The PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition is out & PMP exam is due to evolution once again, which has been announced by the PMI to be changed on 26th of March 2018.
With this latest iteration of PMBoK guide, the whole profession of Project Management is being revamped. The need for an understanding of the latest iteration is mounting all over the globe, the
Professionals holding PMP/PgMP/PfMP etc. credential, as well as people willing to earn one in near future are curious to know how this update will impact the profession as well as the upcoming exam & credentialing process?
That’s the reason I am going to present this series of articles explaining the core ideas from each chapter of the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition. The focus of each episode will be on core components of the relevant chapter, additionally, will try to compare the contents with the contents of the previous edition along with further discussion of ITT’s etc.
Introduction to Project Management
The project management is not a new profession; thousands of years ago the wall of China, pyramids of Egypt, and a lot other historical marvels saw the light of the day due to the successful project management. In the recent days, the profession has grown a lot & developed into a branch of science in itself, which led to the delivery of projects like Hoover dam, ISS, Landings on moon & Mars and thousands of other projects worldwide.
PMI is in an effort to provide a common framework which is industry neutral & acceptable globally. These efforts led to the release of PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition, which is the latest buzz of the town. In following lines, I will explain the changes & updates introduced in this edition & will try to explain how these updates will affect the profession.
The focus of PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition is to identify Best practices, Processes, Inputs, Tools & Techniques. The focal point of this guide is Project Management specifically, so the areas of Program & Portfolio Management are discussed up to a certain point only.
The same legacy relationship among Projects, Programs & Portfolios is continued in the latest edition as well, being the Projects on the lowest level and the Portfolio at the topmost level on the other hand, the Programs in the middle of the hierarchy. The Project level is for handling individual projects & the Program tackles with the interdependencies among the Projects & between the Projects and Program level to attain the optimal performance. The Portfolio Manages Projects, Programs, Sub-Portfolios, and Operations as a group to attain strategic objectives.
The PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition’s key components are-
- Project life cycle
- Project phase
- Phase gate
- Project management processes
- Project Management Process Group
- Project Management Knowledge Area
As per PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition guide, the Project may be divided into four segments roughly, as follows-
- Starting the Project
- Organizing and Preparing
- Carrying Out the Work
- Ending the Project
The concepts of Project lifecycle, Project phase, Phase gate, Project Management Processes, Project Management Process Groups, Project Management Knowledge Areas, Project Management Data and Information are as usual as were always. Project Managers are supposed to apply Project Management methodologies to their routine work, A methodology is basically a system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules adopted for implementation by concerned professionals in their discipline.
Project management methodologies may be:
- Developed by experts within the organization,
- Purchased from vendors,
- Obtained from professional associations, or
- Acquired from government agencies.
So, these methodologies are open for tailoring & customization as & when required.
The Projects may contain a lot of documentation for the purpose of planning, tracking, reporting, controlling etc. Each Project starts with a Business Case which addresses the feasibility & need of Project. Another important aspect of the Project Management is the Project Success Measures, the major constraints of Project i.e. Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, which are traditionally the most important factors in defining the success of a project. When defining the Project success, three major questions are to be answered by Key stakeholders & Project Manager.
- What does success look like for this project?
- How will success be measured?
- What factors may impact success?
The answers to these questions must be documented & agreed upon by the key stakeholders & PM. Additional criteria components are also attached with Project success, which is further linked to the organizational strategy & to the delivery of business results. The Project situation, harmonizing the demands, & enabling proactive communications throughout the project are to be handled by the project teams. So the overall efforts on project may be translated into successful delivery of Project deliverables/results or outputs.
Another vital aspect is the constant business alignment for the Project which eventually leads to an enhanced probability of Project success as a result of project alignment with the strategic direction of the organization.