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Rediscover Project Management Knowledge

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Do you ever notice how after learning a concept many years ago, when you come across it again, you understand it either differently or better?

As we experience "life" in project management -- managing various projects, working with new teams and wearing different hats on those teams -- we get to see various aspects of project management in action. We add to that knowledge from our own successes and failures.

We usually refer to those experiences as growth and development. The experience alters how we see things and how we communicate with people: our teammates, suppliers, third party partners, customers and clients. It also alters how we perform work because we gain a new point of view or change in our current point of view.

As such, it's valuable to review what you already know by reading through chapters of A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) to focus on the key areas that you work in, be it in risk management, scope management or resource scheduling.

When you review the material after having had some experience, you not only remind yourself of what you learned initially, but you see it differently. You catch some elements that you didn't see how to implement before, or you recognize how to relate to something in a way that you didn't before. Having that "life" experience in project management alters how you see the material and how you apply it in everyday work.

This happened to me when I reviewed the PMBOK® Guide recently.  After reviewing the chapter on risk management, I realized that my company needed to include additional steps for how we handle a backup or restore operation. While many companies have testing strategies, ours only documented this step conceptually. I may not have noticed this if I hadn't reread the PMBOK® Guide.

I challenge you to review the knowledge in the PMBOK® Guide and see how you can apply it to your active projects. Areas that you can improve on will turn up and will add value to your project management practice.

How do you rediscover your project management knowledge? Have you rediscovered practices from the PMBOK® Guide recently?

Editor's note: From 17 February - 20 March 2012, the exposure draft of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) -- Fifth Edition will be open for public review. Find out more and provide your recommendations and comments on the draft.  

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Hi Dmitri,

I think nowadays it's the other way around. Project managers are first learning project management through A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), and then rediscovering project management in real life projects.

For more senior project managers it's as you stated in your post...

I've been through this recently! I had 'proper' PM training a couple of years ago and haven't been keeping myself as up to date on my education as I should. A colleague handed me the PMBOK book recently and now I make it a point to thumb through it every day - even if I can only manage a few pages, it's something to keep the principles fresh.


I can't be more in agreement with you. After 20 years of project management experience, I decided to get the PMP credential, mainly to review all theoretical aspects I've practicing so long.

That forced me to look carefully into the PMBOK and it was a fascinating experience I really enjoyed. Not to say how many things I learned.

Hi Dmitri -

I work for a project management/risk analysis software company here in Houston, TX.

You know, it is interesting that in this field we're always looking for the new processes and technologies to advance our projects and successes. You make a good point in that looking back to the basics can often be a learning, or re-learning experience in itself.

Anyhow, thanks for sharing! - Aly

I think that what has been written is correct. As we learn more and more, so we know that we need to learn more. Then practice it.

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