PMP® Exam: A Guide to 2021 Changes
The Project Management Institute (PMI)® originally announced that the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam would be changing in summer of 2020. With the global effect of Covid-19, the change has now been postponed until 2nd of January 2021.
This article is your 3-minute guide to understanding what's changing, why it is changing, and how this affects you.
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Why is the PMP® exam changing?
Project Management Professional (PMP)® is one of the most widely-respected credentials in the global project management community.
This Project Management Institute (PMI)® credential is designed by project managers, for project managers. As such, it must remain at the cutting edge of project management methodologies and continue to lead the way in industry standards.
This leads to periodical updates of both A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) and the PMP® Exam.
The PMBOK® Guide was updated to its Sixth Edition in 2017. The new PMP® Exam coming into effect in January 2021 continues to work from the PMBOK® Guide, Sixth Edition.
When is the PMP® Exam Changing?
As we discuss the important changes, we’ll refer to the existing exam (in effect now, available until December 31st 2021) and the new exam (in effect from January 2nd 2021).
What is Changing?
The key changes in the PMP® Exam reflect how both the role of project managers and project management itself are evolving.
Here are the key changes you need to know about in the new exam:
One of the goals in designing this new exam was to make the format more approachable and easy to interpret.
You’ll see this represented most in the domains. These are the knowledge areas under which tasks (responsibilities) and enablers (actions that support carrying out the tasks) are grouped.
The existing exam has 5 domains, based on the conventional timeline of a project. These domains are:
The new exam will focus on 3 domains:
Focuses on what skills and actions are needed for successful project team management.
Examining the technical elements of project management.
3. Business Environment:
Looks at the connection between the project and the overall organisational strategy.
Here’s a quick look at the weighting of questions for each domain:
- People: 42%
- Process: 50%
- Business: 8%
2. Approach: Predictive, Agile, and Hybrid
The sixth edition of the PMBOK® Guide introduced a higher level of consideration for agile practices, and this is continued in the new exam format.
Rather than concentrating on a predictive (often called “traditional” or “conventional”) approach to project management, throughout all 3 domains, attention and value will be given to predictive and agile approaches, and to a hybrid of both.