What Exactly is the PMI’s PMBOK Guide?

The PMBOK is a guide specially designed and published for PMP aspirants. For candidates who want a better idea about the PMP certification guidelines. And The guide includes the material to be studied before the exam. PMBOK guide is the best study source for the PMP exam.

What is PMBOK guide? And should I prepare from PMBOK guide? What are its contents? How can I study this guide? These and similar must be there in your mind before you start studying PMBOK guide. I am writing answers to your questions. Here I give you a piece of brief information about the PMBOK Guide.

What Is PMBOK Guide?

PMI strives to infuse standards that reflect the most up-to-date practices in the professions of project, program, and portfolio management through the PMBOK guide. Keeping this objective in mind PMI ensures regular updates to all the standard products. Its latest version is the 6th edition. The guide is the documentation resulting from work overseen by PMI. PMI is the institute which offers PMP and CAPM certifications. The guide includes Project Management concepts and covers some other topics from different sectors.

PMBOK guide overlaps with general management regarding planning, organizing, staffing, executing and controlling the operations of the organization. There are other disciplines that are included in the PMBOK Guide. These are: financial forecasting, organizational behavior, management science, budgeting, and other planning methods.

Active professionals and experts in the subject matter develop The PMBOK® Guide. The project management community reviews it before making it available in the market, to assure it always reflects the current state of the profession.


What Are Knowledge Areas?

The PMBOK Guide talks about various knowledge areas. Project manager should have some expertise in these areas. Each knowledge area represents a category of project management concepts, processes, and terminologies. Almost every project includes these knowledge areas.

The 10 knowledge areas mentioned in the 6th edition of the PMBOK guide are:

  1. Integration Management
  2. Scope Management
  3. Time Management
  4. Cost Management
  5. Quality Management
  6. Human Resources Management
  7. Communications Management
  8. Risk Management
  9. Procurement Management
  10. Stakeholder Management


In addition to this, every knowledge area follows processes too. So a PMP certified project manager also learns about the processes that each knowledge area follows. It is not compulsory that you use all the 10 knowledge areas in your project. But it is important to learn all.


PMBOK Guide 6th Edition

PMI has updated the PMBOK guide and produced its 6th edition. There are some changes made from the previous edition.

In the 6th edition, three new editions are introduced. They are mentioned below-:

Control Resources Project Resource Management Monitoring & Controlling
Implement Risk Response Project5 Risk Management Executing
Manage Project Knowledge Project Integration Management Executing

The “Procurement” process is removed from the latest edition. This is because the project manager doesn’t play any role in procurement activities. The procurement team and the legal team generally handle these activities.

PMI introduced a new chapter in the new edition. This chapter describes the ever-expanding role of a Project Manager. It has the PMI talent triangle that mandates the 3 levels of skill sets as well.

The number of tools and techniques is reduced and few of them are grounded together. Based on their purpose. New groups formed are:

  • Communication
  • Communication Skills
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Gathering
  • Decision Making
  • Interpersonal & Team Skills

Introduction To Agile

This is the most impactful change that PMI has made to align the traditional project management ways with agile methods. Some of the changes with respect to the adaptive methods are-:

  • Addition of Agile/ Adaptive environment sections in each Knowledge Areas.
  • ITTOs (Inputs, Tools & Techniques, and Outputs) of Agile methods.
  • Agile, Iterative, Adaptive, and Hybrid environments have a separate appendix.
  • PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition and a separate Agile Practice Guide has been released.

PMI has also introduced four new sections in each of the Knowledge Areas and they are-:

  • Key Concepts
  • Trends and Emerging Practices
  • Tailoring Considerations
  • Considerations for Agile/Adaptive Environments


PMI has published the 6th edition in English language and 11 others. They are-:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese Brazilian
  • Russian
  • Spanish


We hope this article helped you get a better idea about the changes introduced in the 6th edition of PMBOK Guide. Do follow these changes and start your preparation for the PMP exam. In case of any query please feel free to ask and mention them in the comment section below. All the best.


2 thoughts on “What Exactly is the PMI’s PMBOK Guide?”

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