by Brian Grafsgaard, Standards Member Advisory Group
Whether you are new to the profession or a seasoned veteran, you have probably been aware of not only the growth in the application of project management across industries and organizations, but the rapid pace of change we have seen within the profession, especially over the last few years. On larger initiatives it is not unusual to see a mix of value delivery approaches, from prescriptive, plan-driven approaches to more adaptive approaches.
We as practitioners are often required to integrate these approaches in order to realize the intended outcomes, at the right time, and for the right price. The balancing act of simultaneously managing scope, schedule, and cost has now extended to finding the right balance between approaches, based on the profile of the project(s) and expected outcomes.
For decades now—since its inception as the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) in 1987—A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) has served as a reference to effectively manage “most projects most of the time”. The PMBOK® Guide has provided the foundation for the science of project management, enabling us as practitioners to practice the art. The PMBOK® Guide—which was always intended to be adapted to the project and situation at hand—has evolved and adapted over the years to include advances in core processes.
The associated Standard for Project Management provided the underpinning “fundamentals” of project management and how the processes could be applied. The art of project management is, in part, based on the application of these fundamentals and the particular value delivery approach being taken. It could be said that the art is based on the principles of project management that we all carry with us and continue to adapt and apply each day (and continue to learn as well).
This continuous learning has allowed both The Standard for Project Management and the PMBOK® Guide to evolve and adapt to support the growth of project management as a discipline, as well as changes in how project management is applied. Like previous editions of the PMBOK® Guide, the upcoming seventh edition recognizes that the project delivery landscape continues to evolve and adapt and that the pace of change is accelerating. New technologies as well as the need for organizational agility have introduced new project team structures and project/product delivery methods with a stronger focus on outcomes rather than deliverables.
These changes, as well as other factors, have created the opportunity—and even the imperative—to update the resources we rely upon as practitioners of project management. Consequently, several teams of volunteers and PMI staff have formed to define and develop the next generation of The Standard for Project Management and associated PMBOK® Guide.
The seventh edition will be developed with the following questions in mind:
The standards teams, with your help, will continue to explore the answers to these questions as they develop the next edition of the PMBOK® Guide and continue the rich history of providing value to practitioners and their organizations. We hope you will join us for the journey!
Brian Grafsgaard is a member of the Standards Member Advisory Group. He possesses over 20 years of experience leading the development and integration of complex, enterprise-class solutions as a Program and Project Manager in multiple industries.
Stay tuned to the Critical Path blog for updates and opportunities to share your thoughts and reactions around how we are progressing on our Standards journey. Learn more here.
As you are already aware, PMI is in the midst of a transformation and as PMI Standards begin to reflect this transformation, we have decided to engage with our community through the Critical Path blog. Going forward, you can check in here for updates and opportunities to share your thoughts and reactions around how we are progressing on our journey.
As a reminder and for context, our transformation is based on the 2017 Strategic Plan. The plan outlines three pillars: strategic focus, customer centricity, and organizational agility. The strategic focus creates the opportunity to serve practitioners in a more substantive and integrated manner. Customer centricity is about gaining a deep understanding of practitioners so we can improve what we offer, how we offer it, and when we offer it to them. Organizational agility is about improving PMI’s ability to identify and respond to emerging opportunities.
Applying the three strategic pillars within PMI standards publications, it became important to separate fundamental concepts from the way in which those concepts are applied. As a result, the content within these publications falls into three categories, which you will see referenced in future blog postings:
Organizations are adopting more project-based approaches to deliver value, and project management professionals require tools to drive that success. These tools include both The Standard for Project Management and the body of knowledge for delivering value through projects.
Recognizing this need, PMI will leverage a collaborative approach with our stakeholders, to adapt both The Standard for Project Management and A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) to cover the entire value-delivery landscape of project management. At the same time, we are undertaking work to provide practitioners with more robust, more accessible, and highly relevant content designed to apply standards and the body of knowledge situationally in practice, which can be captured and updated best through a web-based platform. These products will reflect the knowledge that projects are executed to deliver value and project teams can use a broad range of methods and approaches to deliver outcomes.
We are excited about the future of PMI Standards and invite you to stay connected with us as we develop these resources. Check back to The Critical Path blog to follow our journey and stay informed about additional opportunities to engage more directly.