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    Process Benefits         Plan management   Scope Management   HR Management   Input / Output Menu  
    Process Inputs         Plan execution   Time Management   Communications Management   Input Menu  
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    Process Outputs         Monitor and Control   Risk Management   Stakeholder Managment   Output Menu  

About ProPM

Project management by the book.

Project management maps and menus.

ProPM logo colors represent project phases.

The mission of ProPM is to promote study of the generally accepted PMBOK®, 47 process, project management methodology by mapping the 47 processes and 191 ITTO (inputs, tools, techniques, outputs) into an easily recallable mind map.

Are you preparing to take the PMP exam? PMBOK 6 was published on 6 September 2017. PMP exam testing for PMBOK 6 began on 26 March, 2018; approximately 6 months from the date of announcement.

Did you arrive at ProPM because you search for PMP exam study support tools and information? Did you arrive at ProPM to refresh or develop your PMBoK knowledge and insight from a new and dynamic perspective?

If so, you've come to the right place. The PMP exam is a formidable challenge. The PMBoK offers a useful and comprehensive approach to project management; however the vastness and complexity of the knowledge structure is often difficult to maintain in one fluid and holistic overview.

ProPM offers an alternative overview of PMBoK knowledge which will add value, confidence and efficiency to the time you spend mastering and practitioning PMBoK knowledge.

The first step to using ProPM is to memorize figure 6 below; the phase structure and benefits of the 47 project processes. Certainly with PMP exam preparation; memorizing Figure 6 is the best first step to take in the exam preparation process.

Welcome to ProPM.

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Project Knowledge       Figure 1        

Figure 1 at right illustrates the full scope of project knowledge in the PMBoK; 47 project management processes and 10 knowledge areas in standard sequence; as presented in the PMBoK.

From left to right, top to bottom, this is the sequence of the 47 project processes found in the PMBoK, with the same numerical coding.

There are 10 project knowledge areas.

There are 47 project processes.

The 47 project processes are numbered sequentially; dividing the PMBoK into sections, similar to a legal text.

For example, in Figure 1 to the right we can see that;

Section 7.3 of the PMBoK refers to the Determine Budget Process.

Section 11.5 refers to the Plan Risk Response Process.

Section 13.1 refers to the Identify Stakeholders process.

This PMBoK coding is very handy because it allows one to refer to specific sections of the PMBoK by numerical code when discussing project knowledge.

Again, Figure 1 displays the sequences of the 47 project processes exactly as they are in the PMBoK.

47 project processes in PMBOK sequence
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    ProPM Logo Project Phase       Figure 2        

Figure 2 is identical to figure 1; however color is added to highlight project phases.

Figure 2, therefore, illustrates 47 project management processes in standard sequence; with 5 project phases illustrated by color. The five project phases, as presented in the PMBoK are as follows;

1) initiate (black) -> 2 processes

2) plan (light green) -> 24 processes

3) execute (blue) -> 8 processes

4) monitor and control (dark green) -> 11 processes

5) close (black) -> 2 processes

The PMBoK therefore, sequences project knowledge (the 47 project processes) as generally following the logic of project phases. For example; it would seem to suggest that one should first plan, then execute and thereafter, monitor and control.

But this is not how projects evolve and the PMBoK itself points out that project phases overlap. For example, planning, execution and monitoring & controlling can all occur at the same time; it is not necessarily one after the other.

PMBOK Project Proceses color mind map
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    ProPM Logo Logo Map       Figure 3        

Figure 3 simply rearranges the info from Figure 2 into the ProPM pattern. Notice; the numerical coding for each knowledge area and project process is identical to that found in the PMBoK, and Figures 1 and 2 above.

In ProPM mapping, the Risk Management knowledge area moves up to the fifth row, after Cost Management. This is done to group together the four knowledge areas that have additional planning processes beyond the standard planning processes found in column 2.

Meanwhile, all of the standard Monitor and Controlling processes are shifted from the far right, to the far left; all into column 1. Likewise; the standard planning processes are shifted right and aligned in column 2.

Consequently; the first two columns in the ProPM pattern draw attention to the fact that there are standard Monitor & Controlling processes and standard Planning processes.

Figure 3, therefore presents a far more logical visual overview of PMBoK knowledge. Memorizing the 47 project processes in the ProPM pattern is an excellent first step in developing an outstanding visceral overview of the entire body of knowledge.

In Figure 3, the 47 project processes are grouped into a far superior overview conducive to mind mapping. It will be easier to proceed with PMBoK study from the perspective of Figure 3, than from Figures 1 or 2, for example.

Here also notice that Figure 3 is the ProPM logo.

ProPM PMBOK Project Process Mind Map
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    ProPM Logo Plan Process; 2 sub groups       Figure 4        

Figure 4 builds and expands on Figure 3, leading to an alternative ProPM project phase overview.

Again; this alternative perspective is 100% compatible with the PMBoK; it's simply a slightly alternative overview.

The key distinction to make in the ProPM overview is the division of the 24 planning processes into two seperate groups. In other words; don't think of planning as 24 processes all under the same umbrella. Rather keep it clear in your mind that there are two sets of planning processes; those dealing with general planning for each knowledge area; and those dealing with more refined planning pertaining to Scope, Time, Cost and Risk Management. Think of the former as planning management, and the latter as planning execution.

Regarding the Initiating and Closing phases of project management; there are only 4 total project processes associated with initiating and closing the project. ProPM suggests you throw these 4 processes into one bucket; obviously one comes before the other, but closure and initiation are actually quite similar from an abstract perspective. One should keep closure in mind when working on initiation. After all, a project is by definition a limited endeavor with a defined start and finish/product/outcome/result.

To summarize; the ProPM phase mapping is as follows;

1) initiate and close (black) -> 4 processes

2) monitor and control (dark green) -> 11 processes

3) plan management (light green) -> 10 processes

4) plan execution (light green) -> 14 processes

5) execute (blue) -> 8 processes

ProPM PMBOK Mind Map Plan Process Divide
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    ProPM Logo Monitor & Control Perimeter       Figure 5        

During the rearrangement the 47 project processes into the ProPM pattern, the Monitoring & Controlling processes arrive to form column 1 of the pattern; these are the standard monitoring and controlling processes associated with each knowledge area. Two of the 10 knowledge areas have one additional monitoring and controlling processes (column 7.)

These two monitoring and controlling processes are from the knowledge areas in the top two rows of the pattern; Integration Management and Scope Management. The two processes are;

1) perform integrated change control

2) validate scope

The first ensures that the consequences of any change in plans, processes or deliverables are fully examined before implementation via a formal approval process. The second formalizes client acceptance of each deliverable; thereby increasing the chances of acceptance.

As mentioned above; whereas the PMBoK pattern arranges planning processes in column one of the pattern, ProPM lists monitoring and controlling processes in the first column, with two additional process in column 7.

In this way, the monitoring and controlling processes form a perimeter around the other project processes. This is sensible because all project activity is controlled from very early on.


ProPM PMBOK Mind Map Control
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    ProPM Logo Process Benefits Logo Map       Figure 6        

47 project management process benefits in the ProPM logo map.

Again, memorizing the benefits of the 47 project processes within the ProPM framework is the best first step one can take in preparing for the PMP exam. Certainly if one is unfamiliar with the landscape of project management knowledge or concepts, studying Figure 6 allows for an excellent overview of the knowledge structure and how the 47 project management processes and 10 knowledge areas fit together.

Figure 6 focusses on the benefits of each of the 47 processes; in essence, why each of the processes in performed. Memorization of the 47 project process benefits helps focus in the first instance on why one does things; presumably because of performance benefits.

The PMP exam is largely a test of a PMs ability to understand what to do next - and why. A typical exam question will pose a scenario and offer 4 choices of what to do next. Only one is the best answer although all 4 may be more or less correct. The exam poses 200 questions like that, with 4 hours to answer them all.

The best advice therefore, is; before undertaking any further study, memorize figure 6. Test yourself. Can you write down the 47 projects management processes in the ProPM pattern? That's the first step. It should be effortless. Next; once the pattern is drawn out, can you write down the benefits for each of the 47 processes without hesitation?

By memorizing Figure 6; you will probably decrease your PMP exam preparation time by half. Why? Because every other piece of information you study will have a context and mapping already established in your mind. Consequently it will be far easier to understand and remember everything else you study.

Know the lay of the land. Know the map before taking the journey. Be prepared well in advance. Memorizing Figure 6 will deliver this confidence.

You may find thousands of discussions online over how to best approach PMBoK study and PMP exam preparation. Whatever your approach may be; study guides, practices exams, etc.., try to memorize figure 6.

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    ProPM Logo Process inputs logo map       Figure 7        

47 project management process inputs in logo map.

Think of figures 6, 7, 8 and 9 as a four layer cake.

The color pattern is the same in each figure; The 47 project management processes, 10 knowledge areas and 5 phases arranged in the ProPM pattern. It is exactly the same data as the PMBoK; just rearranged into a different pattern.

Each of the 47 project processes is a mult-faceted job that needs to be done. Someone will be responsible, for example, for ensuring a particular process is done correctly. The processes are more or less all connected; evolving through the project phases from initiation to close. Consequently, challenges in one process can have cascading effects throughout other processes.

The PMBoK is very specific about how each of the 47 processes should be correctly performed; bearing in mind one should adapt one's approach to unique project circumstances.

Each of the 47 project processes is performed by using a prescribed set of inputs; documents, reports, plans etc to produce a prescribed set of outputs. The inputs required are often outputs from other processes; again in this way the processes are connected and impact one another. For each of the other 47 processes, the PMBoK provides a prescribed list of specific tools and techniques to use for converting the process inputs into process outputs.

Each of the 47 processes uses a unique set of tools & techniques to convert the inputs into outputs.

Figure 7 shows all the various inputs required for performing the 47 project processes. By looking at all the inputs together within the ProPM logo map it is easy to see that some inputs are used for many of the 47 processes. Knowing which inputs are used more or less frequently; and for which of the 47 processes; and understanding why (from Figure 6,) is useful knowledge for prioritizing study topics in preparation for the PMP exam.

ProPM makes this easy with the ITTO Menus, as seen in Figure 10, below. Simply click through the menu links at the top right of every ProPM page to immediately access an alphabetical list of all Inputs, Outputs, Tools & Techniques. This way you will immediately see which ITTOs are used more or less frequently among the 47 project processes.

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    ProPM Logo Process tools & techniques logo map       Figure 8        

47 project management process tools & techniques in logo map.

Whereas the ProPM menus clearly illustrate which of the ITTO's are used more or less frequently among the 47 processes, the ProPM maps in figures 7, 8 & 9 clearly illustrate which of the 47 project processes require more or less inputs, outputs and tools & techniques.

For example, in Figure 8, one can quickly see that Scope Management process, Collect Requirements, uses more tools and techniques (11 total) than any other process. Why is this? What is the benefit of the Collect Requirements process? What inputs are required for using all 11 tools and techniques? What are the key outputs of the collect requirements process? What other processes use the outputs of Collect Requirements as Inputs for their processes? What other processes produced the inputs for the Collect Requirements process?

These are the kind of questions you should be asking yourself as you prepare for the PMP exam. Again, the PMP exam is largely a test of a PMs knowledge of what to do next, and why. Analyzing PMBoK knowledge via the ProPM maps and menus will lead you in the direction of asking such critical questions. You should look at the entire scope of the knowledge and ask challenging questions.

For example, by reviewing the ProPM input menu we quickly discover that Organizational Process Assets are the most frequently used input among all other process Inputs. Among the 47 project processes, 38 in total use Organizational Process Assets as process inputs. This is a clear signal; understand what Organizational Process Assets are and why they are so frequently required as a process input. However, by using ProPM, this clear signal leads to an intriguing question; what about the other 9 processes that do not require Organizational Process Assets as process inputs? What, about these other 9 processes, makes them different?

Again, these are the kind of questions you should be asking yourself in preparation for the PMP exam. By approaching the study of PMBoK knowledge in this way, ProPM transforms your preparation from time spent, to time invested. By examining the knowledge structure from a more logical and critical perspective, you will dramatically increase the retention of what you have learned. Invest your time studying. Don't spend it for nothing. Memorize Figure 6.

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    ProPM Logo Process outputs logo map       Figure 9        

47 project management process outputs in logo map.

With Figure 9 we see again the ProPM logo mapping, and in this case, all process Outputs for each of the 47 processes. In general we can see that there are fewer outputs than there are inputs. We can also see that the monitor and controlling processes produce more outputs than most of the other processes.

When you look at Figure 9, think also about Figures 7 and 8 above. Recall again that the project phases and 47 project processes are arranged in exactly the same ProPM pattern for figures 7, 8 and 9. Each of the 47 project processes is performed by converting a set of inputs into a set of outputs via a set of tools and techniques. These three ProPM Figures (7, 8 and 9) project a concise overview of nearly all of the information contained in the PMBoK. You will not find a more concise and economic overview of the PMBoK.

Notice in Figure 9; many of the 47 project processes have some of the same outputs. Likewise, in figure 7 above (process inputs) many of the processes have some of the same inputs. ProPM makes it easy for you to account for this and saves you time, allowing you to focus more specifically on the unique aspects of each of the 47 project processes.

Regarding Figure 9; notice, for example, the output, Change Requests. 16 of the 47 project processes include Change Requests among their process outputs. All of these Change Request outputs become inputs for the top right process; Perform Integrated Change Control. During the course of a project it is expected that plans and processes will evolve and adapt to meet a changing project environment. Change control performance is 'integrated' because it takes an integrated approach to analyzing the impact of any changes to project plans and processes etc.; it examines the impact to cost, schedule, scope, quality etc.

Notice for example in Figure 9 that many of the 47 project processes include as outputs, updates to; Project Management Plans; Project Documents; and Organizational Process Assets. Pay special attention to the various Project Management Plans and Project Documents; these are key resources in a project manager's portfolio of available resources.

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    ProPM Logo ITTO menus       Figure 10        

191 inputs; tools; techniques; and outputs arranged in alphabetical menus;

Figures 7, 8 and 9 above display the project processes and ITTOs in the ProPM logo template. Recall from above, the ProPM template rearranges the project phases into an overview that is much easier to remember.

Figure 10 takes the same information from Figures 7, 8 and 9 and arranges it into a purely tabular, alphabetical format that is a perfect complement to Figures 7, 8 and 9. Figure 10, the various ProPM Menus, provides immediate answers to the questions you will generate studying Figures 7, 8 and 9.

For example; maybe while studying the Develop Project Charter Process, you notice one of the inputs is, Agreements. Where else, you wonder, among the 47 process can we find agreements? By consulting the alphabetical menus like Figure 10, you will find the answer immediately. Agreements appear 4 times; once as an output and three times as an input. Looking to column 4 of 5, we find agreements are utilized in 4 phases.

The menus are designed to encourage a flow like approach to the development of an ever increasing understanding of the entire body of knowledge. For example, in all the ProPM menus, alongside the ITTO data in columns 1 and 2, you can click straight through to any process, phase or knowledge area that catches your eye in columns 3, 4 and 5.

Think of Figures 7, 8 and 9 as a right brain over view of the PMBoK, and Figure 10 as the left brain overview. By using these overviews in tandem; you can zoom in and out of any topic effortlessly; always confident that the entire scope of knowledge is within your view.

You can find all five ProPM ITTO menus in the main menu at the top right of every page on ProPM. Again, all the menus include project process, phase and knowledge areas in columns 3, 4 and 5.

ITTO menu

The ITTO menu displays every input, output, tool & technique in alphabetical order. This is simply the entire range of data in one overview, allowing one to browse through every ITTO in the PMBoK.

Input / Output menu

The Input / Output menu is exactly like the ITTO menu, but without the tools and techniques listed alongside the inputs and outputs. Scrolling through this menu offers a concise snapshot of how all the inputs and outputs are tied together across the different 47 project processes; frequency, process mapping etc.

Input menu

The input menu focusses attention on the full range of inputs, and more specifically which inputs are used most frequently among the 47 project processes.

Tool & Technique menu

The tool and technique menu provides an overview of all the various tools and techniques and their frequency of use among the 47 project processes. At least it is good to reflect on which processes do not require meetings.

Output menu

Finally, there is a menu dedicated to all of the 47 process outputs. All of the 47 processes have multiple outputs. Some outputs are generated by only one process, Other outputs result from numerous processes. Chnage requests, for example, are outputs of 16 of the 47 processes. One is always well advised to maintain a focus on process end results. The output menu provides a valuable overview.


ProPM PMBOK ITTO Dictionary

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Standard codification       Figure 11        
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In addition to the ProPM maps and menus above, ProPM also includes 15 pages dedicated to each project knowledge area and project phase. Think of these pages as the source documents from which the maps and menus derive.

PMBoK numerical codification standard is applied throughout ProPM.

Again; the numerical coding throughout ProPM is 100% identical to PMBoK coding. Please always refer to the PMBoK directly as the final authority on all project knowledge on ProPM. Compare your copy of the PMBoK with ProPM and you will find the coding is identical.

This coding goes down through two more levels. These additional two layers of coding refer to all the Inputs, Outputs, Tools & Techniques referred to throughout the PMBoK. For example; Section refers to the Cost Aggregation tool and technique in the Determine Budget process. Section refers to the Output, Project Management Plan Updates.

1 = Input

2 = Tool and Technique

3 = Output

The third position in the set of four numbers ALWAYS refers to an Input, Output or a Tool and Technique. This is readily apparant if you consult one of the ProPM dedicated Knowledge area pages listed in the main menu.

ProPM's makes PMBoK knowledge more accessible and easier to understand via a more logical, alternative overview / mindmap.

ITTO Codofocation
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copyright information;

the PMBOK® & PMP® exam are the sole trademarked & copyrighted property of PMI, The Project Management Institute.

original design and content copyright; © 2014 - 2019

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ProPM is a work in progress. One of these days I'll get around to completing this site and updating it for the new PMBoK. Or maybe I won't. The whole design is complete in an excel file but I don't currently have the time to update everything here in html. I'm happy with what I learned backward engineering the PMBoK and maybe it can be useful for you.

Best advice; first; memorize Figure 6 above; that's the ProPM challenge. Then discover how ProPM can help you acheive your project management goals; whatever they may be. From a PMP exam perspective only a bit has changed in the new PMBoK and figure 6 is still well worth memorizing. Don't be shy - do it!

Regarding the PMBoK and project management in general; Additional approaches to project management have appeared during the past few decades. Some of these other approaches are called; Agile, Scrum, Lean, Kanban & Butterfly, for example. These alternative approaches were birthed from video game and software development. The people writing code were young, creative and more or less immune to deadlines and ultimatums, often commanding salaries far higher than their managers. This drove the managers into furious fits of rage and indignation.

So they (not sure who exactly) wrote a manifesto and it's a really long story. But anyway - a whole new sort of vocabulary has appeared with "sprints," "chin-ups" and "stories" replacing previously used words such as "schedules," "budgets" and "risks." Somewhere along the line people become confused and started trying to apply these new approaches to any sort of project; for example, building a bridge using the agile approach.

Currently there exists a torrid, tumultuous and turgid global debate regarding the use of these alternative project management approaches outside of software development. For example; the project of building a spaceship may be better suited to traditional project management techniques. Or maybe not. Who knows anymore?

The following link provides an overview of some of the other approaches; their strengths and weaknesses; and how they compare and contrast with the "traditional" project management of the PMBoK. The traditional approach to project management might be called "waterfall" project management - or modified waterfall project management. In any case, "waterfall" sounds cool - and people spend more money on things that sound cool - especially when they have no idea what you are talking about.

ProPM also proposes a method of performing financial control and variance analysis with MS Excel. This is typically a PM weakness. However it is not covered in the PMBoK or tested for on the PMP exam. Nevertheless it is an interesting side topic and discussed as an addition to the Control Costs project process. In Australia, captain kangaroo calls this clever variance analysis, "Scorpion." Scorpion sounds cool.

Just remember, whether you are "agile" or doing "waterfall" or something else - you're probably spending someone else's money and there was probably an original budget plan, unless the client was terribly incompetent. Eventually they will ask for an explanation of the real spending versus theplan / budget. If you cannot explain what you spent their money on, they might become extremely upset. For example; if you were in a meeting on a Friday afternoon and could not explain how the money was spent, they might demand you cancel any weekend plans and show up on Saturday morning with a proper explanation. I've seen people bullied in such cases until they were literally crying.

The bottom line is you better know what you are doing if you are working in financial planning, analysis and control. By knowing exactly what you are doing you will obtain the freedom to walk away from corrupt situations with style and grace. Style is important. You should always be well dressed. Show some respect for your self and the people around you!

To summarize; ProPM makes PMBoK knowledge more accessible and easier to understand via a more logical, alternative overview / mindmap. The best first step you can take with ProPM is to memorize figure 6 on this page, including the ProPM alternative mapping; both for PMP exam preparation and to bring some added focus to practicing project management on a daily basis. ProPM also proposes a proprietary Excel based method for project cost / financial control which you won't find in the PMBoK. ProPM updates are ongoing. This is just a hobby; some of the things I have created.

Thank you for visiting ProPM.

John Nicholas Ferrier

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