PMBOK 7th Edition Structure First Look

PMBOK 7th Edition Structure First Look
PMBOK 7th Edition Structure First Look

The first thing to point out is that The Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK 7th edition is out. On the positive side, PMI members can download the PDF version on the new standard. To point out, my previous post describes frequently asked questions related to PMBOK 7th edition. However, this blog post is about the first impression of the new PMBOK 7th edition.

PMBOK 7th Edition Structure

First, it is a relief to see the new standard come in just 370 pages as compared to the earlier version. The latest version also has colored graphics which makes reading a bit more interesting. Apart from the cosmetic changes, there is considerable change in the overall structure of the guide.

The most important point is that the PMBOK seventh edition is divided into two main parts namely; the standard for project management and secondly, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.

Moreover, in PMBOK 7th edition both the project management standard and the PMBOK Guide have different content.  As a result, reading the full guide becomes essential.


The Standard for Project Management PMBOK 7th Edition

As a matter of fact, this new standard is applicable to all industry types and the different project delivery approaches. The standard for project management includes two major components, firstly, a system for value delivery, and secondly, the 12 project management principles.

A System for Value Delivery

A system for value delivery consists of the following

  1. Creating Value
  2. Organizational Governance System
  3. Functions Associated with Projects
  4. The Project Environment
  5. Product Management Considerations.



Project Management Principles

PMBOK 7th edition describes 12 project management principles in order to guide the behaviors and actions of project professionals and other project stakeholders. The following enumerates the 12 project management principles.


  • Be a diligent, respectful, and caring steward.


  • Create a collaborative project team environment.


  • Effectively engage with stakeholders.


  • Focus on value.

Systems Thinking

  • Recognize, evaluate, and respond to system interactions.

  • Demonstrate leadership behaviors.


  • Tailor based on context.


  • Build quality into processes and deliverables


  • Navigate complexity.


  • Optimize risk responses.

Adaptability & Resilience

  • Embrace adaptability and resiliency.


  • Enable change to achieve the envisioned future state.



A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK 7th Edition

A guide to the project management body of knowledge seventh edition consists of the following sections.

  1. Project Performance Domains
  2. Tailoring
  3. Models, Methods, and Artifacts

Project Performance Domains

The following paragraph enumerates the 8 project performance domains.


  • The stakeholder performance domain includes activities and functions associated with project stakeholders


  • The team domain includes activities and functions associated with people who are responsible for producing project deliverables

Development Approach & Life cycle

  • This domain addresses the development approach and life cycle phase of the project.


  • Planning involves initial, ongoing, and evolving organization and coordination necessary for delivering project deliverables and outcomes.

Project Work

  • Project work is associated with project processes, managing physical resources, and fostering a learning environment.


  • Delivering the scope and quality that the project was undertaken to achieve


  • Assessing project performance and taking appropriate actions to maintain acceptable performance.


  • Involves Risk and Uncertainty




It is equally important to realize that the new section on tailoring clearly describes what to tailor. This section also illustrates the process that can be used to achieve this. Further, the new PMBOK 7th edition provides specific guidance to tailoring.

Also read: PMBOK Seventh Edition FAQ Answered

Models, Methods, and Artifacts


A model describes a thinking strategy to explain a process, framework, or phenomenon. In addition, PMBOK 7th edition describes a total of 23 different models. The following is the list of common models.

  • 02 Situational Leadership Models
  • 03 Communication Models
  • 04 Motivational Models
  • 05 Change Models
  • 02 Complexity Models
  • 02 Project Team Development Models
  • 05 Other Models.

As a matter of fact, project management process groups are now part of the other models.


A method is a means for achieving an outcome, result, or project deliverable. E.g. Lessons Learned.


An artifact is a template, document, or project deliverable. E.g. Risk Register, Lessons Learned Register.


As can be seen, PMBOK 7th edition ushers a new era for this guide and project management standard. In fact, the new updated and revised edition is a paradigm shift from a process-based standard to a principle-based approach. To conclude, a lot more needs to be learned and understood about this new standard.

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