Option 2: A New Concept for Process Groups
Initial Thought on Adding
a Process Group
Table 1-4 in the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edn. shows
that the "planning" group incorporates processes that are precursors to the planning,
in that they provide an analysis of the specific situation with respect to the
objectives of the KA.
The results of an additional PG, the Analysis PG,
are therefore required before the planning can be carried out.
The new definition
of an Analysis Process Group would allow it to capture a number of processes currently
rather uncomfortably in the Planning group, i.e., Collect Requirements, Identify
Risks, Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis, and Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis.
This idea may improve the use of process grouping to some extent, but it
does not solve the basic problem of confusion caused by the naming of the PGs.
the Process Grouping Framework
As a more radical, but much better alternative
to reworking the current set of PGs, and to provide a clear break with the past,
a set of "knowledge area steps" (KASes) should be defined to replace the PGs.
In contrast with PGs that seem to be closely related to the entire project life
cycle, KASes are designed to be meaningful only within the corresponding KA. Hence:
- A KAS is defined as a category of activities carried out for a specific
purpose within a knowledge area. The KASes are normally carried out sequentially
within a KA, and can be reiterated as required. Not all KASes are necessarily
represented by processes in each KA.
The IPECC model of PGs should
then be replaced by the SPAARC KASes
defined below This change to the set of names serves additionally as a reminder
of the change of concept: each of these SPAARC categories is applicable
only within a KA. The six KASes are as follows:
The specification processes set the rules and authority under which the KA work
should be carried out, and determine the environment for the work.
KAS would mainly incorporate processes from the Initiating and Analysis PGs. These
processes would normally be followed by ones from the Analysis or the Preparation
- Analysis. The analysis processes are performed
to transform raw data into action-oriented information.
would normally be followed by ones from the Preparation or the Control KAS.
The preparation processes are those required to define the course of action required
to attain the objectives to which the KA should contribute.
would normally be followed by ones from the Action KAS.
The action processes are performed to deliver the work defined in the corresponding
management plan for the KA.
These processes would normally be followed by
ones from the Review KAS.
- Review. The review processes
are required to track, review and report the progress and performance of the KA
work. This includes identifying any significant differences between actual and
These processes would normally be followed by ones from
the Analysis or the Control KAS.
- Control. The control
processes are performed to regulate the progress and performance of the KA work,
determine any changes to the plan required to address performance issues highlighted
from reviewing, and assess the viability of corresponding changes. It should be
noted that life cycle governance processes such as managing phase transitions,
as well as initiation, and closing a project belong in the Control KAS.
The processes would normally be followed by ones from the Preparation or the Action
These interactions are shown in Figure 4.
4: The Set of Potential SPAARC Interactions Within any Knowledge Area
1-4 from the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edn. should be restructured based on
these definitions. The hierarchical representation of this restructuring, from
KAs, to KASes, to processes, is shown below in Table 2
in a similar form to Table 1-4 from the PMBOK® Guide. This restructuring
also provides a more balanced grouping of processes than the IPECC convention,
as can be seen by the number of processes in each KAS shown in the headings in
Table 1 presented earlier.
required for this restructuring raises a number of questions on the set of processes
for some of the KAs: for example, 12.1 "Plan Procurements" should probably
be subdivided into two processes one for the make-or-buy decisions (Specification),
the other to develop the procurement documents (Preparation).
As an aside,
the Stakeholder Management KA that has been added for the sixth edition of the
PMBOK® Guide would be more complete if the team-management processes 9.4
and 9.5 were transferred from the Resource Management area across to Stakeholder
Effective teamwork cannot be achieved if the
team members are managed in the same way as inanimate resources!
Project Management Plan
Manage Project Work
Perform Integrated Change Control
Close Project or Phase
Plan Scope Management
Estimate Activity Durations
Plan Cost Management
7.3: Determine Budget
Manage Project Team
Plan Risk Responses
Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
Implement Risk Responses
Table 2: SPAARC Process Groupings in terms of KAs and KASes
SPAARC model provides a framework for analyzing the structure of each KA as well
as for understanding the dependencies between processes in a KA. These points
are addressed in the next two sections.
I have chosen to call the mnemonic SPAARC, rather than putting the letters in
the logical order of the KASes (i.e., SAPARC) for the simple reason that it sounds