Introduction, Strengths and Weaknesses of Leading Project Management Standards and Frameworks

Seminar Paper, 2009

25 Pages, Grade: 1,3


Table of Contents

Table of Figures

1. Introduction

2. Project Management
2.1. Definitions
2.2. History of Project Management
2.3. Modern Project Management

3. Existing Generic Standards and Frameworks
3.1. Focused on Projects
3.1.1. PMI - PMBoK
3.1.2. APM - APM BoK
3.1.3. IPMA / GPM - ICB
3.1.4. PMAJ - P2M
3.2. Focused on People
3.2.1. AIPM
3.2.2. OSCEng
3.3. Focused on Organizations
3.3.1. PRINCE2
3.3.2. P2M
3.3.3. OPM3
3.3.4. MSP

4. The Benefits of Framework Implementation

5. Comparison of Leading Standards and Frameworks

6. Conclusion

7. References

8. Appendices

Appendix 1.: List of International Project Management Organisations and Standards

Appendix 2.: List of International Project Management Organisations by Continents

Table of Figures

Figure 1: A simple Gantt chart showing schedule dependencies

Figure 2: PERT network chart for a seven-month project with 5 mile stones

Figure 3: Summary of Standards available

Figure 4: The Structure of PMBoK Guide

Figure 5: The Structure of APM BoK

Figure 6: The IPMA Eye of Competence

Figure 8: Diagram showing the processes of PRINCE2


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

”There are two things to be considered with regard to any scheme. In the first place, "Is it good in itself?" In the second, "Can it be easily put into practice?”

Jean Jacques Rousseau

1. Introduction

What do the construction of the Pyramids of Giseh or of the Great Wall of China, Hannibal’s Alps crossing and the Berlin Airlift have in common? These all are examples for famous and inspiring historical projects which would have never been realized without a profound planning, execution, coordination, and control. Mankind seems to have a lot of experience coming from fields like construction, engineering and defense on one hand.

On the other hand we almost daily hear about projects that have failed or haven’t met customers’ expectations and as a result have even ruined whole companies and organizations.

Every year 75 Billion US Dollars have been spent on failing projects only in IT-sector. Only 17 percent of all software projects done in the United States meet the original targets, 50 percent must have those target changed.1 All that happens today, when branches and industries are faced with rough economic and highly competitive environments with an increasing market concentration and fragility which shortens product life cycles and puts very strong requirements to costs and quality.

To reduce risks of failure, to collect knowledge, to benefit from own and others’ experiences and to give guidelines to the project personnel project management was systematically developed as an outstanding discipline with its’ own standards and guides. The emergence and recognition of a distinct profession of project management has certainly been a strong driver in the development of standards and frameworks.

The need to understand and to specify the role of the project manager himself, for a common terminology and the necessity of a common basis for employment and deployment of project personnel, working collaboratively, across functions in multidisciprinary teams; across organizations in strategic alliances and joint ventures; and across continents in global projects - these were the significant factors for the development of standards world wide2.

This Term Paper presents an overview of the leading project management standards and guides for project management knowledge and performance including a comparison of their content, strengths and weeknesses.

2. Project Management

2.1. Definitions

A Project can be defined according to DIN 699013 as a unique and one time event of certain duration and predetermined date of delivery with a defined performance goal, having a complex structure with its own, specific and separate organization. It is an endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service, in order to bring beneficial change or added value4.

The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast to business as usual (or operations), which are repetitive, permanent or semi-permanent functional work to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management.5

Project Management is the the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources and the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to achieve the predetermined project requirements, such as scope, time, costs, quality in order to meet stakeholder’s needs and expectations.6

A standard is a measure, devised by general consent, as a basis. Standards, to have effect, do not need to be officially approved. They can be voluntarily accepted. In the field of PM, there is a very strong link between the definition of a PM body of knowledge and the development of standards, with a number of guides what PM practitioners are expected to know.7

Generic is something that is general, common, or inclusive rather than specific, unique, or selective.8

2.2. History of Project Management

For thousands of years people participated in various kinds of projects. Constructing Pyramids or discovering the New World - the history books are full of unique, complex undertakings limited in time and scope and need of mankind to succeed with such large, radical, history-making endeavours.9

The development of Project Management as an own discipline is illustrated through a sequence of several megaprojects. Large US construction projects such as the Hoover Dam in the 1930’s were among the first to be managed through modem principles of project administration.

Due to the industrialism and the rising complexities of the business world that acquired legitimacy from the way products were made accessible: low prices from economies of scale from the standardization of products and have raised the demand for new management principles. Frederick W. Taylor, whose study confirmed that the necessity of standardizing the work and specializing the workers10 could result in a considerable increase in productivity and a reduction in labour and material costs. His work became the forerunner to modern project management tools including work breakdown structure (WBS) and resource allocation.

Two of his students, Henry Gantt, who developed the eponymous chart which details the progress of effort in large projects, and Henri Fayol, famous for his creation of the 5 management functions such as planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling, which form the basis for the body of knowledge associated with project and program management are nowadays regarded as the “two forefathers of project management”.11

Gantt charts had become popular and have been used ever since their introduction in the 1920’s. It was easier to complete projects as the chart helped to check the scheduled times and dependencies between tasks.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: A simple Gantt chart showing schedule dependencies.12

The 1950s marked the beginning of the modern Project Management era. PM was formally recognized as a distinct discipline arising from the management discipline. Again, in the United States, prior to the 1950s, projects were managed on an ad hoc basis using mostly Gantt Charts, and informal techniques and tools. In the 1960s, manufacturing and financial companies realized that tasks could be more efficiently organized into projects and hence how important it was for various departments and professions to collaborate.

At that time, two mathematical project scheduling models were developed. The "Critical Path Method" (CPM) developed in a joint venture by both DuPontCorporation and Remington Rand Corporation for managing plant maintenance projects; and the "Program Evaluation and Review Technique" or PERT, by Booz-Allen & Hamilton as part of the United States Navy's invention of network planning. It has been attributed to the Polaris mobile submarine launched ballistic missile project that was initiated as a response to the Soviet Sputnik satellite launch in 1957.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2: PERT network chart for a seven-month project with 5 mile stones (10 through 50) and 6 activities (A through F).13

All these mathematical techniques quickly spread into private enterprises. Since then, mankind has continued to marvel at the organization of path-breaking large endeavours such as NASA’s Apollo Program, The Channel Tunnel, the Human Genome Project, the Beijing Olympic Games and the Palm Islands in Dubai.

New types of companies occured. As many organizations have adopted project-oriented working methods in their businesses, a new paradigm concerning a project company and project business has developed. Their content of a project company differs considerably from management of organizations that focus purely on manufacturing or services, or other repetitive activities.13

2.3. Modern Project Management

Project management (PM) has grown, matured and spread around the world and now presents a robust set of theories, principles, methodologies, practices, activities, people and organizations.14 Modern Project management now includes PM research and theory development, PM education and training; project, programs and PM experience and practice in industry and society; PM professional standards, qualifications and activities; PM publications and information; and commercial PM products, software tools, and services. The PM profession itself has grown to include local, regional, national and global professional organizations such as the Project Management Institute (PMI), International Project Management Association (IPMA), Association for Project Management (APM,UK), Australian Institute for Project Management (AIPM, Australia), Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE, USA), PRojects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2, UK), etc.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 3: Summary of Standards available that focus on Projects, People and Organizations15

These Professional Organizations have developed guides, standards and frameworks Management for Project Management for various purposes, which can generally be classified as the following16:

- Projects: Knowledge and practices for management of individual projects;
- People: Development, assessment, and registration/certification of people;
- Organizations: Enterprise project management knowledge and practices.

3. Existing Generic Standards and Frameworks

3.1. Focused on Projects

Those standards and guides that focus primarily on what PM practitioners need to know (knowledge guides) are also those dealing essentially with management of individual projects are as follows:

- Project Management Institute’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMI)
- Association of Project Management Body of Knowledge (APM BoK, UK)
- BS6079 Guide to Project Management (British Standards Board, 1996)
- ISO 10006 Guidelines to Quality in Project Management (ISO, 1997)
- ICB: IPMA Competence Baseline (Caupin et al., 1999)
- P2M: A Guidebook of Project and Program Management for Enterprise Innovation (Engineering Advancement Association of Japan Project Management Development Committee)

All of the documents listed are considered to be standards, either formally or informally.

All of the documents, except BS6079 and ISO 10006, are used as the knowledge base or standard for professional certification programs. ISO 10006 provides guidelines to quality in project management.

3.1.1. PMI - PMBoK17

Established in 1969, the Project Management Institute (PMI) represents the world's largest professional community engaged in the promotion, maintenance, and advancement of project management practices worldwide. PMI published the famous PMBoK Guide (Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge) which is an internationally recognized standard, that provides the fundamentals of project management as they apply to a wide range of projects.

With more than half a million members and credential holders in over 170 countries, PMI is the leading membership association for the PM profession. PMI’s Certification Department was recognized as compliant with the requirements of the International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001Certification, which means they have a good quality in the business world. Based on the job profiles and experience levels of project management professionals, PMI has identified the following two PM certifications which are both based on the PMBoK Guide (Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge which is an internationally recognized standard, that provides the fundamentals of project management as they apply to a wide range of projects:

- PMP (Project Management Professional)

grants an applicant with a globally recognized designation that serves as the foundation from which they can competently practice as a project manager leading and directing project tasks.

PMP Certification aspirants have to fulfill certain educational and professional experience requirements made by PMI before they can take this certification: People with high school diploma or global Equivalent need to have 7,500hrs in a position of responsibility leading and directing project tasks and 60 months of PM experience or 35 hrs PM education. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) are only required to have 4500 hours and 36 months of PM experience leading and directing project tasks.

- CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management)

can benefit a wide range of team members who want to demonstrate clear direction to their work. CAPM certification is a stepping-stone to the PMP Certification. Also, it is one of the fastest ways to turn PM knowledge into professional. By gaining knowledge of PM processes and terminology, professionals from all disciplines can reach higher levels of performance in their work. The CAPM credential is designed for project team members and entry-level project managers, as well as qualified undergraduate and graduate students. This certification is for someone, with high school diploma or global equivalent, 500 hrs experience on PM or 23 hrs formal education.

The PMBoK Guide was first published by the Project Management Institute as a white paper in 1987 in an attempt to document and standardize generally accepted PM17 information and practices. The 1st. Edition was published in 1996 followed by the 2nd. Edition in 2000. In 2004 the PMBoK Guide - 3rd. Edition was published with major changes from the 1st.Edition. The English-language PMBOK Guide - 4th. Edition was released on December 31, 2008.18

The PMBoK Guide is process-based, meaning it describes work as being accomplished by processes. This approach is consistent with other management standards such as ISO 9000 and the Software Engineering Institute's CMMI. Processes overlap and interact throughout a project or its various phases. They are described in terms of: Inputs (documents, plans, designs, etc.); Tools and Techniques (mechanisms applied to inputs); Outputs (documents, products, etc.).19

The Guide recognizes 44 processes that fall into five basic process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling and Monitoring, and Closing and nine knowledge areas that are typical of almost all projects.

Each of the nine knowledge areas contains the processes that need to be accomplished within its discipline in order to achieve an effective PM program. Each of these processes also falls into one of the five basic process groups, creating a matrix structure such that every process can be related to one knowledge area and one process group.

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Figure 4: The Structute of PMBoK Guide

The PMBOK Guide is meant to offer a general guide to manage most projects most of the time. A specialized standard was developed as an extension to the PMBOK Guide to suit special industries, for example the Construction Extension to the PMBOK Guide and the Government Extension to the PMBOK Guide.20

3.1.2. APM - APM BoK

The Association for Project Management (APM) is an independent professional in Europe with over 15,000 individual and 400 corporate members worldwide.21

The APM promotes project management throughout the world across all industry sectors with a strategy that focuses on five key areas: Knowledge, Professional Development. Membership, International and Governance & Administration.

The APM has developed its own Body of Project Management Knowledge known as the APM BoK. This document, which is now in its fifth edition, contains a collection of 52 knowledge areas required to manage any project successfully.

Flowing naturally from this well-respected source of industry guidance is a broad range of PM qualifications aimed at all levels of responsibility within or associated with a project team. This qualification scheme encourages continuing professional development and provides added credibility to participating organizations and encompasses the following levels:

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Figure 5: The Structute of APM BoK 21

3.1.3. IPMA / GPM - ICB

International Project Management Association (IPMA) certification program was established in 1992 in UK. This certification was developing in Europe and China, based on APM experience, but adapted to national cultures and now represents 50 PM associations from all continents on international level and 40,000 members worldwide.22


1 cf. Lewis (2001), P. 2

2 cf. Crawford (2007), P. 207

3 DIN 69901 (Deutsches Institut für Normung-German Organization for Standardization)

4 cf. PMBok (1996), P. 4

5 cf. Dinsmore (2005), P.36

6 cf. PMBoK (1996), P. 6 and PMI Standards Committee (1978), P. 4-1

7 cf. Crawford (2007), P. 208

8 as of 05.11.2009

9 cf. Cicmil, Packendorff, Hodgson, Lindgren (2009), P.78

10 Packendorff (1995), P. 319

11 as of 05.11.2009

12 as of 05.11.2009

13 as of 05.11.2009

14 cf. Artto (2001), P.2

15 Crawford (2007), P. 209

16 cf. Duncan (1998) adopted by cf. Crawford (2007), P. 208

17 as of 05.11.2009

18 af of 05.11.2009

19 cf. PMBoK (1996), P. 7

20 as of 05.11.2009

21 cf. APM BoK (2000)

22 as of 05.11.2009

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Introduction, Strengths and Weaknesses of Leading Project Management Standards and Frameworks
University of Applied Sciences Berlin
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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PMI, PMBoK, Project Management, Projekt Management, IPMA, GPM, Prince2, APM
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Natalie Zonis (Author), 2009, Introduction, Strengths and Weaknesses of Leading Project Management Standards and Frameworks, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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