Bodies of Knowledge and Competency
Standards in Project Management
ALAN M. STRETTON, UNIVERSITY OF MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY, ARLINGTON, VA
The original version of this chapter, published in the first edition of this handbook, was written when the only knowledge standard for project management was the 1987 Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®)1 developed by the Project Management Institute (PMI), headquartered in the United States. After publication of the first edition, the PMBOK® was completely rewritten and renamed A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) in 1996, with revised editions published in 2000, 2004, and 2008, but with the basic 1996 structure unchanged.2
In the meantime, other bodies of knowledge of project management have been developed around the world, notably in the United Kingdom, Europe, and Japan. These are all markedly different from the PMBOK® Guide, but are the de facto project management knowledge standards in their respective geographic domains. Thus, no single universally accepted body of knowledge of project management is currently recognized.
This situation has stimulated numerous efforts to try and define which topics should be included in a global body of knowledge of project management, and how they might be structured. The most notable of these was the OLCI, initiated in 1998. Results from this initiative will be discussed below.
Another development is the adoption in some countries of performance-based competency standards, rather than knowledge standards, as a basis for assessing and credentialing