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PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition Update

The 6th edition of Project Management Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) is here.

Project management Institute’s PMBOK® Guide is considered the holy grail of project management. PMI® regularly updates their standard to stay up to date with the current trends in project management. And here is what it takes to get yourself upgraded to the new standards.

When was the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition Released?

The latest PMBOK® Guide 6th edition was released on the 27, September 2017. 

You may find a copy of the latest edition here – PMBOK® Click Here to Purchase

When Can You Expect the PMBOK® 6th Edition Changes to Reflect in PMP® Exams?

All PMP® exams will be aligned to the PMBOK® 6th edition. This change will reflect in the examinations taken after March 2018. Until then, members can continue to follow the PMBOK® 5th edition and take exams.

What is the PMBOK® Guide and Why Does PMI® Release New Editions?

Project Management Institute (PMI®) is a global non-profit association consisting of project management professionals across the globe. Together, they form a consortium for defining project management guidelines which are accepted as standards for the project management industry.

The PMBOK® Guide is a collection of knowledge areas, processes, best practices and set of guidelines that are universally accepted across various industries that require project management expertise.

Here is a timeline of the previous editions of the PMBOK® Guide:

PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition vs. 5th Edition: What Changed?

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Major Changes Include –

  • Effective leadership centralized into one section
  • Standardization of terminologies
  • Update to structure in knowledge areas

Change #1: Guide Structure

The PMBOK® 6th edition guide is divided into 3 sections:

  • A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)
  • The Standard for Project Management
  • Appendices, Glossary, and Index

Note: Chapter 1 (The Introduction), Chapter 3 (Project management processes) and Annex A1 of the PMBOK® Guide 5th edition have been consolidated as Part 2 (The standard of Project Management) in the PMBOK® 6th edition.

Change #2: Changes in Knowledge Areas

PMBOK® 5th Edition Knowledge Areas PMBOK® 6th Edition Knowledge Areas
Time ManagementSchedule Management
Human Resource ManagementResource Management

As you can see that although the number of knowledge areas is the same, their names have been modified so that they sound more relevant to the project needs. Apart from the above changes, knowledge areas will additionally consist of the four new sections listed below:

  • Key concepts.
  • Trends and emerging practices.
  • Tailoring considerations.
  • Considerations for the Agile and Adaptive environment.

Change #3: New Additions to Processes

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There will be three new additions to the processes in the PMBOK® 6th edition

ProcessesProcess GroupsKnowledge Area
Manage Project KnowledgeExecutive Project GroupIntegration Management
Implement Risk ResponsesExecuting Process GroupRisk Management
Control ResourcesMonitoring and ControllingResource Management

Change #4: Changes in Existing Processes

There are a couple of marginal changes in the PMBOK® 6th edition guidebook.

Estimate Activity Resource which is now a part of Planning process group under Time Management knowledge area will belong to the same process group under Resource Management knowledge area.

In addition to this, 6 processes have been renamed to align with the current project management trends, though their content remains the same. Here is an overview:

PMBOK® 5th Edition Process NamePMBOK® 6th Edition Process Name
Perform Quality AssuranceManage Quality
Plan Human Resource ManagementPlan Resource Management
Control CommunicationsMonitor Communications
Control RisksMonitor Risks
Plan Stakeholder ManagementPlan Stakeholder Engagement
Control Stakeholder EngagementMonitor Stakeholder Engagement

Here is a comparison of the processes by knowledge areas in PMBOK® 5th edition and PMBOK® 6th edition.

Change #5: Changes in Project Management Plan and Project Documents

Earlier in PMBOK® 5th edition, the project management plan components like procurement management plan, stakeholder management plan, and so on were represented as Inputs/Outputs to a process. In the PMBOK® 6th edition, project management plan itself is represented as an Input/Output.

Change #6: More Emphasize on Agile and Other Adaptive Methodology

To keep up with the current project management trends, PMBOK® 6th edition consists of more iterative and adaptive methods. Agile is considered to be one of the top emerging methodologies that many project managers are using effectively. Project managers are able to deliver complex projects efficiently using the Agile methodology. PMI® has taken into account this valuable feedback from its members and has reinforced the importance of adaptive mythologies to by including agile frameworks and practices that are required for each knowledge area. On top of this, PMBOK® 6th edition also consists of an appendix section for quick reference.

Change #7: PMI® Talent Triangle

While it is essential to possess strong technical skills to manage projects, a research conducted by PMI® proves that these alone will not be sufficient to survive in today’s increasingly complex global marketplace.
The PMBOK® 6th edition will include a entire chapter dedicated to the role of a project manager which reiterates the importance of PMI® Talent Triangle and other skillsets that project managers need to be quipped with in order to make them more competitive and more productive.


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