The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers a professional certification for project managers, known as the Project Management Professional (PMP)®. PMI’s professional certification examination development processes stand apart from other project management certification examination development practices. PMI aligns its process with certification industry best practices, such as those found in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. The PMP® certification is also accredited against the internationally recognized ISO 17024 standard.1
A key component of this process is that organizations wishing to offer valid and reliable professional credentialing examinations are directed to use a Role Delineation Study (RDS) or Job Task Analysis (JTA) as the basis for the creation of the examination. This process utilizes knowledge and task- driven guidelines to assess the practitioner’s competence, and determine the levels of salience, criticality, and frequency of each of the knowledge, tasks and skills required to perform to the industry-wide standard in the role of a project manager.
In this year’s update to the PMP, PMI conducted a Global Practice Analysis market research study, which produced a number of trends in the profession previously unaddressed in the PMP exam. These trends were used as inputs into the Job Task Analysis and ensure the validity and relevance of the PMP examination. Validation assures the outcome of the exam is, in fact, measuring and evaluating appropriately the specific knowledge and skills required to function as a project management practitioner. Thus, the Job Task Analysis guarantees that each examination validly measures all elements of the project management profession in terms of real settings.
PMP certification holders can be confident that their professional certification has been developed according to the best practices of test development and based upon input from the practitioners who establish those standards.
The PMP examination is a vital part of the activities leading to earning a professional certification, thus it is imperative that the PMP examination reflect accurately the practices of the project management practitioner. All the questions on the examination have been written and extensively reviewed by qualified PMP certification holders and tracked to at least two academic references. These questions are mapped against the PMP Examination Content Outline to ensure that an appropriate number of questions are in place for a valid examination.
PMI retained Alpine Testing Solutions to develop the global PMP Examination Content Outline. Alpine Testing Solutions provides psychometric, test development, and credential management solutions to credentialing and educational programs.
Finally, there are noticeable differences between this updated PMP Examination Content Outline and A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition. While there are some commonalities, it is important to note that the volunteer taskforce involved in the study described previously were not bound by the PMBOK® Guide. The taskforce members were charged with outlining critical job tasks of individuals who lead and direct projects based on their experience and pertinent resources.
EXAM CONTENT OUTLINE
The following table identifies the proportion of questions from each domain that will appear on the examination.
|Domain||Percentage of Items on Test|
|I. People||42% |
|II. Process ||50%|
|III. Business Environment||8%|
Important note: The research conducted through the Job Task Analysis validated that today’s project management practitioners work in a variety of project environments and utilize different project approaches. Accordingly, the PMP certification will be reflective of this and will incorporate approaches across the value delivery spectrum. About half of the examination will represent predictive project management approaches and the other half will represent agile or hybrid approaches. Predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches will be found throughout the three domain areas listed above and are not isolated to any particular domain or task.
DOMAINS, TASKS, AND ENABLERS
In this document you will find an updated structure for the PMP Examination Content Outline. Based on feedback from customers and stakeholders, we have worked on simplifying the format so that the PMP Examination Content Outline is easier to understand and interpret.
On the following pages you will find the domains, tasks, and enablers as defined by the Role Delineation Study.
Domain: Defined as the high-level knowledge area that is essential to the practice of project management.
Tasks: The underlying responsibilities of the project manager within each domain area.
Enablers: Illustrative examples of the work associated with the task. Please note that enablers are not meant to be an exhaustive list but rather offer a few examples to help demonstrate what the task encompasses.
Following is an example of the new task structure:
Task statement Manage conflict
Interpret the source and stage of the conflict
Enablers Analyze the context for the conflict
Evaluate/recommend/reconcile the appropriate conflict resolution solution