PMBOK® Guide - 4th Edition Changes


PMI has refined PMBOK further, and introduces various minor and major changes. This chapter gives a description of most of the changes done.

Process Names:

All process names are now in a verb-noun format as follows:

PMBOK 3rd EditionPMBOK 4th Edition
Activity DefinitionDefine Activities
Activity SequencingSequence Activities
Activity Resource EstimatingEstimate Activity Resources
Activity Duration EstimatingEstimate Activity Durations
Schedule DevelopmentDevelop Schedule
Schedule ControlControl Schedule

You should not bother too much about this changes.

Change requests clarified:

Change requests now include following:

  • Change requests

  • Corrective action

  • Preventive action

  • Defect repair

PMBOK Processes:

PMBOK 4th edition decreased number of processes from 44 to 42. Following two processes have been deleted from the PMBOK:

  • Develop Preliminary Scope Statement.

  • Plan Scope.

Following two processes have been added:

  • Identify Stakeholders

  • Collect Requirements

Following processes have been merged into a single process:

  • Plan Purchases and Acquisitions and Plan Contract to Plan Procurements

  • Request Seller Responses and Select Sellers to Conduct Procurements

Project Mgmt Plan vs. Project Documents:

PMBOK 4 gives clear distinction between Project Management Plan and Project Documents. Here is the list of major factors:

Project Management PlanProject Documents
  • Requirements management plan.

  • Communications management plan

  • Risk management plan

  • Procurement management plan

  • Scope management plan

  • Schedule management plan

  • ETC.

  • Assumption log

  • Change log

  • Risk register

  • Duration estimates

  • Resource requirements

  • Source selection criteria

  • ETC.

Project Charter vs. Project Scope Statement:

PMBOK 4 gives clear distinction between Project Charter and Project Scope Statement. Here is the list of major factors:

Project CharterProject Scope Statement
  • Project purpose or justification

  • Measurable project objectives and related success criteria

  • High-level requirements

  • High-level project description

  • Summary milestone schedule

  • Summary budget

  • Project approval requirements

  • Project Manager, responsibility and authority level.

  • Authorizing person

  • Product scope description

  • Project deliverables

  • User acceptance criteria

  • Project boundaries

  • Project constraints

  • Project assumptions

Process Diagrams:

PMBOK 4 deleted Process Flow Diagrams and introduced a new Data Flow Diagrams.

Triple Constraints:

Triple constraint expanded to include quality, resources and risk. So now common project constraints are:

  • Scope

  • Quality

  • Schedule

  • Budget

  • Resources

  • Risk

Interpersonal Skills:

New appendix has been added which explains following interpersonal skills for a project manager:

  • Leadership

  • Team building

  • Motivation

  • Communication

  • Influencing

  • Decision making

  • Political and cultural awareness

  • Negotiation

Miscellaneous Changes:

There are following important considerable changes have been done in the latest version of PMBOK 4th edition.

  • Aligned with other standards

  • A bit more on project life cycles

  • More detail on types of stakeholders

  • Clarified Develop Project Management Plan

  • Deleted Activity on Arrow (AOA)

  • Three point estimating includes PERT equation

  • Added to-complete performance index (TCPI) to Control Cost

  • More discussion on cost of quality

  • Deleted quality baseline

  • Added information on interpersonal skills

  • Moved Manage Project Team from monitoring and controlling to executing.

  • Moved Manage Stakeholder Expectations from monitoring and controlling to executing.

  • Discussed teaming agreements.