Why do we need a body of project management knowledge?
A defined, published, and generally accepted project management
body of knowledge reflecting good practice is essential if we are
to improve the practice of this discipline. Then and only then can
we develop recognized education, certification, and accreditation
programs. It is therefore understandable that a project management
body of knowledge ("PMBoK") is becoming the cornerstone
of emerging professional organizations.
However, the world of project management is still developing and
will continue to do so. Its range of applications is changing and
spreading and consequently its practice continues to evolve. Therefore,
any attempts to codify and document what is currently considered
to be good practice must also be permitted to evolve, and yet changes
to a PMBoK must be developed with some care since the impact will
be felt on the entire professional program of these organizations.
To give some idea of the nature of a PMBoK, Figure 1 shows a dynamic
illustration of the project management process and helps to provide
a simplistic understanding of the complex nature of project management
itself. This particular representation was developed as a result
of considerable thought over an extended period by a number of experienced
members of the Project Management Institute (US).
Figure 1: The Project Management Process
Shown across the top of the figure are scope, quality, time and
cost which constitute the four core target functions of project
management (as viewed by a project sponsor) or constraints (as viewed
by the project manager). However, the project is enabled by the
four facilitating management functions of information/communications,
contract/procurement, human resources, and risk.
Project management integrates these functions progressively through
the project life cycle, with the aim of satisfying the stakeholders
and constituents according to the project's established requirements.
Stakeholders are those who have a direct stake in the project while
the project's constituents are those who may be impacted by the
consequences of the project. Project success is typically generated
when the stakeholders and constituents express their collective
satisfaction according to the degree of their involvement.