Much is being written and said about the new PMP® Exam that was released on January 2, 2021. In my mind, the greatest difference between then and now is not in the test itself (although it is different) but in the training material and the vendors who can teach this material. In the past, anyone who had the time, knowledge, and energy to develop training material could teach PMP Prep. Most of us spent endless hours to interpret the PMP® Content Outline and develop training material to help our students pass this rigorous exam. We relied on textbook authors and the PMBOK® Guide to support our efforts. Personally, I’ve always asked myself the questions: Am I covering all the bases? Did I leave something out? Will there be random questions on the test that I did not cover in class? Will my students curse my name during the test? Frankly, this haunted me.

This may have haunted PMI as well. In 2020, they decided to develop standard training material to support the efforts of training providers like PME. Now we have one primary source of training material. No more guessing or reading other textbooks, we now have a standard recommended training material directly from PMI. Getting here was not without heart burn. PME instructors had to go through a 2 day train the trainer session and the added expense of becoming a PMI Authorized Training Provider (ATP) was not cheap but I see great value in the long run: Consistency!

The new material is also value add. I’ve always told my students that we are in the people business. We teach great process, utilize time saving templates, use great software to calculate and maintain critical path. But when the rubber hits the road, we must manage expectations of sponsors and customers. We must motivate and support team members. Templates won’t teach us how to effectively practice servant leaderships. The people and leadership techniques emphasized on the new test are sorely needed in our industry.

Let’s compare the two tests: