PMBOK 4 to PMBOK 5 changes

New Knowledge Area

For first time ever, since the creation of the 1st edition back in 1996, PMI has added a new knowledge area, “Project Stakeholder Management”.  Having said that, the change is mostly one of emphasis, since most of the content was already in the PMBOK, just under Project Communication Management.

New Processes

There are 5 new processes, bringing the total in the PMBOK to 47.  The new ones are:

  • Plan Scope Management
  • Plan Schedule Management
  • Plan Cost Management
  • Plan Stakeholder Management
  • Control Stakeholders Engagement

Although again, most the content for these processes was already in the PMBOK, just in different places.

New Names

12 processes got new or modified names, in general continuing a trend in the past few versions of making the process names more consistent and understandable.

Expanded Explanations and Descriptions

The description of Project Management Offices has been expanded to reflect what’s actually been happening in the marketplace, and there’s more discussion of how project management helps organizations achieve their strategic goals and adds value to the organization.  A little more on project life cycle models including Agile approaches, and some details about governance.

Cleanup and Harmonization

A better definition over here, a clarified tool over there, and a new summary table of formulas in between.  And then better harmonization with PMI’s other standards and with the new ISO 21500 standard “Guidance on Project Management”.

If you’ve been prepping for the PMP exam under PMBOK 4, there are enough detailed changes here to warrant some significant time to get things straight under PMBOK 5.  If you’re a practicing project manager, there’s not too much new here in terms of best practices, but some useful clarifications and vocabulary additions.  Now we’ll all know the difference between Work Performance Data, and Work Performance Information.

About Kevin Archbold

Kevin Archbold, PMP, PMI-SP, has over 30 years of project management experience with large and small organizations in a variety of industries, including automotive, nuclear, telecommunications, trucking, IT, recruiting, mining, construction, and government. Kevin has presented at local and national levels within the Project Management Institute (PMI), is the winner of a local chapter PMI Project of the Year Award, and is the current president of a PMI Chapter.

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