Should additional Project Management Knowledge Areas

and related project management processes be considered for inclusion in the PMBOK® Guide­ Seventh Edition?



By Martin Smit, PhD

South Africa




The author is now in a new phase of his life after he had to exit employment with his employer when he reached the age of 65. It is thus an opportune time for the author to do some reflection after having had the privilege to gain excellent experience in organisational project management during a working career of some 45 years. The author obtained his PMP® in 1992 (#1071). At that time the PMBOK® Guide (i.e. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge) had eight Project Management Knowledge Areas (Project Integration Management and Project Stakeholder Management were added later). In this opinion piece the author suggests that the Project Management Institute (PMI) Development and Review Team for the PMBOK® Guide­Seventh Edition should consider the possible inclusion of additional Project Management Knowledge Areas with their associated project management processes.

Keywords: project management knowledge areas; project management processes.

Project management processes and project Management Knowledge Areas

Project management processes

According to PMI (2017) project management is accomplished through the appropriate application and integration of logically grouped project management processes. PMI (2017) briefly describes a project management process as a systematic series of activities directed towards causing an end result where one or more inputs will be acted upon to create one or more outputs. PMI (2017) states that the project life cycle is managed by executing a series of project management activities known as project management processes. Every project management process produces one or more outputs from one or more inputs by using appropriate project management tools and techniques. The output can be a deliverable or an outcome which is an end result of a process. PMI (2017) mentions that these project management processes apply globally across industries and categorizes them by Project Management Knowledge Areas.

Project Management Knowledge Areas

PMI (2017) describes a Project Management Knowledge Area as an identified area of project management defined by its knowledge requirements and described in terms of its component processes, practices, inputs, outputs, tools and techniques. PMI (2017) clarifies that Project Management Knowledge Areas are fields or areas of specialization that are commonly employed when managing projects and that each Knowledge Area is a set of processes associated with a particular topic in project management. PMI (2017) mentions that the following ten Knowledge Areas are used on most projects most of the time:

  • Project Integration Management.
  • Project Scope Management.
  • Project Schedule Management.
  • Project Cost Management.
  • Project Quality Management.
  • Project Resource Management.
  • Project Communication Management.
  • Project Procurement Management.
  • Project Stakeholder Management.

Possible Additional Project Management Knowledge Areas

PMI (2017) clarifies that the needs of a specific project may require additional Knowledge Areas. The author is of the opinion that consideration should be given for the inclusion of additional Project Management Knowledge Areas during the development and review of the PMBOK® Guide­Seventh Edition as these Knowledge Areas are commonly used on most of the projects most of the time, for example:



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How to cite this article: Smit, M.J. (2019). Should additional Project Management Knowledge Areas and related project management processes be considered for inclusion in the PMBOK® Guide­ Seventh Edition? PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Smit-additional-project-management-knowledge-areas-for-pmbok-guide.pdf



About the Author

Martin J Smit, PhD, PMP®

Johannesburg, South Africa



Martin Smit is semi-retired and is the owner of a sole proprietorship, OrgPM-Value, that provides portfolio-, program- and project management consulting, education and training services and products to help organizations to create sustainable business value. His career spanned some 45 years. He worked for Eskom, the electricity utility in South Africa, for 39 years where he held various management positions in construction-, outage-, maintenance-, and project/program- management. During the latter years Martin worked in the Eskom Project Management Office (EPMO) as a Project Management Specialist/Consultant/Advisor. He has extensive experience in the development and application of project-, program- and portfolio- management methodologies, processes and best practices. Martin is certified as a facilitator to conduct project definition readiness assessments. He is also certified to facilitate learning, conduct outcomes-based assessments and moderation. Martin has developed and presented various project- and outage- management training courses.

Martin holds a MSc (Management of Technology and Innovation) from the Da Vinci Institute in the domain of Project Management and a PhD in Engineering from the North-West University in the field of Development and Management Engineering. The title of his thesis was: “Development of a project portfolio management model for execution organizational strategies: A normative case study.” He also has qualifications in civil and mechanical engineering, information management, management, and maintenance practice. Martin is registered as a Project Management Professional (PMP®).

During his career Martin has presented at various national and international conferences and he has also published articles in international journals.

Martin can be contacted at martin.smit@vodamail.co.za.