What is PMI in Project Management?

Alexandra Cote

Written by

Alexandra Cote

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3 minutes

PMI® stands for the Project Management Institute. PMI® is a leading membership-based organization that provides tools, best practices, and networks for project managers and practitioners who need to successfully manage their projects, programs, and portfolios.

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What the PMI does

The Project Management Institute was founded in 1969 by Ned Engman, James Snyder, Susan Gallagher, Eric Jenett, and J Gordon Davis. This leading international organization currently supervises and guides more than 480,000 professionals from all around the world. It provides global advocacy, professional development training and courses, collaboration opportunities, publications and reports, educational materials, and academic research.

What is PMI

Currently, the Project Management Institute’s standards are the most widely-used set of guidelines by project management professionals. These were created by PMI® experienced volunteer practitioners who’ve managed different types of projects during their project management careers. The directions are now used as common practices by all project managers who follow the PMI® framework.

The Project Management Institute’s standards are primarily written in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). Briefly, the PMBOK® Guide is a book that contains all the standards and guidelines for project management as they were established by the Project Management Institute. However, there are several other materials that enlarge upon these global practices:

  • Construction Extension to the PMBOK® Guide
  • Government Extension to the PMBOK® Guide
  • Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®)
  • Practice Standard for Earned Value Management
  • Practice Standard for Project Configuration Management
  • Project Manager Competency Development Framework
  • Practice Standard for Scheduling
  • Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures
  • The Standard for Portfolio Management
  • The Standard for Program Management

Who’s it for?

If you’re an active project management professional, the PMI® membership is for you. PMI® member groups include project managers who want to improve their skills according to PMI standards, find a better job with higher authority, or just want to earn higher salaries. However, PMI® memberships are a great fit for anyone who’d like to manage projects in a company or on a large scale, gain accountability for a project, or maybe just add project management as a skill to their resume.

The PMI® PMBOK Guide is used primarily in USA, Canada, and the Middle East. Yet, there are many project managers who use it in other countries as well. It’s also best to use it within industries such as Construction, Architecture, Finance, Consulting, Governance, and Quality Assurance when used appropriately.

PMI certifications

To prepare yourself for the varied demands of project management, there are 8 certifications you can get with the help of the Project Management Institute:

  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® – shows fundamental knowledge of project management practices and terms
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)® – the most sought-after certification that many employers demand from the project managers they hire as it validates their overall competence for this role
  • PMI® Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)® – to validate knowledge and expertise in business analysis
  • PMI® Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® – for project managers who apply agile standards and tools for their projects
  • Program Management Professional (PgMP)® – for program managers who strategically oversee several complex projects
  • Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)® – for portfolio managers who coordinate multiple portfolios
  • PMI® Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® – to validate knowledge in identifying and managing risks
  • PMI® Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)® – to demonstrate know-how in creating, maintaining, and overseeing project schedules


PMI’s Official Website

PMI’s Community for Project Managers

PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition

Want to find out more about project management, have a look at the best project management courses and training resources. Meanwhile, you can also check out some of the most used project management terms and tools.

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