Understanding Process Changes in PMBOK® Guide—Sixth Edition

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.

In my previous article (Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary), I provided an overview of the materiel changes of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Sixth Edition. This article dives one layer deeper to discover the process changes.

First, the math…
When I introduce the PMI framework to new project managers, I explain that they will need to adjust to “new math.” I explain that the mapping of the five process groups sorted vertically across 10 horizontal knowledge areas results in simple math. Five multiplied by 10 equals 47 (5 X 10 = 47). It’s enough to get their attention and allows me to explain the interactions between process groups and knowledge areas.

In the sixth edition, the math came very close to being true. There are now 49 process groups (compared to 47 in the fifth edition).

Processes sorted by knowledge area: old vs. new

1. Project Integration Management

  • One process added. Within the Executing Process Group, “Manage Project Knowledge” has been added. The goal of this process is to leverage prior organizational knowledge to improve outcomes. In addition, it ensures knowledge built from the current project will be available for future initiatives. Think of it as using and creating lessons learned.

The net impact of this change on this knowledge area is an increase of …

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