PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition – Changes to PMP exam from 31-July-13

The Project Management Institute ( has published the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide, Sixth Edition in early 2013.

The PMP exam is based on this new PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition from 31-July-2013. If you are giving the exam before this date, the older PMBOK Guide Fourth edition applies.

People preparing for the exam have a lot of concerns and I am inundated with emails and calls asking about the changes, how big is the change, and its impact on their exam preparation. So I thought I’ll address the common concerns here. Please feel free to ask any question by posting them as comments at the end of this article.

What exactly has changed  in PMBOK Guide, Fifth edition?

There are quite a few changes from Fourth edition to Fifth edition. Addition of new knowledge area, addition of new processes, modifications to the names of existing processes, and merging of some processes… And on top of this, even existing processes have undergone changes in the Inputs, Tools & Techniques & Outputs.

Significant Change are:

1. Creation of a New Knowledge Area – Project Stakeholder Management. It is created by splitting the Communication management knowledge area. This was done because the management of the stakeholders requires significant effort and focus, and it can’t be managed as part of communication management. The entire Stakeholder engagement throughout the project has to be thought of holistically. It is not about communication with the stakeholders, but engaging them, and developing appropriate strategies to engage, communicate and involve them throughout the project life cycle.

2. Creation of New Processes. Six new processes have been added in this new PMBOK edition. These are:

  • Plan Scope Management
  • Plan Schedule Management
  • Plan Cost Management
  • Plan Stakeholder Management
  • Control Communications
  • Control Stakeholder Management

This is because clarity was required for all the subsidiary plans that make up the Project Management Plan. Now each knowledge area has a plan, which the project team actively thinks through and creates in the beginning, and use for planning, executing & managing the project. It also reinforces the concept that each subsidiary plan is integrated through the overall project management plan.

Previously, we had the Quality management plan, Risk management plan etc., but no Scope management plan, or Schedule or Cost management plans. Further, the new knowledge area – Project Stakeholder Management comes with its own stakeholder management plan.

Additionally, the Controlling processes for Communications and Stakeholder management will be used to manage these areas, and now there is a Control  <Knowledge Area> process in each of the 10 Knowledge areas. This makes the management consistent, focused and complete.

3. Consolidation of existing processes

Two communication management processes – Distribute Information & Report Performance have now been merged into Manage Communications.  This brings consistency, and the Manage communication process is able to collate the data about the project, convent into actionable information, and distributes it to the right people at the right time, in the right format. Thus, this process brings forth a completeness to the communication process in a project.

4. Changes to Inputs, Tools & Techniques & Outputs

Even if the name of the process has not changed, or there is a name change only, there could be significant changes in the ITTOs. Most processes have some changes in terms of the Inputs, Tools & Techniques, and Outputs. These changes should be studied, and carefully understood. It is not sufficient to just to an incremental change on each process from the Fourth to the Fifth edition.

When does the change come into effect?

The PMP exam changes on 31-July-2013. After this date, the new Sixth edition of PMBOK Guide will become the de-facto standard for Project Management.

What books are available to prepare for the the new exam?

The PMBOK Guide Sixth edition is new in the market. Usually it takes a long time for the books to arrive in the market. Thus, in the absence of PMP Exam preparation books based on the Fifth edition, I can only recommend that you get a copy of the latest PMBOK Guide, and join a good PMP Exam Preparation boot-camp.  We at PMCHAMP provide a great online PMP training program, which is extremely popular, and has been successful in coaching thousands of project managers in getting PMP certified.

Should I prepare for the Fourth edition or the Sixth edition now?

There are 2 considerations to be aware of.

  1. When do you want to give the exam?
  2. How much time do you have to study and prepare for the exam?

Unless you are in a hurry to sit for the exam before 31st of July, I’d recommend that you wait, and prepare thoroughly for the next upcoming edition. Anyway, most cities and exam centers are quite full, and are having difficulty in finding a spot for you to take the exam before 31-July-2013.

But if you have been preparing, and do not want to learn the new changes, and how it applies to the exam, you can still study for the exam based on the PMBOK Fourth edition, and take the exam before the change. The PMCHAMP online PMP training videos are still available to get this done.

Keep in mind that most people study for atleast 4-6 weeks before they consider themselves ready for the PMP exam. Even if you study for just an hour, you will need about 4-6 weeks to cover the entire base material, and try you hand at a few mock PMP tests.

What if I join the PMCHAMP Online Coaching Program now?

You can join the PMCHAMP online coaching program at any time. The PMCHAMP coaching videos based on the new PMBOK Guide Fifth edition will be available to you from 30-June-2013. As you can see, there are changes to the process, some significant, and some minor. Most of the changes revolve around the names of processes, and minor tweaks to ITTOs.

If you join the PMCHAMP coaching program now (upto June 29, 2013), you will get the PMCHAMP videos based on Version 5 absolutely at no extra charge. This way, you can kick start the process, and get to build a good foundation of Project Management concepts.

If you join the PMCHAMP coaching program after June 30, 2013, you will only be able to get the latest videos and coaching, which will be based on PMBOK Fifth edition. There will be a change in price though, which will be communicated shortly.

Question on the PMP Exam Change?

If you have any specific questions about the PMP exam changing from PMBOK Fourth edition to Fifth edition, feel free to post it in the comment below, and I will get back to you at the earliest.

Thanks, and all the best in your PMP exam preparations!

Vinai Prakash, PMP,
Founder & Principal Trainer @

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