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Software Extension to PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition Released

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Project Management Institute recently published software extension to the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition. It includes mapping and replacing traditional approaches with their agile alternatives to ease the transition from traditional to agile methods. The software extension to the PMBOK guide is a joint development between IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and PMI.

The objective of this software extension is to expand and elaborate on the general project management concepts, tools and techniques, and vocabulary found in A Guide to the Project Management Body of knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – fifth edition and to provide more specific and precise terms, concepts, and methods for managing software projects.

The guide does not dismiss or discount the original goal, but instead offers some alternative tools organizations typically use when faced with the complexity and uncertainty of a software project, mentioned by Mike Griffiths, independent consultant in his blog on agile advocacy.

PMBOK fifth edition also includes lead of some of the other extensions to the guide, such as the extension for construction management; it explains the unique challenges for the industry and provides outlines for accepted good practices. Extension of PMBOK was explained in a press release note of PMI as:

PMI’s extensions to the PMBOK Guide provide targeted guidance for the management of projects in specific industries, or for specific types of projects. PMI has also published extensions for construction and government-related projects. Designed to be used in tandem with the latest edition of the PMBOK® Guide, the Software Extension to the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition is targeted primarily for the management of software development projects, and also could be used by managers of other projects that use an adaptive or iterative life cycle.

Mike mentioned some of the unique factors about software development that impact project management. These include:

  • The intangible nature of software
  • We rarely create the same systems twice
  • Requirements often change
  • Non-linear scaling of resources
  • Non-linear completion
  • Changing platforms and technologies

Mike says once these realities of software projects are understood; the recommendations for a more exploratory and iterative approach to project execution and planning make sense.

John Zlockie, manager of standards for PMI,shared his views on collaboration of IEE and PMI for new PMBOK in PMI press release.

Through our collaboration with IEEE Computer Society, we can offer a specialized resource that complements and builds on the practices shown in the latest edition of the PMBOK Guide. The Software Extension is an ideal reference source for practitioners seeking segment-specific information on software project management techniques.

John Keppler, IEEE Computer Society manager of certifications and professional education, shared his views on the software extension of PMBOK as:

As the complexity of software projects increases, there is definite need for software project managers to keep things on track. The Software Extension is a welcome addition to the Computer Society’s selection of education and training products for software development professionals.

Software extension to the PMBOK® Guide fifth edition is available through PMI Marketplace.

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