This unpublished paper was first written in February 1996 and has since been revised several times and is now updated for web presentation.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 July 2003.

PART 2 | A Proposal - Introduction | How a PMrBoK might be Defined and Used
On the Content of Plane C | Thoughts on Language, Content and Referencing
 Final Thoughts

How a PMrBoK might be Defined and Used

My proposal is to build a PMrBoK structure based on knowledge elements. In PM work, these elements may be thought of as areas or segments of an entire BOK, assigned to areas arrayed in planes, i.e. levels or classes, based on their identified attributes. This subject of structure needs discussion because it will be used to rank the priority and importance of each topic and also assist PM practitioners to set their own priorities for further development and study. Perhaps, more importantly for a professional organization, I feel it is needed to effectively delineate and defend the ranges of areas, subjects and topics to be included or excluded in any "official" PMrBoK and how they are handled.

To start this process, and without compelling all PMrBoKs being "all things to all people", I propose three planes with inclusive and exclusive criteria as follows.

Plane A: - Permanent attributes of the product

These attributes derive from the completed product resulting from the project and reflect the project's performance rating. A particular characteristic present in all PMrBoKs is that they always

  1. Are needed during project execution
  2. Are subject to project management control and most importantly
  3. Cannot be removed from project management responsibility
  4. May well change as the project moves through the stages of its life span

Plane B: Temporary attributes of the process

This plane is for the attributes of the project delivery system for the product. Its content has value only during project execution and the data is archived for future reference relating to the product. The content criteria of this plane is that

  1. It can always be found on a project as a feature or consequence of the selected execution plan, and
  2. Once the delivery system is selected, the content cannot be selected or rejected in the course of managing the project scope (a Plane A level attribute) unless the scope and/or execution plan are also deliberately changed by the project manager

Plane C: Inherent attributes of the project life span

This plane relates to the individual characteristics of the particular period, interval, phase, stage or activities within the project's life span which in turn reflect the requirements of the technology involved in creating the product. The contents may, however, be influenced by the particular delivery system adopted and the necessary integration found in plane B, especially as a consequence of applying the relevant PMrBoK.

A Proposal - Introduction  A Proposal - Introduction

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