In other blog posts, I’ve written about the PMP, the PMP Exam, PMI membership and its benefits, etc. However, there is one important thing that I still have not yet discussed: the PMBOK Guide, the Holy Book for every project professional.
Therefore, in this blog post, we are going to talk about the PMBOK Guide.
The PMBOK Guide, which is an acronym for “Project Management Body of Knowledge,” is a book that defines the standard guidelines in project management, and sets the terminology and common vocabulary.
The PMBOK Guide is published by PMI, and the first edition of this book was printed in 1996. Since then, this guide has been re-published every four years. As of now, the current version is the 5th Edition, which was published in January, 2013.
The PMBOK Guide is a process-based guide and provides the framework to manage projects. The knowledge contained in this book has evolved from the best practices of project management professionals throughout the world and from different fields.
This guide is developed through a transparent consensus standard development process with the help of many cross-field project management experts and volunteers. Every member of PMI has a chance to contribute to the development of this book.
This guide divides project management process groups into various knowledge areas, which describe each of the processes with their Input, Tools & Techniques, and Output.
The standard guidelines available in the PMBOK Guide are industry independent and can be applied to any domain.
It is very important for you to know that the PMBOK Guide does not provide a methodology, or give the advice needed to run a project. It provides the framework, not the methodology. It is the job of the project manager to develop the methodologies by tailoring the best industry practices available in the guide to suit his or her requirements.
Structure of the PMBOK Guide, 5th Edition
The PMBOK Guide, 5th Edition is organized into three sections:
- The first section is the Project Management Framework. It provides the basis to understand project management.
- The second section is the Standard for Project Management. It describes all five process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing, with their respective Inputs, Tool & Techniques, and Output.
- The third section is for the Project Management Knowledge Areas. In this section, the PMBOK Guide explains each of the nine knowledge areas (e.g. Integration Management, Scope Management, Time Management, etc.) in minute detail, including their Input, Tools & Techniques, and Output.
Summary of the PMBOK Guide
- It provides the framework, not the methodology.
- It provides Tools and Techniques but does not tell you how you should run the project.
- It provides the best industry practices.
- The knowledge contained in this book is industry independent.
Note to All PMP Aspirants
To pass the PMP certification exam you have to understand this book because in the PMP exam you will see many direct questions from this guide. Many PMP aspirants have made a grave mistake by not referring to this book while preparing for the exam.
The PMBOK Guide is not replaceable with any other PMP exam reference book; you must study it.
Ensure that you read this guide at least two times before you take the exam.
image credit => Wikipedia
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