Project Management

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.

first published @

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

Comments (58)

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Thanks for these information;
very interested on the changes to prepare new courses on certification training
Jean Jacques benichou
PMP France


This link below on LinkedIn (Mohamed Kamal) is using your article. No reference to your original article.


Hi Michael,

thanks for making me aware of that; i will contact Mohamed.

A wise man sometimes said: "To be copied is the highest form of recognition." (or somewhat similar ...;) ).



PS: We do have conducted not only a even more detailed and of course always actualized article about the upcoming changes and it impacts but also an FAQ regarding this topic within our popular "Project Managers PMP Exam prep guidance program" - more than 1.200 participants ...for free of course.
For all who may be interested you may have a look here:



Thank you, Marcus, for the helpful details. However, I have a question please, what do you think if someone wants to apply to a project management exam, is it ok to apply now or within the coming month or two, or is it better to wait for the new version of the PMBOK 6th edition?

Hello Abu,

the PMP exam based on the new PMBoK Guide edition will not change before Q1/2018 (exact date will be announced by PMI soon).

There is still plenty of time to go for the exam until the end of this year and if you can manage that, then i would recommend to go for it now.

If you have doubts about that then you might better wait, but think about that it could take some more time for the prep material providers to manage their updates. So it could be that you have to wait until let's say the mid of next year until all the needed prep materials are up to date also, right? You should consider this ...

If you want to have a more detailed view on those upcoming changes and what they mean to actual aspirants, then you should have a look into our

FREE! - PMP Exam Prep Guidance Program

We have conducted a detailed article about this topic there.

There is a premium version available also with additional contents, tools and checklists and chapter-wise questionnaires.

You may checkout this version here:

A actualized version of this article here can be viewed on this site:

Hope this helps a bit.



Thank you for showing in summary the areas of the PMBOK that will be modified.

I am a PMI members. Can somebody please tell me exactly where can I download the evaluation copy of the draft for PMBOK® Guide 6th edition from the PMI website or from anywhere else? Thanks.

Paul Sanghera -- Only REPs and select PMI Chapter leaders have access to the PMBOK6 draft. However, you should be able to download the 'final' PMBOK6 from PMI's website on September 6.

Interesting. Any way, Thanks, John.

I don't like the removal of "human" from "human resources".

First of all, I usually try to avoid referring to people as "ressources". Second of all, why is money, a financial resource, still important enough to be separate? Are we saying money is more important than people?

I think there will be many people who thinks like you Stephane. I also try not to use the word resources, anyway I'm, convinced that one important factor that makes a project succesful is the human factor and this factor is present in our team but also in the other stakeholders, so I don't think management of the team can be eliminated, but maybe requires more attention in the staheolder management.

Sub: PMBOK 6th Edition Pre-ordered copies.
I have still not received my pre-ordered copy of PMBOK 6th Edition. Is there any one else like me?
I emailed costomer service, they would reply. May be I am missing something.

You are not the only one! I haven't received my pre-ordered copy yet!

Thank you Markus, this will help me a lot!

Best regards.

Hi Alvaro,
glad that you like it.

You can find an updated version of this post here:



Thanks Markus, this is helpful especially when we are trying to understand the highlights in the limited time we have.

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