Project Management Institute

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is a global nonprofit professional organization for project management[4].

Project Management Institute
TypeProfessional Association Organization
FocusProject management
Area served
MethodCertification, Industry standards, Conferences, Publications
550,000+ (2018) [1]
Key people
Sunil Prashara, president and CEO;[2] Gregory Balestrero, CEO emeritus
$270 million (2017)[3]
400+ (2017)
10,000 (2017)


The PMI serves more than 2.9 million professionals including over 500,000 members in 208 countries and territories around the world, with 300 chapters and 10,000 volunteers serving local members in over 80 countries.

Its services include the development of standards, research, education, publication, networking-opportunities in local chapters, hosting conferences and training seminars, and providing accreditation in project management.

PMI has recruited volunteers to create industry standards, such as "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge", which has been recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).[5] In 2012 ISO adapted the project management processes from the PMBOK Guide 4th edition.[6]


In the 1960s project management as such began to be used in the US aerospace, construction and defense industries.[7] The Project Management Institute was founded by Ned Engman (McDonnel Douglas Automation), James Snyder and Susan Gallagher (SmithKline & French Laboratories), Eric Jenett (Brown & Root) and J Gordon Davis (Georgia Institute of Technology) at the Georgia Institute of Technology[8] in 1969 as a nonprofit organization. It was incorporated in the state of Pennsylvania in the same year. PMI described its objectives in 1975 as to "foster recognition of the need for professionalism in project management; provide a forum for the free exchange of project management problems, solutions and applications; coordinate industrial and academic research efforts; develop common terminology and techniques to improve communications; provide interface between users and suppliers of hardware and software systems; and to provide guidelines for instruction and career development in the field of project management."[9]

In the 1970s standardization efforts represented 10 to 15 percent of the institute's efforts. The functions were performed through the Professional Liaison Committee which called on and coordinated with the Technology, Research Policy and Education Committees. The institute participated in national activities through the American National Standards Committee XK 36.3 and internationally, through liaison with an appointed observer to Europe's International Project Management Association, by then called INTERNET.[7] PMI did not deal with the US Federal Government directly; a number of members were federal employees in agencies involved with project management.[9]

In the 1980s, efforts were made to standardize project management procedures and approaches. The PMI produced the first Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) in 1996.[7]

In the late 1990s Virgil R. Carter became president of the PMI. [10] In 2002 Carter was succeeded by Gregory Balestrero, who directed the institute into the next decade. The number of members tripled again to 260,000 members from 150 countries in 2008.[11] As of 2019, the president is Sunil Prashara.

Credentialing and certification

Launched in 1984, PMI's first credential was the PMP. It has since become a de facto standard certification, along with the PRINCE2 certification, in project management. In 2007 it earned the ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 accreditation from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). As of July 2018 over 876,000 people held the PMP credential.[12]

PMI later introduced many other credentials and a certification. Credential holders do not have to be members of PMI.

To initially obtain a PMI credential, candidates must first document that they have met required education and experience requirements. They must then pass an examination consisting of multiple choice questions. To maintain most PMI credentials, holders must earn Professional Development Units (PDUs), which can be earned in a variety of ways such as taking classes, attending PMI global congresses, contributing to professional research or writing and publishing papers on the subject. Most credentials must be renewed every three years. These are the certifications and credentials offered by PMI:[13])



  • PMI Certified OPM3 Professional


The standards PMI develop and publish fall into three main categories:

  • Foundational Standards
  • Practice Standards and Frameworks
  • PMI Standards Extensions

Here is a list of the standards belonging to each category:

Foundational Standards

Practice Standards and Frameworks

  • Practice Standard for Project Risk Management (2009)
  • Practice Standard for Earned Value Management—Second Edition (2011)
  • Practice Standard for Project Configuration Management (2007)
  • Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures—Second Edition (2006)
  • Practice Standard for Scheduling—Second Edition (2011)
  • Practice Standard for Project Estimating (2010)
  • Project Manager Competency Development Framework—Second Edition (2007)

PMI Standards Extensions

  • Construction Extension to the PMBOK Guide—Third Edition (2016)
  • Government Extension to the PMBOK Guide—Third Edition (2006)
  • Software Extension to the PMBOK Guide—Fifth Edition (2013)

Combined Standards Glossary

PMI publishes a combined glossary listing acronyms, terms and definitions:

  • Combined Standards Glossary – Third Edition. Recognized by ANSI as American National Standard PMI-978-1-933890-27-2.

According to PMI, standards are developed by volunteers in an open, consensus-based process including a public exposure draft process that allows the standard draft to be viewed and changes suggested.


PMI honors project management excellence in various categories, i.e.: project professionals, organizations, scholars, authors and continuing professional education providers. Awards are granted during PMI North America Congress each year in November.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the National Institute of Standards and Technology website

  1. "PMI Today December 2018: PMI Fact File 31 October 2018".
  2. "Sunil Prashara, President & Chief Executive Officer". Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  3. "Project Management Institute 2017 Consolidated Financial Statements".
  4. Wickwire, Jon M.; et al. (2002). Construction Scheduling: Preparation, Liability, and Claims. p. 289.
  5. Van Bon, Jan (2006). Frameworks for IT Management. Van Haren Publishing. p. 206. ISBN 90-77212-90-6.
  6. "Project Management Institute Commends ISO 21500 Standard for Alignment with PMBOK Guide". September 6, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  7. Patrick L. Healy (1997) Project Management: Getting the Job Done on Time and in Budget.
  8. Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick (2008). The Software Project Manager's Bridge to Agility. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0321502752 p.26: The five people, who founded the Project Management Institute were James Snyder, Gordon Davis, Eric Jennett, A.E. Engman, and Susan C. Gallagher.
  9. Sophie J. Chumas & Joan E. Hartman (1975) Directory of United States standardization activities NBS Special Publication 417. p. 141
  10. "ASME names new executive director" in: ASME news, May 2002.
  11. "NASA Project Management Challenge 2007" at Accessed December 2, 2008.
  12. "PMI Fact File". PMI Today. Project Management Institute: 4. September 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  13. "the World's Leading Professional Association for Project Management". PMI. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
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