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  #1  
Old 09-06-2005, 03:41 PM
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Is the PMBOK approach the best methodology for all types of projects?

Or are project managers just not adept at adapting it properly in certain industries?

I don't think it lends itself well to industries where the scope of work is not determinate (or conditional on execution milestones). What is your opinion?
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2005, 02:51 AM
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Pmbok is a framework

I think you need to treat pmbok as a framework. It is a checklist of things you need to consider but not necessarily include in every project. For example, procurement management may be irrelevant in some projects. For small, short term projects, risk quantification may be quite a minor activity undertaken by two or three people in an hour. In big projects, communication management may blow out into a comprehensive change management sub-project.

Of course you then get into the discussion of when a series of activities becomes a project. Depending on the industry and organisation, I guess it is somewhere between a month and 3 months work before it can be considered a project.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:06 AM
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Hi PP.com.au, welcome to the forum!

Yes, you are correct, the PMBOK is just a framework. The actual project methodology depends upon an organization's project maturity and specifications.

However, and perhaps this is just an indication of the media reporting only the negatives, in cases where it is applied to projects entailing creative processes, such as design work and IT/software development, projects appear to fail (overrun time and budget - not necessarily fail to deliver) more often than not.
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Old 09-13-2005, 03:31 PM
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I also agree that PMBOK represents many great ideas and best practices, as a framework for PM activities. Still, projects won't get done without great leadership, teamwork, communications, and all the other essential factors.
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Old 09-18-2005, 10:17 AM
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PMBOK is not a methodology

PMBOK stands for "Project Management Body of Knowledge," a term that refers to the sum total of all project management knowledge. The Guide to the PMBOK, published and updated regularly by the PMI, identifies a subset of the PMBOK that is considered to be generally accepted knowledge within the profession.

Neither the PMBOK nor the Guide to the PMBOK is a project management methodology. (Although, by definition, all project management methodologies are a part of the PMBOK, so it is simultaneously the right and wrong approach for all types of projects.) Blaming the PMBOK for the failure of certain types of projects is like blaming the library at the London School of Economics for the widening gap between rich and poor nations.

As professionals in the field, we need to help people understand a few things:
  1. What the PMBOK is and what it is not (likewise, Projects, Project Managers , PM Methodologies and a long list of other terms).
  2. There are no magic beans. Proper application of appropriate project management tools and techniques improves the chance of success; it does not guarantee it nor does it make up for poor fundementals (impossible goals, unrealistic timeframs and/or a lack of needed resources).
  3. That nifty diagram with all the blue lines that is produced by Microsoft Project (or other similar apps) is NOT a Project Plan. (I guess this should be on that list I mentioned above!)
  4. The tools and techniques of project management are holistic. They should be applied before the project begins and after it ends. You don't "start" a successful project at the kickoff meeting any more than you start a successful marriage at the wedding.

I accept the fact that some projects will fail despite the fact that the team did all the right things. That's no excuse for poor performance but it is a fact that makes this an exciting, challenging line of work.
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2005, 07:42 PM
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Hi Don, welcome to the forums!

Quote from DonWynes :
Neither the PMBOK nor the Guide to the PMBOK is a project management methodology. (Although, by definition, all project management methodologies are a part of the PMBOK, so it is simultaneously the right and wrong approach for all types of projects.)
This is the part that I'm not so sure about. There seem to be a lot of methodologies (Lean, Agile, etc.) springing up that focus on collaboration and team dynamics while downplaying estimating, scheduling, earned value, etc. (as far as I can tell - I haven't studied all of them in depth). Are all these new methodologies really incorporated into the PMBOK?

Quote from DonWynes :
Blaming the PMBOK for the failure of certain types of projects is like blaming the library at the London School of Economics for the widening gap between rich and poor nations.
Lol. I guess I worded that poorly (and/or made some bad assumptions).
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  #7  
Old 10-03-2005, 06:04 PM
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Quote from DonWynes :
You don't "start" a successful project at the kickoff meeting any more than you start a successful marriage at the wedding.
Isn't the kickoff the meeting where everyone has to draw straws to see who has to be PM this time?
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  #8  
Old 10-03-2005, 08:00 PM
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Not exactly...

Quote from Mark V. Smith :
Isn't the kickoff the meeting where everyone has to draw straws to see who has to be PM this time?
You're thinking of the Lessons Learned session
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2005, 08:31 PM
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Exclamation

Quote from DonWynes :
You're thinking of the Lessons Learned session
Out here on the West coast, the Lessons Learned session is where we draw straws for the office equipment of the former employee who drew the short straw at the kickoff. Its often your best chance to pick up a keyboard to go with that T.V. thingy that sits on your desk.
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  #10  
Old 10-14-2005, 04:29 PM
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As Don W. posted (lots of value there!), the PMBOK is not methodology.

PMBOK is a storehouse of knowledge, not containing the thinker. I am the thinker.

No "approach" is the best _?_ for all types of _?_. PMgmt and projects vary as much as the persons who operate within them; wether the scope is determinate or conditional.

Even in PM one must be open to new possibilities, not stuck in a framework of past "tried and tested" methods. Think before you leap.

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Last edited by mattbowen; 10-14-2005 at 04:38 PM.
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