A recent article on Techwire Asia has focused on the topic of PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) and how software can help managers to apply it better. We thought this would be an interesting read for those considering the purchase of project management software from a company such as Seattle-based LiquidPlanner.
When it comes to earning the title of Project Managers Professional (PMP), the awarding body, Project Management Institute (PMI), will test individuals on their knowledge of PMBOK, which are the recognized standards within the industry.
To be awarded the certification, individuals have to demonstrate their knowledge in the five areas or process groups of PMBOK. These are:
- Monitoring and controlling
However, other areas tested include the following:
- Resource management
How Software Can Help
Project managers will need to complete tasks or functions within each process/knowledge area, also being sure that they follow a specific sequence when doing so. Using online project management software will help immensely when it comes to achieving this. Most software packages for project management are typically designed around the key areas of PMBOK, and they should encourage collaboration and communication between all members of a team.
Project management software adheres to the standards of PMBOK by providing the tools necessary to use in each process category. For example, with the right software program in place, your team can begin a project by setting the wheels in motion, generally known as the initiation stage. This could entail, for example, obtaining relevant authorizations and securing the resources required for the project to proceed.
Following on from this is the project planning stage whereby specific tasks and roles need to be assigned. The budget also needs to be scheduled at this point, and all the goals have to be set. Project managers also have to identify all the risks involved in the project; a good software program can assist.
The next stage is project execution, which is where the real work starts. With project management software, the project can be carefully controlled and monitored to ensure it stays within budget and on track for on-time completion.
Once the project has reached successful completion, closure takes place and a report can be generated. Once again, this is something that can be helped greatly with the right software program in place.
Within the key process categories of PMBOK, project management software programs usually include tools that allow managers to manage the nine knowledge areas of the guidelines. These knowledge areas allow for the management of project activities, deliverables, and the final product. When it comes to time management, managers can get to grips with scheduling and productivity issues, while a cost management tool could provide everything required to manage budgeting activities.
There should also be a tool for quality management, human resource management, communications management, risk management, and procurement management. All of these tools help make project managing much easier.
Why is PMBOK Important?
PMBOK allows for greater transparency and performance among companies. By following the recognized standards of what works best within the project management industry, companies and individuals will be able to make better decisions to benefit both themselves and the company they work for. Those holding a PMP certification will have a distinct advantage over other candidates when applying for promotions or jobs with other companies.
To improve your knowledge of PMBOK and to help gain PMP certification, project management software is definitely something to consider. With these programs designed around the principles of PMBOK, using them will improve your knowledge and understanding of this relatively new but growing industry.