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PMP Exam 2016, Role Delineation Study

Hello, I am in the process of preparing for the PMP exam. I noticed on the PMI's website that the results of the Role Delineation Study have been implemented. Do you have any advice on how this should impact one's exam preparation? Should anything else be studied, or should one just refer to the regular PMP exam prep materials? Many thanks.

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  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Hello @Canada01

    Welcome to PM Hangout!

    That's a great question and I'm sure many folks preparing for the PMP exam have the same question on their mind.

    I started to type my response but realized that it was becoming more of a blog post. I will post the full response on my blog after I polish it a bit more. In the meantime, let me give you a not-so-short summary.

    PMI said that 25% of the exam questions will change. However, this does not mean that 25% of your study material will change. I have reviewed the changes in detail and the actual impact to course material is not that drastic.

    Before I go further, I need to clear a common misconception that PMP exam is based on the PMBOK Guide. This is not true. PMP exam is "not" based on the PMBOK Guide. Rather it is based on the PMP Exam Content Outline, the latest edition of which was released in June 2015. There are many topics in the PMBOK Guide that are not included in the PMP Exam Content Outline and vice versa.

    Now let's delve into some history to better understand the context of these changes. The previous version of PMP Exam Content Outline was released in Aug 2011 (and was aligned with PMBOK 4 at that time). PMBOK 5 was released in Dec 2012 and PMP / CAPM exams were updated in Aug 2013 to align with PMBOK 5. However, the PMP Exam Content Outline was "not" updated at that point. It was only updated in June 2015 (nearly 2 years later).

    Let me give an example to reinforce my point. Project Stakeholder Management was a new Knowledge Area added in PMBOK 5 (it was not in PMBOK 4). This has now been included in content outline of June 2015. As you can see, the content outline of June 2015 was simply "catching up" with PMBOK 5. The whole Stakeholder Management area is already covered in most PMP exam prep material. So, it's "not" new. I would assume that 10% of the 25% questions that are changing are related to Stakeholder Management. Similarly there are many other topics which are already part of PMBOK 5 but got included only in the June 2015 version of the content outline.

    However, there are still some topics which are not in PMBOK 5 (or mentioned briefly) and you need to pay attention to them. Some of these topics are new or have added emphasis in the June 2015 content outline:

    1. Benefits realization
    2. Process Analysis techniques like Lean and Kanban
    3. Regulatory and environment impacts assessment
    4. Project quality best practices and standards (e.g., ISO, BS, CMMI, IEEE)
    5. Performance measurement techniques (KPI and key success factors)
    6. Business acumen
    7. Customer satisfaction metrics
    8. Delegation techniques
    9. Emotional intelligence
    10. Expert judgment technique
    11. Generational sensitivity and diversity
    12. Knowledge management
    13. Lessons learned management techniques
    14. Meeting management techniques

    When you select your PMP exam prep course or study material, make sure that these topics are covered in that material. I know that BrainBOK PMP Practice Exams cover most of these areas.

    One area that has been taken off the list is PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. However, this doesn't mean that you should not pay attention to it. It only means that there won't be direct questions on this topic. Note that until a few years ago, PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct used to be a separate (6th) domain on the PMP exam. But later it was merged into the other 5 domains. I believe that the content outline has been updated to reflect the same.

    As I said, this is not the full post. I have some more details that I'll share on the blog post.

    Hope this helps for now. Feel free to post more questions as you go forward in your journey toward PMP certification. Good luck.

    -Harwinder

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