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The Past, Present, and Future of PMI® & its Certifications

Published on Tue 3, 2020
The Past, Present, and Future of PMI® & its Certifications

PMI® is a global non-profit global organization focused on driving progress in the project management spectrum. It is a leading organization that not only facilitates certifications in the project management spectrum but also conducts researches to capture industry needs, educates professionals working in the project management spectrum, establishes industry standards and published journals to help professionals get acquainted with the leading developments in the domain.


The Footprint

Over the years, PMI® has created a huge footprint in the project management spectrum and caters to over 2.9 million professionals. PMI® has over 500,000 members across 208 countries and territories with 300 chapters and 10000 volunteers. An impressive achievement indeed!


The Inception

The seed of PMI® was sown when project management started getting credibility as a discipline in the 1960s in aerospace, construction and defense industries. It is then that the need for standards for project management was realized. As PMI® mentions on its website,” It began as a dinner in early 1969”, referring to the initial meeting between Jim Snyder and Gordon Davis at the Three Threes restaurant.

The first formal meeting of PMI® was conducted at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia on 9th October 1969. Soon the article of incorporations was filled in Pennsylvania and was signed by James Snyder, Eric Jenett, Gordon Davis, E.A “Need” Engman & Susan C identifying them as founders of PMI®


The Growth

PMI® outlined its objectives in 1975 that read:

“foster recognition of the need for professionalism in project management; provide a forum for the free exchange of project management problems, solutions and applications; coordinate industrial and academic research efforts; develop common terminology and techniques to improve communications; provide interface between users and suppliers of hardware and software systems, and to provide guidelines for instruction and career development in the field of project management.”

At the same time, PMI® created the Professional Liaison Committee that worked with Technology, Research Policy & Education committee with the assistance of the American National Standard Committee and Europe’s International Project Management Association. By 1980, PMI® was able to standardize the general knowledge base and by 1996, it produced the first Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK®).

In the 1990s, with Virgil R. Carter, PMI® had started to have a significant impression on the project management spectrum with over 90,000 members across 120 countries.


The Certifications

The first and one of the most prominent certifications offered by PMI®: “PMP®” or “Project Management Professional” certification was launched in 1984. PMP® received accreditation from the ISO in the year 1984 and since then it has been the gold standard in the Project management spectrum.

Over the years, PMI® had launched multiple other certifications like CAPM®, an entry-level certification, PMI®-ACP, a certification that detailed on the Agile Project management frameworks. Other prominent credentials offered by PMI® are:

Credentials offered by PMI® generally have a very strict pre-requisites. This assures that the professional has the basic knowledge and experience of working in the said domain. PMI® has not only maintained the resources it makes available for these domains but also the standard of these certification examinations making PMI® credentials synonymous with being proficient in the spectrum.


Latest Advancements

Digital Avatar

Recently, PMI® has taken up a new avatar and has introduced its new logo.

The Pulse of the Professional

PMI® regularly conducts surveys to capture the changing project environment and makes changes in its Certifications, standards, and examinations to reflect these changes. “Pulse of the Professional” is a survey conducted by PMI® every year on a global scale since 2006.

In the latest “Pulse of the Professional Survey” conducted in the year 2019, PMI® had indicated towards the first major advancements by introducing “PMTQ”: “Project Management Technology Quotient”. With PMTQ, PMI® lays the ground for increased emphasis on the integration of technology with every aspect of Project Management.


PMBOK® V6 changes

PMI® started showing an inclination towards Agile project management by including it in the 6th edition of the PMBOK®, which came out in 2017. While this was being considered as a major step forward, PMI® was about to go much beyond this change.


PMP® Exam Outline Change

In the mid of 2019, PMI® made another major announcement. IT was going to change the PMP® exam outline. The new outline took will take a shift from the current project lifecycle centric oriented domains. Now, the PMP® exam will be based on three domains:

1. People

2. Process

3. Business Environment

According to the new PMP® exam outline, half of the exam will represent predictive project management and the other half will represent the Agile and Hybrid approach.


Acquisition of Disciplined agile

On 9th August 2019, PMI announced the acquisition of DA: the world’s only exhaustive Agile Body of Knowledge. DA has been providing practical and direct guidelines in the application of Agile. The combination of the two provides an unparalleled opportunity for the professionals dedicated to improving organizational agility. With this advancement, professionals will now be able to make use of a more meaningful approach to agility that will be driven by an agile and lean based mindset.



In Jan 2020, PMI® has finally announced the release of the 7th version of the PMBOK®. While PMI® has not announced the final release date, it has released the draft and has mentioned that there will be a shift from process-based outlook to principle-based outlook. It has recognized the problem that processes are dependent on project type and thus standards created with processes as their base may not be applicable to all projects.



The “Future”

The subtle changes that PMI® has been orchestration, it is clear that PMI® is working towards changing the perspective of the standards. Instead of explaining the processes, it will be paying more emphasis on the effective ways of conducting activities.

PMI® is working towards shifting the focus from outputs to outcomes [Not to the means to an end but the end value itself]

In the near future and in the longer run, PMI® will be paying increased importance to integrate and utility of technology in project management and making leadership and people-oriented elements from agile available to project management giving increased to soft skills in the project management spectrum.


PMI® is about to announce many more changes and we at Certification Planner will keep you connected to all the advancements in the Project management spectrum. PMP® exam is about to change. If you are thrilled by the new changes, you might have to wait a little to get full exposure to the changes initiated by PMI®. However, if you are planning to take the PMP® exam before the exam outline change in July, we can assist you. CP is running multiple PMP® certification training all across the USA and Canada. You can visit our website or drop an email at to know more.

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