This unpublished paper was first written in February 1996 and has since been revised several times and is now updated for web presentation.

Note: The Project Management Institute, USA, has adopted the acronyms "PMI", "PMBOK", "PMP" as their registered marks.
Published here May 2003.

Background | Terminology | The Nature of Projects | Unique Features of Projects
What Projects are Not | General Observations on a Project Body of Knowledge
The Life Span of Projects
 | Elements of the Project Life Span


When PMI first developed its PMBOK guide, I was quite happy with this term "PMBOK". However, as time went by I began to question whether there is in fact such an exclusive domain since it includes knowledge from other domains as well as from project management. Indeed, perhaps the term is presumptuous or even misleading for in fact there are many discipline-related bodies of knowledge. If we use a similar acronym structure, these could be described as XX-related BoKs, or XXrBoKs. For example:

Project Management


Human Resources Management


General Management


Technical Management


Industry or Sector Management

IMr or SMrBoK


And so on.

I have used this format in the following text. For convenience I have also shortened both project management and project manager to "PM" as the context is always self-evident.

Background  Background

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