PMP exam is changing in 2016 – How will it impact me?

The News

Recently Project Management Institute (PMI) has announced that PMP Exam is changing in 2015. The reason for this change is that PMI has updated its PMP Exam Content Outline due to new findings in its Role Definition Study (RDS) completed sometime back.

What is this PMP Exam Content Outline?

You can understand PMP Exam Content Outline as a syllabus of PMP Exam. Questions in the PMP Exam are mapped to PMP Examination Content Outline. Change in outline may lead to change in questions in PMP Exam.

What is the change?

Content in the Outline are described under 5 domains – Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring & Control and Closure commonly known as process groups and also the base of distribution of questions in PMP Exam. The changes are as follows

Domain 1 – Initiation

Currently there are 5 tasks under Initiation described earlier. Three more tasks (Task 2, Task 7 & Task 8) are added.

Domain 2 – Planning

There are 12 tasks under planning domain currently. 13th task is added.

Domain 3 – Execution

There are 5 tasks under planning domain. Two more tasks 6th & 7th are added.

Domain 4 – Monitoring & Controlling

There are 5 tasks under planning domain. Two more tasks 6th & 7th are added.

Domain 5 – Closing

There is no change

From which date will this be effective?

2nd November, 2015 12th January 2016 – Last day to test under current version of PMP exam is 11th January 2016. The exam based on news changes will start from 12th January 2016.

Note: PMI has revised the date from 2nd Nov, 2015 to 12th Jan, 2016


You may be wondering how this will impact you. As per my understanding, the impact is not much. PMBOK 5th Edition will still remain the base of the questions in the exam. If you look at above changes in PMP Certification Exam Outline, there are 34 tasks in current version and they will become 42 after this change. That means addition of 8 more tasks without any change in already defined tasks. If you observe the changes and refer new PMP Examination Content Outline, the focus of this change is on following…

  • Inclusion of doing benefits analysis with stakeholders and keeping them informed about approved project charter
  • Developing a detailed stakeholder management plan for realization of benefits
  • Communicating effectively to keep stakeholder engaged during execution and maintained relationship
  • More focus on lessons learned
  • Monitoring procurement in order to verify compliance with project objectives
  • Looking at risk management in terms of opportunity as well

You may observe that all above things are already part of PMP Exam Syllabus. This change is an explicit explanation of implicit things. The changes you expect are more questions on stakeholders analysis, planning and management, additional questions on lesson learned, monitoring of procurement and risks in terms of opportunity.

What changes one should bring in his/her studies

Continue your studies as you are normally do. Give more emphasis on stakeholder management chapter in terms of identification, analysis, planning, communicating effectively as per expectations and monitoring the engagement.  Focus more on lesson learned. Study procurement more carefully and learn to analyse and respond to opportunities under risk management.


PMP® exam is changing in 2016

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Resources for Project Management and PMP Certification

1 Comment

  1. Hosting Author June 2, 2016 (9:12 am)

    Let’s first look at why this change is happening and then we will examine what this means for you. You’ll be surprised at how little is actually changing.

    Reply to Hosting

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