PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition due in 2018

05 July, 2016

Back in 2013, the Project Management Institute (PMI)® launched the fifth edition of its Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®  Guide). In keeping with its policy of ensuring that the guide continues to reflect the reality of the project management profession, the PMI® has been working on the sixth edition of this great work.

They also want project managers to review the initial draft. If you are a PMI® member, you can visit the PMI® website and comment on the introductory sections and the knowledge areas.  Note also that this review is for the guide sections only. The standard sections (inputs, tools & Techniques, outputs) have already been reviewed and approved earlier this year. This opportunity is only available until July 26th.

The sixth edition is due to be published in the third quarter of 2017, but we will not see these updates reflected in the Project Management Professional (PMP)® or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® exams until the first quarter of 2018. So, if you have taken a PMP® Exam Preparation class but never got to around to taking the actual exam then you have really until the end of next year to get a return for your investment.

So what is new in this sixth edition? It looks like they are going to put much more emphasis on agile. They are even talking about including an agile appendix and releasing a practice guide sometime in 2017. So if your projects are iterative and incremental in nature then this will be of interest to you.

There is also going to be some restructuring of the knowledge area chapters. The plan is to include three introductory sections in each knowledge area as follows:

  • Key Concepts: This looks like a summary section giving an overview of what the knowledge area is all about.
  • Trends and Emerging Practices: As we know, every project is unique and there might be cases where the tools and techniques recommended in the PMBOK® Guide are not adequate for the job. This section will point out alternative ways of dealing with the issues in this knowledge area and introduce you to other possible approaches, approaches that may be just what you need in your circumstances.
  • Tailoring Considerations:  Again, every project has its own peculiarities and might not fit in exactly with what is laid down in the guide. Here areas where project- or even organization-specific factors prevent us from following the guide are listed.

As we saw in January’s update to the PMP® Examination Content Outline, the sixth edition will be more focused on business issues, such as what happens prior to a project being chartered. We will also see more focus on the Talent Triangle, so expect to see strategic and leadership considerations getting more attention.

Here at Velopi (and indeed in all the other PMI® Registered Education Providers), we look forward to a busy time towards the end of 2017 as we revise both our course materials and our exam simulators to align them with the sixth edition of the PMBOK® Guide.

By Velopi Seamus Collins

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