The PM Podcast


Project Management Interviews for Beginners and Experts

Episode 204: The “New” PDU Categories and Structure (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The PDU Podcast:
The PDU Podcast

Rory McCorkleIf you are a certified PMP then you know what the acronym PDU stands for. It stands for Professional Development Units. Every PMP needs to earn 60 of these PDUs every 3 years in order keep his or her certification. The idea behind having to earn these PDUs is a simple one. PMI wants every PMP to continuously learn. Just like doctors or pilots who have to take classes regularly and practice new skills in order to keep their license, PMI wants us PMPs to learn new project management skills so that we can be the best project managers possible.

The rules describing which activities count towards PDUs and how you have to report and claim them is documented in the “PDU Category Structure and Policies” document. In March 2011 PMI released a new version of these rules that is a lot less complex than the old one. So this has been out for about 10 months now, however, I still receive a lot of emails from confused PMPs who have questions about it. So I went ahead and sat down with Rory McCorkle from PMI to discuss the new structure and get clear descriptions and explanations directly from the horses mouth.

Here are some topics that Rory will discuss in the interview

  • Why were the PDU policies changed?
  • We’ll define the rule that “One hour of effort is equal to one PDU”
  • We’ll discuss the PDU Divisions and Categories
  • We give examples of PDU earning activities
  • And lot’s more.

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #204. This is The Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com and I am Cornelius Fichtner. Nice to have you with us.

If you are a certified PMP, then you know what the acronym PDU stands for. It stands for Professional Development Unit. Every PMP needs to earn 60 of these PDUs every 3 years in order to keep his or her certification. The idea behind having to earn these PDUs is a simple one: PMI wants every PMP to
continuously learn. Just like doctors or pilots who have to take classes regularly and practice new skills in order to keep their license, PMI wants us PMPs to learn new project management skills so that we can be the best project managers possible.

The rules describing which activities count towards PDUs and how you have to report and claim them is documented in the “PDU Category Structure and Policies” document. In March 2011, PMI released a new version of these rules that is a lot less complex than the old one. So this has been out for about 10 months now as we are recording this episode, however, I still receive a lot of emails from confused PMPs who have questions about it. So I went ahead and I sat down with Rory McCorkle from PMI to discuss the new structure and get clear descriptions and explanations directly from the horse’s mouth.

This episode is sponsored by The PDU Podcast™, which is our sister podcast. It is a convenient way for you to earn unlimited PDUs. Get project management webinars delivered to your portable player like an iPod, Android phone or Blackberry and earn at least 1 PDU every month. With The PDU Podcast™, there is no need to go to a classroom. You don't even have to sit at your computer. Instead, enjoy the freedom of earning your PDUs anywhere. Simply download the webinars to your player and play them wherever you are, for instance on your way to work. Your PDU Podcast™ puts you on autopilot for your re-certification. Visit www.pducast.com. That's p-d-u-c-a-s-t.com

Here are some topics that Rory and I discussed in the interview.

• I start out by asking him: “Why were the PDU policies changed?”
• Then we’ll define the rule that “One hour of effort is equal to one PDU”.
• We’ll discuss the PDU Divisions and Categories.
• We give examples of PDU earning activities and lots more.

And now, how many PDUs do you still need? Enjoy the interview.

Podcast Interview

Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Rory McCorkle, PMI’s Product Manager Credential.

Cornelius Fichtner: And once again, we are coming to you from the PMI Global Congress in Dallas. Once again with me, Rory McCorkle from PMI, Product Manager Credentials. You’re more than that! You also helped making the old PDU Category and Structures so much easier.

Rory McCorkle: Oh, thank you!

Cornelius Fichtner: Thank you! It was extremely complex the last version and people didn’t understand the Category 2-B to 2-F and 5-G and 2-X and what exactly, where do I put my categories? It’s so much easier.

Rory McCorkle: It sounds like you’re reading of baseball signals or something here.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yes. So topic of the discussion is the new PDU category structure and policies which came in to effect I believe March of 2011, right? If I remember that correctly.

Rory McCorkle: That is correct, yes!

Cornelius Fichtner: Why was it changed other than making my life so much easier?

Rory McCorkle: Well, that’s really the primary motivator and of course, you understand that. There’s a lot of history that goes into the change that we made this year. Indeed, as folks might be aware, the CCR Program has been around since 1999.

Cornelius Fichtner: Continuing Certification Requirements Program, right?

Rory McCorkle: Yes, thank you!

Cornelius Fichtner: You’re welcome.

Rory McCorkle: And indeed, since that time, it has not been changed in terms of the categories that are out there. So in 2006 and 2007, we actually conducted a rather large study in conjunction with the university on the CCR Program. We looked at a number of different things. They studied our program. They surveyed PMPs and other credential holders. They benchmarked the program against other certification programs that were out there and really gave us a lot of good input. What actually ended up happening with that data is the first thing we determined is that, the way we were recording PDUs, the technology or lack of therein in this case, was quite insufficient. So that led to the release of CCRS Continuing Certification Requirements System which…

Cornelius Fichtner: That‘s the online product.

 

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

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