Project management is an ever-changing field, especially evident through the new category structure of PDUs that was implemented by the Project Management Institute. For those who are unfamiliar, a PDU is a Professional Development Unit. With new categories added to the mix, the new system is not more streamlined and it is much simpler for project managers to achieve their work goals because the structure enables them to get the reports that they need faster. Below is an overview of how the new structure of professional development units are affecting the professional of project management.
The Reason for the Change
Before delving into how the new system affects project management, it is important to overview the reason behind the change. First and foremost, many project managers and organizations were having trouble coming up with the right candidates for project management positions. More importantly, those who may have qualified still did not have the right leadership and business skills that human resource professionals were looking for.
Their qualifications as project management professionals may have been good for the short term, but they still did nothing spectacular to improve the company’s bottom line. The change was therefore implemented to help improve professional development activities and provide individuals with the right certification that they need to succeed professional and help companies.
The New Emphasis
Currently, the new skills emphasis is a bit different than what it was. Organizations are looking for three skills in their project manager: strategic business management, leadership, and technical project management. The new PDU system enables professionals to get these types of skills by focuses on them when aiming at improved professional development. With skilled project managers in the field, many are hoping to see greater results and outcomes.
How to Earn PDUs
While those who have credentials from PMI will still be able to get those credentials through the same efforts, the main difference is that the number of PDUs given. Now, those who earn PDUs also need to earn them through volunteering to their profession rather than simply by education. This means that professionals who earn a PDI will need to put more effort into their education and volunteering experiences and ensure that the number of PDUs earned for both categories is sufficient for their professional needs.
The New Categories
If you’re considering getting project management credentials, then you should be aware of the new categories involved. As of March, the new categories stream from A-F.
- A Levels: academic courses that enable you to attain consulting education and corporate education
- B Levels: continuing education that does not include academic courses that you attain through the university
- C Levels: self-directed learning, which means that you do personal research and study. You can also coach and mentor to gain credits at C levels.
- D Levels: creating new project management knowledge – this means that you write and present webinars and podcasts.
- E Levels: Volunteering, which including volunteering for your local PMI through project management services.
- F Levels: working as a professional project management employee and in this case, you just report on your job.
For a visual summary of the Talent Triangle Alignment instructions, check this high level summary