Overview of the PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition – Lesson 1 Transcription

Please find below a transcription of the audio portion of Jeff Bongiovani’s webinar, Overview of the PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition – Lesson 1, being provided by MPUG for the convenience of our members. You may wish to use this transcript for the purposes of self-paced learning, searching for specific information, and/or performing a quick review of webinar content. There may be exclusions, such as those steps included in product demonstrations. You may watch the recording of this webinar at your convenience.

Melanie: Hello, welcome. Melanie, here with team MPUG. Today, we are doing the overview of the PMBOK Guide 7th Edition with Jeff Bongiovani. We invite you to join in with questions and comments by using the chat feature in the GoToWebinar control panel.

I have it up on the screen here. You can pull it out from the control panel and expand it so it’s easier to type in there. We will automatically add that into your MPUG transcript today since you’re attending live.

If you are watching this on-demand, please make sure you hit the submit button after you watch the session. Now, I’d like to introduce our expert, Jeff Bongiovani. I’m going to keep saying that name, Jeff.

Jeff: Thank you.

Melanie: Jeff is currently the Lead Course Developer for Edwards Performance Solutions, as such he oversees the production and maintenance of courses on project management, systems engineering, software development, business process improvement, and cybersecurity.

Jeff is also a trainer with over 20,000 hours of classroom experience spanning 17 years. Jeff, thank you for bringing your experience to MPUG, a big welcome. Let’s hand the presentation over to you.

Jeff: Thank you so much. Let me go ahead and find my screen again. There we are. [crosstalk 00:01:41] Well, a very good afternoon to everyone, and welcome to an overview of the PMBOK Guide 7th Edition. Today, for the most part, it’s the first of three major sessions. And of course, as we get a little bit further in I’ll outline exactly what the sessions 2 and 3 will entail if you haven’t read up so far.

But today, I’m primarily speaking on two topics. Number one, a general understanding of the PMBOK Guide legacy and its transformation through this most recent edition. Secondly, the core theme of the PMBOK Guide 7th Edition, which is a system of value or a system for value delivery, which we’ll find is really the root cause of a lot of the transformations and changes made in the most recent addition.

Now, I realize and recognize a lot of us, perhaps, all of us are PMP certified or aspiring to be or at least have worked in some capacity as a project manager or program manager and having knowledge of, or systems that perhaps are in place that are rooted in PMI’s theory as they had put forth throughout the legacy of the PMBOK Guide.

So with that, let me go ahead and just say our first portion being the overview of the PMBOK Guide 7th Edition, what I wanted to talk to you about here is really the evolution, the legacy, and exactly what is PMI valuing now? What are they putting front and center?

So for those of you who may not be familiar when I say PMBOK Guide the project management body of knowledge, that’s how that nice little acronym breaks down. The legacy up to this point, since 1987 the standard for project management has really represented a process-based standard.

And the standard for project management included in the PMBOK Guide aligned the project management discipline function around a collection of business processes.

The concept is really that the guide to project management body of knowledge typically entailed a breakdown of different aspects or concepts found within leading projects, for example, requirements management, planning, controlling the plan, conducting procurements, et cetera.

On the other hand really advised on the inputs, the tools, and techniques, outputs for each of those processes and more or less describe practices and artifacts used within each one of those processes.

Now, the standard for project management, on the other hand, it would have been typically process-focused. A step-by-step through those aspects that were described in the guide, the knowledge areas, and concentrating on the project life-cycle from beginning to end.

And what really is not visualized here, on that particular diagram over on the right-hand side, is the fact that there are other things that were presented within the 6th edition portion and we’ll see for the most part like this introduction, the project environment role of the project manager, and some of the aspects that you would find within the knowledge areas, as they’re spelled out, are actually what are more pronounced in the 7th edition.

So what I was just talking about as far as the introduction and in the other factors at the very beginning, really they presented the concepts, number one, of enterprise environmental factors, which is very important.

The considerations, the ideas behind internal or external. What could have an impact on how projects are conducted within any organization, as well as those factors that could influence the projects outcome. Like for examples, infrastructure, organizational culture structure, governance, resource availability, marketplace conditions, et cetera.

In essence, though, the complete PMBOK Guide was really designed to draw what could be considered a general line through scattered dots, and if you consider it that way, the EEFs, as we could call them, could be viewed as either the organizational limitations to completing that line or just how warped that line would have to be from the baseline presented in the PMBOK Guide.

As you got through to that final section, let me go back for a second, to the standard for project management. The initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, as well as closing that we would typically call process groups within, which the advised knowledge areas are practiced really was kind of like, “Okay, here’s where you start. Here’s what comes next. Here’s what’s after that.”

And they laid out 49 in version 6th. 49 processes that you could follow. That kind of got the work done and in so doing you said, “Okay, so we could walk this walk and get a 100%.” Well, that may not be 100% true. And looking at those environmental factors, as well as other concepts that were put forth, like tailoring, and other considerations, and nuances that that line would bend or shape or just be useless.

Nonetheless, another section described the structure and maturity level of the organization, primarily the framework of organizational process assets or OPAs, as well as organizational systems and how they influence projects.

For the most part, maturity, when I say that level of maturity, it means how strict and standardized configuration management, data governance, documentation process is practiced within the organization.

A structure, on the other hand, examined a spectrum of siloed and functional to matrix to projectized. And due to the nature of the work, the needs of the organization, the overall structure could change to enable a variable solution-focused design or, in other words, taking on a variety of nuanced work may necessitate talent and leadership from an assortment of functional resources.

Edwards Performance Solutions, my employer, we’re a matrix-based organization. So when we come across a brand new contract, something like that, we may be pulling from several different teams depending on whatever that solution happens to be.

Fundamentally, one could walk away with the interpretation that the guide was suggesting the overall vision, direction organizational leadership takes should require an investment of mobilizing, even agilifying the organizational maturity and structure to help the synergy from the top to the bottom.

And last but not least, really, there was an entire section that was devoted to the role of a project manager. And this you may know is the origin of that talent triangle. So when you’re collecting your PDUs and I was like, “Oh, is it strategic? Is it leadership? Is it technical?” This is where they outline those concepts. According to the guide, a project manager is more than just a fancy job title.

It’s a persona that embodied an emotional intelligence, problem-solving, strength in crisis, number crunching, and perhaps, being a number-crunching genius, as well as a software expert or at least someone that could command a team of both the hardheaded know-it-alls and entitled nerds.

But nonetheless, either which way, the emphasis was on leadership and adapting the team, process, and focus to the situation in order to produce the most successful outcome. So with that said, that really brings us to the 7th edition, but before we dive into some of the details it’s like, “So what are you doing PMI?”

Some of you with advanced knowledge across the multitude of attendees here today and those of you watching this, you may already know, you may have already read through it, beginning to end, or at least you’ve heard some things. But before we look at those changes or nuances let me just say, briefly describe the transformation PMI took between 2019 and now.

An irony that I overheard quite often were the two quotes coming from the same person, quote-unquote, “A PMP certification shows you are able to pass the test, once you start managing projects then you truly learn what project managing is. And second to that, quote-unquote, “PMI has a good thing going with the 6th edition, I don’t know why they had to go and change it.”

So seems to be a little bit of conflict there, but in essence, yeah, the 6th edition prescribed a process anyone could follow, but only a few would find success in because it couldn’t begin to capture and formulate every industry, every product, every stakeholder, every organizational limitation.

You’re not going to find that from a body of knowledge. But it was at least a place to start. But, honestly, PMI wanted something bigger in a world where, as one of my colleagues had put it, “Project management had become ubiquitous.” It’s everywhere. And PMPs we’re a certificate of attendance. This wasn’t to undermine the significance of a PMP certification, but to show that it’s becoming so very commonplace that the bar seemed lower than it should.

And so PMI said, “Okay, let’s build bigger where the 6th edition could, perhaps, be one solution drawn from the 7th edition’s guidance, but not necessarily the only, and that’s why I drew, there’s a little Venn diagram there. So we’re thinking the 6th edition does, it fits in and within the 7th edition, but it isn’t necessarily something that’s pronounced, that’s explicitly stated in the 7th edition.

But here’s the good news. Here’s the really good news. PMI hasn’t let go of the past and nothing in the 7th edition of the standard project management or guide to project management body of knowledge negates alignment with the process-based approach of past editions, and many organizations practitioners will continue to find that approach is useful for guiding their project management capabilities.

You’d still use that information. There’s nothing lost. If it works that’s what they’re going for. But in the search for what works, what actually works, and will work they wanted to dig a little bit deeper and think a little bit grander.

So with that said, I had shown you that graphic for the 6th edition how it’s broken down and this is the one for the 7th edition. And first and foremost, they’ve flipped it. I’ll show you on the next slide really a comparison between the two.

But the primary focus, beyond the introduction, is the system for value delivery and that’s really the second part of today’s session. The 12 project management principles that they put forth. Now, note here the standard for project management in the 6th edition was quite different.

Instead of being this guide through from initiation to closing, they’re concentrating on stewardship, teams, stakeholders, value, systems thinking, leadership, tailoring quality, complexity, risk, adaptability, and resiliency, as well as change.

This will be our focus for the second session and really what are they trying to get at here. And then the second portion, of course, the project management body of knowledge, which did have our 10 knowledge areas, they’ve transformed or at least exchanged into eight project performance domains.

It also explores tailoring and prescribes models, methods, as well as artifacts. So if you go looking like, “Where’s my risk register? Oh my goodness, where’s my requirements traceability matrix? Where did it go?” Those are not forgotten, certainly not forgotten at all. So let’s take a look. Let’s just look at a comparison.

And as you’re looking at the comparison here just kind of reading through, if I haven’t read so far, what was fascinating was, and the origins for Edwards approaching this topic was the fact that I thought, and for the longest time we teach PMP certification courses or we’ve made the change to the authorized training provider or I think that’s training partner through PMI.

So we have the official curriculum, but we still teach courses on project management fundamentals. And I said, “Look, a lot of these fundamentals courses are still surrounded around the 6th edition, the core of the theory, which is not a problem, but we also would need to start teaching in terms of the 7th edition. What if the 7th edition had been the first?”

So it was really quite a chore because you can’t necessarily approach the topic in the same exact way. You see how radically different it is. You had it very nice, neat, organized, sectioned off, bracketed, coded and it’s like, what is that? That’s [inaudible 00:16:15] 4.1.2, that sort of thing within the knowledge areas of integration, scope, schedules, so forth, and so on.

And those names they’re not lost. The knowledge areas are not lost but necessarily reorganized. You can see over on the right-hand side it’s like, okay, well, stakeholders they’re talking about that, they’re talking about team.

I don’t really see team over here. I see resources, but where’s team? So that sort of thing they did exchange it. And you could see the obvious move from the standard instead of walking through from initiating planning those process groups you could definitely see that they’ve reorganized it in terms of the principles.

Now in the grander context, the PMBOK Guide is not alone. It’s not the only thing that PMI publishes. In fact, if you are a PMI-paying member you have access to more than just the PMBOK Guide. You have, there are other publications. You could see here. I put this up here to say from their foundational standards, their practice standards, and framework, as well as their practice guides.

You’ll see the names that still and documentation that still aligns with the 6th edition and I don’t think they’re planning to change any of that.

You got to figure creating a work breakdown structure has not changed. Estimating has not changed. That is a science, and it’s not necessarily that PMI owns it. It was something that’s been developed and worked on beyond just the scope of that theory.

Some of these, for example, navigating complexity is not something that needed to be tied within the guide. That’s one of the practice guides that’s placed over here. And a lot of the concepts that are put forth say, for example, like the governance of portfolios, programs, and projects. Governance itself has not necessarily changed, just only the extent of the considerations of what you are governing and how you’re going about governing, in some ways.

So what PMI said, and one of their concepts that I’ll put forth in a future slide, is really that we can’t continue to keep up this focus on a process-oriented guide. We have to go to something that allows for better adaptation.

Part of that is that they also now have a publication center where it’s called PMI standards, and so what they’re doing is publishing articles and things like that. They did some of this before, but it’s more guides on the fly. Like, what are some innovations? What are some new ways to do this?

So they certainly are looking at expanding that library from the 7th edition being very high-level to these foundational standards, practice standards, framework practice guides as being like the middle tier. Like, “Okay, now you want to hone in and really practice this. Here’s how you get it done,” to “Here’s something that’s brand new and cutting edge or a change or something like that. Here’s how you discuss with, let’s say, an agency that you’re consulting how to move to safe, agile,” or something like that.

So what it comes down to is the concept, the need for adaptations. The business processes in the 6th edition, the enabled, consistent and predictable practices that could be documented, and you could assess your performance and improvements in optimizing that process could be performed.

Now, while it was effective in supporting good practice process-based standards are prescriptive and they necessarily took a reexamination. They said, “Well, maybe this X, Y, Z, A-to-B isn’t necessarily the best way to go.”

Many of you who may have purchased or downloaded the 6th edition got a handy little add-on at the very end saying, “Oh, here’s how it should be for waterfall and maybe for some other things, but, by the way, here’s this agile guide at the very end,” and you’re thinking, “Oh my goodness, okay, so how do they fit the two together?” Like, “What are we doing?”

So for the most part there was already a hint when that 6th edition was published that they were saying, “You know what, here’s what we think it is, but here’s some more that it might be.” So this process to principles. And I thought a lot about it and it’s interesting just to kind of give you a short aside.

And you think about optimization there’s a lot of investment. There’s a lot of time and energy. There’s a cost to optimization. All of this documentation. All of what we write our lessons learned log, our risk registers, our debriefing after a project, and basically this compendium of knowledge that comes out of conducting a project, whether good or bad.

I recently, I know I’m late to the game, but I recently came across that Elon Musk quote, where he says, “The most common mistake that brilliant engineers make is to optimize something that shouldn’t exist.”

Are we really optimizing the wrong thing? I mean, it’s like, “Hey, you know what? Let’s improve upon this one particular process that isn’t necessarily”… Why? We’re not selling anything. We’re not producing anything through that. Why are we throwing dollars at it?

The one thing, look, I’m a nerd by trade. Look, I love YouTube and I watch a lot of YouTube videos just to get a general idea. There’s one channel that’s called Computer File and they talk a lot about machine learning, artificial intelligence, but this one struck me, like hill-climbing algorithm and artificial intelligence.

In fact, that’s the exact name of the video. Don’t watch it while you’re listening to me, wait until later or if you’re on the clock don’t watch it during work. But nevertheless, this is a great, wonderful video. Optimization processes that are applied to machine learning, and one of the things that they had talked about was the hill-climbing algorithm.

So when we or any intelligent system tries to optimize something, what are they doing? They’re testing for fitness. And they say, “Well if we move in this direction, if we increase this or we decrease that or we improve upon that we’re actually improving our fitness.” That we seem to be moving in a particular direction where eventually the system is just maxed out.

It’s 100% all the way there. And when we say hill-climbing, you figure, you’ve gotten to a point where this is our system. We’re locked in. We’ve invested all these dollars. We’ve made this the 100%. Well, that might be the local maximum, but it isn’t necessarily the global maximum.

It’s not the best you could do. You spent all this time maximizing the one process, but not necessarily working across to what could possibly be the best process. And the feature of an intelligent system, and this guy who was doing the video said, “A feature of an intelligent system is that it is good at optimizing.”

And isn’t that the core? Isn’t that the idea? The closing of the circle that has been the legacy statement for the PMBOK Guide is you are writing to on those lessons learned, and you are putting together a baseline for all baselines so that you can improve upon it.

So you can see where and how far short you fall from doing it right, so you can get it right the next time. And so what really I have found is that, in looking through these pages of this brand new edition, we are trying to avoid the danger of optimizing a system or process that’s ill-suited for the product or the service that we’re providing.

Now, how we go about that, that’s a different story, and that’s something that’s spelled out across the principles, as well as the various project management performance domains. So the principle statements that they’re surrounding around, that we’ll talk about in our second session, are to capture and summarize generally the accepted objectives for practice and project management and its core functions.

They’re intended to provide broad parameters within which project teams can operate. So whereas I was sharing with you before the analogy of saying, “Here’s the line. We’re going to draw it between all these scattered dots.” What they’re doing instead is saying, “If you’re drawing a line it should connect to these dots.”

That’s what they’re doing, and they’re saying, “These are the things that you should concentrate on. These are the principles upon which you should focus.” When we get down into the performance domains, as well, “Here’s how you practice those specific principles.” And that’s what they’re trying to bring to light.

So the idea is they, PMI, had spent a lot of time in this guide knowing that it’s breaking new, that they’re breaking new ground of trying to highlight as best as possible, and bringing in, “Well, you know what this is something, these principal statements. This is what the general public has agreed upon, and we put it out for all the project managers, systems engineers, and we got great feedback, and it pulled very well.”

Well, beyond that, you can be the litmus test. You be the judge of it. But nonetheless, they did try to ground it in as much of the theory that they’ve already published from the past the standard for program management, portfolio management, risk management, and benefits realization management, and all those principles are in alignment with those, and more and more.

So really what kind of threw one of my colleagues for a loop was the fact that you handed it over to systems engineers and this is what they came up with, which wasn’t necessarily a terrible idea because if you’re looking at the scope beyond just getting the work done, and you look at the work getting done within a particular context, and you examine that, which you are, quote-unquote, getting done, that which you are producing, does it bring value?

And I’ve highlighted here the system’s focus for the value-delivery, changes, and perspective when governing these portfolios and programs and projects to focusing on the value chain. And when we say that it’s what links those other business capabilities, advancing organizational strategy value, and business objectives into portfolios, programs, and projects. So we’re talking about full organizational synergy and how that works out. An investment of everyone involved.

This is something that really if you read through the standard for portfolio management or organizational project management, OPM, that really get the sense that it should be a top to bottom type of pursuit.

And ultimately the standard does, it’s all about emphasizing the project that simply, don’t simply produce outputs, but more, importantly, enables the outputs to drive outcomes that ultimately deliver value to the organization and stakeholders, which is an excellent segue into our next section, which was the system for value delivery. Now, I’ve done a lot of talking. Does anybody have any questions so far?

Melanie: We do not have any questions. But I am seeing some requests for the possibility of sharing these slides, but we can talk about that after.

Jeff: We’ll definitely talk about that. Yeah. And hopefully, I haven’t… I’m glad there is some motion there. Hopefully, I haven’t put everybody to sleep. [crosstalk 00:29:38] That’s always a good sign.

All right, so moving now, really, like I said, my intention was really to do two things today and it’s not an easy balance. It’s kind of like, for some of you are coming here today, perhaps, probably the majority, maybe even all of you, and I thought in my mind, I was like, “Okay, it’s probably all of them seeking answers as far as what the 7th edition entails.” Having known everything before. Having known from the first all the way up through the 6th edition.

And maybe one of you, maybe a few of you have never heard of the PMBOK Guide before and they’re like, “Hey, this is cool. This is the 7th edition. Why is he talking so much about the 6th edition?” But I’m willing to bet like I said, the majority of you probably know the legacy up to this point.

Now what I was just saying, that system for value delivery let’s see how PMI plays it out. So diving into those pages, the system for value delivery. The framework, the standard surrounding five primary contextual concepts, and then they do as I will, across the next few slides, really break down how they’re trying to answer these questions.

You get a lot of lists. Okay, I’ll admit that. You get a lot of lists within the 7th edition, but this is core because they want to say, “Okay, if we are focused on value delivery,” they say, “You know what? This is our central theme. This is what we’re focused on. We’re not just governing projects, and programs, and things like that. We are generating value.”

So what are they talking about here? Creating value. How do projects operate within a system to produce value for organizations and their stakeholders? Organizational governance systems they see that as important.

How does governance support a system for value delivery? The functions associated with projects. So what are the functions? And we’ll see what they mean. What the heck do you mean by function? But what are the functions that support projects?

And likewise, then the project environment, which that was part of the 6th edition. Here, again, the 7th edition. What are the internal-external factors that influence projects in the delivery of value? And ultimately something that is, you could say, more pronounced and something brand new.

How do portfolio programs and projects and product relate? So the product management considerations within portfolio programs and projects. Now, bear in mind, like I said, these five questions are answered individually, explored as far as their aspects are concerned. But then you see how we go on to say, “Well, if you really want to answer these questions here are all of your wonderful project management principles that are part of that standard.”

So within the section for creating value the term organization. So if they’re talking about organization, they’re talking about everything, government agencies, enterprises, contractual agreements, joint ventures, other arrangements, whatever you have written on the backside of a napkin.

But within that creating value the two primary foci, I guess, for creating value are value delivery components and information flow. So when they talk about providing value, here’s some examples, creating a new product, service, or result that meets the needs of customers or end-users. Obvious, right?

But, bear in mind, if this is your first time reading this wonderful technical piece, you’ve never read anything before, it may be stating the obvious, but nonetheless that’s one way to be introduced. You know that. I know that, but not everybody knows that.

So creating a new product, service, or result. Creating positive social or environmental contributions, as well as improving efficiency, productivity, effectiveness, or responsiveness. So when we’re looking at, how shall I say, when we’re looking at ROI, return on investment.

I wish I could see your hands. I would say raise your hand. Don’t raise your hands. No polls. It’s fine. But when we talk about in terms of return on investment. We say okay, we invest a certain amount of money we expect an excess in return. That way we’ve made a profit. That’s the concept.

So what’s our return on investment? You don’t want to… If you put a dollar in you don’t want a dollar back. If you put a dollar in you want at least a dollar and a penny back out. So if you’re looking at the mathematical equation of the ROI, you’re really looking at it in terms of when I sell this and the customer buys it that they’ll come back for more, obviously, but we’ve made a profit from it.

One thing is the facilitation of the sale. The money gained. The bottom one, improving efficiency, productivity, effectiveness, responsiveness, is really working on how much we actually have to put in.

I mean, we’re subtracting our investment from what we’re getting paid. And then the middle one, really, when we say positive social environmental contributions, you’re making more ROIs possible. You’re basically improving the resume if you will. So organizations create value for stakeholders. That’s their concentration.

Now, when they talk about the value delivery components, those of you who have read through the standard for portfolio management, the most recent 4th edition, will recognize that triangle. Now that triangle represents kind of a generalization. It doesn’t necessarily capture the entirety of every style and every type of, as they were putting it, arrangement, or organization.

But it certainly does look at the vision through the mission, and the organizational strategy and objectives trickles through to the portfolio management aspect of things, where you’re moving the organization in particular directions.

And what you have at the very top is that C-suite, if you will, or the overall direction. The decision-making into what we should invest. And looking at that connection within the bottom you have this ongoing operations, perhaps, that are producing your value.

You have some things that are inevitable from your HR department, and payroll, and nonetheless, but you then are free to operate within a certain space of whatever product or service that you happen to be providing.

And then you have the management of authorized programs and projects aspect, that’s in the blue in the bottom right-hand corner, where depending on the nature of the organization that’s more projectized you find that this middle portion slides back-and-forth, or at least your organizational resources are constantly back-and-forth between different projects that they’re working on with improvement, and that could be internal, as well as externally providing.

But the idea here where they’re talking about value delivery components is really looking at the connectivity between the top and the bottom. And is it really something? And how are those individual components, how do they play out? And how do they work efficiently?

But on the other hand with information flow, how does the strategy that’s pronounced by the senior leadership trickle all the way down to operations and what is being done? And then all the way back up with the outcomes, benefits, and value performance analysis, which is not far off. Once again, this is not breaking brand new ground.

This is just further integration of the OPM or organizational project management looking at the entire organization as it practices projects. So the value system delivery system works effectively when information and feedback are shared consistently across all components.

Now, remember very early on in today’s session how we were looking at the one concept, which was the organizational structure. We were talking about that and we were looking at overall how things are aligned as far as maturity within an organization, and this is why I had stated, “Well, it’s implied.”

Well, here, I mean, you think about it. If you do not have an overall standard management system for top strategy and how it trickles down through the overall framework for project managing in a template for a project management plan, and then also guidance through governance on how it actually is conducted you say, “Well, you know what. If we have all that we’re mature. If we don’t have that we’re not. How is this supposed to work outside of a mature system?”

So they’re kind of stating, “Nudge, nudge, nudge, get to a mature, get yourself to a CMMI Level 3 certification. Get yourself to an ISO-9001 certification for practicing maturity.”

That’s really what they, perhaps, are getting at. Beyond the governance aspect of things, just in general, and I don’t have to read you the entire slide here, but the concept is that governance goes a long way. The oversight and ensuring that things are going smoothly from top to bottom, and that those chains are connected between each level is absolutely essential.

Governance is what helps keep things in line, but for the most part, also helps to drive the success by ensuring that the practice is practiced or at least supported. So then that brings us to the functions that are associated within projects, and the fundamental thing is that people drive project delivery by fulfilling functions. It’s necessary for the project to run effectively and efficiently.

And that functions are related to the project that can be fulfilled by one person, a group of people, or combined into different roles. So some of you may wear multiple hats. Some of you may have one hat that’s really, really special.

But nonetheless, the concept is that different types of coordination, different types of functions, different types of people are necessary in order to complete the mission, in order to successfully get where we need to go.

And supported leadership models and meaningful continuous engagements between project teams and other stakeholders really do underpin successful outcomes. What’s meant by that is… And you see over on the right-hand side these functions that they outline. A lot of little details here and there with those if you ever read through the guide.

But you look at the names here providing the oversight and the coordination meaning helping the project team achieve the project objectives, consulting with executive business leaders on how out to advance objectives.

This could also include planning, monitoring, controlling, performing evaluations, conducting analysis. But you’re providing the oversight, perhaps in one degree or more. Presenting objectives and feedback, really contributing your perspectives, insights, clear direction from customers and end-users. It also is involved with customer requests to the end result.

That the customer requests the end result and funds the project. That it’s all about facilitating clear direction from the customers and end-users regarding the project requirements, outcomes, and expectations. But through these, you get the sense that, okay, so this is getting back to and infusing a lot of what the 6th edition was talking about. Okay, the functions tie in with the roles of the project manager and the roles within the team.

What’s nebulous here is not necessarily that they’re saying, “Oh, the project manager is responsible for this,” but it’s necessarily that performing work and contributing insights that particular factor is for everyone.

Providing the knowledge, the skills, the experience necessary to produce the products and realize the outcomes of the project. And contributing the functional knowledge across functional boundaries, and sharing potentially unique or specialized perspectives to enable outcomes. So in there it kind of really applies to everyone. The project manager is operating at their excellence, and the team member is operating at their excellence based on these functions.

So away from that. The environmental consideration. Oh, I know I have internal considerations up there. Eh, no, hold on. There we go. Wait for one second. You’re going to see a PowerPoint trick. If you leave here today check this out. What just happened? Nevertheless, when it comes down to it the project environment between the internal considerations and external considerations some of these are the same as within the 6th edition, some of these are a little different.

Of course, this, the 6th, the 7th edition did include global pandemics and things like that with external conditions, although, regulatory environment is a little different when you go to interpret it, the physical environment is a little different when you go to interpret it these days.

But it certainly does state, look, you know what these are all the things that you have to when you’re making that, drawing that line through the scattered dots these are the things you’re going to have to consider and concentrate on and consider when you are trying to map out your plan.

Are we limited with the fact internal with the geographic distribution of facilities and resources? For example, right now, our team is working on putting together a standard or a guide for a particular class. A manual. We have authors that are positioned around the United States, and the lead actually works out of Los Angeles. So when we’re talking about the considerations as far as getting work accomplished, and if we need a working session we have to find an overlapping time.

We have to schedule the work in such a way that we can coordinate and communicate, and we have to do so if you really think about it when it comes down to resource availability, capability and if you can continue that list.

Recently developed and delivered a virtual and hybrid teams leadership course, and we had discussed the fact… My favorite takeaway. You’ll love it. You got to ask yourself the question here. Do you work from home or do you live at work?

And when you ask yourself that question you’re kind of like, “Well, it used to be I’d shut off my computer and then go home for the day, maybe check my phone and answer emergency emails.” But I don’t know about you, maybe you have the self-control, but I don’t.

I get those emails at 7:30 P.M. at night and I’m running downstairs into my basement got to respond to that email. Oh, I got one at 6:00 A.M. responding to that. When do I get… What am I doing? That sort of thing. And is there employee burnout? Not here. I’m fine. But somewhere else there might be employee burnout.

So you really have to think about how the internal, the external really map out how you’re going to look at and manage and work within that particular environment. And some of you, yeah, I’m preaching to the choir because you know it. You’re like, “Jeff, I already know this. We’ve been doing that for the last two years.” No doubt.

So what was very fascinating and what I enjoyed most about reading into the 7th edition was the fact like, say, hey, this is good. They’re going to start integrating into the considerations the product itself because it’s a big difference when you’re trying to develop a website versus trying to create a brand new smartphone versus build a bridge.

That’s going to change completely what you’re investing in, how you’re investing in it. And I don’t have the graphic here today, but one of my favorites to show students, especially when introducing them to agile principles is the Stacey Complexity Matrix of Uncertainty.

And looking at the fact that the farther out that we go from waterfall, where we don’t understand the technical concepts and we can’t necessarily get a 100% agreement on what the greatest priorities are, that you’re really treading on some dangerous experimental ground. That’s going to take some experimental thinking, judgemental thinking, really look at the smaller steps through different sprints.

And so when we look at product management considerations what’s eventually integrated into the 7th edition is an examination at not only product development, product and service preparedness, but also looking at product delivery and the best way to shape and form that.

So their pronouncement here, the disciplines of portfolio program and product management becoming more interlinked, and understanding each discipline and the relationships between them provides a useful context for projects whose deliverables or products, because if we understand the nature of the product we build the system of design and develop a delivery around the nature of the product and the team capable of delivering it.

And then you start [inaudible 00:50:02] it sparks the conversation. Are we using the best life-cycle approach? Are we really highlighting, and emphasizing, and arranging the build of individual components in the best possible way? One diagram that they give within that section does look at the entire product life-cycle. Like, okay, by project seven that’s the retirement. It’s lasted its entire duration. We’ve got to put it out of its misery.

But between the introduction and the end who’s involved? But everyone in-between. The portfolio governance oversees the different programs. One program perhaps designed, on this left-hand side, to put the product in place and put it out to market, perhaps, or to create the specialized software, if you will, or to create and build that bridge.

And the second program there to fix what the programmers got wrong through patches. Same thing with bridges. It’s like, “Oh man, what were they thinking? They didn’t design that so well.” But nevertheless, this is what’s fascinating here.

They show the product life-cycle, definitely, but not necessarily, is this to imply that this is the only development life-cycle. We’ll take a look at that when we get to our third session. Nevertheless, what was really cool was that they then broke down the different forms of product management.

So program management within a product life-cycle, which maybe we’re used to very large, long-running projects, one or more product life-cycle phases may be sufficiently complex [inaudible 00:51:49] the set of programs project working together.

And then you look at project management within the product life-cycle. So overseeing the development and maturing of product capabilities, and then last but not least, the product management within a program. So applying the full product life-cycle within the purview boundaries of a given program. So having one program that oversees it from inception to its demise.

So as kind of a synopsis of what entailed the leading steps up to the principles. I do believe that PMI did do a decent job of introducing exactly what it is. What their intention was. It may be something where… I don’t know if you’re the type to read through it. I like technical manuals. It’s part of my job, as well as an instructional designer, and working through that.

But as far as an introduction goes it’s fairly straightforward. And like I said, this is definitely hinting towards a direction. As you would read through the latter pages, the rest of the manual. I’m sorry, the guide, that you get this essence, okay, they’re going to give something a little bit more high-level.

They’ll give insights as we go through as to how to practice it, but ultimately sticking to what I had said before that really it rests upon the different guides, and practices, and the PMI standards to get down into the particulars.

So as a reflection, I know we’re drawing near to the end here, as perhaps, I shared maybe at the very beginning, I always have these times where it’s just like, oh my goodness, I’m not sure if I’ll get through everything, but it always ties up. And it looks like 55 minutes.

But in summary, the 7th edition is inclusive of the 6th. That’s one key point. It strives to be more than its process prescriptive past and more principle-driven. And you can view the 6th edition as one way to solve the specific games. And when I say that if you’re familiar with game theory, I mean, project management is never going to be a salt game.

It’s never going to be something like tic-tac-toe or even still the speculation that perhaps chess is a salt game. But there’s so many variables. So many things to consider that how audacious it may be to give one prescription as this is the be-all-end-all. Although, I will say there’s nothing wrong with it if it works to stick with it.

But the idea that I had brought in with optimization is really to say like, “Are there certain pursuits where we have to really rethink is it really an application where we can drive the initiation planning and execution the same way?

Is this something that calls for an agile approach? Does it call for something that’s more than scrum? Are we looking at extreme programming? Go ahead and look that up. That’s fun. But nevertheless, like I said, the central focus is the theme of building a system for value delivery.

It’s about asking the right questions, considering the right aspects, and optimizing the value delivery components and information flow through understanding and conducting those ideas of governance, core functions associated with projects, the internal, and acknowledging, and understanding, and absorbing, and adapting to the internal and external considerations.

And then ultimately looking at the product and service management considerations and life-cycle. So that does bring us to the end of session one. Are there any questions at the very end?

Melanie: We do have some questions, Jeff. Thank you.

Jeff: Oh, yay.

Speaker 3:In PMBOK 7 the value delivery framework seems qualitative, by contrast, PMBOK 6 offered quantitative tools to measure estimates such as critical path, measurements, critical path chaining, earned value measurements for budgeting, and risk matrices with scores. Does PMBOK 7 offer measurements?

Jeff: Well, yeah, let’s flip back here for a moment and just kind of share this. And I can do one other fun thing if you don’t mind. So when we’re looking at this particular item here, the management principles you’re right. They’re very qualitative, although they hint towards, “Hey, while you’re managing risks there’s documentation. There’s tracking this.”

They don’t necessarily get into, if you will, the science of it, but they get into the fact like keep your eye on uncertainty, and you should always be aware and make risk at the forefront and always talk about that as you discover. That sort of thing.

It’s when you get into these guys right down here, you saw the red rectangle move, that you get into the specifics, like with uncertainty, but then they do start talking about things like requirements management or risk management and how to go through those different principles.

I think, though, that we also have to kind of understand that there’s an emphasis on stratification, as well, of information. So my understanding is that the 7th edition where it will generally speak on say, once again, to hint towards risk management, and the risk register, and risk checklist, and monitoring, and throwing meetings, things like that. They on the other hand will probably still maintain their practice guide on risk management.

So a lot of these other publications their foundational standards, practices, the framework practice guides they’ll keep those up. So things like the work breakdown structure, and if I didn’t have it here like critical chain and things like that. So hopefully that answers your question.

Speaker 3:Great. And I know you mentioned this briefly, but is PMI looking at the impact of remote work has on the organizational culture?

Jeff: Well, I know, and I can look it up again, I think they did do a couple of articles through the PMI standards concerning that. But it always had been when we’re looking at the external factors they seem to have hinted towards virtual.

When we were talking about the geographic distribution of facilities, resources, and they have talked about that, but as far as it being a primary speaking point the authorship and ultimate release of the PMBOK Guide, if you noticed, it’s copyright 2021, and it was fairly early on in 2021.

So I believe they had written through most of the pages before remote work, and hybridized teams, virtual teams became really a huge and central focus. So it may be that they’ll issue kind of a, maybe, a guide or a standard or an article through PMI standards that may approach that topic more closely.

Speaker 3:Excellent. Thank you.

Melanie: Are you all done with your slides?

Jeff: Yes, I am.

Melanie: All right, I will switch back and just show the PDU for everyone. Jeff, thank you for a very informative session today. We’re looking forward to next week. A big thank you for our MPUG community joining us today, as well.

Thank you for growing your skills with MPUG today. I’ll share a link later today with this recording, links to sign up for the next two sessions, and a quick survey.

So please share your thoughts with us today. And I’ll also send a link to the… I had a question about, can PMI members get the PMBOK 7? I’ll send a link to that. Yes, you may. So again, thank you all. And if there’s nothing else I’ll leave the slides up here for a couple of minutes, and thank you for joining us.

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Written by Jeff Bongiovani
Jeff Bongiovani is currently the Lead Course Developer for Edwards Performance Solutions who oversees the production and maintenance of courses on Project Management, Systems Engineering, Software Development, Business Process Improvement, and Cybersecurity. He is also a trainer with over 20,000 hours of classroom experience spanning 17 years.
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