The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 320: Changes to the PMP PDU Categories Explained (Free) #PMOT

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This episode is sponsored by The Best PMP Exam Simulator:
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John Kleine

At the end of 2015, the Project Management Institute (PMI) is going to make changes to the way PMI certified project managers have to earn their Professional Development Units (PDUs). And in this episode we are going to explore these changes with John Kleine (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-kleine/10/aa1/613), who is PMI’s Global Manager of Certification Products. He is right at the heart of these changes.But before we start let me give you a disclaimer here: If you are not PMI certified and you never intend to become a certified PMP, PgMP, PMI-ACP, or any of the other PMI certifications, then stop listening right here. This interview is of no interest to you at all. If on the other hand you are PMI certified, then consider this episode mandatory listening. You need to know this!

First of all you are going to hear that many rules and criteria about PDUs are going to remain the same, and so most of what you know about PDUs today will be true tomorrow. For example, you can still earn 30 Free PMP PDUs by listening to this podcast! But then we are going to delve into the details of the PMI PDU changes by looking at the new PMI Talent Triangle and by going through the current PDU categories and learning what changes are ahead.But before we start let me give you a disclaimer here: If you are not PMI certified and you never intend to become a certified PMP, PgMP, PMI-ACP, or any of the other PMI certifications, then stop listening right here. This interview is of no interest to you at all. If on the other hand you are PMI certified, then consider this episode mandatory listening. You need to know this!

But before we start let me give you a disclaimer here: If you are not PMI certified and you never intend to become a certified PMP, PgMP, PMI-ACP, or any of the other PMI certifications, then stop listening right here. This interview is of no interest to you at all. If on the other hand you are PMI certified, then consider this episode mandatory listening. You need to know this!

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Episode 319: Three Urgent Project Case Studies (Premium)

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This episode is sponsored by PMP Exam Simulator:
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Stephen Wearne

Last week, Stephen Wearne introduced us all to the basics of Managing the Urgent and Unexpected. We heard some of the lessons he learned, some best practices and what we can implement in order to prepare our organizations. So from the perspective of a project manager who is put in charge of urgent projects, we have the basics.

But there is of course more to learn by revisiting actual urgent and unexpected projects to see what those projects were like and what kind of takeaways we get from them.

And more than that -- remember that Stephen explained to us that managing an urgent and unexpected project is really the exception. So what I want to know from him at the end is this: What can we learn from all of this in relation to our regular, day-to-day projects.

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Episode 318: How to Manage an Urgent Project (Free)

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Stephen Wearne

Have you ever had an urgent or unexpected project come across your desk? Not just an important project, but an urgent one? If you answer is “Yes - I have managed urgent projects” then you are actually in the minority because most of us will actually never have to manage such a project. Professor Stephen Wearne explains this in his book “Managing the Urgent and Unexpected” as follows:

"Urgent and unexpected projects have to be rare in business or government to be economically and socially tolerable. Any such urgent and unexpected work demands an instant start, in contrast to the often lengthy processes of investigation, evaluation, development, selection and planning that is normal normal in businesses and public services before any proposed work is started. The chance that any one person except those in the emergency services will ever manage such a project is small."

Stephen then continues in his book with saying something that I disagree with just a little bit. He says that it’s not possible to know who should learn the lessons learned from these urgent and unexpected projects in order to be prepared. In my opinion, I know exactly who should learn from them -- we project managers should! And that is why I have asked him to come onto the program.

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Episode 317: The Details Behind Project Workflow Management (Premium)

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
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Rich Maltzman Dan Epstein

If you are like me then Project Workflow Management, the topic that we discussed with Daniel Epstein (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dan-epstein/1/10b/308) and Rich Maltzman (https://www.linkedin.com/in/exclaim) last week, needs a bit more discussion.

For example, I want to know why Dr Harold Kerzner thinks that it’s the best thing since sliced bread, how it is "better" than traditional methodologies, how it adds value to my work, and of course -- how exactly does Project Workflow Management work?

Well, you are in luck, because Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman are back to discuss just that.

And please don't forget to take a look at their book Project Workflow Management, and stop by at their website http://www.pm-workflow.com for all the free tools and teaching aid CD.

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Episode 316: Project Workflow Management (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Rich Maltzman Dan Epstein

Today, we are going to take a look at a business process approach that is quite new and quite unique called Project Workflow Management.

When I initially asked Daniel Epstein (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dan-epstein/1/10b/308) and Rich Maltzman (https://www.linkedin.com/in/exclaim) to come on the program for this interview I didn’t quite know what to expect. I knew that they had written a book about Project Workflow Management, but what I didn’t know is that the book is only part of the package. Their website http://www.pm-workflow.com not only offers many free tools to download but also a teaching aid CD.

I also didn’t expect to find a quote by Dr. Harold Kerzner in which he says point blank that project workflow management appears to be the best alternative, and significantly more valuable to us project managers than complex methodologies and processes.

So in today’s interview we will learn about workflow management from various angles - like how it differs from waterfall methodologies and Agile, its primary benefit, the tools it offers, how simple it is to apply, and of course how we project managers can start using this new approach that Dr Kerzner likes so much.

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Episode 315: The Top Ten Topics, Tips & Tricks for Project Scope Management (Premium)

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
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Jamal Moustafaev

We are welcoming back Jamal Moustafaev (http://ca.linkedin.com/in/jmoustafaev/en). And once again we will be talking about his new book on the topic of Project Scope Management.

But this time it’s all practical because we are going to discuss and give you the top ten topics, tips and tricks for scope management. And so you can look forward to learning about the signs that your project needs proper scope management, requirement taxonomies, types of questions to ask during requirements elicitation, requirements prioritization, writing guidelines and many more tips that you can apply to your scope management practices right away.

Let’s just hope that there is no scope creep during the interview!

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Caribbean Cruise Break

We went on a Caribbean Cruise, which means that The PM Podcast is on a break this week. Please enjoy this video with some impressions from our trip. My apologies for the awful video quality. Instead of setting the camera to the highest recording quality I set it to the lowest...

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The next "real" episode is coming your way in less than a week...

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Episode 314: Project Scope Management (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
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Jamal Moustafaev

Incomplete or missed requirements, omissions, ambiguous product features, lack of user involvement, unrealistic customer expectations, and the proverbial scope creep can result in cost overruns, missed deadlines, poor product quality, and can very well ruin a project.

That is why Jamal Moustafaev (http://ca.linkedin.com/in/jmoustafaev/en) wrote his new book about the topic of Project Scope Management. It is a Practical Guide to Requirements for pretty much any industry and describes how to elicit, document, and manage requirements to control project scope creep. It also explains how to manage project stakeholders to minimize the risk of an ever-growing list of user requirements.

Scope is important because every single one of our projects is launched to deliver something. And that something is defined in our scope. So Jamal and I not only look at what the state of scope management overall is and how business analysis plays into this, but we end our interview (of course!) with scope management tips and tricks for you.

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Episode 313: The Project Manager's Dirty Little Secret (Hint: It's Made by Microsoft but it's not MS Project...) (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
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Doug Hong

Here’s a little secret for you -- everybody does it. At one point or another during their careers, every project manager will use Microsoft Excel to manage one of their projects!

That in itself is not surprising. After all, budgets are often tight and companies may not want to invest into full blown project management software. And if they have such a software there are only a limited number of licenses available, which means many stakeholders cannot access the tool. So we project managers make due with what we have. And practically everyone has Microsoft Office.

But what is surprising is the fact that we just improvise. We will simply use Excel to the best of our often mediocre knowledge in order to somehow force a project schedule into those cells.

Well... enter Doug Hong (http://www.linkedin.com/in/doughong/en) and his series of seven free Microsoft Excel tutorials, that you can find at http://www.exceltraining101.com/excel-project-management/. In these seven short videos Doug shows you how to use MS Excel and create professional Gantt charts, work breakdown structures, checklists, pareto charts and more. All for free.

And because I liked the free approach I decided to invite Doug and ask him when and how we should use MS Excel, what Excel features we should learn about to better use it for our projects, and how we can identify the moment in our projects when Excel is really no longer the right tool and we have to upgrade to something more solid.

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Episode 312 Part 5: PMP Exam Coaching Experience with Tara Guidi (Free)

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Tara Guidi

This is a special episode of The PM PrepCast for the launch of our new PMP Exam Coaching program.

This is the final interview in our series where we focus on PMP exam coaching and it is also the third interview where a PMP exam student talks about her personal journey and experience in using a PMP exam tutor.

In this interview you will hear the story of Tara Guidi, PMP. Tara attended a condensed PMP training class and then unfortunately failed her PMP exam. Once she realized that the condensed approach wasn't for her she chose to try PMP coaching where a professional PMP coach works directly with her and a personalized training schedule.

The approach was successful. She passed her exam.

Please visit www.pm-prepcast.com/coaching for more information about our PMP exam coaching program.

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Episode 312 Part 4: PMP Exam Coaching Experience with Derek Satz (Free)

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Derek Satz

This is a special episode of The PM PrepCast for the launch of our new PMP Exam Coaching program.

This is the second of three interviews in this series, in which we focus on the coaching student. It's a lessons learned interview from the perspective of the PMP exam student who used a coach so that we can learn how a PMP Tutor helps his students to achieve success.

In this interview we welcome Derek Satz, PMP and we will be hearing about his trials and tribulations in preparing for this exam. One very notable fact about Derek is this: Derek has 11 certifications to his name and he says that the PMP certification was the most difficult one to achieve.

I asked him why he thinks that the PMP exam is so much more difficult and I read you his answer during the introduction of the interview. It's a long introduction, but worth hearing.

Please visit www.pm-prepcast.com/coaching for more information about our PMP exam coaching program.

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Episode 312 Part 3: PMP Exam Coaching Experience with Cathy Vasile (Free)

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Cathy Vasile

This is a special episode of The PM PrepCast for the launch of our new PMP Exam Coaching program.

In the first two interviews about PMP Exam Coaching, we heard from a PMP Tutor about his work and how he helps students as they are prepping for their PMP exam. Now we want to switch the focus to the students. This is the first of three interviews with PMP exam students who decided to use a coach during their exam preparation.

First off we meet Cathy Vasile, PMP. She had a hard time translating her initial training into PMP exam success. So she decided to work with a PMP coach and achieved success.

We learn about her journey from start to finish, talk about how the coach personalized the training for her needs, and why she feels that this was money well spent.

Please visit www.pm-prepcast.com/coaching for more information about our PMP exam coaching program.

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Episode 312 Part 2: How a PMP Exam Coach Helps You Overcome a Failed PMP Exam (Free)

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Dan Ryan, MBA, PMP

This is a special episode of The PM PrepCast for the launch of our new PMP Exam Coaching program.

Yes -- you read that right. We are going to tackle the issue of failing the PMP exam and I’m fully aware that you may not want to hear this. After all, if you are a PMP candidate then you are probably preparing for this exam like a madman or crazywoman so that you PASS the exam. And so it’s only natural that you are pushing the thought of failure away.

But… let’s look at this from a different angle: From the angle of lessons learned and how to proactively avoid failure.

My interview guest Dan Ryan has coached hundreds of students for the PMP exam. Many of them failed the exam before they came to him for help. He picked them up, motivated them, pointed them in the right direction and stood by their side on the road to PMP exam success.

That is what a coach does and if you want to know more about what type of coaching we offer, please visit www.pm-prepcast.com/coaching for all the details.

So listen to this interview not with fear about failing your PMP exam. But instead listen to it with the attitude of a project manager who has access to information from previous, similar projects and who uses information as lessons learned to make sure that your own project -- your own PMP exam -- does not fail.

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Episode 312 Part 1: The 7 Questions Every PMP Exam Coaching Student Asks (Free)

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Dan Ryan, MBA, PMP

This is a special episode of The PM PrepCast for the launch of our new PMP Exam Coaching program.

In this interview I introduce you to Dan Ryan, MBA, PMP. Dan is not only a certified PMP, he is also a PMP exam coach. As a PMP exam coach he works with PMP students from around the world to achieve the goal of passing the PMP exam. And he has done that hundreds of times. He successfully helped, motivated and guided his students to become PMP certified.

And he can do that for you as well because we decided that now is the right time for us to start offering personalized PMP exam coaching to you. To learn more about what type of coaching we offer, please visit www.pm-prepcast.com/coaching. That will give you all the details and introduce you to our coaches.

And please do yourself a favor and listen to this interview even if you think that you don’t need a personal coach for the PMP exam, because the 7 questions that Dan discusses are important. Everyone worries about them and Dan has the answers for you.

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Episode 312 Introduction: PMP Exam Coaching (Free)

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PMP Exam Coaching

This is a quick announcement to let you know that we are doing something different in the coming 5 days: There are 5 interviews coming your way. They are all about PMP Exam Coaching.

If you have listened to The PM Podcast for a while, then you know that the podcast here is a labor of love and my way of giving back to the project management community. My bills, my rent and my food on the other hand are all paid for by my recorded PMP exam preparation courses.

And the word “recorded” is key here because we have decided that now is the time for our company to start offering live, virtual PMP exam coaching where a live coach works one-on-one with a student to propel him or her to the PMP exam. You can find the details about this new coaching program at http://www.pmprepcast.com/coaching.

And to mark the launch of our new coaching program we are releasing 5 interviews that look at exam coaching here on the podcast. But don’t worry… these 5 interviews are not just pure infomercials for our new coaching offer. Yes, the interviews are meant to promote the program, but each of these 5 interviews is primarily focused at helping PMP exam students on their journey to the exam.

In these interviews we look at the 7 most urgent questions that every PMP exam student asks and how a coach in a would answer them. We discuss how you can pick yourself up after a failed PMP exam and how a coach can assist you here. And I also interviewed 3 students who have worked with a PMP exam coach in the past. We learn about their journey, their exam troubles and how their coach helped them get across the finish line.

In each interview, you will find tips and tricks and also recommendations for those who are currently preparing for their PMP exam.

This means that if you are currently preparing for the PMP exam (even if you know that you don’t want to use a coach) listen to these interviews to learn about problem areas that other students have faced and how they have been overcome.

And if you are not preparing for the PMP then please recommend these 5 interviews to any colleagues you may have who are currently studying for their PMP certification.

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