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John P. Reiling, PMP: Make your PDUs work for you!

Many PMPs consider earning their PDUs to be a challenge. But it doesn’t really have to be! In fact, earning your PDUs does not even have to take you any more time that you might spend if you did not even have the requirement!

The idea is to earn your PDUs though some means that addresses a current problem or opportunity for you. In a real sense, you need to “kill two birds with one stone” to make your PDU efforts a breeze.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking – organized by PMI PDUs category:

  • Category A – Registered Education Provider (REP) – Think about your latest project communications, risk management, or even project portfolio management challenges? Take some training in the area of your problem or opportunity! Online courses like those at offer a wide range of subjects to match your focus area, and you can get them fast and take them on your schedule.
  • Category B – Continuing Education (non-REP) – The same approach applies for Category B courses. Just make sure whatever training you take maps to the PMBOK Knowledge Areas or Project Management Processes, and contact the PMI if you have any doubts. While online courses at marked as Category B map to some aspect of the PMBOK and thus are guaranteed to be acceptable, a good check for you is to make sure your current problems and opportunities are in your project management life!
  • Category C – Self-directed learning – This is the only category I have not used, but it could be perfect for you if you have a PM topic to research. For example, your company may be setting up a PMO, and you may want to research the parameters and what other companies have done.
  • Category D – Creating new Project Management Knowledge – I enjoy writing in my blog, and typically claim 10 PDUs per year with the various PM-related posts I make there. Many PMs do have their own blog. This can be time consuming but fulfilling. Make sure you are clear on the time and effort involved.
  • Category E – Volunteer Service – Volunteering for your PMI chapter can be fulfilling and provide a great networking opportunity. I have volunteered on the monthly meeting committee, focused on finding speakers. You may also want to volunteer as a PM or portfolio manager for another organization of your choice!
  • Category F – Work as a Practitioner – If you are working in project management, this is the easiest of all! Submitting your 5 hours annually of on-the-job practice as a PM effectively reduces your requirement to 45 hours over the three year period.

And one more thing! In the spirit of “killing two birds with one stone”, earning another certification – and PDUs at the same time – is a very effective strategy! Think about business analysis, ITIL, Six Sigma, PRINCE2, Agile PMI-ACP, and Microsoft Project! You can learn a lot and also get a resume boost!

John Reiling, PMP
PM Training Online
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