A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK Guide), 6th Edition


This article provides introduction and overview of the PMI Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) as published by the Project Management Institute Inc. (PMI).  The goal of this article is to establish for the reader awareness of the publication and its contents as a significant source of information on project management.

Citation Information

PMI (2017) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) 6th Edition Project Management Institute, Inc. Newtown Square, PA, USA.

The Guide can be purchased from the PMI web site: https://www.pmi.org/pmbok-guide-standards/foundational/pmbok/sixth-edition

The Guide is available to active members of PMI for free PDF download


The Project Management Institute is the world's leading professional organization for project and program management. Many professional organizations use the PMBoK as the guide and benchmark for the development their own knowledge bases.  The PMBoK Guide is the capstone document in the PMI library of professional publications.  Whether one is new to project management or an experienced practitioner the PMBoK Guide is a great starting point as it provides the latest information on good practices in project management and linkage to the PMI's supplemental documents.

Normative References:

The Standard for Project Management. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) which is included in the PMBoK Guide as Section II.

PMI lists the following as its foundation standards:

The PMI Guide to Business Analysis – First Edition

The Standard for Program Management – Fourth Edition

The Standard for Portfolio Management – Fourth Edition

Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®) – Third Edition

Methods (Pending Content)

Inputs / Tools & Techniques / Outputs

Process Asset models -figure 4-1

Important Topics:

Lexicon (Chapter 1)

The PMI Lexicon of Project Management Terms offers clear and concise definitions for nearly 200 of the profession’s frequently used terms.

CABoK uses the SEVOCAB site as its principle dictionary.  In doing so, this body of knowledge is constant with INCOSE 2015, ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015 and ISO/IEC/IEEE 24765.

PMI participates in the SEVOCAB site and its publication of terms.

See Project Communications Best Practices  for more information on the selection of a project lexicon and dictionary(s).

Project Management Concepts (Chapter 1)

  • Project Definition and Attributes
  • Projects within an Organization
  • Projects as Business Enablers
  • Project Initiation
  • Importance of Project Management
  • Relationship between project, programs and portfolios
  • Introduction to programs, portfolios and operations
  • Business and organizational strategies

Project Life Cycle  (Chapter 1)

  • Project and Development Life Cycles
  • Project Phases (List of common phases)
  • Phase Gates

Project Management Processes  (Chapter 1)

  • Project Management Processes
  • PMI Process Context
  • Inputs / Tools & Techniques / Outputs
  • Project Management Process Groups
  • Project Management Knowledge Areas
  • Project Management Data and Information
  • Process Tailoring
  • Project Business Documents

The Environment in  which Project Operate (Chapter 2)

  • Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEFs)
  • Organizational Process Assets (OPAs)
  • Organizational Systems
  • Organizational Governance Frameworks
  • Management Elements
  • Organization Structure Types
  • Selecting Organizational Structures
  • Project Management Office (PMO)
  • PMO Types / Authorities
  • PMO Roles and Responsibilities

The Role of the Project Manager (Chapter 3)

  • Definition of a Project Manager
  • PM Sphere of Includence
  • Role within the Project
  • Role within the Organization
  • Role within the Industry
  • Professional Discapline

Project Manager Competency (Chapter 3)

  • Technical Project Management
  • Project Leadership
  • Strategic and Business Management
  • Management verses Leadership
  • Performing Integration

Project Integration Management (Chapter 4)

Project Integration Processes

  • Develop Project Charter
  • Develop Project Management Plan
  • Direct and Manage Project Work
  • Manage Project Knowledge
  • Monitor and Control Project Work
  • Perform Integrated Change Control
  • Close Project or Phase

Project Scope Management (Chapter 5)

Project Scope Management Processes

  • Plan Scope Management
  • Collect Requirements
  • Define Scope
  • Create WBS
  • Validate Scope
  • Control Scope

Project Schedule Management (Chapter 6)

Project Schedule Management Processes

  • Plan Schedule Management
  • Define Activities
  • Sequence Activities
  • Estimate Activity Durations
  • Develop Schedule
  • Control Schedule

Project Cost Management (Chapter 7)

Project Cost Management Processes

  • Plan Cost Management
  • Estimate Costs
  • Determine Budget
  • Control Costs

Project Quality Management (Chapter 8)

Project Quality Management Processes

  • Plan Quality Management
  • Manage Quality
  • Control Quality

Project Resource Management (Chapter 9)

Project Resource Management Processes

  • Plan Resoource Management
  • Estimate Activity Resources
  • Acquire Activity Resources
  • Develop Team
  • Manage Team
  • Control Resources

Project Communications Management (Chapter 10)

Project Communications Management Processes

  • Plan Communications Management
  • Manage Communications
  • Monitor Communications

Project Risk Management (Chapter 11)

ProjectRisk Management Processes

  • Plan Risk Management
  • Identify Risks
  • Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
  • Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
  • Plan Risk Responses
  • Implement Risk Responses
  • Monitor Risks

Project Procurement Management (Chapter 12)

Project Procurement Management Processes

  • Plan Procurement Management
  • Conduct Procurements
  • Control Procurement

Project Stakeholder Management (Chapter 13)

Project Stakeholder Management Processes

  • Identify Stakeholders
  • Plan Stakeholder Engagement
  • Manage Stakeholder Engagement
  • Monitor Stakeholder Engagement

Part II The Standard for Project Management

The Standard for Project Management is a normative reference for the PMI Project Management Body of Knowledge and is included in the Guide as Part II.  The Standard is managed and published by INCOSE and is registered under the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Please see The Standard for Project Management article for review of this standard.

Part III Appendices, Glossary and Index

Agile, Iterative, Adaptive and Hybrid Project Environments (Appendix X3)

Summary of Key Concepts for Knowledge Areas (Appendix X4)

Summary of Tailoring Considerations for Knowledge Areas (Appendix X5)

Tools and Techniques (Appendix X6)

Glossary (Appendix X7)

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