Knowledge Area and Process Changes in the PMBOK 5th Edition

The 5th edition of the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) was released this month by the PMI and there are a few changes worth noting.  The biggest change is that there is a new knowledge area called Stakeholder Management.  This knowledge area replaces and expands on two processes from the 4th editions Communications Management knowledge area, Identify Stakeholders and Manage Stakeholder Expectations.  It makes a lot of sense to me that Stakeholder Management would be its own knowledge area.  Stakeholder management is an important and complex area in Project Management and it is frequently discussed in project management circles.  I’m excited to see a focus on this area of knowledge and I look forward to diving into the material in the 5th edition PMBOK to learn the new standards.

Some other changes include the addition to the Planning process group of the Plan Scope, Schedule, and Cost Management processes to the Scope, Time and Cost knowledge areas.  There are also a few name changes to existing processes that improves naming consistency.

Here is are the knowledge areas and processes groups in a table below with the additions highlighted in yellow and the name changes in blue:

PMBOK 5e Knowledge & process table

There are other differences between the 4th and 5th editions but I will not go into them here.  As I continue to explore the new guide I will post what I learn here.  I’d love to hear from you.  What differences have you noted between the two editions and what impact if any do you think they will have?


22 thoughts on “Knowledge Area and Process Changes in the PMBOK 5th Edition

    • Juan, I think that a lot of the material is the same however PMI is saying that the the 4th edition material will be good if you take the exam before July 31st. If you plan on taking the PMP certification after that date you will want to pick up and study the 5th edition.

  1. Hi! I am planning to take the CAPM exam on August so I know I have to study the 5th Ed. But what is the main difference between the CAPM and PMP exams? Than you!

  2. i still struggle to grasp the difference between “8.2 Perform QA” and “8.3 Control Quality”, except that one is more like execution and the other Mon&Ctrl. .. Anybody has a practical explanation on the difference between the two?
    To me, is all about Mon&Ctrl rather than execution.

    • Quality Assurance specifically relates to process. Quality control relates to the product. In other words, if you are performing quality assurance you are looking at the process to ensure that quality is being maintained. If you are performing quality control, you are perhaps taking samples of the product to make sure they are at spec.

      Hope that helps.

    • Think quality assurance as internal audit to quality processes in the company, that is why it is in executing process group. Control quality is for deliverables and product.

    • Hi Cecile, I believe that the only reason that the knowledge area starts at 4 is because that is the section in the PMBOK 5 where knowledge areas are discussed. Hope this helps.

    • The first knowledge area is the 4th chapter in the PMBOK 5th Edition. Any topics on Project Integration Management will be in Chapter 4. (And the headings within the chapter use a 4.x.x designation.)

  3. Heather,

    I am a content developer for Transcender, a company that creates practice tests and other study materials for IT certifications. I am currently working on our PMP 5th Edition practice test and came across your blog. I loved this post about the Process Group and Knowledge Area changes in PMBOK 5th Edition.

    Would you mind if I placed a link to your blog in an upcoming article on Transcender’s blog:

  4. Pingback: PMBOK 5th Edition: Knowledge Area and Process Group changes | Transcender IT Prep Blog

  5. Heather:

    Thanks for posting such a great resource to get started. I missed the mark on the PMP about a year and half ago, but studied for 6 months. Funny how after 1.5 years I still have this material in my head. I just ordered my PMBOK E5 and a study guide. Can’t wait to get started again and win the battle this time!

    Thanks again for taking the time to post such a fantastic resource.


    • somebody has a good reason why HSE (Health, Safety & Environmental) is not included in the PMI knowledge areas and proceses?

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