Graphic with orange background and text that reads "10 Knowledge Areas"

The 10 knowledge areas of project management are important to know before taking the PMP exam from the Project Management Institute (PMI).

They are also important to understand once you begin the day-to-day tasks involved with managing projects.

  • NOTE: PMI has transitioned away from the 10 Knowledge Areas as of the PMBOK Guide’s Seventh Edition, which was released in August of 2021. Instead, PMI is focusing on 8 Project Performance Domains, which we’ve covered in a separate article. The Knowledge Areas remain useful in day-to-day project management, however.

    The knowledge areas are used in day-to-day project management tasks and play a big role in ensuring projects are completed successfully. In this article, we will list each knowledge area and explain what it is and how it is used in project management.

    What are the 10 Knowledge Areas of Project Management?

    PMI has identified 10 knowledge areas that all project managers must know in order to successfully manage projects.

    Based on our experience, you very likely won’t be executing tasks from each knowledge area on every project you manage.

    For example, I can’t remember the last time I did anything at all within the Project Human Resources knowledge area, but that’s because I work with the same project team consistently and rarely encounter issues that require human resources management.

    Nonetheless, as a project manager, you will encounter each of these knowledge areas at some point on your projects, and you’ll need to be familiar with the concepts and requirements of them when the need arises.

    And if nothing else, you simply won’t be able to pass the PMP exam without a healthy understanding of the 10 knowledge areas. So let’s take a look at them.

    The 10 knowledge areas in project management are:

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

    The 10 Knowledge Areas of Project Management, Explained

    Each knowledge area is important and has its own set of processes that need to be managed during the project lifecycle.

    Let’s take a closer look at each one.

    1. Project Integration Management

    Integration management is the process of ensuring that all of the project’s different elements are properly coordinated. This includes defining the project’s objectives, developing the project plan, executing the project, and monitoring and controlling the project.

    The goal of project integration management is to ensure that all of the project’s goals, objectives, and deliverables are met. This can only be accomplished by effectively managing the interactions between all of the project’s stakeholders.

    2. Project Scope Management

    Scope management is the process of ensuring that all aspects of the project are properly accounted for and included in the project plan. This includes identifying the work to be done, defining the deliverables, and creating a schedule.

    Perhaps the biggest goal of the project scope management knowledge area is to ensure the project includes all the work required — and only the work required — to complete the project successfully.

  • RELATED: What Exactly is Project Scope Management?

  • Clocks in various colors for the section about project time management.

    3. Project Time Management

    Time management is the process of ensuring that all aspects of the project are completed within the allotted timeframe. This includes creating a project schedule, tracking progress, and making adjustments as needed.

    In project time management, a PM will spend time estimating, scheduling, monitoring, and controlling the amount of time that is spent on the project. Among the tools and techniques most frequently using within this knowledge area are Gantt charts, the Critical Path Method (CPM), and PERT diagrams.

    4. Project Cost Management

    Cost management is the process of ensuring that all aspects of the project are completed within the approved budget. This includes estimating costs, monitoring spending, and taking corrective action as needed.

    The goal of project cost management is to minimize the total cost of ownership while meeting all other objectives of the project. In order to achieve this goal, cost management must be integrated with other aspects of project management such as scope, quality, risk, and schedule.

    5. Project Quality Management

    Quality management is the process of ensuring that the project meets its quality objectives. This includes developing quality plans, setting quality standards, and monitoring progress.

    Quality objectives are set by the project sponsor and may be influenced by factors such as regulatory requirements, customer expectations, and industry standards.

    6. Project Human Resource Management

    Human resource management is the process of organizing, acquiring, and managing a project’s human resources. This includes determining the project’s staffing needs, recruiting candidates, selecting the appropriate individuals for the project team, onboarding and training them, and managing employee performance throughout the project.

    Project human resources management is an important but often overlooked part of any project manager’s toolkit. Effectively managing a project’s human resources can be key to having a well-functioning project team, and it includes tasks such as handling conflicts when they arise.

    7. Project Communications Management

    Communications management is the process of ensuring that all aspects of the project are properly communicated. This includes developing communication plans, setting communication standards, and monitoring progress.

    Project communications management involves communicating with stakeholders and project team members, as well as distributing and storing important project communications, such as updates and documents.

  • RELATED: A Look at the Project Communications Management Knowledge Area

  • 8. Project Risk Management

    Risk management is the process of identifying risks, assessing risks, and taking corrective action to mitigate risks. This is important in order to avoid potential problems that could impact the successful completion of the project.

    During project risk management, a PM will use risk analysis tools to help determine the severity of known risks, and then develop contingency plans for dealing with them, should they arise during the project.

  • RELATED: 9 Risk Management Tips for Project Managers

  • 9. Project Procurement Management

    Procurement management is the process of acquiring goods and services from external suppliers. It includes the coordination and management of all aspects of procurement, including identifying potential suppliers, negotiating contracts, and monitoring supplier performance.

    Procurement management is a critical part of any project as it can have a significant impact on the cost, quality, and schedule of the project. Therefore, it is important for project managers to have a good understanding of procurement management principles and practices, including developing procurement plans, issuing RFPs (Requests for Proposal), and evaluating bids.

    10. Project Stakeholder Management

    Stakeholder management is the process of identifying stakeholders, assessing their needs and interests, and taking action to ensure their buy-in and support. This is important in order to avoid potential problems that could impact the successful completion of the project.

    Engaging with stakeholders is crucial for a project manager, whether those stakeholders are individuals or groups with a vested interest in your project. Project stakeholder management includes keeping these stakeholders informed and updated on progress, as well as understanding and addressing their concerns.