|The following book review is provided for QEHS professionals who may be active as project managers or members of project teams and anyone who may be interested in project management. The subject book has been adopted by the American National Standards Institute as U.S. national standard ANSI/PMI 99-001-2000|
Project management is an evolving craft. No stone tablets exist that prescribe procedures to be used now and for all time. Recognizing this fact, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has issued A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)–2000 Edition, an updated version of its comprehensive collection of generally accepted tools, techniques, and practices.
This new edition is neither a totally new view of the project management world, nor a bits-and-pieces revision of an existing text. It is a thoughtful next step taken under the guidance of experience and collective judgment of a broad range of practitioners. A brief preface describes what is new, giving readers an overview of value-added content and a roadmap for finding new information.
The book retains its original general format. Throughout, readers may notice small, subtle changes in graphics, fonts, and layout that clarify the presentation. It is available in soft cover, hard cover, and CD ROM, meeting the needs and interests of all potential users.
Risk management is the area of most significant expansion. This area was a bit thin in the 1996 edition, but no more. Chapter 11, “Project Risk Management,” was rewritten to include six newly defined processes—risk management planning, risk identification, qualitative risk analysis, quantitative risk analysis, risk response planning, and risk monitoring and control. The new approach brings risk management into its rightful place as a critical element of project success and provides readers with a practical methodology, not just general theory or good advice.
Another significant contribution of this edition is a matrix that maps the relationship among the nine project management knowledge areas, the five process groups, and the 39 project management processes. Most readers would do this anyway. The published matrix provides a direct, readily available resource for "the big picture" of project management.
Earned value management is recast using the newer, simpler terms of planned value, earned value, and actual costs versus the previous acronym soup of BCWS, BCWP, and ACWP. Earned value concepts are integrated into several knowledge areas, showing the connection of this powerful control tool across the life of the project.
Several knowledge areas include new tools, showing that the PMBOK® Guide itself is an example of progressive elaboration. This latest edition adds detail to areas that previously had been only generally described. Readers will find much more utility in this text, which describes not only what to do but also how to do it well.
Other improvements include more emphasis on customer focus, stronger linkage to organization strategy, and greater acknowledgement of the role of project offices. Sharp-eyed readers will also notice standardization of terms and correct PMBOK® Guide–2000 Edition is a must-have resource for anyone involved in project management. It provides enhanced knowledge for practitioners and will be a foundation for PMP certification testing beginning in 2002. Obtain a copy now, learn from it, and provide comments to PMI so that the next edition will be better still.