Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK)

Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK)

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) is a book which presents a set of standard terminology and guidelines for project management. The Fifth Edition (2013) is the document resulting from work overseen by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) which assigns standards in the USA, assigned it (ANSI/PMI 99-001-2008) the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers assigned it IEEE 1490-2011. for project management to PMI guidelines.


A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) was first published by the Project Management Institute (PMI) as a white paper in 1983 in an attempt to document and standardize generally accepted project management information and practices. The first edition was published in 1996 followed by the second edition in 2000.

In 2004, the PMBOK Guide — Third Edition was published with major changes from the previous editions. The latest English-language PMBOK Guide — Fifth Edition was released on 2013.


The PMBOK Guide is process-based, meaning it describes work as being accomplished by processes. This approach is consistent with other management standards such as ISO 9000 and the Software Engineering Institute's CMMI. Processes overlap and interact throughout a project or its various phases. Processes are described in terms of:

  • Inputs (documents, plans, designs, etc.)
  • Tools and Techniques (mechanisms applied to inputs)
  • Outputs (documents, products, etc.)

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge - Fifth Edition provides guidelines for managing individual projects and defines project management related concepts. It also describes the project management life cycle and its related processes, as well as the project life cycle.

The Guide recognizes 47 processes that fall into five basic process groups and ten knowledge areas that are typical of almost all projects.

  • The five process groups are:
  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closing
  • The ten knowledge areas are:
  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Time Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Human Resource Management
  7. Project Communications Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management
  10. Project Stakeholders Management (added in 5th edition)

Each of the ten knowledge areas contains the processes that need to be accomplished within its discipline in order to achieve an effective project management program. Each of these processes also falls into one of the five basic process groups, creating a matrix structure such that every process can be related to one knowledge area and one process group.

The PMBOK Guide is meant to offer a general guide to manage most projects most of the time. There are currently two extensions to the PMBOK Guide: the Construction Extension to the  PMBOK Guide applies to construction projects, while the Government Extension to the PMBOK Guide applies to government projects.

Organization: Project Management Institute

Site URL:

Countries: USA, Russian Federation, Lithuania, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, China, South Africa

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