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PMBOK 6th edition Vs. PMBOK 5th edition: What’s Changed?

Project Management is the key element of an organization’s efficiency and its eventual success. Being an integral part of an organization, it is required that Project Management professionals need to be well aware of the importance and value of management practices. We all know that “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)” is the gold standard for Project Management aspirants and when it gets updated to reflect the industry’s latest good practices,

is it going to cause fear and anxiety or excitement and eagerness to management professionals?

Remember, the organizations using proven project management practices waste 28 less money and implement projects that are 2.5 times more successful. So, this change is good and stirs only positive vibes among aspirants for PMI certifications.

Before we talk about the changes that have happened in the PMBOK 6th edition, it is essential to understand why these changes are happening?

PMP certification is considered as a most prestigious certificate in the management field and in order to maintain the standard, Project Management Institute (PMI®) keeps updating the syllabus to the market’s latest practices, and this happens every 4 to 5 years. Over the few years, agile practices have gained immense popularity, and lots of organizations are adopting them. When this new wave is spreading, PMI® decided to do market research and came up with this idea of including information on agile practices alongside traditional approaches in the Sixth Edition.

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You are one among the aspiring management professional who is eager to know what are the changes happening in PMBOK 6th edition and how it is going to impact the certification then this article would definitely impress you. The new version, the PMBOK 6th edition got released on 6th September 2017 and updated to this new alignment, the PMP® certification exam taking place on March 26, 2018, will reflect the revised syllabus.

Shall we now discuss the changes that have taken place in PMBOK 6th edition and most importantly, how do these changes affect the PMP certification exam?

PMBOK 6th edition changes:

PMBOK 6th edition Vs. PMBOK 5th edition Changes

PMBOK 6th edition Vs. PMBOK 5th edition: Changes in Processes

When 3rd edition of PMBOK had only 39 processes, it slowly got updated over these years and with the 5th edition having 47 processes. So, here comes the latest one, the 6th edition of PMBOK with 49 new processes and the changes are

Addition of Processes: Three new processes, Manage Project Knowledge, Control Resources, Implement risk response are added in the knowledge area Project Integration Management Executing Process group.

Process Shift: One process namely, Estimate Activities Resources has been shifted from Project Integration Management Executing Process group to Project Resource management

Process Removed: One process namely, Close Procurements from Project Integration Management Executing Process group has been removed in 6th edition.

Renamed Processes: There have been nine processes that have acquired new names in the 6th edition of PMBOK, and they are

PMBOK 6th Edition Renamed Processes

After these conscious attempts of PMI® to move away from the phrase “control,” we can very well say that Project managers are no longer going to be control freaks but rather focus on monitoring and adaptive techniques. Read another blog for “What is the Cost of PMP Certification in India?

PMBOK 6th edition Vs. PMBOK 5th edition: Changes in Knowledge areas

If your curiosity is getting stirred to find out what are the changes made in knowledge areas of PMBOK 6th edition, well, there are no new additions in this area other than few name changes. The 10 knowledge areas are remaining the same, with two of them getting their new names.

So, what are they?

Project Time Management is now appropriately switched to Project Schedule Management. This implies that the management professionals need to manage their schedule, not the time.

Project Human Resource Management is now switched to Project Resource Management which signifies that management professionals need to equip themselves to manage both the human resources as well as physical resources.

Finally, the project groups remain the same with these groups Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing still exist in PMBOK 6th edition.

PMBOK 6th edition Vs. PMBOK 5th edition: Inputs, Tools & Techniques, Outputs (ITTOs)

The good news is ITTOs has become more consistent as well as comprehensive in PMBOK 6th edition, and a new “Lessons Learned Register” is now the part of it. This is, in our opinion is a welcoming one since the learned lessons are critical for realizing benefits and upward traction in recent projects where Big Data is playing a major role. Adapting “Lessons Learned Register” to PMBOK 6th edition is indeed a great news as it is already been adopted in another project management certification PRINCE2, a popular framework in the UK and Europe.

If you look at the exam point of view, management aspirants who are going to take their certification exam in PMBOK 6th edition need to learn more Tools & Techniques than the previous versions. Yes, there is a 10% increase in unique Tools & techniques from 118 to 130.

So, the overall ITTOs are increased from 620 to about 720 approximately, and that is about a 15% rise.

PMBOK 6th edition Vs. PMBOK 5th edition: Introduction of Agile

We should definitely appreciate the Agile’s introduction, and it is worth boasting it as a significant addition in PMBOK 6th edition since it has become a major part of all business strategy and projects. The lean methodologies have already been introduced in PMBOK 5th edition, and the upcoming one will include many significant additions on Agile. Agile changes were not simply added to the new edition, but intense market research was conducted by PMI and could realize the growing influence of Agile, Scrum, Lean and other adaptive project management methodologies in recent times.

The changes are

1) We can see that a significant emphasis is given to Agile practices and adaptive environments across all 10 knowledge areas in the PMBOK 6th edition.
2) A comprehensive “Agile Practice Guide” has been released along with PMBOK 6th edition as a complimentary edition.
3) Agile practices and techniques are included to ITTOs across process as applicable.
4) Other important guidelines that have been added are Tailoring which talks about customizing the PMBOK framework for individual projects. In fact, Tailoring considerations are summarized again in Appendix.

PMBOK 6th edition Vs. PMBOK 5th edition: The Role of Project manager

With the changing business environments, the role of the project manager and the approach to leadership in project management is also changing. PMI has come up with a new section the role of PM and the aspects of a PM’s role is mapped to the PMI Talent Triangle. Also, there has been a focus on the skills, a project manager should possess in order to lead the projects efficiently.

PMBOK 6th edition Vs. PMBOK 5th edition: Other aspects

1) Expect the PMBOK 6th edition to be a flexible framework, the role of a manager is more friendly and is aligned with current business practices.
2) The project management processes are no longer 10 knowledge areas instead have got aligned to 5 process groups.

Watch below video for more details to understand the difference


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