PMP Certification 2016 – what’s changing?

Beginning on January 11, 2016, the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification is all set for some changes. With almost 25 per cent of the exam being modified, most of the new changes will be focused on eight new topic areas and tasks. Project management is a field that is always in flux. The changing practices and roles in project management are taken into cognizance to ensure an up-to-date and relevant crop of professionals.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) regularly conducts and publishes a Role Delineation Study (RDS) which forms the cornerstone of the PMP exam content and questions. This is organized approximately every five years to make sure that the PMP credentials showcases the best practices in the industry with a clear understanding of the important facets of project management.

The RDS manages to gather a variety of perspectives from management professionals from all verticals, industries, regions and work profiles. Keeping this in mind the RDS compiles a list of key competencies a project manager must possess including relevant domains of practice, tasks performed, knowledge and skills required to fulfil the role.

Here are the topics that powered the exam changes:

  • Increased stress on business strategy and realization of benefits
  • The importance of lessons learned
  • Project charter
  • Improving stakeholder relationships

According to the PMI there is about a 25% change in the exam based on an addition of eight new tasks which were not previously tested. The five basic domains of PMP have remained the same however the tasks within each domain have been updated in terms of number of tasks and an added percentage ratio:

Domain 1 – Initiation – Tasks 2, 7 and 8 added – 13% new version and 13% old

Domain 2 – Planning – Task 13 added – 24% new version and 24% old

Domain 3 – Execution – Task 6 and 7 added – 31% new version and 30% old

Domain 4 – Monitoring and control – Task 6 and 7 added – 25% new version and 25% old

Domain 5 – Closing – No new tasks – 7% new version and 8% old

Important changes include an increased stress on business strategy and benefits realization and a conscious divergence from project managers simply focused on deliverables. This helps focus more sharply on the strategic value of the project instead of simply achieving a sound execution. The new exam content outline also takes special note of building upon and strengthening stakeholder relationships.

However, taking your PMP Certification before January 11, 2016, will ensure that you do not have to deal with the changed exam pattern. It will also save you from the rush of the many applicants in January who would be hoping to avoid giving the exam in the new format.

It is crucial to make sure you get all the right study materials. Exciting new concepts like lean principles, regulatory impact and emotional intelligence make this new examination outline far more interesting.