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PMBOK Guide Seventh (7th) Edition Update

Back in January 2020, PMI released the PMBOK® 7th Edition exposure draft for review by the project management community.

So, we know that a new PMBOK Guide is on the way, but you might be wondering when, why, and what exactly are the changes. We had a closer look at the exposure draft and try to answer these questions for you.


Based on news from PMI the new PMBOK® Guide 7th Edition is planned for release in Q4 2020. From experience we know that there have always been delays from PMI in releasing updates to the PMBOK® Guide as well as the exams. If past trends are to repeat themselves, the new PMBOK Guide 7th Edition is not expected until Q2 of 2021 at the earliest.


PMI has recognized that the format and approach of the current 6th Edition is no longer reflective of the practice of project management, nor is it sustainable. The processes in the current Edition show inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs (ITTO’s) associated with each process. These processes used in the 6th Edition lean more towards predictive or waterfall approach. PMI research shows that many projects today are using some form of agile or hybrid approach, so there is a definite need to shift away from the process-based way of presenting the Guide and the Standard. The new approach keeps the PMBOK® Guide relevant to the changing dynamics of the project management profession.


The most important change in the PMBOK 7th Edition, is that PMI is pivoting from a process-based to a principles-based approach to be more inclusive of the full range of development approaches.

Further, as many of you will be aware the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition comprises two distinct sections, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge as well as The Standard for Project Management, in that order. The order will change in the 7th Edition so that The Standard for Project Management will now appear before A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.

The Standard for Project Management currently consists of the 5 Process Groups; Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing. In the PMBOK Guide 7th Edition, The Standard for Project Management will now cover the Value Delivery System, which 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.

Organisational Environment


The 12 Project Management Principles, are as follows:

  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. Systems 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.
  10. Risk: Address opportunities and threats.
  11. Adaptability & Resilience: Be adaptable and resilient.
  12. Change: Enable change to achieve the envisioned future state.

In the PMBOK Guide 7th Edition, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, instead of the 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas, there will now be performance domains. There will be Tailoring, and Models, Methods and Artifacts (MMA) chapters as well.

The Project Performance Domains are broad areas of focus for project management and project delivery that will concentrate on outcomes. There are 8 Project Performance Domains:

  1. Stakeholders
  2. Team
  3. Development Approach & Life Cycle
  4. Planning
  5. Project Work
  6. Delivery
  7. Measurement
  8. Uncertainty


Lastly, there will be a new digital platform: Standards Plus linked to the PMBOK. This platform will be interactive and contain content that will reflect the “how to…” about current, emerging, and future practices, models, methods, artifacts, and other useful information. Standards Plus aims to start with ITTO’s from PMBOK 6th Edition and incorporate new resources as it evolves.

There you have it. We hope this clarifies some of the questions you had on the PMBOK Guide 7th Edition.–Guide—Seventh-Edition  (Part 1 and Part 2)


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