Project Management Institute

PMBOK® Guide 2000

hot line to project knowledge


Hot Line to Project Knowledge

by Cynthia A. Berg, PMP

People are lining up for the newest edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.

TALK ABOUT YOUR HOT TICKETS! A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) [PMI®, 1996] is the biggest seller in the Project Management Institute's bookstore. In the last two years alone (January 1999 through October 2000), the 1996 Edition, in hard cover, soft cover, and CD-ROM, has sold nearly 70,000 copies. Interest is sparking for the PMBOK® Guide, 2000 Edition. As of mid-November, more than 300 people had ordered the updated volume—and it wasn't even on the market until this month.

The PMBOK® Guide isn't just a hot seller; it's a hot link to the body of accepted knowledge about project management. The “project management body of knowledge” is an inclusive term that describes the sum of knowledge within the project management profession. The PMBOK® Guide is a compilation of all the “generally accepted” project management knowledge. Generally accepted 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. That knowledge has grown in the past five years and has been incorporated into PMBOK® Guide, 2000 Edition, which continues as a living document that will evolve as the project management profession grows.


Cynthia A. Berg, PMP, a member of the PMI Standards Member Advisory Group, was project leader for the update to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), 2000 Edition. She is a senior business analyst at Medtronic MicroElectronics Center and an adjunct faculty member teaching project management at Keller Graduate School of Management and Rio Salado Community College.


Exhibit 1. This chart shows the response breakdown for each chapter of the PMBOK® Guide. The project risk management chapter, which has been rewritten for the 2000 Edition, generated the most responses.

Reader Service Number 177

PMI is the largest single source for project management information, and the PMBOK® Guide is the standard for project management knowledge. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. have named the 1996 PMBOK® Guide as a standard, and PMI has already submitted the 2000 Edition to ANSI for similar approval. “ANSI acceptance [of the 1996 Edition] means that the profession now has a proven and reviewed set of standards on which to rely. In this day of globalization of corporations, more and more organizations rely on standards to assist them in doing business” [Jay Holtzman, “Getting Up To Standard,” PM Network, December 1999].

The PMBOK® Guide has something for everyone. It's a foundational document, providing an organized way of thinking about project management to those just starting to explore the profession. It also supplies new tools and techniques that those who understand project management may not have considered. The PMBOK® Guide also sets down a common language in which to discuss project management.

For everyone? Well, think about it. Project management affects everyone's life in some way. Anyone who's entertained the boss, planned a wedding, moved from one house to another or built a house, held a family reunion, or looked for a job, has been involved in a “project.” People do projects every day; they just may not have thought of their activities in that way. On the job and in other areas of life, even those who aren't project managers can bring project management skills to their work, to committees they head or participate in, to hobbies they like.

Making a Good Thing Better

The scope of the PMBOK® Guide, 2000 Edition, was to add new material reflecting the growth of the knowledge and practices in the field of project management by capturing those practices, tools and techniques, and other relevant items that have become generally accepted; add clarification to text and figures to make this document more beneficial to users; and correct errors in the 1996 edition.

The PMBOK® Guide, 2000 Edition, project team based its work on the 1996 Edition and on comments received following its publication. The team was open to PMI member and nonmember input throughout the project, thus gaining the knowledge and wisdom of PMI's membership and other stakeholders, and upholding PMI's commitment to “openness” as an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer. Consequently, the project team designed a process to solicit stakeholders’ feedback and allow for a reply to each reviewer's comments.

The PMBOK® Guide, 2000 Edition, Exposure Draft was ready in April 2000. The team sent copies to 65,000 PMI members, and 6,000 copies to associations with whom PMI has cooperative agreements, other relevant professional associations, organizations that have adopted the PMBOK® Guide as their standard, and to non-PMI-member Project Management Professionals (PMPs). The distribution garnered 1,705 responses that included comments and suggestions. Exhibit 1 shows the response breakdown.

Although it was a major task to review the comments, the team considered each comment not only on its own merit but also in light of meeting the requirement to provide generally accepted knowledge and in relation to consistency with the total PMBOK® Guide.

Major Changes

The PMBOK® Guide, 2000 Edition, has been changed in a number of ways. The project team:

img Clarified that projects manage to requirements, which emerge from needs, wants and expectations.

img Strengthened the linkage of project selection, execution, and learning to organizational strategy. Projects deliver organizational strategy and do not happen in a vacuum. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the organization within which the project is constituted, and it's strategies.

img Acknowledged the role of the project office, but did not elaborate on this concept, as the definition and role are rapidly evolving.

img Added references to projects in developing economies, along with those having social, economic, and environmental impacts.

img Expanded treatment of earned value management in Chapter 4 (“Project Integration Management”), Chapter 7 (“Project Cost Management”), and Chapter 10 (“Project Communications Management”); replaced older acronyms like actual cost of work performed (ACWP), budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS), and budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP), no longer considered standard terms, with more descriptive terms. ACWP is now referred to as “actual cost,” BCWP became “earned value,” and BCWS is “planned value.”

img Rewrote Chapter 11, “Project Risk Management,” adding two processes and multiple tools. To provide more complete coverage of this important knowledge area, the process areas changed from risk identification, risk quantification, risk response development, and risk response control, to risk management planning, risk identification, qualitative risk analysis, quantitative risk analysis, risk response planning, and risk monitoring and control.

img Moved the process of “scope verification” from an “executing process” to a “controlling process.”

img Changed the name of Process 4.3 from “overall change control” to “integrated change control” to emphasize the importance of change control throughout the entirety of the project.

img Added a chart in Chapter 3 that maps the 39 project management processes to the five project management process groups (initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing) and the nine project management knowledge areas.

img Standardized terminology throughout the document from “supplier” to “seller.”

img Added several tools and techniques (detailed in the preface of the PMBOK® Guide, 2000 Edition).

img Added new definitions to the glossary; revised and clarified many of the existing definitions.

THE PMBOK® GUIDE is a living document. As the project management profession evolves, along with its generally accepted knowledge and practices, this document will be revised periodically. The PMI Project Management Standards Program encourages PMBOK® Guide users to provide comments for the document's improvement so that these comments can be saved for future review. Comments can be sent to:

Thanks To All Who Helped

The challenges of this project were numerous. From the work of preparing the Exposure Draft to the logistics of evaluating 1,705 individual responses, to writing by committee and consensus, to meeting an aggressive schedule for publication deadlines.

The project team had a dedicated group working on the review. Everyone who contributed to this project is acknowledged in Appendix C of the 2000 Edition, and everyone who contributed to the predecessor documents is acknowledged in Appendix B. Without the contributors’ dedication, the PMBOK® Guide, 2000 Edition, would not have been possible. I'd like to give special thanks and acknowledgement to the “core team” on this project: Judy Doll, Quentin Fleming, Greg Githens, Earl Glenwright, David Hulett, and Greg Skulmoski. Also many thanks to the Risk Management SIG for their sponsorship of the Chapter 11 rewrite.

The volunteers on the project team and its team of contributors, the PMI® Standards Program Member Advisory Group, all of the Exposure Draft reviewers and those of you who submitted comments, as well as the committed and dedicated Headquarters and Publishing Division staffs who contributed to the project also deserve our thanks.

PMI Project Management Standards Program
Project Management Institute
Four Campus Boulevard
Newtown Square, Pa. 19073-3299 USA
Phone: +610-356-4600, Fax: +610-356-4647

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

January 2001 PM Network



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