PMBOK® Guide, 5th Edition, Review: Standardization of the AOK Structure

by PH Lohnes, PMP

We have discussed some of the major changes to the PMBOK® Guide with the 5th Edition’s release in previous columns. To begin, all the Process Group and Areas of Knowledge names stayed the same from the fourth edition to the fifth edition. However, in the first AOK, Project Integration Management, the processes are the same with the exception of Process 4.3 where in the fifth edition the word “execution” was changed to “work.” This paralleled the use of the word “work” in Process 4.4 making the fifth edition more consistent in its wording.

Next, let us dispense with the Area of Knowledge that did not change in the numbering, naming, or ordering of its contents: the Project Integration Management. We will cover the internal changes to the Project Integration Management AOK later, but they are minor.

What the 5th Edition did standardize was the processes for most of the remaining AOKs to use the plan – control model. Each of the remaining AOKs with the exception of Project HR Management (go figure) was standardized on the Plan – other processes – Control process structure. In some cases this required the addition of a new “Plan” process, and in others it mandated a “Control” process. We will list the changes for the Scope / Time / Cost AOKs this month, and then the rest in subsequent issues.


In Table 1 below is a summary of these standardization changes for Scope / Time / Cost:


AOK / Process PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition
5. Scope <no process> 5.1 Plan Scope Management
5.1 Collect Requirements 5.2 Collect Requirements
5.2 Define Scope 5.3 Define Scope
5.3 Create WBS 5.4 Create WBS
5.4 Verify Scope 5.5 Validate Scope
5.5 Control Scope 5.6 Control Scope
6. Time <no process> 6.1 Plan Schedule Management
6.1 Define Activities 6.2 Define Activities
6.2 Sequence Activities 6.3 Sequence Activities
6.3 Estimate Activity Resources 6.4 Estimate Activity Resources
6.4 Estimate Activity Durations 6.5 Estimate Activity Durations
6.5 Develop Schedule 6.6 Develop Schedule
6.6 Control Schedule 6.7 Control Schedule
7. Cost <no process> 7.1 Plan Cost Management
7.1 Estimate Costs 7.2 Estimate Costs
7.2 Determine Budget 7.3 Determine Budget
7.3 Control Costs 7.4 Control Costs

From the included table, it is evident that the above three AOKs were standardized with the addition of the “Plan AOK Management” process – one of the main reasons for the increase of processes in the 5th Edition from 42 to 47.


The only other change in the process stack for these AOKs was the change of the 5.4 / 5.5 Process: Verify Scope to Validate Scope. The PMBOK® Guide project team modified this verb to the correct use of the activity since one cannot validate without the WBS being in existence whle one verifies before creating; their use is now correct.


Finally, there is much going around about the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition now being in compliance with the DIKW (data, information, knowledge, wisdom) model of knowledge management. In the opinion of this author, this is another attempt to obfuscate and increase the liturgy of the project management body of knowledge currently making the art of project management more difficult to understand and even more difficult to implement.


Remember, Occam’s Razor (Google/Bing it): Keep it Simple!

PMBOK® Guide, 5th Edition, Review

By PH Lohnes, PMP

With the release of the 5th edition, the PMI added a new Area of Knowledge (AOK) called Project Stakeholder Management as the 10th AOK. Of the four processes in this new AOK, number 13, two of them are recast from the 4th editions Communications Management AOK, number 10. If you have not already noticed, the 5th edition renames all 10 AOKs to begin with the adjective, Project – all AOKs are now Project XXXX Management with XXXX being the name of the AOK proper.

The new 10th AOK, Project Stakeholder Management, unfortunately, diverges from the standard recasting of the other AOKs in that it does not begin with the normal Plan, Manage, Control processes, but moves what was the previous Process 10.1, Identify Stakeholders, to Process 13.1, Identify Stakeholders. Thus you will have to remember that AOK 4 and 13 now begin with processes that are not aligned with the other 8 AOKs. One would assume that it will be in the 6th edition that these oversights will be remedied.

Beginning with Process 13.1, Identify Stakeholders, the differences between Process 13.1 and Process 10.1 of the 4th edition are minor. The wording is almost exactly the same in 4th edition; however, there are a few changes to the Input, Tools & Techniques, and Outputs (ITTO) for this process. The Inputs (13.1.1) are the same. The Tools & Techniques (13.1.2) adds a new item, Meetings in order to indicate the use of profile analysis meetings in identifying project stakeholders and their interests. Finally, the Outputs (13.1.3) has a single output, the Stakeholder Register ( removing the Stakeholder Management Strategy (, 4th edition) output given the new Process of Plan Stakeholder Management (13.2) coves the details of the previous output.

The new process, Plan Stakeholder Management (13.2) is now the primary planning process of the new AOK covering the details developing the strategies for analyzing and managing project stakeholders with the following ITTO items:


Inputs (13.2.1): The PM Plan Stakeholder Register Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEF) Organizational Process Assets (OPA)

Tools & Techniques (13.2.2): Expert judgment Meetings Analytical techniques

The biggest addition was the use of stakeholder engagement classifications of:




Supportive, and


with the indication of either C for current engagement classification, and D as desired classification for the indicated stakeholder or stakeholder group.

Outputs (13.2.3): Stakeholder Management Plan (PMP subsidiary plan) Project documents updates

Next, Process 13.3, Manage Stakeholder Engagement, is an updated version of the 4th edition, Process 10.4, Manage Stakeholder Expectations with changes in the Inputs and Outputs, but not with the Tools & Techniques. The changes on the Inputs (13.3.1) include a reduction from 6 to 4, more confusing is the movement of the Issue Log from Input to Output, and the elimination of the Stakeholder Register as an Input altogether. These changes seem to be a bit capricious since in the 4th edition the Issues Log was updated as part of the 4th edition’s Output of Project Documents Updates while in the 5th edition, the Issues Log is singled out with its own Output identifier (

Process 13.3, Manage Stakeholder Engagement ITTOs are:

Inputs (13.3.1) Stakeholder Management Plan Communications Management Plan Change Log OPA

Tools & Techniques (13.3.2) Communications methods Interpersonal skills Management skills

Outputs (13.3.3) Issues Log Change requests PM Plan Updates Project Documents Updates OPA Updates (new)

The final process, Control Stakeholder Engagement (13.4) completes the new AOK with the standard process formulation that the 5th edition has implemented: Plan – Manage – Control. This process is described to improve the effectiveness of Stakeholder engagement as the project evolves dynamically with time. Stakeholder expectations, a large component of stakeholder management, should be continuously met as the project progresses from stage to stage through its life cycle. Thus controlling stakeholder engagement ensures that current project performance data gathered from defined metrics and audits is meeting the expectations of the stakeholders, or else remediation activities are needed.

Process 13.4, Control Stakeholder Engagement ITTOs are:

Inputs (13.4.1) Project Management Plan Issue Log Work Performance Data Project Documents

Tools & Techniques (13.4.2) Information Management Systems Expert Judgment Meetings

Outputs (13.4.3) Work Performance Information Change requests PM Plan Updates Project Documents Updates OPA Updates (new)

This lengthy column has attempted to show the PMBOK® Guide’s 5th edition major addition: the new AOK of Project Stakeholder Management. While two of the four AOK’s processes are new, the remaining two are updated versions of the 4th edition Communications Management AOK.