We are selective in the books we are willing to review on this web site, so some books get turned down. What we are interested in is material that brings new insight into the discipline of project management. This latest book does just that.
As most people know, and certainly those who visit this web site, the Project Management Institute ("PMI") has published the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge ("PMBOK® Guide"). This guide is PMI's standard of reference for project management practice and documents the various areas of project management functional knowledge required. However, the descriptive content is structured according to classic systems theory using the basic and simple Input-Process-Output model. This approach involves describing a considerable number of processes that are encountered in the course of managing a project and that tend to be repeated for each knowledge area. It also results in describing an even larger number of inputs and outputs.
Understanding all of this in detail is a considerable challenge for any reader but especially for those studying the PMBOK Guide with a view to adapting it to a practical project. Of course the Guide is not intended as a project management methodology, but only a statement of the things that a project manager should know about. Nevertheless, many people do try to apply the guide to their projects, in effect, as a methodology.
Now, author Muhamed Abdomerovic has undertaken the tremendous task of analyzing the complete PMBOK Guide to trace all those inputs and outputs and present them as logical sets and in chronological sequences of content. These sets he presents from several different points of view and adds comments, suggestions and advice. As Muhamed explains, in order for a project manager to plan, execute and control any project according to the PMBOK Guide, it is essential to understand the inherent sequencing of inputs and outputs.
So, as Muhamed says, lack of this information to date represents a knowledge gap between the theoretical concepts of a document that has experienced a spectacular circulation and the far more modest application of these ideas to practical project management. Muhamed has clearly filled this gap. In the course of his analysis he has also not surprisingly found some disconnects and anomalies that hopefully the Institute will correct in the next update of the PMBOK® Guide. So his book provides some missing links. However, the book is a detailed explanation of the PMBOK Guide and not a criticism of it.
A CD is also available to supplement the book. It contains fourteen PowerPoint files (with a total of nearly 150 slides) providing the reader with color illustrations of the figures in the book. These could be invaluable for lecturers wishing to illustrate the ideas behind the PMBOK® Guide.