Project Management

Master of Your PM Domain?

Patti Gilchrist, PMP, is a Senior Technical Manager with more than 20 years of IT experience. Visit her website at

For years, the common view of project management was that it was a generalist discipline. PMI advocated that a PMP-certified project manager, who had demonstrated mastery of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)--and was equipped with “generic” PM skills such as stakeholder management, scheduling, cost/budget analysis and management, qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, management, etc.--could successfully lead and manage any project, regardless of industry.

This had been the mantra since inception. As long as you understood project management concepts and processes, you could essentially lead any project. This was a view that many critics assessed as insufficient. So it’s not surprising that the vision of project management has recently shifted. In case you haven’t noticed, domain knowledge is now becoming increasingly important in the project manager's skillset.

If you read recent job descriptions, there is an increasing demand for PMs who have domain knowledge ( provides a definition for us: Domain knowledge refers to a broad-based understanding of a particular industry or solution). And if you look at PMI’s website, you will also notice that the project management profession is evolving:

“Employers need project practitioners with leadership and business intelligence …

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