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What is PMBOK?

By CCIWA Editor 

PMBOK stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge. It is a project management framework as opposed to methodology. 

Compared with methodologies, frameworks are more suggestive and directive in nature and provide the project manager with suggested ways, tools, techniques and processes of project management.   

Methodologies (such as Prince2) are more prescriptive. The methodologies say do this, then this and this.  

The industry and the type of project you’re managing will determine whether you use a framework like PMBOK, which gives you more flexibility in project management, or whether you need a stricter methodology.  

For example, if you’re in the government sector, there are very strict audits and controls and if you lean more toward a methodology there’s less room for error.  

PMBOK is structured into segments so there’s whole sections on costings, on schedule and time, and lots of information about resources and stakeholder management.  

Kellie Dobbie, director of renovation company Transformations Australia, says that the decision to employ a framework like PMBOK rather than a methodology may be dependent on factors including organisational size, the number of projects undertaken at any one time and the cost of implementation.  

“For a small company like ours, we’ve been able to employ a fairly simple structure with processes that can be easily implemented and communicated to clients throughout the course of a renovation process.  

I know several smaller business owners who have developed their own structures to fit their company and client base. In this instance a methodology may not be required but a structure like PMBOK may provide a starting place to work from. 

As a starting point for information, you could contact the WA chapter of the Project Management Institute 

PMBOK stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge. It is a project management framework as opposed to methodology. 

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