General overview and differences from the fifth edition
At the end of 2017, the sixth edition of the PMbok was published.
Let’s start from the base: what is the PMbok?
It is the Project Management Body of Knowledge, a guide, published by the Project Management Institute – PMI, which aims to document, gather and standardize the practices generally used and recognized in project management.
“Generally recognized” practices means the ones that can be applied to most projects and on which there is a widespread consensus on their value and usefulness.
This means that sometimes the latest project management trends promoted by some consultants, even if interesting from an evolutionary point of view, may not be part of the latest version of the PMbok, because they are not “generally recognized” practices.
The PMbok made its debut in 1987 and it has evolved over the years, up to the current sixth edition of 2017.
But which are the PMbok changes from the fifth edition to the current one?
Let’s summarize the differencies in this article.
PMBOK sixth edition: Increase of total chapters
In the fifth edition of PMbok five groups of processes were listed:
- Monitoring and Control
The number of processes remain unchanged in the sixth edition, but what changes is the number of sub-processes within each process.
Furthermore, in the fifth edition there were a total of 13 chapters. In the sixth edition we find instead a new chapter that deals with the role of the project manager and its functions.
In addition to this, the skills and competences that a project manager must possess are now aligned with the so-called Triangle of Talent.
It is not enough to have technical skills, but due to the dynamism of the working environment and the evolutionary trends in the sector, it is necessary that the project manager possesses also additional skills. The most relevant include:
- Strategic and corporate management: It is necessary to understand the progress and the functioning of the company business in order to adapt the project to it. The project manager must therefore possess the skills to analyze the competition, the market, know the legal implications, business models, etc.
- Leadership skills: In the fifth edition of the PMbok, this skill is already explained, but the new edition gives it more emphasis. Among the leadership skills, we find emotional intelligence, problem solving, team building and the ability to influence and motivate the team;
- Technical skills: This refers mainly to the sector in which a person works and the specific skills required for the project.
The sixth edition of the PMbok: The knowledge areas
In the fifth edition of PMbok 10 areas of knowledge were listed.
These still remain in the sixth edition, but two appear with new names, as specified in the following list:
- Integration Management
- Scope Management
- Time Management is replaced by Schedule Management
- Cost Management
- Quality Management
- Human Resource Management is replaced by Resource Management
- Communications Management
- Risk Management
- Procurement Management
- Stakeholder Management
Why these two changes?
The new term Resource Management refers not only to the human workforce, but also to the physical resources (such as materials, equipment, licenses, etc.) that can be part of a project and contribute to its success.
Time Management has been replaced with Schedule Management, so that the importance of project management planning is emphasized.
Moreover, in the sixth edition of the PMbok, each area of knowledge has four additional sections:
Furthermore, in the sixth edition of the PMbok, each area of knowledge will have four additional sections:
- Key concepts;
- Tailoring considerations: they must help to focus on the important processes of a project depending to its size and, of course, on the scope of work;
- Developments and new project management practices;
- Focus on the Agile and adaptive Methodology.
PMBOK sixth edition: The three new processes
The sixth edition of the PMbok lists 49 processes, 2 more than the last edition.
In reality the changes to the processes are 4 because the three processes have been added while one has been eliminated.
The Close Procurement process has been removed. This refers to the closing of vendor contracts, a task that in most organizations is not performed by the project manager.
Among the new processes added we find:
- Manage Project Knowledge: born from the need to process the data of the market and the business in which the company operates to transform them into knowledge and “wisdom” on which certain decisions will be based. Knowledge is a power that will help the project manager to use data processing technologies and make decisions based on concrete analysis;
- Implement Risk Response: PMI surveys have stated that most project failures are due to improper risk management. Therefore, implementing the risk response in the management of the project is a necessary addition;
- Control Resources: this new process refers to the monitoring and control of the various resources present in the project and is aligned with the modification, seen previously, in the area of knowledge from human resources.
PMBOK sixth edition: 6 changes in existing processes
6 processes are renamed in the current PMbok edition, even if their content remains unchanged:
- Perform Quality Assurance becomes Manage Quality.
- Plan Human Resource Management becomes Plan Resource Management.
- Control Communications becomes Monitor Communications.
- Control Risks becomes Monitor Risks.
- Plan Stakeholder Management becomes Plan Stakeholder Engagement.
- Control Stakeholder Engagement becomes Monitor Stakeholder Engagement.
From Perform Quality Assurance to Manage Quality. This refers to the fact that, while quality assurance is a way to manage quality during execution, in reality there are also other qualitative aspects to consider.
This overall quality management is what reflects the name change.
The change from “Control” to “Monitor” indicates that, during the execution of the project, we monitor it to understand what is happening everyday and personalize the strategy to meet the changing needs.
Who will be affected by these changes?
The role of the Project Manager is becoming more and more important and is spreading in every sectors; this is why the need to certify its skills increases.
The PMbok then becomes a fundamental text for all those who are dealing with an official exam to get the title of Project Manager.
Nowadays, there are five internationally recognized certifications:
- CAPM – Certified Associate in Project Management
- PMP – Project Management Professional
- PgMP – Program Management Professional
- PMI-SP – PMI Scheduling Professional
- PMI-RMP – PMI Risk Management Professional
- PMI-ACP – PMI Agile Certified Practitioner
Regardless of the type of certification, students and prospective Project Managers will refer to the Pmbok and, consequently, their work will for sure be influenced by the changes in the sixth edition of PMbok.
But not only.
Even a certified Project Manager must be updated on the changes contained in the new edition of PMbok.
Being up-to-date is the best quality of a serious and competent professional.
A careful reading of the new edition of the Pmbok will certainly be useful and a source of interesting reflections that could help guiding any type of project in an efficient and professional manner.
Leave us your comment or your impression on the new edition of the Pmbok.