5th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Final Milestone Achieved!

This  year I decided on a major project to go through the 5th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide and it has taken me an entire year’s worth of posts to go through the entire 616-page document according to the following plan:

  • first, I went through the PMBOK® Guide at a macro level, discussing each of the 13 chapters covering general project management topics and then the 10 knowledge areas
  • second, I went through the PMBOK® Guide at a more detailed level covering each of the 47 project management processes spread across the 10 knowledge areas and 5 process groups, and
  • finally, I went through at the micro level by covering each and every single one of the 614 inputs and outputs, tools & techniques belonging to the project management processes.

Yesterday, I completed the last of the cataloging of the inputs and outputs for the last knowledge area of Stakeholder Management.

1.   5 Benefits from the Project

I think this project has been worthwhile from several standpoints, 5 of which I list below:

  1. It has increased my awareness of the different knowledge areas and process groups, especially the ones that seem to intersect even more frequently with a lot of the other knowledge areas (like Integration and Risk).
  2. It has cemented my understanding of the contents of the processes–why are they there, and why are they in the order that they are in?
  3. It has helped my understanding of the ecology of the processes, or how they fit together–by charting all of the ITTOS (inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs) I now have a better understanding of how the processes fit together.    Normally, the processes fit both horizontally across the process groups and vertically within the knowledge areas, but every once and a while there is an output that leaps across the matrix to another process, like change requests that get generated by several monitoring & controlling processes that then get sent over to process 4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control.   These exceptional pathways between processes are important to note, because they always occur with processes that are crucial to project management success.
  4. It has allowed me to understand the PMP exam questions more quickly and more thoroughly.   The simple PMP questions are those which ask you to memorize, the medium level ask you not only to memorize, but to interpret, and the hard level of questions ask you not just to memorize and interpret, but also to analyze a situation that might occur on a typical project in light of that knowledge.    On an PMP exam, your main constraint is TIME, and the faster you can process the easy and medium questions, the more time you will have to spend on the hard questions that ask you to analyze situations.
  5. By essentially turning me from a project management novice when I began this blog in April 2012, the year and a half focus on project management, and in particular on the new 5th Edition PMBOK® Guide, has given me the confidence to market myself as a subject matter expert on the material in the PMBOK® Guide.   That has led directly to a job I am doing now for a company that supplies knowledge tests to companies who are screening applicants, including tests on an applicant’s knowledge of the material in the PMBOK® Guide.   I can take a proposed question and analyze the proposed answers not just for their correctness, but for any potential ambiguity that may cause a test taker to choose the incorrect answer.   I used my blog as part of my “intellectual collateral”, if you will, in order to get the job.

2.   An Unexpected Benefit–Reader Comments

Of course, there are other things I have learned in the course of writing the blog and going through the questions and/or comments from readers.   With now over 100,000 hits from people in over 170 countries around the world, I have been impressed with how universal the language of project management is!     I also am humbled by those who took the time out to notify me of mistakes I made here and there.   Because I spend an hour or more EVERY DAY preparing often very lengthy blog posts, I don’t really have the time to go over the more than 600 posts that I have accumulated in the past year and a half.    But because of readers that are willing to help point out those mistakes, the quality of my blog has increased!

3.  Getting Back to Basics

The most gratifying comments are those from people who say that it has either helped them understand a particular topic they had trouble understanding, or that it has helped them prepare for the PMP exam.    The reason why I undertook this blog in the first place was because I was heading up a study group for the PMP exam when I took the PMP/CAPM exam prep class put on by PMI-OC (Orange County).    Because not everybody could make it to the study group, I put out study notes so that those who missed that week’s study group session could catch up to what we covered.    I did it so that I could understand the material myself, but also so that others who are approaching the material for the first time could understand it as well.

4.   Next Project

My next project is to go through the textbook Project Planning, Scheduling & Control (5th ed.), by James P. Lewis, Ph.D.    By writing about it so that others can understand the material, I am further embedding the material in my own understanding.

So after a few days of posting about a couple of webinars I attended this morning, I will start covering my next project!


2 Responses

  1. Thank you for your efforts. It help me a lot learning and understanding pmbok. I never found any blogs like yours on internet.

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