The PMBOK® Guide Is Inclusive Of Agile

Insights | 10 August 2016

Did you realise that the current version (Fifth Edition) of the Project Management Institute’s (PMI)® A Guide of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) is not diametrically opposed to Agile methods?  In reality this should be no surprise given the normalisation of Agile practices within many organisations today.

The Current PMBOK® Guide

Yes, the current guide references the idea of Agile methods, practices and concepts, mentioning iterative, incremental and adaptive lifecycles, user stories, rolling wave planning and even defining the term backlog. Let’s face it though, many still see the PMBOK® Guide as ‘traditional’.

The PMI®’s latest Pulse of the Profession® (2015) highlighted that Agile practices are being applied by increasing numbers of organisations in the management of some or all of their projects. As a result, PMI® is looking at significant Agile enhancements to the next version of the PMBOK® Guide.

The 2017 PMBOK® Guide

The next version of the PMBOK® Guide is scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2017, in English and 10 other languages.

Updates will include:

  •  Agile introductory sections and an Agile appendix
  • More focus on Agile/iterative and incremental practices
  • Introductory sections for each knowledge area, key concepts, trends and emerging practices and tailoring consideration
  • More emphasis on strategic and business knowledge and the PMI Talent Triangle™

The PMI is also planning to publish a Practice Guide on Agile late 2017.

Examination Update?

At this point, the PMI® has stated that the Project Management Professional (PMP)® examination updates are planned for Q1 2018. There will need to be an updated syllabus and examination in line with the new PMBOK® Guide.

So, for now?

Yes, we have the current PMBOK® Guide, which although not doesn’t detail Agile practices, does acknowledge for example, iterative and incremental and adaptive life cycles. The PMP® examination takes this further, already reflecting the latest research by the PMI® and includes questions relating to Agile and lean practices.

“One can use different methodologies and tools (e.g. Agile, waterfall, PRINCE2®) to implement the project management framework.”

PMBOK® Guide, Fifth Edition.

PMI, PMBOK and Pulse of the Profession are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

The PMI Talent Triangle is a mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

PRINCE2® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

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