New Guides: Impact on Credentials

PMI Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog LeadingAnswers.com.

On September 6, 2017, the Project Management Institute published the new A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Sixth Edition and the accompanying Agile Practice Guide. So anyone considering taking their PMP® or PMI-ACP® is probably wondering if and how these new releases impact their study plans.

The good news is that it’s a minimal impact. While PMBOK® Guide sees some significant changes such as a new appendix on the use of “agile, adaptive, iterative and hybrid approaches,” the content outlines for both exams are not changing anytime soon.

It is the Exam Content Outline—not the PMBOK® Guide or other publications—that dictates what is tested for in the exams. The outline for the PMP credential is created and published by PMI and available for download here; the Exam Content Outline for the PMI-ACP credential is available here.

Each question in the PMP or PMI-ACP exam is based on at least two source publications. For the PMP exam, PMBOK® Guide is frequently one source publication. For the PMI-ACP, there are a dozen reference books (listed in the PMI-ACP Reference List). So the exam questions are influenced by the outlines more than the reference publications. Questions do have to be based on the reference publications, but only on scope that is defined by each outline.

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