PM Professional

A quick look at the PMBoK Guide (7th ed.)

PMI updates the PMBoK® Guide on a regular basis. The PMBoK® Guide forms the basis of all PMI training and project management practices, it is revised any time there are significant changes in the project management industry.

As this particular resource is viewed as one of the more influential documents in the field of project management, there’s bound to be a fair bit of speculation and anticipation around the new version. The PMBoK® Guide 7th ed. Is due to be released at the end of 2020. In this article, we’ll try to answer some basic questions regarding why changes are being made, what is being changed and how this affects you.

Before that however, it is important to note that the PMBoK® Guide contains two documents: the Standard for Project Management – the consensus-based standard for the profession, and the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge — which provides a framework for applying PMI’s practices to project management.

Why is the PMBoK changing?

There has been an increasing need to update the PMBoK® Guide over the past few years. Rapidly improving automation technology and the need for practitioners to adapt quickly and fluidly in these uncertain times has caused the project management profession to rapidly evolve.

Project managers must now identify the correct governance delivery approach (agile waterfall, hybrid etc.) to deliver value to businesses. For the PMBoK® Guide to remain relevant, it must reflect these changes and help project managers deliver satisfactory outputs.

To this end, both the PMI® Standard for Project Management and Project Management Body of Knowledge will be updated to address contemporary concerns in the field of project management.

Due to the many challenges faced by project managers in the past few years, and especially in 2020, the new edition will be vastly different from previous iterations.

What is changing?

For starters, the Standard for Project Management will be updated to adopt a principle-based format in order to be more inclusive of the full range of options available to project managers to ensure product delivery, rather than simply a predictive approach. This new standard aims to allow room for the inclusion of traditional, agile, and hybrid methods.

The 12 governing principles provide broad parameters within which development teams can operate in a way that remains aligned with these guiding principles.

The 7th ed. Of the guide, builds on these standard practices and will be structured around ‘Project Performance Domains’ – related activities critical to the success of project outcomes, rather than areas of knowledge, tools and techniques. These domains include important practices but are not strict prescriptive guidelines. Rather each section will explain why the domain is important for effective project management.

In addition, the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge will be expanded with additional tools and techniques, as well as information on how to apply said tools by project type, development and industry sector called PMIstandards+™.

Finally, the entire 7th ed. Will launch with an interactive, online component, delivered through the PMIstandards+™ platform.

How you can benefit

The ultimate goal of the new PMBoK® Guide is to make the job of a project manager easier and give project managers the flexibility to be proactive and innovative in response to change whether this change comes from competitors, technology or another global health crisis.

The new format will reflect this guiding principle and aims to better reflect the needs of project managers. PMI hopes to revitalize the PMBoK® Guide so that it will remain relevant as project managers adopt new ways of problem-solving.

The new digital format enables easy access, more opportunity to provide feedback, shorter update cycles and new, original content developed by subject experts.