Are you a holder of the CAPM®, PMP®, or other certifications and still have some uncertainties about how to manage projects effectively? You are not alone! Many studies (Standish Group CHAOS Report, Independent Projects Analysis, Oxford Universities …) show that most projects still fail or are challenged. Despite the fact that IPMA, PMI, and other associations existed for about 50 years we still generate a high level of failed projects.
PMBOK is NOT a project management methodology
We also know that in today’s environment, PMI is the largest and most recognized professional association and its PMP® is the most popular project management certification today. Yet, many do not realize that the PMBOK® Guide is not enough to manage projects effectively.
The PMBOK is a Framework and not a Project Management Methodology, although many think it is a methodology. The above view is not a SUKAD opinion, it is from the PMBOK and here are some direct quotations:
- “The PMBOK® Guide identifies that subset of the project management body of knowledge”, PMBOK Guide, 5th Edition, Chapter 1, page 2
- ” … this standard is a guide rather than a specific methodology. One can use different methodologies and tools (e.g., agile, waterfall, PRINCE2) to implement the project management framework.” Same source and page
PMBOK is REAL WORLD
It is clear the PMBOK is not a methodology and is not a complete body of knowledge, does that it make it not good, or what some claims that it is “not real world”? Absolutely Not!
The PMBOK is a good standard and quite valuable but like any standard it has gaps, inconsistencies, or even errors. The PMBOK is from the real world! As a project management practitioner, I have used every single process from the PMBOK in my projects over a 30 years career; even before the PMBOK existed as a standard.
Then what is the problem?
There is no problem if we see the big picture.
In most cultures, a healthy meal consists of different ingredients and dishes. We need to balance our food to get the necessary nutrients from various sources. The same thing applies in project management.
- PMI offers us the PMBOK with a focus on processes,
- PRINCE2 is a method,
- IPMA offers us ICB with a focus on competence,
In other words, we need a balanced approach.
We in SUKAD realize that most practitioners will not go around to study every standard on project management. Therefore, we developed our SUKAD Way™ approach for managing organizational projects where we emphasis the need to balance the various approaches; or at least use a simplified version of what exists.
This model, have seven elements, four in the core and three touching on all core elements. Part of that approach, there are two core elements that integrates tightly. These are “Method” and “Processes and Functions”. The knowledge foundation for Processes and Functions is the PMBOK Guide! In other words, the PMBOK is a core element but it is not alone.
Project Management Method
The other core element, Method, is a reference to a project management methodology. Practitioners can use any methodology that is a better fit for their environment, such as PRINCE2 or internally developed.
On the other hand, if an organization has not developed an internal method, SUKAD has developed a methodological approach that align well (and integrate) with the PMBOK, which we call The Customizable and Adaptable Methodology for Managing Projects™ (CAM2P™). We developed this methodological approach about 6 years ago to supplement the PMBOK. In a way, we wanted it to be the PMBOK Method! Our methodology is a project life cycle driven approach (project life cycle ≠ process groups) where the process groups, knowledge areas, and project stages interact to help the practitioner enhance the chance of success on their projects.
The following image shows the interactions of as project life span with the PMBOK.
The following image is a bit more complex but it shows the same thing as the previous one but in a different graphical approach. We will soon develop a video explaining the whole thing!
If you want a healthy life, you cannot eat one type of food only, you need to balance your diet to get the necessary nutrients.
In project management, we need a balance and healthy approach. We cannot understand how some providers and even PMI chapters market the PMBOK as the Best Practices or Methodology or a complete guide whereas the volunteers who developed it and PMI itself are telling us this is a “SUBSET of the project management body of knowledge” and “is not a methodology”.
Use the PMBOK processes (or ISO 21500 for that matter), which are valuable, but supplement them with a methodological approach.
More in the future …