PMBOK 7.0 – Big Change is Coming

The Project Management Institute’s® Seventh Edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is scheduled for release in Q4 of 2020, and ushers in a new era of project process guidance. The new BOK, and the corresponding PMP® test changes, scheduled for January 2, 2021, will now encompass Waterfall (traditional plan-based), Iterative (multi-phased waterfall), Agile, and Hybrid (Waterfall mixed with Agile) project methodologies. In addition, a new free global portal, called StandardsPlus, is available containing templates, and explanations for how to understand and apply project management principles where applicable.

Instead of Knowledge Areas and Process Groups, the new BOK will focus on Twelve Principles and Eight Performance Domains. With the new collection of project approaches, an emphasis is placed on Tailoring your project approach to your particular situation.

The Twelve PMBOK® 7.0 Principles are as follows:

  • Stewardship: Be a diligent, respectful, and caring steward.
  • Team: Build a culture of accountability and respect.
  • Stakeholders: Engage stakeholders to understand their interests and needs.
  • Value: Focus on value.
  • Holistic thinking: Recognize and respond to systems’ interactions.
  • Leadership: Motivate, influence, coach, and learn.
  • Tailoring: Tailor the delivery approach based on context.
  • Quality: Build quality into processes and results.
  • Complexity: Address complexity using knowledge, experience, and learning.
  • Opportunities & Threats: Address opportunities and threats.
  • Adaptability & Resilience: Be adaptable and resilient.
  • Change Management: Enable change to achieve the envisioned future state.


The Eight PMBOK® 7.0 Performance Domains are as follows:

  • Team
  • Stakeholders
  • Life cycle
  • Planning
  • Navigating Uncertainty & Ambiguity
  • Delivery
  • Performance
  • Project work

The next version of the PMP® Exam will go in effect Jan 2, 2021. Keep in mind they will cover Waterfall, Iterative, Agile, and Hybrid questions. You can view the exam content outline here. It is organized as follows:

  • People – emphasizing the skills and activities associated with effectively leading a project team. (84 questions, 42%)
    • Manage conflict
    • Lead a team
    • Support team performance
    • Empower team members and stakeholders
    • Ensure team members/stakeholders are adequately trained
    • Build a team
    • Address and remove impediments, obstacles, and blockers for the team
    • Negotiate project agreements
    • Collaborate with stakeholders
    • Build shared understanding
    • Engage and support virtual teams
    • Define team ground rules
    • Mentor relevant stakeholders
    • Promote team performance through the application of emotional intelligence
  • Process – reinforcing the technical aspects of managing a project. (100 questions, 50%)
    • Execute project with the urgency required to deliver business value
    • Manage communications
    • Assess and manage risks
    • Engage stakeholders
    • Plan and manage budget and resources
    • Plan and manage schedule
    • Plan and manage quality of products/deliverables
    • Plan and manage scope
    • Integrate project planning activities
    • Manage project changes
    • Plan and manage procurement
    • Manage project artifacts
    • Determine appropriate project methodology/methods and practices
    • Establish project governance structure
    • Manage project issues
    • Ensure knowledge transfer for project continuity
    • Plan and manage project/phase closure or transitions
  • Business Environment – highlighting the connection between projects and organization strategy. (16 questions, 8%)
    • Plan and manage project compliance
    • Evaluate and deliver project benefits and value
    • Evaluate and address external business environment changes for impact on scope
    • Support organizational change.

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