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What is New in the PMBOK Guide® 6th Edition - an In-Depth Comparison

Knowledge Area Information: The information that was previously included at the beginning of each Knowledge Area has been organized into four topics:

Key Concepts:The second contains information that was previously included at the beginning of each Knowledge Area :
Trends and Emerging Practices:  In the past, the PMBOK® Guide included what was considered good practice on most projects, most of the time.  Many of the recent trends in the industry were not included as they were not practiced on many projects.  Some of this new information is included in the 6th Edition in this introductory portion of each Knowledge Area, though it may not yet be reflected in the identified inputs, tools, techniques and outputs for individual processes.

Tailoring Considerations: As stated in previous editions, each project must determine which processes, and what approach is most appropriate for individual project.  The Sixth Edition emphasizes the need to tailor all aspects of project management, including the processes, inputs, tools, techniques, outputs, life cycles and all others, as deemed necessary.  In order to facilitate this tailoring, this section contains a list of questions to help with the tailoring of the project management aspects for each individual project.

Approaches in Agile, Iterative, and Adaptive Environments
The use of various aspects of agile, iterative and adaptive approaches for projects is increasing.  This includes development methods, techniques, outputs and other activities and practices.  Some agile terminology and techniques have been integration into specific PMBOK® Guide processes.  The section describes specific approaches that are associated with various agile environments to help practitioners recognize and integrate these practices into their projects where it makes sense to do so.

Process Categories
Each process has been categorized by one of three descriptions:

•     Processes used once or at predefined points in the project
•     Processes that are done periodically as needed
•     Processes that are done continuously throughout the project
These definitions were added to clear the misconception that the processes included are done in a linear manner, or that they are done only once, or done in a particular sequence.  Since this is not true, it is hoped that this misconception can be corrected by emphasizing that many processes are ongoing, or only done periodically.  This is further explained in Section 1.2.4.4 of the PMBOK® Guide.

Project Management Plan Components: Rather than listing individual components parts of the project management plan as an input or output of a process, the entire project management plan is listed.  The process in which an individual component of the project management is developed lists that component as an output.  In other processes that previously would have identified that component as an input, it is just referred to as part of the overall project management plan.  The individual components that would be helpful as inputs or updated as outputs are contained in the textual description.  However, it is important to remember that the description of project management plan components provides examples, but it is not meant to be all-inclusive or exhaustive.

Project documents
A similar approach has been applied to project documents.  The process which actually creates a project document lists that document as an output.  Rather than listing each project document separately in subsequent processes, the inclusive name, project documents, is identified as an input or an output.  Some of these project documents are different from previous editions, once again emphasizing the need to tailor the project documents to reflect the needs of each individual project.  Once again, the list of examples of project documents is not meant to be all-inclusive or exhaustive.

Lessons Learned
Project management as a profession has matured as to how knowledge and information is shared.  This is reflected in the Sixth Edition with the inclusion of a new process, Manage Project Knowledge.  One of the outputs from this new process is a lessons learned register, a project document that will be used as an input to many processes and updated as an output in many Executing and Monitoring and Controlling Processes Groups.  At the end of a project or phase the information is transferred and becomes an Organization Process Asset referred to as a lessons learned repository.

Tools and Techniques
To support the importance of project tailoring, many tools and techniques are grouped together based on their purpose.  The groups include:

•     Data gathering
•     Data analysis
•     Decision making
•     Communication
•     Interpersonal and team skills
•     Communication skills
When one of these groups is identified, one or more examples of specific tools or techniques may be given. As with the other inputs and outputs, the usage of these tools and techniques should be based on the needs of your project.  This list is not all-inclusive or exhaustive and not all tools and techniques fall into one of these categories. The table on the following page represents the updated version of the project framework with the PMBOK® Guide 6th edition changes identified.
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