The PMBOK Guide Fourth Edition has been revised. This is an important milestone for Project Managers around the globe. As a Standard the PMBOK is indispensable because of its translation, wide spread global acceptance and the critical importance of providing people with a reference with which to communicate. I always carry the localized translations when I am working on a project in China, Japan or Asia. Having a common set of tools is the first step in a successful communication loop. Once again the PMBOK is changing. There have been many great blog posts, conferences and lectures about the changes. There is one change that is critical. The major change is the deletion of a “Create a Preliminary Scope Statement”. This was found in the Initiate phase in the Third Edition. Why has the global community decided to delete this? Is this a good idea?
I think so. There was ambiguity and confusion between 2 scope statement documents. The Initiation is the start it is the beginning. Creating the Preliminary Scope Statement was Planning. Now it is very clear. Scope is Planning. There is one more change that is equally critically important. Now the first area in Planning is Collect Requirements. This has been clarified to focus on the stakeholders.
People are what make projects work, and the lessons learned from the project management literature have shown that setting common expectations is critical. For example “Project Success: A Cultural Framework” PMI Journal Vol. 35, No1, 30-45, ISSN 8756-9728/03 Stress creating a “Project Management Subculture”. This is the culture of common language, collaborative teams and competent project managers. There is a wide selection of literature which talks about the complexity of communicating across time, place and culture.
PMBOK Fourth Edition has placed more emphasis on people. People provide the requirements. The process of discovering those requirements are soft skills. PMBOK Fourth Edition 5.1 Collect requirements guide emphasizes creativity, collaboration and documentation. In fact these same soft skills are repeated in managing Risk, Quality and other areas. These skills are focused on people and creating Culture. Project Culture is about change. We all know that fundamental change is difficult to achieve. Taking the time to use the PMBOK Guide to collect requirements is essential. Fundamentally, speed and agility may not be the essence when you consider that creating Culture takes time. Good Project Management is taking the time to communicate with each other about the Requirements beyond micro messages, and stand up meetings.
What do you think? Does the Fourth Edition clarify Scope Management and place more emphasis on People?