Work and ESA
The concept of standards was first introduced at the Montreal
Symposium of 1976. Some effort was made to suggest the possibility of Certification
at the 1977 conference, but was rejected. It was not until 198l that a determined
effort was made by past PMI president Matthew Parry, David Aird, and others, by
presenting a formal proposal to the PMI Board. At the Boston Seminar/ Symposium,
the Board approved this proposal and the original Project #31 was launched.
objective was to define the Body of Knowledge of Project Management and therefore
to establish project management as a unique discipline and independent profession.
After some considerable philosophical agonizing, early discussions by the initiating
committee identified that there are five key attributes of a professional body.
If the project objective of establishing project management as an independent
profession was to be achieved, then these would have to exist as prerequisites.
- An identifiable and independent body of knowledge of
project management (Standards)
- Supporting educational programs by an accredited
- A qualifying process (Certification),
Code of Ethics, and
- An Institute representing members with a desire to
Thus, the project group came to be known as the Ethics,
Standards and Accreditation Management Group or simply ESA. The result of the
deliberations of a large number of people on several separate committees was presented
as a "Baseline Report" to the PMI Board in August l982. It was published
as a Special Issue of the Project Management Quarterly in August 1983.
Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) was central to the report. In it
were identified six areas of concentration or blocks of knowledge, namely: Scope
Management; Cost Management; Time Resources Management and Communications Management.
formed the key and unique "functions" of project management, and the report on
each was supported by a content set out in a hierarchical breakdown structure.
PMI Board was quick to adopt the report in principle, including the Code of Ethics
for Project Managers. Since the ESA Report provided a logical baseline, its acceptance
by the Board provided the impetus for moving ahead with programs for the Accreditation
of an educational establishment, and for the Certification of PMI members. Western
Carolina University was accredited in 1983 and the first PMI members were tested
for Certification in October 1984.
Work on these two programs in particular,
together with the certification workshops at the annual Seminar/Symposium, brought
the PMBOK under much closer scrutiny. Inevitably, some shortcomings became evident,
giving rise to much discussion within the PMI organization and at round tables
arranged for the purpose. At the same time some significant publications in project
management became available. These included PMI symposia papers, PMJ articles
and PMI handbooks, as well as some public textbooks authored by PMI members.