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Difference between PMBOK 5 and PMBOK 6

02 October 2017 Written by:  
Published in: Blog
This blog reviews the difference between the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition and the recent Sixth Edition which was announced on 6th September 2017.

In order to keep up with the recent practices in project management, PMI seeks inputs from the industry practitioners and updates its Project Management Body of Knowledge every four years.

The Sixth Edition of PMBOK has been updated with these recent practices and includes more information on agile as it recognizes it as an ever increasing project management technique and a greater emphasis on strategic and business thinking.

It is also aligned with ISO 21500:210 (Guidance on Project Management) standard.

It is to be noted that candidates taking PMP exam on or after 26th March 2018 will be tested on the Sixth Edition. The changes are summarized as follows:

Section 1: Introduction

  • New information is provided on project lifecycle and development lifecycle, project phases, and phase gates.
  • Business case and benefits management plan have been introduced.

Section 2 - The Environment in Which Projects Operate

  • This section has been renamed from “Organizational Influences on Project Management” to “The Environment in Which Projects Operate” and contains significant changes from earlier version.
  • Content on governance, management elements, and organization structure types have been added.

Section 3 - the Role of the Project Manager

  • This is a new section altogether. It starts with a discussion on project manager's sphere of influence. It also provides information on PMI's Talent Triangle which is further discussed in Project Manager Competency Development (PMCD) Framework. Leadership styles and personality are also discussed in this section. The section ends with a discussion on project manager as an integrator.
  • Previously, Section 3 was "Project Manager Processes", however, this information is not provided anymore. It could be due to the reason that information on project management processes is covered in “Part 2 - the Standard for Project Management” which contains 6 sections on project management process groups.

General Changes in Knowledge Area Content

  • Each knowledge areas has the following sub-sections: (a) Key concepts, (b) Trends and Emerging Practices, (c) Tailoring Considerations, and (d) Considerations for Agile/Adaptive Environments. The last sub-section in particular reflects the increasing adoption of agile techniques in project management.

Renaming of Knowledge Areas

  • Two Knowledge areas have been renamed:
  • Project Time Management has been renamed to Project Schedule Management. PMI's revised thinking is that project managers don't manage time, they manage schedule.
  • Project Human Resource Management has been renamed to Project Resource Management. PMI's revised thinking is that resources include both human and non-human resources.

Process Related Changes

  • One process has removed, three new processes have been added, and one process has been moved to a different knowledge area as described ahead.
  • Research conducted by PMI indicated that processes where interaction with people is involved, project managers tend to monitor, facilitate, and manage rather than control. Therefore, such processes have been renamed and the word “Control” has been replaced with the word “Monitor” to better reflect this.

Project Integration Management

  • A new process Manage Project Knowledge has been introduced in Executing Process Group. It is the process of using existing knowledge and creating new knowledge to achieve the project's objectives and contribute to organizational learning.

Project Scope Management

  • No change.

Project Schedule Management

  • The Knowledge area has been renamed from Project Time Management to Project Schedule Management.
  • The process Estimate Activity Resources has been moved to Project Resource Management Knowledge Area.

Project Cost Management

  • No change.

Project Quality Management

  • The process Perform Quality Assurance has been renamed to Manage Quality.
  • Also, many of the quality tools and techniques have been streamlined with recent project quality management practices.

Project Resource Management

  • The Knowledge area has been renamed from Project Human Resource Management to Project Resource Management to reflect that the focus of the project manager is to manage all resources within the project and not just human resources. Consequently, the processes within this knowledge area have been renamed to reflect this revised thinking.
  • The process Plan Human Resource Management has been renamed to Plan Resource Management.
  • The process Estimate Activity Resources has been moved to this Knowledge Area from Project Schedule Management Knowledge Area which was previously called Project Time Management.
  • The process Acquire Project Team has been renamed to Acquire Resources.
  • The process Develop Project Team has been renamed to Develop Team. The term Project Team was renamed to Team to reflect the thinking that project manager is not just concerned about project team but to a larger section of the organization.
  • The process Management Project Team has been renamed to Manage Team for the same reason mentioned above.
  • A new process Control Resources has been added to the Monitoring and Controlling process group. It is the process of ensuring that the physical resources assigned and allocated to the project are available as planned, as well as monitoring the planned versus actual utilization of resources and taking corrective action as necessary.

Project Communication Management

  • The process Control communication has been renamed to Monitor Communication. This is to reflect PMI's revised thinking that it is not possible to control how and when people communicate.

Project Risk Management

  • The concept of overall project risk has been introduced.
  • The process Control Risks has been renamed to Monitor Risks to reflect the thinking that uncertain future events cannot be controlled but monitored.
  • A new process Implement Risk Responses has been introduced in Executing process group to emphasize the importance of executing risk responses. It is the process of implementing agreed-upon risk response plan.
  • A new risk response "escalate" has been introduced. This indicates that if risks are identified that are outside the scope of the project objectives, they should be passed to the relevant person within the organization.

Project Procurement Management

  • The content in this Knowledge Area has been updated to reflect global practices in procurement and project management.
  • The process Administer Procurement has been renamed to Control Procurements.
  • The process Close Procurements has been removed as PMI's recent research showed that this process is usually performed by someone in the Procurement or Legal department. However, the information in this process was shifted to either Control Procurements or in Close Project or Phase.

Project Stakeholder Management

  • The process Plan Stakeholder Management has been renamed to Plan Stakeholder Engagement.
  • The process Control Stakeholder Engagement has been renamed to Monitor Stakeholder Engagement to reflect the thinking that project managers rarely have the ability to control stakeholder.
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Business Beam

Ikram A. Khan is the Chief Executive and co-founder of Business Beam (Pvt.) Limited. In addition to his executive role, Ikram remains an active corporate advisor, writer, speaker, and workshop leader. He has successfully delivered 25+ consulting assignments and 180+ training sessions internationally. Ikram is an accredited trainer for ITIL, PRINCE2, ISO 27001 and PMP.

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