|Part of a series on|
|Author||Project Management Institute|
|Published||2021 (Project Management Institute)|
|Pages||370 (seventh edition)|
The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is a set of standard terminology and guidelines (a body of knowledge) for project management. The body of knowledge evolves over time and is presented in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (the Guide to the PMBOK or the Guide), a book whose seventh edition was released in 2021. The Guide is a document resulting from work overseen by the Project Management Institute (PMI), which offers the CAPM and PMP certifications.
Much of the PMBOK Guide is unique to project management such as critical path method and work breakdown structure (WBS). The PMBOK Guide also overlaps with general management regarding planning, organising, staffing, executing and controlling the operations of an organisation. Other management disciplines which overlap with the PMBOK Guide include financial forecasting, organisational behaviour, management science, budgeting and other planning methods.
Earlier versions of the PMBOK Guide were recognized as standards by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) which assigns standards in the United States (ANSI/PMI 99-001-2008) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE 1490-2011).
The evolution of the PMBOK Guide is reflected in editions of the Guide. The Guide was first published by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in 1996. That document was to some extent based on earlier work that began with a white paper published in 1983 called the "Ethics, Standards, and Accreditation Committee Final Report" with a different title and significantly reorganized. The second edition was published in 2000, to add new material reflecting the growth of practices.
In 2004, the PMBOK Guide — Third Edition was published with major changes from the previous editions, and changing the criteria for inclusion from "generally accepted" practice to "generally recognized as good practice". The Fourth edition was published in 2008. The Fifth Edition was released in 2013.
In September 2017 the English-language version of The PMBOK Guide — The Sixth Edition was released.
The PMBOK Guide is intended to be a "subset of the project management body of knowledge that is generally recognized as a good practice. 'Generally recognized' means the knowledge and practices described are applicable to most projects most of the time and there is a consensus about their value and usefulness. 'Good practice' means there is a general agreement that the application of the knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques can enhance the chance of success over many projects." This means that sometimes the "latest" project management trends, often promoted by consultants, may not be part of the latest version of The PMBOK Guide.
However, the 6th Edition of the PMBOK Guide now includes an "Agile Practice Guide"
The PMBOK Guide is process-based, meaning it describes work as being accomplished by processes. This approach is consistent with other management standards such as ISO 9000 and the Software Engineering Institute's CMMI. Processes overlap and interact throughout a project or its various phases.
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge — Sixth Edition provides guidelines for managing individual projects and defines project management related concepts. It also describes the project management life cycle and its related processes, as well as the project life cycle. and for the first time it includes an "Agile Practice Guide".
The PMBOK as described in the Guide recognizes 49 processes that fall into five basic process groups and ten knowledge areas that are typical of most projects, most of the time.
The five process groups are:
The ten knowledge areas, each of which contains some or all of the project management processes, are:
Each of the ten knowledge areas contains the processes that need to be accomplished within its discipline in order to achieve effective project management. Each of these processes also falls into one of the five process groups, creating a matrix structure such that every process can be related to one knowledge area and one process group.
While the PMBOK Guide is meant to offer a general guide to manage most projects most of the time, there are currently three official extensions:
The PMBOK is a widely accepted standard in project management, however there are alternatives to the PMBOK standard, and PMBOK does have its critics. One thrust of critique has come from the critical chain developers and followers (e.g. Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Lawrence P. Leach), as opposed to critical path method adherents. The PMBOK Guide section on Project Time Management does indicate Critical Chain as an alternative method to Critical Path.
A second strand of criticism originates in Lean Construction. This approach emphasises the lack of two way communication in the PMBOK model and offers an alternative which emphasises a language/action perspective and continual improvement in the planning process.