PMBOK® Guide—Sixth Edition: Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary

Following 20 years at a large Canadian telecommunications firm, Bruce established the project management consulting firm Solutions Management Inc (SMI). Since 1999, he has provided contract project/program management services, been a source for project management support personnel and created/delivered courses to over 7,000 participants in Canada, the United States and England.

As most project management practitioners and individuals with aspirations of completing PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® or Project Management Professional (PMP) ® certification are aware, the sixth edition of the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) was released on September 6, 2017.

There was much social media chatter regarding the potential dramatic changes and how everything from tactical entry-level training to PMP studying would have to be looked at though a very different lens. As it turns out, there were no revolutionary changes, but rather more of a continuation of the evolution of the framework.

Here are some fun facts:

  • It seems PMBOK Guide suffers from the same fate as many project managers: As it ages, it gets larger. My version of the fifth edition (they change marginally depending on the print version) was a svelte 589 pages. The sixth edition blossomed to a robust 756 pages. That’s a whopping 28% increase. The first PMBOK Guide, published in 1996, was 176 pages!
  • Let’s look at the weight. My fifth edition was 1,382 grams. The sixth edition is 1,587 grams. That’s a 205 gram (7 ounce) increase. Or, put differently, a 14% increase. I can definitely feel the difference when I pack my case in preparation for another course delivery!
  • Wait a minute…if there are…

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