Over the years, Velopi has helped hundreds of project managers achieve Project Management Professional (PMP)© accreditation. However, we have been less good with our follow-up support. To maintain your PMP© credential, you need to amass a total of 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years. Until recently, Velopi has not offered any courses that will help you obtain these.
But that has all changed. If you visit the Velopi web-site now , its course page contains five one-day courses that not only offer a total of 37.5 PDUs but cover an interesting range of subjects to boot. These are, in no particular order:
- Rescuing Troubled Projects. Projects can get into trouble. Unfortunately, by the time their sponsors realize this, it is often too late. However, many projects can be recovered and this course explains how, using the Rapid Assessment and Recovery Model. Encouragingly, you will learn that the five main causes of projects getting into difficulties are all due to poor project planning – a useful thing to know if you are under pressure to skimp on your planning work.
- Introduction to the Project Management Office. There is no industry consensus on what a Project Management Office (or PMO) actually is. However there seems to be reasonable agreement about what a PMO can do. In this course, we explain where a PMO fits in the organization and what it could add in your situation. The students are engaged by repeatedly being canvassed on what functionality would benefit their particular situations. At the end of the day, you should be able (1) to decide if a PMO would be useful for you and (2) what combination of functions would suit your circumstances best.
- Stakeholder Management. Having gone through the Project Stakeholder Management module of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK© Guide) you might think that this is old news. However, this course takes stakeholder management to a new level by covering areas such as managing remote stakeholders and managing your boss. Based on research by Geert Hofstede and Peter Drucker respectively, these sections are vital for anyone managing virtual teams or who has a manager themselves.
- Strategy Management. Have you ever presented project status to senior management? Have you ever felt that they did not show any interest in your presentation? This is probably because you were not presenting in a language that they could relate to. This course covers corporate strategy development, from the organization’s vision statement all the way down to the portfolio of work that needs to be done in order to realize the vision. You will come to appreciate that the most crucial thing about a project is whether it contributes to the strategy or not. This is why some healthy projects are cancelled – they no longer fit in with the corporate strategy. Even if you have no ambitions to set up your own company, the strategy development techniques will help you to understand your own project’s place in the overall scheme of things and allow you to report status in terms that your managers relate to.
- Introduction to Agile and Lean. Made popular in the software industry, agile development methods are ideal in any situation where you have a customer (or a market), a product and a poor understanding of what that product is going to look like. Using feedback loops, agile methods are iterative and incremental, building the product by ensuring that each piece has customer approval. In this course, the underlying agile and lean principles are explained, followed by an overview of Scrum, which is probably the most popular agile project management methodology. To finish off, we introduce Extreme Programming which works very well with Scrum and provides some excellent techniques at the hands-on programming level.
If you work as a project manager, you are entitled to claim 15 PDUs over the three years. If you take these courses over three years, your total grows to 52.5 PDUs. All you will need to do is attend a single PMI chapter event every year to make up the difference. Of course, we might dream up a sixth one-day course in the meantime, so stay tuned. Of course, if there is a particular area you would like to see covered, we would love to hear from you.
These one-day courses have proven very popular with our corporate clients, so if there are several project managers in your organization who are interested in one or more of these, please get in touch and we can arrange to provide the courses on-site at your facility. If there are any other courses we can assist you with, please visit the courses list on our web-site.
By Velopi Seamus Collins