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Part 3: How to Create PMP Study Plan? | What's new in the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition

Part 3: How to Create PMP Study Plan? | What's new in the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition


Welcome back to Part 3 of this video series on creating your PMP exam study plan. In Part 1, I talked about exam success tips. In Part 2, it was about important topics for the exam. Today in Part 3, I'm going to speak about what's new in the PMBoK Guide Sixth Edition. The PMBoK Guide which is also the guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge from PMI. The Sixth Edition was introduced last year in September 2017. So, I'm going to talk today about what's the change in this new edition compared to the Fifth Edition. First and foremost, the Sixth Edition comes with one more attachment which is known as the Agile Practice Guide. I'm not going into detail about that Practice Guide, I will focus only on the PMBoK Guide Sixth Edition, the main document. Now, this is going to benefit you in two ways- those who do not have access to the PMBoK at all, who have never studied a PMBoK; they will see what is trending or what are the popular practices in the project management world. But, those who are familiar with the PMBoK Fifth Edition will get to know what new has come in, so it benefits both of you. Now, before we going to details about what has been added, and what has changed, what has been taken out, let me give you a quick structure about the PMBoK Guide. 

The PMBoK Guide has the three chapters which are the introductory chapters and then it's got ten additional chapters on the knowledge area. So, the initial chapters are known as Introduction, The Project Environment, and Role of the Project Manager. Afterward, we have all those knowledge area topics like Integration Management, Scope Management, Schedule Management, Cost, Quality, Resources, Communications, Risk, Procurement, and Stakeholder. Before we get into all the detail, I want to give you basically what has changed in the initial chapters. The initial chapters: the Introductory chapter remains the same but there are some new things introduced into it. For example, Tailoring-  the concept of Tailoring has been introduced. There is also the introduction of the business documents like the Business Case and the Benefits Management Plan. Then, there is also the differentiation between the project life cycle and the development life cycle, which is more technical compared to the project life cycle. Then there is also an exposure to the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, even though there is a separate publication from PMI on the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Moving on, chapter number two was previously known as Organizational Influences now it is called The Project Environment. What has changed here? Those who know the PMBoK Fifth Edition will recollect the various types of organization structures. They are here also, but then there are some new types of structures known as virtual, multi-divisional, and so on. Apart from that, there are also some more things like organizational systems, the three elements of those systems and then we have got the PMO concept. PMO was initially part of chapter one, now it is moved to chapter two. Chapter number three originally was the project management processes. Now, all that has moved to chapter one, but then chapter three is a fresh chapter which is known as the Role of the Project Manager. The Role of the Project Manager is a key chapter; it's quite detailed in terms of the sphere of influence of the Project Manager(PM). So, within the project the PM has a certain influence, it's also outside the project boundary across the organization; It's also outside the organization into the discipline, and into the industry. Then we have got the information about the PMI Talent Triangle where we've got the three competencies of a Project Manager. This is copyrighted by PMI, so it's got the Technical Project Management competency, Business and Strategic Management competency and Leadership competency of a Project Manager. There is also information about various types of leadership in this third chapter, and also a differentiation between Management versus Leadership. So that finishes off the three initial chapters with respect to what's new or what has changed there. I just remembered one more thing in the chapter one introduction, there is also the description about phase gates, you know? The gate one over gate two over phase over phase over and so on, those have been explained in much more detail. Alright now, let us look at the remaining ten chapters- the ten knowledge areas, what's new there.

The first thing is every knowledge area has now an additional section, which has four parts and what are they? 1) Key concepts of that knowledge area and then it's got 2) Tailoring for that knowledge area and then 3) Considerations for agile and adaptive environments for that knowledge area and finally 4) Trends and emerging practices for that knowledge area. So these four, you will see in all the knowledge areas now.

The second thing is the ITTO’s (Input Tools and Techniques and Outputs). There is some change in those diagrams, basically the structuring, the way they are presented. The inputs are not grouped, you know? You will see a grouping of project management plans, a grouping of project documents. Similarly, outputs you will see a grouping of project management plans, grouping of project documents, and then the middlebox tools and techniques. Several new techniques have been introduced, some techniques have gone away. Now, these techniques are grouped into various types. You have got data analysis techniques like root cause analysis. You have got data representation techniques like our risk hierarchy chart or a bubble chart. You have got data gathering techniques like interviews and meetings and we have got communication skills like presentation skills and then we have got decision-making techniques like voting and so on. Then, there's also the ungrouped techniques like audit, etc., which are not part of any of these data or decision-making categories. One last thing about the ITTO's- some of you might remember the issue log. The issue log was an output of Manage Stakeholder Engagement but now, issue log is an output of Direct and Manage Project Work. Though the issue log can be updated in several processes where it originated from? So, those all of you who are familiar with the older edition, please be careful there are changes to where these documents are coming out from. So that finishes off the ITTO aspect. Now I am coming to each knowledge area.

Let's begin with Integration Management. Integration Management has got a new process added which is managed projects knowledge. Apart from that, it has also got some changes to the Project Management Plan development. The project management plan has got some additional components which were non-existent before. 

Moving on, Scope Management. In Scope Management, there is a lot more consideration about agile project scope management, understand that more carefully and how these six scope management processes work in agile projects versus traditional waterfall projects. Then moving on to Schedule Management previously it was known as Time Management but now it is called Project Schedule Management. There is not much change there, of course, the four sections do appear which are there in all the knowledge areas- the Tailoring, the Basic Key Concepts, the Agile Environment Considerations, and the Trends and emerging practices. Apart from that, you will see critical chain method is also not appearing anymore but it's been replaced with terminology known as the Theory of Constraints, but critical change is not mentioned at all.                

Moving on to Cost management. In Cost Management there is not much change there, apart from the new sections which have been added, as in all the other knowledge areas. But then, there are some things like earned value analysis, you might have to study what are the recent trends in earned value analysis. I'm actually not talking about these additional four sections in each knowledge area because there is too much of it. But process-wise, there are no changes in Cost Management.

Moving on to Resource Management. In Resource Management, we have got a lot of change in the process nomenclature. You know processes like Acquire Project Team, Develop Project Team, Manage Project Team, they are now known as Acquire Resources, Manage Team and Develop Team. Then, we have a new process introduced which is known as Control Resources and that is about physical resource management; therefore, this resource management chapter is not only about people resources it is also about physical and material resources. Therefore, the name of the knowledge area itself has changed from Human Resource Management to Resource Management.

Moving on to Quality Management. Quality management has got some good changes; you no longer see the process called Perform Quality Assurance. But we have a new process name which is Manage Quality. Manage Quality actually encompasses the Quality Assurance aspect, but it also encompasses the design aspect. Therefore, we have got the Planned Quality Management like before, but you have got Manage Quality now, which is actually about creating detailed descriptions of the various quality activities, which will be executed in quality control. There are some new outputs like quality reports, which explains what is quality and there are a lot of new techniques in the quality management area now.

Moving on to Communications Management, the next knowledge area. Communications Management, now there is a lot more science of Communication Management introduced in this chapter. For example, the five C's of communications and then apart from that a new set of techniques and also the control communications process has been termed as Monitor Communications. The word Monitor is being applied wherever it is not possible to fully control. For example, people cannot be controlled but physical resources can be controlled, so we've got control resources. But then communications has to be monitored, risk has to be monitored, stakeholder engagement has to be monitored. These three- stakeholder, risk, and communication are better monitored than being controlled because of the nature of the knowledge area.

The next one is a Risk Management, as you know Risk Management used to be a long chapter; it is still a long chapter with several processes. But, a new process has been introduced, which is called Implement Risk Responses. Previously, risk responses were implemented in other executing processes like a direct and managed project work or it could be Control Risks. But, now we no longer have Control Risks process, we have a Monitor Risks process and also a new process which is Implement Risk Responses. Apart from that, we have got the concept of Risk Escalation, previously if you remember we had Risk Acceptance and Mitigation and so on. But, you have got now Risk Escalation as well, and the overall concept of Risk Management has been improved; there is also a consideration for non-event risks. Previously, it was only about event-based risks basically for unplanned things, but now even the planned items might have a risk. For example, let's say I’m a project manager, I’m doing testing and I might have some risks for testing. I might expect maybe three or four defects in that test, but what if there are maybe 25 defects in that test. Such risks are known as non-event based risks. So, because of this, we have Variability Risk and Ambiguity Risk integrals. Also, projects need to be more solid and strong in order to minimize the risks of the project, so that is known as Project Resilience. So, Project Resilience has been also introduced in Risk Management.

Procurement Management: I’ve got Procurement management which is wonderfully done now, there is a lot more introduction to various aspects of Procurement Management. For example, the different types of documents which are used- the procurement documents, and also the nature of the procurement process is made more international rather than North American or American, for example. There is also due consideration to the proposal selection or the source selection criteria, which is very solid now; different ways of selecting the vendors has been clarified. One last thing, there is the control procurement process. Previously, we had the Close Procurement process but that no longer exists. The Close Procurement has now been merged with Control Procurements which takes care of closing contracts also.

Eventually, I have the last chapter in the PMBoK guide which is the Stakeholder Management. In Stakeholder management, there is the identification of stakeholders, there is an additional technique introduced like stakeholder mapping, there are a few more techniques also introduced in various Stakeholder Management processes, which makes it you know more comprehensive now. Also as I was telling you earlier, Control Stakeholder Engagement has become Monitor Stakeholder Engagement. So there is more an engagement approach than a management approach. 

So, these are the various changes which have occurred in the introductory chapters and the three chapters and the knowledge areas. There may be some other changes as well which I have not highlighted. For example, you know in the Scope Management there is more information about what is the role of the Business Analysts versus the Project Manager. There is also these emerging practices and trends- agile considerations, etc. Please do note them in every chapter, there is a lot of information on these aspects, also about tailoring and key concepts in every knowledge area chapter.

With that, I would like to finish this session. Thank you for watching this video. Please be sure to watch video number on - the set of the first series of videos has about seven videos which are about exam success tips. The second video is just a single video, which is about important topics for the exam, important areas for the exam and today's video was about what’s new in the PMBoK Guide Sixth Edition. Next week I’m going to come back with another video which is about tools and techniques. I'm going to talk about the different categories of tools and techniques and how to differentiate between similar sounding tools and techniques. For example, Affinity Diagram versus Metrics Diagrams versus Influence Diagram and finally how do we apply the same technique in a different way depending on the situation. For example, Affinity Diagram could be used in one way in quality management and in another way in Scope Management. So, I'm going to talk about all that in the next video. Until then, stay solid, do solid preparation and wish you good luck for your exam and for your preparation. Thank You!

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About The Author

Muralidhar Gaddam is a trainer and course developer in Project/Program management and IT Service Management since 2015, backed with 25 years of IT industry experience spanning systems software development and support, and IT infrastructure management. He has worked in levels ranging from systems programmer to senior program manager/director in global corporations like DEC (later Compaq/HP), IBM & UBS. He is a BE in Computer Science from BIT Mesra. He is a certified corporate trainer and coach, PMP®, PRINCE2® Practitioner (Projects In Controlled Environments), MSP® Practitioner (Managing Successful Programmes), ITIL® Foundation certified & DevOps Practitioner. He also holds a diploma in Entrepreneurship Business Management.


Muralidhar Gaddam


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