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Those PMI PDUs

OK, so you got your certification or accreditation through the Project Management Institute (PMI).  Now you need to plan on getting 60 PDUs over the next 3 years.  Is this too much to ask?  I don’t think so.  How would you feel if your doctor never learned anything new, upon graduating from medical school?  Stakeholders should feel that same about people managing or leading projects.

Over the course of the last few years, I’ve witnessed quite a few people who don’t actually work as project managers get their PMP.  I know, you’ve heard me rant about this before.  But, since these people were able to navigate the system, what can the system do?  Well, I see the PDU as a mechanism that can continually attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff.   For some who really aren’t contributing to the profession, and were just looking for three initials for a resume, the added cost and effort might not be worth it.  To be fair, I also know people who are very experienced and knowledgeable in the area of project management.  Requiring them to seek out and log PDUs is just an added deterrent to getting the PMP.

Back on topic, I break down the people getting PDUs into 2 groups.  Those who earn their PDUs over the course of 3 years and those who buy theirs.   Since I watch at least 1 free project management related webinar every other week, I ask myself why anyone would ever pay for them.  But, I digress.  Upon hearing the PMI was introducing a new PDU category structure as of 1 March 2011, I figured I would take a look.  What was once 15 categories will now be 7.  Without going into grotesque detail, I’m going to give you the 50,000 foot review.  In plain English, I like it.

Not only did the PMI modernize the language to include blog, webinar, and podcast, but they also grouped the PDU categories into 2 divisions.

1. (Receiving) Education

2. Giving Back to the Profession

I particularly like the language of “giving back”.  When I think of the PMI, being charitable or giving back isn’t really one of the first things that comes to mind.  I see this category naming as a step in the right direction.  I noted my disappointment in the lack of giving back in October (2010), when I was comparing the AgileDC conference and the PMI North American Congress.

I only have 2 recommended changes, if PMI would consider making a modification to the PDU requirements of the future.  First, I would ask PMPs to get PDUs in all 5 process groups.  I think people tend to get PDUs in process group or knowledge areas they are already proficient.  Second, now that the PMI has identified giving back to the profession, perhaps in a few years they’ll add giving back to the community?

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About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of Enterprise Engagements at LeadingAgile. I'm super focused on results. But I also take the hand waving out of organizational transformations. I come from a traditional PM background but I don't give points for stuff done behind the scenes. The only thing that counts is what you get done and delivered. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon)

4 Responses to “Those PMI PDUs”

  1. December 21, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Nice. Would like to know more about how they’re revamping it. The PDU-space is a marketplace!

  2. Dina Garfinkel
    December 22, 2010 at 3:43 am

    This is great, nice to see they are adding in blog & webinar. Just claimed a few PDUs for reading and commenting on PM related blogs, but could not find an area to include links. Good to see we’re moving in this direction!

    • Anonymous
      December 22, 2010 at 2:54 pm

      Dina, when I contacted PMI and asked them about registering proof of certain activities, they said the responsibly of retaining the proof of the activity rests on the individual claiming the PDU. I use Evernote to keep a record of all of my PDUs claimed. The PMI representative said it was their right to audit at any time. Evernote is a really easy way to keep that proof and not worry about it.

  3. Anonymous
    February 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for including the link! [http://pmppdu.blogspot.com/] Free PDUs are good PDUs. I don’t understand why anyone would ever pay for them.

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