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What New in PMBOK 5 - An Overview of the Changes

written by: Rupen Sharma, PMP • edited by: Carly Stockwell • updated: 11/14/2013

The new PMBOK 5 was released mid 2013 and contains some updates to the information found in the prior edition. PMP certification is also being updated to reflect the changes in this guide to project management. Read on for an overview of what's new and different.

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    What's New in PMBOK 5 A revised version of the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) is released every five years. After receiving input from and collaborating with over 1000 project management professionals, in mid 2013, the Project Management Institute (PMI) released version 5 of the PMBOK. This mammoth task has ensured that version 5 is up-to-date with industry trends and also removes any discrepancies and ambiguities in the existing PMBOK 4 material.

    In addition, those preparing for the PMP certification exam should note that on July 30, 2013, the exam was updated to reflect changes from PMBOK 4 to PMBOK 5. This changes the way you should be studying and preparing for the exam.

    Let’s take a look at what's new and different in the latest version of the PMBOK.

    Process Groups

    First of all, the process groups. There is no difference in the naming and description of the process groups. They remain: Initiating, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing

    Knowledge Areas

    While the knowledge areas all have the same names, a new knowledge area, called Project Stakeholder Management, has been added.

    In PMBOK 4, stakeholder management was part of the Project Communications Management knowledge area. In PMBOK 5, Project Communications Management has been split into Project Communications Management and Project Stakeholder Management. This change shows the significance on stakeholder engagement in a project’s success. In addition, it enables the Project Communication Management knowledge area to focus on project communication activities, such as collecting, storing, organizing, and distributing information.

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    What Else is New?

    Changes in the Knowledge Areas

    Since the PMP examination tests your ability to recall the processes within each knowledge area and the names of each process, this section focuses on any additions and deletions of processes in knowledge areas. It also mentions changes in the naming of processes.

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    Project Integration Management

    There is one name change in this area; the Direct and Manage Project Execution process has been renamed to Direct and Manage Project Work.

    Project Scope Management

    Two changes in this knowledge area:

    1. Added a new process called Project Scope Management.
    2. Renamed the Verify Scope process to Validate Scope.

    Project Time Management

    A new process called Plan Schedule Management was added. Apart from this, there is no other change.

    Project Cost Management

    A new process called Plan Cost Management was added. Apart from this, there is no other change.

    Project Quality Management

    Both processes have been renamed.

    1. Plan Quality process becomes Plan Quality Management
    2. Perform Quality Control process becomes Control Quality

    Project Human Resources Management

    Develop Human Resources Plan process has been renamed to Plan Human Resources Management.

    Project Communications Management

    This knowledge area has some very significant changes. As I mentioned earlier, all processes pertaining to the stakeholder management aspect of the Project Communications Management knowledge area has been moved a new knowledge area called Project Stakeholder Management. This change means that the Project Communications Management knowledge area has only three processes.

    The changes are:

    • Moved the Identify Stakeholders process to the Project Stakeholder Management knowledge area
    • Renamed the Plan Communications process to Plan Communications Management
    • Renamed the Distribute Information process to Manage Communications
    • Moved the Manage Stakeholder Expectations process to the Project Stakeholder Management knowledge area
    • Renamed the Report Performance process to Control Communications

    Project Stakeholder Management

    This is the new knowledge area that was created. The processes in this knowledge area are:

    • Identify Stakeholders
    • Plan Stakeholder Management
    • Manage Stakeholder Management
    • Control Stakeholder Management

    Project Risk Management

    In this knowledge area, the Monitor and Control Risk process has been renamed to Control Risks. Apart from this, there is no other change.

    Project Procurement Management

    In this knowledge area, two processes have been renamed. The changes are:

    1. Plan Procurements process becomes Plan Procurement Management
    2. Administer Procurements process becomes Control Procurements

    As you can probably deduce from this article, there are some significant changes that have taken place between the PMBOK version 4 and PMBOK version 5, of which we have simply provided an overview.  To get more information, on the finer changes in each knowledge area, I recommend reading the PMBOK version 5 available for purchase from the PMI.

    What's the most welcome change in your opinion? How will this affect your preparation for certification or the way in which you manage your projects?



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