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Extending the PMBOK

Initiate, Plan, Execute, Control and Close are common procedures to effectively do a project – no matter what the scale might be. Various tools and techniques have been taught by the governing body – PMI ( which have stood the test of time, albeit with certain refinements (customization) and have contributed towards the successful delivery from inception to handover of a host of projects. Each and every steps as ran down in PMBOK are proven assests. Under, this backdrop it is time to challenge, the age old proven track record. The punchline is “Extending the PMBOK”.


PMBOK, educates to run a project no matter what the size is a firm in itself. In SAP implementation terminologies it helps make a project at a “Company code” level where each project by virtue of its unique status, is a balance sheet and P&L in itself. Each project runs like an independent corporate. Here, lies a miss – Project as an independent structure by itself wherein a project team and onwards processes are so uniquely determined, it fails to capture the advantages of synergies. Lots of time and effort is lost in preparing repetitive documentation which are needed as per PMBOK methodology and planning window is very expansive. A project manager virtually starts from scratch on individual blueprints. On top of this there is a review and approval process which encompass these documentation deligue.


Need of the hour is for each company to develop, prototypes – not just template. PMI on its part needs to develop a best practice prototype which should be available to users for a licencing fee. What actually, is a prototype? Lets take it up with a case study:


Case Study: 250 MW Green Field Combined Cycle Gas Power Project.


PMI with its best practice and inputs from corporate like GE, Siemens, ALSTOM, BHEL etc who have proven track records towards successful development of such a project over decades, should sit together and make a blue print. Let this blue print package constitute of all the documents which are required from a project management prospective towards delivering such a project which takes anywher between 18-24 months. The standard document will include not just templates but actual data and these documents should be developed in such a way that, subsequent user just changes the master data, and the document is created in current context. Such a document, will have a shorter lead time in terms of development, review and approval and it will be full proof – devoid of manual errors. Risk, costs, procurement, revenue, schedule sheets – yes, everything can be standardised from top to bottom. Such a blueprint would be customizable, to include very specific project doctorines and regimens. Once such blueprints are created they should be patented under owners and become PMI repositories. Such repositories then becomes a commodity to be used, thereby cutting down significant on delivery lead times and when we are talking about a mamoth project – a day saved can mean an extra day of 250 MW generation. Imagine the savings – and calculate the numbers.


Similar case studies from other types of project, from a building construction, bridge construction, IT implementation project, an M&A acquisition and a retail set up can be standardised and stockpiled. PMI has to expand to include these inovations in order to become an engine of standardisation. Time is ripe to standardised even unique deliverables.


Customers, need to understand that all savings cannot be passed onto them on day 1 and same hold good for contractors. Such a blueprint prototype development will be a high cost/highly skilled project in first place and returns will be sequential to time. PMI, today has a junta of highly experienced and talented members and it is backed up by almost all the leading companies who value its knowledge and methodologies. Need of the hour to start pilot projects through work shops at various places and make a reposititory which is “reused” for maximum savings in future.

Time has come for PMI to expand behind text book teaching and become a “new product development”  (NPD) company in itself – There can be 1000’s of projects and each of these projects is an IP commodity- let above case study be ran for a North American, Europe, Asian, African and Australian geography independenly and see how many valuable assets can be developed.

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