Update: The PMP exam update has moved to January 11th, 2016 to allow all stakeholders adequate time to prepare for this change (Source: PMI).
In June, 2015, PMI published a new PMP certification exam content outline, and after January 11th, 2016 the PMP exam will be based upon the updated version. (Earlier the schedule date for the change was November 1st, 2015)
This has caused panic among PMP aspirants, and causing many doubts.
I have also been receiving many emails from my visitors regarding these changes. Many think that if they are not able to pass the exam before January 11th, 2016, they will have to start all over again and all their efforts will be in vain.
For some of them, their eligibility expiry date is near and they are worried that if they fail, they will be left with less time to prepare for the next attempt in the new format. Therefore to answers their queries, I am writing this blog post. I believe that after reading this, you will have answers to your doubts.
If you are one of them, first of all, I would suggest that you relax. It is not a major change in the exam and the reference book is still the PMBOK Guide 5th edition. Moreover, no task has been removed from the syllabus. So whatever you have studied will still be valid.
There is no change in any process groups or knowledge areas. There are still five process groups and ten knowledge areas.
Now we come to the new content.
To date, the PMP exam has 34 tasks and after January 11th, 2016 the exam will be based on 42 tasks; eight new tasks have been added.
These eight tasks are as follows:
Domain – I (Initiating): Three new tasks are added to this process group (task 2, task 7, task 8).
Domain – II (Planning): One new task is added to executing process group (task 13).
Domain – III (Executing): Two new tasks are added to this process group (task 6, task 7).
Domain – IV (Monitoring & Controlling): Two new tasks are added here (task 6, task 7).
Domain – V (Closing): No new task is added to this process group.
You might think that this a lot of new tasks, however, it is not. In fact, you have already studied most of the tasks during your preparation.
For example, let’s look at a new task added to the monitoring and controlling process group:
“Capture, analyze, and managed lessons learned, using lessons learned management techniques in order to enable continuous improvement.”
Read the above new task again and ask yourself, is this a really something new you are seeing for the first time?
Like this task, most of the other new tasks are not really new, and you have been reading about them in your reference books and learning them in training sessions. Other techniques and procedures include lean management, Kanban, Six Sigma, and ISO, etc.
I believe these techniques are not alien to you and you have been reading about them all throughout your preparation.
So, my recommendation to you is not to worry about the exam content and focus on the exam preparation. If you pass the exam before November 1st, good for you! However, if you are not able to attempt the exam before January 11th, 2016 or fail it don’t worry, your preparation will still be valid and you can re-take the exam comfortably.
Although some new content has been added, I believe that you can study most of it with your current study material and the rest can be searched for on the internet. I would not recommend you buy any new books or join any new training programs.
Please note that I am not implying you should ignore the newly added content completely. I am only saying that it is not a drastic change; nothing has been brought out of the blue and added to the exam content, and you should not think about it too much. I suggest you note down the newly added tasks (they can be obtained by clicking here), and go through them.
PMI regularly updates its exam content based on the Role Delineation Study (RDS), which PMI conducts every three or five years after taking consultation from all stakeholders. The RDS process ensures that the course content remains updated. This is a positive procedure which ensures the relevancy of PMP certification. It is good for you and for the industry; therefore, instead of thinking about it, you should focus on your studies and pass the PMP exam.
If you have something to share, you can do so through the comments section.