The PMBOK 7th Edition – what is changing?

With the latest PMBOK 7th edition big changes are coming. The PMBOK is being updated every 3-5 years to stay relevant to the changing dynamics of the project management profession. With the fast pace of technology, competition is harsher than it was ever before. Product life cycles are shorter and requirements of the product or project can change over time depending on the progress of the project. Practitioners are now tasked with identifying the right delivery approach (predictive, agile, or hybrid) to get the job done and deliver value. To make sure the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition remains relevant, PMI realised it must reflect this flexibility and assist the practitioner in managing the project at hand to deliver outputs that enable envisioned outcomes.

Changing from a process-based approach to a principle-based approach

Perhaps most important, the updated Standard adopts a principles-based format in order to be more inclusive of the full range of approaches to value delivery—not just the predictive approach traditionally associated with project management. We must respect the project professional’s right to choose the correct approach for the project at hand—whether that’s predictive, agile, adaptive, or a hybrid approach.

All previous editions of the PMBOK Guide have been process-based, meaning that the primary, fundamental building blocks were processes, with their inputs and outputs connecting them and creating an integrated network that can be effective in projects.

The 12 governing Principles in the Standard are built around a set of statements that best summarize the generally accepted actions and behaviors of project management practice regardless of development approach. The Principles provide broad parameters within which project teams can operate and remain aligned with the intent of the Principle.

The seventh edition of the Guide builds on the Standard and is structured not around Knowledge Areas and ITTOs but around Project Performance Domains, a group of related activities that are critical for the effective delivery of project outcomes. The Domains include important management practices but are not prescriptive “how to’s.” Each section explains why the specific domain is important for effective project management.

The Guide also has an expanded section on tools and techniques titled Models, Methods, and Artifacts. In-depth information about how to apply these tools and techniques by project type, development approach, and industry sector is presented on a new, digital platform called PMIstandards+. In fact, the entire PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition will launch with a digital and interactive element, delivered through PMIstandards+.

See our live talk on these changes and how it affects you:

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