[PMP Exam Changes] How PMBOK Guide 6th Edition Affect PMP Aspirants in 2017?
PMI is currently working on the finalization of the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition (A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge – Sixth Edition). As announced by PMI, the PMBOK® Guide 6 is expected to be published in Q3 of 2017 (maybe around Sep to Oct of 2017). It is a practice for PMI to continually review and update the PMBOK® Guide to reflect the latest trend and changes in the field of project management and to amend any omissions/errors/inconsistencies of the previous PMBOK® Guide edition (as a reference, here are the details of the update of PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition to PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition). Like previous changes to PMBOK® Guide, the PMP® Exam will also be changed upon the publication of the new PMBOK® Guide.
Key Dates for PMBOK® Guide 6 and new PMP® Exam
Draft Release of PMBOK® Guide 6 — June 2016
- Launch Date of PMBOK® Guide 6 — 3rd quarter of 2017
- Launch Date of practice guide for Agile — 3rd quarter of 2017
- Launch Date of new PMP® Exam — 1st quarter of 2018
If you are a PMP® Aspirant and would like to get PMP® Certified in 2017, this article is for you.
Every years, tens of thousands of PMP® Certification Aspirants begin their exam prep journey in the hope of getting PMP® Certified (hopefully with the first attempt). The year of 2017 is certainly no exception. However, 2017 is also very different.
PMI has announced that the PMBOK® Guide will be published in the 3rd quarter of 2017 and the PMP® Exam may adopt a new exam syllabus based on the PMBOK® Guide 6th edition in early 2018 (though no concrete announcements have been made over the new PMP® Exam).
To most PMP® Certification Aspirants,
To Take PMP® Exam in 2017 or 2018? That’s the Question.
If you are now thinking whether to take the plunge to get PMP® Certified now, I understand the worries and uncertainties as I have been there before. Hope this article will give you some useful advice.
How the Publication of PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition Affect PMP® Certification Aspirants in 2017? What Changes to the PMP® Exam in 2017 will be Expected?
Fortunately, the answer is little if not none. Rest assured all the currently available PMP® Exam Prep materials, including PMP® Exam online training courses and PMP® Exam Prep Resources and Books are still useful and relevant for the current PMP® Exam in 2017.
The publication of the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition does not have major adverse effect on PMP® Certification Aspirants in 2017. And the only effect of the publication of the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition has on PMP® Certification Aspirants is more on the psychological aspect.
Though PMI has not announced, judged from experience, the PMP® Exam will still be based on the current edition of PMBOK® Guide 5 (i.e. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge – Fifth Edition) throughout 2017. And the PMP® Exam may only be updated to be based on the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition in January 2018 onwards. PMP® Certification Aspirants who begin their PMP® Exam journey now will be able to complete their PMP® Exam based on the current PMP® Exam syllabus and PMBOK® Guide version — nothing has changed. My free PMP® Exam study notes and lessons learned can still be relevant for your PMP® Exam journey.
The only adverse psychological effect of the publication of the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition to PMP® Certification Aspirants in 2017 is that if they can’t get a pass in 2017, they will not be able to take the same version of PMP® Exam in 2018 — as the exam syllabus would have been changed at that time. They would need to study for the PMP® Exam in depth based on the PMBOK® Guide 6th version. It seems that PMP® Certification Aspirants in 2017 may have less time and opportunities (as each PMP® Exam taker is given a maximum of 3 tries to clear the PMP® Exam) than usual which is a disadvantage. But every cloud has its silver lining. The positive effect of this is that PMP® Certification Aspirants are pushed more than ever to get certified in 2017 — which is a good thing as “procrastination” is the top reason for not getting PMP® Certified earlier!
Why Getting PMP® Certified in 2017?
If you would like to get PMP® Certified in 2017, you are highly advised to take action NOW as a kind of risk management:
- the current edition of the PMBOK® Guide and the PMP® Exam are very familiar and PMP® Certification Aspirants can find lots of lessons learned and study resources/materials readily at their hands (i.e. no changes to the PMP® Exam in 2017). As the PMBOK® Guide is not changing until the 3rd quarter of the year and the PMP® Exam will be based on the current PMBOK® Guide version (i.e. PMBOK® Guide 5) until 1st quarter of 2018 — there is still plenty of time to study and prepare for your PMP® Exam based on the current PMP® Exam version.
- the PMP® Exam fee may see a hike in 2018 following the introduction of the new PMP® Exam
- the format of the PMP® Exam may be changed
- the PMP® Exam may be getting more difficult as there are quite a few complaints that the quality of PMP® holders is decreasing over the previous years as getting PMP® Certified is becoming easier
- the publishers of the PMP® online courses and PMP® Exam Prep books may not be ready to release the update versions of their PMP® resources with the introduction of the new PMP® Exam (this has happened in 2016 when PMI updated the PMP® Exam Content Outline and the new PMP® Exam was forced to defer)
- some of the previously highly recommended PMP® study resources/materials may not live up to expectation for the new PMP® Exam as the depth of their understanding of the new PMP® Exam may not be the same as before (owing to change of the authors/editors, etc.) — it would take more time to search for the best PMP® Exam Prep materials
- it is expected lots of errors in terminology and project management processes would be spotted in the early release of the PMP® Exam Prep materials based on the new PMBOK® Guide 6th edition as PMBOK® Guide 6 has quite a few updates from PMBOK® Guide 5
- major PMP® Exam prep books will take time to get published — if you would like to get PMP® certified in the first quarter of 2018, you may NOT even be able to find a book for your exam study and you would be forced to delay getting PMP® certified for 3 months or more
- the PMP® Exam results for the first few weeks after the introduction of the new PMP® Exam may not be released immediately after the submission of the exam paper answers as PMI needs to adjust the passing marks — this would create extract psychological burden to PMP® Certification Aspirants
- the PMP® Exam prep courses may be more expensive (my PMP® Exam prep course saw an over 20% increase… I should have made the purchase earlier as the publisher of the course has a free upgrade policy to the latest PMP® Exam version provided the course is purchased within 3 months of the PMP® update…)
- for the new PMP® Exam version, all the PMP® Exam prep books, mock exams and online training course will see a price increase FOR SURE (maybe over 15% or more), it is not known if the PMP® Exam fee will also see a hike — if you begin now, you can lock in the current price level without worrying about requiring to spend more for the same PMP® title
Talking about the push factors:
- lots of tried and tested exam preparation materials (based on PMBOK® Guide 5) are around now, with many available for FREE — it really takes time to build up such a wealth of resources for the new PMP® Exam version
- according to many PMP® aspirants, it usually takes around 2 – 3 months to complete the PMP® Exam preparation — if you begin now, you will almost certainly get PMP® certified in 2017
- don’t worry and take action, if you are qualified for the experience requirements, why not get the required 35 contact hours of project management education right away? (as a bonus, the 35 contact hours are VALID FOREVER — meaning that you will not be required to take another project management course even if the PMP® Exam has changed). My very first step of PMP® Journey is to take a PMP® online course
the conclusion is: if you don’t get PMP® certified in 2017, it is highly likely that you cannot get PMP® Certified in the first or even second quarter of 2018 — your career plan may be adversely affected.
According to the experiences of many PMP® Certification Aspirants, the average duration of PMP® study is around 2 months (between 1 – 3 months for most of us). My personal advice to PMP® Certification Aspirants in 2017 is:
- if you can devote at least 2 hours of daily study continuously for 2 months, you are highly advised to begin your PMP® Certification journey before September 2017 as there is still plenty of time for you to succeed!
- Is September 2017 a bit too late? I would consider the time to be quite enough. If given the chance for my own PMP®, I would rather begin to prepare for my exam at the beginning of the year rather than have to wait several months. You know the psychological burden.
- however, if you are quite uncertain about your time (I have personally known someone who took over 2 years to complete their PMP® Certification owing to sudden surge in workload from their daily jobs and personal emergencies), you may better have to wait for the new PMP® Exam which is based on the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition.
- or if it is already October 2017, then it is more prudent to wait; otherwise the money spent on PMP® Exam prep courses or exam prep books would be wasted when the new Exam becomes effective.
Conclusion: Begin Your PMP® Exam Preparation Now and Get PMP® Certified in 2017 Before the PMP® Exam Changes
The first step to success is BEGIN. If you don’t even try, your success rate is 0%.
This is my personal story: I was hesitant to begin my PMP® Journey for fear of not finding the time to study, not getting the required project management education contact hours, not passing the PMI audit… these had hindered my PMP® journey for several years. At the same time, I kept on reading the success stories of other PMP® Certification Aspirants with jealousy. I really wanted to get PMP® certified, but I was too worried to try — but until I actually tried, I was able to get PMP® Certified in the first try with 2 months’ study. I was thinking why I had wasted such time in worrying without action. I began my research of PMP® Certification in early 2013 when the PMP® Exam was still based on PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition. I was still thinking about whether to take the PMP® Exam that year when, unknown to me, the 5th Edition of the PMBOK® Guide has been published and I did not have enough time for the then current PMP® Exam. I needed to wait a few months for all the PMP® Exam prep guides and courses based on the latest PMBOK® Guide edition be made available. Eventually I got PMP® Certified in November 2013 after more than half a year.
I then made up my mind to help fellow PMP® Certification Aspirants not to procrastinate by sharing all I know about the PMP® Exam here in this website — this is my way of contributing back to the project management community.
If you are taking your exam before January 1, 2018, you should continue to study from and prepare for your examination using the Fifth Edition of the PMBOK® Guide along with the examination content outline PMI makes available. If you are taking your exam after January 1, 2018, the PMP® Exam will be changed and you should plan to study from and prepare for your examination using the Sixth Edition of the PMBOK® Guide.
Don’t worry too much if you have begun your PMP® Exam preparation in 2017 but cannot finish it. The bottom line is: if you have understood PMBOK® Guide 5 well and you will find the structure of PMBOK® Guide 6 very familiar — just learn several new project management processes and changes of naming of the processes/knowledge areas. And as the PMP® Exam is not just restricted to the PMBOK® Guide only, your training, knowledge and experience in project management will still be useful for clearing the PMP® Exam whatever the version of PMBOK® Guide it is based on.
A good new for PMP® 2018 though: ITTOs (Inputs, Tools & Techniques, Outputs) are now given less weight in PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition and PMP® Certification Aspirants would worry much less in remembering all the ITTOs for their PMP® Exam.
Appendix: What will be Changed in PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition?
As PMBOK® Guide 5 is already quite a comprehensive project management framework, the PMBOK® Guide 6 is considered an update rather than a revolution from PMBOK® Guide 5. Below are the key differences between PMBOK® Guide 5 and PMBOK® Guide 6:
- Agile, adaptive and iterative project management practices are given more weights
- The new PMI Talent Triangle (technical, leadership, strategic and business management) would be described in PMBOK® Guide 6.
- Project Management processes are now described according to the 5 Process Groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing)
- Name changes:
- Project Schedule Management from Project Time Management
- Project Resource Management from Project Human Resource Management
- Manage Quality from Perform Quality Assurance
- Plan Resource Management from Plan Human Resources Management
- Monitor Communications from Control Communications
- Plan Stakeholder Engagement from Plan Stakeholder Management
- Monitor Stakeholder Engagement from Control Stakeholder Engagement
- New and Removed Project Management Processes:
- Manage Project Knowledge
- Implement Risk Responses
- Control Resources
Close Procurements Estimate Activities Resources