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Over the past two decades, PMBOK® Guide has been the foundation of Project Managers in delivering successful projects. To maintain the compatibility with the progressing technology, new updates are introduced to PMBOK® Guide by PMI. Being a project management professional it’s a must to stay updated on these changes. In this PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition blog, I will be talking about all the changes introduced in the latest edition of PMBOK® Guide i.e. PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition.
Using the below topics, I will be giving you a complete insight of PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition:
Let’s quickly get started with the first topic in the list, that is PMBOK Guide.
PMBOK® (Project Management Book Of Knowledge) Guide, lays the foundation of Project Management. It contains the complete collection of processes, best practices, terminologies, and guidelines that are globally accepted as golden standards within the project management industry. That is why PMBOK® Guide is often regarded as the “Bible Of Project Management“.
It is a Guide that is developed by active practitioners and subject matter experts. Before it is released, the project management community reviews it to ensure that it includes the current state of the profession. In other words, it is a guide by the project managers for the project managers.
PMBOK® Guide is under the PMI’s flagship publication. PMI(Project Management Institute) which is a not-for-profit professional membership association for the project management professionals. It performs an RDS in every 5-7 year interval. An RDS (Role Delineation Study) is a global survey among the project management community. It is performed to identify how day-to-day tasks of project managers have evolved since the last revision.
The very first edition of PMBOK® Guide was released back in 1996 by PMI.
The first PMP Certification was awarded in 1984.
So, how people at that time prepared for their PMP® Certification as the 1st PMBOK® Guide was not released until 1996?
Before PMBOK® Guide, a special report titled as “Ethics, Standards, and Accreditation Committee Final Report” acted as the guideline for the PMP® aspirers. It was released in 1983 and gradually underwent further development, modifications and expansions during the following years. Later in 1987, PMI released “The Project Management Body of Knowledge” as a single source document that held the entire information about the accepted project management practices. This document further went through a few more revisions and was finally released as the first official document titled “PMBOK® Guide“ under PMI publications.
In the next section of this article, I will trace down the entire version history of PMBOK® Guide.
Since then, many editions were released with the latest one i.e., PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition, being released on September 2017. Below is the representation of the entire PMBOK® Guide release history:
Let me now get into the details of the major changes incorporated in each of these versions:
As I have mentioned earlier, PMBOK® Guide was the modified and the extended version of the special report. It was the first ever official document to standardize the project management approach. It consisted of 9 Knowledge Areas and 37 processes.
It was the upgraded version of PMBOK® Guide that was released in 2000 by PMI. This guide aimed to include all the valuable knowledge and practices that were widely accepted by the project management domain. It mainly reflected the progress and development of project management while removing the errors from the previous version. It consisted of 9 Knowledge Areas and 39 processes.
PMI released the 3rd version of PMBOK® Guide in 2004. Since the release of version 2, many people started to voice in their suggestions for improvements in the PMBOK® Guide. Thus, PMI established an Editorial Committee whose sole purpose was to review each recommendation and incorporate the suggestions in the new PMBOK® Guide versions. It consisted of 44 Processes and 592 ITTO (Inputs, Tools, and Techniques, & Outputs).
The 4rth version of PMBOK® Guide was released in December 2008 by PMI. As an upgraded version, PMBOK® Guide 4 contained the information that was more consistent and accessible for the project management practitioners. In this, the project management constraints were increased from 3 to 6 which are scope, quality, schedule, budget, resources, and risk. It consisted of 42 Processes and 517 ITTO (Inputs, Tools, and Techniques, & Outputs).
In 2013, the fifth version of PMBOK® Guide was released by PMI. PMI received loads of suggestions and recommendations regarding the improvements in PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition. The Editorial Committee did an exceptional job in incorporating the relevant suggestions and standardizing the terms, processes, inputs, and outputs for the ease of the practitioners. It also included few advancements seen in the project management field such as rolling wave planning, adaptive lifecycle etc. The content in PMBOK® Guide 5 was so vast that the PMP aspirants started relying on PMBOK® Guide for the PMP® Exam Preparation. It consisted of 47 Processes and 619 ITTO (Inputs, Tools, and Techniques, & Outputs).
After the major success of PMBOK® Guide 5, PMI released the latest version i.e PMBOK® Guide 6 in March 2018. It incorporated few of the drastic changes like the introduction of agile methodologies. There are many more changes which will be uncovered by the end of this article.
In the next section of this blog on PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition, I will discuss the major differences between PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition and PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition.
PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition was released in 2013 and was recognized as a comprehensive and real-world compatible framework for project management practices. Many changes and updates have been introduced in PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition, but still, the overall framework remains the same as Edition 5. To give you a better picture, I have listed down the major differences among both of these editions in a tabular form.
|Changes||PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition||PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition|
Number of Processes
|47 Processes||49 Processes [(47-1)+3]|
|Renamed Knowledge Areas|
|Number Of Chapters||13||10|
|Estimate Activities Resources (Process)||KA – Project Time Management||KA – Project Resource Management|
Now, that you know about the changes between PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition and PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition, lets now see, what new additions are introduced in PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition.
PMI has not just updated the topics and sections from PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition but has also introduced a few things which are completely new in the latest edition. Below is the list of new additions:
In the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition, three new processes have been introduced.
|New Process||Knowledge Area||Process Group|
|Control Resources||Project Resource Management||Monitoring & Controlling|
|Implement Risk Response||Project Risk Management||Executing|
|Manage Project Knowledge||Project Integration Management||Executing|
In PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition, a process called Close Procurement have been removed. The reason behind this is, a project manager doesn’t really play any role in this process as Procurement activities are generally handled by the procurement manager & legal team.
In the new edition, PMI has introduced a new chapter which defines the ever-expanding role of a Project Manager. It also includes the PMI Talent Triangle that mandates 3 levels of skill sets.
The number of tools and techniques for projects has been reduced to 132 in the new PMBOK® Guide edition. Moreover, to enhance the importance of project tailoring, few of these tools and techniques have been grouped together based on their purpose. Below are the groups that are formed:
PMI has also introduced four new sections in each of the Knowledge Areas, which are:
Now, this is the most important and most impactful change that has been introduced in PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition. PMI has made an effort to align the traditional project management ways with agile methods. Few of the changes that have been introduced with respect to Agile/ Adaptive methods are:
For the first time, notations have been introduced in the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition. These notations will help you in differentiating between “Ongoing” (continuously executing) and “Non-ongoing processes”.
PMI has released PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition in English along with eleven other languages like:
You can buy the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition from any online or offline dealer. If you order it from PMI, you will receive a complimentary copy of the Agile Practice Guide along with it. I would suggest you to order it from PMI in order to avoid any kind of piracy. You can place your order using the following link: PMI Marketplace.
So, this concludes the list of major changes introduced in PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition and also brings us to the end of this article. I tried to keep the topics short and informative. Hope it helped in adding value to your knowledge. If you are thinking of applying for the PMP Certification, you can check out my article on the PMP® Exam.
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