I would imagine that most folks are a little lost or wonder struck upon receiving word that you have passed the PMP examination. I remember walking out of the test at my local Sylvan test center with a foggy head along with a little relief. However, after a week of congratulations from others, I wanted to know what do next.
I knew that my job would educational, but I also knew that I wanted to learn from other project managers (PMs) and best practices to better help my customers and my company. If you remember your application guide on PMI.org, you are required to complete 60 PDUs (professional development units) by three years from completion of your test. Subsequently, I have been able to learn and grow through learning opportunities and get credit for those opportunities.
There are a number of ways that you can get your PDUs and here are my top 4 suggestions:
1) Purchase a membership to the Project Management Institute (PMI). It currently costs $139. A renewal is $129. When you join PMI, you have access to the following:
- Lots of free webinars for different kinds of project management topics
- PM Network magazine – very informative magazine about the larger projects and trends in the industry (you can get 12 PDUs per cycle from reading this monthly online periodical). I have the app on my Android.
- Discounts on materials and standards communication.
2) In addition to the PMI, you may join the local chapter in your area for an additional fee. The local chapters often have monthly meetings that provide networking and/or learning opportunities. The chapter in my area has monthly dinners and local training opportunities several times a year.
3) If you want to specialize in parts of the discipline or other standard business certifications (Six Sigma certifications among others), I would pursue additional classwork or online training to pursue additional certification. Some of this work can count as PDUs towards keeping your PMP and improving your professional toolkit in project management.
4) Please be sure to participate in the International Project Management Day in November every year. The International Institute for Learning (www.iil.com) puts on a day of virtual webinars that can be viewed for 30 days after you log in. There is an opportunity for nearly 20+ PDUs through this event alone. They are particularly interesting and provide lots of new resources and contacts who can be of help.
Additionally, there are other more active ways to grow and learn through service and involvement within the PM community and the community at-large. However, I am still discovering them.