PM Nerd

Sharing new and unique ideas about learning and creativity for project managers. The more we learn, the more we share, the more we grow.

About this Blog


Recent Posts

Life & Learning Are Fickle

Chapter 2 - A PMI Certification Learning Guide

Closing a Chapter

Learn How Insincerity Can Help You Grow

Love the Process, Not the Outcome

ALISON Reminds Me About the Joy of Learning

ALISON is a global online learning community, based in Ireland, that has been providing free learning resources since 2007. When you talk about Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) the conversation usually revolves around Coursera and EdX. ALISON though has been delivering the same type of content before both Coursera and EdX were even founded. 

More than anything, I am in love with the global community learning creates and ALISON  is a perfect example of that. A paragraph from their websites "About" page does wonderful job summarizing the goal they want to achieve. 

"More than anything, learning with ALISON will improves confidence giving you the hunger to learn more and make you more independent, helping you achieve your own destiny in life and to be as content and productive as you can be in the world of work. The most important thing you can do now is begin."

ALISON provides over 750 courses in 92 subjects. They are grouped into 9 categories; diploma courses, business and enterprise skills, digital literacy & IT skills, personal development & soft skills, languages, schools curriculum, health & safety & compliance, health literacy, and financial & economic literacy

ALISON also provides a simple process every one of their students can follow while they enjoy the courses:

  1. Decide what you want to study
  2. Find the right course
  3. Get enrolled
  4. Take the assessments
  5. Get the cert
  6. Empowerment

ALISON is designed to help professionals like us gain real world skills without a huge financial investment. I also love how they diligently and patiently go about their business while Coursera and EdX get all the attention. ALISON is a wonderful example of an open learning provider focused purely on the joy of learning. 

Posted on: November 13, 2015 10:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (18)

A Quadrant View of Professional Development

The "curse" of project managers is that we can easily move in and out of different markets and industries but not quite settle down. This eventually could lead to a semi-fulfilling career but not quite the homestead we were imagining.

PMI's talent management triangle asks us to focus on three skills; leadership, technical skills, and strategic business skills. More often than not those skills will be earned in conjunction with PDUs and not to add too much sarcasm but what does that do for you? If I earn the required number of PDUs, does that mean I will be a successful project manager? My answer is, "probably not."

Instead of focusing on the PMBoK and PDUs, what if we came up with a "quadrant" view for developing our project management talent? Imagine a 4 x 4 square. The upper left square represents knowledge, what you know. The upper right represents skills, what you do. The lower left represents personas, who you are. Finally the lower right represents community, who you serve. Knowledge and skills are what you can control. Those represent what you know and what you do and they can also be used to figure out what you want to learn and improve upon. Personas and community though are where you will make your money. 

Whether we like it or not, our careers depend on folks outside of our control and we are judged by the roles or personas we work in and the communities and companies we serve. So when we are setting our goals for where we want to improve, we have to phrase the goals in the context of what personas or roles we want to become and what companies or communities we want to work for and serve. 

We are lucky to be project managers but we have to start looking at how the world perceives us if we want to move up and into the careers we dream of. We cannot earn 60 PDUs and expect the world to hire us on the spot. We have to speak the language and learn the skills for of the roles we wish to fulfill and companies we wish to work for. 

This post feels like a bit of rambling and I hope it didn't come across like that but this "quadrant" idea is something I want to develop further. So does it sound like this may be on the right track for a new idea in professional development or not?

Posted on: May 19, 2015 12:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Setting the Table

Hello, since this is my first post in the community, I just wanted to take a few minutes to set the table for what I hope will be a long and enjoyable conversation. The goal of "PM Nerd" is to explore all the different ways project managers can learn, grow, and evolve. 

I love reading a good project management or leadership book just like the next person but to be completely honest, sometimes I want to read something outside of project management. Recently I finished reading Moby Dick by Herman Melville and started to wonder, how it could help me grow and improve in my profession. Just like professional athletes, I have to look for new ways to strengthen my mind and body, otherwise my muscles will figure out how to yield the least amount of energy in order to achieve the same results. 

So again that is the goal of "PM Nerd" to explore new forms of learning and share what I find with as many project managers as possible. Hopefully as this blog grows, you will discover something novel or a new website that will satisfy your curiosity. 

Thanks for stopping by and sharing this moment. I look forward to sharing many cups of coffee with you in the near future. 



Posted on: May 07, 2015 12:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)