What is the PMBOK®?
A Guideto the Project Management Body of Knowledge
(PMBOK® Guide)is a project management methodology developed by the nonprofit ProjectManagement Institute (PMI®).
In 1987, PMI® published the first PMBOK® in an attempt tostandardize and document generally accepted project managementpractices. The current edition, the third edition copyright 2004, wasreleased on October 31 2004 and provides a basic reference for anyoneinterested in project management. It provides a common taxonomy andconsistent structure for the field of project management.
The PMBOK® Guide is widely accepted to be the standard in projectmanagement, although it has its critics: The main thrust of thecritique comes from the critical chain (vs. critical path) followers(e.g. Leach). Others consider so-called agile approaches to softwaredevelopment - such as Scrum, for instance - to be more usefulalternatives to master the threads stemming from complexity,unpredictability, and risk in project settlements. Why Should You Care?
Tremendous amounts of money, materials, machinery and manpower arewasted annually on projects that fail. Having a formal process to"rally around" improves the odds of project success enormously. Withthe size and scope of complex projects in the world today, even a 1%improvement can equate to billions of dollars saved. How does the PMBOK® Work?
The PMBOK® is a collection of processes andknowledge areas generally accepted as best practice within the projectmanagement discipline.
The PMBOK is an internationally recognised standard(IEEE Std 1490-2003) that provides the fundamentals of projectmanagement that are applicable to a wide range of projects, includingconstruction, software, engineering, automotive, etc.
PMBOK recognizes 5 basic process groups and 9knowledge areas typical of almost all projects. The basic concepts areapplicable to projects, programs and operations. The five basic processgroups are:
4. Controlling and Monitoring, and
Processes overlap and interact throughout a projector phase. Processes are described in terms of:
Inputs (documents, plans,designs, etc.) Tools and Techniques (mechanisms applied to inputs)Outputs (documents, products, etc.)
The nine knowledge areas are:
1. Project Integration Management.
2. Project Scope Management,
3. Project Time Management,
4. Project Cost Management,
5. Project Quality Management,
6. Project Human ResourceManagement,
7. Project CommunicationsManagement,
8. Project Risk Management, and
9. Project Procurement Management.
Each knowledge area contains some or all of theproject management processes. For example, Project ProcurementManagement includes:
1. Procurement Planning
2. Solicitation Planning
4. Source Selection
5. Contract Administration
6. Contract Closeout
Although much of PMBOK is unique to project management, some areasoverlap with other management disciplines. General management alsoincludes planning, organizing, staffing, executing, and controlling theoperations of an organization. Financial forecasting, organizationalbehavior, and planning techniques also are integral to projectmanagement.
Of course, the most important skill for successful project managementis communications. Project managers are expected to be innear-continuous communication with all stakeholders.