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What do you need to know with the PMP Exam changes in December 2020?



The Update

Project management practitioners need more diverse skills and approaches to deliver outcomes and value to their organizations more than ever before. The future-proof PMP®exam has arrived, with content to ensure our credential remains relevant to project management practitioners’ ways of working. You can expect the following in the new PMP exam starting in January 2021:

  • More approaches to delivering outcomes. The exam will cover both predictive (~50%) and agile/hybrid (~50%) approaches to project management.
  • Domains aligned to real-life practices. The number of domains will be reduced from five to three, which include People, Process, and Business Environment. Specific project management approaches will not be aligned to individual domains but will be incorporated throughout the exam. 

The following table identifies the proportion of questions from each domain that will appear on the examination.

  • About half of the examination will represent predictive project management approaches and the other half will represent agile or hybrid approaches.

PMI recognizes the need to support chapters in transforming their content to prepare candidates to succeed on this new exam, beginning with a revised Exam Content Outline (ECO). ProThoughts is committed to sharing ongoing updates and additional information to support you in this journey, including new resources to help align existing content around the new exam, and identify gaps in content development.  

Why the Exam is changing?

PMI revises the PMBoK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) as per the current good practices adopted and proven for project management. PMI continuously endeavors to align the good practices with the current trends in Project Management. This exercise of the new change is also to align with the current trends of project management.

How the new change is decided and incorporated?

The practitioners and experts of project management from all over the world contribute to the current good practices and suggest improvements. These are been collated by a governing body and the changes are approved and plan decided. The result of this research will be the publication of a new PMP exam content outline in December 2020, and in January 2021 this new outline will lead to an updated PMP exam.

Is The PMBOK® Guide Changing?

Not until Fall 2021 as per the information we have. And the exam is going to be still based on PMBoK 6th edition, the current edition. The structure and perhaps the exam content is going to change. The details will be updated by PMI soon and ProThoughts will immediately update for their participants.

The  PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition continues to be relevant post 1st July 2020 as well.

I’m Studying for the PMP Exam. What Does All This Mean for Me?

We recommend that you plan on taking the exam before it changes in December

If you plan on taking the PMP exam on or before 30th December 2020?

  • Start your preparation at the earliest.
  • Register for your mandatory 35 contact hours with a global REP
  • Use the current study plan e.g., ProThoughts Study Material & Plan
  • Schedule your exam no later than perhaps 30th December 2020 (with new Pearson Test centers, the choice will be more and you can have more slots)
  • For more details, talk with our counselor – drop a mail to info@prothoughts.co.in

If you plan on taking the PMP exam on or after 1st January 2021

  • Check out the new exam content when PMI and ProThoughts publish i.
  • Understand the new exam content.
  • For any queries, contact your Global REP and understand what it takes to take the new exam. What is the additional preparation, if any?
  • Find out and assess when the new material aligned with the new exam content will be delivered and when earliest post- January 2021 you can appear for the exam
  • Make your plans accordingly
  • Attend the training and take the exam post 1st January 2021

When I should appear for the exam, before 1st January 2021 or after?

We would recommend it before 1st January 2021

The reason is simple – we know what it takes to clear the exam with the current pattern and content. We know the correct exam strategy and the right testimonials to achieve with a brilliant result. The latest you can target is the October 2020 batch; however, the window of opportunity is getting smaller by the day. Our recommendation is to start the earliest. The sooner the better.

Our Analysis

PMI released the Exam Content Outline for the PMP certification exam on Friday, June 28th. This will impact PMP examinations on 1st January 2020, and beyond. This is the structure of the exam and has an impact on all people preparing for it as well as how our instructors and training partners. The 6th edition PMBOK remains a primary reference for the exam questions but it has not been and continues to not be the only reference for the questions.

ProThoughts is in the process of analyzing the new exam content outline. This is not going to be a quick process as:

  • the changes to the distribution of questions for the exam has changed
  • the domains have been restructured from 5 (the process groups) to 3 new categories (People, Process, and Business Environment)
  • the questions during any individual’s exam will be divided about equally between plan-driven (predictive) and change-driven (adaptive, agile incremental, iterative and hybrid) development approaches

PMI has stated to REPs in the newsletter that they will be providing additional resources to help us prepare for the exam change but they have not announced when. The exam has not undergone a change of this type in quite a few years. (Not for publication but likely around 2005, and less significant 2009.)

Any further updates will be communicated through our website, blogs, and Social Media channels. It is recommended that you take the exam before January 2021 so that the same pattern can be helpful to clear the exam. ProThoughts is updating the current system to get ready for the change in the coming days.

Important Dates

  1. Date when PMBOK will change to 7th edition – PMI is currently planning for the fall of 2021.
  2. Date when Rita Mulcahy new prep book will be ready – Nov 2019.  Targeting a V10 of PMP Exam Prep to coincide with the release of PMBOK V7.
  3. Date when the PMP exam will reflect new material – 1st January 2021

The PMP Examination Center Outline for the PMP Exam Change 1st January 2021 can be referenced here: Click here

Our Opinion:

It’s time that PMI counters other Agile certifications and accepts Agile as one of the practices to be considered in the mainline of project management. However, contrary to popular opinion, we haven’t found Agile practices to be predominantly used at least in this part of the subcontinent or there has been any need to do so. The Agile methodology has been limited to IT industry to a large extent (and even there the adoption has been not so great) and many still do the traditional method of managing the projects in IT industry.

In our opinion, the Hybrid approach (Blend of both Traditional and Agile) is going to be a long-term thing. The Project Manager will be aware of both the methodologies and the organization will be a multi-speed organization choosing the right methodology in the context of the project.

However, regarding the new exam update, we are not too sure how 50% Agile questions will be included in the PMP format as there is another certification from PMI for different Agile practices, which is the PMI-ACP certification. We still like to believe that Agile questions may not be related to different practices but very generic in nature. ProThoughts will keep a close watch on the new updates and let our audience know of any new change in the syllabus or exam pattern or the level of difficulty in the new exam. So, the best strategy is to wait and watch till the next update.

Our tip to all those who still want to do the PMP but have always postponed it: Get started. I would hurry if I were you. Half a year is quickly over.

CAPM changes information:

The application process for CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) will change and the changes will happen by Aug 2019. People applying to take the CAPM will have to have an education in project management. PMI is removing the option of documenting the experience in project management as a way to apply. PMI is also making it easier for a CAPM to apply for the PMP by eliminating the 35 contact hours of project management education.

The second CAPM change is coming in September 2019 but PMI has not provided a date. It is the addition of two new question formats. It is important that customers understand that ProThoughts current materials will prepare them for being able to answer the questions.

It is recommended that participants can take the exam before the scheduled change in CAPM before Sept 2019. Our current system and courses are their preparation path to the designation.

To learn more about this change directly from PMI®, please visit the following page: Click here

For any other queries, please drop a line to info@prothoughts.co.in

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