Project Management Nuts and Bolts

  • In its most recent version of the Project Management Body of Knowledge, the seventh edition, the Project Management Institute defines a “project” as any “temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result” (2021).
  • Temporary means that 1. a project has begin and end dates, 2. something is expected to be delivered by a certain date, like a product, service, or result, 3. which will need to be planned, created, and delivered by that date, 4. through a team of individuals, 5. with finite resources, 6. for a group of people, called “stakeholders”, interested in their benefit, i.e., “stake” in the project, 7. that have expectations about what they receive looks, feels, and functions like; does it meet their needs?
  • We can plan the what we’re doing, called the scope, all up front, or bit by bit as we proceed through the project, which allows us to adapt to the environment and needs surrounding the project.  If we plan the scope up front, our method of planning and delivery is called “predictive” or “plan driven”; these two words are synonymous.  If however, we’re going to plan a bit of the work, create it and show it to the stakeholders as we go, soliciting their feedback that we use in future iterations of the work the whole way, we are using “adaptive” or “agile” project management.  Finally, if we use a bit of predictive and agile planning and delivery methods, or some plan driven here and some adaptive tools there, we are planning and delivering the project in a “hybrid” fashion.
  • We can depict the work we’re doing graphically using a Work Breakdown Structure, or “WBS”, for predictive projects, and as a “Product Backlog” in agile projects.
  • Additionally, we can depict the work activities over time graphically too, either as a Gantt chart for plan-driven projects, or as a Burn Up or Burn Down chart or Kanban board for agile projects.
  • Finally, we can also depict the resources graphically using a time phased spend plan.
  • If you have experience leading teams to plan and deliver projects predictively, you can certify it with PMI’s Project Management Professional certification (“PMP”), and experience planning and delivering projects adaptively, you can certify it with PMI’s Agile Certified Practitioner (“PMI-ACP”), and if your adaptive project management experience involved the most popular flavor of agile project management, which is Scrum, you can certify that experience with Scrum.Org’s Professional Scrum Master certificate, or “PSM”.
  • Once certified, you demonstrate to employers, customers, and stakeholders that you are certified to plan and deliver their projects in any of the three manners, predictively as a PMP, agilely as an ACP, or specialized as a Scrum Master.  It opens more opportunities for you as you can now apply for “Project Manager”, i.e., PMP roles, “Project Coach” for adaptive roles, and “Scrum Master” roles.  In fact, it’s this work force reality that pushed us to create certification training courses for all three certifications, even combining them for military members and veterans with sufficient experience!  Check out our Training page at

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