1. Doug Martin
  2. Online Extra, Miscellaneous
  3. Wednesday, 27 December 2017
The release of the new PMBOK starts a cascade of guide changes and shortly after that comes exam changes. The Program and Portfolio guides are now released for their 4th editions and are also available for download.

If you are looking for the same radical shakeup the PMBOK saw in the Program and Portfolio guides, prepare yourselves for disappointment. The Program Management guide doesn't have the word agile in the entire text. The Portfolio guide has agile in it ONCE and the reference relates to timely decisions, not agile techniques. A quick pass through both guides leaves me with the feeling that PMI sought to better clarify the differences between Project, Program, and Portfolio Management but it is a more PMI-esque iterative adjustment to the guides. Nothing jumps out in the "Fourth Edition Changes" Appendix in either guide as radical.

What this leaves us with is little guidance from PMI on how to integrate Agile into a working model for program and portfolio management and how to leverage agile to address risk, complexity, and uncertainty within these disciplines.

What’s changing and when for the certification exams…

PMI-ACP – 3/26/18 – Harmonizes with the Agile Practice Guide’s terminology. I assume this will include some questions on the agile/iterative/incremental/predictive dimension they've introduced.

PMP – 3/26/18 – Moves to PMBOK 6

CAPM – 5/20/18 – Moves to PMBOK 6 – You CAN take the PBMOK 6 version early at a discount to pilot the new exam.

PgMP & PfMP – TBD – These certs will move to the 4th editions of the guides at a minimum. There may also be changes to the application/hours requirements given both are labor intensive and require volunteer peers to review each application, but nothing has been announced.

The main thing to keep in mind is if you want to test under the prior versions of the guides move fast and book sessions with a well known, reputable rep like GR8PM. If you plan to test under the new guides, let the buyer beware on any course-ware or texts because it may be based on the prior version. Make sure you validate the version of the guide and exam materials and courses are written against.
Doug Martin, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSP, M.P.M.
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