Updates to the PMBOK® Guide and CAPM Exam

On the 31st December 2008, PMI will be launching new versions of their standards for Portfolio, Program and Project management, and the Organizational Project Management Maturity Model® (OPM3®). The new standards reflect the evolving knowledge within the profession of project management and, like previous editions, represents generally recognised good practice in the profession. A brief overview of the changes are:

  • The weight given to ‘Organisation Enablers’ in the OPM3 standard has increased in recognition of the critical role the culture and capability of the ‘organisation’ has in allowing its projects to be executed effectively.
  • The Standard for Portfolio Management – Second Edition has its focus on ‘selecting the right work to do’ (alignment) and introduces a focus on ‘Governance’ and ‘Portfolio Risk Management’. These changes place an emphasis on effective investment and risk management and an increased focus on delivering results from the organisation’s projects and programs.
  • The Standard for Program Management – Second Edition has clearly differentiated the role of program management from project management.

Changes in the PMBOK® Guide—Fourth Edition

The Fourth Edition reflects a focus on improved consistency and clarity. Great consideration was given by the project teams developing the standard to remove redundant information and add clarifying statements where needed. Terminology was updated only to present process names consistently in a verb-noun format. The differences between the Third Edition and the Fourth Edition are summarised below:

  • All process names are in a verb-noun format
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors were more clearly defined to avoid confusion with Organizational Process Assets.
  • A standard approach for discussing requested changes, preventive actions, corrective actions and defect repairs was employed.
  • The processes decreased from 44 to 42. Two processes were deleted, two processes were added and 6 processes were reconfigured into 4 processes in the procurement Knowledge Area. Despite these changes, the underlying actions were generally moved or consolidated rather than added or deleted.
  • To provide clarity a distinction was made between the project management plan and project documents used to manage the project.
  • The distinction between the information in the Project Charter and the Project Scope Statement was clarified.
  • The process flow diagrams at the beginning of chapters 4-12 have been deleted and replaced with data flow diagrams.
  • A data flow diagram for each process has been created.
  • A new appendix was added that addresses key interpersonal skills that a project manager utilizes when managing a project.
  • The triple constraint which is mentioned in the introduction of the PMBOK® Guide —Third Edition has been expanded to include other potential constraints including: quality, resources and risk. Since each project is unique it is possible some projects may not be affected by all potential constraints.
  • The role and importance of ‘stakeholders’ has been recognised along with a shift from the impossible idea of ‘controlling’ stakeholders to a more realistic objective of  ‘managing’ stakeholders. Given our long standing interest in Stakeholder Management, we find this last change particularly pleasing. 

Changes in the CAPM Exam

The CAPM exam is based exclusively on the contents of the PMBOK® Guide and will change on the 31st July 2009. Up to this date, the exam will be based on the 3rd Edition, from the 1st August 2009 on the PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition.

Mosaic and other PMI accredited R.E.P.s already have access to the 4th Edition and we will be updating our CAPM course materials over then next few months.  Given our particular mix of courses ranging from 4 day intensive through to our self-paced Mentored Email™ course which takes most students around 3 to 4 months to complete we are planning to have both courses ‘live’ through the first part of 2009.

If you are planning on taking your CAPM exam make sure you ask your trainer about the version of the course they are offering (PMBOK® Guide 3rd or 4th Edition?) -v- the date you are planning to sit your exam.

4 responses to “Updates to the PMBOK® Guide and CAPM Exam

  1. Pingback: PMI Exam Planner « Mosaicproject’s Blog

  2. Pingback: Torsten J. Koerting | Christmas Edition - 4th PMBOK

  3. Hello,
    Great article! We should be updated to the latest updates and guides. Thanks for reminding to keep small but important details up-to-date.

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