Share Your PMI Degreed With Everyone

Professional Development, to me, has always seemed so literal. If I want to become a better engineer, I read a book on engineering. If I want to improve as a project manager, I read more books on project management. Now in instances where I want to learn “tricks of the trade” and shortcuts about how to accomplish something quicker, I can understand that approach. You don’t see this literal approach with athletes though. If Lionel Messi wants to continue to be the best football player in the world, he can’t continuously run and kick the ball. I am sure he does because he is one of the most creative athletes ever. He has to mix it up and stretch his muscles, otherwise his body will learn how to use the least amount of energy to produce the same results. That is probably why CrossFit has become so popular. It doesn’t let your mind or body rest. This stretches your entire being so you are continuously growing stronger every day in every way.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 2.53.46 PMProfessionally, I make my living as a project manager. Lately, I have found myself becoming less and less interested in project management professional development training because as I said at the beginning, it feels too literal. A couple of weeks ago though, I began a journey I know will change my outlook on these feelings forever. I joined the 2015 Project Management Institute(PMI) Masters Class in Phoenix, Arizona. The class is composed of 34 students from 18 different countries and right away, I knew it was going to be special.

Probably the most immediate excitement I felt was that I fell into a professional development experience right after I shook the first of the of the first person I met. Professional development for project managers is not all about the technical tools or processes required to reach the end state. Nor is it just about strategic business development. This class reminded me it is about learning how to become real again. I agree with PMI we need more strategic business leaders but the class has also focused on servant leadership, courtesy of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center. Studying servant leadership has reminded me about the simple truths that matter most, honesty, trust, credibility, authenticity, etc.

So, I thought, what is a way I could try and jump into this experience and quickly provide a new perspective to help my classmates and PMI stretch their muscles to become real project management leaders. I am not sure how I will do that but one thing I do know is I am a nerd. So when I saw that is providing PDUs for project managers, I thought that is a perfect place to start. Anywhere you read now in the major business publications, companies are choosing to hire more what I call “professional generalists” who can be dropped into any situation and thrive. This requires not only having technical skills to speak the “native” language but liberal arts skills so you can communicate effectively in different media and natural “human” skills to create strong relationships with everyone on your team and in the organization.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 2.54.03 PMAgain, I can’t learn every skill I need by reading a book on that skill, I need to stretch myself to see what I am capable of. Just like PMI does with the PDUs, I want to be able to track my progress so I can share with everyone what I am learning and how much of a cool nerd I am. So I thought what if PMI teamed up with Degreed to track a project manager’s professional development outside of the traditional professional development walls. Degreed provides a way to track ALL the ways a person learns whether it is through YouTube, reading a book or article, attending a conference, or attending a traditional brick and mortar school. Professional development comes in all shapes and sizes.

Just to give you an example of the different resources that are available, you can check out Degreed’s Learning Resources, My Education Path, or my Projects page.

Below is a list of Massive Open Online Courses I shared with my classmates from around the world.

ALISON (Ireland)

Ewant (China)

FutureLearn (United Kingdom)

iVersity (Germany)

Kepler (Rwanda)

Open2Study (Australia)

Rwaq (Saudi Arabia)

Schoo (Japan)

UniMOOC (Spain)

Veduca (Brazil)

XuetangX (China) 

Going forward, learning and professional development are going to adapt to the different ways people learn. As this evolves, the way we recognize people for their accomplishments must also adapt and change. PMI provides the global community to interact with professionals all over the world.Degreed provides a community for those professionals to share their growth and development. This “cross training development” is the future of professional development  and I can’t wait to share this new insight with my PMI Masters classmates.

Make the jump and dive in.


2 Comments on “Share Your PMI Degreed With Everyone

  1. Hi Kevin,

    About the PDUs… Even writing an article for a magazine (online or offline) gives you free PDUs. We have quite a few project managers publishing articles on PM Hut in order to get the free PDUs under the Category D of the CCR program.

    • That has always been a hidden gem in PMI’s PDU program. We continue to try and promote that at our monthly PMI chapter meetings. When I wrote this post, my mind was thinking about how to expand project managers. Can you also claim Category D PDUs for topics like philosophy or anthropology? How does PMI view those topics in relation to professional development? Does professional development have to be directly related to the profession or do they try to reward people for learning new skills like web development, computer programming, creative writing, etc?

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