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Are you aware of upcoming changes in PMP® – What should be your next steps?


Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) has been in existence for more than 2 decades now since 1996. Every couple of years since then, PMP® syllabus or the pattern has been changing to keep up with the current market trends and to keep its value intact. That is one of the primary reasons why it is still one of the very recognized certifications globally and across industries. PMP® certification is accredited against the internationally recognized ISO 17024 standard.

PMI® publishes a guide for Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) as reference material for all the certifications related to Project Management.

PMP® syllabus has changed in the last 20 + years as follows:

  • PMBOK® GuideEdition 1 was published by PMI® in 1996
  • PMBOK® GuideEdition 2 was published by PMI® in 2000
  • PMBOK® GuideEdition 3 was published by PMI® in 2004
  • PMBOK® GuideEdition 4 was published by PMI® in 2009
  • PMBOK® GuideEdition 5 was published by PMI® in 2013
  • PMBOK® GuideEdition 6 was published by PMI® in 2017

Next anticipated syllabus change (PMBOK® Guide Edition 7) is expected not before 2022.

Along with the syllabus change, PMI also conducts the Role Delineation Study (RDS) and several surveys periodically based on which the Exam Content Outline also changes every few years. Last, it was changed was in 2015 which is the current exam pattern.

The new exam pattern based on the new exam content outline published on Jun 30, 2019, that was supposed to be changed effective July 1, 2020, has been postponed to Jan 2, 2021, due to COVID-19 pandemic.

One needs to understand the changes that are going to be effective in 2021 and how that impacts any PMP aspirant. Based on that one needs to decide on the next steps for PMP.

Few major changes which will be effective Jan 2, 2021, are:

Questions Pattern:

Currently, the number of PMP questions are:

  • More on Traditional or Waterfall approach (about 80%)
  • Less on Agile or Hybrid approach (about 20%)

But with this upcoming change, weightage is going to be equally distributed.

  • 50% on Traditional or Waterfall approach
  • 50% on Agile (Adaptive) & Hybrid approaches

Distribution of Questions & Evaluation Criteria:

In the current form of PMP, the questions are associated and evaluated under 5 categories, namely,

  • Initiating – 13%
  • Planning – 24%
  • Executing – 31%
  • Monitoring & Controlling – 25%
  • Closing – 7%

But with the upcoming change, the questions will be associated and evaluated under 3 categories, namely,

  • People – 42%
  • Process – 50%
  • Business Environment – 8%

Tasks and Enablers associated with the categories above are also changed accordingly. To get detailed information on these, the Exam Content Outline document can be downloaded from the PMP website. Both the Current document and the Upcoming document are available, so you can compare.

Changes to Training Providers association with PMI:

Currently, PMI is not conducting the training workshops themselves. Rather they are associated with partners in the form of Registered Education Providers (REPs). There are corporate REPs, country-specific REPs, and Global REPs. ProThoughts is one of the Global REPs (REP Id 4032). REPs can decide their trainers and the study materials to be provided to the PMP aspirants.

This structure is changing and now in the new structure,

  • REPs are shifted to Authorized Training Partners (ATPs), with much stricter evaluations and higher charges
  • Every PMP trainer also needs to get registered with PMI after going through Train The Trainer (TTT) program.
  • Study materials will also be provided by PMI to ATPs for the candidates to refer to.

Impact to PMP Workshops availability:

Due to the point mentioned above,

  • Price of PMP training is bound to increase
  • The effort needed by PMP aspirants to crack PMP is bound to increase
  • Number of training providers will be consolidated and is bound to decrease
  • Many REPs will cease to exist
  • Few more new ATPs might join as well

Toughness Level:

With every change, PMI incorporates, PMP exam passing gets tougher and tougher. This upcoming change is no different. Effective 2021, passing PMP should be tougher and hence we recommend every PMP aspirant to get certified in the current pattern this year. Eventually, you will be on par with those who clear PMP next year too. As in both scenarios, candidate clearing PMP will have similar license # to practice but the value will eventually be higher than what it is now. This is our prediction based on the last 2 decades of PMI changes.

With all these details provided above, every PMP aspirant has 2 choices:

  • Get PMP Certified in the current pattern in 2020
  • Get PMP certified in an upcoming pattern in 2021 or later

If we evaluate the pros and cons of doing PMP certification now or later, doing it now has more advantages than disadvantages.

Advantages of getting PMP certified in 2020.

  • Price and Effort are less. So the overall investment is less. Hence Return on Investment (RoI) is higher
  • Chances to clear exam reduce, due to tougher exam
  • Opportunity Cost associated with the Cost of Delay. Early Advantage can be availed
  • COVID19 situation gives you the option to utilize the available time
  • Next year onwards, taking time & effort out for PMP might be a challenge

For any further inquiry, we can be reached at:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone:+ 91-9137309091
  • Website: https://prothoughtssolutions.com/

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