Man oh man. The PMBOK is a masterpiece of english literature. I cannot say that strongly enough.
It’s like a legal document, but one meant to reveal rather than obscure or confuse.
Which is not to say it does not obscure and confuse. wow. The language and clauses are like nothing…and I mean nothing…I have ever seen before.
The utter lack of poetics in and of itself makes it marvelous. I think I remember hearing about John Cage, that crazy composer, doing a piece of music where the melody was created by playing all the OTHER notes. The absence of the melody note was supposed to create the melody.
So, the absence of poetics in the PMBOK is kinda like that. DENSE meaning, Maybe not so beautiful
Or maybe incredibly so on the third or fourth try.
I’m still on the first try. Chapter 3, to be exact. The chapter begins by introducing the 5 process areas of Project Management:
Monitoring & Controlling
It goes on to explain that these five relate to the (footnote here) Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.
Well, frankly, there was no time to figure that one out, even though it was as close to a metaphor as the esteemed PMBOK writers got.
On to learning about what exactly the 5 process groups were.
They were substantial.
But, the ACTUAL assigment for my class is to read the study guide. I am a bit offended my the simplistic view of the assignment: how the hell does a study guide help if you don’t attack the primary SOURCE?
I am a big fan of primary sources.
I staggered up along Sisyphus and read the source. Finished that (TWO DAYS for THIRTY PAGES! I have NEVER taken that long to read something! After this, I’m reading Ulysses). Now I back to the study guide, which is much more approachable.
Guess what study guide says? “Oh, it’s just like Plan-Do-Check-Act!”
WHAT THE %&( is PLAN DO CHECK ACT?
I tried to parse it out. I did. I read it several times. No meaning to be had.
THen I remembered the footnote. And I asked the internet.
WIKIPEDIA TO THE RESCUE!
I bless the olympians of wikipedia for their honesty. They freely state that ‘do’ and ‘act’ mean the same thing in english.
That was my main problem with understanding it. That and the lack of will to care. I mean, I had no db field in my brain populated with Plan-Do-Check-Act. Why bring it up now?
That’s the way it goes with academic discourse, though. It’s always like walking into the middle of the conversation, and looking like an idiot while you catch up.
But thank god for wikipedia.