PMBOK® Guide Version 6 Update: What You Need to Know

PMBOK V6 - What you need to know
The Project Management Institute (PMI)® has released the newest version of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

While the PMBOK® Guide update contains the standard changes to knowledge areas, processes and ITTO, the latest version integrates agile, scrum and other iterative approaches for the first time and includes new chapters emphasizing the growing importance of leadership and business skills for the PMP.

Project Management Academy® would like to provide a brief outline of the changes as well as the best way to keep your skills current.

When was the new PMBOK® Guide released?

Project Management Institute (PMI) released the new PMBOK® Guide, commonly referred to as version six (V6), in September 2017.

When will the PMP® and CAPM® exams change based on the PMBOK® Guide 6th edition?

The PMP® exam changed on March 26, 2018. The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® changes in May of 2018.

Why is the PMBOK® Guide updated so often?

The PMBOK® Guide includes the Standard for Project Management, which is an accepted American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard. As such, ANSI requires all standards undergo a review and an update as necessary every five to 10 years. Historically, PMI has updated the PMBOK® Guide every four years since 2009.

How much different is V6 from V5?

How much different will V6 be from V5?
Knowledge Area Name Changes:
Project Time Management becomes Project Schedule Management
Project Human Resource Management becomes Project Resource Management
Process Name Changes:
Perform Quality Assurance becomes Manage Quality
Plan Human Resource Management becomes Plan Resource Management
Control Communications becomes Monitor Communications
Control Risks becomes Monitor Risks
Plan Stakeholder Management becomes Plan Stakeholder Engagement
Control Stakeholder Engagement becomes Monitor Stakeholder Engagement
Acquire Project Team becomes Acquire Resources
Develop Project Team becomes Develop Team
Manage Project Team becomes Manage Team
Process count goes from 47 to 49
Relocated/Merged Processes:
Estimate Activity Resources remains in the Planning Process Group, but changes to the Project Resource Management Knowledge Area
The Close Procurements process is absorbed by the Control Procurements process and the Close Project or Phase process
New Processes:
Manage Project Knowledge (KA: Project Integration Management - PG: Execution)
Control Project Resources (KA: Project Resource Management - PG: Monitor & Control)
Implement Risk Responses (KA: Project Risk Management - PG: Execution)
* KA: Knowledge Area, PG: Process Group

ITTO Changes:
A significant area of change relates to the elements of the project management plan and project documents. These will be more visible as inputs/outputs, but have less emphasis: On each process where the Project Management Plan is a key input, or where components of the plan are updated as part of that process, they will no longer be listed individually. The Project Management Plan will be listed as an input and Project Management Plan Updates will be listed as the output. Similarly, Project Documents that are key to a process or that could be updated by a process, will simply have Project Documents listed as the input and Project Documents Updates listed as the output. In the ITTO table for each individual process, where either of these are listed, there will be a listing of individual components of either the project management plan or specific project documents that could be used as inputs or that could be updated as an output of that process.

Additional information in each KA:
At the beginning of each KA, there are four sections that are key for a project manager’s understanding. These are labeled as Key Concepts, Tailoring Considerations, Trends and Emerging Practices, and Considerations for Agile/Adaptive Environments.


How will Agile, Scrum and other iterative approaches be integrated into the new version?

At the beginning of each of the KA, the iterative approaches and how they can interact is discussed. There is also an appendix added specifically to discuss these iterative concepts in the context of project management. When you purchase a copy of the PMBOK® Guide, it will come with a copy of the Agile Practice Guide.

Will there be any new chapters?

Yes, there is a new chapter related to the Role of the Project Manager. It covers the skills project managers should have to be successful, including leadership, business acumen, and influencing. This chapter includes a section covering the PMI Talent Triangle®. All project managers should be aware of the three key areas of skill to be successful, relevant and competitive:

  • Technical
  • Leadership
  • Strategic/Business

What action should I take now?

PMA® offers a short course on the changes in the PMBOK® Guide, which covers these topics in more detail, and can be found here.

In addition, as the new emphasis on leadership, business acumen, and influencing in the PMBOK® Guide V6 prove, keeping pace with the ever-changing business climate is more important than ever for PMPs. Through its Club PDU, PMA® offers high-quality training to facilitate this. Find out more here.

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