PMBOK Guide, Fifth Edition – A Book Review

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pmbok-fifth-editionA Guide to the PM Body of Knowledge: PMBOK Guide (Fifth Edition) is the latest reference text from the PMI. The Guide compiles all the essential principles and practices about this particular subject. The book is considered to be the yardstick of best practices, and contains tips and tools to help readers deliver the desired results and complete projects according to accepted standards.

Book Details

The book is about 10.8” wide, 8.3” tall, and 1.2” thick. It is in paperback with 589 pages. It was published by the Project Management Institute on January 1, 2013. It is also available in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian translations.
ISBN-10: 1935589679; ISBN-13: 978-1935589679.

Price

$35.86 for the book version or $32.03 for the Kindle version

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Target Audience

This latest PMBOK Guide is for every serious project management professional or for people in other management fields that see the practice’s importance and value in their line of work or career. It is also an essential resource for professionals preparing for a PMP certification or other PM-related certification. It is a handy desk reference for people getting ready to handle a project or those in the thick of things but want to make sure that the outcome will be successful and up to standards.

What Customers Say

Scott F. (Goodreads) wrote that if one is a project manager or if one’s work involves project management tasks, then “this is the book for you.” He believes that the knowledge and skills one can get in this book “will make anyone a better project manager.” He has been studying, using, and teaching from the PMBOK Guide since the third edition book, and this latest edition “included some great improvements.”

Gabriel Y. (Amazon) described the book as “the best PMBOK to date, a must-have for a PMP exam.” A PM class instructor and keynote speaker, Gabriel highly recommends it to other professionals. Even though the material is not the most exciting to read, the latest edition is “much more readable than ever.” He advises further those who will be taking a PMP exam to have “the physical copy” instead of just downloading a softcopy.

Stephen B., PMP (Amazon) describes the latest edition as “a well-thought-out improvement from the previous editions.” Stephen points out the new knowledge area for stakeholder management and its importance. He also mentions that the explanation in showing the business value for undertaking a project helps justify why businesses should embrace PM practices.

Content, Approach, Style

The PMBOK Guide contains all the materials covered in the Fourth Edition with the addition of a tenth knowledge area for Project Stakeholder Management. There is also an additional discussion on four new planning processes for scope management, schedule management, cost management, and stakeholder management.

The book is a high-level guide that resulted from the collaborative efforts and knowledge of practicing project managers. The presentation of project data information and information flow has been refined. Some readers find the style of writing to be dry, so some people find it hard to absorb.

Why Buy the Book

The book is the main reference for the processes and practice of project management. Most general questions about starting, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing projects can be answered by reading this book. Its previous editions have been considered by many professionals as the bible of the PM field, and the latest edition covers the updates as agreed upon by the PMI. For those who are determined to stay and advance in their PM career, this book is valuable in the preparation for a PMP certification.

Books that Complement

For those seriously considering a PMP certification, the book PMP Exam Prep, Eight Edition: Rita’s Course for Passing the PMP Exam has been recommended by several readers, authored by Rita Mulcahy.

Another good complement is Cynthia Stackpole Snyder’s A PM’s Book of Forms: A Companion to the PMBOK. This book presents a practical set of forms and reports where the concepts and practices from the PMBOK Guide can be applied.

Author

The Project Management Institute is the PM profession’s biggest global association. They set the standards which define rules, guidelines, and activities to achieve specific project, program, and portfolio management results. The Library of PMI Global Standards presents the PMBOK Guide as a book of foundational standards and PM knowledge that contain fundamental practices needed to attain high standards and project excellence.

$35.86 for the book version or $32.03 for the Kindle version

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Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

4 Responses

  1. ciscohite says:

    Nice and clean book review. Please see our PMP Practice Exam Simulator as well to your list. http://www.ebrahma.com/project-management-professional-pmp-practice-exam-simulator/

    Regards,

  2. Stuart McConney says:

    Hi Jose,
    Is the 5th Edition available in Spanish and through whom. I looked for a Spanish version on Amazon and Google’d also and found only a reference to either English 5th edition on Amazon or a 2009 4th edition in Spanish. Can you expand/clarify for me please.
    Regards
    Stuart

  3. Thanks for your book review which is very informative to prospective PMPs. In fact, the PMBOK Guide is the bible for the PMP exam and PMP aspirants would need to read through it at least once in order to be well prepared for the PMP Certification exam.

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