A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guide 7th Edition
PMBOK® Guide is the go-to resource for project management practitioners. The project management profession has significantly evolved due to emerging technology, new approaches, and rapid market changes. Reflecting this evolution, The Standard for Project Management enumerates 12 principles of project management, and the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition is structured around eight project performance domains. This edition is designed to address practitioners’ current and future needs and to help them be more proactive, innovative, and nimble in enabling desired project outcomes.
- Reflects the full range of development approaches (predictive, adaptive, hybrid, etc.);
- Provides an entire section devoted to tailoring the development approach and processes;
- Includes an expanded list of models, methods, and artefacts;
- Focuses on not just delivering project outputs but also enabling outcomes;
- Integrates with PMIstandards+™ for information and standards application content based on project type, development approach, and industry sector.
The PMBOK® Guide is the go-to resource for project management practitioners. The project management profession has significantly evolved due to emerging technology, new approaches, and rapid market changes. Reflecting this evolution, the Standard for Project Management enumerates 12 principles of project management, and the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition is structured around 8 project performance domains. This edition is designed with.
The project management profession is evolving with the fast-paced adoption of new technology and approaches, which is why The Standard for Project Management was created. This edition features 12 principles of project management, including projects, are an opportunity to create value, projects must be sustainable over time, the benefits of early communication are far-reaching, projects should have clear success criteria, stakeholders should be involved in high levels throughout the project’s life-cycle. This edition has been designed according to the six performance domains.
The project management profession has significantly evolved due to emerging technology, new approaches, and rapid market changes. Reflecting this evolution, The Standard for Project Management enumerates 12 principles of project management, and the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition is structured around eight project performance domains.
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), seventh edition, is structured around eight project performance domains. This latest release is designed to meet evolving needs of project managers with its depth and focus on developing a comprehensive understanding of projects.
The Standard for Project Management and the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition responds to all four elements that stakeholders have emphasized in their feedback. The revision maintains and enhances the credibility and relevance of the PMBOK® Guide. It improves the readability and usefulness of the PMBOK® Guide. It recognizes that there is continued value for some stakeholders in the structure and content of previous editions and enhances the content in this edition without negating that value.
Most importantly, it links with the PMIstandards+ digital content platform to respond to stakeholders’ needs with vetted supplemental content that supports the practical application.
The Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI) standards and guideline publications, of which the document contained herein is one, are developed through a voluntary consensus standards development process. This process brings together volunteers and/or seeks out the views of persons who have an interest in the topic covered by this publication. While PMI administers the process and establishes rules to promote fairness in the development of consensus, it does not write the document and 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.
PMI disclaims liability for any personal injury, property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect, consequential, or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of the application, or reliance on this document. PMI disclaims and makes no guaranty or warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published herein, and disclaims and makes no warranty that the information in this document will fulfill any of your particular purposes or needs. PMI does not undertake to guarantee the performance of any individual manufacturer or seller’s products or services by virtue of this standard or guide.
In publishing and making this document available, PMI is not undertaking to render professional or other services for or on behalf of any person or entity, nor is PMI undertaking to perform any duty owed by any person or entity to someone else. Anyone using this document should rely on his or her own independent judgment or, as appropriate, seek the advice of a competent professional in determining the exercise of reasonable care in any given circumstances. Information and other standards on the topic covered by this publication may be available from other sources, which the user may wish to consult for additional views or information not covered by this publication.
PMI has no power, nor does it undertake to police or enforce compliance with the contents of this document. PMI does not certify, test, or inspect products, designs, or installations for safety or health purposes. Any certification or other statement of compliance with any health or safety-related
information in this document shall not be attributable to PMI and is solely the responsibility of the certifier or maker of the statement.
Each time work begins on a new edition of The Standard for Project Management and the PMBOK® Guide, there is an opportunity to consider global perspectives on changes in project management and the approaches used for realizing benefits and value from project outputs. In the time between every edition, a world of change has occurred. Some organizations have ceased to exist, and new organizations have emerged. Older technologies have reached the end of life while technologies offering completely new capabilities have evolved. People who continue in the workforce have advanced their thinking, skills, and capabilities as new entrants focus on quickly understanding their professional language, building their skills, developing their business acumen, and contributing to the objectives of their employers.
Even in the midst of such changes, though, there are fundamental concepts and constructs that remain in place. The understanding that collective thinking produces more holistic solutions than the thoughts of one individual continues. And the fact that organizations use projects as a vehicle for delivering a unique result or output endures.
CUSTOMER- AND END-USER-CENTERED DESIGN
While the Sixth Edition of the PMBOK® Guide was under development and throughout the development of this Seventh Edition, PMI has actively engaged with a broad range of global stakeholders on their experiences with using The Standard for Project Management and the PMBOK® Guide. These engagements have included:
▶ Online surveys to representative samples of PMI stakeholders;
▶ Focus groups with PMO leaders, project managers, agile practitioners, the project team members, and educators and trainers; and
▶ Interactive workshops with practitioners at various PMI events around the globe. The feedback and inputs collectively emphasized four key points:
▶ Maintain and enhance the credibility and relevance of the PMBOK® Guide.
▶ Improve the readability and usefulness of the PMBOK® Guide while avoiding overstuffing it with new content.
▶ Sense stakeholder information and content needs and provide vetted supplemental content supporting the practical application.
▶ Recognize that there is continued value for some stakeholders in the structure and content of previous editions so that any shifts enhance without negating that value.
SUSTAINING THE RELEVANCE OF THE PMBOK ® GUIDE
Since its inception as the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) in 1987, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) has evolved while recognizing that fundamental elements of project management endure. Its evolution has not just involved an increase in the page count, it has also involved significant and substantive changes in the nature of the content.
Like previous editions of The Standard for Project Management and the PMBOK® Guide, this edition recognizes that the project management landscape continues to evolve and adapt. Over the past 10 years alone, the advancement of software into all types of products, services, and solutions has grown exponentially. What software can enable continues to change as artificial intelligence, cloud-based capabilities, and new business models drive innovation and new ways of working.
Transformed organizational models have yielded new project work and team structures, the need for a broad range of approaches to project and product delivery, and a stronger focus on outcomes rather than deliverables. Individual contributors can join project teams from anywhere in the world, serve in a broader array of roles, and enable new ways of thinking and working collaboratively.
These changes and more have created this opportunity to reconsider perspectives to support the continued evolution of The Standard for Project Management and the PMBOK® Guide.
A global community of practitioners from different industries and organizations, in different
roles, and working on different types of projects have developed and/or provided feedback on drafts
of the standard as it has evolved for this edition. In addition, the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition
coleaders and staff reviewed other bodies of knowledge and works focused on project management
to identify principle concepts embedded in those texts. These combined efforts showed strong
alignment and supported the validation that the guiding principles in this edition of the standard
apply across the spectrum of project management.
To date, the global project management community has embraced the shift of this standard
toward a set of principle statements. The principle statements capture and summarize generally
accepted objectives for the practice of project management and its core functions. The principle
statements provide broad parameters within which project teams can operate and offer many ways
to remain aligned with the intent of the principles.
Using these principle statements, PMI can reflect effective management of projects across the
full value delivery landscape: predictive to adaptive and everything in between. This principles-based
approach is also consistent with the evolution of The Standard for Program Management (Third and
Fourth Editions) and The Standard for Portfolio Management – Fourth Edition. The Standard for Risk
Management in Portfolios, Programs, and Projects and Benefits Realization Management: A Practice Guide
represent new standard products intentionally developed with a principles-based focus by global
teams of subject matter experts.
Nothing in this edition of The Standard for Project Management or A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge negates alignment with the process-based approach of past editions. Many organizations and practitioners continue to find that approach useful for guiding their project management capabilities, aligning their methodologies, and evaluating their project management capabilities. That approach remains relevant in the context of this new edition.
Another significant change with this edition of the PMBOK® Guide is a systems view of project management. This shift begins with a systems view of value delivery as part of The Standard for Project Management and continues with the presentation of the PMBOK® Guide content. A systems focus for value delivery changes the perspective from one of governing portfolios, programs, and projects to focus on the value chain that links those and other business capabilities to advancing organizational strategy, value, and business objectives. In the context of project management,
The Standard for Project Management and the PMBOK® Guide emphasizes that projects do not simply produce outputs, but more importantly, enable those outputs to drive outcomes that ultimately deliver value to the organization and its stakeholders.
This systems view reflects a shift from the Knowledge Areas in past editions of the PMBOK® Guide to eight project performance domains. A performance domain is a group of related activities that are critical for the effective delivery of project outcomes. Collectively, the performance domains represent a project management system of interactive, interrelated, and interdependent management capabilities that work in unison to achieve desired project outcomes. As the performance domains interact and react to each other, change occurs. Project teams continuously review, discuss, adapt, and respond to such changes with the whole system in mind—not just the specific performance domain in which the change occurred.
Aligned with the concept of a system for value delivery in The Standard for Project Management, teams evaluate effective performance in each performance domain through outcomes-focused measures, rather than through adherence to processes or the production of artifacts, plans, etc.
Previous editions of the PMBOK® Guide emphasized the importance of tailoring the project management approach to the unique characteristics of each project and its context. The Sixth Edition specifically incorporated considerations to help project teams think about how to tailor their approach to project management. That content was included in the front matter of each of the Knowledge Areas and provided considerations for all types of project environments. This edition further expands upon that work with a dedicated section on Tailoring in the PMBOK® Guide.
A new section on Models, Methods, and Artefacts provides a high-level grouping of models, methods, and artefacts that support project management. This section maintains linkages to tools, techniques, and outputs from previous editions that support project management without
prescribing when, how, or which tools teams should use.
The final change reflects the most significant advancement in the PMBOK® Guide’s history— the creation of PMIstandards+™, an interactive digital platform that incorporates current, emerging, and future practices, methods, artefacts, and other useful information. The digital content better
reflects the dynamic nature of a body of knowledge. PMIstandards+ provides project practitioners and other stakeholders with access to a richer and broader range of information and resources that can more quickly accommodate advances and changes in project management. The content
explains how specific practices, methods, or artefacts apply to projects based on industry segments, project types, or other characteristics. Starting with the inputs, tools, and techniques, and outputs from the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition, PMIstandards+ will continue to incorporate new resources that support continued evolution in project management. Going forward, users of The Standard for Project Management and the PMBOK® Guide can find information in PMIstandards+ that will supplement the information included in the printed publication.
The following figure illustrates the revision to The Standard for Project Management and migration from the Sixth to the Seventh Edition of the PMBOK® Guide, along with the connection to the PMIstandards+ digital platform.
SUMMARY OF CHANGES
Since 1987, The Standard for Project Management has represented a process-based standard.
The Standard for Project Management included in the PMBOK® Guide aligned the project management discipline and function around a collection of business processes. Those business processes enabled consistent and predictable practices:
▶ That could be documented;
▶ Through which performance against the processes could be assessed; and
▶ Through which improvements to the process could be made to maximize efficiency and minimize threats.
While effective in supporting good practice, process-based standards are prescriptive by their very nature. With project management evolving more rapidly than ever before, the process-based orientation of past editions cannot be maintained in a manner conducive to reflecting the full value delivery landscape. Therefore, this edition shifts to a principles-based standard to support effective project management and to focus more on intended outcomes rather than deliverables.
The PMI serves more than 2.9 million professionals, including over 500,000 members in 208 countries and territories around the world, with 300 chapters and 10,000 volunteers serving local members in over 80 countries. Its services include the development of standards, research, education, publication, networking opportunities in local chapters, hosting conferences and training seminars, and providing accreditation in project management.
About Project Management Institute
The Project Management Institute (PMI) is a US non-profit professional organization for project management. The PMI provides services including the development of standards, research, education, publication, networking opportunities in local chapters, hosting conferences and training seminars, and providing accreditation in project management.
PMI has recruited volunteers to create industry standards, such as “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge”, which has been recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In 2012 ISO adapted the project management processes from the PMBOK Guide 4th edition.
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