Does Certification Limit Learning?

It seems ironic, but this practitioner wonders if the process of creating a curriculum and multiple choice-based testing procedure leads to an over-simplification of the subject matter and inhibits learning. Maybe it is the process of creating a credential or people’s inbuilt desire to simplify ideas, but we seem to have lost practical project management guidance on dealing with uncertainty.

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The Unlearning Principle

Fact is, most organizations want professionally certified project managers, never mind whether certification actually prepares anyone for the hard realities and fuzzy ambiguities most projects encounter. Of course, once the certified project manager is on board, something more than perfect recall of multiple-choice answers is required. And a huge dose of ‘unlearning’ begins.

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Learning New Tricks, New Trends and New Approaches

There’s no question that project professionals are busy. With people to manage, deadlines to meet and constant decisions to be made, project professionals spend most of their time focusing on the more pressing demands of day-to-day work. This article discusses how project managers can stay on top of trends and embrace new approaches. First, it examines the role complacency plays with project professionals and how organizational leaders need to encourage experienced project managers to incorporate new techniques and create a culture that welcomes innovation. It then identifies one of the main factors that stunts development in seasoned project professionals. The article explains how an environment that encourages learning should have a top-down approach, where project managers know that the culture supports taking the time to try new approaches.

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The Project Simulation Game: Simplifying PM Through Concrete Learning and the “Project Book”

The project management office (PMO) of a municipality in the Middle East started investigating ways to make project managers practice and implement methodologies and techniques of project management. The challenge is to present project management (as a science) in an innovative way that grasps the attention of those project managers. The PMO conducted extensive research to identify new training methods and decided to provide a training course that is centered on a game simulating a real-life project.

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Learning From Our Experiences— How to Keep it Simple and Productive

In the beginning, everyone in the small company did his or her part of the job and shared problems and results at the end of day. I was hired to bring about changes in the company and make it more structured and efficient while it was expanding. Joining as a project manager for this company, and one of only a small number of employees, I remember renovating and innovating at the speed of light, whereas on some days, our efforts to improve “continually” just didn’t seem to bear enough fruit.

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Unlearning PM: Play Ball!

We set out to learn the project management body of knowledge before learning that our projects’ communities are more knowledgeable and capable of guiding us than our earlier indoctrination acknowledged. And that our notions of what it means to play the project management game need some situated experience and a lot of unlearning before they do us much good. Then we start inventing games that work better for us than following the old rules ever did.

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Unlearning PM: Seeing Different

Most project managers are introduced to a way of seeing projects that is more reductive than holistic — more focused on work breakdown than flow and value creation; more metrics-measured than self-regulating. In Part Two of the series, the author explains why an emphasis on inputs, outputs and certain processes might hinder performance and, ultimately, project value.

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Unlearning PM: Who’s Managing Whom?

However you might define project control, you should question its purpose before attempting to accomplish it. Otherwise, you may default to a control strategy poorly matched to your intentions and your project’s purpose. There’s considerable evidence that individuals, not managers, PMOs or progress reports, exert the most meaningful control over successful projects, and that external controls compromise this inherent capability.

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Preserve Investment by Assessing Quality of e-Learning (Part 2 of 2)

There are many convenient training opportunities now online. In addition, your organization might be creating its own. Make sure you are getting good training by checking for these best practices. In the previous article, we looked at evaluation criteria for e-learning, based on the best practices identified in the past few years. The issue we are dealing with is how to know that your team is getting its money’s worth when individuals utilize e-learning or distance education is some way.

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Unlearning PM: Don’t Task, Don’t Tell

Can projects managers better serve their teams and achieve more valuable results by not getting involved in task-level planning? Yes, because the real-time judgment of those who are executing the tasks will probably be more constructive and insightful than a detailed plan created before work even began. It’s not abandoning the plan, but using it more as hypothesis than directive.

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