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Episode 482: Project Performance Domains 1-4 (Free)

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This webinar is the first of two in which Cornelius Fichtner explores the following four Project Performance Domains that were introduced by the PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition:

  1. Stakeholders - Managing those affected
  2. Team - Leading towards success
  3. Development Approach and Life Cycle - Building products and managing projects
  4. Planning - Designing the path to success

The webinar is based on our original article 8 Project Performance Domains - The Project Management Expert's Guide and is neither a rehash nor is it a derivative of the PMBOK® Guide. Instead, you can expect to go beyond. Illustrated with quotes from experts and examples from real life not found in the guide, you will learn the concepts behind the domains in terms you need to understand as you prepare for your PMP exam. We even review one sample PMP exam prep question (taken from the PrepCast Simulator) for each of the domains and give you a chance to see if you can spot the correct answer.

You can learn more about the PMP certification and how you can prepare better for it by visiting The PM PrepCast website here:

Need an exam simulator for your review? Try The PrepCast PM Exam Simulator here:

This episode was recorded live and, as usual, we got some insightful questions and comments from the audience!

Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam: PMP Exam prep
PMP Exam Simulator

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Video Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: In this episode, we look at first four of eight project performance domains.

Hello, and welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™ at I’m Cornelius Fichtner and this is Episode 482, which was recorded live on YouTube and Facebook. And it is part of the PM PrepCast, which is my Project Management PrepCast (PMP) Exam prep training course.

I’m sharing this with you here on the PM Podcast as a followup to the 12 principles that we looked at in previous episodes, so that you can keep on top of the developments in project management theory. In particular, these eight performance domains that you see on the screen right here. In that way, you learn about the new domains from the PMBOK® Guide and how they are shaping up.

And as always, episodes like this one here, it is a video episode. So, if you are not seeing the video then please visit to watch. Let’s begin!

Video Presentation

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome back to The Project Management PrepCast. I’m your instructor, Cornelius Fichtner. And this lesson is recorded with a live audience on Facebook and YouTube. And we are going to take a look at the project management domains. In particular, this is part one of two in which we want to review the eight performance domains that got introduced with the publication of the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition. And right now in the next hour, so we want to review the four domains here on the left --- stakeholders, team, development approach, and life cycle, as well as planning.

One thing I want to make clear before we start going here is this: While we are going to be using the PMBOK® Guide as a foundation for this, right, I’m not going to be reading the PMBOK® Guide to you. This is not a reading. This is not a derivative. All of these is based on our own research that we have done and published as an article called “8 Project Performance Domains – The Project Management Expert’s Guide.” Yeah, we use the same names. We follow the same performance domains in the same order, but this article, we’ve taken the eight domains as a starting point and then gone above and beyond to explain them with input from a group of experts. Here is our agenda.

Introduction quickly, what exactly are performance domains? We want to take a look at that. Then, we’ll review performance domains one to four, but 10 to 15 minutes for each. So pretty sizeable chunk there. And then at the end, a quick take action and a quick takeaways. So, let us get started with what our performance domains, so, overview here.

So, with the launch of the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition. It brought with it some big changes. In particular, a shift away from the process-led approach to becoming more principles based. And, it’s now much more about the ‘what’ than the ‘how’ of successful project management. When I say “it,” I mean the PMBOK® Guide is much more about the ‘what’ than the ‘how.’

With this change, also comes the incorporation of Agile, iterative, hybrid work flows that span multiple industries that we project managers work here. And along the 12 project delivery principles that are in the guide, we now also have the eight project performance domains to further help us guide our behaviors and good practices.

You’ll find, in fact, some very noticeable similarities between the 12 principles and the 8 domains. And this kind of serve to emphasize both their importance and also relevance for successful project management.

Let’s take a look at the PMBOK® Guide here briefly. Because one thing that many people don’t realize is the fact that the PMBOK® Guide is actually two documents. It is the ANSI standard in part one, and the PMBOK® Guide in part two. So, the whole thing we call the PMBOK® Guide, but the PMBOK® Guide is really only part two of the PMBOK® Guide document that we all know so well.

The standard for project management is part one. You see this here on the right-hand size. I’ve taken this image from the PMBOK® Guide for illustrative purposes there. The white section, that is the standard for project management. That is part one. And then below, you’ll see the actual PMBOK® Guide in this sort of purplish kind of thing that we have there. You’ll also see that at the top in the white, those are the 12 project management principles that we review in a different article and in different lessons. And right now, we’re focusing on the project performance domains in the bottom.

So, what exactly are project performance domains? Well, they build on what we previously knew as the knowledge areas. And PMI defines project performance domains as a group of related activities that are critical for effective delivery of project outcomes. In other words, project performance domains, they are essential activities that ensure successful projects. Along the 12 project principles, these eight domains, they are used in plan-driven Agile, hybrid methodologies, and overall everything represents the modern workplace, the way that we project management these days.

Let’s reach over to our first expert here. This is Markus Kopko from and he says: “It is essential to note that all project performance domains must always be considered within the scope of a project since there are multiple interdependencies between the domains, none of them can exist in isolation and independently of the others.” As an experienced project manager, you know this. You tweak on one end and over here, things change unexpectedly and you: “Oh no, undo, undo” right? So, everything is interrelated.

If you take project management, you can slice and dice it however you want. PMI decided to slice and dice in using these 12 principles and the 8 project performance domains. Take another approach, and they’ll take exactly the same type of project management and it will be sliced and diced differently. But in the end, to manage a project, you can’t just take one of these slices and manage just that. You have to consider the whole of a projects. So, it doesn’t matter whether you have 12 principles and 8 domains, or whether you do it in another way.

And let me also talk about the processes. You may remember this graphically from another lesson here in the PrepCast. I think it is important to repeat it here. Very high level conceptual graphic. Let’s first talk about the big blue box there at the top that says “Principles and Domains.” The intent is to show that we have over-arching principles that talk about the ‘what’ and when we work on the processes, we use this principles as guidance.

And, we also have the over-arching performance domains that go a little bit deeper into the ‘how’ but still primarily address the ‘what.’ So, at the top, that blue box, that is the ‘what’ of project management. And then, the gray processes at the bottom there, because to a large extent, they are not discussed in the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition. Nowhere in the guide will you find some sort of a step-by-step instructions and what do you first, what do you do second, what do you do third in a project. You have to get that from elsewhere.

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

PDUs: Ways of Working, PDUs: Power Skills, Project Performance Domains

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP® Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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