PMBOK Guide 7th Edition with 7 Questions

PMBOK Guide 7th Edition

The 7th Edition of the PMI’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge is out! And it’s a big change. So we’ll answer your 7 most important questions about the new PMBOK Guide 7th Edition.

And Here are the 7 Questions I will Answer

Q1. How does PMBOK 7 relate to PMBOK 6?

Q2. Do I Need to Buy and Read PMBOK7?

Q3. Where are the Project Management Processes in PMBOK7?

Q4. Who should read and use PMBOK7?

Q5. How Useful is PMBOK7 to Project Managers?

Q6. What is the content of PMBOK7?

Q7. The Quality and Price of PMBOK 7?

Q1. How does PMBOK 7 relate to PMBOK 6?

The 7 edition of the PMBOK Guide has almost none or little relation to the sixth edition or earlier editions. This is not an evolutionary change, and It is a new start from a clean sheet of paper. Yes, It is cleansing time.

OUT: Processes, Knowledge Areas, and ITTOs.

IN: Principles, Performance Domains, and Models, Methods, and Artifacts.

And these are not cosmetic changes.


The 12 Project Management Principles in PMBOK7

  1. Be a diligent, respectful, and caring steward
  2. Create a collaborative project team environment
  3. Effectively engage with stakeholders
  4. Focus on value
  5. Recognize, evaluate, and respond to system interactions
  6. Demonstrate leadership behaviors
  7. Tailor based on context
  8. Build quality into processes and deliverables
  9. Navigate complexity
  10. Optimize risk responses
  11. Embrace adaptability and resiliency
  12. Enable change to achieve the envisioned future state

8 Project Performance Domains in PMBOK7:

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

Q2. Do I Need to Buy and Read PMBOK7?

No. It’s not currently in the syllabus for any examinations and you have lived without it up to now. Would you be wise to buy and read PMBOK 7?

Absolutely you would. For these reasons:

  1. If you are a PMI member, you’ll want to understand their latest thinking. And you will be able to join in the debate from a position of knowledge.
  2. If you are not a PMI member, but a professional project manager, this is still an important book to understand.
  3. There is a lot of powerful thinking in here, which is not articulated in this way, anywhere else. I think the content on the Value Delivery System and on Tailoring are excellent contributions for any Project Manager to learn from.

Q3. Where are the Project Management Processes in PMBOK7?

They’re gone. (Almost)

The project management processes of previous editions of the PMBOK Guide all presuppose a Predictive approach to Project Management. Or, at least, a hybrid approach, within a predictive framework.

PMBOK 7 makes no such presupposition. The process groups are merely one model we can draw upon. Therefore, they appear on pages 170-1 in a few paragraphs, in the section on models.

Processes are not deprecated. They are simply identified as a useful model to draw upon when you need it.

The System for Value delivery is part of the ANSI Standard for Project Management. And it’s also important part of this version of the PMBOK7 Guide. PMI defines it : A collection of strategic business activities aimed at building, sustaining, and/or advancing an organization.

Q4. Who should read and use PMBOK7?

PMI gives a long list of people they intend the PMBOK Guide 7th Edition to be for (on page 5 of the Standard). And that list is rightly long. There is real value in here for anyone who wants to make projects, programs, portfolios, PMOs, or any related professional role an important part of your career.

PMBOK7 is a valuable reference work that we can dip into and learn from. PMBOK7 is of less value to people at the start of their careers than for people with some real-world experience. It contains some rather sophisticated thinking.

Q5. How Useful is PMBOK7 to Project Managers?

As a result, I am going to say that PMBOK 7 is very useful to Project Managers. It will give you:

  • Plenty of valuable food for thought
  • A lot of useful methods, models, and artifacts to learn more about
  • Reference material on the knowledge you need
  • A kicking-off point for further learning
  • An approach to thinking about projects (in its principles)
  • A guide for how to tailor projects
  • Insights into driving value in your projects

Q6. What is the content of PMBOK7?

The format of the PMBOK Guide 7th Edition reverses the order from the 6th edition.

  1. It starts with the Standard for Project Management. (61 Pages)
  2. Then, there is a Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. (196 Pages)
  3. Finally, there are 5 appendices and a glossary. (59 Pages)

What I really don’t like is that at the start of the Guide to the PM Body of Knowledge, the page numbering starts again. This is like two documents in one cover. The pages are organized clearly, with a big, easy-to-read, sans serif font.  But I value the use of color in the tables – even if I feel that all of the graphics could have benefitted from color.

Q7. The Quality and Price of PMBOK 7?

good …

PMI has abandoned the execrable use of copy-resistant printing, which rendered the pages of PMBOK 6 gray. This rendered them hard to read. There was poor contrast. Now the pages are nice and white – and god white, with clear, sharp black ink and good (PMI brand) colors for the graphics.

but …

The paper is thin, like PMBOK 6. The result is a document that is nice to look at but nasty to hold. It feels more like a disposable catalog than a $99 book.

Yes, US$99. That’s a lot to pay for around 300-page trade paperback with cheap paper and thin card-stock.

Okay, we know:
  1. We are paying for the intellectual property. But come on – the development team and reviewers gave their time for free!
  2. It is a ‘disposable’ or certainly temporary document. It’s life expectancy is 4 years, plus or minus a year or so. Then, we’ll be onto PMBOK8 Counting Down.