Incubating Innovation
Innovation: Running Experiments and Learning

Let’s Rewrite the PMBOK

Future PMBOK
Phew, the wait is over! I have been wanting to talk about this for what seems like ages and now the official announcement is out! If you have ever been frustrated by the PMBOK Guide now here’s your chance to fix it.

We are looking for volunteers to write and review the next edition of the PMBOK Guide. However, this will not be just an update, instead a radical departure from all previous editions aligned with PMI’s new digital transformation strategy. That’s all I can explain for now, but more details will be announced when I can say more.

Meanwhile, we would like people with knowledge of the full value delivery spectrum (waterfall, hybrid, agile, lean, etc.) to participate.

The full details of volunteer opportunities and entry requirements can be viewed at the PMI VRMS site Here.

I will be acting as Co-Lead for the initiative, which is like a co-chair role. However, Chair and Co-Chair sounds too hierarchical so we switched to Lead and Co-Lead role to match the new structures we will be embracing.

If we want to change the future of project management I believe the best way to do that is from the inside outwards by doing the work - not from the outside inwards just criticizing. Longtime readers may recall my 2010 post Raise A Little Hell when the PMBOK v5 Update was being commissioned. Since then we developed the PMI-ACP, PMBOK Agile Appendices, and the Agile Practice Guide.

This is going to be different!

Click here to see full volunteer role details.



Dana V. Baldwin

Nah. Let's just bury it instead.


Its a step in the right direction.

Mike Griffiths

@Dana, Ha, yes, many people think it should just be abandoned. However, there will be another version, so I'd like to help make it as good as it can be.

Charles Goldstein

I think this a much needed project because the PMBOK can be a fantastic resource. I took a bootcamp and understand a lot of what the PMBOK was intending to give over.

As someone looking for volunteers to help overhaul the book, I would consider look for the people teaching the materials at respected PM bootcamps. I learned a lot about project management from these folks. The person teaching my class had over 20 years of PM experience including a lot of military contracting.

I passed the PMI last March because of this course. I also became a much better PM as well.

Alexandre Gbaguidi

Music to my ears ! But when is PMI hoping to release this new version of the PMBOK? Any target date identified yet ?

Mike Griffiths

Charles - Agreed, we need experienced people like this.
Alexandre - PMI has not announced the schedule yet.

Chuck Cobb

Hi Mike,

I just heard that you have taken on this role. This is going to be a very difficult thing to do. PMBOK and Agile are like oil and vinegar in my opinion.

PMBOK is over 500 pages long and PMI has tried to position it as a fairly prescriptive standard for telling you how to do almost every possible thing you might have to do about project management. That whole approach is fairly incompatible with Agile which is intended to be much more flexible and adaptive. Trying to achieve both of those goals in one document seems like almost an impossible task to me.

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.


Chuck Cobb

Mike Griffiths

Hi Chuck,

Thanks for your comment. I agree with your assessment of previous versions of the PMBOK. Our goal is that the next edition will not be any of those things.

If you would like to help please volunteer as a contributor or reviewer at the link mentioned. We are looking for good people.


Rich Maltzman, PMP

Hi Mike,

I have signed up for my third (or is it the fourth) time as a volunteer to help integrate two elements sorely lacking (in my humble but well-researched opinion).

1. Sustainability thinking
2. Cognitive Science

I hope to work with you to make number 7 a lucky number!


Rich Maltzman, PMP
Senior Lecturer, Boston University
Co-Author of Green Project Management (Cleland Award Winner of 2011)

Robert K Wysocki

Version 7 of PMBOK sounds like a breath of fresh air in a stale PM world. I left PMI after several years and moved forward with my own ideas which have been published in the 8th edition of Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Hybrid. Hybrid PM Framework is my own model for the process and practice of PM in the complex world we live in. I'll look forward to participating with you in Version 7.

Bob Wysocki

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