The guiding principles for the Body of Knowledge 6th edition

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Posted by APM on 23rd Jun 2010

A body of knowledge which remains relevant, but needs extending; thats the key message coming from the Association for Project Management who launched the first project of its latest programme in support of the APM Five Dimensions of Professionalism.

The project, which will update the APM Body of Knowledge to its 6th edition, was launched in June with the consultation of its proposed new structure. It is part of the Refresh Programme which will also include updates to both the APM Competence Framework and its qualifications. Working closely with critical friends Peter Simon and Adrian Dooley, the associations professional standards and knowledge team have developed a draft structure with some underpinning guiding principles which are now out for consultation amongst over 200 industry experts.

The guiding principles for the new body of knowledge provide a useful insight into both the project, and the current state of the professional practice of projects, programmes and portfolios;

Most of the content of the Body of Knowledge 5th edition remains relevant
Reassuringly, the initial review revealed that the existing body of knowledge does not need a radical overhaul from the 5th edition published in 2005. The evolutionary nature of the body of knowledge reflects that whilst the profession is not resting on its laurels, nor is it ignoring the accumulated knowledge and experience that have gone into previous editions.

The structure should be flexible and incorporate project, programme and portfolio management.

The programme recognises the interrelationships between projects, programmes and portfolios. Its a subject long debated within the profession, but its inclusion in the next edition indicates how organisations are reacting to the challenges of projects and programmes which are becoming larger, more complex and more crucial to organisational success. The proposal has been designed to ensure that the three concepts can be accommodated in a single structure.

The structure should allow new and emerging principles, tools and techniques
In the same way that organisations must become leaner and more reactive; so must the project management practice that supports it. The new body of knowledge will be future proofed aiming to focus on generic functions of projects, programmes and portfolios rather than specific techniques, which can become tied to specific industries or types of project, or become outdated and superseded by new practices.

Commenting on the APM Blog, APM head of professional standards and knowledge Liz Wilson said;
The work we have done with our critical friends has produced a workable and viable proposal to restructure the APM Body of Knowledge, and to embed portfolio and programme management knowledge in there alongside the tried and tested project content.
Once weve had all the responses, and reviewed them, the baton will be handed to the APM SIG (Specific Interest Group) community to review, validate and develop the content. A series of peer review panels will be set up to ensure the validity of content, and there will also be a series of focus groups, workshops and seminars to make sure weve got the content spot on.

APM is currently seeking volunteers to take part in the programme as authors, reviewers, focus group participants, workshop attendees, consultation group attendees or just being informed of progress. Consultation on the Body of Knowledge structure will be completed in summer 2010 after which the research and writing phase will start. The authoring of the Body of Knowledge is due to be completed in Late Spring 2011.

For more details on the APM Body of Knowledge project and the Refresh Programme, and to register your interest in participating visit http://tinyurl.com/apmrefresh.

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