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The Project Management Body of Knowledge – PMBOK

Overview

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is a collection of processes and knowledge areas generally accepted as best practice within the project management discipline. It also provides and promotes a common vocabulary within the project management profession for discussing, writing, and applying project management concepts. Such a standard vocabulary is an essential element of a professional discipline.

Content

As an internationally recognised standard (IEEE Std 1490-2003) it provides the fundamentals of project management, irrespective of the type of project be it construction, software, engineering, automotive etc.

PMBOK recognises 5 basic process groups and 9 knowledge areas typical of almost all projects. The basic concepts are applicable to projects, programs and operations. The five basic process groups are:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closing

Processes overlap and interact throughout a project or 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 Resource Management

7. Project Communications Management

8. Project Risk Management

9. Project Procurement Management

Each knowledge area contains some or all of the project management processes. For example, Project Procurement Management includes:

  • Procurement Planning
  • Solicitation Planning
  • Solicitation
  • Source Selection
  • Contract Administration
  • Contract Closeout

Much of PMBOK is unique to project management e.g. critical path and work breakdown structure (WBS). Some areas overlap with other management disciplines. General management also includes planning, organising, staffing, executing and controlling the operations of an organisation. Financial forecasting, organisational behaviour and planning techniques are also similar.

Certification

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the publisher of PMBOK (now in its fourth edition) and offers some levels of certification:

1. The Project Management Professional (PMP)® is the most important globally-recognized and independently validated credential for project managers, perfect if you have demonstrated experience and competence in leading project teams.

2. The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® is a good entry-level certification if you’re new to project management, or still figuring out your career path.

3. The Program Management Professional (PgMP)® is designed for those who manage multiple, complex projects to achieve strategic and organizational results.

4. The PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)® is a specialty credential for practitioners who want to focus on developing and maintaining project schedules.

5. The PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® is a specialty credential that demonstrates competence in assessing project risks, mitigating threats and capitalizing on opportunities.

Reference:

1.  PMBOK® Guide-Fourth Edition ;

2. Wikipedia

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