BOK7: Approved for release in spring 2019

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“I’m confident the manuscript will be delivered meeting the scope and quality requirements, on time and to budget."


Some of you might have noticed these words in the December blog post providing an update on progress with the APM Body of Knowledge, 7th edition. They could have been ‘famous last words’ but I’m delighted to say that I’m not embarrassed and that the team did indeed deliver the manuscript on time and within budget, and the APM Professional Standards and Knowledge Committee approved it for publication following a final round of review and approval from a sample of key stakeholders (APM SIGs, Corporate Partners and branches) and the Project Board.

So, the new Body of Knowledge is on track to be launched in spring 2019. What can you expect from this latest version?

The APM Body of Knowledge for many years has provided the foundational knowledge resource for project managers. In the sixth edition this was extended to the management of programmes and portfolios.

In planning the seventh edition we thought carefully about the management of projects (programmes and portfolios) and the pivotal role they play in enabling the investing organisation (client/host) to delivery their strategy, and in enabling contracting organisations to deliver their business goals in support of their clients. We thought carefully about the readership of the Body of Knowledge and the stakeholders that APM wanted to be influenced and informed by its foundational knowledge resource. Through many rounds of consultation, we decided on a structure that provided different information for different constituencies.

1: Setting up for success is written primarily for those leaders within organisations who have decisions to make about the role of projects, programmes and portfolios in implementing strategy. Leaders may be in the ‘client’ or investing organisation, or in a supplier organisation that exists to deliver project-based work for clients. The ideas in Chapter 1 apply in both scenarios.

2: Preparing for change is written primarily for those people charged with leading any project, programme or portfolio, of any size and complexity. It addresses early life cycle shaping and late life cycle transition into use for projects, programmes and portfolios, as well as matters of assurance, learning and maturity.

3: People and behaviours is written for anyone involved in projects, programmes and portfolios. Engaging and influencing stakeholders, forming, building and leading teams, and the generic skills and responsibilities of being a project professional are addressed with the objective of making it clear that all project-based work relies fundamentally on the ability of people to work together.

4: Planning and managing deployment is written primarily for those involved in the end-to-end process of delivering a project, whether a standalone project or one that is part of a programme and/or portfolio, and regardless of the life cycle approach taken. Although the professional domain has expanded, the detailed matters associated with defining outputs, integrated planning and controlling deployment remain.

Of course, we hope that the final product will all be of interest to all project professionals (the collective term we’ve used to refer to people whose daily work is related to projects, programmes or portfolios) and that the other products that APM develops to build from the Body of Knowledge (further knowledge, qualifications etc) serve the Chartered Project Professional well for the coming years.


Read other blogs in this series:

BoK7: 12 sections, 80 topics and one great knowledge resource

BoK7: We have a final structure…now to writing

BOK7: Are we getting this right?

BoK7: Crafting the APM Body of Knowledge

BoK7: So how has the BoK structure changed?

BoK7: What to do about PMOs?


Find out more about the seventh edition of the APM Body of Knowledge.



Ruth Murray-Webster

Posted by Ruth Murray-Webster on 28th Feb 2019

About the Author

Ruth is a Partner at Beyond the Deal LLP, a consultancy specialising in delivering the promised value from acquisitions and divestitures and Director of Potentiality UK where Ruth provides leading-edge risk and change consultancy services to clients across sectors. Ruth was formerly Director of Change Portfolio at Associated British Ports; Director of the Risk in the Boardroom practice for KPMG LLP and 10 years as a Director of Lucidus Consulting Ltd. Her work on risk appetite and risk attitude with David Hillson is widely published. Her doctoral research focused on the accomplishment of planned change from the perspective of the recipients of change rather than change agents. Ruth was awarded Honorary Fellowship of APM in 2013 for her contributions to risk and change.

Ruth was Editor of the 7th edition of the APM Body of Knowledge.

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