Publisher: Project Management Publications, Kentucky, US. Email:
Review published here June 2010

Introduction | Book Structure 
What We Liked | Downside | Summary


Project management is certainly an exciting and dynamic field of learning. Having a standard body of knowledge as well as standard methodologies that can be taught and practiced and that are constantly improving is a great benefit. By studying the Institute's PMBOK® Guide you can consolidate your project management experience and aspirations. Through your continued reading and practicing, it can help you stay ahead in this challenging field of know how.

It is generally asserted by adherents of the PMBOK® Guide that by adopting the standard project management framework, processes, and techniques, you can, effectively:[3]

  • Understand the proven concepts and practices of commonly accepted knowledge in project management.
  • Demonstrate your talent in following the rules and getting your project under control.
  • Convince your client and your team that you know how to measure project performance and understand where your project is and where it is going.
  • Gain the knowledge and experience to filter tough decisions and offer ways to successfully complete the project.
  • Connect with top-level managers, build your success upon the knowledge of standard project management, and improve the project management business of the company.

We are not necessarily convinced of these assertions, but in any case it does involve having a comfort level with flow diagrams and adopting a "systems" mind set. And it does take time to untangle the intricacies of the latest Guide. Unfortunately, although Data Flow Diagrams show how each process relates with other processes, the PMBOK Guide Fourth Edition does not have other components of process handling to make Data Flow Diagrams effective such as the processes' project management logic, sequence, or application procedure.

For example, the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition does not cover:[4]

  • A set of sustainable rules for the analysis of process relationships that must be used to establish the context for each input, output, and process described in the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition. This could enable the reader to apply a specific method and extract the required project management logic out of scattered process contexts in the PMB OK® Guide Fourth Edition. Consequently, without the definition of complete relationships, the reader cannot understand the logic of the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition, or what the PMB OK® Guide Fourth Edition says.
  • A comprehensive procedure needed for transforming the project management logic into a sequence for the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition inputs, outputs, and processes. Consequently, without such a sequence the reader will not be able to understand full meaning of the PMB OK® Guide Fourth Edition.
  • A guideline to apply the project management logic and sequence of the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition and reveal the practical meaning of "recognized good practices" portrayed in the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition. Consequently, without directions for applying the knowledge from the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition the reader must ask how to use the PMBOK® Guide Fourth Edition in a real project.

That is why the lists, explanations and examples in Abdomerovic's Brainstorming the PMBOK® Guide can be such an asset. However, all this does mean that to follow Abdomerovic's book you must have a copy of the PMBOK Guide at hand, and in our view, a hard copy at that.

Abdomerovic's book contains a collection of thirty-four diagrams and illustrations collected together under the section titled "Figures" at the end of the book. While the figures might have been placed in context to lighten the body of the text, perhaps this was the best solution given the need to reference them from multiple sources in the text. In any case, a good place to start in examining Abdomerovic's book is to study these illustrations first.

What We Liked  What We Liked

3. Ibid, p9
4. Ibid, p25
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