Ready to Give Your Career a Boost? Here's What You Should Know About the PMP® Exam Changes
Over the years, you've built some impressive work credentials. Now you're ready to take your career development to the next level. Maybe you've got your eye on a management job in your company. Or perhaps you're exploring opportunities beyond your current corporate doorstep. Either way, you want to present yourself as a valuable asset to more advanced job roles. And that means you need continuing education that responds to market demands.
Bottom line? You've decided to take the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam. Great! Now here's what you need to know about some of the exam changes that took effect on March 26, 2018.
Why the change?
Like just about everything else in life, nothing stays the same. Ditto for the project management profession. The PMP® exam is updated whenever there is an update to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) or when a new exam content outline is released. The PMP® Exam Content Outline — the foundation for the PMP Exam — was not recently updated, however in September of 2017 the PMBOK® Guide — Sixth Edition was released.
Here's a quick look at what remains unchanged.
- To be eligible to sit for the exam you must have 4,500-7,500 hours of project management working experience, and 35 hours of formal project management education.
- The PMP Exam remains a computer-based exam. You have the honor and challenge of answering 200 multiple-choice questions (many of which are situational in nature) in four hours.
- The PMP Exam is based on the PMP Examination Content Outline plus the current edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge® (PMBOK® Guide), which is now in its sixth edition.
In the PMBOK® Guide — Sixth Edition, more emphasis is placed on agile, adaptive, and iterative methodologies. There is more focus on the project manager as business expert and how the project strategically aligns with business objectives. As well, there is more distinction between the project management plan and project documents.
The PMBOK® Guide is now divided into three parts:
- Part 1: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)
- Part 2: The Standard for Project Management
- Part 3: Appendices, Glossary, and Index
Here are some additional changes to the PMBOK® Guide.
- Introduction: The introduction was significantly rewritten with new information on project and development life cycles, project phases, and phase gates.
- Environments in Which Projects Operate: The content around governance, management elements, and organizational structure types was enhanced and significantly rewritten.
- The Role of the Project Manager: This is a new chapter in the PMBOK® Guide that outlines the role of the project manager on the team and includes information on PMI's Talent Triangle®.
- Knowledge Area Front Material: New sections open each knowledge area, including:
- Key Concepts: Consolidation of key concepts pertaining to the knowledge area
- Trends and Emerging Practices: Identifies some of the trends that are occurring but that may not be practiced on most projects.
- Tailoring Considerations: Emphasizes tailoring all aspects of the project to meet the needs of the organization, environment, stakeholders, and other variables
- Considerations for Agile/Adaptive Environments: Identifies some of the areas where adaptive approaches may differ from predictive approaches in the knowledge area
- Agile: In addition to the new subsections (Considerations for Agile/Adaptive Environments) at the beginning of each knowledge area, Appendix X3 describes the use of agile, adaptive, iterative, and hybrid approaches. Agile tools and techniques are also presented throughout, such as sprint and iteration planning. The PMBOK® Guide — Sixth Edition also comes bundled with the Agile Practice Guide.
Knowledge area and process changes:
- Knowledge Area Name Changes
- Project Time Management was changed to Project Schedule Management
- Project Human Resource Management was changed to Project Resource Management
- New Processes
- Manage Product Knowledge
- Control Resources
- Implement Risk Responses
- Eliminated Process
- Close Procurements
- Moved Process
- Estimate Activity Resources was moved to Project Resource Management
- Process Name Changes
|Fifth Edition Name||Sixth Edition Name|
|Perform Quality Assurance||Manage Quality|
|Plan Human Resource Management||Plan Resource Management|
|Acquire Project Team||Acquire Resources|
|Develop Project Team||Develop Team|
|Manage Project Team||Manage Team|
|Control Communications||Monitor Communications|
|Control Risks||Monitor Risks|
|Plan Stakeholder Management||Plan Stakeholder Engagement|
|Control Stakeholder Engagement||Monitor Stakeholder Engagement|
What's your best exam prep approach?
Use the PMBOK® Guide — Sixth Edition as your primary resource to learn about exam concepts, and the PMP Examination Content Outline as the blueprint for your exam. Each question that you'll answer is tied to one of the domains tasks, knowledge or skills listed in the outline.
PMI has indicated that experts who write the exam may decide to include agile or hybrid methods in the new items they create aligned to the PMBOK® Guide — Sixth Edition, based on their own real-life experience.
Most importantly, take a positive approach to your exam preparation. You already have a solid base of work experience. Add some serious study time or a PMP Prep Program to the mix, and you have a sure-fire way to pass the PMP Exam and forge a new pathway in your career journey.
- Project Management Institute. PMBOK® Guide — Sixth Edition. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, 2017. http://www.pmi.org.
- Project Management Institute. July 23, 2018 http://www.pmi.org