PMBOK 4th Edition: New and Improved?

October 9, 2009 at 2:09 pm (pmp) (, , , , , , )

As many of you know, the PMBOK has a new edition, numero Four!

PMBOK 4th Edition

PMBOK 4th Edition

For test takers and those that like to further their PM knowledge I will breifly lay out the changes to this new edition.

For those of you that have been studying the PMBOK 3rd Edition in order to take the test, I have bad news for you. You took to long and it’s time to order up the 4th edition, study it instead, because you can no longer take the 3rd Edition based test. For those I will briefly go over all of the changes (but you still need to read the new edition, I’m sorry).

I will start with the changes that I think further PM knowledge for those who are only interested in seeing what PMI as added. I will layout the two or three of the greatest areas of impact for your reading pleasure. Also it’s a smaller list than the other.

So let’s begin.

5.1 Plan Scope is now 5.1 Collect Requirements

Plan Scope has been eliminated, deleted, or Terminated, if you will. I never liked PMI’s definition of Plan Scope anyways which says,

“Creating a project scope management plan that documents how the project scope will be defined, verified, controlled, and how the WBS will be created and defined.”

To me this says you already know many of the end details of a project. Hello, we barely have the high level statements at this point!

PMI seems to realize this and takes a step back by eliminating the Plan Scope process and replaces it with the new and improved, Collect Requirements.

5.1 Collect Requirements – The process of defining and documenting stakeholders’ needs to meet the project objectives.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

This also introduces the Stakeholder Register for the first time. This is really important aspect on the 3rd Edition exam which, ironically, was not directly mentioned in the 3rd edition PMBOK. So the inconsistency between the text and the exam is now eliminated.

Now you have what I think are the two most important foundational aspects of ensuring that a project management plan is complete, now directly contained within the PMP methodology.

Notice I didn’t say the two most important aspects that make a project is successful.

Tune in next time as I cover the new process 10.1 – Identify Stakeholders.


PMBOK 4th Edition pg 105 and pg 246

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