It is that time for project managers to make way for a new release of the PMBOK® Guide. In this article, let’s see what has changed in the PMBOK® Guide and understand how do these changes affect the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification exam. The Project Management Institute (PMI®) has made several changes to the PMBOK® Guide. These six changes are the most critical:
1. Agile Addition: – As Agile is now a big part of project management, it is now been built on. It made its entrance in the PMBOK® Guide 5th edition but, the upcoming 6th edition will feature significant additions. The changes include:
• Addition of agile related information within the guide where appropriate
• A separate appendix on Agile
• Although, not part of the PMBOK® Guide, a separate practice guide for agile will be released with the PMBOK® Guide 6th edition release
2. New Processes: – The PMBOK® Guide has gone from 47 processes to 49 processes. The objective of these new processes are to make things more holistic within the Guide and fills the gap in areas that were not addressed adequately in previous editions. The following 3 processes are added:
• Manage Project Knowledge – this process serves to expand the idea of managing information within the project from raw data to integrated information to knowledge and to decision making wisdom.
• Implement Risk Responses – This fills the gap that existed between the 5 planning processes and the one monitoring and controlling process group that have existed within Risk Management.
• Control Resources – There was the process “Manage Project Team” in the previous editions but this process addresses the assessment of actual versus planned usage of equipment, material, supplies, AND human resources.
3. Change of Name or Moving of Processes: – Well, there are quite a few of these changes of this nature in this PMBOK® Guide. They fall into two categories:
• Change of Name of Knowledge Areas – When these happen, these are notable changes.
– The change of “Project Time Management” to “Project Schedule Management”.
– The change of “Project Human Resource Management” to “Project Resource Management”
• Change of Name of Processes –
– Plan Stakeholder Management to Plan Stakeholder Engagement
– Plan Human Resource Management to Plan Resource Management:
– Control Communications to Monitor Communications
– Control Risks to Monitor Risks
– Control Stakeholder Engagement to Monitor Stakeholder Engagement
– Perform Quality Assurance to Manage Quality.
4. PMs are no longer “Control” people: – PMI has made a conscious attempt to move away from the phrase “Control’ to “Monitor” where applicable. Here are the changes of names:
• Control Communications to Monitor Communications
• Control Risks to Monitor Risks
• Control Stakeholder Engagement to Monitor Stakeholder Engagement
However, the following processes continue to have the word control in them:
• Monitor and Control Project Work,
• Control Schedule,
• Control Costs,
• Control Quality,
• Control Procurement, and
• The newly added process of Control Resources.
5. Closing Procurement is closed out from PMBOK® Guide: – As several project managers do not have the authority to close contracts and/or procurements and thus, the actions that are related to closing procurements have been rolled into control procurement.
6. Addition of Emerging Trends and Practices: – PMI has stretched the PMBOK® Guide to include not only generally accepted good practices, but, also emerging tools, trends, techniques, and practices.
How do these changes affect the PMP Exam?
Clearly, there are quite a few changes. There are several things to consider to determine how big the impact would be of these changes on the exam. Let’s consider them.
• The number of processes has gone up from 47 to 49. While that in itself does not predict a difficult exam, any good PMP certification training must target to train for more “functions” within project management and their details.
• There are three new processes. Thus, there will be at least 5-10% of new content to acknowledge in your PMP exam preparation.
• Most importantly, there is Agile and Scrum related content strewn all over the PMBOK® Guide and a brand new appendix to expand its coverage. Your PMP Certification depends on learning the terminology, processes, and application of Agile. There is a good chance that PMI will borrow content from the PMI-ACP exam and incorporate it into the PMP certification test.
• There are several miscellaneous changes that are mentioned above that will affect the exam in small and possibly big ways.