A project management plan is created during the PMI process of develop project management plan. As the name sounds, it tells how the project will be managed. The definition from PMI's PMBOK (5th edition) is "the document that describes how the project will be executed, monitored, and controlled." It is the input to many other processes. And as those processes are run, they may in turn require changes to the project management plan (via change control).

The project management plan consists of plans for the overall project such as the lifecycle of the project and the specific processes to be used. For instance, a general process may include leadership reviews at certain steps, but the project management plan will specify those steps and whose approvals are required. The project management plan also consists of baselines and subsidiary plans for specific knowledge areas. For instance, it may include (or point to) the cost baseline or the schedule management plan.

Here are some of the subsidiary plans and baselines that may be included:

Notes: A "*" indicates documents that are not specifically called for by PMI. Depending on the scale of the project, its similarity to other projects and the availability of standard materials from a project management office, these documents may be combined and simplified or kept separate with appropriate cross-references and additional reference documents.

The project management plan is an input to 23 of the PMI processes. (The number preceding each process indicates the section of the PMBOK where that process is described.)

4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work
4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work
4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control
4.6 Close Project or Phase
5.1 Plan Scope Management
5.5 Validate Scope
5.6 Control Scope
6.1 Plan Schedule Management
6.7 Control Schedule
7.1 Plan Cost Management
7.4 Control Costs
8.1 Plan Quality Management
8.3 Control Quality
9.1 Plan Human Resources Management
10.1 Plan Communications Management
10.3 Control Communications
11.1 Plan Risk Management
11.6 Control Risks
12.1 Plan Procurement Management
12.3 Control Procurements
12.4 Close Procurements
13.2 Plan Stakeholder Management
13.4 Control Stakeholder Engagement

The project management plan may be updated by (This list is currently incomplete.)

The project management plan is described in section of the PMBOK 5th edition.

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