Kill Two Birds With One Stone – PDUs
How often do you get a chance to accomplish two things at the same time - or as the saying goes, "kill two birds with one stone"? Well, you can actually do this quite easily with PDUs.
My wife and I like to do Saturday errands together, as it's a chance not only to get things done, but to spend some time talking in the car.
Sometimes I like to get some exercise on the stationary bike - in front of the news - accomplishing two things at the same time.
Now not everything lends itself to multi-tasking, and often we are kidding ourselves when we multi-task - like when I work on my computer while watching "Shark Tank"! Unproductive!
But there are productive things you can do where you truly are multi-tasking - and getting two things on your list done at the same time.
And earning your PMP PDUs is one of them.
Here are a few ways that you can "kill two birds with one stone" as you earn you PDUs:
- Courses - Both Category A and B: The more you learn the better off you are. It never hurts to learn more. But you want to do it efficiently! And you want to do it by taking a course on something that will help you (Don't take course in things you don't care about, just to satisfy the PDU requirement!). I find that the best way with training is to find a current problem, opportunity, or goal that you have, and take some training on that. But most importantly, put what you are learning into practice right away! If you do that, you will be "killing two birds with one stone".
- Take advantage of Self-directed Learning - Category C: Is there a project you are working on? Is there something you are curious to learn on your own? Do you want to do some original research? There are a whole lot of ways that the PMI lists for doing this: reading, watching, listening, formally discussing, being coached or mentored.... The key is to be proactive about this and spend your time on things that matter to you, that will make a difference in your knowledge and performance. The only exception is where you simply would like to gain exposure to other areas, to enable you to see a different side of things, but that in a sense is proactive also! The ability to completely direct this yourself provides you with the opportunity to "kill two birds with one stone".
- Be creative and share with others - Category D: The PMI lists a bunch of different ways, from authoring a PM text book, to serving as a subject matter expert (SME) on a panel discussion. The commonality among them is that you are sharing your knowledge to help others...but you can also help yourself in the process! Perhaps you want to establish yourself as an author, an authority on a particular subject, or make people aware of your services and capabilities. There is no better way than sharing some knowledge for free - and this "killing two birds with one stone".
- Get out with people and network - Category E: This is where you volunteer and network. If you provide some sort of PM-related service, you can combine community service with earning your PDUs. If you volunteer for a PM organization such as your PMI Chapter, you can combine building your personal and professional network with earning PDUs. You may also volunteer for a non-PM organization, such as a tech group (i.e. a group that specializes in Oracle database product knowledge, or Six Sigma, or engineering), where you provide project management services as part of your volunteer work. It is great to network with fellow PM's...and also great to network with non-PMs, where you can be the resident PM expert. In either case, you are definitely "killing two birds with one stone".
- Work in project management! - Category F: This is the easiest way to "kill two birds with one stone"! Just do your work, and as you earn 5 PDUs annually, the maximum for this category, you will effectively reduce your 60 PDUs requirement every three year cycle to 45 PDUs. Many people think they need to find a way to earn the full 60 PDUs. Don't forget to take advantage of claiming your work to reduce your requirement to 45 PDUs for virtually no effort at all.
The above five examples show that earning PDUs need not be a burden, but truly an opportunity. So do something that you would do anyway - take a course that will help you become a better project manager, take the initiative on a self-directed project, share your PM expertise with others, build your professional network, and just work in project management - and earn PDUs at the same time! I'ts synergistic, satisfying, and just plain efficient to "kill two birds with one stone" when it comes to earning PDUs.