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November 05, 2010


The PMBOK needs fewer lists and more context. It's amazing to me how some of the statements can seem so overcrafted and precise yet they are actually quite vague—it's hard to pin down exactly what the sentence is saying. It's like the authors are so afraid that an example won't be exactly relevant to everyone so they avoid examples at all costs. I think your idea of a wiki, or at least a hypertext version that offers more information about specific concepts or examples of sound implementations of concepts would be very useful!

Let me be the devil's advocate. Is the PMBOK still relevant, other than as an examination study guide?

Given the variety of opportunities we all have to learn of project practices and methods through blogs, webinars, other study guides, and our own networks ('social' or 'traditional'), one could ask - Why would a project manager pick up the PMBOK?

Aside from its power as an international standard (which is debatable), if it's only updated every 3-4 years, and does not contain specific examples or application to particular fields, it's an uphill battle to make it a daily reference tool for legions of project managers globally.

I hazard a guess that by 2012 the Communities of Practice online at PMI will have gained a lot of traction, and will be looked to as a main source of best practices and recommendations from a broad swatch of practicing professionals.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. Given the PMBOK Guide is the basis for the CAPM and PMP exams I think it will always have a prominent place in PM market, but like you say could well get supplanted to some extent by online resources. The quicker updating possible for online resources would be good for keeping things fresh but might be a problem for people studying for their exam!



I think your analysis of PMBOK is extremly accurate - my personal copy of the PMBOK has been sitting on the shelf for two years now, which is when I did my PMP.
I'd like to see the PMBOK move into a "head first-like" learning experience as it would boost the usability of the book.


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