I am hoping someone can clear up my misunderstanding of the sequence for developing a project plan according to PMBOK 5th Ed. We see that creating a project plan inputs into it's subsidiary plans (Scope, Cost, etc.), however according to the book the subsidiary plans are also inputs to the Create Project Plan step.

I understand that this is legitimate if you are doing an iterative type project, but a conventional, one step water-fall approach you cannot have one without the other according to the guide.

What would come first then? The subsidiary plans or the over all project plan? I know this is a very picky question, however it does seem there is a type of logical loop in the PMBOK guide.

I am asking for the following reasons: 1: If this questions is asked in the CAPM/PMP test. 2: For my own edification.

Thank you

1 Answer 1


I'm new to the Project Management world, but I hope I can help you with this piece of information from Andy Crowe's book (5th edition, pp. 86, 87):

(About Scope Management Plan, but it applies to all other processes and I believe it answers your question)

"This process is a bit unusual in that it appears to be part of a loop. [...] Scope Management Plan is part of the Project Management Plan, which is an input into Plan Scope Management. To understand this, consider that this process has several parts that are developed together. The unfinished Project Management Plan is brought in, and the Scope Management Plan is produced. The Project Management Plan, although unfinished at this point, is brought in to help determine how the scope will be gathered, defined, broken down, validated and managed.

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