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PMI-ACP Learning is Fun

This week I debuted my PMI-ACP class to the Washington DC/Baltimore area.  Being this was the first time I was offering this class, I had a little trepidation.  Would my students take to my teaching methods?  As I walked into the training center, I passed another classroom.  It was a 5-day PMP exam prep class.  It was a 5-day PMP exam boot camp. Knowing how boot camps are presented, I knew I did not want the same for my class.

I was looking to do more that teach people how to pass a test.  I really wanted them to walk away with an understanding of concepts like self-organization, adaptive planning, continuous improvement, or delivering value.  I was looking to spend a lot less time lecturing and a lot more time engaging my students with discussions, simulations, and games.

Over the course of the next three days, we held lengthy discussions on real-world topics.  I would introduce a concept and ask questions like now that I’ve talked about Concept A, how could you apply it at your organization?  The class would then compare and contrast different scenarios from each of their respective perspectives.  But, I have to admit, some of the best moments of the class came when we played games.  Activities ranged from building paper airplanes, to playing the “ball point” game and building a town out of Lego’s.  I can’t express the satisfaction I got, when I saw “lightbulb” moments for each of the students.

One of the attendees just wrote me an email, saying:

The class was excellent!  This has been the most valuable class I have had relative to understanding Agile and applying it to my organization.

We had 6 early-adopters at the first class and I got some excellent feedback.  I know the next class will be even better.  Anyone have some Lego’s for sale?

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 “PMI-ACP Learning is Fun”

  1. October 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Back in 1987, one of my colleagues at GRiD used Legos in a presentation to describe how the various parts of the development and support organizations worked together.  All these years later, it’s the experience I remember most clearly from those days.  Highly recommended:

    http://www.amazon.com/LEGO-Ultimate-Building-Set-Pieces/dp/B000NO9GT4/ref=pd_sim_t_3

    • Anonymous
      October 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      I was hoping to debut working with Lego’s in my class but I had no idea it was going to be that powerful. With each game, there was a moment when I saw the learning concept “click” for each person. Now I need to get more Lego’s, after seeing how quickly stuff could be built.

  2. Anonymous
    October 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    That sounds awesome! I would love to take one of your classes. I know I don’t have the work experience to sit for the PMI-ACP, but I would love to learn more about Agile, especially using paper airplanes and Legos!

    • Anonymous
      October 26, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      Andy, it would be awesome to have you in one of my classes. I’ll admit, I learned about using paper airplanes and Legos as learning tools from other Agile coaches and teachers. The more concepts I can teach though direct engagement or games, the happier I am.

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