The Project Notebook

Don’t Wait for 20 Years! (Part II)

I’ve had some further questions about last week’s article, so thought I would continue the story in this week’s post. Once you receive your certification, CAPM, PMP, or PgMP, there’s no need to wait another 20 years to continue your professional growth as a Project Manager. In fact, you will have to put in some minimal effort to maintain your certification. I’ll focus on the PMP.

To recertify as a PMP, you will need to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years. There are plenty of ways to earn PDUs, so obtaining an average of 20 per year is a reasonable goal. With many sources available, the associated expense can be very low, and in many cases, free. Here are a few good ways to earn them:

  • attend local PMI breakfast, lunch, or dinner meetings (usually worth 1 PDU each)
  • become a volunteer for your local PMI component (committee member or Board member)
  • take a Project Management class offered by your local PMI component or university
  • take an online Project Management class
  • write Project Management articles or papers
  • volunteer to teach a Project Management class
  • volunteer to be a speaker on a Project Management topic
  • self-study — e.g., read a book and write a brief review

The list goes on. Of course it will be difficult to get the PDUs if you wait until the last month in your renewal cycle, but with a little planning, its very easy. Your local PMI component is there to assist you and also provides a very inexpensive source of PDUs — the cost to attend a dinner meeting is usually just the price of a meal, and many breakfast and lunch meetings are free (you buy or bring your own meal). What could be simpler than that?

You will also notice many of the ways to earn PDUs give something back to the Project Management community. After I received my certification, I started attending dinner meetings (10 PDUs per year in San Diego) and became a volunteer director (another 10 PDUs per year). With occasional speaking and teaching engagements, I typically have three times the required PDUs each renewal cycle.

Don’t wait for 20 years — get involved in the Project Management profession today to make a difference and maintain your credential.

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© 2010-2012 Ray W. Frohnhoefer, MBA, PMP, CCP