Thought Leadership in Project Management: with Dr. Calvin Nobles, Chairman of Cybersecurity and IT Advisory Board for the Maryland Center and Bowie State University

– By Dr. Emad Rahim, PMP, CSM, ACPM

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Dr. Calvin Nobles is an information technology and cybersecurity subject matter expert (SME), national security leader, cybersecurity scientist, and practitioner with more than 25 years of experience. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland University College. He is active in involved in the cybersecurity community, volunteering with multiple professional associations and conducting research. He authored a book on the integration of technologically advanced aircraft in general aviation. Dr. Nobles’ personal story is featured in the book, Black Men Changing the Narrative Through Education.

Dr. Nobles recently retired from the U.S. Navy after 25 years and is currently employed with Wells Fargo as a Cybersecurity / Information Security subject matter expert supporting the Enterprise Access Management Team. Dr. Nobles serves as the Chairman, Cybersecurity and Information Technology Advisory Board for the Maryland Center and Bowie State University. Additionally, he serves on the Cyber Council for the Intelligence and National Security Alliance. Dr. Nobles has fulfilled various leadership positions. He served as a Cybersecurity, Cyberspace, and Cryptologic Planner, as the Deputy Director of Operations, Deputy Director for Strategy and Governance, Director of National Operations, Chief Security Officer and Deputy Director of Intelligence, and the Executive Lead for Cyber Intelligence Support.

How did your cybersecurity career get started?

My career in cybersecurity started the United States Navy while working at the National Security Agency after transitioning from naval aviation. It started when cyberspace operations were highly sensitive and unknown to the public.

What is the role of project management in cybersecurity?

Project management is vital to cybersecurity as it serves as a managing platform for a multitude of efforts such as technology integration, strategy and policy development, remediation, process changes, and large-scale efforts. Project management is a common understanding for cybersecurity professionals as a Project Manager leads each project and directed by a Project Sponsor (controlling authority). Project management is essential in ensuring the projects stay on schedule, within the cost parameters, and on its intended purpose. It is difficult to imagine how large organizations will coordinate, prioritize, and implement cybersecurity endeavors without project management. Most cybersecurity professionals are accustomed to working on project teams or supporting indirectly.

Abstract Technology background.Security concept with padlock ico
Abstract Technology background.Security concept with padlock icon

Can you please summarize your industry, and share how organizations are applying cybersecurity and project management in the workplace?

I currently work in the financial and services industry for a Fortune 50 company as a Cybersecurity / Information Security Professional. One of my responsibilities includes serving as a Project Sponsor. In this role, I am the controlling authority for the project; yet, the project manager is responsible for project objectives and the administrative functions. My previous project was an enterprise level project that I assumed control with two months from project completion date, and the project was behind schedule. Through long hours and building a comfortable and productive working relationship with the Project Manager, the project was completed on time. My next project will be a Role Based Access Control effort that takes 18-24 months to complete. By the way, functioning as a Project Sponsor is one of many responsibilities as a cybersecurity professional. Regardless of the specialty, supporting, directing, or leading projects is a collective responsibility.

Do you see any trends in your industry as it relates to cybersecurity and project management and other related methodologies?

For the most part, I envision that the current trends and practices will continue regarding cybersecurity and project management. Project management will remain the platform for managing a litany of efforts in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a multidisciplinary field and project management is one of the many specializations that align under the cybersecurity umbrella. I do not foresee that changing for some time.

What is your advice to people that are interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity and project management within your industry?

My advice for project managers seeking to work in the financial and services industry is to learn as much as possible about the industry or cybersecurity. If possible, try to get a graduate certification in cybersecurity, a graduate degree in cybersecurity, or a professional certification in cybersecurity. If attaining advanced education is not financially possible then use resources like Cybrary and other free online training to increase your cybersecurity knowledge. Ask to volunteer in cybersecurity once a week at work. Attend cybersecurity conferences and network to find an employer willing to provide employment. Joining a professional cybersecurity association will provide exposure to cyber professionals, tacit knowledge, and different venues. Do not give up; if it is a professional desire to work in cybersecurity then keep learning and networking.

I noticed you had earned several certifications. What type of value has these certifications provided to you in your career?


I have not earned any professional certifications; however, I have earned several graduate certificates from universities. In some industries, these graduate certificates are respected like certifications.

Do you think the industry is catching up to better understanding the benefits of cyber security and program?

 Absolutely, with the Equifax, Deloitte, Uber, and Yahoo cyber breaches accompanied by intrusive regulatory oversight and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), most organizations understand. With increased fiduciary scrutinizing, BoD and corporate officers realize the serious implications of being underprepared for cybersecurity. This is just one element, the cybersecurity threat landscape, emerging technologies, a shortage of cyber talent, IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, the Dark Web, and blockchain are exciting developments that will change cybersecurity. From the BoD, c-suite, and leaders across the enterprise need to understand the basics of the abovementioned technology. Cybersecurity is evolving, and so are the cybersecurity threat actors who seek to exploit any unmitigated vulnerability. As long as data is the new currency, the industry will continuously change to maximize security or at least try.

What are some of the significant gaps you still see in the cyber security profession and what can industries do to address them?

A significant gap is cybersecurity leaders linear thinking on what it means to be a cybersecurity professional. Another gap is the lacking of defined minimum standards for cybersecurity professionals. Organizations continue to overlook individuals with certifications and degrees with no experience for employees with 5-10 years of experience. The talent gap is widening too fast to continue to ignore individuals with the passion, credentials, and drive but lack experience. The lack of women and minorities in cybersecurity requires immediate attention. There is a lacking of applied research in cybersecurity as evident by ongoing issues like human factors, technology integration, and ineffective cybersecurity training.


What type of things do you do to stay current in your field (professional development)?

I classify myself as a cybersecurity scientist. Working as a cybersecurity practitioner and conducting research on various topics in cyber sharpens my proficiency. Additionally, I attend conferences, network, and read extensively in different areas of cybersecurity. Also, I am pursuing several certifications from three different universities on cybersecurity to stay current and informed on cyber-related matters. For my technical skills, I rebuild own computer systems, developed a virtual network, and conduct attacks on a personal network.

What are your last thoughts or closing remarks to our project manager subscribers?

Project managers are enablers of cybersecurity efforts and bring a level of expertise that many cyber professionals do not have. Project managers that have a high-level of cybersecurity proficiency are value added to projects. Whatever sector you support, make it your purpose to learn as much as possible about the industry.

The Agile Organizational Development Framework (SOE#5)

– Dr. Saadi Adra, PgMP, PfMP, PMP, CEO at ADVISORS sarl and Guest Contributor


Dr. Adra is the Founder and CEO at Advisors (PMI-REP, PMI-KSA Academy, PMI-UAE, KG, KMI, ITQAN, GET, KETS, SKEMA Business School, Shipley Associate/Partner). Recipient of the PMIEF Snyder Award EMEA-2016 for the Integrated Life Cycle Management Framework (ILMF). He holds seminars in Saudi, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, Portugal, Spain, France, Turkey and USA


Hamzah left his team with his client, offering them only one direction; make the client happy and went on a vacation…

There are three possible outcomes to this situation:

  1. Feels like cutting the whiskers of a pussycat? Wearing extra tight shirt and trousers, with a suffocating shoe? The essence of failure, throwing away everything Potter, Collins, Kotter, Drucker, Covey,… spoke off? You cannot just stop management planning, supervision and control and go away, expect hings to go very well on their own; this will rather lead to chaos, and worst, losing the client.
  2. The team has the needed competency and agility to work in an autonomous manner with the client, and they agree on an action plan that pleases the client. The team lacks the essential authority to access the resources and receive much needed support from other organizational units that follow the standard chain of command in a functional or bureaucratic organization. The client will be delayed until Hamzah comes back and provides the needed support.
  3. The team has the needed competency and agility, and proper access to resources. They work closely with the client, commit and deliver. By the time Hamzah is back, the client is ready to sign another order.

Organizational Development for Agility

Apparently, the third case does not happen by chance and requires a lot of preparation until we achieve a status, where the organization is not dependent on the leader to perform. This in turn, raises a rather intriguing question: What is the role of the leader if the team is capable of exceptional performance without his or her intervention? The answer is to manage Organizational Development for achieving organizational agility, building agile autonomous teams that are centralized around the customer, hence focusing the whole value of the organization on both the client and the team. Often, this requires a major transformation, hence our leader shall head change management by spreading awareness on the urgent need for change, forming a coalition from all decision makers in the first place, setting the right vision and communicating it to all stakeholders. Following, our leader shall build on the success story of our empowered team with his client and institutionalize on it to spread and transform the organization.

Organizational Development Framework (ODF)

Transforming an organization’s values to becoming “better, faster, cheaper” with focus on client and team is not an easy task. In fact this is swimming against the flow, as our organizations are formed around shareholders, revenues, profits, policies, compliance and sustainability of the status-co no matter what. Change is painful and demands consistency and perseverance in transforming organizational functions, while handling resistance in order to evolve the culture with the new values – a no overnight task.

ODF is a complex process and is composed of six service-categories, which are:

  1. Assessment and Gap Analysis
  2. Organizational Governance and Management Framework
  3. Process Development, Improvement and Re-engineering
  4. MIS and Process Automation
  5. Capacity Building and Development
  6. Operations & Roll-out

The Agile Organizational Development Framework

Hamzah says the above is great, but feels more like subscribing to Waterfall rather than Agile. Farid comes back with the following notes to enhance the ODF with more agility in order to produce more value with less work:

Start with Enhanced Assessment First.

The assessment has to cover multiple aspects that are listed in the previous organizational development chart, but needs to include:

  1. An analysis of customer needs for the future, rather than mere existing ones.
  2. Team-building capabilities is something of utmost importance, since the teams will provide both decision making and delivery in an autonomous manner.
  3. Governance, specifically for mobilizing decision making to the team level – to the extent possible.
  4. Analyzing organizational readiness is quite essential, since moving into organizational agility requires change at more than the level of the team.
  5. The level of leadership offers an indicator.

All-together the assessment produces a gap-analysis report that presents a holistic view, with details that cover both positive existing capabilities (and human assets) that should be preserved and nurtured, low hanging-fruits (capabilities that can be targeted for quick wins and low cost), and major challenges or pains that should be addressed.

Develop a Holistic-Adaptable Improvement Road-Map.

The gap-analysis report provides solid ground for conducting prioritization – similar to that known in Portfolio – but rather focused on the inside of the organization, instead of external investments and initiatives. Remember that the needed development is prioritized around client, team, mobile governance and proper decision making. Relative KPIs are set accordingly in order to provide visibility, measurement and identify success. Perhaps some concepts can be borrowed from lean-startup methods, with the complexity of being anchored within an existing organization. The road-map provides perspective and helps set a strategy, while much details are left to the individual improvement projects that will attempt to solve specific challenges, each at a time. The road-map is the anchor for integrating smaller agile improvement projects, and is subject to frequent visits based on any new data or evidence that was not clear before, based on experimentation and customer feedback.

Agile Autonomous Small Improvement Teams.

The result of the holistic road-map is the selection and prioritization of multiple improvement initiatives that will run both in parallel and series, each managed via an independent agile team that is highly empowered. If it is quite hard to transfer authority to the team, then include someone of the C-level with enough authority to work directly with the team, until there is enough value/cultural change in the organization to facilitate autonomous team efficiency – always at the organizational level, since our team and client are now almost operating as one entity.

Multiple Small Incremental Improvements.

Each team would work quickly to provide results applying the Pareto rule, focusing on the most important things first. In this type of agile development, it is OK not to get results in the first iteration, the underachievement will be a base for learning what not to do, and for rapid re-planning and refocus on what it more important, but this has to come really quick like in a week or two. By the seventh iteration, usually good practices are captured.

Team Interfaces Across Silos.

Although each team is working independently, interface management is monitored at the holistic level, and individual teams coordinate with other teams using the right interfaces. Cross-team interactions are monitored and supported thoroughly. In the beginning, you will find Agile teams trying to communicate with functional units, before everyone else moves to agile, and politics are quite critical here. Simultaneously, team performance is assessed and measured to train, support, facilitate, augment, replace or add are identified and implemented.

In organizational Development, there is no one-size-fits-all. The Agile Organizational Development Framework (Agile-ODF) is delivered by professionals with diverse backgrounds focusing primarily on competencies, teams, organizational values, culture, governance and various tools and techniques that are adapted to every unique situation.

If you are interested in a follow-up call for your corporate training or consulting needs, please fill in the form and you will receive a free A3 PDF for the Organizational Development Framework Chart:

YES, I am interested!

Check my previous articles:

The SE7EN Pains that Keep Organizations Awake at Night! (SOE#0)

How to Establish a Successful PMO (SOE#1)

PMO/PMC -The Missing Link (SOE #2)

17 Organizational Challenges & Common Pains (SOE #3)

The Ten Structures of Organizational Excellence (SOE#4)

Stay Tuned:

Public-Private-Partnership / Program Management Office PPP.PgMO (SOE#6)

Capacity Development Office (SOE#7)

Breaking the Silos – The Integrated Life Cycle Management Framework (SOE#8)

Capacity Building: Training for a Purpose (SOE#9)

The Integration of Consulting & Training (SOE#10)

Saving Troubled & Delayed Projects (SOE#11)

The Rapid Assessment & Improvement Engagement (SOE#12)

The Knowledge Management Office (SOE#13)

Leadership and Communication in Project Management

– By  Scott Gilbreth, President of 3AIG and Bellevue University Student

Praise of Thought


Scott Gilbreth currently serve as the President of 3AIG, a service company he co-founded. He formally worked as the Quality Assurance and Compliance Manager at Esports. He is from the Nebraska area and is working towards a Master’s Degree in Management Information Systems (MIS) at Bellevue University to further his education and dream of working within the Technology Sector. If you would like more information, you can connect with him on LinkedIn:

Leadership and Communication are two of the most important abilities, that a Project Manager must be able to implement and use in the life of a project. As important as it is for a project manager to address issues and update stakeholders on the progress of a project, it is that much more important for a project manager to be upfront, honest, and consistently communicating with their project team. Alongside, using leadership to help address any issues that arise, the project manager is able to give full instruction on how to fix the issues if one or more project team members are unaware of a solution.

While communication can have its ups and downs, or as the project managers like to call them, communication risk factors, it is important to stay calm and asses the issues and come up with reasonable solutions. While reasonable solutions are not always found, and communication problems continue, issues like these can get to a point where a project does become plagued. Because these issues are continuing, shows signs that either, Trust & Credibility, is not present between the Project Manager or Project Team and an individual of the Project Team or a Stakeholder.


Secondly, Emotions, it is important to have individuals who can still perform in emotional states, while this is not always the case, it can cause issues with the project team or project manager when making decisions. In cases when it is the project manager who is emotionally altered, it will in turn make it difficult for them to fully communicate or perform leadership a team in time of need.

Lastly, Filtering, it is important for a project manager to not manipulate information to make it more appealing to a receiver, but state the truth and consistent honesty. Alongside filtering, is that of being a transparent project manager is recommended to fully obtain respect. In fact, those leaders who feel they must be closed off and not use transparency end up losing their authoritative power, respect, leverage, and overall trust from the employees around them. Because they do not reciprocate to the employee, providing lack of communication, and only talking down, and not towards those employees they are trying to lead. Most leaders who try to lead, end up just managing, and never learn how to correctly lead. While being transparent is recommended, there are multiple times when you must jump into full on Manager, and in turn it become difficult to be transparent with your project team as a project manager. The situation is dependent on the urgency, and in most cases, is only used when:

  • The Project Manager is delivering BAD news to the Client(s), Stakeholders, or Upper-Management. Such as “we are behind on schedule, and we will need more time or more financial recourses.” This kind of situation can case the project manager to encourage and force the project team to work harder and longer in a demanding tone. Which in place, can cause the project team to view the project manager as disrespectful and mistrusting. As he/she has allowed the project to run behind schedule and over budget.


  • When the project does not fully communicate the outline of the guidelines for the project, causing team members to wonder if the project fully has an understanding of the project. If the project manager does not fully understand what is needing to be done, neither will those who they are leading.

To end this discussion on leadership and communication, I feel it is best if we address the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, this test as we all know analyzes key characteristics of an individual’s personality, and in turn can tell if they are suitable for specific traits. Specific traits hold enhancement for being a leader, being extroverted, introverted, and etc. All these traits, determine how successful an individual will be at managing, leading, and fully communication with a team, as well as subordinates.



(2013). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® guide. Newtown Square, Pennsylvania: Project Management Institute, Inc.

Project Communication Management & Leadership, Gray, Laron, Schneider, Dowd & De Janasz. (2015) McGraw Hill, 2015.

Danturthi, R. Sarma (December 31st, 2016). Transparency In Project Management. Retrieved from

Graybill, M. (August 8th, 2013). Leadership Fundamentals: Transparency & Trust. Retrieved from

Gray, Laron, Schneider, Dowd & De Janasz. (2015) McGraw Hill, 2015.

Sivasankari, R. (2010). Art of communication in project management. Retrieved from


Thought Leadership in Project Management: with John Farris, Senior Security Specialist with Air Force Materiel Command

– By Dr. Emad Rahim, PMP, CSM, ACPM

Farris, John 5x7 160128-F-AL359-002John Farris is Senior Security Specialist at Headquarters, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright Patterson Air Force Base Ohio. He has served the Department of Defense as active duty, military, a contractor, and government civilian for almost 38 years. He has fulfilled many roles and many different locations over that time. His current role he uses many of project management tools and processes to advance security practices and policies. Before that he acted as a subject matter expert overseeing multi-million dollar Air Force electronic security system design and installations. He spent three years working for the Missile Defense Agency developing and managing security system projects. He has He has filled various capacities within the project management realm. He has completed a BS in Project Management from Bellevue University and in near completion of his Master’s in Project Management from Bellevue University. He is married with 3 children, and 9 grandchildren. He intends to use his experience and education to help develop future project managers.

1. How did your project management career get started?

Answer: It didn’t start in a traditional way where I said “I want to be a project manager”. I have worked for the DoD for a number of years as Active Duty, a contractor and as a government civilian. I various roles, I participated or led project that touched on various aspects of project management.
2. How did you obtain your project management education and training?

Answer: Much of what I have learned is through experience. While employed by SAIC, I did take some of their project management developmental courses. It wasn’t until I enrolled in the Bellevue University, Project Management Accelerated Bachelor’s Program did I receive formal education.
3. Can you please summarize your industry, and share how organizations are applying project management in the workplace?

Answer: As I said earlier, I have worked in the DoD for 37 years, over that time, my focus has been on developing security solutions to protect people and resources. This area is diverse and ever changing. I have worked as an active duty member, a contractor supporting a military organization, and a contractor in a corporate project office with DoD contracts.

4. Do you see any trends in your industry as it relates to project management and other related methodologies?

Answer: As I continue to learn about project management and various practices and trends, I find that the principles of project management are sometimes misunderstood. For example, many times projects are selected based on the perceived financial gain of an organization, rather than if the project can be executed within the budget and time frame established.


5. What is your advice to people that are interested in pursuing a career in project management within your industry?

Answer: The skills that are taught for project managers are beneficial to anybody that develops requirements, assesses risk, develop quality management plans, works with stakeholders. I have found that project management skills are used in other functional duties.

6. I noticed you have earned several certifications. What type of value has these certifications provided to you in your career?

Answer: The certificates I currently hold are security specific. My goal once I have completed the Bellevue University Master’s Degree is Project Management is to gain my PMP certification as well as my Scrum Master certification. I believe the Agile methodology will soon migrate to many project management disciplines.

7. Do you think the industry is catching up to better understanding the benefits of program management and portfolio management?

Answer: I think many industries are beginning to understand the strategic importance of project management and how project selection can influence the success of a company.

8. What are some of the major gaps you still see in the project management profession and what can industries do to address them?

Answer: Training and knowledge are the two shortfalls that still effect every industry. Most industries are challenged to complete projects on time, within scope, and within budget. Properly trained project managers and teams are critical to increasing success. Of course, putting someone in the “front office” with a project management background can help determine what projects offer better business opportunities. Many times, projects appear to satisfy the business case, but from a project standpoint, it may be difficult to execute with the time and budget allocated. This adds to the statistic of unsuccessful project, but didn’t have the chance to be successful from the moment it was selected.

9. What type of things do you do to stay current in your field (professional development)?

Answer: Because I work for the DoD, Defense Acquisition University offers a remarkable amount of computer-based training.

What are your last thoughts or closing remarks to our project manager subscribers?

Answer: I have worked in project management in some form or function for several years, but only recently decided to pursue formal education and certification to further my knowledge and improve my abilities. I hope to apply this new-found education to my current position as well pursue collegiate teaching opportunities. I encourage young adults to evaluate project management as an educational goal and a profession as it spans many business sectors and the role and importance of project management will continue to grow as it provides all the tools to deliver projects successfully.

What is New in the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition?


– PMP., Founder of PM Study Circle

With permission, retrieved from –

On September 6, 2017 the 6th edition of the PMBOK Guide was published by the PMI. The PMI publishes a new version of the PMBOK Guide every four years. The last time was in December 2012, when the PMI published the 5th edition of the PMBOK Guide.

Though the PMI has made many changes to the PMBOK Guide, first I would like to discuss the two most important changes that you are going to see in the current version of the Guide.

These changes are as follows:

  1. Addition of the Agile framework
  2. Counterfeit Measures

Addition of the Agile Framework

In the past there were some additions, subtractions and expansions of knowledge areas; however, this time it is different. This time the PMI has added a different framework to it: the Agile framework.

Agile methodology is quietly gaining popularity and so the PMI has started the PMI-ACP certification to cater to the needs of this niche. As the PMI did not have any Agile guide in their library, they developed a practice guide for it and named it the Agile Practice Guide. This guide consists of 168 pages and explains the Agile concepts in general.

This was expected as the PMI has acknowledged in the past that there has been a gradual increment in the adoption of Agile methodologies in project management.

The PMI has developed this guide with the Agile Alliance.

The purpose of this guide is to give project management teams a better understanding of agile tools, techniques, and approaches to deliver a better result.

Now you might be wondering how will this impact the PMP exam.

The situation is not yet clear. The PMP Exam Content Guidelines have not been updated yet. The situation will be clearer when they update it.

Until then, sit tight.

The digital version of the PMBOK Guide includes the Agile Practice Guide. If you buy the hard copy, you will only get the PMBOK Guide; if you need to read the Agile Practice Guide, you will have to buy it separately.

If you are a PMI member you can buy both guides for 49 USD after a 50% discount from the PMI store.

Counterfeit Measures

This time PMI used different types of counterfeit measures for the digital and printed version of the PMBOK and Agile Practice Guide.

Counterfeit Measures for the Digital Version

In the digital edition of the PMBOK Guide, PMI inserted a watermark “Not for Distribution, Sale or Reproduction” on each page.

They have done this to avoid duplication and unauthorized distribution.

I find it annoying.

You cannot open the file without your password, and once you open it your name and PMI ID is printed on every page. These measures were enough to discourage unauthorized distribution.

Adding a watermark on each page is irritating.

You are also not allowed to make printouts of the PMBOK Guide. This is again a nuisance as many people prefer reading a hardcover book than reading something on a computer screen. This is a big blow to them.

I strongly believe that the 7th digital version will be online and you will not be able to download it, and the 8th edition will have an OTP feature. Every time you need to access the guide, PMI will send you a code on your mobile to verify your identify.

Anyway, if you prefer reading a hardcover book, buy it from the PMI store or Amazon, because you cannot print the digital edition.

Counterfeit Measures for the Printed Version

I purchased the print version of the PMBOK Guide from the PMI store.

The price was 49 USD after a 50% discount and the Agile guide was free with purchase for PMI members. After receiving the package, as I opened the cover, on the first page I found following notice:

“This book was printed utilizing a potential anti-counterfeit print technology designed to prevent unauthorized reproductions. The paper color is grey instead of white. When the pages of book are copied or scanned a hidden warning message will appear in the background. This security feature is intended to discourage anyone from attempting to illegally reproduce or counterfeit the book.”

I hope you get the idea.

The pages of the book are grey, it looks cheap and reading it was not a good experience.

Anyway, let’s discuss the structure and the changes in the PMBOK Guide 6th edition.

Structure of the PMBOK Guide

The 6th edition of the PMBOK Guide is divided into three sections:

  1.  A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
  2.  The Standard for Project Management
  3.  Appendix, Glossary, and Index

And lastly, you will find the Agile Practice Guide.

Four new sections have been added to the beginning of each knowledge area. These sections are as follows:

  1. Key Concepts
  2. Trends and Emerging Practices
  3. Tailoring Considerations
  4. Considerations for Agile/Adaptive Environments

The first section explains key concepts for the knowledge area, and the second section explains trends and emerging practices.

The third section explains tailoring conditions you should consider while developing processes for your project; e.g. how much emphasis you should give to each process according to the scope of the project.

The last section helps you consider if agile methodologies can help you achieve your objective.

In this edition the PMI divides the processes into three categories:

  1. Process used once or at predetermined points in the project
  2. Periodically used or as needed processes
  3. Process that are used throughout the project

Moreover, this is the first time, the PMBOK is discussing the benefit management plan.  The benefit management plan begins at an early stage of the project and it describes how and when the project will deliver the benefits and a mechanism to measure those benefits.

This time Net Present Value, IRR, benefit cost ratio, payback period, etc., were placed in the PMBOK Guide.

In this edition the PMI introduces a new section devoted to the environment in which projects operate. Here the PMBOK discusses the enterprise environmental and organizational process assets in detail. New content on governance has also been added.

A new chapter on the role of the project manager has also been added, where PMBOK describes the project manager’s role in the team. This section explains how the Talent Trianglehelps an organization to achieve its objectives efficiently.

In this chapter, the PMBOK explains the sphere of influence of the project manager, the competencies of the project manager, and their performance as an integrator.

The role of the project manager is now aligned with the PMI Talent Triangle concept, which was introduced in 2016.

Now let’s discuss the changes in the PMBOK Guide knowledge areas and processes. Before we move on, please note that this time no new knowledge areas were removed or added.

Changes in Processes

The PMI has made the following changes to processes:

Deleted: Close procurement process.

Added: Manage project knowledge, control resource and implement resource response.

Renamed: Perform quality assurance to manage quality, estimate activity resources is relocated in project resource management knowledge area.

The PMI has also changed the name of two knowledge areas: Project time management to project schedule management and project human resource management to project resource management.

To get a glimpse of all processes and knowledge areas, please refer to the “Project Management Process Group and Knowledge Area Mapping” chart available on page 25.

Changes in Knowledge Areas

Now let’s see what changes have been made to each knowledge area.

Integration Management

A new process “Manage Project Knowledge” was added.

In this process, PMBOK emphasizes using existing knowledge and creating new knowledge to achieve project objectives and contribute to organizational learning.

Schedule Management

It used to be known as the time management knowledge area. Now the PMI realizes that only schedules can be managed, time cannot.

They moved the “Estimate Activity Resources” process to the project resource management knowledge area.

Quality Management

Here the “Perform Quality Assurance” process is renamed “Manage Quality”. This is done to bring consistency to the terminology; moreover, this term is more prominent in quality management.

Resource Management

The “Human Resource Management” process is renamed to “Resource Management”.

This is done because in projects, the project manager has to manage all resources: manpower, machines, and materials. So resource management is more suitable than human resource management.

A new process “Control Resources” has been added here, and as mentioned earlier, estimate activity resources was also moved here from the schedule management knowledge area.

Risk Management

A new process called “Implement Risk Responses” was added here. The control risks process is renamed monitor risks.

A new risk response strategy “Escalate” was added to positive risk response and negative risk response strategies.

Procurement Management

The close procurement process has been deleted.

In summary, the changes to the PMBOK Guide 6th edition are as follows:

  • The total number of process is now 49. The 5th edition has 47 processes.
  • The following table shows old and new names of knowledge areas.

old and new knoledge area

  • The following table shows the newly added and/or deleted processes:

added or deleted processes

  • The name of following processes have been changed:

Before I end this blog post, I will provide answers to a few FAQs.

Review entire article here:

Assessing Your Risk Management Procedures Effectiveness


– Alphius White, Bellevue University MPM Student

The key here is to effectively manage the risks so that those risks that pose a threat to project success are mitigated but also so that those risks that might present new opportunities, such as a better deliverable, quicker or at lower cost, are identified and acted upon.

It’s important to remember too that projects are always liable to change as they progress so the risk management process should be responsive to change and the risks should be re-assessed from time to time if the project is long or complex. Risk management is not a separate discipline but an integral part of project management so should be part of the regular activities of a project manager. One of the most important elements of risk management is complete honesty.  Without an honest approach to the risks involved there will always be unvoiced issues and these can be the biggest risks of all.

So how can you be sure that, once you have (honestly) identified your risks, that your risk management procedures are effective and add value to the project?

 1. Document the risks

Create a risk log listing each risk with a description, stating who is responsible, the likely impact and the mitigating actions that could be taken. It needs enough information to be useful in monitoring and reporting on risks but not so much that it cannot be easily updated. A straightforward, up-to-date risk log will be useful during the whole life of the project.

 2. Prioritize the risks

In order to prioritize effectively you need to understand what factors could make the risk more likely to occur and what impact that would have on cost, timescale and scope/quality of the final deliverable. So prioritize the risks using a combination of a probability rating and an impact rating. Some risks may be very likely to occur but have low impact; others may be less likely to occur but have a major impact so the overall priority needs to take this into account.

 3. Plan the response

For each identified risk decide, firstly, what could be done to minimize the chance of it occurring and, secondly, what action could be taken if the risk does occur. You will then be better prepared to deal with it if you have to (any risks that could not be anticipated are, of course, another matter).

The usual options to mitigate risks that are threats (rather than opportunities) are:

  • Accept
  • Avoid
  • Transfer
  • Reduce

And one other point: risk management can and does help ensure more successful projects and it should be an integral part of the project management process but it should not be so large a task that the effort expended is out of all proportion to the size of the project or the potential impact of the risks. Finally make sure the responses are implemented, without following through on the risk reduction measures then the risk management process will add little value overall.


Institute of Risk Management. (2017). Risk Performance and Reporting. Retrieved from Professional Standards:

Project Management Institute. (2013). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) 5th Edition. [Kindle Cloud E-Book Version]. Retrieved from

Holding All Stakeholders Accountable for Minimizing & Monitoring Project Threats


– By Stephen Lyman, Bellevue University MPM Student

Although a risk officer may contact team members about risk-related tasks that have been ignored or gone overdue, a project manager is ultimately responsible for keeping team members focused on the right activity. For their relationship to work effectively, risk officers and project managers must coordinate the efforts of fellow team members.

Too much time spent on managing risks can cause projects to fall behind schedule. Likewise, an aggressive task schedule that ignores risk completely can result in catastrophe. Therefore, measuring a project’s progress against the resistance posed by risks helps remind leaders to keep activity in balance.

In some cases, a risk can be entirely eliminated or contained during the implementation and monitoring phases of the project cycle. Noting such a change in status can help project managers and risk officers reallocate resources to other risks or to main project tasks.

Some teams like to keep a live risk matrix, using a shared spreadsheet, database, or online tracking tool. Other teams prefer to task the risk officer with coordinating all communication related to risk management, and reporting in meetings or via memos on a regular basis. The severity of the risk and the importance of the project can help determine the right method for tracking risk (Jr., 2015).

If a risk event occurs during project execution, there is a likelihood it was identified sometime earlier, it was analyzed and an appropriate response action was planned to deal with it (captured in the Risk Register). For the most part, Risk Monitoring and Control is the process of putting into action all of the risk planning done earlier in the project life-cycle.

It is important to understand that risk monitoring is intended to be a daily, on-going process across the entire project lifecycle. Project team members and stakeholders should be encouraged to be vigilant in looking for risk symptoms, as well as for new project risks. Newly identified risks and symptoms of previously identified risks should be communicated immediately for evaluation and/or action (Balakian, 2010).

Monitoring the risk metrics and triggering events to ensure the planned risk actions are working are of the utmost importance in this step.


The goal from this step is threefold:

1.  To monitor the status of your risk action plans, in other words, the progress towards the completion of contingency and mitigation plans

2.  To monitor any project metrics associated with a risk that might trigger a contingency plan

3.  And finally, to provide notification to the project team that a trigger, or triggers, have been exceeded so that a contingency plan can be initiated if needed


There are two main inputs that are going to help you achieve the three goals I’ve just mentioned.

1.  Firstly, your risk action forms which contain the specific mitigation and contingency plans you created and which also specify the project metrics and trigger values to be monitored

2.  And secondly, the relevant project status reports that are used to track progress within the standard project management structure

You may need to call on other sources of information depending on the specific project metrics being tracked. For example, you might need to use a project tracking database, or maybe even a human resources management system to provide the tracking data that you and your project team need.

Tracking Activities

In this tracking step of the risk management process, you and your team will execute the action plans in the mitigation plan as part of your overall team activity. Any progress made towards these risk-related action items, or in relation to any trigger values being used, will contribute towards the risk status that will be reported on.

Risk Status Reporting

The reporting element in this step operates at two levels. For your team, regular risk status reports will be very important and should consider four possible risk management situations for each risk:

1.  First, when a risk is resolved, ensure the risk action plan is completed

2.  Secondly, ensure these risk actions are consistent with your overall risk management plan

3.  Third, understand that some risk actions are at variance to the risk management plan, in which case, corrective measures should be defined and implemented

4.  And the final situation is if one or more risks have changed significantly. This usually ends in re-analyzing the risks or re-planning an activity.

For external reporting to stakeholders, you and your project team should report the top risks and then summarize the status of risk management actions. It’s also useful at this stage to show the previous ranking of risks and the number of times each risk has been in the top risk list.


Your output from this step should be a detailed status report that clearly communicates any changes in the status of a risk.

Here is some information you might want to include in this report:

1.  Risk name

2.  Risk classification

3.  Risk probability, impact, and exposure from the identification step

4.  Current risk probability, impact and exposure

5.  Risk level, such as low, medium and high

6.  A summary of your mitigation and contingency plans

7.  Status toward completion of mitigation plans

8.  Readiness of contingency plans

9.  Trigger values

10.  Planned actions

11.  Risk owner

And don’t forget to include this report within the project status report that you create and circulate to others involved and interested in the project (O’Donnellan, 2016).


Balakian, W. (2010, September 21). Applying the Risk Monitoring and Control Process . Retrieved from

Jr., J. T. (2015, May 18). Risk Management: Keeping Track of Risk and Utilizing a Risk Manager. Retrieved from

O’Donnellan, R. (2016, April 13). Should You Track & Report on Risks? Retrieved from