As regular readers of this blog know, I don’t exactly push PM newbies toward PMP (or any other commercially available) certification. In fact, in several extended essays and PDFs, I’ve tried mightily to make the case for local, do-it-yourself PM certification while providing specific, step-by-step instructions in how to do so: Do-It-Yourself PM Certification: How to Document Your Skills & Get the Credibility You’ve Earned without Jumping Through Someone Else’s Hoops Seven Benefits of Local PM Certification: Why Pursuing Locally-Relevant PM Skills Makes More Sense Than Buying Generic, External PM Certifications Beyond PM Certification: Achieving PM Performance Improvement How to Create a Locally-Relevant Set of PM Job Tasks & Competencies Based on Job Level Project Management is a Broad Human Practice, not Merely a Profession Still, if your employer or clients have drunk the PMI Kool-Aid and are absolutely, positively convinced that you need their PMP stamp of approval to do your job, then you should know about Firebrand’s amazing collection of powerful, “accelerated” PMP study tools, exercises and answers. The Firebrand collection can do two important things for you: If you are undecided about pursuing PMP certification, it can help you take a very fast, efficient “deep dive” into the conceptual database that makes up the PMP certification body of content. This way you can quickly decide for yourself whether this stuff is going to be helpful to your unique PM career. If you are committed to the PMP certification path, it can serve as a well-designed set of “crib notes,” reference tools and practice exercises to speed you on your way to the certification exam. Video Tour: Firebrand’s Free PMP Training Below is my quick video tour of the free online training materials available at the Firebrand website to help you qualify for your PMP certification. Enjoy! ======= Related Articles ========= The Origins of My PM Minimalism: It’s Not Merely Simple-Minded… It’s About PM Essences My Incredible Shrinking PM Recommendations My 10 Favorite PM Articles, Posts, or Videos from 2013
A couple of weeks ago I tried to watch the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. I say tried because I eventually became so frustrated by Matt Lauer’s and Meredith Vieira’s endless stream of intrusive babble that I switched the whole thing off. From what I saw, the ceremony had been painstakingly designed by its Olympic hosts to tell a story. The producers of the event had obviously worked hard to weave together a collection of objects, images, performers and music to create a spectacular narrative that highlighted Russia’s history. Was it mere propaganda? Was it an idealized rewriting of history? Frankly, I can’t say because every time I started to become absorbed by the narrative and allow its images and music to carry me along with it, Lauer or Vieira would yank me out of the story line with their own narrative
If you’re a project manager then you know what it’s like to feel frazzled, distracted and jerked in a thousand different directions. And you also know what it’s like to watch other people doing the work of your project (creating the code, writing the scripts, building the prototypes, etc.) while you bounce back and forth among these folks looking for problems and figuring out how to remove obstacles. And you might be thinking that such a thankless existence is a bad thing that should be remedied. But before you spend a lot of time searching for the latest “5-Step Plan for Controlling Chaos” let me suggest this alternative: Simply relax into the blur that is your PM existence. Embrace it. After all, it’s completely normal… necessary… even desirable that someone with your judgment and experience play this part. This story from my first book, ID Project Management , explains: “In the early ’60s, when TV variety shows flourished, a strange little man would sometimes appear on Ed Sullivan’s stage and fill it with plates rapidly spinning high atop long, slender poles. You may have seen him
Below are my “top 10″ favorite items drawn from all the PM articles, blog posts, and videos that I published on this website during 2013. Some of these are important and worth a second look. Others were merely fun or gratifying to create and I want to share them again before they disappear beneath 2014′s articles. I hope you like these or find something here that is thought-provoking. Enjoy!” – Mike G. Help with Your PM Challenges (Video) The Project Management Change Agent: How to Lead Your PM Revolution (55 minute video includes links to 25-page PDF.) – This video is for everyone who wants to be the change agent who brings about a PM revolution in their organizations. Step Away from the Computer & Get Out Your Post-It Notes! – Some thoughts on getting your entire team more actively engaged in project planning. Ready, Fire, Aim?
A few years ago I was contracted to build a two-week long technical course for a major high-tech client. A fairly large effort, our project’s finished deliverables included self-study materials, job aids, studio-produced video case study scenarios and instructor guides — in short, we were building a complete, integrated training system with a lot of moving parts. My team of independent contractors consisted of five training developers (instructional designers), a print production coordinator and a video production subcontractor.* After several difficult weeks of interviewing the client’s in-house SMEs, gathering information, brainstorming and welding together a cohesive course design, we rolled out our first major deliverable, our Blueprint (an integrated training design plan). My contract stipulated that our Blueprint would be formally approved by the client, in writing, before we moved on to the next phase, which would be developing our fully fleshed-out first drafts of all materials and video scripts. Love Is In The Air! … Maybe … On Blueprint approval day we sat down with our client project representative, a big, friendly bear of a guy who had been truly supportive of all our efforts. One by one each designer presented his or her portion of the Blueprint, while the the video producer presented the treatments for the matching scenarios. The client was delighted! After each team member’s presentation, he praised their work, noting his appreciation of specific challenges they had overcome or creative leaps they had made.