Project Management

5 Major Changes Coming to the PMP® Exam

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 www.LeadingAnswers.com about leading teams and www.PMillustrated.com, which teaches project management for visual learners.

Some fundamental changes are coming to the PMP® exam. Currently slated for July 2020, the content and composition of the exam will be completely revamped. As described in the new PMP Exam Content Outline, PMI commissioned a research study into trends in the project management profession. This study, called the Global Practice Analysis, investigated which job tasks and approaches people frequently use.

The job task analysis identified knowledge and skills required to function as a project management practitioner. Now the PMP is changing to better reflect these practices; here are some of the major changes:  

1. New focus – Switching from the previous domains (initiating, planning, executing, etc.), the new exam will be based on three new domains: people, process and business environment. These new domains align more closely with the PMI Talent Triangle® sections of leadership, technical project management, and business and strategic work.

Since project management occurs in a variety of industries, the business environment domain only tests universal concepts and does not get into any specifics around project types. The split of questions between these domains is:

  • People: 42%
  • Process: 50%
  • Business Environment: 8%

2. New content – The job task analysis revealed that many project managers are using agile approaches, or some agile …


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"If a man does only what is required of him, he is a slave. If a man does more than is required of him, he is a free man."

- Chinese Proverb

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