Much Ado about Nothing?

With the exception of anyone studying for the PMP, I doubt anyone else noticed that as of this summer the PMI cut fully over to the latest incarnation of their Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge – The PMBoK 5th Ed.

The Fifth Edition hardly introduces a great new Era in Project Management, and it doesn’t mean that all the PMPs who certified in July on the 4th Edition are now redundant.

What is does mean is that those PMs who were in the process of studying had to make a decision to either accelerate and complete before the end of July or hang back for the 5th edition tests and restart their preparations to take account of the changes in the new version.

According to the PMI Standards FAQ, the major updates to the 5th edition are that:

The Fifth Edition continues to reflect the evolving knowledge within the profession of project management. Like previous editions it represents generally recognized good practice in the profession.
The PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition continues the tradition of excellence in project management with a standard that is easy to understand and implement.
The major updates to the Fifth Edition are summarized below:

  • The content from Section 3 “The Standard for Project Management of a Project” has been moved to Annex A1. The new Section 3 addresses project management processes and Process Groups as in previous editions.
  • A new Knowledge Area has been created called “Project Stakeholder Management” that increases the focus on identifying and engaging stakeholders. This increases the number of Knowledge Areas from nine to ten.
  • Four planning processes have been added to reinforce the concept that each major Knowledge Area has a planning process focusing on how that area will be planned and executed.

I can’t help but think that, as they have added 4 planning processes, these will definitely be questions on the exam.

Overall, the changes seem to be in line with the PMI desire to keep the PMBoK updated and relevant and follow their path of evolution and not revolution. As such, the 5th edition is only a big concern for anyone new to PMI or about to take the PMP or CAPM exams. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile for any current PMPs to read through the changes, if only to make sure they are up to speed with any newly minted PMPs.

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