A Short History of PMI® , the PMBOK® Guide, and the PMP®  Exam

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

The first credential for PMI® was the Project Management Professional (PMP)®, and the first certifications were awarded in 1984.
1969 – Birth of PMI® – First Meeting is held in Atlanta, GA.
1984 – First PMP® Exams are administered
1987 – March – “Project Management Body of Knowledge” is released – not hardcopy – sections A through H, 5-6 pages in each section.
1994 – August – New exposure draft of the “PMBOK® Guide” is released – 64 pages. There are eight Knowledge Areas. (Integration Management is not included until the 1996 First edition.) Test is a six hour exam of 320 questions! (There are 40 questions for each of the eight Knowledge Areas. Each question has five multiple-choice answers.)
1996 – PMBOK® Guide, First Edition is released – 176 Pages. Nine Knowledge Areas and 37 processes.
2000 –PMBOK® Guide, 2000 Edition is released. (Second Edition) – 211 Pages, Nine Knowledge Areas and 39 processes.
December 2004, – PMBOK® Guide, Third Edition is released. 390 pages; 44 Processes; 592 ITTO. August 2005 – Test changes to be based on Third Edition, and test becomes much more difficult! (PMI lowers the passing score to 61% to accommodate the increased difficulty of the exam.)
2007 – PMBOK® Guide earns the ANSI/ISO/IEC
December 2008, – PMBOK® Guide, Fourth Edition is released. 467 pages; 42 Processes; 517 ITTO. August 2009 – Test changes to be based on Fourth Edition.
August 31, 2011 – 30% of the questions are changed to conform to the latest 2011 RDS (Role Delineation Study)
December 2012, – PMBOK® Guide, Fifth Edition is released. 589 pages; 47 Processes; 619 ITTO! August 2013 – Test changes to be based on Fifth Edition.
January 11, 2016 – Test changes to conform to the latest 2015 RDS (Role Delineation Study)
September 6, 2017 – PMBOK® Guide, Sixth Edition is released. 756 pages; 49 Processes; 662 ITTO (1,418 if you count all the bullets!) – Test will change to be based on Sixth Edition in Q1 2018.

There are a number of practice standards that also support the PMBOK® Guide. These include practice standards for the WBS, Risk, Configuration Management, Scheduling, Agile, and Earned Value. The PMBOK® Guide and these practice standards can be downloaded for free from pmi.org for PMI members.


Latest Number of PMP® Credential Holders Worldwide and other PMI®  certification numbers


From the January 2018 PMIToday magazine,

the latest statistics are – (as of November 30, 2017):


Members of PMI® : 497,337

PMP® – 809,666 (Project Management Professional Certification)
CAPM® – 34,243 (Certified Associate in Project Management)
PMI-ACP® – 18,329 (PMI® Agile Certified Practitioner)
PMI-RMP® – 4,398 (PMI® Risk Management Professional)
PMI-SP® – 1,767 (PMI® Scheduling Professional)
PgMP® –2,120 (Program Management Professional)
PMI-PBA® – 1,870 (PMI® Professional in Business Analysis)
PfMP® – 489 (Portfolio Management Professional)

Number of PMBOK® Guides in circulation – More than 5.7 million!

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

PMP® Washington DC Favorite Trend – Agile Management vs. Traditional Project Management

Agile Project Management is the most important trend in project management in my Washington DC PMI chapter, with more presentations and attendance on Agile than any other topic.

Let’s try to explain why Agile is so important today, and how is it different than other project management models.


What industry does project management originate from?

PMP’s roots are in construction and engineering; engineering professors like Harold J. Kerzner influenced project management with his theory of stochastic stability, in the field of Control Theory. This nature of control and a sequential approach to project management draws from these roots.

The Traditional Waterfall Model Lifecycle

Washington DC PMP and PMI Favorite Topic - Agile Management

For construction and engineering, you’re going to do things in a sequential way. You’re going to do predictive planning.

  • you better have locked down, air-tight blueprints
  • you sequentially move through the life cycle
  • you develop high level requirements in your conceptual design
  • then you move into detailed design
  • and only at this point do you move into construction , testing, and finally, user acceptance.

That’s also how we developed software back in the early days.

I worked with COBOL programming in 70’s, using the traditional Waterfall approach.

We might spend more than a month going out, canvassing stakeholders and getting user requirements, and put that into a functional specification.

Then we could move from conceptual design to into detailed design, figure out file layouts, hierarchically into program models and subroutines.

We might spend 2-3 months doing detailed design documents, the system architecture and subsystem specs, and get that approved.

Only then did we move into coding, programming and development.

For COBOL programmers, a typical application circa 1978 could take a year, maybe 18 months, to write the code, go through testing phases, and approval.

At the end we finally bring in the customer for user acceptance testing

Why Agile Management is the Topic of Choice for PMP Washington DC

What happens after all this development? Developers are not happy, because it was so long before the customers got to see the applications, and developers could see response times and throughput times. The 2-year development period meant customers got old software ideas, not reflecting current trends and new customer requirements.

It’s not until customers can really kick the tires and test this all out that developers could figure out what they needed in the first place.

Which is why agile management is so frequently discussed, and attended, in the Washington DC PMI Chapter. In today’s world of just in time development, lean and agile, the iterative process is leading the way. How we manage iterations often defines success or failure for today’s project managers.

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

3 Intrinsic Advantages of a PMP®  Prep Boot Camp

PMP Bootcamp Whiteboard
PMP Bootcamp Whiteboard


Every person has a different learning style that works best for them. Some are autodidacts and can teach themselves without anyone’s direct help.

Yet statistically, most students learn best in a group environment. Nothing quite replaces the live classroom.

For PMP® Prep, there is a required 35 contact hour certificate to qualify for the examination. While you can do this online, in a boot camp, or blended online and live training, many opt for the boot camp because it is one focused week of learning.

3 intrinsic advantages students find in a PMP® Prep Boot Camp:

1. It packs all the learning into a narrow window of time. The Boot camp also prepares you for the long, 4 hours spent taking the actual PMP® exam. After going through a Boot camp, many get acclimated to the intensity and pace of PMP® testing.

2. Excellent instructors; choose who teaches you carefully of course, because this is a key advantage for you. Look for instructors who are long time practitioners of PMP® , coming from real world experience instead of theory.

PMP® is one of the few places you can learn directly from peers, who know how and why to deliver your training so you get the best results. Nothing replaces a good teacher in a live classroom, in terms of retaining and being able to apply your knowledge to the actual PMP® exam..

3. The PMP® Prep Boot camp is a smart choice to do ,if you take the test immediately after the Boot camp. This helps in two ways, giving you a schedule with your Boot camp and exam clearly scheduled in a short time frame.

Your mind is also fresh and filled with detailed information, which if applied closely after the Bootcamp can help improve chances for passing.

Boot Camp or Not? It’s  Your Choice….

A certain percentage of people will train themselves using books and videos. If you are able to learn independently, and keep to your schedules, a PMP® Boot camp may not be needed.

Still a book cannot share immediate experience and answer questions like a good instructor.

The reason PMP® Boot camps are so popular is also because most people like to learn in a social situation, with peers influencing and helping them grow. Combine that with good classroom instruction, and you can see why so many choose this option. It’s the one most are familiar with in their education.

In recent years, a blended mix of online prep with videos, leading to shorter live classes (like over a weekend) have become popular. This blend combines the effectiveness of live training in a shorter time frame, driven by online prep.

If you can do the online prep, you can shorten the time you spend in a live classroom, turning a 4-5 day Boot camp into a 2 day weekend intensive.

While there are many options to a Boot camp, this is still one of the most popular ways to train because people are accustomed to this type of learning, and with a quality instructor the value of the Boot camp to your success is amplified.

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


Is the PMP®  IT Certification worthwhile for IT professionals?

PMP Exam Prep


More than many professions, those in IT know it’s all about project experience. While study and certification are crucial to developing and validating core career capabilities, isn’t experience enough?

If you asked that answer to an IT professional, they might agree, but it’s those looking to hire who use PMP® Certification as one of the central requirements.

It makes sense when you understand that the PMP® Certification is:

1. Created to test your ability to swiftly sum up a situation and analyze it, problem solve, and find the solution that’s good for everyone, from stakeholders down to you.

IT is built on dependencies; just as code has technical dependencies that must be clearly specified, the PMP® Certification exam tests the ability to understand the impact of a decision on the whole business.

2. Based on a problem-solution focus making PMP® Certification a trusted measure of project management capability, combined with experience. You can’t have one without the other in IT.

3. Designed to show your knowledge applied with critical thinking on the actual test. By passing, you show that you know how to apply PMI® processes to test scenarios that are likely not directly related to what you do at work. You are showing the ability to solve problems in a simulation.

4. Not finished after you pass. You are expected to keep your project management skills up to date. Passing the test is the first step to ongoing, project management training.

Project Manager is the one of the top 10 paid positions, and the 4th leading job placement opportunity.

Passing shows that you’ve applied your knowledge with a deadline and without knowing the exact questions being asked beforehand.

Sounds much like a career in IT, doesn’t it?

Take advantage of PMP® Certification to improve your project management skills and knowledge, while adding an important certification that shows you know what to do, and will continue to keep your knowledge current as a Project Manager.

While experience may open the door, PMP® Certification for IT professionals validates that you know what you’re doing as a project management professional. Beyond worthwhile, for many companies this is part of the evaluation process for new and internal employees looking for promotion.

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

What are the PMP®  Certification Benefits?

The PMP® certification benefits are essential for career growth. Among these are:

  • It is, by far, the most important certification for Project Management today. As of Summer of 2016, there are now more than 720,000 PMP® certified project managers worldwide!


  • The Federal government has standardized on the PMP® , and requires this certification for most of their project managers and program managers.


  • Also, the Federal government requires the PMP® certification for most contract project managers – (working on Federal contracts).


  • Therefore, for a consulting firm, having PMP® certified project managers may help the company win business. Their certified project managers are valuable resources.


  • Students studying to pass the PMP® are exposed to mainstream concepts, standards and processes that apply to all projects. Most students studying to pass the PMP® have their eyes opened to whole new areas, and come away with a much deeper appreciation of core processes and techniques that are required for successful project management.


  • Recent salary surveys indicate project managers with the PMP® certification are paid 10% more than PMs without it


  • In today’s economy, having the PMP® certification is often a necessary requirement to get to the first level of interviews for project management positions. This is especially true in the Washington, DC area.
PMI , PMP and PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Overview of the PMP®  Application Process

PMP Application Process
1) Getting Started with the Application Now

Get started on your application right away.

Don’t put this off until after taking a PMP® Prep class, because that will likely result in delaying the earliest time you can take the test until approximately two or more weeks until after the class has ended.

(Most students say it takes more than a day to fill out the application, PMI®  will then take a week to process the application, and if the application is audited, that will likely add on another week!)

The best strategy is to get the test scheduled within a week to two after finishing your PMP®  Prep class.

(It’s a “Use it or Lose it” proposition!)

In the class, we cover a tremendous amount of material, new definitions and concepts at a very rapid pace, and you really need to plan to put in 2-3 hours a day reviewing notes, doing practice tests and, generally, staying very current with the materials.

I then ask, “Are you going to do this consistently three or more weeks after class has ended?” I doubt that very much. So, plan to take the test right after completing your PMP®  Prep training. In order to do that, it’s best to have the application completed as much as possible before starting class. Here are some additional points about the application process:

  • Again, plan on taking a full day to complete the application


  • It’s best to fill out the application online. Go to http://www.pmi.org, click on the “Certifications” link in the top navigation bar, and then click on the link for filling out the PMP® application.


  • You can enter project experience going back eight years, but for any project you use, you need to be the key focal point that was “leading” or “directing” the project work. It’s not necessary that you were actually called “Project Manager,” but you need to be in fact the person that led the work, and were in fact the project manager.


  • A change was made to the application process sometime in 2014, so that it now stops you from entering any additional experience once you have reached 4,500 hours of experience. (This assumes you have a four year college degree. Otherwise, it will stop you after entering 7,500 hours.)

Therefore, enter your most current experience first. This assumes you have had the most authority in your more recent projects, and also that it will be easier for you to contact managers for the more recent projects. If your application is audited, you will need to get signatures from these managers vouching that you were the person leading and directing the project activities. For more information on the audit process, see below.

  • You can use experience outside of the normal workplace. For example, if you led or directed activities for a charity, your church, or a local civic group – that’s project management!


  • Roughly, two-thirds of the experience you list should be divided evenly between the categories of “planning,” “executing” or “monitoring and controlling.”  The remaining one-third should be divided between the categories of “initiating” and “closing.”  (See notes below describing the five process groups.)


  • There’s also a requirement on the application for 35 contact hours (or Project Management education hours). These are credit hours from any formal project management instruction you’ve taken. This could be virtual training or classroom training. There is no time restriction on how long ago the training occurred, but you will want to have a certificate for the class in case your application is audited.

(Again, for more information on the audit, see below!)  Many students use the hours from their PMP®  Prep class for the 35 contact hours: (most four day PMP®  Prep classes provide the 35 hours in and of themselves). In this case, the application cannot be submitted to PMI®  until the PMP®  Prep class is completed.

2) Submitting the Application and the Audit Process

  • If you have earned the 35 contact hours before attending a PMP®  class, you should submit your application before your PMP®  Prep class. (Again, this will enable you to schedule the test soon after finishing your class.)


  • After submitting your application, PMI®  will take approximately one week (five business days) to process your application.


  • After approving your application, PMI®  will inform you that you are now ready to pay for the exam. Do join PMI®  before paying for the exam. PMI®  will reduce the price of the test from $555 for non-members to $405 for members. This pays almost exactly for one year’s membership in PMI. As a PMI®  member there are certain advantages you have. Among other things, these include:


  • You can download for free a .pdf version of the PMBOK® ®  This will allow you to do electronic searches which is quite helpful.


  • Later, (after obtaining your PMP® !) – you might be interested in other PMI®  certifications such as the PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP or others. You can download free electronic copies of the Practice Standards for these. There are also Practice Standards for the WBS, for Earned Value, for Configuration Management, … You can download these for free as a PMI®  member.


  • After obtaining your PMP®, you can earn PDUs online on the PMI.org website by attending webinars, or viewing recordings of past webinars.   


  • Within moments of paying for the exam, you will find out if you have been selected for an audit!

PMI randomly audits up to 20% of all applications. The audit is not triggered by anything in the application; the audit process is just one key way PMI®  is validating the PMP®  certification.

If you are audited, PMI®  sends you an email with a .pdf attachment that contains letters to go to all the managers you used in your application. You will need to obtain their signatures on the letters vouching for the experience you reported.

Just in case you do get audited, it makes sense to do some “due diligence,” and check with them ahead of time, and let them know you are applying for the PMP® . Make sure you can locate them! – (In case this experience is from several years ago at a different company).

Let them know you are applying for the PMP®, you may get audited, and if so, you will need their signature vouching for the hours and type of experience you are submitting.

Additionally, you will need to provide a copy of your college degree and certificates of the classes you used for the 35 contact hours.

  • You may also have to provide more details for the experience you listed in the application showing that you have appropriate experience in all five process groups: (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing) – see below for more information on the process groups.


  • You will package together all the signed letters from your managers, along with the other documentation, and ship this to PMI.


  • It takes approximately another week for PMI®  to process this information, and complete the audit.


  • Once the audit is completed – (or, in the more normal case where you are not audited) – you will receive an email from PMI®  with an authorization code to use for scheduling your exam at a Prometric testing center. (You do have the option to take a written test, but I’ve only had one or two students use this option in the last five years. With the written test, it may take over a month to get the results on the test!)


  • You will use the authorization code to log into the Prometric website – http://www.prometric.com and schedule your exam. (You will be able to see all the testing centers within a certain radius of an address or zip-code you enter. You can then pick any of the testing centers, and check available times to schedule your test.)


3) Review of the Five Process Groups and Activities That Belong to Each Category

For your application, you need to list activities that fall into all five process groups defined in the PMBOK® Guide: (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing).

The bulk (probably about two-thirds) of your time should be comprised by activities in Planning, Executing and Monitoring & Controlling; but you do need to find some activities that also belong to Initiating and Closing. Here are high-level descriptions of the categories, and examples of activities that would occur in each category.


  • ­This is where the project is first authorized (Develop Charter), and the phases of the project are authorized.


  • It also includes the activities to identify all the stakeholders: people who are positively or negatively impacted by project.


  • So, list any experience where you assisted senior management in doing project selection: analyzing the ROI or benefits that are expected by the projects being considered. List activities to assist the sponsor in creating and issuing the project charter. Also, describe activities you were involved in to identify the different stakeholders for the project, define their powers and influence on the project, and define strategies for how you will manage the stakeholders.


  • Though it doesn’t need to be a lot, you do need to list some activities in your application that fit into this category.


  • Of the 47 processes in the PMBOK® Guide, 24 are planning processes. We do planning in all ten knowledge areas, so a large amount of the experience you list will fit into the planning category.


  • This includes activities to define the scope statement, create the WBS, develop the schedule, and do cost estimating and determine the budget for the project. It also includes planning for Risks, Quality, Human Resources, Communications and Outsourcing (Procurement) for the project. All these “subsidiary plans” and baselines become part of the Project Management Plan – the most important plan of all.


  • As you describe your planning activities in your application, use the PMI®  terminology and processes as best as you can.


  • As a project manager, you spend the bulk of your time directing execution against the project management plan: seeing that all the elements of the plan are being correctly followed and implemented. This includes:


  • Ensuring deliverables & work called for in the plan are created at the right time, by the right people, in the right sequence


  • Running meetings and distributing reports: (status reports, progress reports, variance reports, … )


  • Managing and handling other project communications


  • Doing team development


  • Managing stakeholders


  • Assisting with procurement negotiations for outsourcing activities


Monitoring & Controlling

  • Once we start executing, we must monitor & control our progress. We must check and compare our actual performance for the project against the project management plan.


Monitoring and Controlling occurs in almost every knowledge area – (all except HR), – and it occurs from the very beginning of the project to the final close. Describe activities in your application that address:


  • Checking variance against any of the three baselines: Scope, Schedule or Cost baselines


  • Doing Earned Value measurements and forecasting


  • If there is variance from any of the baselines in the project management plan, recommending corrective actions to get back on plan


  • Even better, be proactive and do risk management properly, so negative risks are planned for and anticipated. Take steps in advance to avoid, mitigate or transfer the negative risks.


  • Realize that change is a fact of life for projects. Therefore, plan for change, – and  always have –  a formal configuration management and change control systems.


  • As change occurs, ensure change requests go through a formal evaluation and approval process. Ensure baselines and other affected parts of the project management plan are properly updated; ensure baselines are consistent with one another, and balance is maintained between the “ triple constraints” impacting the project.



  • Just like you did for the Initiating Process Group, you must find some project activities in your application that fall into the Closing category.  This includes both steps to formally close the project, steps to close project phases, and steps to formally close out any subcontracts negotiated for the project. This includes activities such as:


  • Getting the customer’s final, formal acceptance of all project deliverables


  • Doing a project “post mortem” to capture lessons learned a final time


  • Archiving all project records (both at the end of the project, and the end of project phases)


  • Releasing project resources


  • Assisting senior management with the “phase gate” reviews and possible “kill point” decisions (at the end of project phases)

PMP®  Application Process