Project Management Knowledge Areas

This past year I’ve started teaching some of the Project Management Institutes (PMI) Project Management Knowledge Areas. These knowledge areas are used in most projects most of the time. These knowledge areas are also tested in PMI qualifications.

What are the PMI Knowledge Areas?

The 10 knowledge areas (according to PMI BoK6 2017) are:

  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Schedule Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Resource Management
  7. Project Communications Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Procurement Management
  10. Project Stakeholder Management

These are identified areas of Project Management, defined by their knowledge requirements. They are described in terms of inputs, tools & methods, and outputs.

APM Competence Framework

The Association for Project Management (APM) has a list of Competencies. The APM Competence Framework lists 27 competences. The APM then split these into ‘Application’ and ‘Knowledge’. For each of these a Project Manager can rate themselves as:

  1. Aware
  2. Practised
  3. Competent
  4. Proficient
  5. Expert.

In this way, the Competence Framework is excellent for identifying CPD requirements.

Comparing the APM Competence Framework with the PMI Knowledge Areas

There is a good match between the APM Competence Framework and the PMI Knowledge Areas. In some cases the terminology is different. The APM combine ‘Stakeholders’ with ‘Communication’. The PMI knowledge area of ‘Integration’ is covered by the APM competences ‘Consolidated Planning’ and ‘Transition Management’.

The APM approach to Project Management tends to be broader than the PMI approach. The APM include aspects such as ‘Leadership’, ‘Conflict’, ‘Team management’, and ‘Ethics/Professionalism’.

Another fundamental difference is that the PMI Knowledge Areas and BoK can be seen as a training manual. Whilst the APM Competence Framework and BoK is more a guide to what should be understood about projects and project management.

Knowledge plus Experience leads to Competence

Knowing something, and passing an exam is all well and good. Application of that knowledge can lead to a competence in the topic.

The PMI recognise that there are other areas of knowledge that may also be needed. These might include Financial Management or Health and Safety.

Posted On: 15th December 2020

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