PMI PMBOK Guide 7th Edition Standard – What’s New?

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The preparation for the new Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guide, 7th edition is currently underway, and the Project Management Institute (PMI®) has made the draft for the standard part publicly available for comments. Yes, you can suggest your changes since January 15, 2020. The standard part of the guide makes a paradigm shift from a process-based approach to a principle-based approach. And, it’s happened for the first time since the release of PMBOK Guide, 1st edition in 1996.

You may be wondering why the PMBOK guide is taking this shift!?

Paraphrasing a well-known quote, “Software is eating the world”, I would say that technology and software are not only eating the world; they are also eating project management.

By way of example, today I see many bank executives explain that they actually work for software companies with banking licenses. And, I tend to agree with the approach being used considering digital transformation in banks is changing the very core of banking. Similarly, movies are being released online—sometimes with different endings based on the customers’ preferences, cars are getting upgraded on the fly with the help of software, books are sold and upgraded online, and trajectory corrections are happening on a satellite reaching another planet hundreds of millions of miles away from Earth.

With these changing industries, project management as a profession is also bound to be impacted. In fact, there are already various ways or approaches to deliver the output of a project—be it a product, service, or result.

There are many questions that arise within the profession of project management today, some of which are:

  • How should we address the changes and manage the changes?
  • What is the best way to address the complexities, uncertainties, and ambiguities while delivering a project?
  • Will the role of a project manager (PM) remain the same? In fact, will the designation remain “Project Manager”?
  • What kind of leadership behaviors are expected?
  • Should the processes prescribed by the organization be religiously followed or should project management professionals go for “minimally needed processes” (MNP)?
  • How should we as PMs advance an organization’s vision and strategic objectives when the end results of the projects undertaken are quite uncertain?
  • What are the best practices to engage the stakeholders and motivate team members who are geographically distributed or come from different cultures and countries?

I’ve had the privilege of working in variety of industries and applying different approaches—traditional, iterative, lean, Agile, and hybrid, to name a few—to deliver a project. I also teach professionals across industry verticals on various project management approaches. More than anything, I learn from them and the expectations of an organization from a project manager.

With the shift happening to a principle based standard, I expect the expectations of a project manager will also change. In my upcoming webinar session, we will discuss these questions and their answers. If you are an aspiring PMP in this new decade, this webinar will be helpful for you as you enter the 2020’s. On the other hand, if you are already a PMP or working as a project management professional, I invite you to also attend this webinar and jump into the conversation with us.

In my on-demand webinar, we will explore the following:

  • Why the PMBOK® is shifting to a principle based standard.
  • The principles in the new standard.
  • Which elements are changing and which elements are expected to remain the same.
  • The expected impact on the PMP exam.
Written by Satya Narayan Dash
Satya Narayan Dash is a management professional, coach, and author of multiple books. Under his guidance, over 2,000 professionals have successfully cracked PMP, ACP, RMP, and CAPM examinations – in fact, there are over 100 documented success stories written by these professionals. His course, PMP Live Lessons - Guaranteed Pass, has made many successful PMPs, and he’s recently launched RMP Live Lessons - Guaranteed Pass and ACP Live Lessons - Guaranteed Pass. His web presence is at, and he can be contacted via email at  
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