Welcome to the PMBOK Sixth Edition

In September of 2017, a new Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the Sixth Edition, was released. It will be the basis of most of the questions on the new PMP exam on March 26, 2018.

What's the Same in the PMBOK Sixth Edition?

The Sixth Edition retains the five Process Groups and ten Knowledge Areas from the PMBOK Fifth Edition. 

The Purpose of the PMBOK

PMI describes the PMBOK this way: Good practice, for most projects, most of the time. The PMBOK is a toolkit, not a recipe.

What's Different in the PMBOK Sixth Edition?

Three New Processes

  • 4.4 Manage Product Knowledge
  • 9.6 Control Resources
  • 11.6 Implement Risk Responses

One Relocated Process

  • 6.4 Estimate Activity Resources became 9.2 Estimate Activity Resources

One Eliminated Process

  • 12.4 Close Procurements (its work is combined into other processes)

The Fifth Edition contained 47 Processes. The Sixth Edition contains 49 Processes.

Agile Content

Agile concepts are found throughout the Sixth Edition.

Progressive Elaboration and Rolling-Wave Planning are agile tools that have appeared in previous editions of the PMBOK. They appear again in the Sixth Edition.

"Considerations for Agile/Adaptive Environments" is a section in the beginning of all ten Process Groups.

Welcome to Your New Toolbox


The Future of the PMBOK®

How the PMBOK Began

The Project Management Institute (PMI) was founded as a non-profit organization to establish and promote project management standards and "best practices" throughout the world.

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) was created as a single body of knowledge that could be published and distributed throughout the world. 

The latest version, PMBOK Sixth Edition, was published in September of 2017. Its content will be the basis of many questions on the PMP exam released March 26, 2018.

Why the PMBOK is Still Relevant

The PMBOK describes a "top-down" or "waterfall" project management methodology. It can also be described as Plan-Do-Check-Act or PDCA. Some change is expected. The PMBOK contains built-in tools and processes to manage that change. 

Agile project management methodology assumes constant change. So does Scrum methodology. Although Agile and Scrum purists like to distance themselves from the PMBOK and the PMP credential, they can't escape the fact that Agile and Scrum can only be described by comparing and contrasting their methodologies to the PMP/PMBOK methodology.

The Future of the PMBOK

We will see greater collaboration among PMP, Agile and Scrum methodologies. The highest-performing projects will be hybrid projects, using a mix of processes from waterfall, Agile and Scrum.

The Future of the PMP Credential

Projects Before the PMP Were Inconsistent

In the beginning, there were no project management best practices. Each project leader did it the way they saw best. Some were good at it. Others not so good. Project performance was chaotic. Project results suffered.

PMI and the PMP Credential

The Project Management Institute was founded as a non-profit organization in 1969. Its purpose: to promote professionalism in project management, and to set standards and best practices.

The PMP credential was launched in 1984. By 2016, 710,000 people were PMPs.

Will the PMP be Relevant in the Future?

The PMP is the foundation of all other project management methodologies. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the primary source of content for the PMP exam, is also the foundation of Agile and Scrum methodologies. In addition, the PMBOK, Sixth Edition, includes both waterfall (traditional top-down) and Agile processes.


The PMP credential is as relevant today as it was when it was released in 1984. 

PMP Exam Questions - How to Conquer Them

It's All in the Wording

The questions meet their intended goal: to let you prove that you know PMI's project material, most notably the content of the PMBOK. 

Wouldn't it be great if the questions were straightforward? They are not. If you don't know the material, the questions can contain traps. 

Good News! You can conquer the wording of the PMP exam questions by following this strategy:

To Be, or "Not" to Be

This is a common trick to throw you off. If the question is "Which of the following is not true?" the word "not" should sound a loud bell in your brain. Now, the answers that would be true have to be excluded in favor of the answer that is "not" true. Many people use a process of elimination to find the correct answer. 

"Product" Vs "Project"

Different meanings and processes support "products" versus "projects." For example, one product life cycle may contain several project life cycles. 

Long Story Problems Can be a Trip

This is most basic tip. Sometimes, in a long story problem, the real question is the first or last sentence. You won't detect it if you don't read every word of the question.



Which PMP® Training Program is Right for You?

How Do You Choose?

To pass your PMP exam, you need exam prep training. You have hundreds of options. How do you decide which one is right for you? 

The answer: start with your needs.

Question #1: How Do You Learn Best?

We each learn a little differently. Some of us favor self-study, while others favor group learning experiences. In addition, some tools help us more than others:

  • Online lessons and quizzes
  • Printed materials
  • Audio recordings
  • Live classroom
  • A combination of multiple tools listed above 

Question #2: How Should You Receive Your PMP Training?

Again, you have options:

  • Self-study
  • Group study
  • A blended learning experience: self-study followed by live classroom learning

Blended learning gives you the most bang for the buck. Regardless of your "best" learning method, blended learning exposes you to multiple ways to learn to pass your PMP exam.

Question #3: Which Blended Learning Experience is Best for You?

The best blended learning experience for PMP training has these components:

Online Learning, Prior to Live Training

My PMP training program uses Andy Crowe's Velociteach online learning system.

My PMP training program uses Andy Crowe's Velociteach online learning system.

  • 35 hours of online lessons
  • Quizzes after most lessons
  • Media center, with additional learning tools
  • Simulated 200-question PMP exam, with answers and rationales

Printed Learning Tools to Use Before, During and After the Live Training

I use the Velociteach PMP Advantage Student Learning Kit

I use the Velociteach PMP Advantage Student Learning Kit

  • Textbook (I prefer Andy Crowe's "The PMP Exam: How to Pass It on your First Try".)
  • Fold-out Quick-Reference Guide, containing formulas, definitions and other helpful tips
  • 250 flash cards, to help you drill on topics you'll find on the exam
  • 6 audio CDs containing conversations with Andy Crowe and others, about how to pass the PMP exam
  • I also add the current edition of the PMBOK, the Project Management Body of Knowledge, published by the Project Management Institute.

Live Classroom Experience


You'll learn how to pass the PMP exam in a live experience, where you listen, learn, discuss and practice. You will learn by studying, participating and doing.

  • Slides
  • Student workbook
  • Stories, from an experienced storyteller, author and speaker
  • Case studies
  • Examples, to apply project management principles to project management activities

Make an Informed Decision about Your PMP Training

  1. Start with your needs, including the ways you learn best.
  2. Compare the various learning options, using your needs as your guide.
  3. Commit.

How to Study for Your PMP Exam

You know what to study for your PMP exam. Now, it's time to consider how to study.

Step 1: Set a Goal to Pass Your PMP Exam

Write this sentence on paper: "I (say your name) will pass my PMP exam by (enter a date)"

Now, sign it and date it.

You have just begun a project with this commitment:

  • Deliverable: passing the PMP exam
  • Due date: the date you wrote down
  • Accountable person: look in the mirror; it's you

Share your project with your co-workers, friends and family. They will hold you accountable. They will also do everything in their power to help complete your project and achieve your goal.

Step 2: Make a Study Calendar

Set time to study for your PMP exam. Make appointments with yourself. Share your appointments with your friends and family. They will hold you accountable. They will also clear the way so you can study.

Step 3: Execute - Follow Your Study Plan

Now that you have a goal, a deliverable, a due date, an accountable person and a study schedule, keep your study appointments. Watching Star Trek re-runs on TV will not help you. Find a quiet place, or wear noise-cancellation headphones. Use all of the learning tools at your disposal:

  • The PMBOK
  • Online lessons and quizzes
  • Online 200-question simulated PMP exam
  • Textbook
  • Flash cards
  • Quick-reference guide
  • Audio CDs
  • Workbook and notes from a live PMP course

If you have taken one of my PMP boot camps, you already have each of the study tools listed above.

When you can pass a 200-question simulated PMP exam with a score of 80%, three times in a row, chances are you are ready to sit for your real PMP exam.

When you pass, drop me a note at mikeg@gossconsulting.com, so I can celebrate your success.

What to Study for Your PMP® Exam

There's a Lot of Material - Here's Your Roadmap to Studying for Your PMP Exam


The Project Management Body of Knowledge is the primary source for the questions on the PMP exam. It isn't the sole source, but it's the major source. Exam prep courses, textbooks and other tools are based primarily on the PMBOK. Through March 25, 2018, the PMBOK Fifth Edition is the source for many of the questions on the PMP exam. A new PMP exam arrives on March 26, 2018. Its primary source is the PMBOK Sixth Edition, That edition is in print now.

PMP Textbooks

Several people have written PMP exam prep textbooks. My personal favorite is "The PMP Exam: How to Pass It on Your First Try," by Andy Crowe. It was one of the tools that helped me pass my PMP exam in 2011. 

PMI and Independent Publications

The Project Management Institute publishes several white papers, reports and books. Some are free to the general public. Others are available only to PMI members. 

Many independent authors have published articles containing tips to pass the PMP exam. Your favorite search engine can deliver hundreds of suggestions.

Your Greatest PMP Exam Prep Tool: Practice Exams 

Take many practice exams. When you can score 80%, three times in a row, you are probably ready to sit for your PMP exam.

A past president of PMI-Portland took ten practice exams before he sat for his real PMP exam. Of course, he passed.

PMBOK SCMIMBOK - What's All the Fuss?

What the PMBOK Is

Best Practices: The Project Management Body of Knowledge, published by the Project Management Institute, is the accumulated best practices of the project management profession. Its content evolves through feedback from project managers...and their sponsors and customers...from all over the world.

PMP Exam Content: The content of the PMBOK is the source of most (but not all) of the questions on the PMP exam and the CAPM exam. 

What the PMBOK Is Not

The introduction to the PMBOK states that it is not the carved-into-stone rulebook for how to manage projects. Project managers are expected to apply the best practices of the PMBOK to their own projects.

Why It Matters: International Standards

When everyone understands the same terms and definitions, formulas and processes, then all of our projects will perform better. Since 50 percent of projects around the world fail to meet the original objectives of their project charters, the PMBOK offers a way to improve project performance on all levels.

How to Use It in Your Project Management Career

When you follow the best practices of the PMBOK, your projects will perform better. That will open doors of opportunity for greater responsibility and income. 

Because your projects will tend to perform better, your customers will receive higher-quality deliverables, on time and within budget.

Everyone wins!

For Fun and Profit, Join Your Local PMI® Chapter

After you join the Project Management Institute®, you have the opportunity to join your local PMI chapter. What's in it for you, to become a member of your local chapter?


1. Gain Knowledge, to Help Your Projects

The educational sessions and keynote dinner presentations will keep you up-to-date on the latest trends in project management, leadership and communications. The knowledge you gain will help you deliver better projects.

2. Employment Opportunities

At my chapter, PMI-Portland, we pass the microphone during the dinner meeting. Many job-matching opportunities occur as the microphone is passed. Are you looking for work? Raise your hand and briefly describe what you can contribute. Are you an employer, seeking applicants? Describe your opportunity. Many chapter members have used this opportunity to further their careers.

3. Earn PDUs by Attending the Chapter Meetings

When you attend a monthly chapter meeting, you can earn two PDUs. You'll earn one PDU at the educational session before the general meeting. At the general meeting, you'll earn another PDU by attending the keynote presentation. If your club meets ten months out of the year, that's 20 PDUs per year, or 60 PDUs in three years...meeting your 60-PDU requirement to renew your PMP® credential.

These are only three reasons to join your local PMI chapter. There are so many more. Contact your load chapter from the chapter directory on the PMI website, and join today.

Why It's Better for Your Project Management Career to Join PMI®

Bill decided to take his PMP exam without joining PMI or his local PMI chapter. He praised himself for his wisdom in saving the cost of the annual dues. He even passed his exam. 

Since he didn't join PMI, he didn't take advantage of the discounted educational tools and publications available to members. That also meant he couldn't join his local chapter, or attend their monthly meetings.

Bill gained no new insights about the project management profession, but he saved $164 in first-year dues.

Mary joined PMI and her local PMI chapter during her PMP exam application process. She spent $139 on her first-year PMI membership and application fee. She spent a whopping $25 for a year's dues at her local PMI chapter. She downloaded many helpful PMI publications, at a discount. She learned much from her local chapter's monthly meetings.

Today, Bill works for Mary.

It's better for your project management career to join PMI.