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TOPIC: Which PMBOK For PMP Exam?

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam? 4 months 2 weeks ago #29824

  • Cornelius Fichtner
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Every since PMI published the PMBOK Guide 7th Edition, my students are (understandably) asking me the same questions again and again. In this post, I am going to answer these questions as best as I can. Let's start with the number one question they ask:

Which PMBOK Guide For PMP Exam?

You have to read both PMBOK Guide 6th and PMBOK Guide 7th Edition. This may be surprising. So let me explain:

There really is no fully satisfying answer to the question: Which PMBOK Guide is the correct one for the current PMP Exam? PMI will tell you "use the 7th", but they are ignoring the fact that they themselves are still in a transition from 6 to 7. Additionally, a new "process guide" is also in the making. The background here is the fact that the PMBOK Guide 7th edition is very "fluffy" (high level) and primarily talks about principles and performance domains ("WHAT is good project management"), while the questions on the actual PMP exam are all about processes ("HOW do you actually manage a project?). This information - unfortunately - is not part of the 7th edition. This can only be found in the 6th. Please see the full reading list/recommendation further below.

PMP Exam is based on which edition of the PMBOK Guide?

The PMP Exam is based on the PMP Exam Content Outline (ECO), and PMI is using both PMBOK Guide 6th and PMBOK Guide 7th Edition for question development. That much said, please remember that the PMP exam is not a test of the PMBOK Guide. The PMBOK is only one of about 10 reference books.

Which PMBOK should I read for PMP?

You should read BOTH the PMBOK Guide 6th edition and also the PMBOK Guide 7th edition.

PMI realized early on that the PMBOK Guide 7th edition is not an ideal input for the PMP Exam. This is why they are still using the 6th edition, but they also embarked on developing a "Process Guide" for project management. Very little is officially known about it yet. Our best guess is that this guide is intended to replace the process focus that we have from the 6th edition and we expect that this process guide (once released at the end of 2022) will immediately be added to the PMP exam list of reference books.

UPDATE 2022-Dec-05: The process guide has been published. It is officially called The Process Groups: A Practice Guide. Apart from some format and structure changes, the new Practice Guide closely mirrors the content of the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition, thus maintaining its relevance for exam preparation. In our PM PrepCast course and PMP Exam Simulator questions, we reference PMBOK Guide 6th Edition, PMBOK Guide 7th Edition, PMI Standards+, The Agile Practice Guide, and several other books listed on the PMI website. As part of our continuous improvement efforts, we have been and will continue updating the question content and their references as we gather additional feedback from our students. Note that The Process Groups: A Practice Guide is not yet on the official PMP reference list.

That much said, based on our student lessons learned, we can see that the current PMP exam is actually a mix of the 6th and 7th editions (though PMI won't admit it). And so we have updated our simulator as much as it makes sense right now to correctly represent what you can reasonably expect to see on the actual exam.

When will PMP Exam change to 7th edition?

Never.

At the risk of repeating myself: The PMP exam is not a test of the PMBOK Guide. Instead, it is based on the PMP Exam Content Outline and the PMBOK Guide is only one of many reference books.

That much said, based on our student lessons learned, we can see that the current PMP exam is actually a mix of the 6th and 7th editions. And so we have updated our PMP Exam Simulator as much as it makes sense right now to correctly represent what you can reasonably expect to see on the actual exam. (We reference PMBOK 6, PMBOK 7, PMI Standards+, The Agile Practice Guide, and several other of the official reference books).

Should I read PMBOK 6 or PMBOK 7?

Both. My colleague Oliver Lehmann has created a reading list. Here it is:

This browser does not support PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download PDF.

In addition to this recommendation from Oliver, I also strongly recommend that you include "The Scrum Guide" and "The Agile Manifesto" to your reading list.
Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM
President, OSP International LLC
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Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 4 months 1 week ago #29828

  • Harry Elston
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Cornelius,

Can we pin this to the top of the boards? Maybe that will help?

H
+++++
Harry J. Elston, Ph.D., CIH, PMP
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Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 4 months 5 days ago #29851

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This is extremely helpful!

Thank you

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 3 months 1 day ago #29930

  • Joe Pang
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Thank you Cornelius.

I was wondering have things changed with the release of the new book Process Groups: A Practice Guide? Link

For example, if someone is taking the exam this year (2022). Will they use PMBOK 6+7 or PMBOK 7 + Practice Guide?
Toronto-based project manager, I specialize in capital construction projects and digital transformation projects for the power & utility sector.

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Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 2 months 1 week ago #30052

  • Dominic Hickey
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Joe Pang wrote:
Thank you Cornelius.

I was wondering have things changed with the release of the new book Process Groups: A Practice Guide? Link

For example, if someone is taking the exam this year (2022). Will they use PMBOK 6+7 or PMBOK 7 + Practice Guide?


This is the question that springs to my mind, too. I'll be taking the PMP exam in January 2023 and am currently following a preparation course that is using PMBOK 7 and other Agile/Hybrid-centred resources, but *not* PMBOK 6.
Process Groups: A Practice Guide does seem to fill in the process-shaped hole in PMBOK 7. It looks like the printed version of the new Practice Guide won't be available via the usual retailers for a month or more, in my location at least, but the electronic version is. I'm leaning on investing in that, rather than PMBOK 6. Any thoughts?

UPDATE 6-DEC-2022: I purchased the electronic version of Process Groups: A Practice Guide, which I'm using to complement PMBOK7 and the other items on the above reading list *except* PMBOK6, along with intensive use of the PrepCast Exam Simulator. So far so good.
Last edit: by Dominic Hickey. Reason: Missing letters

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 1 month 3 weeks ago #30080

  • Cecilia
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Thank you Cornelius Fichtner.
I have the same doubt as Joe Pang and Dominic Hickey.

"Have things changed with the release of the new book Process Groups: A Practice Guide? "

"For example, if someone is taking the exam this year (2022). Will they use PMBOK 6+7 or PMBOK 7 + Practice Guide?"

Which PMBOK For PMP Exam 2022? 1 month 3 weeks ago #30082

  • Dominic Hickey
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I can't be alone in feeling the recommendation to read both PMBOKs 6 and 7 in order to be properly prepared for the PMP exam unsatisfying, given that these are not cheap publications. (Obtaining PMBOK 6 from a lending library or other temporary source is not an option for me.)
As much as I understand the pragmatic nature of the advice, I wonder if the recent publication of the Process Groups Practice Guide (PGPG) doesn't go a long way to removing the need for having access to the older edition of the PMBOK. At some point the sixth edition will not be as easily available, either. Having absorbed the Agile Practice Guide and the content of The Scrum Guide, I'm working through PMBOK 7 and finding the content in the 346-page PGPG both complementary and very useful. Just comparing the glossaries of these two, for instance, I have found 18 extra acronyms and 225 extra definitions in the latter.
Could anyone who has access to all three of these publications shed any light on what the PMBOK 6 might contain that isn't covered by the other two?
Last edit: by Dominic Hickey.
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