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A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) by PMI documents best practices and standards for project management. The current version of PMBOK is considered as one of the most important exam preparation books for the PMP (Project Management Professionals) and PMI-ACP certification. Soon in the third quarter of 2017, PMBOK 6th edition is scheduled to launch. In this article, we will go through the history and evolutions of the PMBOK Guide:

The first PMBOK® Guide published in 1996. Each successive edition was released to surpass the previous version incorporating new best practices and standards of project management.

PMBOK® Guide 1st Version [1996]

PMI witnessed a need to put together all official documents and guides to upgrade the development process of the project management, and published the first ever edition of the PMBOK® Guide in 1996. This edition was an extended version of "Ethics, Standards, and Accreditation Committee Final Report", a white paper published in 1983.

PMBOK® Guide Version 2 [2000]

The upgraded version of PMBOK Guide i.e. 2nd edition was launched in 2000. This edition includes knowledge and practices that were commonly accepted in the field of project management that were proven valuable and useful to most projects. The PMBOK® Guide Version 2 also reflected the growth of the project management and removed the errors in the previous edition.

PMBOK® Guide Version 3 [2004]

After releasing the PMBOK® Guide 2nd Edition, PMI received thousands of suggestions for improvements of the PMBOK® Guide. The PMI’s editorial committee reviewed those suggestions and tried to integrate the recommendations into the next version of PMBOK® Guide and released the third edition in 2004. The project management practices included in the 3rd edition of PMBOK® Guide would be useful to most projects.

PMBOK® Guide Version 4 [2009]

The fourth edition of PMBOK was launched after the five years of publication of its preceding version. In this edition, the content of the PMBOK® Guide was edited to make it more consistent and accessible. The clear distinction between the project documents and project management plan was made. The “triple constraints” of project management were expanded to six as scope, schedule, quality, resources, risk and budget.

PMBOK® Guide Version 5 [2013]

The current version i.e. 5th version of the PMBOK® Guide was released in 2013. Considering the suggestions and recommendations, PMI made changes in PMBOK Guide 4th Edition and the 5th edition represents PMI’s continual efforts to upgrade and update the body of knowledge. Many PMP certification aspirants refer the PMBOK® Guide to prepare for the PMP certification exam.

PMBOK® Guide 6 [2017]

The PMBOK® Guide 6 will be published in July, 2017. This edition will incorporate Agile in its module as Agile has become one of the fastest growing methodologies in the recent years. In this edition, we can also witness some minor changes in the process groups, processes and naming of the PMBOK® Guide methodology. The PMI Talent Triangle (Leadership, Technical Project Management, Business and Strategic Management), will also be incorporated into the 6th edition of PMBOK® Guide.

PMBOK Guide is one of the major sources to prepare for PMP and PMI-ACP, but after the launch of the new edition, many people find it difficult to understand the newly added terminologies and processes initially. Hence, if you are a PMP aspirant, this is a high time for you to make the decision and book an appointment at PMI before the sixth edition of PMBOK affect the certification exam.

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