What if the PMBOK Guide was a Choose Your Own Adventure® book?

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Categories: Agile, Project Management


I'm midway through reading Choose Your WoW! from Scott W. Ambler and Mark Lines of the Disciplined Agile Consortium. While their 2012 reference book for Disciplined Agile Delivery provided guidance for teams interested in tailoring their delivery approaches, the new book delves much deeper into the key goals, decision points and options for those decision points. It also provides external references to inspire practitioners to venture down the rabbit holes for the practices they wish to explore further. The main content of the book comes in just under four hundred pages but given the volume of information provided, it shows that the authors have been practicing what they preach when it comes to minimally sufficient documentation!

Their book focuses on teams using adaptive lifecycles for delivering technology solutions but it would be still be helpful to address the needs of teams who are utilizing traditional approaches for delivering projects in other industries or domains.

What would the outcome have been if the volunteers who created the sixth edition of the PMBOK Guide had taken a similar approach? Yes, the current edition contains new sections with tailoring considerations but those are just scratching the surface of that critical topic.

Perhaps they would have realized that the current guide should have really been released as two separate documents. There is still a need for a PMBOK framework reference covering process groups, processes, inputs, outputs, tools and techniques, but much greater value would have been realized by practitioners in having detailed guidance for exploring the key goalposts and decision points taking into account the context of a given project and the culture of the organization they are working in.

This could be done using a decision tree approach similar to that used for Disciplined Agile but imagine how much fun it would have been if it was written like a Choose Your Own Adventure® book? Such a guide could help teams understand the options available to them while simultaneously exploring potential downstream implications of their decisions. Add in some cartoons illustrating key concepts and the Guide would no longer be considered a surefire cure for insomnia!

Posted on: March 10, 2019 07:00 AM | Permalink

Comments (8)

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Kiron, Thanks for sharing!!

very interesting, Kiron ... please let me know if you consider writing such an Adventure book ... would be great fun to participate ;)

It occurs to me that your definition of "fun" and mine may be a Venn diagram, and not just a single circle. ;)

Thanks Rajesh, Markus & Joseph! No plans to write the book just yet - I think a committee is required!

Interesting idea Kiron!

A "practical" guide rather than theoretical PMBOK? (I note lots of practical guides - books, videos - on passing PM exams but not so much on real world doing - although they do exist - too much focus on the "piece of paper"...oops...separate topic LOL.)

Good Thinking. Thanks for sharing .

Thanks Sharing

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