PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition Changes

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Changes to the PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition
Posted on Tuesday, 11th July, 2017 - 09:10

The PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition is due out in September 2017. The print and online versions will be released in 11 languages, including American English. Here’s what to expect from the latest edition.

PMP Agile

Each knowledge area will now have a section called Approaches for Agile, Iterative and Adaptive Environments. They’ll describe how each practice integrates in project settings. Details on agile, and other adaptive and iterative approaches, will also be in an appendix.

This guide will have an altogether more flexible tone. In keeping with the agile theme, the Sixth Edition will be less prescriptive. The guidance will shift from previous editions’ ‘do this’ to a more open-ended list of options. This should empower project managers to use their own professional judgement, and tailor PMP to a range of different projects.

Talent Triangle

There will be a new chapter on the role of the project manager, and what skills are essential for them to succeed in today’s market. This will be aligned to the PMI Talent Triangle, which came into effect years after the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition was released.

The first three chapters of the book have also been completely rewritten. They will now highlight the importance of the project manager’s role in business value creation and organizational change. This also reflects the Talent Triangle, which promotes a wide range of project management skills. In the new edition, the role of the project manager has been expanded as a leader, business expert and strategic thinker.

Knowledge Areas

Just like the Fifth Edition, the Sixth Edition will have 10 knowledge areas. Each one will have four new sections:

  1. Key Concepts
  2. Trends and Emerging Practices
  3. Tailoring Considerations
  4. Approaches for Agile, Iterative and Adaptive Environments

Two of the 10 knowledge areas will also be renamed: Project Time Management will become Project Schedule Management and Project Human Resource Management will become Project Resource Management.


The Sixth Edition makes a number of changes to the processes. For one, it more precisely distinguishes between Project Management Plan and Project Documents.

Three new processes have been added and two have been merged with other processes:

New processes for the Sixth Edition Processes merged in the Sixth Edition
  • Manage Project Knowledge
  • Implement Risk Responses
  • Control Resources
  • Close Procurements is now grouped with Close Project or Phase
  • Estimate Activities Resources is now grouped with Estimate Durations

Five processes will remain the same, but are renamed for clarity:

Fifth Edition Name

Sixth Edition Name


Perform Quality Assurance

Manage Quality

Quality assurance is an often misunderstood term, making the process look more narrow than it really is

Plan Human Resources Management

Plan Resource Management

To include equipment, material and supplies

Acquire Project Team

Acquire Resources

See above

Control Communications

Monitor Communications

To show that project management is more about facilitating than controlling

Control Risks

Monitor Risks

See above

Control Stakeholder Engagement

Monitor Stakeholder Engagement

See above

Plan Stakeholder Management

Plan Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement is the more standard term

Exam Changes

If you’re working from the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition, you still have until 2018 to take the current exam. In Q1 2018, PMI will roll out the new exam. Depending on which exam you want to take, you should either get PMP training now or wait until the new PMBOK® Guide comes out. If you still have questions about PMP training, feel free to reach us through our contact page.