The Project Management Institute (PMI) published the PMBOK® Sixth Edition in September 2017, and a revised and new PMP exam that adopts the Sixth Edition standards will go live on March 26, 2018.
Since the Project Management Institute announced the first standards in 1996, the standards have evolved and undergone many changes until the standards described in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition were reached.
The Sixth Edition includes 49 project management processes used to manage the project lifecycle. The processes are logically classified into five process groups to achieve specific project objectives: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
The 49 processes are also categorized by knowledge area, each of which is described in terms of its component processes, practices, inputs, outputs, tools, and techniques. The 10 knowledge areas are Integration, Scope, Schedule, Cost, Quality, Resource, Communications, Risk, Procurement, and Stakeholder.
Changes in the Sixth Edition
The standards of the PMBOK® Sixth Edition have many changes from the Fifth Edition, published in 2013.
You will find these changes reflected in your PMP exam starting on March 26, 2018.
These changes include the following:
Changes in processes
The number of processes has increased from 47 processes in the Fifth Edition to 49 processes in the Sixth.
- New processes: Three new processes have been added: Manage Project Knowledge, Control Resources, and Implement Risk Responses.
- Renamed processes: The following nine processes were renamed:
- The Perform Quality Assurance process was renamed Manage Quality.
- The Plan Human Resource Management process was renamed Plan Resource Management.
- The Acquire Project Team process was renamed Acquire Resource.
- The Develop Project Team process was renamed Develop Team.
- The Manage Project Team process was renamed Manage Team.
- The Control Communications process was renamed Monitor Communications.
- The Control Risks process was renamed Monitor Risks.
- The Plan Stakeholder Management process was renamed Plan Stakeholder Engagement.
- The Control Stakeholder Engagement process was renamed Monitor Stakeholder Engagement.
- Relocated process: The Estimate Activity Resources process was moved from the schedule (time) management knowledge area to the resource management knowledge area.
- Removed process: Only one process was removed, Close Procurements. The activities related to Close Procurements are now covered by two existing processes: Control Procurements and Close Project or Phase.
New grouping of the process tools and techniques
Similar tools and techniques have been grouped to ease their references from the processes, minimize the number of tools and techniques appearing in each process, and focus more on the most-utilized tools. The new groups are:
- Data gathering
- Data analysis
- Data representation
- Interpersonal and team skills
- Communication skills
For instance, within the data gathering group, you will find tools that facilitate data gathering, such as brainstorming, focus groups, interviews, and checklists.
New rules for handling the process inputs and outputs
These rules mainly cover the project documents and the project management plan.
For the project documents:
- When specific project documents are identified for the first time, they are listed as a specific output.
- When changes are applied to the project documents, they are listed as “project documents updates” in the output list and described in the section narrative.
- When dealing with any project document as an input, the term “project documents” is listed and the specific project documents are described in the section narrative.
Regarding the project management plan:
- When a component of the project management plan is created, the process lists the component specifically.
- When updates are applied to the components, they are listed as “project management plan updates” in the output list of that process, and the component name is described in the section narrative.
- When the project management plan is included in a process input, specific components of the project management plan that may be considered are described in the section narrative.
Changes in the knowledge areas…
- The time management knowledge area was renamed schedule management.
- The human resource management knowledge area was renamed resource management. This revised term encompasses managing all types of resources including human resources, materials, supplies, facilities, and so on.
- The role of a project manager in defining the project charter has been redefined as a participant role. The project charter is now developed by the sponsor or the project manager in collaboration with the initiating entity. The initiating entity may be the sponsor, the portfolio manager, the PMO, etc.
- Increased focus on the lessons learned from previous projects
- More focus on the benefits realization
- More emphasis on stakeholder relationships. Stakeholder engagement focuses on a two-way relationship, and the project manager should encourage the stakeholders’ engagement whenever possible.
If you are familiar with the PMBOK® Fifth Edition, you will need to adapt to these changes and become familiar with the new standards. However, even if this is your first time dealing with PMBOK®, knowing the changes will help you digest the new standards.