APM Body of Knowledge Version 7 – What’s New?

By Sheila Roberts

We have had the new APM BoK 7 out for a few months now. We have had a good look at it and identified the major changes for you. We’re adding the list of changes to the site so that you can see the full information so this is just to give you the themes.

One of the biggest changes is the recognition of iterative projects in the Body of Knowledge.

There are many places where iterative as well as linear projects are referenced. This is because agile methods are widely used in emergent, often IT, projects.

Agile methods are very useful and the understanding of how they differ from linear projects is essential to anyone involved in project management.

Agile methods are not totally separated from linear and often a hybrid approach is most suitable so it is welcome that this is in the Body of Knowledge.

Another significant change is the inclusion of the strategic case for change. This is consistent with the Treasury five case model for business cases and is good practice for any substantial change. Anything which is worthy of having a project established to complete the work should be aligned to the organisational or departmental strategy and this is now shown in the BoK.

There is a section on personal wellbeing. The understanding that projects are more stressful environments than BAU is reflected in this inclusion and is welcome by those of us who have seen individuals who have been adversely affected by the stress generated by projects. The people aspect of projects is coming more and more to the fore as a critical element of success. Having a good reporting and decision making structure with clear roles and responsibilities has been known for a very long time, however there has been a hero approach that assumes the project team is able to cope with everything which is thrown at them. The project team’s wellbeing is now also seen as an important element.  

There are many other changes and these can be seen on the list of changes from BoK 6 to BoK 7 which CUPE International is adding to the website. The syllabus changes have been made to align exams to the new version of the Body of Knowledge. These cover about 40% of the syllabus, although many changes are simply to update, clarify or simplify the syllabus. We have the new syllabus, so anyone who would like a copy please contact the Team at CUPE International on Team@CUPEInternational.com who will be happy to provide a copy. You can also find it on the APM website.

The new version of the APM Body of Knowledge does not make the previous version obsolete. The information remains valid as project management has not changed. The update is simply to reflect current thinking and to include areas which have not previously been in the Body of Knowledge. You can get your copy through the APM or CUPE International. If you are an APM member you receive your usual discount on this publication through APM.