Project Management

New Guides: Impact on Credentials

Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is an experienced project manager, author and consultant who works for PMI as a subject matter expert. Before joining PMI, Mike consulted and managed innovation and technology projects throughout Europe, North and South America for 30+ years. He was co-lead for the PMBOK Guide—Seventh Edition, lead for the Agile Practice Guide, and contributor to the PMI-ACP and PMP exam content outlines. Outside of PMI, Mike maintains the websites about leading teams and, which teaches project management for visual learners.

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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