Good news is in the air! The PMI (Project Management Institute), which is the body responsible for managing the PMP (Project Management Professionals), has announced on its website the much awaited changes to the PMP examination.

Now the information is quite simple. Starting from July 2013, they will be “implementing various changes to the PMP Exam”. This was expected since the release of the 5th edition of the PMBOK Guide. If you are wondering what PMBOK means, it is the Project Management Body of Knowledge book, a reference book and an authority on everything PMP. The 4th edition of the book has been the one in use for any examination preparation, up until this announcement. What does this mean for us?

PMP Training – Resources (Intense)

First of all, we know that a revision of the 4th edition won’t just be a typo revision, but a critical evaluation of the concepts, knowledge areas, processes and the formulas that goes with the PMP. This kind of change implies that the examination structure will change. Now, that isn’t a bad thing. It simply means that new questions will come in, including new ways of handling old things to reflect new standards where it concerns project risks.

I need to point out that you don’t need to get involved in the mad rush to get certified before the change date comes. This has always been the tendency for most people. What you know will always be what you know; no one takes that away from you, but we can update that knowledge. So rushing to get certified is of really just a sign of your insecurity and knowledge-deficiency syndrome. As a professional you have to be better than that.

I also understand how difficult it is to unlearn old things such as terminologies, process names, etc. Nevertheless, if you are caught up in study and you quickly want to put this behind you, now is the time to whisk out your calendar and schedule, and then prep up for it. But you need to remember that you are not the only one with this great idea to take advantage before the change. I mentioned how there is usually a mad rush. The earlier you can schedule the better, especially before the actual change date, which is expected to be July 31, 2013.

WHAT HAS CHANGED?

A few things have changed, and I will enumerate them. Below is a table of the top level changes, and then we will drill down from there.

4th Edition

PMBOK® Guide

5th Edition

PMBOK® Guide

5 Process Groups 5 Process Groups
9 Knowledge Areas 10 Knowledge Areas
42 Processes 47 Processes

In the 4th edition, when we talk about Process Groups, we mean:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring & Controlling
  • Closing

These are still the same in the 5th edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

A NEW KNOWLEDGE AREA: Stakeholder Management

The new introduction is Stakeholder Management knowledge area. This means that our knowledge area list is now as follows:

  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Time Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Human Resource Management
  7. Project Communications Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management
  10. Project STAKEHOLDER Management

We also need to remember that stakeholder management has always been existent, but within a broad general project management context, and within Project Communication Management. Now that it has been surgically removed and made into an area of its own, we now have to deal with the following processes:

  • Identify Stakeholders
    • PMI says, it is the “…process of identifying the people, groups or organizations that could impact that could impact or be impacted by a decision, activity, or outcome of the project; and analyzing and documenting relevant information regarding their interests, involvement, interdependencies, influence, and potential impact on project success.”
  • Plan Stakeholder Management
    • Here we plan on how to engage stakeholders based on our identified interests, involvement, influence and potential impact on the project’s success, and this equally gets treated under our risk management planning. This is because stakeholders can make a project fail if not handled properly.
  • Manage Stakeholder Engagement
    • “The process of communicating and working with stakeholders to meet their needs/expectation, address issues as they occur and foster stakeholder engagement in project activities throughout the project life cycle.”
  • Control Stakeholder Engagement
    • This relates to the “…overall project stakeholder relationships and adjusting strategies and plans for engaging stakeholders.”

OTHER HOUSEKEEPING CHANGES

There is also the expansion of Operations Management and Project Management and their effect on organizational strategy. It’s necessary to include operational stakeholders in project management as they give the leverage of gaining insights and avoiding issues that could arise when their input is overlooked. Hence operational stakeholders are to be included in the stakeholder register and their influence (positive or negative) should be included in the risk management plan.

This brings to memory the classic case of a product I helped create. The organizational structure of the multinational energy company was to consult another multinational business process company to help fine-tune its own internal processes, which equally involved the use of a semi-automated workflow driven software.

It so happened that while these went on, stakeholders such as the external consulting organization and the energy company’s top management, made all the decisions on how they want their tool to work, what it should do and how it should do it. Everyone left out the secretaries on whose desks the whole work would start.

Well, it so happened that these secretaries did not like the tool. They hated the tool, as it increased their workload, and took the most productive part of their working day. Gradually, complaints began filtering in, the tool becoming annoyingly unpopular, and thus requiring a version two barely 3 months after the project was completed.

In fact, a version two clamor began 3 weeks after the project’s completion and at a cost of 200% more than the initial cost to get a new multinational team contracted to do the upgrade. The worst was that 40% of the original stakeholders had been internationally geographically re-assigned to other functions, and all these became added costs because operational stakeholders were neglected at the first instance. It was a major and definitely lesson-learned scenario.

There is a possible listing of these categories of operational stakeholders such as plant operators, manufacturing line supervisors, help desk staff, production system support analysts, customer service representatives, salespersons, maintenance workers, telephone sales personnel, call center personnel, retail workers, line managers, and training officers.

The Plan Procurement process was renamed to Plan Procurement Management. Other changes include incorporating feedback, and aligning inputs and outputs with changes from other knowledge areas for naming consistency and to reflect the new model. See the tables below for example:

RENAMED PROCESSES

PREVIOUS PROCESS NAME

NEW PROCESS NAME

Direct and Manage Project Execution Direct and Manage Project Work
Verify Scope Validate Scope
Plan Quality Plan Quality Management
Perform Quality Control Control Quality
Develop Human Resource Plan Plan Human Resource Management
Plan Communications Plan Communications Management
Distribute Information Manage Communications
Report Performance Control Communications
Monitor and Control Risks Control Risks
Plan Procurements Plan Procurement Management
Administer Procurements Control Procurements
Manage Stakeholder Expectations Manage Stakeholders Engagement

NEW PROCESSES ADDED

Plan Scope Management
Plan Schedule Management
Plan Cost Management
Plan Stakeholder Management
Control Stakeholders Engagement

In conclusion, we see that our 5th edition has added five new processes, and 4 of them involves planning of the knowledge areas (table above shows the word “plan” as prefix). They introduced two new processes along the control area (Control Communication and Control Stakeholder Engagement). The changes aren’t an overhaul, so exam takers really do not have anything to fear.