PMBOK 7th Edition – Coming in August 2021 – What is changing?


PMBOK 7th Edition – Coming in August 2021 – What is changing?

PMI announced the PMBOK® 7th Edition exposure draft in January 2020 for the review of the project management community. PMBOK 7th Edition are going to be released on the first of August, 2021. If you’re looking to urge your PMP certification, PMBOK is one among the foremost important resources when preparing for the PMP exam. Most of the PMP training providers prepare PMP study materials and resources supported the PMBOK content. Therefore, PMBOK 7th edition are going to be the guide for PMP and CAPM certification tracks of PMI and therefore the training providers are going to be updating their materials supported this alteration .

When will the PMBOK7th Edition be published?

Based on PMI pages, PMBOK 7th Edition is scheduled for release on the first of August 2021. However, the PMP exam won’t be supported PMBOK 7th Ed right after release. We expect that the PMP exam are going to be supported PMBOK 7th Ed by Jan 2022. this may give time to training providers to update their training content supported the new PMBOK changes.

What is changing in PMBOK Guide – Seventh Edition

Depending on the project characteristics, industry, requirements of the stakeholders and organization, project managers tend to apply different approaches when delivering projects. These approaches can be predictive, agile, hybrid or waterfall. The important point is, project management standards must not be favoring one approach on another. Project management standards must focus on successful project and value delivery.

Principle vs Process-Based Project Management

In PMBOK 7th edition, project management standards will be principle-based rather than processes. There are PMBOK knowledge areas in current and previous PMBOKs and each knowledge area has processes, inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs. These processes will not be available in PMBOK 7th Edition. There will be principles that are generally accepted and practiced in project management. While current and previous PMBOK editions were focusing on deliverables, evolving project dynamics focus on overall project outcomes and new PMBOK will focus on outcomes rather than deliverables.

This does not mean that process-based approaches are not relevant or useful anymore. Many organizations and project management practitioners continue to use conventional project management delivery methods. Conventional approaches remain relevant in the context of PMBOK 7th Edition as well.

In PMBOK 7th Edition, projects do not only produce products or deliverables. Projects deliver outcomes and these outcomes bring value to the organization and its stakeholders.

There are three introduction chapters in PMBOK and then 10 knowledge areas in PMBOK 6th Edition. In PMBOK 7th Edition, instead of knowledge areas, there will be performance domains. There will be Tailoring, Models, Methods and Artifacts chapters as well.

PMBOK 6th Edition has five project management process groups: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling and closing. These are referred to as the five stages of a project lifecycle as well. For each knowledge area, there are processes belonging to these process groups. For instance, the estimate costs process is a process belonging to the planning process group and cost management knowledge area.

In PMBOK 7th edition, there will be a shift from the process-based approach to the principle-based approach. There will be 12 Project Delivery Principles and a Value Delivery System. The Value Delivery System will focus on delivering valuable outcomes rather than deliverables. Projects are fundamental components of the Value Delivery System and principles will guide the Project Managers, Team Members and stakeholders on how to achieve intended outcomes to deliver value to the organization and stakeholders.

Project Delivery Principles

There will be 12 principles in PMBOK 7th edition and these principles define the “what” and “why” of the project delivery. Project delivery principles describe a fundamental truth, norm, or value and not prescriptive. In order to ensure the intended outcomes of the project delivery, project team members must follow these principles. The following are the 12 principles.

1. Stewardship: Be a diligent, respectful, and caring steward.

2. Team: Build a culture of accountability and respect.

3. Stakeholders: Engage stakeholders to understand their interests and needs.

4. Value: Focus on value.

5. Holistic Thinking: Recognize and respond to systems’ interactions.

6. Leadership: Motivate, influence, coach, and learn.

7. Tailoring: Tailor the delivery approach based on context.

8. Quality: Build quality into processes and results.

9. Complexity: Address complexity using knowledge, experience, and learning.

10. Opportunities & Threats: Address opportunities and threats.

11. Adaptability & Resilience: Be adaptable and resilient.

12. Change Management: Enable change to achieve the envisioned future state.


Summary of PMBOK Seventh Edition Changes

The biggest change is the shift from “process-based project management” to “principle-based project delivery”. Instead of processes, inputs, outputs, tools, and techniques, project delivery focuses on principles and outcomes.

Knowledge areas will not be existing in PMBOK anymore. There will be performance domains. There will be a new digital platform: Standards Plus linked to PMBOK. This platform will show current, emerging and future project delivery practices for the use of project practitioners.

PMI is planning to release PMBOK Seventh Edition by August 1st, 2021.

The PMBOK 7th Edition has radical changes and a big change from waterfall project management techniques to agile and holistic project delivery methods.

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