How to memorize the 49 processes from PMBOK 6th Edition in under 30 minutes

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers certifications that provide project management professionals with both information and credibility. Two of these certifications are the Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). Both of these certifications are based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) which outlines the PMI approach to managing projects.

The 49 processes (shown below) form the skeleton or outline for the PMBOK – if you fully understand the 49 processes you are well on your way to passing your PMP or CAPM exam!

We’re going to show you how you can memorize the chart found in 6th edition of the PMBOK in under 30 minutes!

The Process Chart
The columns at the top of the chart below show the Process Groups, while the rows show the Knowledge Areas. The center of the table shows all 49 processes. It is important to know both the Process Group and Knowledge Area for each process.

Knowledge Areas
A Knowledge Area represents a complete set of concepts, terms, and activities that make up an area of specialization. The knowledge areas are found in the rows of the process chart. One way to easily memorize the knowledge areas is to use a phrase where the first letter is same as that of the knowledge area list. For example:

I Saw Silly Cats Quietly Reciting Carols in a Really Poetic Scene

PRO TIP: the phrases are easiest to memorize when you come up with your own. Try to use names of friends and family members and add some humour!

Now that we know the knowledge areas, how many processes are in each one? One trick to remember is to memorize the following phone number 766-436-3734

Knowledge Area

Number of Processes

Integration

7

Scope

6

Schedule

6

Cost

4

Quality

3

Resource

6

Communications

3

Risk

7

Procurement

3

Stakeholder

4

 

Process Groups

The 49 processes are placed into process groups based on their overall function – they are used to apply the appropriate skills and knowledge during the project.

An easy way to remember the process groups is to use the following sentence:

 

I Positively Enjoy MagiC Cards

TIP: Our brains work by association – it is much easier to memorize something complex like the process groups using something simple like the the sentence above.

In order to remember the number of processes in each process group you can memorize the following sequence of numbers which are very similar to a postal code

2 – 24 – 10 – 12 – 1

TIP: Knowing the number of processes in each process group will make it easier for you to check your work and make sure you’re not forgetting any.

Let’s take a deeper dive into each Process Group

Initiation – Do it!

The Initiation process group has only two processes which can be memorized easily

  1. Do – Develop Project Charter
  2. It – Identify Stakeholders

TIP: Fill out the Initiation and Closing process groups first as they are in the 3 corners.

Planning – Plan^9 + DCDC + SEDEDE – IPPP

I know what you’re thinking – that’s a harder shortcut to remember! Let’s walk through it.

  1. Plan^9 – there are 9 processes starting with the word Plan
    1. Plan scope management
    2. Plan schedule management
    3. Plan cost management
    4. Plan quality management
    5. Plan resource management
    6. Plan communications management
    7. Plan risk management
    8. Plan procurement management
    9. Plan stakeholder management
  2. DCDCD
    1. Develop project management plan
    2. Collect requirements
    3. Define scope
    4. Create work breakdown schedule
    5. Define activities
  3. SEDEDE
    1. Sequence activities
    2. Estimate activity Durations
    3. Develop schedule
    4. Estimate costs
    5. Develop budget
    6. Estimate activity resources
  4. IPPP
    1. Identify risks
    2. Perform qualitative risk analysis
    3. Perform quantitative risk analysis
    4. Plan risk responses

TIP: try to sing the shortcuts!

Executing – Manage^5 + DADIC

  1. Manage^5  – there are five processes starting with the word manage
    1. Manage project knowledge
    2. Manage quality
    3. Manage team
    4. Manage communications
    5. Manage stakeholder engagement
  2. DADIC – DAD is correct
    1. Direct and manage project work
    2. Acquire resources
    3. Develop team
    4. Implement risk responses
    5. Conduct procurements

Monitoring and Controlling – Monitor^4 + Control^6 + VP

  1. Monitor^4 – there are 4 processes starting with the word monitor
    1. Monitor and control project work
    2. Monitor communication
    3. Monitor risk
    4. Monitor stakeholder engagement
  2. Control^6 – there are 6 processes starting with the word control
    1. Control scope
    2. Control schedule
    3. Control cost
    4. Control quality
    5. Control resources
    6. Control procurements
  3. VP
    1. Validate scope
    2. Perform integrated change control

Closing

The closing process is the easiest to memorize as it has only one process

  1. Close Project or Phase

FINAL TIP: While we do recommend memorizing the processes, you do not have to memorize the Inputs Tools & Techniques (ITTO) just make sure you understand them.