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

Earn a No Pay MBA Today

If you could earn an MBA from world renowned universities and build a network to rival those of business schools graduates for less than $1,000, would you take the opportunity? If I told you someone is already doing that today, would you believe me?

Well Laurie Pickard is doing that while working for USAID in Kigali, Rwanda. As long as she has internet access, she is good to go. The beauty of Laurie’s plan is not only will she earn an MBA without going into debt but she is also sharing her progress and plan with everyone on her website, No Pay MBA.

Since she started, Laurie has gained worldwide attention from Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg Business. So far Laurie has completed 25 business courses and doesn’t seem to be hanging it up anytime soon.

I get excited about this because it gives us, project managers, a way to improve our business IQ with little to no opportunity cost. I have realized in my career, if I want to grow and take that next step, I have to become a smarter businessman and leader. I worry though how much it will cost. So when I came across No Pay MBA, it gave me hope and provided an innovative new way to look at business education.

All the projects we will ever lead are driven by strategic objectives that are hopefully driven by sound and justified business decisions. Instead of accepting the business case and hoping it is backed by the board, what if we were on the other side of that decision? If you want to make that next step in your career, it is paramount to learn and develop strong business skills.

To do that, most of us think an MBA is required but I am guessing most everyone on this site doesn’t have the time to attend a full-time MBA program, let alone an executive MBA program. This is why I think Laurie’s plan is so brilliant. Now it does take more work. To gain credibility in the eyes of CEOs who attended traditional business schools, you may have to complete twice as many classes as traditional students but I think we all know the key ingredient in finding success is the network you build. The No Pay MBA program is built on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) which usually includes students from all over the globe. For next to nothing, you are immediately exposed to professors from world class universities like Harvard, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford as well as a global network with common interests.

As long as you have internet access, you have the opportunity to earn a world class MBA education and create a global network. What do you say? Are you up for the challenge?



Posted on: August 17, 2015 10:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)

4-Hour Thinking and Innovation

When you read the title, The 4-Hour Work Week, what is your first thought? The same question applies to The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef.

Tim Ferriss, the author of all these books, now has a blog and podcast online titled,

The Four Hour Work Week Blog and The Four Hour Work Week Podcast.

I recently discovered Tim's blog and have found all of his posts fascinating. Just check out a few of these titles and try not to click on them, seriously I dare you:

12 Rules for Learning Foreign Languages in Record Time - The Only Post You'll Ever Need

Kevin Kelly on Artificial Intelligence and Designer Babies

The Maverick of Brain Optimization

Sam Harris on Daily Routines, The Trolley Scenario, and 5 Books Everyone Should Read

Jane McGonigal on Getting More Done with Less Stress and The Health Benefits of Gaming

I wanted to share Tim's blog with you because I think he represents a new way of thinking.

When I earned my PMP, I thought all I had to do was follow the PMBoK word-for-word and everything would take care of itself. Now I realize the PMBoK is simply a tool in my larger toolkit. To grow in my career and succeed as a project management leader, I have to develop other skills that enable me to adapt to whatever situation I may encounter throughout the world.

We keep hearing the conversation about developing more skills and abilities in business and trying to be more innovative but where do we learn those skills? There are of course hundreds if not thousands of resources available on the internet but I find resources like Tim's Ferriss' blog to be some of the best because they quickly take us away from our usual way of thinking and require us to feel a little uncomfortable. At the end of the day though, we realize how much stronger and smarter we have become thanks to folks like Tim.

So if you haven't done so already, click on one of the titles above and let me know what you think.

Thank you again for sharing this moment.



Posted on: August 14, 2015 09:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ya Gotta Think Backwards to Innovate

Lately, the theme on ProjectManagement has been innovation. So I have tried to keep up with all the articles which I have to say have been some great reads. 

Andy Jordan, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Also I want to thank Mike Griffiths as well as Mark Mullaly, keep the ideas flowing. 

The articles these gentlemen shared helped me to start trying and look at innovation from a different vantage point. The other source of ideas I have been enjoying for almost a year now come from my fello "Frog" classmates in the current PMI Leadership Institute Masters Class. I can't say thank you enough PMI for giving me this opportunity and the opportunity to work with a fabulous leadership coach, Amy Miller, from the Center for Creative Leadership.  

She shared a simple video titled "The Backward Brain Bicycle." The whole idea hinges on how to ride a bicycle and how hard it is to train our brains to think differently. 

So I wanted to apply this to project management and my profession. I always thought to grow my career I had to become a better project manager. To do that I had to continuously read project management books and books on leadership and business and it would all take care of itself. 

What I realized though is I have been conditioning my brain to think one way about project management and my career but in order to grow, I have to unlearn some old habits. 

So I have started to look for ways to unlearn my old habits and create new ones. To turn it into an analogy, I am looking for my own "backwards PM bicycle." So I have started to read the fabulous book Don Quixote. I find fiction is a great way to begin the process of unlearning because it is based mostly in a fantasy world that does not exist so it provides a fun way to "take the jump" (shout out to my fellow Frogs). 

The trick though is to find other ways to ride backwards in your career, unlearn old habits that may be hindering you, and create new habits that will help you take that next jump in your career and professional development. 

What are some other ways to take the jump? Have you found similar videos you would like to share? How do you try to unlearn old habits. 

I hope this post has helped you today and thank you again for sharing this moment. 






Posted on: August 01, 2015 12:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

"Life begins at 40, but often so does arthritis and the habit of telling the same story three times to the same person."

- Sam Levenson