Since, I have been doing research for quite a while and am a supporter of the PMBOK Project Management Body Of Knowledge guide.
I will try to highlight the key aspect of this awesome guide, which is sometimes ignored by the critics or they are not aware of it.
I will try to explain;
- What the PMBOK guide is, and
- What the PMBOK guide is not.
- How can one benefit from it for CaPM, PMP and other PMI Exams. and,
- Implementing the processes advocated in their own projects.
In my previous article – The PMBOK Guide – Part 1, which was primarily based on a general trend and the assumptions people had towards this guide ,
Which is normally not very favorable and we had explained some of the reasons as well.
What is PMBOK?
The first thing one should know about the PMBOK guide is that:
it’s a standard and not a methodology.
This is a very huge and important concept.
If you want to know more about Standard and Methodology, please check Difference between Standard and Methodology blog post.
Once that is clear, automatically your perception should change about this book.
As mentioned above the PMBOK Project Management Body Of Knowledge guide is a standard by PMI (Project Management Institute) with the purpose of:
- Bring the Project Management Community and the Project Management Profession link to or combine under a single umbrella or platform.
- Serve as a guideline to preach, teach and practice the generally recognized good practices and high value and norms with in the profession.
What the PMBOK Guide is Not?
I have already mention PMBOK is not a methodology and neither is a:
- How To
- Myth Buster
- Study Guide
- Explanatory Guide
- Text Book
It is, and should be used as a “Reference Guide”.
It should be used as a guideline by Project Managers and Organizations to create their own standards and methodologies according to their organizational needs.
So now we know;
What the PMBOK is and what the PMBOK is not.
Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about PMBOK.
Why PMBOK is called (Body Of Knowledge)?
There are so many research thesis, notes, and academics are full of Project Management and related studies.
Yes, it would not be fair to consider PMBOK as the ultimate guide for the Project Management Body Of Knowledge.
It would be even impossible to consider one book or a book (Body Of Knowledge).
But this is how this book is famous among project management practitioners as the Body Of Knowledge.
Basically this book provides a gateway to that masses of data out there to be further explored and researched, and based upon these researches, new methodologies, standards , good practices, tools and techniques are developed based on organization needs.
Why the PMBOK keeps on changing?
The PMBOK Project Management Body Of Knowledge changes every 4 year.
The previous version was PMBOK5 released in 2013. The current version is PMBOK6, released in 2017.
When we talk of standards, here comes the true face of PMBOK.
By standard, we mean that it is a combination of the good practices and norms, that are shared and practiced by the Project Management Community and are combined and compiled each year and shared in the form of PMBOK Project Management Book Of Knowledge.
Why PMBOK is difficult to understand?
The PMBOK Guide should not be compared with a regular “guide” or “text book” as I explained above.
The PMBOK may be difficult for all those Project Managers who are either new to the profession or who have just be given the title of a Project Manager but in fact they are not true Project Managers.
The designation won’t make any one Project Manager and that is the reason the PMBOK seems to be difficult to them only, while a true Project Manager won’t complain as the text is very well organized.
The processes are well understandable as well as backed up with visual diagrams showing the big picture we well.
In my humble opinion it’s very well written book and worth reading.
What Certifications are dependent on PMBOK?
If we take a look at PMI certifications, almost, all certifications are dependent on PMBOK and we have already discussed that the PMBOK is a gateway to further exploring the profession.
Let’s have a look what certifications are more dependent on PMBOK.
CaPM (Certified Associate Of Project Management):
The CaPM certification is hugely based on the PMBOK.
This is the first step to PMI certification and may be that could be the reason to put emphases on the book text.
PMP (Project Management Professional):
Almost 60 to 70% of PMP questions are from PMBOK.
Although they may not be directly asked from PMBOK definitions.
The PMP questions are almost 90% situational but they do directly and indirectly are taken keeping PMBOK point of view and one should answer them according to PMBOK.
Please see my PMP Lesson learned where I have shared this in depth.
Whether you are preparing for CaPM, PMP or just dive into Project Management.
You can grab a copy of PMBOK from Amazon.
You will find it an interesting addition for your library.
Get it from Amazon:
I have tried to clarify all the points that normally pop’s up in one’s mind when joining PMI or embark on the PMP or any PMI certification.
There must be many concepts that still linger around and needs clarification.
If you encounter one, Please bring it here for further discussion and if you have something to share about the PMBOK Guide, share it.
I hope, I have clarified some of the questions and explain the points in details.
Over to you, what are your views about this guide?