Like its 2000 predecessor, the Guide is divided into sections now consisting of five as follows: The Project Management Framework; The Standard for Project Management of a Project; The Project Management Knowledge Areas; Appendices; and Glossary. Each section consists of one or more chapters. The second section has taken the previous Project Management Processes chapter and singled out these processes for special attention. As before, the largest section is The Project Management Knowledge Areas, which retain the same chapter numbering and, like its predecessor, the Guide is heavily systems-based following an input-process-output pattern.
"The primary purpose of the PMBOK® Guide is to identify that subset of the Project Management Body of Knowledge that is generally recognized as good practice ... [and] ... means that the knowledge and practices described are applicable to most projects most of the time, and that there is widespread consensus about their value and usefulness." However, the text is presented in language that suggests a description of current practices, i.e. what is done, rather than as a standard conveying to members what should be done.
Given that information technology (IT) and administrative type project people now form a majority group within PMI, it would not be surprising to learn that a majority of these same people were also represented on the Guide's contributing team. In any case, the reader of previous versions will observe a significant tilt towards these areas of project management application in both concepts and language. Reflecting this, a flow diagram has been provided at the beginning of each knowledge area chapter.
IT people, and business analysts in particular, will be especially comfortable with this form of representation, even though each diagram carefully notes that "Not all process interactions and data flow among the processes are shown". Another indicator is the introduction of the term "assets", or more particularly "Organizational Process Assets". This is defined in the Glossary as including "formal and informal plans, policies, procedures, and guidelines. The process assets also include the organizations' knowledge bases such as lessons learned and historical information." In other words, it denotes the supporting paperwork.
The question is, will project managers in fields other than IT be comfortable with these types of innovation?
4. Ibid p3
5. Ibid p365