PMI PMBoK has been published since 1996 and is due to release the 6th edition late 2017.
You can read in detail its purpose and intent by clicking here.
Having taken the PMP test and gone through PMI, CompTIA Project+, ITIL, and a number of other courses dealing with managing technology changes, I would summarize my experience thusly:
- Just like college and a college degree, experience rules for getting the project done quickly and completely however you may not get the chance to do so without a certificate.
- No project will make use of all the content in the PMBoK guide; much has to do with measuring outcomes such as manufacturing defects that are not applicable for your routine company software upgrade or office move.
- You can get bogged down in process, paper, procedures and miss the people which are the key to your project.
- There can be unnecessary or excessing documentation for a hands on PM. For example, a stakeholder assessment, matrix, roster, communication list, etc. has elements that can be combined and made public. Other elements such as the “controller doesn’t want to upgrade and will likely not (and follows through) attend project meetings” is something everyone knows, no need to put it in writing as you are aware, your notes show their “no shows” etc.
- It is good to know of guidelines that can assist you along the way, implementing what is useful, but you cannot let them be the star of your project.
- I often find online PDF files from real projects similar to mine that help me with concepts and how-to become much quicker to grasp than text that is meant to speak to a wide audience.
Bottomline read and learn what you can from organizations that are dedicated to project management and technology but remember that every project is unique and you are finding what fits into your project rather than a method that wipes away the unknown aspects of your project.