President’s Corner – Certification Changes
Supporting the Emerging PM Practitioner

September 2019


New PMP Exam Facts:

There has been much buzz over the last several months about the PMP exam changing again.  The original message was that the new test would be launched this December.  However, due to feedback from stakeholders that more time was needed to prepare for the changes, PMI has listened and responded by pushing the date back to July 1, 2020.    The last date to take the current exam will be June 30, 2020.

But just what are these new changes and what is all the fuss about? 

Every 3 to 5 years PMI conducts research to determine changes in the profession, in order to keep the PMP exam fresh and relevant.  The current exam was based on research from 2015.  The new exam content uses a different vernacular and framework, that aligns well with current organizational cultures and trends.  It includes predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches.

The new exam content is comprised of 3 domains – People (42%) – emphasizing the skills and activities associated with effectively leading a project team, Process (50%) – reinforcing the technical aspects of managing a project, and Business Environment (8%) – highlighting the connection between projects and organization strategy.  Domains can be thought of as high-level knowledge areas.  Within these 3 domains are tasks, which are the fundamental responsibilities of the project manager within each domain. Each task contains enablers which are illustrative examples of the work associated with the task.

Below is a table that shows the tasks within each new domain.  Those shaded are new areas of content from the previous version.:




Business Environment

Manage Conflict

Execute project with the urgency required to deliver business value

Plan and manage project compliance

Lead a Team

Manage communications

Evaluate and deliver project benefits and value

Support Team Performance

Assess and manage risks

Evaluate and address external business environment changes for impact on scope

Empower team members & stakeholders

Engage stakeholders

Support organizational change

Ensure team members/ stakeholders are adequately trained

Plan and manage budget and resources


Build a team

Plan and manage schedule


Address and remove impediments, obstacles, and blockers for the team

Plan and manage quality of products/deliverables


Negotiate project agreements

Plan and manage scope


Collaborate with stakeholders

Integrate project planning activities


Build shared understanding

Manage project changes


Engage and support virtual teams

Plan and manage procurement


Define team ground rules

Manage project artifacts


Mentor relevant stakeholders

Determine appropriate project methodology/methods and practices


Promote team performance through the application of emotional intelligence

Establish project governance structure



Manage project issues



Ensure knowledge transfer for project continuity



Plan and manage project/phase closure or transitions



Regardless of when you decide to take your test – before or after the change, here are some tips to remember:

·       Be sure to schedule your exam early – usually 3 months in advance. 

·       Remember, you can only schedule your exam after you’ve paid for it. 

·       Once you start the online application you have 90 days to complete and submit it.   

·       You have 1 year from the date of your application approval to pass the exam.


CAPM Improvements:

There are also some exciting changes that have been rolled out to the CAPM exam program starting August 28, 2019:

·       PMI has eliminated the 1500 hour work experience requirement for new CAPM applicants.

·       Applicants must still have 23 hours of project management education and a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent) to apply.

·       CAPM certification holders no longer need the 35 hours of education required to apply for the PMP certification exam.

Beginning in September 2019, CAPM test takers will see a small percentage of new question types.  These should help prepare for PMP style questions.:

·       Matching questions: Test-takers will see two lists (e.g., project management processes and process groups) and be asked to match items from one list with items from the other.

·       Multiple choice questions with multiple correct answers


PM Edge

Finally – for the emerging professional who simply wants to consume small bite size chunks of practical, usable project management career help and information, PMI has deployed a tool called PM Edge which has podcasts, articles, videos, blogs, and much more.  Check it out…