If you are just starting out in your Project Management or PMP journey, you are bound to hear or read PMBOK many, many times!
What exactly is PMBOK and why should I care about it? Here’s why!
PMBOK stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge. It is a set of standard terminology and guidelines (a body of knowledge) for project management. Now the body of knowledge evolves over time and is presented in ‘A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge’ which is basically a book. This book is a result of work overseen by the Project Management Institute (PMI – the global not-for-profit member association of PM professionals) which offers the PMP certification.
Now the PMBOK Guide is intended to be a subset of the project management body of knowledge that is generally recognized as a good practice. So it must be noted here that PMBOK Guide is not a standard, not a methodology and does not cover everything that there is to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. The PMP exam tests you on Project Management and not on the PMBOK Guide!
Also, ‘generally recognized’ means the knowledge and practices described are applicable to most projects most of the time and there is a consensus about their value and usefulness. ‘Good practice’ means there is a general agreement that the application of the knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques can enhance the chance of success over many projects. This means that sometimes the “latest” project management trends, often promoted by consultants, may not be part of the latest version of The PMBOK Guide.
These latest project management trends brings us to our next point that since the body of knowledge is constantly growing (as practitioners discover new methods or best practices), the PMBOK Guide must be updated timely. This entire effort is supervised by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
The 1st edition of the PMBOK Guide was published in 1996 and as of March 2017 the PMBOK Guide 6th edition is scheduled to release in the third quarter of 2017.
Below are the links to buy PMBOK Guide and a couple of other books PMP Lounge recommends for PMP preparation