In June 2019, the Project Management Institute (PMI© ) updated its PMP Exam Content Outline and made a significant change in how the test is graded—adding the concept of three domains that reflect how today’s project management practitioners work. The three domains are:
- Business Environment
In this update, PMI has defined that the PMP Exam questions will be distributed based on these three domains—changing from distributing questions based on the process groups of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
This new domain structure identifies 42% of all test questions will be applicable to People, 50% applicable to Process and 8% of all test questions to the Business Environment. Additionally, over half of the exam will represent predictive project management approaches and the other half representing agile or hybrid approaches, reflecting the movement toward more iterative project approaches world-wide.
What does this mean?
This change highlights the importance of managing people in projects, whether it be stakeholders or project team members. One of the most challenging aspects of managing projects is the project manager’s ability to understand the needs and desires of all stakeholders and to ensure that the project meets the expectations it was undertaken to deliver.
What this change confirms, to me, is that project success is not ONLY about excellence in executing the tactical skills of the project management framework, but more about the strategic and soft skills in getting people to execute on a well-defined plan. This is leadership!
I have always been a believer that project success does not mean that you memorize a book in order to earn a certification. Our programs have always focused on the application of skills in order to be successful, and it appears PMI is saying the same. PMI appears to want the PMP certification to reflect that someone has the skills and the experience to do the right thing and deliver value to the organization.
Those who have the desire to earn their PMP will have to be more knowledgeable of leadership, general management and interpersonal skills making the PMP exam significantly more difficult to pass. As a result, these changes will increase the value of the CAPM certification which focuses primarily on process and concepts outlined in the PMBOK© Guide, making it a stepping stone to earning a PMP.
If you are considering attaining your PMP, you will need to have more than just a 5-day prep course to pass the exam. Search out courses that focus on delivering value to your organization which requires true leadership and management skills. Practice these concepts in your everyday work, and you’ll be better prepared to understand how the practice of project management is changing.
As a PMP since 2002, I continue to seek out new skills to relevant the work I am doing and I never stop learning.
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If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a certified PMP and is in the Tampa Bay area, classes will be starting at the Tampa and St. Petersburg USF campuses soon. Convenient classes are offered on an open enrollment basis. No application is required. You may enroll in individual courses or complete the entire certificate sequence to earn a resume-enhancing credential. Courses are taught by Project Management Professionals® (PMPs) with extensive project management application and educational experience in a variety of industries. To learn more, please visit: https://www.usf.edu/continuing-education/programs/professional-development/project-management-certificate.aspx