Project Management has several knowledge areas. The project management processes are a part of those project management knowledge areas. All of these project management processes belong to five major project management process groups. These project management process groups are called initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closing.

project management process groups

What are the project management process groups? What is the purpose of each project management process groups? What are the relations between these process groups? How are these project management process groups related to each other? Are the process groups the same in all types of projects?

We are going to review the five Project Management Process Groups during this article. These are part of project management knowledge. If you desire to get more information about project management visit our CAPM® course page and enroll for this self-paced, high-quality online training.

What are the Project Management Process Groups?

We can state five project management process groups which are the phases of the project life cycle.

These process groups are:

project management process groups

  • Initiating phase triggers the planning process group. After preparing the required documents and steps for initiating the project the next process group begins.
  • Planning phase triggers the execution process group. The project must have a proper planning in order to start the execution phase.
  • Execution is the phase where the most of the project work is delivered.
  • Monitoring and controlling is the only project management process group that interacts with all other four. In this phase, the project team checks whether everything is going as planned.
  • Closing helps to close the project after all objectives are met.

Note that project life cycle can change from project to project. It may also change depending on the industry. Even if the life cycle changes, the project management process groups are always same.

Interrelationship Between the Project Management Process Groups

project management process groups

This figure shows the interrelationship of project management process groups with each other. As you see, initiating process group triggers the planning process group. So when the documents and the steps are ready to initiate a project, the planning phase starts.

Then, planning process group triggers the execution process group. After proper planning of the project, the execution phase starts. This is the phase where the most of the project work is delivered.

Monitoring & Controlling process group is the only process group that interacts with all other four project management process groups. Because this process group checks whether the project is going as planned and whether everything is going smoothly.

The last project management process group is the closing phase. The closing process group helps to complete and close the project after all objectives of the project are met. Or another possibility is that the project may have been terminated in the middle.

Note that, project management processes are documented and controlled by the help of project management templates. You can see sample free project management templates to have an idea of how they work.

The Difference Between the Project Management Process Groups Between Small and Large Projects

The processes under all these project management process groups should be initiated and executed in each project. But they are not initiated or executed in the same way in all types of projects. The size of the project defines how the process groups are

project management process groups

As you notice in the figure above, in a small project, all of these phases can be planned as one whole project. Because these phases are not really complex and they don’t require complicated steps to take.

project management process groups

On the other hand, as you see in the second figure if the project is a large one this should also mean that if each one of its phases is big enough to be considered as a separate project. Then, these project management process groups are initiated and executed separately. In other words, during each phase of a large project, there is a small project going on with its own project management process groups.

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project management process groups