March 26

The 5 MAJOR PMP® Changes – and what you should do! [Updated]

PMBoK Guide, PMI Certifications, PMP, PMP Exam Tips, Resourses


PMP® Exam has changed
on January 02nd 2021! 

In this article you will learn about the 5 major changes that has been applied and how to prepare for the NEW PMP Exam:

PMI has changed the PMP® Exam based on the new PMP Exam Content outline PMI has released in June 2019! For further information you might check out the official PMI Website HERE

Lets have a look at the Changes in Detail, what they mean for all the PMP aspirants like you:

The 5 Major Changes to the PMP® Exam:


Moving away from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)

Many PMP aspirants believe - and in many sources this is also misleadingly described - that the PMP exam is based on the PMBoK Guide. However, this is not the case. The PMP exam is not a test about or on the PMBOK Guide.

When question writers develop questions, they must refer to at least two source documents for each question. This ensures that the question is based on reliable sources. Until now, the PMBOK Guide was mostly used as one of the sources, but it was always accompanied by at least one non-PMBOK source.

As the PMP exam moves to more person-based skills and agile approaches, these sources will increasingly not include the PMBOK Guide. With the structuring of the PMP Exam Content Outline according to persons, processes and business domains, the PMI continues to underline the departure of PMBOK-focused topics.

Crucial for PMP aspirants is understanding and applying the concepts described in the areas, tasks and capabilities listed in the PMP Exam Content Outline.


New Focus 

So far the domains of the PMP ECO corresponded to the 5 process groups from the PMBoK Guide (initiating, planning, implementing, etc.), which is probably also a reason for the misunderstanding under point 1. 

The new examination will be based on three new areas: People, processes and business environment. These new areas fit better with the PMI Talent Triangle® areas of Leadership, Technical Project Management and Business and Strategic Work.

Since project management takes place in a variety of industries, the Business Environment area only tests universal concepts and does not address the specifics of project types. The breakdown of questions between these areas is as follows:

People: 42%.
Process: 50%.
Business environment: 8%.

Join the
LinkedIn Group

Our supportive online community is the best place to connect with others just like you.


New Content - New Flow

The task analysis (that PMI has performed in order the create the new PMP ECO)  showed that many project managers use agile approaches or agile concepts in hybrid lifecycles. To reflect this, the new study covers the entire value chain, including predictive, hybrid and agile approaches.

The inclusion of agile concepts and the increased emphasis on the human aspects of projects represent a major change.

Concepts such as servant leadership, conflict resolution and retrospectives were previously the domain of the PMI-ACP® exam, but are now more frequently dealt with in the PMP® exam.

The new PMP Exam Course Flow

So far almost all PMP preparation courses and books are either based on the PMBoK Guide Knowledge Areas or on the 5 process groups (Initiate; Planning; ...), right?

With the new PMP Exam, PMI introduces a new "Flow" to the generalist approach and thus to all methods, be they predictive, hybrid or agile.

This new "Flow" includes the following 5 steps:

1. building a high-performing team
2. starting the project
3. doing the work
4. keeping the team on track
5. keeping the business in mind

Each of these levels contains various Tasks and Objectives and is mapped to the corresponding area and tasks in the PMP Exam Content Outline.

I will cover each level of the new flow and the included Tasks and Objectives in detail in future articles. You may join our Newsletter to never miss a piece of new content!

For now, here is an overview of the new flow for your orientation:

Join us in WhatsApp!

Get direct Support within our WhatsApp Group of PMP Aspirants and Experts!

PrepCast 4


New Question Types

Another change recently announced by PMI is the introduction of some new question types. PMI will introduce question types that differ from the traditional multiple-choice format with four options and a correct answer.

New formats include drag and drop and clicking a graphics area. These new question types allow you to ask questions such as how to select a chart that best fits a described scenario, or determine which part of an image applies to a described situation.

You can see a view examples HERE >>>: NEW PMP EXAM QUESTIONTYPES

Join us in Telegram!

Get direct Support within our Telegram Group of PMP Aspirants and Experts!

PrepCast 4


Educational (R)evolution

In addition to these changes regarding the PMP exam, PMI has also announced and already performed significant changes regarding the community of trainers (formerly "Registered Education Providers; so called R.E.P.s; now "Authorized Training Partners; A.T.P.s) (for more information see also here:

The concrete effects of this announcement on the PMP aspirants cannot yet be assessed.

Fact is; ATPs are restricted from:
1. Publishing and selling an online PMP Exam Prep course (e.g. the PM PrepCast!).
2. Selling any product bundles that contain an online self-directed PMP Exam Prep course.
3. Writing and publishing a PMP Prep Book (e.g. Rita's book)!

However, first announcements clearly suggest that at least the prices for PMP preparation courses, which may only be conducted as live or virtual-live courses, will increase significantly.

This Points where originally published in the article by Mike Griffith at : 5 Major Changes to the PMP Exam

Join the
Facebook Group

Our supportive online community is the best place to connect with others just like you.


PMI is currently undergoing revolutionary changes at many levels. These include certifications and above all, of course, the PMP exam.

The changes regarding the PMP exam are dramatic this time!

In addition, there are the announced changes regarding the R.E.Ps/ATPs which cause a lot of uncertainty among training providers.
And even though the majority of the changes are to be welcomed, they also involve huge uncertainties for all PMP aspirants with regard to the time after January the 2nd 2021! 

At least one can assume that there will be a phase of adjustment and corrections. 

What are youre thoughts?

Please let us know down below in the comments! We would be also interested to hear about your preparation and Exam experiences! Thanks in Advance!


PMP Prep Kickstarter >>>

kickstarter 3d cover

No clue HOW and WHERE to start? 
That free Ebook will show you!

Click here to get your Ebook immediately and kick start your PMP preparation! For instance you will learn which study materials you "must have" and which are optional.
You will get advice from Experts on how to start and how to set up your learning environment in a way to gain success!

About Markus

Markus Kopko, PMP

20+ Years of Relevant Experience

Markus has more than 20 years of management and leadership experience, including more than 18 years in Project and Program Management.


Visit My Website
View All Posts

One of Markus's central objectives and motivations is to implement and deploy the PMI project philosophy and a PMI-based project management methodology in his company.

Social Media Thought Leader

Markus set up a few PMI certification related LinkedIn groups and is co-administrator of the biggest and most active PMP related LinkedIn group:'I want to be a PMP'. Markus is also one of the most viewed contributors in PMP and PMI related content/questions at Quora. He also founded his own Project Management related website at



certification, New PMP Exam 2021, PMI, PMP, PMP Exam Tips, preparation

You may also like

✪ Close The Gap: Get the “PMP Exam Agile Booster” Course! ✪

✪ Close The Gap: Get the “PMP Exam Agile Booster” Course! ✪

✪ Your GOAL for 2022: PASS the PMP® Exam! Here are the BEST Prep Tools to do so [DISCOUNT INCL. till 12/31/2021 – hurry … ✪

✪ Your GOAL for 2022: PASS the PMP® Exam! Here are the BEST Prep Tools to do so [DISCOUNT INCL. till 12/31/2021 – hurry … ✪
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Subscribe and get notifications of all new articles, PMP tips and tricks, Resources and exclusive discount offers!
We will send you a mail from time to time. We do not send spam or share your data with third party's. You are free to unsubscribe at any time. Your privacy is protected. I will never share or sell your email.
I do not want your Newsletter; thank you!
Skip to toolbar