What are the changes in the PMBOK 6th edition?

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

This Appendix describes the changes in the 6th Edition (published by PMI in September 2017) as compared to the 5th Edition. This Appendix is not needed for the PMP Exam and this will not help you answer questions in the Exam.

We have included it here those who are familiar with the PMBOK 5th Edition contents and want to know “what changed in the 6th Edition?”

What has not changed in the PMI PMBOK?

1. The number of knowledge areas remains the same. We still have ten knowledge areas. The sequence of the Knowledge Areas has not changed. However, the names of two of the Knowledge Areas have changed.

2. The number and names of the Process Groups remain the same. We still have five Process Groups, namely:

1.  Initiating
2.  Planning
3.  Executing
4.  Monitoring and Controlling
5.  Closing

What has changed?

1. The 5th Edition had 47 processes. The 6th Edition has 49 processes.

2. There are three new processes:

1.  Manage Project Knowledge process in chapter 4 (Project Integration Management).
2.  Control Resources process in chapter 9 (Project Resource Management).
3.  Implement Risk Responses process in chapter 11 (Project Risk Management).

3. One process has been deleted. In the 5th Edition, Chapter 12 (Project Procurement Management) had a process named Close Procurements. This process has been removed.

4. Two of the Knowledge Areas have new names:

a) Time Knowledge Area (Chapter 6) is now renamed to Schedule Knowledge Area.

b) Human Resources Knowledge Area (Chapter 9) is now renamed to Resources Knowledge Area, to reflect that project resources are not limited to people, but need to include hardware, software, leased or purchased equipment, office space, etc.

5. The Estimate Activity Resources process was previously part of Chapter 6, Project Time Management. In the 6th Edition, this

process has been moved to Chapter 9, Project Resource Management.

6. The names for three processes have been

changed, where the word control has been replaced by monitor:

a) Control Communications process is now Monitor Communications.

b) Control Risks is now Monitor Risks.

c) Control Stakeholder Engagement is now Monitor Stakeholder Engagement.

Why this change? This reflects the need for project managers to monitor the processes rather than trying to control those. It is also not realistic to expect a project manager to completely control the communications, risks, or stakeholder engagement for a project. However, monitoring those is realistic.

7. Each chapter on Knowledge Areas (Chapter 4 to 13) has four new sections toward the start of the chapter. The sections are:

  1. Key Concepts

  2. Trends and Emerging Practices

  3. Tailoring Considerations

  4. Considerations for Agile/Adaptive Environments

8. In the 5th Edition, the ITTO figures for the processes did not have bulleted subheadings (or sub-bullets). However, in the 6th Edition, some of the ITTO figures have bulleted sub-lists.

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