PMP Quick Reference

Key concepts to know before taking the PMP exam.

Process Groups

Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, Closing

Knowledge Areas

Integration: Umbrella that covers all your other project management knowledge areas. It knits together all your individual processes and tasks into one project with defined goals and deliverables.

Scope: Ensure you stay on task and that everyone, including the project requester, understands what tasks will be included in the project to prevent frustrating changes and unmet expectations

Schedule: Manage time more effectively by determining which tasks can be adjusted and how the team's resources will be allocated and managed throughout the project.

Cost: Keeping costs low or at least at an expected or reasonable level is a fundamental part of showing ROI on a project. Continuously evaluate your costs to avoid any surprises at the end of a project.

Quality: Achieve consistency across your projects by knowing and understanding the expectations of your stakeholders and have reasonable agreements with them and your team via quality control which will ensure you're delivering great work every time.

Resource: Work with the bandwidth of your team and identify their individual strengths and weaknesses and their synergy with other team members.

Communications: There is a fine line between under and over communication and your communications management plan is crucial to identifying who needs to know what and when before your project starts.

Risk: Manage your firefighting by identifying major project risks and the mitigation plans associated with them, your team and project requesters will be prepared and more forgiving when issues in a project come up

Procurement: The blueprint for which tasks or services will be completed by outside contractors. It also builds and plans the legal paperwork and coordination process ahead of time.

Stakeholder: Stakeholders include not only the project requester, but also team members who have worked on the project, contractors, suppliers, customers or the public, and many other people internal and external to the organization.



  • Develop Project Charter
  • Identify Stakeholders


  • Develop Project Management Plan
  • Plan Scope Management
  • Collect Requirements
  • Define Scope
  • Create WBS
  • Plan Schedule Management
  • Define Activities
  • Sequence Activities
  • Estimate Activity Resources
  • Estimate Activity Durations
  • Develop Schedule
  • Plan Cost Management
  • Estimate Costs
  • Determine Budget
  • Plan Quality Management
  • Plan Resource Management
  • Plan Communications Management
  • Plan Risk Management
  • Identify Risks
  • Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
  • Plan Risk Responses
  • Plan Procurement Management
  • Plan Stakeholder Engagement


  • Direct and Manage Project Work
  • Manage Quality
  • Acquire Project Team
  • Develop Project Team
  • Manage Project Team
  • Manage Communications
  • Conduct Procurements
  • Manage Stakeholder Engagement

Monitoring and Controlling

  • Monitor and Control Project Work
  • Perform Integrated Change Control
  • Validate Scope
  • Control Scope
  • Control Schedule
  • Control Costs
  • Control Quality
  • Monitor Communications
  • Monitor Risks
  • Control Procurements
  • Monitor Stakeholder Engagement


  • Close Project or Phase



  • PV (Planned Value)
    Authorized Budget
  • EV (Earned Value)
    Work Completed
  • AC (Actual Cost)
    Realized Cost
  • BAC (Budget At Completion)
    Overall Budget


  • CV (Cost Variance)
    Cost Status
    • EV - AC
  • SV (Schedule Variance)
    Schedule Status
    • EV - PV
  • VAC (Variance at Completion)
    Planned Budget
    • BAC - EAC


  • CPI (Cost Performance Index)
    Cost Ratio
    • EV / AC
  • SPI (Schedule Performance Index)
    Schedule Ratio
    • EV / PV
  • TCPI (To Complete Performance Index)
    Completion Ratio
    • (BAC - EV) / (BAC - AC)
    • (BAC - EV) / (EAC - AC)


  • EAC (Estimate At Completion)
    Total Cost to Complete
    • BAC / CPI
    • AC + BAC - EV
    • AC + Bottom-up ETC
    • AC + ((BAC - EV) / (CPI * SPI))
  • ETC (Estimate To Complete)
    Cost to Complete
    • EAC - AC
This information is taken from the Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide)– Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013. Also, check out PM PrepCast for great introductory tools and information.