It seems terribly obscure, long winded, over complicated, and wreaks of unnecessary overhead. Is this stuff really in use? If so, there has GOT to be a better way to get things done. This PMBOK stuff could cause a lot of waste in terms of both time and staffing resources for a business, as far as I can tell.

Is this really a current standard?

Any pros care to share some real world experience to a student who seems to have stumbled across a terribly inefficient looking set of guidelines?

  • 1
    Just a tip, you should try to write your questions so that they're more objective and less argumentative. The way you ask your question "doesn't it seem quite inefficient?" suggests that you already have an opinion on this subject and are attempting to start a discussion. Questions that are argumentative or chatty could be closed by the community. Check out the FAQ for more guidelines on writing good questions. – jmort253 Mar 9 '11 at 5:28
  • I am voting to close this question unless someone can improve it so it's not argumentative or unless someone can think of some good, strong reasons why this is a valid, on-topic question. I'd love to try to save this question, if at all possible. Please help! Thank you :) – jmort253 Mar 9 '11 at 5:41

As you write yourself, it is a standard, NOT a methodology. It contains a loadfull of "general accepted practises" that are useful on "most projects, most of the time".

As a project manager, you still have to decide what to use and what not or adapt it to suit your needs.

Because it is a standard, it is supposed to cover very large, complex projects, as well as short and simple ones. That is why it may look overwhelming. But for simple projects, well you simplify things.

I find it a terrible document, but the principles it contains are universal for good project management. They're not a guarantee for succesful projects, however.


Pros: going into a large organization, without any structure, it's an easy sell and gets people thinking about PM processes. How's it's implemented should be determined by a knowledgeable PM than can fine tune it (or any other methodology) to the specific org.....


Looks like you have a bad teacher in your class. PMBOK is a state-of-the-art project management body of knowledge. The problem is that its description (the PMBOK Guide itself) is difficult to read. I would strongly recommend you to read this book first: PMP Exam Prep, Sixth Edition: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.