[PMP 2018] Top PMBOK Guide 6 Changes PMP Aspirants Must Know [luckily NOT much!!]

Details about the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition and the newly added Agile Practice Guide for the PMP Exam

[PMP 2018] Top PMBOK Guide 6 Changes PMP Aspirants Must Know [luckily NOT much!!]

PMI has published PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition as well as the companion Agile Practice Guide (written together with Agile Alliance) on 6th September 2017. The PMP Exam, CAPM® Exam and (to a certain extent) PMI-ACP® Exam will be updated to reflect the changes in the PMBOK® Guide as well as the Agile guide.

The good news is unlike the previous change in PMBOK® Guide editions, the changes this time is not that much. But every simple change is indeed a change, Aspirants are advised to follow closely on the changes to be well prepared for the new PMP Exam.

Note: the PMP Exam will only be updated on 26 March 2016 and the CAPM® Exam in 2nd quarter. But you can be rest assured that the changes to PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition is NOT that much.

PMI members can download both PMBOK® Guide 6 and the Agile Practice Guide (in a bundle) for free from PMI website.

PMBOK® Guide 6: What have NOT Changed?

Actually, the project management methodology is pretty much the same as in the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition. If you have gone through PMBOK® Guide 5, you may find a large portion of the content very familiar to you. In particular:

  • No new Process Groups
  • No new Knowledge Areas

Each process is organized in the “Inputs”, “Tools & Techniques” and “Outputs” (the familiar ITTO) format.

Sounds good. Even if you have been preparing for the PMP Exam based on PMBOK® Guide 5, and somewhat unlikely or cannot make it before the switch of the exam, you can easily bridge your study to take and pass the new PMP Exam based on the PMBOK® Guide 6th edition.

Below we will discuss in depth what has changed in the new PMBOK® Guide edition so that Aspirants can focus their new study efforts on.

PMBOK® Guide 6: What have Changed?

Summary of Changes

  • 3 new processes introduced — “Manage Project Knowledge”, “Control Resources” and “Implement Risk Responses” processes
  • 1 process deleted — “Close Procurements” process
  • “Project Schedule Management” is renamed as “Project Schedule Management”
  • “Project Resource Management” is renamed as “Project Resource Management”
  • “Manage Quality” process is renamed as “Manage Quality”
  • “Estimate Activity Resources” process is repositioned to “Project Resource Management”

Besides the changes of the terminology, one of the major changes in the new PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition is the inclusion of information on how to implement project management approaches in Agile environments (which is in response to the industry’s shift to embrace Agile methodologies).

The chapter on the role of the Project Manager (Chapter 3) is now aligned to the PMI Talent Triangle introduced in 2016 over the description of skills and tasks required of the project manager which also include how project managers operate in various organizational environments and the skills and competencies that PM need to be effective.

Discussions on project management and project development life cycles have been expanded. New information reflecting the evolution of project management profession as a contributing factor for organizational change and providing business value is added.

At the beginning of the chapters on knowledge areas, 3 sections are added which are pretty short (covering less than 3 pages in total), namely:

  • Trends and emerging practices
  • Tailoring considerations
  • Considerations for Agile/Adaptive Environment

Overview of the Changes to the Project Management Processes

  1. Project Integration Management
    • Manage Project Knowledge” is introduced in “Executing” process group together with “Direct and Manage Project Work”
      • this new process emphasizes continuous learning during the execution of the project and the knowledge gained can be used as a feedback to better the project
      • Lessons Learned Register is an important output of the “Manage Project Knowledge” process
  2. Project Scope Management – both Project Management and Business Analysis are emphasized as they work together to achieve the best project goals
  3. Project Schedule Management
    • Project Schedule Management is now renamed as Project Schedule Management as a correction to the wrong terminology used in PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition — that only schedule can be managed, not time
    • “Estimate Activity Resources” Process is removed from Project Schedule Management to Project Resource Management
  4. Project Cost ManagementNot much changes
  5. Project Quality Management
    • “Manage Quality” process is renamed as “Manage Quality” which is a much more commonly used terms in quality management world
  6. Project Resource Management
    • Project Resource Management is now renamed as Project Resource Management, which covers a much broader scope of both team resources (i.e. human members) and physical resources (such as equipment, computing machines, etc.)
    • Estimate Activity Resources” Process is relocated here
    • Control Resources” process is newly added to the “Executing” process group to address the allocation and provision of the resources as planned and monitoring of physical resources vs planned
  7. Project Communications Management Not much changes
  8. Project Risk Management
    • Implement Risk Responses” is newly added Executing process group which is the process of implementing agreed-upon risk response plan in order to address project risks (this is a logical addition as in the 5th edition there is not a process to actually carry out the risk responses)
    • “Control Risks” process is renamed as “Monitor Risks” — a sensible change of terminology
    • There are now 5 Risk Response Strategies for threats: Escalate (newly added), Avoid, Transfer, Mitigate & Accept and 5 Risk Response Strategies for opportunities: Escalate (newly added), Exploit, Share, Enhance & Accept
  9. Project Procurement Management
    • “Close Procurements” process is now removed as while Project Managers can support procurement closures, they are usually not given the authority to close the contract.
  10. Project Stakeholder ManagementNot much changes

Overview of Agile Practice Guide

The Agile Practice Guide is jointly funded by the Agile Alliance (which is a leading membership organization for agile practitioners) and PMI and developed in collaboration with members of the Agile Alliance. It is a pretty short guide with 168 pages only (the new PMBOK® Guide has 756 pages).

The Agile Practice Guide and the PMBOK® Guide are made to work as a companion and are intended to be a powerful tool for project managers regardless of they are using Agile, waterfall or hybrid project management methodologies. The PMBOK® Guide first includes information about agile approaches to project management from the 6th Edition. The Agile Practice Guide is intended to be companion to the PMBOK® Guide to serve as a bridge to connect waterfall and Agile approaches.j

The Agile Practice Guide gives a general overview of the Agile project management approach but with just slight mention of individual Agile methodologies (like Scrum,  or XP, etc.). Aspirants will be given a general overview of what Agile is:

The guide also includes a section on the application of Agile in PMBOK® Guide Knowledge Areas which is very useful for traditional project managers to embrace Agile.

Agile Knowledge Required for the PMP Exam in 2018?

However, as the PMP Exam Content Outline is NOT updated at the same time of the publication of the Agile Practice Guide and the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition, it is estimated that the PMBOK® Guide project management methodology (i.e. waterfall approach) will still be largely tested in the exam and Agile methodologies will be given less stress.

However, as Agile is becoming more important in the project management profession, it is still highly recommended to go through the Agile Practice Guide to be well prepared for the PMP Exam in 2018.

Wish you PMP success!

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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10 Responses

  1. Simon says:

    Hi Edward, thank you for the all the materials you provided – very helpful.

    Do you maybe have typo, regarding new process in pmbok 6 – is the last one “Implement Risk Responses” rather than “Implement Resource Responses”?

    Quoting your sentence:
    “3 new processes introduced — “Manage Project Knowledge”, “Control Resources” and “Implement Resource Responses” processes”

    Best regards

  2. Sarah says:

    Hi Edward, can’t thank you enough for your generosity and your will to help PMP aspirants out there. Really appreciate all your efforts!
    I was wondering, is the study/prep any different for those writing the exam in the US vs. Canada? I’m in Toronto, Canada. I recall someone telling me there is no difference and the exam prep based on pmbok guide is the same globally?

    • Edward Chung says:

      Yes, you are right. The PMP Exam is the same all over the world. I took the PMP Exam in Hong Kong which was no different from my counterparts in US or Canada.

      Wish you PMP success!

  3. Vikram Sathish says:

    Hi Edward
    can I have study notes for PMBOK 6th edition, I couldn’t make it before March 28, if you are based out in hong kong would be glad to meet you

  4. Ahmed says:

    Dear Edward,
    I have question, what the new in the PMI-ACP after 26March2018?

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Ahmed,

      Almost none. There are slight changes in the exact definition of some terms to align with PMBOK 6 but those are indeed very minor. You can still rely on the book PMI-ACP Exam Prep by Mike Griffiths as he is the leading author of the new Agile Guide attached to the PMBOK 6.

      Wish you certification success!

  5. Nina Arora says:

    Rita Mulcahy is one of the most sought after books for PMP prep. Currently 8th edition is there for this book but thats linked to 5th edition of the PMBoK.
    PMBoK released 6th edition, would u know when Rita Mulcahy next edition is planned to be released? can I still go ahead and study 8th edition of Rita Mulcahy. I am planning to take the PMP exam in Q1 2018
    Pls suggest


    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Nina,

      You are right. Rita’s PMP Book is based on PMBOK Guide 5th edition. The publisher will require some time to make amendments to the PMP exam prep books. No announcement on the 9th edition has been made yet.

      That’s why it is highly recommended to take the PMP Exam before the switch in 1st quarter of 2018 (can be Jan or March). You still have plenty of time before the change. Wish you PMP success!