In order to take advantage of Muhamed's book, it is not only necessary to be familiar with PMI's PMBOK® Guide, but to understand its structure. As Muhamed explains in his Introduction Overview, the PMBOK® Guide:
"is devoted almost entirely to identifying, explaining, and relating its thirty-nine project management processes. These process are classified in two different ways to show:
- How processes interact, from project initiation until project closeout.
- Which project management knowledge area each process belongs to."
Then he very wisely adds:
"[The] Reader should note that the [five] process groups listed ... represent a project management process cycle, not the project life cycle which is described in Chapter 2 of The [PMBOK] Guide."
Following that Introduction, the book has only four chapters:
- Process Relationships
- Process Sequencing
- Process Iterated Loop
- Talking the Walk
These are followed by an Appendix, Glossary, Index and List of Figures.
The main purpose of Chapter 1 is to enable the reader to understand the context of each of the PMBOK Guide's processes. This is achieved by providing an overview of input/output linkages of each process. Since this process information is the foundation of Muhamed's book, it is essential that the reader understands this relatively short chapter. However, section 1.3 of chapter 1 is more of a reference section than a solid read.
Chapter 2, is by far the longest, because it examines all the processes in the PMBOK Guide. The chapter does so from the perspective of PMI's five Project Management Process Groups. As set out in chapter 3 of the PMBOK Guide, these process groups are "Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, and Closing".
In Chapter 3, Muhamed singles out three of the five process groups, namely Planning, Executing and Controlling, and describes what he calls the "iterated process loop that exists between the central process groups." As he says:
"In a project that is managed according to The [PMBOK] Guide, the Planning Processes group provides the Executing Processes group with a documented project plan early in the project. As the project progresses, the Planning Processes group keeps providing documented updates to the project plan."
In his book, a simple flow chart illustrates this basic concept, which is then followed by a more detailed discussion of the impacts of this concept.
For Chapter 4, Muhamed takes a different tack. As he says:
"The first three chapters of This Book explain difficult technical details described or implied in The [PMBOK] Guide ... . However, unlike in the previous chapters, the purpose of this chapter is achieved through novel-like, narrative description of the Critical Output Sequence and the associated relationships" and "does the above in the context of a real project."
The Glossary is brief, but welcome. It lists and explains the terms unique to the book.
1. Abdomerovic, M., Brainstorming The PMBOK Guide, Project Management Publications, KY, 2004, p1
2. Ibid. p28
3. Ibid. p113
4. Ibid. p189