This Guest paper was submitted for publication and is Copyright M. Abdomerovic (2005).
Published here July 2005.

Abstract | Background | Introduction | Our Approach
Findings | Recommended First Stage Improvements | Second Stage Improvements
Other Research | Conclusions | Glossary of Terms Used in this Paper


This paper is based on the last three editions of the PMBOK® Guide and on available reviews of the current edition. In addition, we have used our published books[37] that present a pioneering approach for making the PMBOK® Guide a methodology and for following its contents by a scientific tool. These books are not a critique of the PMBOK® Guide, but rather focus on a detailed explanation of the respective Guides' structures by analyzing the relationships and sequences of components as they are given or implied. By being able to understand how the current Guide gradually progresses from preceding to succeeding editions we have come to an understanding of its current contents.

The author believes that these analyses of the last two editions of the PMBOK® Guide demonstrate the usefulness of our tool. Using this methodology to assess the facts, we were able to reveal some consequences and determine whether a suggestion was valid and worthwhile. If we had to assess thousands of entries from volunteers to improve the Guide, then we could save thousands of hours in doing so. This way we could move faster from qualitative to quantitative assessment. We might also encourage more analytical articles and so move project management closer to the level of other disciplines such as engineering and medicine.

The project management community has made great progress in building the foundations and wide recognition of our profession. The 2004 Edition is the product of the people assigned to continue the successful trend of the earlier PMBOK Guides. However, the authors of the 2004 Edition did not sufficiently explain the reasons behind the massive changes in producing this current edition. The volume of new information exceeds the ability of the average professional to follow these changes.

A big disappointment is the lack of published studies and discussion about the PMBOK® Guide Third Edition. Available reviews show similar findings and suggest that we should continue to improve this document. Starting from a new beginning, where we were twenty-two years ago, is a risky job. Since the 2004 Edition is out now, with so many changes that are difficult to assimilate, the Project Management Institute should be moving to publicize First Stage Improvements (as suggested earlier) to avoid discredit and rejection.

This First Stage should be followed closely by a Second Stage project of improvements along the lines we suggested earlier, but in an interactive mode. This would enable the review team to understand how each proposal might change project objectives and goals, especially for those proposals that might threaten to change the historical perspective of the PMBOK® Guide.

Other Research  Other Research

37. Abdomerovic, Muhamed, Brainstorming The PMBOK® Guide ©2004 Project Management Publications, Louisville, USA. (
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