The PMBOK Guide 5th Edition was launched on December 31, 2012, four years after publishing the 4th Edition. This is a major update and many things have changed in the latest edition of the guide.
It has now been more than three months and many aspirants are asking me questions, such as regarding the validity of their certification, how to prepare for the exam, etc.
The most frequently asked question is whether I should prepare with the 4th edition of the PMBOK Guide or take the test when it changes.
First of all, please note that exam content will change to the 5th edition of the PMBOK Guide on 31st July 2013.
So if you are planning to take the exam before 31 July, you should prepare with the 4th edition of the PMBOK Guide. However, if you plan to take the exam on 31st July or after this date, your preparation should be based on the 5th edition of the PMBOK Guide.
As you can see, there is still more than three months’ time until the exam content will change. Three months are more than enough time to prepare and pass the exam.
When the exam content changes, it takes some time for publishers to publish updated content.
The most important factor is to include the feedback of exam takers into the study materials, and this does not happen quickly.
The first edition of any content will have some typos, errors, and mistakes. So they correct these typos and errors in the next edition.
This process takes time. This means after 31 July it will take a few months for updated content to align with the exam pattern.
Moreover, when updated study material comes on to the market, the price will also be higher.
Therefore, my suggestion is if you are determined to become a PMP, you should start your preparation now, attempt the exam before 31 July and become a PMP.
Now let’s discuss the changes in the 5th edition of the PMBOK Guide.
What is New in the PMBOK Guide 5th Edition?
The major change in this new edition of the PMBOK Guide is the addition of a new knowledge area – Project Stakeholder Management.
In the 4th Edition of the PMBOK Guide, this was a part of the Communication Management knowledge area. The Project Stakeholder Management knowledge area has four processes.
This change shows that PMI recognizes the importance of stakeholder management.
In the 4th Edition of the PMBOK Guide there were 5 process groups and 42 processes; in the 5th Edition, the number of process groups is the same but the processes have been increased to 47.
These five additional processes are as follows:
- Four planning processes were added to different knowledge areas (plan scope management, plan schedule management, plan cost management, and plan stakeholder management). This brings consistency with other project management knowledge areas.
- Two communication processes have been merged into one process (Distribute Information and Report Performance to Manage Communications).
- Two new controlling processes were added (Control Communications and Control Stakeholder Management).
Two processes (Identify Stakeholders and Manage Stakeholder Expectations) have been relocated to the Stakeholder Management knowledge area.
In this edition, the PMI has changed the name of few processes as well:
- Verify Scope was changed to Validate Scope.
- Administer Procurement was changed to Control Procurement.
- Direct and Manage Project Execution was changed to Direct and Manage Project Work.
Some other changes were made for consistency purposes; e.g. Project Document Update was changed to Project Document Updates.
Some minor changes can also be seen in Input, Tools & Techniques and Output.
This is a short description of a few changes in the 5th edition of the PMBOK Guide.
Now let’s discuss some common questions asked by many PMP aspirants.
I have passed my PMP Certification based on the PMBOK 4th Edition. Will my certification be valid when the PMI changes the test questions based on the 5th Edition of the PMBOK Guide?
Yes, your certification will be valid.
In fact, your certificate will be valid even when the 6th edition comes out. The only condition for you is to maintain the CCR Cycle. To complete a CCR cycle, you have to earn 60 PDUs every three years and report to PMI. As long as you continue to do so, your certification will be valid regardless of the version of the PMBOK Guide.
I have passed my PMP Certification based on the 4th Edition of the PMBOK Guide. When the exam pattern aligns with the PMBOK 5th Edition, do I have to take the exam again, or am I required to attend any test to upgrade my certification?
You will not have to take the exam again, nor will any kind of upgrade test be needed.
You will never be required to take the test again as long as you maintain the CCR Cycle. The only condition where you would be required to take the exam again is if you lose your credentials (by failing to report your PDUs to PMI).
PMI updates the PMBOK Guide every four years to keep it current and to align it with the latest industry standards. It is always better for you to keep yourself updated with the latest version of the guide.
If you are a PMP certification holder, you can update your knowledge based on the current version of the guide, and if you have yet to take the exam, you can start afresh with the 5th Edition of the guide. However, it wouldn’t hurt you to go through older versions of the guide.
Here is where this blog post about the latest changes to the PMBOK Guide ends. If you have something to say, please post it in the comments section.
I suggest you refer to page 463, of the PMBOK Guide 5th edition (Appendix – X1) to read about the changes to the PMBOK Guide.