3312 Registered Users
Skip Navigation LinksHome > ITTO Section > Introduction

Purpose of the PMBOK® Guide

- The PMBOK® guide identifies that subset of project management body of knowledge generally recognized as good practice
- “Good practice” means the general application of the skills, tools and techniques can enhance the chances of success over a wide range of projects
- “Generally recognized” means the knowledge and practices described are applicable to most projects most of the time and there is consensus about their value and usefulness.
- Project Management Institute Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct -
a. Practitioners must comply with laws, regulations and policies
b. Practitioners should be committed to honest and respectful dealings with stakeholders
c. Practitioners must demonstrate a commitment to professional conduct

What is a Project?

- A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.
- Product is a tangible deliverable, examples of service are postal , water supplies and examples of result are research findings.
- Temporary does not mean short in duration.
- Projects have definite begin and end dates but impacts are longer.
- The end of a project is considered to be reached when :
a. Project's objectives have been achieved
b. Project's objectives cannot be met
c. Need for the project no longer exists
- Projects can have social, economic and environmental impacts that far outlast the projects themselves.
- Presence of repetitive elements does not change the fundamental uniqueness of the project work. Although the output might be similar, the set of people involved, timeframe or location might be different. So, the end-result is considered unique.
- A project can involve -
a. A single person
b. A single organizational unit
c. Multiple organizational units

What is an Operation?

- An operation is an ongoing work effort. A soap manufacturing unit does a daily turnaround of 5000 soaps and the concerned process is repetitive but it actually is operational due to a project that put the process or plant in place. Projects taper over to operations in a product life cycle.

Portfolios, Programs and Projects

- Portfolios are at the senior management level, programs are at middle management level and projects are at first-level management.
- Portfolio -> Strategic, Program -> Tactical , Project -> Operational
- Organizational Planning impacts the projects by means of project prioritization based on risk, funding and the organization's strategic plan.
- A portfolio refers to a collection of projects or programs and other work that are grouped together to facilitate effective management of that work to meet strategic objectives.
- Group of inter-related projects become part of program. Group of programs or projects become part of portfolio and the projects or programs within the portfolio need not be inter-related. They are just grouped for effective management.
- Portfolios are aimed at maximizing return on investment.
- Common technology, seller and client are some of the criteria to group a project especially under a portfolio.
- Program Managers focus on optimizing project interdependencies and the actions related to these interdependencies may include,
- Resolving resource constraints affecting multiple projects within the system
- Aligning organizational/Strategic direction that affects project and program goals and objectives
- Resolving issues and change management within a shared governance structure
- Projects are authorized as a result of:
a. Business need (E.g., Code Generator)
b. Technological Advance (E.g., Version 1 to Version 2)
c. Strategic Opportunity (E.g., iPhone Apps)
d. Legal Requirement (E.g., SOX Compliance)
e. Customer Request (E.g., designer t-shirt)
f. Environmental Consideration (E.g., a Chimney Filter)
g. Market Demand (E.g., Camera phone)

Project Management Office

- A project management office (PMO) is a management structure that standardizes the project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques.
- The PMO is a senior management group usually taking the role of change control board.
- Different types of PMO –
a. Supportive – just a support function , not a decision-maker.
b. Controlling – medium level of power , usually a set of project managers.
c. Directive – highly powerful, senior management involved.
- Supportive PMO plays a consultative role to projects by supplying templates, best practices, training, access to information and lessons learned from other projects.
- Controlling PMO requires compliance to frameworks, methodologies and is a collaborative effort among managers to build a PMO capability within the organization.
- Directive PMO issues project charter and acts as Change Control Board (CCB) to approve or reject changes.

What is Project Management?

- Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
- According to PMBOK® 5th edition, there are 47 processes logically distributed across 5 process groups and 10 knowledge areas.
- Process groups –
1. Initiating
2. Planning
3. Executing
4. Monitoring and Controlling
5. Closing
- Project Management is about balancing competing stakeholder needs.
- Stakeholders have a vested interest in the project outcome. Stakeholders may have negative or positive influence on the project.
- Triple Constraints – Scope, Time and Cost.
- Project Management Plan is the collective output of Planning process group.
- The PM Plan gets progressively elaborated as more insight is got about the project requirements. Project scope must be planned before being executed. So, the process for defining scope is iterative in nature : Plan -> Execute
- Operations are ongoing and repetitive while projects are temporary and unique.
- Operations Management is out of scope of the PMBOK® but it is necessary for a project to identify the operational stakeholders early on and ensure that their concerns are addressed.
- Project-based organizations are project focused and do not have strong functional hierarchies. They form and dissolve teams based on the project needs.
- Organizational strategy provides guidance to project management since the vision comes top-down.
- Senior management identifies potential conflicts between project goals and organizational strategy.
- Projects must be aligned to the organization’s strategic objective in order to maximize success.
- Business value is the sum of tangible and intangible assets. All projects try to maximize business value irrespective of profit or non-profit based organization.
- Organizational governance criteria can impose constraints on projects.
- The project manager must ensure that the resultant product sticks to the organizational governance criteria in order to maximize project success and provide business value.
- A project manager needs to have good leadership skills among other interpersonal skills like negotiation, team building, influencing, coaching etc.
- Functional organizations are strongly hierarchical and department-based while Project-based organizations are project-centric. Matrix organizations fall in between the two with weak matrix leaning towards functional side and strong matrix towards project-based organization.
- A project manager reports to a functional manager in a weak matrix organization or functional organization. In case of project-based organization or strong matrix organization, the PM reports to a program manager or senior management.

Match the Following

1. Functional Organization - a. Change Control Board
2. Program - b. ongoing and repetitive
3. Directive PMO – c. hierarchical
4. Operation - d. common seller
5. Portfolio - e. unique endeavor
6. Project – f. project interdependencies

Match the Following (Answers)


1. Functional Organization - c. hierarchical
2. Program - f. project interdependencies
3. Directive PMO – a. Change Control Board
4. Operation - b. ongoing and repetitive
5. Portfolio - d. common seller
6. Project – e. unique endeavor