Project Management Guide
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What Is PMBOK in Project Management?

PMBOK stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge, and it is the entire collection of processes, best practices, terminologies, and guidelines that are accepted as standard within the project management industry. PMBOK is considered valuable for companies as it helps them standardize practices across various departments, tailor processes to suit specific needs, and prevent project failures. 

Because the body of knowledge is constantly growing as practitioners discover new methods or best practices, it must be regularly updated and disseminated. This is an effort that is overseen by the Project Management Institute (PMI), a global not-for-profit member association of project management professionals. You can find a more in-depth discussion on PMBOK in Wrike’s Project Management Guide.


What is the PMBOK methodology?

PMBOK is technically not a methodology but rather an industry framework that incorporates best practices in project management. It is often associated with the waterfall methodology, which aligns project stages in a sequential approach, but it is also compatible with newer methodologies such as Agile. The PMI does not advocate for any particular methodology as the processes of PMBOK can be tailored to suit a variety of project management situations — managers select what they need for their respective companies, teams, and projects.

What is the history of PMBOK?

The origins of PMBOK date back to 1969, when the PMI was founded with the aim of providing a forum for professionals to share information and discuss problems encountered in the project management field.

In 1984, the organization issued its first certification: the Project Management Professional (PMP). Forbes has described the PMP exam as “a crucial tool for prospective project managers to test and showcase their ability to perform their duties.” A PMBOK whitepaper was published in 1987, and an exposure draft of the PMBOK Guide followed in 1994.

What is the PMBOK Guide?

The PMBOK Guide is an instructional book that includes foundational standards, guidelines, and terminology to help industry professionals manage multiple projects. It breaks project management processes down into five PMBOK process groups, which can be incorporated into your choice of project methodology. The first edition of “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)” was published by the PMI in 1996. It is now on its sixth edition, published in 2017, and is available in 12 languages.

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