For over a decade project managers and candidates preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification have used a book called, “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge”, or PMBOK® Guide, as their primary reference material to help standardize the processes and vocabulary of project management. On December 31st, the Project Management Institute (PMI) officially released their newest version of this publication, the 5th edition of the PMBOK® Guide.

What’s new?

Considering that human beings have been managing project for thousands of years, there have not been major innovations in the field over the last five years. However, leading practitioners have collaborated on making changes to help enhance its organization, consistency, and application in an industry agnostic way. One of the most notable changes will be the addition of a new chapter, or knowledge area, for Stakeholder Management. Historically this was handled through the set of communication management processes. Some of these have been moved and a few new ones have been added. Another major change is the creation of 3 new planning processes to create management plans for scope, schedule and cost management. Historically, these were an implied subset of the Integration process named Develop Project Management Plan. Other changes include minor revisions to the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs for various process for improved process definition.

I’ve studied the 4th edition, but haven’t taken the exam – what does this mean for me?

For PMP® candidates who have studied the forth edition, you should be aware that the exam is scheduled to change on July 31st. Off Peak Training recommends taking the exam before the change as there will be some vocabulary changes and 5 new processes.
Existing Off Peak Training customers are eligible to register free review sessions, based on the 4th edition, to help refresh themselves before taking the exam. New customers will also be invited to register for review classes at a reduced rate. Further, Off Peak Training recommends scheduling the exam earlier in the year, as testing centers are likely to be fully booked in the last month or two leading up to the change.

I’m already a PMP® – what does this mean for me?

Existing PMP® credential holders will not be required to retake the exam, so long as they fulfill their continuing educational requirements, 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) over a 3 year cycle. Off Peak Training offers many courses that award Category A PDU’s both in the classroom and online.


While the core of the project management body of knowledge remains the same in the 5th edition, exam takers should be aware of the differences, and consider timing of taking their exam accordingly.