On the Usage of Language



24 September 2021

Ref: Pirozzi, M. (2021), The Everlasting Importance of a Common Project Management Language, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue IX, September. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/pmwj109-Sep2021-Pirozzi-The-Everlasting-Importance-of-a-Common-Project-Management-Language.pdf


Dear PMWJ,

I found Massimo Pirozzi’s commentary article on project management language very relevant to the recent history of the Project Management Institute (PMI), and especially to the changes of terminology as well as to the fairly recent paradigm shift in the scope of their foundational standards. Massimo’s article has provided me with a better understanding of the resultant risks to PMI and to the profession, and these resonate with the concerns I was already writing about in 2018[1]. In the hope of influencing the future direction of PMI, I would therefore like to add my personal views to Massimo’s warnings about the potential impact of making such a radical break with the past.

The paragraph in Massimo’s commentary addressing the seismic changes in the recent version of PMI’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK7[2]) presents a very clear and dramatic picture of the gap between PMI’s earlier model and their current approach. As the author states “process groups have been replaced by project management principles, and the knowledge areas by project performance domains.” The apparent demise of both process groups (which, in all fairness, had led to numerous misunderstandings throughout earlier editions but for which I have proposed a logical repositioning[3]), and of knowledge areas with their component processes (which encapsulated the core of “what is generally considered good practice in most projects most of the time” [4]) appears to be a deliberate move by senior PMI executives to break entirely with the past – and, possibly, with their historical membership…


To read entire Letter to the Editor, click here

How to cite this work: Piney, C. (2021). On the Usage of Language, Letter to the Editor, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue X, October. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/pmwj110-Oct2021-Piney-on-usage-of-language-letter-to-Editor.pdf

[1] Piney, C. (2018b). Principles and Processes, PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue III, March. https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/pmwj68-Mar2018-Piney-principles-AND-processes-commentary.pdf
[2] Project Management Institute (2021), A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), Seventh Edition, Project Management Institute.
[3] Piney, C. (2018a) “PMI’s Models of Project Management Knowledge”, PM World Journal Volume VII, Issue 1 January 2018. https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/pmwj66-Jan2018-Piney-life-cycles-process-groups-knowledge-areas-featured-paper.pdf
[4] Project Management Institute (2017), A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), Sixth Edition, Project Management Institute.