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Understanding project management processes flow and interaction is quite an issue faced by most while reading the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition.

Some of the common and repetitive questions asked by my students regarding this are as follows:

  • Which process do we start with when we start a project?
  • Is there some sequence between the processes, or some basic flow?
  • Does the sequence affect how they interact with each other?

Project management process groups and their corresponding project management processes are iterative. However, I am of the strong opinion that there is a basic flow or sequence between the project management process groups. For instance, imagine you are applying the project management process group for the first time. Which project management process group you are going to start with? Off course, the initiating process group. Which process group will be applied last? Answer, the closing process group. Should planning process group be applied before or after executing process group?

So there is a basic flow or sequence between the project management process groups – you start with initiating, move to planning, then to executing and finally to closing. Monitoring and Controlling however spans of the rest of the four process groups. Along this basic sequence you might iterate a number of times.

The same applies to project management processes, especially between the project management processes of Initiating, Planning and Closing Process Groups. For instance, in Initiating Process Group, Develop Project Charter precedes Identify Stakeholder process. In Closing Process Group, let’s say for the final phase of our project, procurement needs to be closed before project can be closed. In Planning Process Group, we need to plan scope of our project first before we can move on to creating schedule and cost baselines.

Following is the diagram that shows the flow of project management processes in the Initiating Process Group and Planning Process Group. This is a work in progress and would be updated overtime along with notes to it. I would love to have input from readers/viewers to further improve it. Please use comment system below for providing feedback.

Download Project Management Processes Flow in Initiating Process Group and Planning Process Group

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at 

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