The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, now in its third edition, is the Project Management Institute's ("PMI") flagship document. On it is based PMI's very successful Project Management Professional ("PMP") certification program and associated training and accreditation programs. This Guide has been developed by a large group of PMI volunteer members, in this latest case well over 200, who have an interest in this aspect of PMI's activities. It is issued as an American National Standard.
Notwithstanding, PMI is careful to note that while "it administers the process
and establishes rules to promote fairness in the development of consensus, it does
not write the document and it does not independently test, evaluate, or verify the
accuracy or completeness of any information or the soundness of any judgments contained
in its standards and guideline publications."
And further, wisely disclaims any liability for "use of application, or reliance on
this document." In short, buyer beware!
The previous edition was issued in 2000, and this latest effort has clearly involved a substantial number of volunteer hours. The result has produced a doubling of the number of pages from around 200 to nearly 400. The question is: Does that represent an improvement and does it make sense? The answer is, of course, that there is good stuff and not-so-good stuff, but there are also some serious disappointments. Others may not agree exactly with our findings, but if this leads to constructive discussions and an improved document, everyone will benefit.
In the following pages we will first take an overall perspective and subsequently examine the individual sections in more detail.
2. Ibid p-i