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versión On-line ISSN 2588-0969versión impresa ISSN 1390-5473

Podium  no.34 Samborondón jun./nov. 2018 


A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK GUIDE).

Guía de los Fundamentos para la Dirección de Proyectos (Guía PMBOK)”

Edward B. Farkas1 

1 Master of Science - Columbia State University, Managing Director- Atlantic Professional Consultants, LLC. Author of the books: “Managing Web Projects” and “The Internet Project Manager: Practitioner’s Desk Reference”. Email:


If you are a project, program or portfolio management professional this is a “must have” book. It includes the ANSI/PMI 99-001-2017 Standard for Project Management and provides a context for virtually every other Standard and Practice Guide. Documenting context, in the business world is vital. Clients for example, may view the exercise of certain Practice Standards in isolation, such as the one for Risk Management. The Sixth Edition explicitly details, how risk management is integrally related to multiple other Practice Standards such as Scheduling and Estimating. This book, therefore, can provide useful information to facilitate constructive discussions or negotiations with clients.

Government entities at local and national levels in North America are increasingly requiring, within their contracts, compliance with these Standards and Practices to enhance quality assurance and control. Increasingly auditing firms are seeing this trend in non-profits and higher education where trust funds are in billions of dollars and donors demand quality project management.

Due to academic research, advances in technology as well as feedback and experience from practitioners’ tools, techniques, Practice Standards and Guides continue to evolve and be debated. A good example is the work of academic and practitioner Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt who developed the Critical Chain scheduling method, incorporated into the corresponding Practice Standard formerly in the Fifth Edition but excluded from the current version. The Sixth Edition contains updates so that that the Standard for Project Management is coherent with changes to the multiple project management Practice Standards, Guides and terminology. Importantly it is similarly aligned with ISO 21500. The book, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Sixth Edition, explains the knowledge areas from a process perspective. It begins with the inputs, goes into tools and techniques and follows with outputs.

The reader, particularly students and young professionals, ought to know what the book is not: It is not a methodology. A methodology in lay terms is “how” the project is managed. More specifically it is the workflow represented as the tools, techniques, practices, processes and procedures employed within each phase of the project. ISO Standards are not methodologies nor are any Project Management Institute or combination of their Standards. A methodology may, on the other hand, base tools, techniques, processes or procedures on one or more Standards. The book includes the ANSI/PMI 99-001-2017 Standard for Project Management but is not, in its entirety a Practice Standard. The section that is a Standard is explicitly noted. The contents of the Guide may, nevertheless, provide reference points or supportive elements for methods, frameworks or methodologies. Currently multiple industries, ranging from construction to information technology employ a number of these frameworks and methodologies such as Waterfall (analogous to Design-Build-Test in construction) or Agile.

It is key to note the term Guide in the title. The book is called A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. The Body of Knowledge is as ever expanding as the internet. It includes books, white papers, articles and will continue to grow as the profession develops. For this reason, the Project Management Institute as well as Universities offering degrees in Project Management clarify that the study of this book, while highly recommended, is only part of what will be required to pass the certification examination.

Clearly the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Sixth Edition demonstrates the maturity of the profession and the importance of logical and coherent processes with associated tools and techniques. This inherently empowers the project management professional whilst concurrently optimizing executive decision making. The Guide implies a degree of repeatability and management discipline that can foster productive behaviors and organizational tools.

This book should be in the library of practitioners who seek a general reference book and clients who want to better understand how their projects should be managed. (Farkas E, 2018)


Farkas, E. B. (2018). Reseña de la “Guía de los Fundamentos para la Dirección de Proyectos (Guía PMBOK)”. Podium, 34, 85-88. doi:10.31095/podium.2018.34.6 [ Links ]

Received: September 17, 2018; Accepted: October 19, 2018

Creative Commons License This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License