Process Improvement

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Ways to gain "real" PM skills
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I have been certified for 3 years now. Although I have held PM positions prior to receiving the certification, they were mostly a lead role and not using the actual PMBOK areas to run the project. Ironically, after becoming certified, I have only had 1 PM role. Where can I gain some skills to improve my ability to perform in future roles. Are there opportunities to work for free or volunteer just to get the experience
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Melinda, The best thing is to engage with you Local Chapter. In your case, you will benefit most out of joining your chapter. Good Luck.
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1 reply by Melinda Outlaw
Nov 14, 2016 9:08 PM
Melinda Outlaw
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Thanks so much Rami. So much for trying to save that extra 30 bucks lol.
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Nov 14, 2016 8:39 PM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
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Melinda, The best thing is to engage with you Local Chapter. In your case, you will benefit most out of joining your chapter. Good Luck.
Thanks so much Rami. So much for trying to save that extra 30 bucks lol.
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2 replies by Joanna Maniscalco and Rami Kaibni
Nov 14, 2016 11:36 PM
Rami Kaibni
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No Pain, No Gain Melinda :D
Feb 07, 2017 4:39 PM
Joanna Maniscalco
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Funny I was thinking the same thing. Guess I will look into it also.
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Nov 14, 2016 9:08 PM
Replying to Melinda Outlaw
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Thanks so much Rami. So much for trying to save that extra 30 bucks lol.
No Pain, No Gain Melinda :D
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If you have had only 1 PM role in the past, I would highly recommend that you consider being open to other roles such as a Project Coordinator, or Business Analyst. Certification does not always equal a PM role immediately. Companies also look for the progressive experience or what is that unique experience that you have that will make them money. So you must always consider their requirements first and then what you bring to their table to meet those requirements. Opportunities for gaining experience can be had from volunteering in your local PMI Chapter, non-profit organizations and searching on the PMI.org website under "Volunteer". This way you earn valuable PDUs for your credential cycle too. Best Wishes.
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2 replies by Fazal Hussain Aasar and John Tieso
Mar 28, 2017 1:09 AM
Fazal Hussain Aasar
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Great advice Shabana, I also try getting into different roles for enhancing and increasing my skill set as being on top position limits your opportunities of learning from other people about what things they do better than you.
May 05, 2017 8:38 AM
John Tieso
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I would certainly agree with taking other roles, both to gain understanding of what they do, and how they need to interact with the PM in a coordinated way. In other discussions on the board, many of us have spoken about the need to have a PM who is well-prepared. That happens through experience, and experience is not something you can go to a store and buy. It takes time, patience, and the obvious will you already have to improve and get to a PM position. Keep trying. You may find some of those opportunities through your local chapter.
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Melinda:
Take action; put together a personal development plan. You may need to plan that you'll be in a pc coordinator role until to gain experience with being able to manage a project. Attend a PMI Chapter dinner meeting, get active with your chapter and volunteer.
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1 reply by Joseph Pangan
Oct 18, 2017 10:30 AM
Joseph Pangan
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I agree.
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Hi Melinda - have you thought of some type of Project Management volunteer work where you could grow your skills while helping others? An example is Leadership Spokane - this is a program where you can apply for 1-year positions to help with projects to improve or better your community. Some examples of Leadership Spokane projects were helping a foster child program, a child nursery program and a homeless children program. Each type of project lasted one year and all kinds of business leaders worked together to make small yet powerful improvements to their community. This will cost in time and commitment, but is a great addition to any resume while building your community! Something to perhaps consider!
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Its been my first time here and by reading your valuable comments I got an idea that after getting PMP which way I can get more knowledge
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Melinda--definitely look at the VRMS at PMI for volunteer opportunities and get involved with your local chapter. But you would be surprised what you can apply the PM principles and processes to in your personal life. In the absence of formal corporate project work, I have found countless life opportunities to exercise the principles and processes of project management. I coach a competitive science team for my son and when I tell you that it exercises every. single. area. of project management I'm not even kidding. Likewise, I attack my family's own home renovation projects using PM methodology and practices.

At the end of the day, the important thing is practicing the skill set so that you are on point and understanding the potential pitfalls of the processes. The domain you apply them to is less relevant (which is a contentious topic, I realize). You can find projects everywhere. They just may not be enterprise-sized. I find that making formal projects out of life opportunities gives me a great deal of practice with the variations that come with projects in corporate America.

Of course, my husband doesn't always love this and sometimes, people may look at you a bit odd when you insert a more rigorous process than other see as necessary but not so much that they opt out of working with you.
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3 replies by Bang Yang, Krishna Pakki, and Mudassar Khan
Feb 02, 2017 7:04 AM
Mudassar Khan
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I agree with Heather as At the end of the day, the important thing is practicing the skill set so that you are on point and understanding the potential pitfalls of the processes. The domain you apply them to is less relevant (which is a contentious topic, I realize). You can find projects everywhere. They just may not be enterprise-sized. I find that making formal projects out of life opportunities gives me a great deal of practice with the variations that come with projects in corporate America.
Jun 18, 2017 2:10 PM
Krishna Pakki
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Cant agree more. PM processes are applicable in every role. Your the Project Manager for the scope of work you handle. The application of PM processes need to be tailored to suit each role.
Dec 09, 2017 2:45 AM
Bang Yang
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I agree with you. we can make a project around our life. that don't need to join a big organization or something else. your idea give me another view about project. now I learn english on a training institution.but I don't know how to control my learning method and how to test my capacity and the result of my effort. maybe I can make a project for myself.
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Volunteer pm opportunities within your existing workplace.
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Simply said, do it. If you're in a PM role now that isn't allowing you to grow and you cannot work it out internally, I recommend looking outside but for another PM role.

A few people have mentioned how hiring managers often look for progressive experience as a PM and it's true but all of them started as a "new" PM to build that. I don't know any experienced PMs today who started as a project coordinator. That said, I came from a BA role and transitioned in without a certification so it's a little different.

For better or worse, a certification is enough to land you a first-level interview for many PM positions.

Sell your people and communication skills in an interview. A good hiring manager will understand these are core project management skills and you might find someone to give you a chance to gain experience with the more technical aspects.
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1 reply by Md. Masudur Rahman
Nov 13, 2017 4:27 AM
Md. Masudur Rahman
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Thanks Mr. Cliff for your inspiring comments
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