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Another Take on the PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition

At the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference in Philadelphia, PA last year, Cornelius Fichtner from The PM Podcast had the opportunity to attend two workshops which addressed the development of A Guide to The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) — Seventh Edition. Yes, you read that right! Seventh Edition.

The workshop was led by Cynthia Dionisio, Mike Griffiths, and Stephen Townsend. Cyndi and Mike are the co-leads for the new PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition and Stephen represents PMI. In addition to attending the workshop, Cornelius also got the opportunity to sit down with them and ask specifically what we can expect from the new guide. (His best guess is that it will be published sometime in 2021).

Click here to listen to the interview right now…

Points discussed are as follows:

  • The move from process-based to principles-based standards
  • What will happen to the domains and knowledge-areas
  • How the next guide will cover the entire delivery spectrum
  • Why it will be much shorter than the current edition
  • What each member of the team hopes that the seventh edition will be able to achieve

Thanks to Cornelius Fichtner for sharing this information and his podcast interview with the MPUG community.


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  1. For 35+ years now PMI has been publishing their PMBOK and PMBOK Guide and wouldn’t you agree that IF what PMI has advocated actually WORKED that in 35 years we should have seen some measurable improvements?

    So how much longer are we going to “do the same things over and over again and expect DIFFERENT results?”

    Project management has been an integral part of human evolution, starting with the same “trial and error” method used by our Neanderthal ancestors 300.000 years ago to tame fire and the same method used 6000 years ago to invent the wheel, and the same method given the name of the “Scientific Method” around the 12th Century and which for the past 900 or so years, has brought us hundreds of thousands of new products and services, including the telephone (Bell), the lightbulb (Edison) and penicillin (Fleming).

    Much of what we know today as “modern” project management evolved from the 16th Century Trade Guilds of England (Masons) and were refined and documented on the factory floors of 18th Century Industrial Revolution. This includes the origins of “Earned Value Management” as a “pay-for-performance” or “incentive payment” methodology still in use today in nearly all factories and in much of construction, where the PRICING and BILLING and PAYMENT is made based on a Unit in Place method. For PROOF of this, download Gillette and Dana’s 1909 book- “Cost Keeping and Management Engineering: A Treatise for Engineers, Contractors and Superintendents Engaged in the Management of Engineering Construction” https://books.google.co.id/books?redir_esc=y&id=zO-ADudj-R8C&focus

    So given we know that for 900 years the “Scientific Method” has proven itself to work, instead of having a bunch of Millenials and GenX try to create a PMBOK Guide based on PRINCIPALS, why not simply adopt the 5 ATTRIBUTES of the Scientific Method? https://sciencing.com/10-characteristics-science-experiment-8690894.html

    1) Empirical Observation
    The scientific method is empirical. That is, it relies on direct observation of the world, and disdains hypotheses that run counter to observable fact. This contrasts with methods that rely on pure reason (including that proposed by Plato) and with methods that rely on emotional or other subjective factors.

    2) Replicable Experiments
    Scientific experiments are replicable. That is, if another person duplicates the experiment, he or she will get the same results. Scientists are supposed to publish enough of their method so that another person, with appropriate training, could replicate the results. This contrasts with methods that rely on experiences that are unique to a particular individual or a small group of individuals.

    3) Provisional Results
    Results obtained through the scientific method are provisional; they are (or ought to be) open to question and debate. If new data arise that contradict a theory, that theory must be modified. For example, the phlogiston theory of fire and combustion was rejected when evidence against it arose.

    4) Objective Approach
    The scientific method is objective. It relies on facts and on the world as it is, rather than on beliefs, wishes or desires. Scientists attempt (with varying degrees of success) to remove their biases when making observations.

    5) Systematic Observation
    Strictly speaking, the scientific method is systematic; that is, it relies on carefully planned studies rather than on random or haphazard observation. Nevertheless, science can begin from some random observation. Isaac Asimov said that the most exciting phrase to hear in science is not “Eureka!” but “That’s funny.” After the scientist notices something funny, he or she proceeds to investigate it systematically.

    Another “tested and proven” approach that PMI, IPMA, APM/APMG have all IGNORED. Back around 1955, either Esso or Diamond Shamrock Oil published a fully integrated ASSET, PORTFOLIO, PROGRAM (Operations) and PROJECT management model that has proven so successful that today after 65+ years, it still remains in use by not only all the major International Oil companies but also has been adopted by nearly all INFRASTRUCTURE organizations for railroads, highways, water/wastewater treatment, electrical generation and distribution utilities, where it is the ASSETS that generate the value (usually in fhe form of cost savings or increased revenues) and the projects are nothing more than “a means to an end”- an ASSET DELIVERY SYSTEM designed to “create, acquire, expand, repair, maintain update and eventually dispose of ORGANIZATIONAL ASSETS.

    This fully integrated model. which dates back to Sun Tzu 2500 years ago, was first advocated for use in Project Management in the writings of R. Max Wideman circa 1985 and which PMI managed to lose somewhere between the 1987 PMBOK and the 1996 PMBOK Guide. Currently, the only two professional societies that have adopted this fully integrated asset-centric approach are the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACEI) with their Total Cost Management Framework (TCMF) https://web.aacei.org/resources/tcm and the Guild of Project Controls with their “Compendium of Best Tested and PROVEN” practices http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/GPCCAR-modules. OR if you want 1300+ pages of an updated version of the Guild’s Compendium that includes 700+ images, graphs, charts and photos showing you HOW TO APPLY THESE TOOLS & TECHNIQUES plus 200+ Word and Excel Templates that are in actual use on a day to day basis by organizations such as NASA, National Park Service, you can go HERE and peruse our compilation AT NO COST and you are FREE TO USE this compiled IP under Creative Commons License SA BY. Compare that policy to the policy of PMI or AACE. To access this document, start HERE with Unit 1 of 14- https://build-project-management-competency.com/1-4-1-1-unit-1/

    To learn more about our recommendations to:
    1) Adopt the Scientific Method as the basis for any changes/improvements to project management
    2) INTEGRATE ISO 55000 (Asset Management) with ISO 21500 (Project Management) into a single Asset Centric Delivery System

    Here are several articles we have published on the subject:

    We invite you to join our efforts to COMPILE and PUBLISH “best tested and PROVEN” practices and offer them AT NO COST to anyone and everyone under CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE SA BY.

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