Every few years, PMI updates the PMBOK® Guide. This resource is widely viewed as one of the more influential documents within the project management field, so there’s usually tons of anticipation—and speculation—around a brand new version. The PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition, due out early next year, isn’t any exception.
Before we start, it’s important to recollect that the PMBOK® Guide is basically two documents in one: the standard for Project Management—the consensus-based standard for the profession, which carries the ANSI designation—and A Guide to the Project Management Body of knowledge, which provides a framework for applying the quality using the broad body of data within the profession of project management.
The impetus for updating the PMBOK® Guide had been building for several years. Rapid enhancements in technology and therefore the need for organizations and practitioners to more quickly adapt to changes within the market have caused our profession to evolve. Practitioners are now tasked with identifying the proper delivery approach (predictive, agile, or hybrid) to urge the work done and deliver value. to form sure the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition remains relevant, it must reflect this flexibility and assist the practitioner in managing the project at hand to deliver outputs that enable envisioned outcomes.
This was reinforced by what we heard from a good range of execs around the world—if PMI wants to stay relevant and still meet the requirements of consumers and therefore the professional community, we had to update our approach to both the quality and therefore the Guide portion.
We feel an excellent responsibility to make sure the PMBOK® Guide has relevance and meets the requirements of all customers during a swiftly changing landscape. So, the remake is different from previous editions in several significant ways.
Perhaps most vital, the updated Standard adopts a principles-based format to be more inclusive of the complete range of approaches to value delivery—not just the predictive approach traditionally related to project management. We must respect the project professional’s right to settle on the right approach for the project at hand—whether that’s predictive, agile, adaptive, or a hybrid approach.
The 12 governing Principles within the Standard are built around a group of statements that best summarize the widely accepted actions and behaviors of project management practice no matter the development approach. The Principles provide broad parameters within which project teams can operate and remain aligned with the intent of the Principle.
The seventh edition of the Guide builds on the standard and is structured not around Knowledge Areas and ITTOs but around Project Performance Domains, a gaggle of related activities that are critical for the effective delivery of project outcomes. The Domains include important management practices but aren’t prescriptive “how to’s.” Each section explains why the specific domain is vital for effective project management.
The Guide also has an expanded section on tools and techniques titled Models, Methods, and Artifacts. In-depth information about the way to apply these tools and techniques by project type, development approach, and industry sector is presented on a replacement, digital platform called PMIstandards+™. In fact, the whole PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition will launch with a digital and interactive element, delivered through PMIstandards+™.
But there are certain features of the Seventh Edition that are definitely not changing. The goal is for the standard portion of the PMBOK® Guide to still carry the ANSI designation, and our development process for the standard is therefore fully aligned with the ANSI Essential Requirements as incorporated in PMI’s Policy for the event and Coordination of yank National Standards. It’s an equivalent process we follow for the revision of the quality for Program Management, the quality for Portfolio Management, and our other standards.
How You’ll Benefit
This will give project management professionals such as you greater flexibility to be proactive, innovative, and nimble in response to change—whether it’s disruption from a replacement technology, competitors, or from a health crisis like COVID-19.
That’s why our new format reflects the foundational principles of our practice, instead of a prescriptive approach. We believe this new format better reflects current and future practitioners’ needs and can remain relevant as practitioners identify the foremost appropriate approaches to bringing about intended outcomes.
Our new digital format also will enable easier access, more options for providing feedback, shorter update cycles, and new original content by subject matter experts. You’ll have access to a richer, deeper set of resources to place the standards into practice with tools and techniques for managing various aspects of project management.
There’s still much work to be done before the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition is ready for publication early next year. But we couldn’t be more excited about its new direction—particularly the new principle-based format of the quality and our new digital platform. We believe the Seventh Edition reflects a more open and real-world approach to project management which will serve all folks well as we still advance our profession within the years ahead