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Body of knowledge: method for success or collection of concepts?

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The APM Body of Knowledge is a collaborative work drawing from the experience of practitioners, influencers and academics in all disciplines and sectors. It has grown to become the cornerstone of the profession as a sourcebook, starting point and taxonomy from which professional practice grows.

At the annual conference in June APM launched the sixth edition of the standard with a new functional structure and comprehensive coverage of the disciplines of project, programme and portfolio management. In addition to this there are other versions of a project management body of knowledge produced by other organisations.

But, does a body of knowledge provide practitioners with the method for successful project management? Or is it simply a collection of concepts that may be put to use depending on the type of project?

Jon Wittys blog, what if the project management body of knowledge wasn't what you thought it was?, uses the analogy of a Haynes car manual to draw attention to precisely this debate.

Justin Matthews feels that this analogy has rocked my whole thinking about project management.

Alastair Smart says: The unique and transient nature of a project - and being delivered by people, who will always be different - means that it should be next to impossible to develop a 'project manage by numbers' solution.

Ramzi Darghouth, who is new to project management, finds a body of knowledge useful as he prefers to learn about the principles and then to use those principles - and my judgement - to make decisions.

Paul Rawlinson believes that lessons learned provide a best practice approach to identifying solutions in project management.

Michael Howard feels that with enough intellectual consideration this has potential to result in a new project management paradigm.

What is your view? Have a read through the comments and have your say.

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