A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge

Why did I choose this resource?

Guide to PMBOK I chose this resource because the Project Management Institute (PMI), the author of this book, is considered the primary resource for all information related to Project Management. In order to earn a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, an individual must apply to the PMI and take their certification test. They literally wrote the book on PM.

I’m rereading this book because I need to reacquaint myself with PM best practices. We are making a push to improve PM throughout the company. The information provided by this book will be one of the building blocks we use.

What did you learn from it?

I re-learned the importance of scoping a project and making sure it gets approved by the client. The PMBOK is a guide to standard terms, knowledge, and practices that are used by PMPs.

Key Knowledge

  • Every project draws on a standard suite of processes
  • Project integration requires melding each project component into a coherent whole
  • Must always define and control the scope of your project
  • Managing projects is like dancing – have to make sure the right things happen at the right time
  • The quality of results depends on the quality of every component process
  • Not only do you need the right people on the project, you also need them properly trained
  • Be sure you understand who needs what information and how you will get it to them
  • Think about the risks your project faces and how you will address them if they occur
  • Create and enforce an approved vendor list to ensure cost, quality, and scheduling

Key Concepts

  • A project is an undertaking of limited duration with the objective of producing specific “products, services or results”
    • Any given project goes through identifiable phases, each one requiring different inputs and producing different outputs
  • 5 phases of every project
    • Initiating
    • Planning
    • Executing
    • Monitoring & Controlling
    • Closing
  • 7 major steps to project integration
    • Draft project charter
    • Develop a preliminary scope statement
    • Create a project management plan
    • Direct and manage project execution
    • Monitor and control project work
    • Implement integrated change control
    • Close the project
  • Scope control is dependent upon specific and firm scope specifications – MUST have a solid detailed plan
    • Scope control requires having a mechanism for verifying the completion of defi ned elements of the project
    • Get all deliverables approved by client throughout the life of the project, not just at the end of the project
  • Creating manageable project schedules
    • Define your activities – Identify and schedule every project activity
    • Sequence your activities – Document the dependencies among tasks and events.
    • Estimate your resources – State the resources you need to accomplish these tasks.
    • Estimate the time requirements of each activity – Think in terms of work periods not hours, since you probably will not have resources available around the clock.
    • Develop your schedule – Create a schedule once you have a list of all activities, their dependencies, the resources they will require and the time they will take.
    • Control your schedule – Manage your agenda by ensuring that tasks begin and end on time, and have the requisite resources. Anticipate the need for schedule adjustments. Communicate all changes to stakeholders well in advance of project delays.
  • Manage costs by tracking actual resource allocations and expenses against the schedule and task list.
  • Quality
    • When you define goals, also define the quality you expect to deliver.
    • Never make assumptions about quality.
    • Have your customer sign off on your quality definition in advance.
  • Project managers use their “knowledge, skills, tools and techniques” to complete projects
  • Managing Human Resources
    • “Human resource planning” – What people will you need and when will you need them? What will you need them to do and to whom will they report?
    • “Acquire project team” – Consider every person needed to accomplish the entire project, not just the project management team.
    • “Develop project team” – Tell each member what you expect, what the deadlines are, what resources to use and what criteria to conquer.
    • “Manage project team”
  • Communications
    • Projects require a good communication strategy. High-quality information is timely, reliable and task-appropriate.
    • Create a communication plan that shows what data you need to convey, how you’ll make it available and when you need to transmit it.
    • Specify your stakeholders’ information requirements.
  • Managing Risk
    • Create a risk management plan – State your approach to managing project risks.
    • Identify your project’s risk – Specify the risks your project faces.
    • Analyze qualitative risks – Rank the risks you face by likelihood and impact.
    • Analyze quantitative risks – Express your project risk numerically.
    • Your risk response plan – Provide alternative strategies for handling specific occurrences, from using opportunities to avoiding threats.
    • Risk-monitoring activities – Decide which risks to monitor and how to control their occurrence. Improve your ability to anticipate negative events and respond to risk.

How are you using what you learned?

We’re improving how we run projects. Familiarizing ourselves with best practices will help us improve our project processes. I have a living document of needed project management improvements that I update regularly. I’ll be picking off the low hanging fruit and cross referencing them with the PMBOK guide and other PM resources to develop processes that are right for our company.

Key Changes / Key Actions

  • Formalize our project processes
  • Utilize formalized scope control processes / procedures
  • Emphasize Initiating / Planning phases to create clear plan for projects
  • Start getting explicit client approval on all deliverables when they are delivered
    • including modules
    • get written verification


  • Name : A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
  • Author : Project Management Institute
  • getabstract.com: Link to Summary

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