Architectural comparison of TCM and PMBOK

Architecture refers ‘carefully designed structure of something’, and here it is about the Total Cost Management (TCM) framework. As the name suggests, the focus of TCM framework is cost management of projects and the deliverable of projects (assets). There lies the fundamental difference between the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) by PMI, USA and the TCM framework.  PMBOK focuses on the entire gamut of project management where as the focus of TCM is on total cost management of the project, and the product of the project which is known as the ‘asset’ in TCM jargon.


The PDCA cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act) by Deming is the underlying theme of management. Whatever we intend to do must be planned first. Then the plan is executed. The progress is checked periodically. Actions are taken if there is a variance. The underlying theme of TCM is also PDCA (recursive PDCA cycles).


Strategic asset management process group 

  • Asset planning (Plan)
  • Project implementation (Do)
  • Performance measurement (Check)
  • Performance assessment (Act)

Project control process group – Planning 

  • Project control planning (Plan)
  • Project control plan implementation (Do)
  • Project control measurement (Check)
  • Project control performance assessment (Act)

Enabling process 

  • The enterprise in society
  • People and performance management
  • Information management
  • Quality management
  • Value management
  • Environment, health and safety

All these processes ‘refers to’ and ‘add to’ the organizational knowledge repository and tool base.

The PMBOK (Project management body of knowledge)

The PMBOK comprises of 49 processes grouped into a two dimensional array of five process groups and 10 knowledge areas.

PMBOK Architecture

Five process groups

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitoring & Controlling
  • Closing

Ten knowledge areas

  • Integration management
  • Scope management
  • Time management
  • Cost management
  • Quality management
  • Communications management
  • Resource management
  • Risk management
  • Procurement management
  • Stakeholder management

Each process comprises of a set of inputs, tools and techniques and outputs.






Published by Project Management Research Institute

Project Management Research Institute, a not for profit organization involved in collaborative research, development and deployment of customer centric project management solutions.

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