2. Some contradictory entries in PMI 2021


re post-delivery outcomes, and comments

on user roles, and project management involvement


Part 2 of a two-part commentary on “outcomes” in PMI 2021, 7th Ed.



By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia


Stated aspirations of a stronger focus on outcomes in PMI 2021

This article is the second of a two-part commentary which is primarily concerned with a stated aspiration of PMI 2021 – The Standard for Project Management and A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, 7th Edition – to increase its focus on outcomes from project activities, rather than just on deliverables.

In its Introduction, the first article included the following relevant quotes from the Preface to PMI 2021, page x).

…..a stronger focus on outcomes rather than deliverables.

…..to focus more on intended outcomes rather than deliverables

The outcomes referred to in these two entries are clearly what I have described as post-delivery outcomes. I have used this terminology to distinguish these types of outcomes from other usages/meanings which are also used in PMI 2021. I described these different usages as inconsistencies, and these were the main topics discussed in the first article of this two-part series, whose principal findings are now summarised.

Summary of Part 1: Some inconsistencies of usages of “outcomes” in PMI 2021

The first article (Stretton 2023j) found some sixty-six outcomes-related entries in the Standard and PMBOK Guide sectors of PMI 2021.  Different meanings and usages of “outcomes” were (somewhat tentatively) categorised, as shown in Figure 1 below, which also shows the frequencies of their appearances in these two main sectors.

It is noted here that details of the sixty-six outcomes-related entries, which were presented in Figures 2 and 4 in the first article, are reproduced as Appendices A and B to this article – both to facilitate referencing, and as substantial informational resources in their own right.

Figure 1. Types and frequencies of outcomes in the Standard and PMBOK Guide in PMI 2021

The following suggestions were offered for dealing with some of the inconsistencies of usage and/or meanings of “outcomes” in PMI 2021

  • Categorise the different types of meanings/usages of “outcomes” (perhaps broadly along the lines suggested in Figure 1 above).
  • Ensure that the type of outcome being discussed is always identified
  • Amend some of the wording in the “Checking Results” table for each Project Performance Domain in the PMBOK Guide
  • Amend corresponding wording in the initial figure for each Performance Domain

In terms of numbers of entries in both the Standard and the PMBOK Guide, it was noted that the frequency of citing of post-delivery outcomes was quite low in the former, and very low in the latter – a situation which does not align very well with the stated aspiration of PMI 2021 to focus more on post-delivery outcomes than on deliverables.

This suggested a need to amend such aspirational-related entries accordingly. But it was noted that this second article will have a good deal more to say about post-delivery outcomes, so that a postponement of any such amendments was deemed advisable.


To read entire paper, click here

How to cite this work: Stretton, A. (2023).  2. Some contradictory entries in PMI 2021 re post-delivery outcomes, and comments on user roles, and project management involvement, Part 2 of a commentary on “outcomes” in PMI 2021, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue IX, September. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/pmwj133-Sep2023-Stretton-2-Some-contradictory-entries-in-PMI-2021-re-post-delivery-outcomes.pdf

About the Author

Alan Stretton, PhD     

Faculty Corps, University of Management
and Technology, Arlington, VA (USA)
Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)


Alan Stretton is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published 250+ professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at alanailene@bigpond.com.au.

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/.