Impact of the PMBOK 7th edition on the PMI PMP Exam

PMI released the PMBOK Guide 7th edition in English. Other languages will follow soon. Now many are asking how this new edition will impact the PMI PMP Exam and the related RMC study materials. Spoiler alert : there will be no impact in the short term. Read the full story here below.

This information was obtained from RMC Learning Solutions, our trusted partner for PMI certification exam learning products. It was put together by Sonja Almlie and Marcy who are both involved in keeping the PMP Exam Prep Book up-to-date.

PMBOK 7th Edition

PMBOK Guide 7th edition - 9781628256642 -

PMI members can download a password protected (and unprintable) version for free as part of their PMI membership.

If you want to have a printed version, you can buy it from the PMI Bookstore or here via our webshop.

Impact on the PMP Exam

The release of PMBOK 7 will not have an immediate impact on the current PMP exam. PMI has confirmed this in their information dated July 1st. Following is this link to PMI’s “PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition FAQs, Updated 1 July 2021.” See FAQ #15.

Since there are no immediate plans to change the PMP exam, RMC does not have any plans to change our current PMP® Exam Prep products.

Things to know about the PMP exam and PMBOK 7

Following are a few things to know about the PMP exam and PMBOK 7.

  • At this time, PMI has not designated a timeline to re-align the PMP exam to PMBOK 7.
    • PMBOK 6 was one of the multiple resources used for the current PMP exam, and it remains one of the resources.
    • PMBOK 7 was not/is not a resource for the current PMP exam so people do not need to use PMBOK 7 to study for the current PMP exam.
  • In some respects, we feel like PMBOK 7 will be “catching up” to the new PMP exam and the Exam Content Outline.
  • There have been some terminology changes and adjustments made to the current PMP exam, but that terminology appears in some of the other resources used for the current PMP exam. The terminology may also appear in PMBOK 7, but PMBOK 7 was not the source.

Prepare for the exam : Which edition of the PMBOK should you use ?

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is one of many reference books suggested by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to help you prepare for the PMP exam. Which edition of the PMBOK Guide should you use? The answer may surprise you. Although the PMBOK Guide Seventh edition was released on July 1st, 2021, this is not the correct edition for PMP exam preparation. You should use the PMBOK 6th edition. You may be wondering, “Why is the sixth edition still being used?” The PMBOK guide and the PMP exam are updated on two separate cycles.

The PMP exam updates on a cycle of every 2-3 years. The latest update of the exam occurred in January 2021. Since the seventh edition was released after the exam updated, we won’t expect to see this content in the PMP exam until the next exam update. So, while the seventh edition of the PMBOK guide is a great resource for the best current industry practices, it is not a tool for PMP exam prep. An excellent resource to familiarize yourself with the current version of the exam is the PMI PMP Exam Content Outline (ECO).


When PMI does announce their timing for changes to the PMP exam, RMC will update their products as needed. Follow our communications via newsletter or social media.

Appendix: What changed in PMBOK® Guide 7th Edition?

The PMBOK® Guide 7 is a major update from PMBOK® Guide 6th edition. The new PMBOK® Guide discard the process-based approach to a principles/outcome-based approach. This is the result of the changing landscape of project management from traditional waterfall to Agile ones and Agile emphasizes “principles”. That is projects are evaluated more on “outcomes” than “deliverables” in which “value” is the core focus.

This new PMBOK® Guide 7th edition has only 274 pages while PMBOK® Guide 6th edition has 756 pages. And one will be certain that many “details” are removed from the PMBOK® Guide.

  • 5 Domains (PMBOK® Guide 6) → 12 Project Delivery Principles (PMBOK Guide 7)
    • Stewardship
    • Team
    • Stakeholders
    • Value
    • Systems Thinking
    • Leadership
    • Tailoring
    • Quality
    • Complexity
    • Risk
    • Adaptability and Resilience
    • Change
  • 10 Knowledge Areas (PMBOK® Guide 6) → 8 Performance Domains (PMBOK Guide 7)
    • Stakeholders
    • Team
    • Development
    • Approach and Life Cycle
    • Planning
    • Project Work
    • Delivery
    • Uncertainty
  • “Tailoring”, “Models, Methods, and Artifacts” are added in PMBOK® Guide 7
  • most importantly, ITTO’s in PMBOK® Guide 6 are gone forever

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