The PMBOK Setting
is possible to depict the environment of project management and its related body
of knowledge in a number of different ways. Venn diagrams and three dimensional
matrices or boxes are all feasible. The Figure 3 diagram
attempts to show the role of the PMBOK as a vehicle for the creation of change
between General Management and Technical Management.
Figure 3: The role of PMBOK sitting between General Management and Technical
The overlap areas at the bottom of the diagram
infer that the project management staff must have sufficient understanding of
the various specialist disciplines to appreciate project requirements and issues.
They must also be able to communicate appropriate direction and means of conflict
resolution to these specialists in order to reach a successful project conclusion.
explanation of the diagram is as follows:
- The striped gray background
represents abstract space. Into this space is introduced the top strip which is
intended to portray the whole spectrum of know-ledge which is required to successfully
conduct industry and business. Of course this includes both the public and private
sectors. As the diagram shows, this spectrum ranges from the know-how of general
management on the left, through project management, to technical management on
- The next series of strips immediately below are intended to
elaborate on the top strip. The central overlay circle encompasses the process
and control that is project management.
- The star points to the four key
restraints of scope, cost, time and quality.
As every project manager
knows, these restraints are inextricably intertwined. Scope-quality represents
performance, scope-cost represents viability, cost-time represents effort, and
quality-time represents competitiveness.
As stated in the note below the
diagram, for the project team to function effectively, "PM staff must have sufficient
understanding of the various specialist disciplines to appreciate project requirements
and issues. They must also be able to communicate appropriate direction and means
of conflict resolution to these specialists in order to reach a successful project
conclusion." One might add the corollary that, because of their particular bias,
specialists frequently have difficulty in becoming good project managers.
"sufficient understanding" is represented by the "fingers" which reach from the
central project management circle into the areas of general management on the
left and technical management on the right. Further, if these fingers are traced
horizontally, then each depicts a typical functional management area which itself
ranges from the general application on the left to the specific technical application
on the right. Perhaps the best example is the strip ranging from Information Systems
in general to Communications in particular.
Clearly, the Project Management
Body of Knowledge cannot possibly encompass the whole know-how continuum. Nor
would it be appropriate because Project Management has its own unique special
area of expertise. This is shown by the white area within the bottom strip in
the diagram. The two "overlap" areas of gray on this strip reflect the extent
to which this knowledge must necessarily extend into the two areas on the left
and right of the diagram.
I would add that the gray area on the left is
knowledge that every project manager should have. The gray area on the right,
on the other hand, is specific to the technical field. This is what makes an individual
project manager a specialist in a given area of application.
project management is what enables general management to come together with technical
management for purposes of managing progress and change effectively and efficiently
for the benefit of all.