding of the PMBOK guide. You can explore the project management certification training courses to get started in the project management industry. 

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