Project management is a crucial element to the success of any business endeavor. Regardless of the industry, project managers possess the skills and knowledge to assist their organization in effective and efficient project delivery.

As a profession, strong project managers continue to be in high demand, which is why so many professionals are considering a Post Graduate Program in Project Management

If you’re preparing to take your PMP certification exam in 2021 and beyond, you’re in for major changes in PMBOK 7 vs PMBOK 6. Published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), the PMBOK® (Project Management Body of Knowledge) offers comprehensive coverage of the exam’s required knowledge.

Since 1996, PMBOK has provided aspiring project managers with the perfect companion to prepare for the PMP certification exam. The latest PMBOK edition, PMBOK 7, is set to launch August 1, 2021, and will include essential study material for prospective project managers.

Here are the major differences between PMBOK 7 vs PMBOK 6 to watch out for as you study for the PMP exam.

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PMBOK Content

The latest version of the PMBOK set to be released this summer includes a major content overhaul from the PMBOK 6 edition. Reflective of shifting project management priorities, PMBOK 7 focuses performance over processes.


PMBOK 6 covers project environment, the role of the project manager, and the 10 essential knowledge areas within project management.

PMBOK 6 Knowledge Areas

Within PMBOK 6, each knowledge area is accompanied by processes, inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs. The 10 project management knowledge areas in PMBOK 6 are defined as:

  1. Integration – Implement the right procedures to complete the project’s required tasks.
  2. Scope – Document all project goals and deliverables, deadlines, and budgets to better plan for the project.
  3. Schedule – Maintain a steady pace to complete the project within the required timeframe.
  4. Cost – Manage the project’s budget through estimating and allocating all related costs.
  5. Quality – Manage and maintain a high level of quality throughout the project.
  6. Resource – Improve project efficiency through planning and scheduling the project’s resources.
  7. Communications - Plan, manage and monitor communications to ensure the right people are receiving the right messages.
  8. Risk – Anticipating potential risks to better plan for their potential outcomes.
  9. Procurement – Secure all required materials and services to deliver the project.
  10. Stakeholder – Keep stakeholders engaged throughout the project’s duration


The contents within PMBOK 7 include tailoring, models, methods, and artifacts, and eight performance domains. There’s a drastic shift from processes to performance. 

The performance domains are focused on overall outcomes rather than just the processes and techniques used within a project’s executions. The importance of project quality is emphasized.

PMBOK 7 Tailoring

Tailoring is a new framework found in PMBOK 7 and is based on the concept that a single approach may not allow project managers to meet the required project deliverables, organizational demands, and project needs. 

Once a project manager has selected an initial development approach, project tailoring encourages the manager to adapt a project’s specs to meet all project requirements.

PMBOK 7 Models, Methods, Artifacts

The new models, methods, and artifacts section found in PMBOK 7 vs PMBOK 6 provides users with a plethora of resources such as articles, videos, and templates, tying them to the performance domain of which they would be most useful. This offers great value for aspiring and working project managers alike.

PMBOK 7 Performance Domains 

While earlier PMBOK versions focused on knowledge areas, the 7th edition has replaced the traditional knowledge areas with performance domains. 

The eight performance domains summarize the related elements essential to a project’s success: 

  1. Team
  2. Stakeholders
  3. Life cycle
  4. Planning
  5. Uncertainty and ambiguity
  6. Delivery
  7. Performance
  8. Project work

The new PMBOK performance domains focus on delivering value to the organization and its stakeholders through the project delivery.

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Project Management Standards

A second substantial change between PMBOK 7 vs PMBOK 6 can be found under their unique project management standards.


In PMBOK 6, the standard for project management included five comprehensive domains — initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. These standards summarize the processes that project managers apply to deliver a successful project. 


In the 7th edition of PMBOK, we see these standards pivot from project management processes to project delivery principles. 

PMBOK 7 Value Delivery System

In the past, the PMI considered a project and operations to be two separate entities until the project was completed. The new Value Delivery System introduced in PMBOK 7 integrates projects and operations to deliver the best value for the business.

PMBOK 7 Project Management Standards

The 7th PMBOK edition sheds the 6th edition’s five project domains and replaces them with 12 new project management standards:

  1. Stewardship 
  2. Team 
  3. Stakeholders 
  4. Value 
  5. Holistic Thinking 
  6. Leadership 
  7. Tailoring 
  8. Quality  
  9. Complexity  
  10. Opportunities & Threats 
  11. Adaptability & Resilience 
  12. Change Management
Do you have the skills required for the role of a project manager? Assess yourself with the PMP Practice Exam Questions.

Simplilearn is Your Authorized Training Partner

If you’re working toward receiving your PMP certification, your PMP exam preparation may feel like navigating uncharted waters. KNowing the differences between PMBOK 7 vs PMBOK 6 is a great first step.

Then, consider letting Simplilearn pave the way. As an Authorized Training Partner for the PMP exam, we make studying for the PMP exam easier than ever! Take the PMP Exam Practice Test and our simulator will help you prepare for your final PMP exam.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.