PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition will be released towards the end of 2017 - what will change?

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Like i wrote in my previous article "What is the current edition of the PMBoK Guide and when will the new edition be released?" the public review of the exposure draft has just begun and it is still a long road until the final version will be released towards the end of 2017 respective the beginning of 2018 when the printed version  will become available.

Nevertheless it is interesting yet having a look on the upcoming changes the new version will bring us.

Of course this is high level and feels like a BETA version, but the major changes should be finalized already since public review has started, right?

Well, here we go:

Agile and other iterative practices

As some of us already heard there will be some new content to emphasisze the importance and relevance of agile and other iterative practices.

Different from previous editions, the PMBOK®Guide –Sixth Edition will contain numerous references to adaptive and iterative practices, including agile. This decision was made in response to the requests of PMIs stakeholders. This content will include:

  • The practices often used in an adaptive environment in the front of each Knowledge Area section (Sections 4–13).
  • An appendix toThe Standard for Project Management on agile and other iterative practices.

PMI Talent Triangle™

Will the new PMI Talent Triangle™ find its refelction in the upcoming PMBoK Guide Version? Of course!

The PMBOK®Guide –Sixth Edition will contain a new chapter on the role of the project manager which discusses the PMI Talent Triangle™ and the skill sets organizations demand that make project managers more competitive and relevant—technical project management, leadership, and strategic and business management.

Key Concepts

Many key concepts addressed in the first three chapters of the PMBOK® Guide are covered, in abbreviated form, in Section I of the Standard. Section II of the Standard contains a description of the project management processes, organized by Process Group, along with their key benefits, inputs and outputs.

Processes; Process Groups and Knowledge Areas

The Process Groups remain the same in the Sixth Edition, although two Knowledge Areas have new names:

Project Time Management is now Project Schedule Management, emphasizing the importance of scheduling in project management. This aligns with PMI’s Practice Standard for Scheduling.
And Project Human Resource Management is now Project Resource Management. We discuss both team resources and physical resources in the processes of this Knowledge Area.

There are three new processes in the Sixth Edition:

  • Manage Project Knowledge is part of the Executing Process Group and Project Integration Management knowledge area.
  • Implement Risk Responses is part of the Executing Process Group and Project Risk Management knowledge area.
  • Control Resources is part of the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group and Project Resource Management knowledge area.

Estimate Activity Resources is still part of the Planning Process Group, but it is associated with Project Resource Management processes instead of Project Schedule Management processes.

Since we do not know about deleting processes now, the overall number of processes seems to increase to 50!

In addition, some processes have different names. For example, to align with research showing that project management is more about facilitating and managing than controlling, we have shifted several processes from a Control function to a Monitor function. In other cases, we have aligned the process name with the intent of the process. The chart below identifies the overall name changes.


PMBOK 5th Edition

PMBOK 6th Edition

Perform Quality Assurance

Manage Quality

Plan Human Resource Management

Plan Resource Management

Control Communications

Monitor Communications

Control Risks

Monitor Risks

Plan Stakeholder Management

Plan Stakeholder Engagement

Control Stakeholder Engagement

Monitor Stakeholder Engagement


The function of the Close Procurement process has now been captured within Control Procurements and Close Project or Phase. Research shows that few project managers have the authority to formally and legally close a contract. Project managers are responsible to determine that work is complete, records indexed and archived, and responsibilities transferred appropriately. Thus, they have now included work associated with Close Procurements within the aforementioned processes.

Project Management Plan Components and Project Documents

Please note the following changes to the project management plan components and project documents:

  • The components of the project management plan that are inputs to a process, or that are updated as outputs from a process, are not listed individually in the inputs or outputs. Rather, the project management plan is the input and project management plan updates is the output.
  • Beneath the input/output table, a list of potential project management plan components is identified. However, the components of the project management plan that will be inputs or updated depends on the needs of the project.
  • Project documents are listed as an input and project documents updates is listed as an output, as appropriate. Beneath the input/output table there is a list of potential project  documents that may be inputs, or may be updated as an output. The needs of the project will determine the actual project documents that should be inputs or updated as an output.


This is what we know about the upcoming changes yet. There may be additional changes; as a result from the actual exposure draft review for instance.

We will update this article accordingly.

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Posted on: March 15, 2016 06:35 AM | Permalink

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You are welcome Guys, thanks for your kind words.

Here are the latest Updates:

PMBOK 6th Edition Release Date and Timeline - Update!

This article is a brief overview of the release date for A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) Sixth Edition and how this affects the PMP Exam.

In addition to giving you all the dates of the PMBOK 6 release we will also give you our recommendation on which version you should use for your PMP exam prep studies.

This article will be updated over time as PMI releases more specific release dates.


1. When will PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition be released?
2. When will The PMP Exam change?
3. Which version of the PMBOK Guide should I use to study?

When will PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition be released?

Addition of Agile, PMI Triangle are welcome. Interesting description of the changes and well defined. Thanks Marcus

Thanks Marcus, for sharing this useful post.

Good to hear that they think about including some agile concepts in the PMBOK 6th edition, but hope they will keep a good balance to avoid any confusion with PMI-ACP standard which is more focused on Agile concepts when PMBOK (PMP) was currently more focused on Waterfall.

Thank you Markus for the update!

When do you expect that PMP certification will change from 5th edition to 6th edition?

Hi Bernd,

the official statement regarding that is actually - "in the beginning of 2018".
There is no specific date announced yet.
I would expect the change at latest til the end of Q1/2018.


Thank you Markus!

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