A few years back (already !), I compiled a very minimal digest of the PMBOK Guilde 5th edition. Since then, PMBOK 6 has been published, turning this work obsolete. Wanting to create a new version of my publication, i started digging into what changed between the two versions of the PMBOK.
This first post is the result of the beginning of this effort – it is, literally, work in progress.
First, obvious, difference, is the growing influence of Agile. The PMBOK is now created in collaboration with the Agile Alliance. A few elements of agile were already present in PMBOK 5 but they were rather marginal.
Despite this collaboration, the PMBOK 6 appears to be more an evolution than a revolution, building additional content on the previous version. Knowledge areas and process groups are unchanged, and the process themselves are mostly the same. On the other hand, the new version appears to be significantly larger, with an additional 150 pages plus an Agile guide of almost 170 pages.
But that’s just a first glance. Let’s dig into more details
Good news, the fundamental definition of a project has not changed:
A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.
The base definition of project management is also unchanged:
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements
Exit the corporate strategy, enter driving change and business value
In the first chapter introducing project management, PMBOK 5 briefly gave a definition of project management before describing the relationship between project, program and portfolio management. The same chapter in version 6 has been considerably extended, adding two very agile concepts: change and delivering business value.
“Projects drive change in organizations. From a business perspective, a project is aimed at moving an organization from one state to another state in order to achieve a specific objective” (p. 6)
Delivering Business value.
In PMBOK 5 world, projects are driven by the organization’s strategy. For example, section 18.104.22.168 states “If the goals of a project are in conflict with an established organizational strategy, it is incumbent upon the project manager to document and identify such conflicts” (p. 15) and “As project management is a critical strategic discipline, the project manager becomes the link between the strategy and the team” (p. 17)
Business value was already present in version 5 in section 1.6, but the link between business value and projects was through business strategy. In version 6, projects directly deliver value “Business value in projects refers to the benefit that the results of a specific project provide to its stakeholders” (p. 7)
(to be continued)