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Introducing PMBOK

December 31st, 2008 saw the release of the PMBOK® 4th edition. PMI® did promise a 4th edition for 2008 and we got it – just. We all eagerly awaited this revelation in state-of-the-art project management methodology. If you haven’t already had a chance to peruse this latest edition, let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

The PMBOK® still remains (as it should) a very informative book. Understand it is not an instructional book. That is what over 1000 REP providers are for and 1000s of project management texts can do.

The reality is that project management has not changed. The PM lifecycle is still Initiate, Plan, Execute, Monitor and Control, and Closing. There are still nine knowledge areas. So what has changed?

The following are highlights of the changes that we will see in the PMBOK 4th Edition as compared to the 3rd Edition.

  1. All process names are now in a verb-noun format

    It all comes down to “Do something”. This ensures that the project team knows what they are to do. For the PMP students out there this should not be a difficult change. The process still has the same meat and potatoes, just in a different skin.

  1. Consistency and clarification was implemented throughout the PMBOK and between the other PMI® standards.

    The process descriptions are seen in four areas and were written to be consistent in each of the following locations:

  • In Chapter 3
  • At the beginning of each knowledge area chapter
  • In the first sentence of the applicable process description
  • In the Glossary
  1. Efforts were made to distinguish between Enterprise Environmental Factors and Organizational Process Assets.

    These two were introduced in the 3rd Edition. The best way to process these are to think of Enterprise Environmental Factors as those issues and concerns that occur in and around your organization and Organizational Process Assets as what you have available (tools and other resources) to you from with in your organization.

  1. A standard approach for discussing requested changes, preventive actions, corrective actions and defect repairs was employed.

    Integration management interacts with most other knowledge areas. Changes, preventive actions, corrective actions and defect repairs occur repeatedly throughout the knowledge areas. Standardizing between the processes will help understand how to handle them as they occur.

  1. The processes decreased from 44 to 42. Two processes were deleted, two processes were added and six processes were reconfigured into four processes in the Procurement knowledge area.

    If you didn’t know the 3rd Edition PMBOK, this is not a point of concern. Develop Preliminary Scope Statement and Plan Scope are the two processes that were deleted. Identify Stakeholders and Collect Requirements are the two processes that were added.

  1. To provide clarity, a distinction was made between the Project Management Plan and project documents used to manage the project.

    There are many documents that are subsets of the Project Management Plan. They are now addressed for distinctly and individually. This shall provide greater clarity between the different documents.

  1. The distinction between the information in the Project Charter and the Project Scope Statement was clarified.

    Differentiating these documents is important. Both documents contribute to the success of a project. The clarity of authorization that the project charter provides is defined without muddling it with the scope statement. The scope statement defines in great detail what the project’s deliverable will entail.

  1. The process flow diagrams at the beginning of chapters 4-12 have been deleted and replaced with data flow diagrams.
  2. A data flow diagram for each process has been created to show where information comes from as an input and where it goes to as an output.

    You will see more of a mind map approach to showing inputs and outputs to processes. Visually this will enhance the learning and, more importantly, the understanding of how the processes interact.

  3. A new appendix was added that addresses key interpersonal skills that a project manager utilizes when managing a project.

    There are many management and leadership theories that are essential to successfully managing a project. Long identified as a weak area for many project managers there has been awareness to what the benefits are to implementing these concepts.

PMI® also noted that a complete list of changes will be found in Appendix A of the new PMBOK® Guide—Fourth Edition.

The following tables identify the processes for each knowledge area as they were in the Third Edition and as they are now in the Fourth Edition.

Project Integration Management

Third Edition

Fourth Edition

4.1 Develop Project Charter

4.1 Develop Project Charter

4.2 Develop Preliminary Scope Statement


4.3 Develop Project Management Plan

4.2 Develop Project Management Plan

4.4 Direct and Manage Project Execution

4.3 Direct and Manage Project Execution

4.5 Monitor and Control Project Work

4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work

4.6 Integrated Change Control

4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control

4.7 Close Project

4.6 Close Project or Phase

Project Scope Statement

Third Edition

Fourth Edition

5.1 Scope Planning

5.1 Collect Requirements

5.2 Scope Definition

5.2 Define Scope

5.3 Create WBS

5.3 Create WBS

5.4 Scope Verification

5.4 Verify Scope

5.5 Scope Control

5.5 Control Scope

Project Time Management

Third Edition Sections

Fourth Edition Sections

6.1 Activity Definition

6.1 Define Activities

6.2 Activity Sequencing

6.2 Sequence Activities

6.3 Activity Resource Estimating

6.3 Estimate Activity Resources

6.4 Activity Duration Estimating

6.4 Estimate Activity Duration

6.5 Schedule Development

6.5 Develop Schedule

6.6 Schedule Control

6.6 Control Schedule

Project Cost Management

Third Edition Sections

Fourth Edition Sections

7.1 Cost Estimating

7.1 Estimate Costs

7.2 Cost Budgeting

7.2 Determine Budget

7.3 Cost Control

7.3 Control Costs

Project Quality Management

Third Edition Sections

Fourth Edition Sections

8.1 Quality Planning

8.1 Plan Quality

8.2 Perform Quality Assurance

8.2 Perform Quality Assurance

8.3 Perform Quality Control

8.3 Perform Quality Control

Project Human Resource Management

Third Edition Sections

Fourth Edition Sections

9.1 Human Resource Planning

9.1 Develop Human Resource Plan

9.2 Acquire Project Team

9.2 Acquire Project Team

9.3 Develop Project Team

9.3 Develop Project Team

9.4 Manage Project Team

9.4 Manage Project Team

Project Communications Management

Third Edition Sections

Fourth Edition Sections

10.1 Communications Planning

10.1 Identify Stakeholders

10.2 Information Distribution

10.2 Plan Communications

10.3 Performance Reporting

10.3 Distribute Information

10.4 Manage Stakeholders

10.4 Manage Stakeholders’ Expectations


10.5 Report Performance

Project Risk Management

Third Edition Sections

Fourth Edition Sections

11.1 Risk Management Planning

11.1 Plan Risk Management

11.2 Risk Identification

11.2 Identify Risks

11.3 Qualitative Risk Analysis

11.3 Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis

11.4 Quantitative Risk Analysis

11.4 Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis

11.5 Risk Response Planning

11.5 Plan Risk Responses

11.6 Risk Monitoring and Control

11.6 Manage and Control Risks

Project Procurement Management

Third Edition Sections

Fourth Edition Sections

12.1 Plan Purchases and Acquisitions

12.1 Plan Procurements

12.2 Plan Contracting

12.2 Conduct Procurements

12.3 Request Seller Responses

12.3 Administer Procurements

12.4 Select Sellers

12.4 Close Procurements

12.5 Contract Administration


12.6 Contract Closure



Wayne Brantley, MS Ed, PMP, CRP, CPLP is the Senior Director of Professional Education for the University Alliance ( Wayne has taught and consulted project management, quality management, leadership, curriculum development, Internet course development, and return on investment around the world to Fortune 500 companies. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute, a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) by the American Society of Training and Development, and a Certified Return on Investment Professional (CRP) by the ROI Institute. Wayne is currently an adjunct faculty member at Villanova University.


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