Project Management

Voices on Project Management

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Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with--or even disagree with--leave a comment.

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Cyndee Miller
Lynda Bourne
Kevin Korterud
Conrado Morlan
Peter Tarhanidis
Mario Trentim
Jen Skrabak
David Wakeman
Wanda Curlee
Christian Bisson
Ramiro Rodrigues
Soma Bhattacharya
Emily Luijbregts
Sree Rao
Yasmina Khelifi
Marat Oyvetsky
Lenka Pincot
Jorge Valdés Garciatorres

Past Contributers:

Rex Holmlin
Vivek Prakash
Hajar Hamid
Dan Goldfischer
Saira Karim
Linda Agyapong
Jim De Piante
sanjay saini
Bernadine Douglas
Judy Umlas
Abdiel Ledesma
Michael Hatfield
Deanna Landers
Alfonso Bucero
Kelley Hunsberger
Taralyn Frasqueri-Molina
William Krebs
Marian Haus
Shobhna Raghupathy
Peter Taylor
Joanna Newman
Jess Tayel
Lung-Hung Chou
Rebecca Braglio
Roberto Toledo
Geoff Mattie
Dmitri Ivanenko PMP ITIL

Recent Posts

The Real Estimating Challenge Isn’t Calculating the Cost

Expect the Unexpected: Turning Unforeseen Issues into Opportunities

The Case for a Green Economic Recovery

The Project Manager’s Survival Guide to Leading Teams During a Global Pandemic

Boost Your Career From Home: How to Get the Most Out of Online Learning

Viewing Posts by Yasmina Khelifi

Boost Your Career From Home: How to Get the Most Out of Online Learning

By Yasmina Khelifi, PMP

As the world works to return to some sense of normalcy, you, like many others, may find yourself spending more time on your digital devices than ever before. Whether it’s completing work tasks, communicating virtually with project teams or staying in touch with family and friends, we’re all relying on technology more than ever to stay connected.

But are you making the most of it?

If you find yourself with gaps of free time throughout the week, now is the time to consider taking an online course. Not only is it important to boost your project skillset during this crisis, but many organizations—including PMI—are now offering a number of courses and learning resources at no cost.

I know from personal experience how beneficial it can be. A few years ago, a friend of mine became a data scientist thanks to online lectures. I decided to try out online learning for myself, and it changed my life. I enjoyed the freedom of taking the helm of my professional development and the flexibility of having my learning at my fingertips. I also enjoyed challenging myself to learn something new, interacting with international cohorts and gaining a fresh perspective through peer reviews while developing my critical skills.

Online learning is a convenient way to build your knowledge and skills, but it’s not a cakewalk—you only get out what you put in.

Here are some lessons learned that I have gleaned from the experience:

1. Define your objectives

First, consider your goals. Are you dreaming of:

  • earning a project management certification?
  • acquiring or improving technical skills?
  • mastering project management software?
  • learning a foreign language or another key asset to help build stronger global bonds?

Setting clear and reasonable objectives will help guide you through the labyrinth of online learning choices. Think about what skills you want to learn and how they can be applied to your work in the future.

2. Choose your methodologies

The formats, length and duration of courses—as well as the personal and financial investment—vary across platforms. Before taking the plunge, ask yourself these crucial questions:

  • How do you learn?
  • How many hours can you dedicate per week to learning?
  • Are you ready to enroll in a four-week course, or would you prefer to gain insights about a topic during a two-hour webinar?
  • Do you prefer on-demand, self-paced courses over live courses?

The answers to these questions will guide you to the most appropriate courses—and help avoid wasting time and money.

3. Stay the course

Now that you’ve enrolled, the real work begins. Here are some tips to keep you moving forward:

  • Write your learning goals on a sticky note, and keep it somewhere you’ll see it often.
  • Create a study plan.
  • Dedicate time in your schedule to completing homework.
  • Evaluate the progress you’ve made, rather than what remains.
  • Exchange notes and commentary with your classmates to amplify learning.

Organization and perseverance will help guide you to successful outcomes.

4. Practice what you’ve learned

As you progress through your coursework, jot down learnings you can apply to your projects. Take the time to consider how to turn new knowledge into actions.

Exploit any opportunity! For instance, I completed an online communications course from a business school on how to craft messages for presentations. I now rehearse more for any project presentation, taking into account that new knowledge.

Online learning can provide stunning benefits—if you’re willing to put in the work.

Leave a comment below sharing your experiences with online learning and how you’re taking charge of your professional development.

Posted by Yasmina Khelifi on: May 15, 2020 03:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (17)

Confessions of a First-Time Project Management Volunteer

By Yasmina Khelifi, PMP

Are you considering volunteering for a professional association or within your corporate organization? Almost two years ago, I did for the first time by joining the PMI France and PMI United Arab Emirates (UAE) Chapters—and I haven’t looked back since. What a transformational journey! Volunteering has helped me sharpen my leadership skills, unleash my creativity and broaden my professional network.

Whether you’re thinking about becoming a first-time volunteer or hoping to start volunteering again, here are some great benefits of giving your time to a larger project:

1. Volunteer to hone your project leadership skills

In November 2018, I joined the PMI France Chapter’s marketing communications team to contribute to an internal newsletter. Volunteering allowed me to interact with people from different cultures, countries, backgrounds, education levels, ages and professional experiences. I was able to collaborate with a diverse group of people, which is essential for any project leader.

Volunteering has opened many new doors:

  • I have discovered new ways of working.
  • I have found new energy and passion for projects.
  • I have learned how to better communicate with people from different backgrounds.
  • I have sharpened my writing skills in French and English, and learned how to be more concise in my communications.
  • I have strengthened my skills in virtual project management, a key pillar in our globalized world.

2. Volunteer to experiment in a safe environment

Volunteering has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and given me the confidence to experiment in new areas:

  • For the first time, I presented a webinar about leadership skills for the PMI UAE Chapter in collaboration with a friend there. Despite the bad sound during the presentation, I enjoyed the great learning experience, especially in preparing the slides, revising and rehearsing.
  • For the first time, I managed social network posts and created accompanying visuals.

3. Volunteer to expand your professional network

Volunteering has helped me to broaden my perspectives and network outside of my enterprise. Having worked almost exclusively in an international environment, I wanted to expand my network more in France. Surprisingly, thanks to the PMI volunteers’ network, I ended up meeting new people within my own company! I now belong to a worldwide and strong project management community: We support each other during this tough time.

Looking back on this incredible journey, I cherish the gifts I’ve received. Volunteering provides an invaluable source of learning and growth.

Leave a comment below sharing how volunteering has benefited your project teams or your project leadership abilities.

Posted by Yasmina Khelifi on: April 17, 2020 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (20)
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