What’s in PMBOK 5?

PMBOK 4

PMBOK 4th edition

PMBOK 5

PMBOK 5th edition

Though I know people are hard at work, deciding what will go into the Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) 5th edition, I can’t help but add my 2 cents.

We’re all armchair quarterbacks at one time or another so I’m rationalizing this post.

What is one of the biggest gaps in the current edition of the PMBOK, in my opinion?  It’s the complete omission of (management) models or approaches.  Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Spiral, Waterfall, and RUP should be defined in the PMBOK.  It would be really nice if the PMBOK added an entire section dedicated to this, complete with diagrams and workflows.  I think there is a problem, if you find yourself sending people to Wikipedia to find a list of the different software development processes.  I completely understand there is more to the world of project management than just software development. But, I’m trying to make a point and provide an available resource for this post.

I’ve had people use the PMBOK as the excuse not to use Agile, saying it wan’t explicitly listed.  I pointed out that neither was Waterfall.  I wrote a post titled “Agile is in the PMBOK so it must be true” to make a point.  If PMI wants the PMBOK to be used as the de facto standard for over 400,000 PMPs, they need to take a more iterative approach in releasing editions.

If anyone at PMI is listening, I would be more than happy to help.

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About Derek Huether

I'm an Enterprise Agile Coach at LeadingAgile. I have a goal to take the hand waving out of Agile, Kanban, & Scrum. I’m a strange combination of a little OCD, a little ADHD, a lot of grit, and a lot of drive. I come from a traditional PM background but I don't give points for stuff done behind the scenes. The only thing that counts is what you get done and delivered. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon)