This Guest paper was submitted for publication and is copyright to M. Abdomerovic © 2009. Published here June 2009.

Abstract | Introduction | A Methodical Approach 
Process Iterated Loop | Other Perspectives (Editor's Note) | PART 2

Muhamed Abdomerovic, Dipl. Eng., PMP, is a Civil Engineer with over thirty years experience in managing information technology, construction, process industry and energy sector projects. He has published three books and more than thirty articles on project scope, time and cost management. His current research activities cover several aspects of project management including process relationships, knowledge integration, information systems, and performance reporting. He can be reached at


The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge ("PMBOK® Guide") provides a leading source of information for assessing the success of the Project Management Institute ("PMI"). Even today, when the market is flooded with "systems" and "derivatives", the PMBOK® Guide increases the PMI presence. Although there are many factors that make the PMBOK® Guide a special book, one technical aspect has to be singled out - the PMBOK® Guide differs substantially from other project management systems by its output/input characteristic.

The purpose of this paper is to emphasis this output/input characteristic as an accurate path for analysis, improvement and application of the project management system.

The scope of this paper covers the status of the output/input characteristics described in the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition. It shows that improvements from the PMBOK® Guide Third Edition have been achieved. However, the Fourth Edition is still lagging the consistency of the output/input characteristics achieved in the PMBOK® Guide 2000 Edition and some of its derivatives.

The paper recommends a set of tools that could be used to reveal output/input characteristics of the PMBOK® Guide, or to advance other project management systems with this attribute. If the output/input characteristics of a project management system are neglected, then the opportunity to develop a system that fits "most projects most of the time" will be undermined.

Editor's Note:

To follow the discussion in this paper, you will need to refer to a copy of the latest PMBOK® Guide - Fourth Edition, 2008.


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