What's New in PMBOK 6th Edition

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Star Admin

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Jun 20, 2019

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We warmly welcome all project managers and congratulate you for achieving this position. Even if you are playing the role in one project, never mind. Still, you are identified as you have the potential to plan, organize and execute. You may now think about giving your best and hence you may want to get PMP Certification.

We would recommend you to read the PMBOK 6th edition. Yes, we agree that to get certified you must attend training and appear for the examination. At the same time, you must consider PMBOK 6th edition as one the best PMP certification study materials. You wonder how come this can be a study material, and then you must understand that 75% of questions asked in the pmp certification exam is covered in this book. Keeping this in mind we have taken an effort to highlight the importance of PMBOK 6th edition.

In case you have studied any of the previous versions, it is good. However, there are major changes introduced in the 6th edition by PMI and hence we strongly suggest you read this blog to understand the modifications.

Origin and Growth of PMBOK


Growth of PMBOK

Before getting into the details about the modifications in 6th edition, we will just summarise about PMBOK and its growth to the 6th edition. First of all, know that PMBOK is the abbreviation for Project Management Body Of Knowledge. It is released by PMI to help PMP exam takers and all PMs to realize the pmp certification value. Yes, it released its first edition in 1996 explaining about the standardization of project management approach. It is considered as a guide to all pmp certification course providers, takers, and PMs as well. 

Then on once in every 4 years, PMI updated their edition with several additions, modifications, and removal of details to polish the project management process. From the above infographics, you can understand the release year, version number, purpose of release, project group number, knowledge areas, processes and page number of each version. 

For instance, let us explain one edition and help you learn to derive information from the infographics. We will take the PMBOK 5th edition. It was released in the year 2013 and was released with the purpose of making some advancement in the project management approach such as adaptive lifecycle, rolling wave planning, etc.  This book contains 620 pages and there are 47 processes. With 5 project groups, the 5th edition had 10 knowledge areas. Feel free to look at all the other edition to know how every version contributed to the PMs community. 

Based on the sixth edition you can notice that the pmp certification syllabus 2017 had gone changes. So you must understand the difference contributed in the 6th edition compared to the previous edition.

It’s high time we get into the details.  PMBOK is popularly known as the GOLD standard

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Few key explanations about PMBOK

Project Group 

The project group primarily depends on the order in which a project is carried out. There are 5 groups as defined in PMBOK and all the 6 editions have these 5 groups. They are listed as following 

1.Initiating process group

2.Planning group

3.Executing group

4.Monitoring and controlling group

5.Closing group

Knowledge Areas 

While the project group is horizontal as it happens one after the other. However, the knowledge area is vertical and it can occur many times with the project group. The knowledge areas included in the PMBOK are given below. 

It is all about managing each field in the project












You can see the image below to look at the processes in the 5th edition as given by PMI. Let us understand how the 6th edition differs from this. There has been constant addition in the processes from 1st edition till now as shown in the graph below.

Processes in Each Edition of PMBOK


 Project Management Process for Groups

Source: PMI

How PMBOK 6th Edition Differs: PMBOK 5th Edition vs 6th Edition

The 6th edition has 2 knowledge areas renamed from Time management to schedule and human resource management to resource management. Which means scheduling will be given more importance and not time. Similarly, the resource will include equipment, material, etc and just not people alone. Also, each knowledge area will have 4 sections namely the key concepts, tailoring consideration, development of new practices, and agile methodology focus. 

Number of chapters 

There were 13 chapters in the 5th edition which is now consolidated to 10 chapters. First 3 chapters discussed the framework of project management and the role of the PMs. Also, the organization portfolio and structures were explained along with the SDLC. 

In the 6th edition, these are summed up and presented in one chapter as the primary functions of the PM. Also, the role of a PM is mapped into the PMI talent triangle. Here a PM is expected to understand not only technicalities of the project but also exhibit leadership skill in managing people and providing a strategic solution to the business team.

PMBOK 5th Edition vs 6th Edition : Processes 

There is 3 new processes included in the 6th edition, 9 processes have been renamed, and one process is removed. 

47 processes in the 5th edition got 3 new additions but one deletion making it 49 processes in the 6th edition. 

Let us list the details in the table given below. 

StatusProcess nameProject groupKnowledge area5th edition name
(3) Added
  • Control resources
  • Manage project knowledge
  • mplement Risk Response
  • Controlling
  • Executing
  • Executing
  • Resource
  • Integration
  • Risk
  • Close Procurement
  • Closing
(9) Renamed
  • Manage Quality
  • Plan Resource Management
  • Monitor Communications
  • Plan Stakeholder Engagement
  • Monitor Stakeholder Engagement
  • Acquire Resource
  • Develop Team
  • Manage Team
  • Monitor Risks
  • Perform Quality Assurance
  • Plan Human Resource Management
  • Control Communications
  • Plan Stakeholder Management
  • Control Stakeholder Engagement
  • Acquire Project Plan
  • Develop Project Team
  • Manage Project Team.
  • Control Risk


Documents and plan components 

The 6th edition has the project management plan as the input and output whereas in 5th edition the plan components were represented as input and output. Under each input and output table, the plan components were identified. 

The documents of the projects are counted as input and the updates are called as the outputs. Based on the project need the project documents will be classified as input or output.   

Agile Methodology 

A most important change in the 6th edition which introduced change in the pmp training material is the inclusion of agile practices in project management.  The agile environment is introduced for the first time in the PMBOK edition. The appendix consists of all the practices followed in the adaptive environment. This is a major change in the 6th edition. 

PMBOK 6th edition influenced changes in the PMP Course material 

Due to the above-mentioned PMBOK 6 changes, the following things will change and you can easily master them by attending pmp certification classes.

Since 26th March 2018, this change is effective. 

You need to understand the processes added, removed and renamed which will be covered widely in the questions 

Get a hold on the knowledge area renaming and how does it make a difference. Also, read about the inclusion of new sections in the chapters. 

Appendix contributes a great value and you must master them to firmly grip over agile methodology. 

However, we will suggest you join the pmp training course and they will take care of all your needs to prepare for the pmp certification online.


So far you have read about the details of PMBOK, the editions and the changes in the recent edition PMBOK 6th edition. Yes, before we wrap up I do not want to summarize as the details are already given above. 

But, let me highlight a few minor changes in PMBOK 6th edition which was missed in the blog. PMBOK 5th edition had OPA and EEF and 6th edition additionally has details on the governance, the structure of the organization and the management components. Communication and communications are clearly distinguished. The former is the talk between people and the latter one is the artifact including memos, emails, and presentations. Finally, a fine difference between the concept of project and product scope is mentioned in the 6th edition.

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