The PMBOK® Guide undergoes an assessment every 4-5 years to determine if updates are needed since it is an ANSI standard. The guide is a subset of the project management body of knowledge and is considered good practice. However, it is important to note that project management is a vast field that cannot be encapsulated in a single guide.
Over the past 30 years, the number of Certified Project Management Professionals (PMP) has increased to over 1 Million, and many professionals have been pushed into project management without formal training. Learning project management is similar to learning how to swim; beginners can only manage new and small projects and must stay in the “shallow end” of the environment where they are applying project management. They learn more as they practice the profession of project management and apply the practices, they learn to become more skilled.
At some point, project managers are called to handle larger and more complex projects, requiring more training, coaching, and experience. The PMBOK Guide becomes the foundation of project management knowledge that is needed to transform new project managers into seasoned professionals capable of leading and guiding teams on large, complex and extensive projects.
The PMBOK Guide is a starting point, a launching pad for bigger and more challenging assignments in project management. It represents the best practices from a cross-section of professionals and is now part of a collection of standards in the PMI Standards Library, which includes OPM3, Program and Portfolio Management. Recently, PMI introduced the Standards Navigator, offering an innovative way to get the most from its library of global standards, especially for organizations.
It is important to note that the PMBOK Guide is a subset of the project management body of knowledge, and the guide alone is not sufficient for building and sustaining a rewarding career in project management. The PMP certification provides the foundation for handling and managing larger projects successfully, but more training and skills are needed to maintain and sustain success on future projects.