PMI Talent Triangle: Earn “Technical Project Management” PDUs

On December 1, 2015, the PMI requirements for PDUs change - but not drastically. More emphasis is on training, which includes the category of "Technical Project Management".

Technical Project Management is one of the three legs of the PMI Talent Triangle. If you are a PMP, you are required to earn a minimum of eight (8) PDUs per cycle from training in each of the three areas of the PMI Talent Triangle, shown here.


This ppost focuses on the category of "Technical Project Management", which the PMI defines as the "Knowledge, skills and behaviors related to specific domains of Project, Program and Portfolio Management".

The PMI further describes the area of Technical Project Management as "domain expertise, certification-specific", and lists the following examples in bold, which I then describe further:

  1. Agile practices - any methodologies, techniques, or practices in the agile realm, with opportunities for earning an additional certification, such as the PMI Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP), and PDUs at the same time
  2. Data gathering and modeling - the realm of business analysis, requirements, and architecture, any training on gathering requirements and evolving solutions
  3. Earned value management - technique for evaluating project progress versus plan
  4. Governance (project, program, portfolio) - structuring rules, procedures, and practices for managing projects, programs, and portfolios
  5. Lifecycle management (project, program, portfolio) - the unique challenges, structure, and best practices for managing the various phases of a project, program, or portfolio
  6. Performance management (project, program, portfolio) - managing projects, programs, and portfolios to appropriate metrics
  7. Requirements management and traceability - ensuring that projects stay on focus to build the product enumerated in the requirements
  8. Risk management - the techniques and best practices for managing project risk, with opportunities for earning the PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) certification and PDUs at the same time
  9. Schedule management - the tools, techniques, and best practices for managing schedules, with opportunities for earning the PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) certification and PDUs at the same time
  10. Scope management (project, program, portfolio, product) - techniques, best practices, and advanced thinking on the special challenges of managing the scope of projects, programs, portfolios, and products
  11. Time, budget, and cost estimation - techniques and best practices for managing these project management skill areas

In short, these skills represent the traditional PMP skill set - the project management know-how embedded in the frameworks and tools of the trade that set project managers apart from those in other professional domains.

Note that the Strategic and Business Management leg of the triangle, as well as Leadership, are general management skills. While they are not specific to project management, although they are critical to PM success.

In fact, the PMI’s "Pulse of the Profession In-Depth Report: Navigating Complexity" states that "75% of organizations rank leadership skills as the most important for successful navigation of complexity in projects".

Furthermore, the new PDU requirements highlight a new emphasis on other skills outside the realm of Technical Project Management, namely "Strategic and Business Management". This also was driven by employer feedback.

In conclusion, PMs are required to continue to hone their Technical Project Management skills, but are best to evaluate their level of skills in each of the areas and focus on filling any gaps as they move forward.

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