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Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK)

PMBоK is considered to be one of the most necessary tools in project management, it is the international standard de facto for the industry. Certification of a Professional in Project Management (PMP) is a worldwide recognized certification managed by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (hereinafter PMBoK) is a set of professional project management knowledge recognized as a standard. A standard is an official document that describes established norms, methods, processes and practices. As in other professional fields such as jurisprudence, medicine, accounting, the knowledge base is based on the best practices of practitioners from international companies and large US organizations in project management who contributed to the development of this standard.

The PMBoK Guide introduces key concepts and terms in the field of project management, defines 10 areas of project management knowledge, project life cycle, process groups and processes (including inputs, outputs and activities within a particular process), defines external and internal organizational factors, surrounding the project or influencing its success, methods and techniques applied within the individual fields of knowledge on project management. It is the main standard for project management in the United States and some other countries (in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, this standard is recommendatory in nature).

The ubiquitous recognition gained by project management is an indication that the application of relevant knowledge, processes, skills, tools and methods can be critical to the success of the project. Please note that the main purpose of the PMBoK Guide is to highlight the part of the project management knowledge that is usually considered good practice. “Usually considered” means that the described knowledge and practices are applicable to most projects in most cases, and there is a consensus on their meaning and benefits. “Good practice” means that there is generally agreement that the proper application of these skills, tools and methods can increase the likelihood of success for a wide range of different projects. However, “Good Practice” does not mean that the described knowledge should always be applied equally to all projects; the organization and / or the project management team independently determines the applicability of this knowledge to a particular project.

The PMBoK manual also provides and promotes the use of a common vocabulary of terms in the project management profession, necessary for discussion, writing corporate methodology (which is part of the corporate project management system) based on PMBoK and the use of project management concepts. Such a standard dictionary is an essential element of any professional discipline.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) uses this standard as the main reference for project management for its professional development and certification programs.

You can not download PMBoK and this standard is available only for a fee.

History of PMBoK

The first edition of PMBoK, was released by the Institute for Project Management (PMI – Project Management Institute) back in 1986. It was a revolutionary methodology, which was initially aimed at helping the members of the institute in preparation for the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam, and this methodology for project management was supposed to influence the approach to project management in the future. The methodology was called “A guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” or “PMBoK”. Already in 1991, the methodology of the PMBoK Guide is recognized as the national standard of the ANSI (American National Standards Institute). The first edition of this project management standard was published in 1994. Two years later, the second edition of PMBoK was released, this was due to the rapid growth of PMI members. In the near future a third edition appeared and was called PMBoK Guide 2000. In 2004, PMI releases its next creation – PMBoK Guide Third Edition, which received the largest distribution of PMI project management knowledge. On December 31, 2008, a new version of the methodology, PMBoK Fourth Edition, was released, which, like its predecessor, underwent significant changes and became essentially the same revolutionary publication. In this version, the PMI techniques themselves were changed. The standard included additional techniques: conducting analytical work, prototyping, iterativity and the use of artificial intelligence systems in order to build a forecast for the implementation and completion of the project in terms of time and budget. Currently, another version is released – PMBoK Guide Fifth Edition, which includes already 10 areas of knowledge and 5 additional processes (the number of processes has always changed from version to version, but here’s an additional area of ​​knowledge for project management, added for the first time). The list of PMBoK generations is shown in Figure 1.

A further area of ​​knowledge is stakeholder management (divided the Communication Management knowledge domain into two: Communication Management and Stakeholders Management). Additional processes are the following: Plan Scope Management, Plan Schedule Management, Plan Cost Management, Plan Stakeholder Management, and Control Stakeholder Engagement. The renewal of certification programs will take place on July 1, 2013. The release date for the PMBoK Guide Six Edition is not yet known, but PMI has already decided on the year 2017.

In the second part of the article we will discuss the nature and processes PMBoK.