The Project Management Institute's Missing Opportunities?
As noted earlier, the Project Management Institute has published a Project
Management Body of Knowledge Guide that provides the basis for its professionalism
programs (Duncan 1996). This guide provides a framework and covers eleven 'knowledge
areas', twelve if you include the introductory chapter. Each knowledge area
is presented as a process, the descriptions of which cover a number of topics.
The content is limited to knowledge and practice that is generally accepted
and unique or nearly unique to the field of project management. By design it
is targeted at the management of a single project (Duncan 1998). These knowledge
areas are depicted as shown in Exhibit 3.
Exhibit 3. The 1996 Project Management Institute Body of
Notice the all-on-one-level relationship of these knowledge areas. This arrangement
gives little opportunity for the student of project management to digest and
understand the relationships between these various areas, although process diagrams
are provided in the body of the text, some of which are conceptually flawed.
However, the considerations and concepts discussed in this paper can be simplified
into the more familiar 'tree' structure shown in Exhibit
4. A comparison of Exhibits 3 and 4 shows how the discussion of project
management knowledge can be both simplified and expanded in its coverage.
Exhibit 4. Programs and Projects in the Real World