Have Methods, Will Travel

PMI United Kingdom Chapter

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and project manager living and working in London. She run The Otobos Group, a project communications consultancy specializing in project management.

In the global economy, it should be no surprise that the U.K.-based PRINCE2 methodology is making inroads beyond Europe, while the PMBOK Guide continues to expand its reach internationally. A growing number of organizations, it would seem, are adopting project management best practices based on more than just where they originated. Here’s an overview.

Project management has been evolving since Henry Gantt first put horizontal lines on a chart to mark the duration of tasks. There have been a fair amount of improvements since then (not least adding dependency lines on Henry’s charts) and groups of techniques have been lumped together to give us ‘methodologies’ — what we should be doing if we want to do projects well. And even today, new versions are being developed to keep us on the cutting edge of project management best practices.
In 1983 the Project Management Institute decided that it had been around long enough to have a stab at pulling together all the knowledge its members had accumulated about how to run projects. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) was born. PRojects IN Controlled Environments followed six years later, as an output from the Office of Government Commerce, a section of the United Kingdom government’s Treasury. It started off as a way to manage IT projects, but the authors soon realized …

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There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

- Edith Wharton