Project Management Institute

The Standard for Project Management Exposure Draft

The credibility of the rigorous professional standard you’ve always known. The accessibility of a fresh, principle-based approach to the profession.

What am I about to see?

You’re about to see an exposure draft of The Standard for Project Management, which is published as part of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). This is a part of the process PMI goes through when supporting the development of a standard to ensure that the standard is based on broad consensus, rather than just a few opinions. It’s your opportunity to share comments on the standard for your profession.

This standard looks a lot different than any that you’ve seen before. Here’s quick rundown of why it’s different, and why it matters for you.

PMI is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards developer. PMI’s public exposure process ensures due process, the foundation used for developing and revising ANSI Standards. This means that our standards are developed and approved using a consensus-based process that ensures that all interested stakeholders can participate.

The Standard for Project Management in the PMBOK® Guide is the ANSI standard. The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge and other material are not part of the ANSI standard but further elaborate on application of The Standard within organizations.

Full consensus review means that anyone interested in reviewing and commenting on The Standard draft can do so during the exposure draft period. To help manage adjudication of the thousands of comments, we encourage commenters to focus on substantive comments rather than editorial and grammatical ones.(We may make changes to the text that impact grammatical comments anyhow!)

Once the commenting period closes, the PMBOK® Guide development committee will review all comments, decide how each comment will be addressed, and inform commenters of the final disposition of their comments. Commenters will also receive information about the formal appeals process for requesting a review of the development committee’s decision, should they wish to pursue an appeal.

The exposure draft is available for public review and comment from 8:00 am EST, 15 January 2020 to 5:00 pm EST, 14 February 2020. It is open for review and comment by anyone interested in project management.

In the past, PMI presented the entire PMBOK® Guide – The Standard for Project Management as well as the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge – for public review and comment even though such review is only required for The Standard. For the Seventh Edition, PMI continues the full consensus review for The Standard for Project Management.

To streamline the development process for the full PMBOK® Guide, PMI will not release the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge for public review and comment. The PMBOK® Guide development committee created the content for the Guide. That content was then reviewed by close to 200 volunteers from the global project management community, and edited based on feedback. Even though the Guide will not undergo public exposure, the content reflects a broad practitioner view of good practices that support effective project delivery. This process allows us to bring the PMBOK® Guide to market faster than ever before.

Why is it so different?

We heard that you need a standard that is flexible across different approaches to project delivery. As the project professionals, you’ll choose the predictive, agile, or hybrid approach that meets your need to deliver outcomes – and you need a standard that applies across the full value delivery landscape.

That’s why our new standard is principle-, rather than process-, based. You can expect to see principle statements that summarize generally accepted objectives for the practice of project management and its core function. The new standard will also introduce a more holistic, or systems view, of projects. With a wider lens, the standard will show how project delivery contributes to organizational outcomes.

We also heard that we were behind the times. You don’t need a heavier, denser book. You need a digital solution to access content on demand. While the digital solution will be delivered independently of the exposure draft, we are already testing it with users like you.

Learn more about the changes to the PMBOK® Guide – Seventh Edition.

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Busting Standards Myths

What's in it for me?

The new standard is a consolidated, but still comprehensive, view of best practices for project management. If you’re looking for a deeper dive into some of the processes you had before, you can still reference them through our digital offering (still in beta testing)

It’s the standard that lends credibility and rigor to your profession. It’s a tool for reference during your day-to-day work. And now, it’s positioned to offer principle-based best practices for practitioners across the value delivery spectrum.
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Have more questions? Check out our full FAQ here.

Done this before?

You may have reviewed exposure drafts before, but this one will look a little different. Take a moment to learn why before reviewing the draft. 

No, thanks. Just let me see it now!

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