Foundational Standards Exposure Draft Process

It's a guide and a standard

The exposure draft process for the PMBOK® Guide—Sixth Edition has begun.

The PMBOK® Guide is unique among our global standards because it contains both a standard and a guide, as it has in past editions. The standard presents key concepts—it is the foundation that describes what to do to be successful—while the guide expands upon the foundation with additional information on how to use proven practices.

The standard in the Sixth Edition will have more prominent placement in the Guide than in previous editions.

New: A two-stage process

PMI is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards developer, and our process conforms with ANSI procedures. This means that our standards are developed and approved using a consensus-based process that ensures that all interested stakeholders can participate.

If you've participated in previous PMBOK® Guide exposure drafts, you’ll notice that our process has changed. The Guide will be open for public comment in two stages.

  • The Standard for Project Management—which contains the foundational knowledge behind the PMBOK® Guide—will be open for full consensus review. This stage will run from 7 March 2016 to 6 April 2016. In a full consensus review, each comment is adjudicated by a committee of PMI volunteers who respond to each comment individually. If you don’t agree with their decision, you may file an appeal.
  • The second stage will be a limited consensus review, which means the PMBOK® Guide committee will review all comments to ensure we are reflecting good practices used on most projects most of the time. The committee, however, will not provide a formal response, nor will these comments be eligible for appeal.

We made this change in order to streamline the process to introduce the latest edition of the PMBOK® Guide sooner, and to manage the workload for the volunteers dedicated to updating this essential resource for project managers worldwide.

For more information on how our standards are developed visit What is a Standard?

New: Content enhancements

We regularly update the content in our standards to reflect the current state of the profession.

Key changes to this edition are:

  • The inclusion of more detailed information on agile and other iterative practices including:
    • Information about agile and other practices often used in an adaptive environment in each Knowledge Area section (Sections 4–13)
    • An appendix to The Standard for Project Management on agile and other iterative practices
  • A new chapter on the role of the project manager which discusses the PMI Talent Triangle, including greater emphasis on the strategic and business knowledge aspect of project management

Certification Exam Updates

The exams for our certifications will be updated in 1st quarter 2018. More information will follow regarding which edition of the PMBOK® Guide to use for exam preparation.

Later this year: Additional exposure drafts

Later in 2016, we will update two additional standards: The Standard for Program Management and The Standard for Portfolio Management.

These exposure drafts are tentatively planned for the third and fourth quarters of 2016. No changes will be made to the exposure draft process for these two standards—that is, there will be only one full consensus exposure draft process for each standard.

As of 6 April 2016, the first stage of the exposure draft has ended. Please check back in the coming weeks for information about the second stage.

Exposure Draft FAQs

Have questions about the exposure draft process? Read our FAQs.