"The Role of the Project Manager" in PMBOK sixth edition

The Guide to the project management body of knowledge, sixth edition, was released on Wednesday. While waiting for my print copy to arrive, I’ve been reading a heavily-watermarked electronic copy of the new PMBOK. I decided to begin my reading with an add-on to the PMBOK, a chapter that focuses on the role of the project manager.

The talent triangle is described in this chapter, with PMI noting that “to be most effective, project managers need to have a balance of these three skill sets” (56). The most lengthy descriptions of talent triangle components are reserved for strategic/business management skills and leadership. The former is differentiated into two areas:  Domain knowledge (for the project) and maximizing business value – which is tied to NPV, ROI, and benefits realization. (Yes, domain knowledge matters.)

A couple of leadership attributes noted in the chapter that stand out to me as important:
-“taking a longer-term view that relationships are just as important as the project”
-“being a life-long learner who is results- and action-oriented” (61).

PMBOK sixth edition has information on agile approaches integrated into the guide. This chapter includes one reference in the discussion on technical project management. Project managers should be able to “tailor both traditional and agile tools, techniques, and methods for each project” (58). The processes in the PMBOK knowledge areas are tools, as are the techniques in a framework like Scrum. Dave Prior provides a nice, short video summary of this broader approach to project management. 

I think that the chapter is a good add to the PMBOK and provides an important perspective. The hard part is, mastering the PMBOK knowledge areas is essential and very challenging. This chapter places the role of the PMBOK tools into perspective by referencing agile. It also emphasizes the importance of integration to the project manager's role, which provides a nice segue into the first and (I believe) most important knowledge area, Project Integration Management.

I'm happy the PMBOK sixth edition is out and am looking forward to carefully reviewing it in the weeks ahead. 

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