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The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)
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.
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:
- Monitoring and Controlling
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:
- Project Integration Management
- Project Scope Management
- Project Time Management
- Project Cost Management
- Project Quality Management
- Project Human Resource Management
- Project Communications Management
- Project Risk Management
- 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
- 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.
CAPM and PMP
The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the publisher of PMBOK (now in its fourth edition) and offers two levels of certification:
A Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) has demonstrated a common base of knowledge and terms in the field of project management. It requires either 1500 hours of work on a project team or 23 contact hours of formal education in project management.
A Project Management Professional (PMP) has met specific education and experience requirements, has agreed to adhere to a code of professional conduct and has passed an examination designed to objectively assess and measure project management knowledge. In addition, a PMP must satisfy continuing certification requirements or lose the certification.
As of 2006, PMI reported over 220,000 members and over 50,000 Project Management Professionals (PMPs) in 175 countries. Over 44,000 PMP certifications expire annually; a PMP must document ongoing project management experience and education every three years to keep their certification current.
PMBOK Guide: Fourth Edition Changes - An Overview
A lot of people are wondering what is going to change with the PMBOK® Guide: Fourth Edition. There is not that much that will change with regards to the content. There are a few additions and deletions to processes, but mostly of the work was done in making the standard internally consistent. We wanted the chapters to feel more cohesive as if one person wrote the standard instead of a group of people.
PMBOK 4: This Time It's Iterative!
The current Project Management Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide is labelled "Third Edition" and was published in 2004. Every 4 years the Project Management Institute (PMI) brings out a new version and the fourth edition has just been released to reviewers in exposure draft format. I was a contributor and reviewer for version 3 and will likely submit some feedback for version 4 too. One thing that will be of interest to agile project managers is the increased acceptance of iterative lifecycles.
PMP Exam Application
The PMI (Project Management Institute) has three levels of certification, starting with the CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) which is the basic level and is intended as certification for project team members. The PMP (Project Management Professional) is the second highest level and regarded as one of the most valued credentials in project management. Anybody who has passed the PMP certification exam successfully and met the PMI's requirements for documenting their professional experience is entitled to use the abbreviation PMP after their name. A new certification, PgMP (Programme Management Professional) has been introduced by the PMI in late 2007 for Programme Managers.
PMP Exam Day Tips
You have devoted at least 4,500 hours to project work, you have sat through at least 35 hours worth of classroom training on project management, you have studied for hours and answered hundreds of practice questions, you have completed PMI's application for the PMP exam, you have paid the fee, you have received your acceptance letter, you have even scheduled your exam date. In short, you have a lot invested in this exam. Are you nervous?
Belbin's Team Roles
Belbin's theory proposes that teams with a balance of team-roles perform better than those where there is an imbalance of roles.
- Monitor Evaluator
- Resource Investigator
- Completer Finisher
21 Ways to Excel at Project Management
The popular project management eBook fully updated and available as a website.