Whether you are preparing to apply for your Project Management Professional certification or just looking into the PMP credential, it’s essential that as a project manager you have a good grasp of project management methodologies and process groups. The methodologies are a set way of approaching a project, while the process groups are the steps taken to carry out the chosen methodology. Here’s an overview of the five process groups or activities every PMP must use.
These five groups carry a project through its duration and are all covered on the PMP certification exam. The first group is initiating a project with set goals. The second is planning the project so that it can achieve those goals while staying within a prescribed time frame and price range. The planning stage is worth almost a quarter of the points on the PMP exam. The third process group is executing the project; this process group is weighted heavily on the exam, accounting for 30 percent of the final score. Executing involves actually carrying out the project to produce an end product. The fourth group is monitoring and controlling processes, which is essentially a review to make sure that the project management methodologies have been successful, the project is on track, and any variations from the original planning stage are either acceptable or are going to be corrected. This activity ensures that progress is in the right direction and that the end goal is still in sight. It is worth exactly a quarter of the points on the exam. The final group is closing the project, which involves tying up lose ends and verifying with the client or other party that everything is acceptable.
These five process groups or actions are essential for any PMP to know, both in practice during the execution of projects and in theory for the PMP certification exam. Along with the prescribed project management methodologies, these process groups provide a framework for successfully managing and completing a project.