Organizations perform work that is either operations or projects. While operations and projects share many characteristics such as performed by people, constrained by limited resources, and planned, executed, and controlled, they differ primarily in that, operations are ongoing and repetitive while projects are temporary and unique. A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service, with a definite beginning and a definite end, and the product or service is different in some distinguishing way from similar products or services (1).
Projects bring together resources, skills, technology and ideas to achieve business objectives and deliver business benefits. Good project management helps to ensure that risks are identified and managed appropriately, and objectives and benefits are achieved within budget, within time and to the required quality.
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities in order to meet or exceed stakeholder needs and expectations from a project. This invariably involves balancing competing demands among:
Project management has been receiving recognition as a distinct discipline needing focused attention since the early 1980s. The first step in developing any discipline is to develop a Body of Knowledge on the discipline, around which detailed concepts, approaches and methodologies are developed. Incidentally, project management discipline gained visibility and recognition due to the explosive growth of the IT industry and outsourcing globally, and the problems of managing such projects effectively, to meet project objectives. Project management has (a) body of knowledge and (b) project management tools or software.
The project management body of knowledge is a generalized body of knowledge on the discipline, developed to create basic competence and knowledge, in project management personnel, to handle complex projects in a structured manner. This was important since the people working and managing projects (having to manage projects) in the IT industry, was young and inexperienced, and IT project management itself was an emerging area. Therefore it was felt that a defined body of knowledge is necessary to build the concept of PM.
In this paper, we will be discussing PMBok of the Project Management Institute (PMI, USA) and APM (Association of Project Managers) (UK). In addition, we will also look at PRINCE2, that is more of a software product for project management, but flexible enough to fit in between, a body of knowledge and a full scale SW product. While both APM and Prince2 have their origin in UK, PMBoK is from PMI of USA. APM represents the BoK from France, Germany, UK, and Switzerland. PMBoK and APM are body of knowledge while PRINC2 is a PM software product and hence branded as prescriptive (defined for the user with limited flexibility within the overall framework), while the BoK is just a body of knowledge, that need to be put to use by defining the operational elements.