What Is PMBOK and What Does PMBOK Stands For in Project Management

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Feb 19, 2022

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There is a need for project management for all organizations, irrespective of their size. Nevertheless, for improved results, organizations with more people and complex processes, rules, and strategies need a personalized project manager and a standard in project management. And what is that standard? Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is the standard we are talking about. Continue reading to know more about the PMBOK, what does PMBOK stand for, and much more.

The PMBOK Meaning

One frequently asked question about project management professional certification is— what is PMBOK? Here, we talk about the answer. PMBOK is an abbreviation for Project Management Body of Knowledge, a development by the PMI Project Management Institute as a guide for managing projects. It guides individuals who program and manage projects. It is a standard framework of the project management industry's best practices, guidelines, processes, and terminology.

Although PMBOK is a unique guide for project management, it does have portions that deal with general management to help plan, control, organize and execute operations and HR practices in organizations. The Project Management Institute (PMI) works on the necessary updations and presents PMBOK as a guide. Today, project managers use the guidelines and terminology from the seventh edition Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.    

History of PMBOK

The introduction of PMBOK was in 1969 as a professional forum for project management professionals to find solutions and share know-how. But in 1984, the first PMP certification exam was conducted. Within three years, the emergence of section A of PMBOK helped improve all processes involved in project management, but it was not a hard copy and had a few sections of 5 to 6 pages each.

The release of the new exposure draft of the PMBOK in 1994 shed light on the eight knowledge areas. In the PMP certification training exam, aspirants answered 320 questions (forty for each knowledge area) within six hours. The exam format was only MCQs. The release of the PMBOK guide's first edition in 1996 included Integration management. Its hundred and seventy-two pages held Nine knowledge areas and thirty-seven processes; after four years, the second edition release had two more methods.

In 2004 with the release of the third edition, the Guide grew to three hundred and ninety pages with forty-four processes. There was a change based on the PMBOK third edition in the PMP certification exam in August 2005, which raised the difficulty level forcing the PMI to lower the passing mark to 61%. In 2007 the PMBOK guide got the ANSI/ISO/IEC recognition, and PMI brought about the fourth edition with four hundred and sixty-seven pages, 42 processes, and 571 ITTOs in 2007. That also brought changes in the PMP certification exam. 

From August 2009 to 2011, the PMP certification exam changed 30%. In December 2012, the exam was revised again, with forty-seven processed and 619 ITTO. The sixth edition's release was in English with the inclusion of the Agile Practice Guide. The final release of PMBOK was in 2021.

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Ten Knowledge Areas of Project Management

For easy learning, PMI offers the entire project management study in ten segments known as ten project management knowledge areas in the PMBOK. The ten knowledge areas are as follows:

  • Project Integration Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Project Time Management
  • Project Cost Management
  • Project Quality Management
  • Project Human Resource Management
  • Project Communications Management
  • Project Risk Management
  • Project Procurement Management
  • Project Stakeholder Management

Need for PMBOK

PMP Certification is based on PMBOk because it results from extensive research on the best practices in the industry. A project manager with PMP certification training is an asset to the organizations because:

  • It enables organizations to maintain the same standard across their development and project management teams.
  • It works on the sequential waterfall model and is compatible with Agile practices.
  • PMBOK works with a tried and tested framework that reduces errors and encourages project success through effective risk management.
  • PMBOK works to customize the project management processes to suit the organizational requirements.

Scope of Project Management Professional Certification

Organizations are looking for a skilled project manager with project management skills to improve results. They must have mathematical proficiency to organize, execute, manage, operate projects and quickly solve problems. A project manager's career suit those who have leadership qualities and are hard workers. A project management professional certification benefits project managers in the following ways:

  • The PMI-Commissioned talent Gap Analysis said that there will be substantial job opportunities and career prospects for project managers by 2027. They expect a growth of 33% or 22 million job openings. The prediction is that India and China will hog 75% of the job market by creating jobs for eighty-eight million project managers.  
  • Various industries like IT and others who involve themselves in project-oriented jobs will require the services of PMP certified Project managers. 
  • In India, entry-level project managers with PMP certification will earn high salaries up to ₹6,07,595 per annum.
  • PMP certification training will impart skills to participants, which will help them complete multiple processes to complete the project and improve results.

Benefits of PMP Training Online

Project management's primary aim is to work for an equilibrium between the project's structure, budget, and total extent as the team collaborates to meet its goals. Globally businesses use skills learned from PMBOK in project management professional certification daily. PMP certification expands the aspirant's professional network as it opens up an avenue of high-salary-paying job opportunities.

PMP training is advantageous to the employee as well as the organization. The four main benefits of PMP certification training with PMBOK to the employee are:

  • Project managers working in a PMBOK environment receive high remuneration.
  • PMBOK knowledge opens the doors to better career growth opportunities.
  • Project managers with the PMP certification have the scope to expand their professional network.
  • PMBOk provides ample possibilities to verify personal skill levels.

The organizations that adopt the PMBOK Project management framework receive immense benefits such as reducing costs and risk and boosting their success rates. To optimize the benefits of PMP in project management, the organization must use the PMBOK approach across roles in support of the development team. The main three advantages of PMBOK in PMP certification to organizations are:

    • It helps increase the business perspective, which helps in better decision-making.
    • PMP certification equips project managers with in-depth knowledge in PMP methodologies like Agile, Hybrid, and Waterfall that help them predict and respond to market changes.
    • Project managers who work in a PMBOK framework pick the most efficient processes within the business and maximize them for better results.


Suppose an organization and its project management professional want to raise their standards and bring new elegance levels to work. In that case, they must begin with the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).  


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