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PMBOK – the Project Management Institute’s PM Body of Knowledge

Most project oriented workplaces are familiar with, or have heard of, PMI and PMBOK. Is this the true bible of project management that can be applied to any project environment? Are there better approaches? Is PMBOK really that useful in the day-to-day cut and thrust of project management?

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:

  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.

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