PMO Advisory Offers Extended Protection Plan and Guarantees for the Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)® Boot Camp

Executive Summary

When PMI released the Standard for Portfolio Management – 4th Edition, in November of 2017, but not aligning the PfMP certification exam with the new standard, the result is predictable – concern and confusion:

  • Concern – whether to study the 3rd or 4th edition, and
  • Confusion – what’s happening?  Why is PMI not aligning the exam with the latest standard?

This article provides some answers, at least our understanding of the situation. More importantly, to provide greater confidence to prospective PfMPers, PMO Advisory is providing an unprecedented protection plan should PMI change the exam from the 3rd to the 4th edition of the Standard for Portfolio Management, PMO Advisory will provide the 4th edition training for free.

What Happened?

When the Project Management Institute launched the fourth edition of the Standard for Portfolio Management, a significant update transforming the standard from a process-based to now a principle-based standard, the Core Team responsible for its creation performed a seemingly impossible task – broadening the scope, deepening the content, and yet creating a significantly shorter standard (by nearly a third). As a core committee member, I worked closely with eleven other esteemed professionals on the committee over a two-year period to significantly update the standard. But the significant change in direction and content combined with the reduction in size of the standard resulted in two major challenges for portfolio management professionals:

  1. Most of the specifics on “how” to perform the tasks are removed from the Standard for Portfolio Management – Fourth Edition. This means that for most practitioners looking for hands-on tactics, the standard is no longer enough.
  2. PMO Advisory learned that there were significant difficulties in updating the PfMP exam to conform with the new standard.

These challenges will be discussed shortly.

Challenge 1: “How” to Implement Portfolio Management

To address this deficiency, eight members of the Core Committee had worked collaboratively and created another book entitled “Implementing Project Portfolio Management: A Companion Guide to the Standard for Portfolio Management”. PMI plans to publish this book in October 2018, just in time for the 2018 Global Congress.  This book is written in the following three parts, each intended for a specific audience:

  • An Executive’s Guide to Portfolio Management
  • A Practitioner’s Guide to Portfolio Management
  • A Strategist’s Guide to Portfolio Management
  • Coincidentally, we just created the first working draft of the website for the book.  Please visit the book’s website: and join the waiting list.
  • Unfortunately, due to a confluence of factors, discussed below, PMI has decided to withhold aligning the PfMP exam with the latest standard.  

Challenge 2: Aligning the PfMP Exam

Shortly after internally completing the Standard for Portfolio Management – Fourth Edition, PMI commissioned an assessment of the 4th Edition to evaluate the similarities between the 3rd and 4th editions.   While the result is confidential, it’s safe to suggest that there are significant differences. Specifically, there are three major groups of changes, ordered from the most impactful to least:

  • From the process-based 3rd edition to the principle-based 4th edition
  • Introduction of the portfolio lifecycle in the 4th edition, which significantly changed the flow of portfolio management activities
  • Highlighting the importance of business value by elevating it to its own performance domain
  • Thus, the first challenge is a technical one – there are simply many updates. However, to address this concern, organizations typically create a new exam with help from psychometric experts, test the next exam’s reliability and validity against the older exam by involving a few hundred practitioners, and check the results. If the results of the old and the new exams are closely aligned, then the new exam is set.  But in the case of portfolio management, an emerging arena with only 500+ certified members, involving a few hundred practitioners is a formidable challenge.
  • From the process-based 3rd edition to the principle-based 4th edition
  • Therefore, PMI is essentially in a holding pattern, trying to figure out the most optimal next step.  Since the standard is typically updated once every five years, the effort and duration to update it requires two years, and we are currently already in Year 2.  Therefore – it is possible that PMI may skip the alignment with the 4th Edition outright and go straight to the next edition. For prospective professionals interested in the certification, the wait for the update can be as long as five more years – an unfeasible long period of stasis.


Addressing the Challenges – What PMO Advisory Can Do For You

Since the publication of the Standard for Portfolio Management – Fourth Edition, PMO Advisory has updated its core training content for both the PfMP certification boot camp and portfolio management training (currently only offered to our business clients). Our plan is to offer the revised curriculum three months prior to the changeover. We also created over several thousand questions aligned with the Fourth Edition. But the boot camp and the PfMP exam simulator are also placed on hiatus, waiting for PMI’s decision.   

To overcome any impasse for many professionals concerned about the timing and content of the exam, PMO Advisory is providing an unprecedented protection program for our PfMP customers.  Between now and until further notice, we will be extending the training for the 4th edition for free to our PfMP customers.  

Here’s how this will work. If and when PMI announce the changeover to the 4th edition (only the 4th edition) and our customers have yet to pass the certification exam, then they immediately qualify to repeat the same package without cost. The only condition is that our customer must contact us and start the fourth edition training within six months of the changeover.

For example, let’s say Mary purchased the Gold Live Virtual (Intelicamp) Bootcamp and completed the course in October 2018. On January 1st, 2019, PMI announces that the exam will be conformed to the 4th edition starting June 1st, 2019.  For Mary, assuming she has not finished the certification, she would have up to December 31st, 2019 to take the revised class. Furthermore, since Mary purchased the gold package, her support will last until June 30th, 2019.

We believe this protection plan will remove one of the biggest unknowns associated with pursuing the Portfolio Management certification and help our customers continue to achieve the next level of career success.

Click here to learn about our extensive PfMP training courses.   Let us know if you have a question regarding our PfMP Boot Camp Extended Protection Plan and Guarantees.