PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition – Summary of changes and timeline

Since my last post on “how and why do people become project managers?”, I have been brought to the attention that there will be a new edition of PMBOK® guide releasing this year.  As some of you might know, the PMBOK® guide is recognized as a standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), thus this standard must be updated about every four years to reflect the latest in industry best practices.

This revision seems to be getting quite a positive review with the PMI stakeholder community, it has been described as “one of the best things that PMI® has done to make the PMBOK® guide a better tool for PM practitioners and those studying to become a PMP” (Dye, 2016).  In this post, I would like to highlight the proposed changes that will be coming in the 6th edition and what does that mean if you are planning to take the PMP exam soon.

What is changing in the 6th edition?

  • Process Group – The 5 process groups will remain the same: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling and control.


  • Knowledge Area – 2 of the knowledge areas will be renamed:
    1. Time management will be renaming to Schedule Management – this change will place an emphasis the importance of scheduling in project management
    2. Human Resource management will be renaming to Resource Management – this change will also place a boarder perspective on all resources that a project will need; for example: materials, equipment, licenses etc.


  • Processes – in the 6th edition, three new processes will be added and one will be removed:
    1. Manage Project Knowledge (new process) – added under the executing process group
    2. Implement Risk Response (new process) – added under the executing process group
    3. Control Resources (new process) – added under monitoring and controlling process group
    4. Close Procurements (removed from 6th edition) – removed from close project phase


  • Processes – PMBOK® guide 6th edition will gear towards more suggestive wording instead of mandatory wording.  Thus, some of the processes will be changed as follow
PMBOK® 5 Process Name PMBOK® 6 Process Name
Perform Quality Assurance Manage Quality
Plan Human Resource Management Plan Resource Management
Control Communications Monitor Communications
Control Risks Monitor Risks
Plan Stakeholder Management Plan Stakeholder Engagement
Control Stakeholder Engagement Monitor Stakeholder Engagement


  • New sections – in the 6th edition, each knowledge area will contain a section entitled Approaches for Agile, Iterative and Adaptive Environments, describing how these practices integrate in project settings.  Also, this new edition will incorporate information on the new PMI talent triangle as well as placing more content surrounding strategic and business knowledge.



When will the 6th edition be available?

The PMBOK® Guide 6th edition is scheduled for publication in Q4 2017 (July-Aug 2017).


What does this mean if you are studying for the PMP exam?

The new exam date is targeted to be roll out in Q1 2018 (as early as January 2018).  So, if you are studying for the PMP exam in 2017, then you should study the PMBOK® Guide 5th edition.  If you are planning to write in 2018, then you should wait for the release of 6th edition, so you have the latest information to study from.


Dye, L., 2016. What Changes are Ahead with the new PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition?. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 6 May 2017].


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