In our first post of the Project Management Series, titled “An Introduction to Ultra and Our Role in the ERP Project Management Plan,” we explained the basic characteristics of projects and project managers. We also introduced five process groups as identified by the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide. This guide defines “process” as a series of interrelated actions and activities that are performed to achieve a product, service or results. In this blog we will further define the characteristics of project management process groups.
As a reminder, here are the five different types of process groups:
- Initiating Process Group
- Planning Process Group
- Executing Process Group
- Monitoring Process Group
- Closing Process Group
Below is a graphic to explain the relationship between each group.
Process groups have a few defining factors. First of all, they are integrative and iterative, with iterative implying these are not discrete, onetime events, but events that occur more than once. These groups are also known to overlap one another and occur at varying levels of intensity throughout each phase of the project. However, don’t let this use of the word “project” confuse you – process groups are not the same as project phases.
For a project to be successful, the project team must do the following in terms of process groups:
- Select appropriate processes within the process groups that are required to meet project objectives
- Use a defined approach to adapt the product specifications and plans to meet project and product requirements
- Comply with requirements to meet stakeholder needs, wants and expectations
- Balance the competing demands of scope, time, cost, quality, resources and risk to produce a quality product
There are a couple things to note about process interactions. In general, the output of one process either becomes the input to another process or is a deliverable of the project. This interaction is defined within the PMBOK Guide in terms of inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. These terms can be defined as such:
- Inputs – Documents or documental items that will be acted upon
- Tools and Techniques – Mechanisms applied to the inputs to create the outputs
- Outputs – Documents or documentable items that are a result of the process
In the blog of our ERP project management plan series, we will delve into the Initiating Process Group.