December is typically a slow month in terms of starting new projects (but old ones must go on); thus, there are many PMs that sit idle. Don’t be one of them; keep your brain in the game. Here are my recommendations on how to do just that.
’tis that time of year! Well, yes, Christmas too, but I’m talking about the lack of new projects being undertaken. Without a project, many project managers tend to sit idle and begin to think about what they could/should be doing with their time.
With nobody wanting to start a project just before the New Year, this is the perfect time to work on your Personal Development Units (PDU) and get caught up, if not ahead, of your requirements.
If you’re new to the PMI world, or perhaps you’re considering joining (highly recommended!), take note that you can’t just take a test, get certified, and sit. Instead, you need to keep your mind agile and keep abreast of the latest trends in your craft.
And if you’re at work, as a project manager, it’s easy to justify watching videos or reading blog posts (or writing articles… cough): “I’m watching this to keep my PMP/PgMP/etc. up to date so I can be a better Project Manager.”
Here are some other ways you can get PDUs and keep that moneymaker (your brain) in check and with the latest information available:
Project Management Institute (PMI)
PMI also maintains the excellent website of ProjectManagement.com, PMI’s home for training. You’ll find their library of on-demand videos, often tailored to your current certification, that will give you PDUs just for watching. One of my favorites yet is a video discussing the creative methods of the Simpsons in terms of project management.
You can also look over PMI’s library of digital books. Some are free; some are rather expensive ($400 for an ebook, really?). That said, if you learn by reading, this is for you.
There are several courses on Udemy that you can watch and receive PDU’s. I’m not advocating for him; however, Joseph Phillips’ courses are entertaining and informative. Oh, and you get credit for learning. Again, awesome! Note that you can’t automatically (or automagically) get PDUs from many of these courses, so be sure to do your research.
Books are always a great way to meet your PDU needs. But, of course, you needn’t only read books on project management either. Look at some leadership books, business books, writing books, and even biographies are good. You just need to figure out how to classify them for your PDUs.
Reading and writing inside the tubes of the internet is also a means to receive PDUs. If you’re read a good article/post on project management, business acumen, or leadership (such as the ones I write), you can count those as a PDU. You don’t get a lot, but daily reading adds up.
Are you a writer who’s got a knack for expressing your opinion on the subject of business and leadership? Incredible, you can get a few PDUs for writing, too (I just started a new site on the said subject, too!).
Actual Project Managing
It may seem a little weird to some, but you most definitely get credit for doing the job you do already! So if you’re working on a long-term project, break it up and get credit along the way (I should practice what I preach, ‘eh?).
Those meetings, presentations, deadlines, negotiations, etc., are prime events to receive credit/PDUs. The easiest way to go about this is to open up PMI and note what you need.
I hope this was useful for you; if so (or not?), let me know. Also, what do you do to keep your certifications up?