Control Quality Whiteboard Drawing Now Available for 6th Edition PMBOK

Another whiteboard drawing explaining a PMBOK process is now available. This time Control Quality.  Feel free to use the whole series to help you review the 6th edition processes. The students in my Project Management Professional (PMP) exam prep courses found my whiteboard drawings and explanations very useful in their studies. I decided to help others outside of my PMP exam classes, so I have been working on getting all the PMBOK processes sketched and explained.

If you are a project management instructor, you are free to use them in your training sessions as well. Please give The Crowd Training  http://www.thecrowdtraining.com credit if you do. Thanks!

#pmp #project #quality #projectmanagement

 Control Quality video screenshot

Free Course Added

It’s yours. For FREE!

I am presenting my session about the importance of understanding and internalizing the needs and perspectives of your product’s end users and customers at the upcoming Project Management Institute (PMI) Portland Annual Conference next month. Recognizing that not everyone can attend my presentation at the PMI Portland conference, I created an exciting, interactive version of the presentation! And I am giving it away for free on my website: http://www.thecrowdtraining.com/free-content

Teaser Gif

For those in the Pacific Northwest area and interested in attending the PMI Portland conference, you can find more information about the conference and my session You Did What In My Shoes? at their website: https://pmi-portland.org/2018-ac-meet-the-speakers/speakers-agile-track

PMI Portland logo

The “You Did What in My Shoes?” lesson is an interactive, engaging session on the best practices of project management in regards to considering and developing projects based on the needs, expectations, and perspectives of the user and customer.

This lesson is ideal for anyone working on or aspiring to work on projects. Often we lose sight of who were are building, designing, and developing project for and how they will be using our work. Even if we are good at keeping those end users in mind, putting ourselves in the shoes of others is an excellent reminder and results in better outcomes.

Exploring this fun, simple course you learn about the various techniques used by project managers, project teams, agile managers, designers, and others to get into the shoes of others. The You Did What In My Shoes? interactive lesson is a recreation of the breakout session presentation facilitated by The Crowd Training at Project Management Institute (PMI) conferences and Learning & Development conferences across the United States. The objective is to introduce or remind you of these concepts, techniques, and best practices in hopes you incorporate them in your daily professional life and/or explore them further. The lesson is not a complete, comprehensive deep dive into the practices. Only enough to whet your appetite, get in the mindset, and to motivate your interests.

The lesson has interactive content where you can be active in the lesson. Instead of sitting back and passively absorbing the information, you are prompted to enter responses, make decisions, and even help create your own stories, personas, and user experiences. There is even a Mad-Lib styled activity.

Mad Lib image

You Did What In My Shoes? lesson is a free offering of The Crowd Training. Feel free to share this link with your friends, colleagues, and others. It is a good lesson for all of us.

If you know of others that can benefit from this material, please feel free to share!

Thank you.

27 Sixth Edition PMBOK Processes Posted; 22 More to Go!

There are 49 processes in the 6th edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge, better known as the PMBOK (TM). My goal is to sketch out on a whiteboard and explain all of them.

When I was preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam over 14 years, I drew pictures to help me comprehend and remember the project management concepts and the official processes. That was way back when the PMBOK was in its 3rd edition.

When I instructed PMP Exam prep classes, I used and refined my process drawings to explain the concepts and processes to the class participants. It was an excellent way to help me explain to them the big picture and comprehensiveness of the process. The whiteboard drawings explained the purpose and objectives of the process, as well as visualized the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs defined by the PMBOK for that process. It also helped that a whiteboard was the only multi-media tool I had to help me instruct.

For four to five days straight, for eight to ten hours every day, I had to prep these PMP candidates for a difficult, wide ranging exam. An exam that had a relatively high failure rate. I was essentially tasked with dumping huge loads of knowledge and information on them in a short period of time… for days. I made it as interesting as I could. Shockingly, I actually had a decent student sucess rate in passing the PMP exam. But without PowerPoints, computers, posters, games, or any other visuals of any kind, I had to make the most of my whiteboards or flipcharts. That’s where the power of my drawings shined.

Years later, past participants would come up to me and say that they still remember many of my drawings. A majority of them would recreate my drawings over and over again as they studied the material. Some even could recreate a process drawing on the spot years after they passed their PMP exam. Because of that, I realized that even though I do not get the opportunity as often to instruct project management exam prep classes in person I can still share the process drawings that helped a lot of people pass the exam.

Now that we are in the 6th edition of the PMBOK, I am making my way thru the processes and posting them all for free on YouTube. I am also including them in my much larger learning production called PM City. PM City is a full 35 hour interactive PMP preparation experience with the aim of getting people ready to pass the PMP exam. [You can learn more about The Crowd Training’s PM City online PMP course and use the discount code thisistheyear to get a year access for only $201.80 at http://www.thecrowdtraining.com ]

The drawn out whiteboard drawings alone will not prepare you fully to sit for the exam, but certainly help comprehend the process, review the process, and assist in your memorization and compartmentalizing of the content. I hope the videos help you on your path to becoming a Project Management Professional.

The current playlist has 27 videos. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeYSGv4FkK21_919uCpAsfaWYAupNqzLE

The goal is add another project management 6th edition process every week. Keep checking back. Only 20 more to go!

Opening Day!

PM City is now open! After more than 8 months of designing and constructing the best project management online learning experience from the ground up, PM City is now open for business!

PMP City with process groups

PM City is the amazing new interactive online course development exclusively for the 6th edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and the Project Management Professional PMP certification exam. PM City is a production of The Crowd Training http://www.thecrowdtraining.com/pm6 and is available at crowd.myabsorb.com for only $720 for a lifetime subscription. [Or use the coupon code thisistheyear to get the entire course for $201.80 USD]

PM City is fully online and self paced. The e-learning course fulfills the 35 hour project management requirement for the PMP application from PMI. The Project Management Institute accepts the certificate of completion from The Crowd Training’s PM City course.

PM City can be used as your complete course or as a supplement to your other in person training or self study.

Dev PMP Process Screen Example

Everyone learns differently. As such, not all project management courses should be presented and delivered in all the same ways. This course was envisioned to purposely shake up the project management training industry. The tired method of having PM instructors read over their dull and plain PowerPoint slides is ineffective. Recording someone stand there or sit in front of their webcam talking at you for hours is not much better. Sitting there passively while someone lectures to you for hours is not a pedagogically sound approach to teaching. And in our modern society with the advancements of technology there is no reason to force an approach that is only meaningful to a few onto the masses. That is why The Crowd Training wanted to create something effective for the masses.

Comm Game Example

As you become more engaged and active in your learning, the more it sticks. That stickiness is extremely important as you are taking a high stakes, high cost exam. There is too much on the line to spend time on training that does not match your learning style. No one wants to retake the exam at any cost. You want to pass the first time and obtain that highly valued Project Management Professional distinction. That is what I set out to make for you.

Beginning with my own study and preparation for the PMP Exam over 13 years ago, I observed how almost every training course or book out there was boring and fairly dry. It consisted primarily of someone lecturing to you for hours. In my case in particular, there were no PowerPoints or whiteboards or flipcharts of any kind. It was hours, upon hours, of someone dumping all that he knew about the PMP exam at us. After 9 – 10 hours a day of dumping information on us, there was not much sticking. Actually, I don’t think much was sticking post-lunch.

To overcome the assaulting barrage of project management talk I drew pictures, made sketches, created mind maps, took notes, and otherwise made sense of the drone of words. As a visual learner, I need to see it. A picture is worth a thousand words. And I had to make a few hundred pictures a day to keep up. Those pictures became the cornerstone of my project management training delivery for years. I still have past students to this day saying how my graphics and drawings have stuck with them years after they passed the PMP exam.

Risk with sharks When it came time to finally have the technology to not only present my drawings to PMP learners, but to provide an online manner for learners to engage and control their learning, I was so excited to be able to offer such a product. I dedicated hours and sleep to sketch out my vision of how project management training could be. I wanted it to be accessible and on demand. I wanted online learning not to be a chore or something “they have to get through”. I wanted it to be meaningful and sticky.

After months of laying out all the neighborhoods [a.k.a. knowledge areas and concept blocks of project management] and constructing all their elements, I am proud to announce that PM City is open! It took so much effort to envision new ways of presenting the content, illustrating material, recording audio that was conversational and approachable, animating my drawings and my voice, and bringing the project management content to life. But even more than that, it required the technical capabilities to make the true control and interactivity possible. Every box clicked had to trigger some action or reaction. Voiceovers had to play only when the user wished them to play. Navigation was not to be linear, which requires more code to connect the dots and allow the learner to return to content they wish to repeat as often as they wished without needing to hunt and peek through hours of video footage.

end of process screenshot

PM City is truly an awesome new way to study and prepare for the Project Management Professional certification exam. And the best practices of learning does not stop there! To meld the best online PMP training with the tried and true success of the in person instructor led classroom, The Crowd Training is offering a series of “Power Prep PMP Weekend” classes. These weekend PMP training sessions augment the online learning content. By combining the advantages of both the online training and the off line face-to-face training, you get the best of both worlds. Best of all, you don’t have to take away any time from work. The online learning is done on demand and on your time and choosing. The in person classroom is only one weekend! A condensed, powerful weekend to meet with instructors and fellow PMP candidates to ask questions, take practice mock exams, and extend your learning.

These Power Prep courses are scheduled in select cities throughout the United States in 2018 starting with San Diego the weekend of March 17 – 18, 2018. Here the link to hold your spot AND get full access to the awesome online PMP prep content: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-edition-pmbok-pmp-exam-power-prep-weekend-course-san-diego-tickets-38457688983

It is a winning combination! What are you waiting for? Don’t live in the Southern California area? There are other options in 2018, as well as getting your key to PM City. Become a PMP Citizen and get learning!

LMS Selected. All Systems Go!

As I getting closer to launching my interactive online project management course called PMP City – www.thecrowdtraining.com/pm6 – I have to prepare for users to access the content, track their learning progress, and authorize their certificate of completion for their PMI Application. To do that and a great deal more, I had to select a Learning Management System (LMS). Then I had to modify and prepare it for my learners. This is what I choose and what I am doing to set it up.

LMS screenshot.png

After searching and exploring the literally hundreds of learning management system providers out there, I selected Absorb by Blatant Media out of Canada. I worked with them over 12 years ago and their product has only gotten better.

This system will enable those enrolled in my interactive online PMP certification exam prep course to access the content 24×7. More importantly, it enables my unique interactive presentation of the PMP content to be, well… interactive. There are also randomize quizzes per knowledge area, comment/discussion boards, and resources learners can access.

Beyond enabling users to navigate the project management content at their own pace, they can see their certificate of completion that is valid in case they are audited during the PMI application process to sit for the PMP exam. The PMP City online course fulfills the 35 hours of project management training requirement.

The PMP City online interactive course is only $720 for lifetime access when it launches on February 1, 2018. For those who visit http://www.thecrowdtraining.com prior to that date, you should discover a pre-order discount price.

public dashboard of crowd absorb

http://www.crowd.myabsorb.com is the site to access your online PMP course when it launches in February, as well as access to all the project management games and PMP mock exams.

Animated Cartoons and Augmented Reality – What I am Presenting at the Online Learning Conference This Week

No it is not online.

No it is not being done in virtual reality or augmented reality.

The Online Learning Conference is a conference for those of us who build, design, instruct, and assess learning and training via online tools.

This is my 4th time attending. Third as a presenter. This year, I am presenting twice. First on Augmented Reality in delivering just-in-time training.  Second on using Adobe’s Character Animator to deliver live training and/or recorded self paced training using an animated cartoon!

olc-2017-header-logo.png

The first presentation is tomorrow, Tuesday, 9:30a. The session is being co-presented with a team out of Hungary who is also exploring the power and possibilities of augmented reality (AR) in providing training and learning content. My portion revolves around the content I have presented at the Realities360 conference and the Training Conference earlier this year about the potential use of AR safety glasses to provide just-in-time training and content to manufacturing workers. Much like what was been discussed in the Wired Magazine article regarding the pivot of Google and their Glass wearable. My case study is based on work being done at Plex Systems and some of their manufacturing customers.

My second presentation is on Wednesday. It is a two and half hour session because it is a “hands-on” workshop. Originally, this workshop was to be on building an app. I have facilitated this session about 5 times for the Training Magazine and their conferences. They asked me to run it once more. I relented and said ok, even though I was thinking the topic had reached its saturation point even though the sessions do fill up every time. Then a few weeks back, as I started to review my presentation for any updates, I discovered some massively impactful news – Microsoft was sunsetting the program!

To teach the attendees on how to develop an app during a two to three hour session I use a program called Windows App Studio. The web based program was fairly simple and straightforward means of creating a Windows based app. Granted, Windows apps are far from the most desired apps around. Nonetheless, it still taught someone how an app could be made and kept true to the promise made in the session title: “Have an app ready to publish by the end of this session.”  But with Microsoft discontinuing the program, I had to scramble for another presentation topic and quick!

Win App Studio

I floated a few ideas with the conference organizers. We needed something that would not conflict or duplicate sessions are ready scheduled for the conference. That eliminated my desire to facilitate my really fun Project Management Awareness Fail to Succeed session. I always have so much fun hosting that session. But alas, there was already another project management session on project charters already scheduled.

The new topic also had to be hands on. After all, that is the name of the session blocks. That eliminated any topic that I could essentially just speak about. The topic had to be something the attendees could do AND fill up close to 2.5 hours! That limited things. If I was going to do anything with computers, I had to use a free program or at least one that can be trialed. It had to be cross platform. It had to have a learning curve that was not overwhelming. And of course, it had to be something of use and interest to learning and development professionals.

I offered the tips and tricks of Camtasia – a video editing program widely used by learning and development teams. There was no other session on the tool I also offered. I also suggested the use of Sway to create presentations and online material. Both would be useful for L & D professionals, but I was not exactly sure if I would be able to fill 2-3 hours on the topics.

In the end, we settled on Character Animator from Adobe. This is an animation tool that allows you to use your webcam and microphone to animate an Illustrator or Photoshop image in real time. I would show you a quick demo below of how I have used it, but I have not paid for the full version of Word Press and it denied me the ability to share. I will upload it to YouTube and link or embed it later.

Anyway, the Character Animator is a really cool tool that allows creators to animate without having to be full time cartoonists. For trainers, we can use this when we are presenting and don’t want our own faces to be the on screen visuals. Many of us are delivering online training from homes or offices that do not have expensive setups rigged with the latest green screens and lighting. Instead of dealing with all that hassle and expense, we could have a character do our presenting. Almost like an avatar rather that a human video feed.

 

CA Robot Example@3x.png
A simple example I am having the OLC attendees create and use for live action animating

 

Beyond the live feed presenting, Character Animator also enables us trainers to insert characters that match a motif or brand or mascot into pre-recorded online training content. For instance, if my company The Crowd Training had a client requesting sexual harassment training, we could offer them an online self paced elearning course that featured an instructor or guide that fit the company’s image and/or was purposely nondenominational or fitting any particular category. We could have an on screen presenter that was of no set ethnicity or not even human at all. That would remove the fear of featuring certain situations that might cause unease or inadvertent discrimination. Not to mention, many people prefer to see fun relatable characters over a disconnected human.

Looking forward to running these sessions. Shall post again later this week to let you know how they went. Until then, I am going to enjoy some of New Orleans and the 90 degree heat and humidity! Ok, maybe not so much the latter.

New PMBOK 6th Edition Out Now

The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge 6th edition is official out and available for download. I have been a reviewer of the PMBOK 6th edition for many months now. I have advised many project management training companies seeking to update their 5th edition PMBOK content to the newly released 6th edition. Now it is accessible to the masses.

If you are PMI member, you can download a PDF version of the 6th ed PMBOK by going to http://www.pmi.org and entering your credentials. You are then provided the option of downloading a digital copy of the latest PMBOK to your computer or device. Every time you open the downloaded PMBOK 6th edition on your device you are prompted to enter your PMI member password. So, I recommend you keep your password easy enough to enter frequently. I had a friend who had a very complex password. Very secure, which is normally a good thing. But every time he opened the PMBOK on his Kindle he had to enter the password. And a password with too many symbols and upper/lower cases in various orders was not very convenient.

PMBOK 6th

The hard copy of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)– Sixth Edition by Project Management Institute is not yet shipping. I have pre-ordered my physical copy from Amazon, here  http://a.co/hN7Zjkd According to Amazon, the book is scheduled to ship out September 15, 2017. Currently, it is priced for $84 US for the English version.

PM6 Plan Resource Management Main

The Crowd Training’s fully interactive PMP certification exam prep course based on the PMBOK 6th edition is planned for release in October 2017. More information on this at https://www.thecrowdtraining.com/pm6

Once complete, the 35 hour project management course will be available on the web and for mobile devices. You can stay up to date by joining the mailing list on http://www.thecrowdtraining.com

PM6 Resource Management on Phone

Until then, there are 5th edition PMBOK games available. If you order a lifetime subscription, I will give you all the 5th edition versions of the games, plus all the new games that I develop for the 6th edition of the PMBOK. Currently there are over 15 games. A lifetime membership is now only $23 at http://www.thecrowdtraining.com/games

Look for a more thorough breakdown of the differences between 6th edition from 5th edition in this blog soon. Let me know your impressions, if you have taken a look at the new edition.

Discounted 5th Edition PMP Exam Questions Course to $10

For those needing to get a few more Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam questions before sitting for the real PMP exam, I created a course featuring some of best PMP exam questions along with my advice.

udemy-pmp-course-cover

Instead of just having a learner take a 100 questions, I also:
– introduce each knowledge area and provide some pointers
– draw out with my hand drawings and explain each of the process in the knowledge area
– give you an knowledge area concentrated exam
– debrief and provide tips on each and every question

Since this was made with 5th edition questions, I decided to cut the price from $75 to $10.  PMI is changing the PMP exam to reflect the update to the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) to a 6th edition in Q1 of 2018, this 5th edition focused practice exam course may be obsolete by the end of 2017. Figured it better to reduce the cost so more people can take advantage of its contents.

So if you are in need of some more exam question practice before you sit for the PMP exam, use coupon code ‘success10′ at https://www.thecrowdtraining.com/product-page/success-pmp-exam-questions-and-answers-5th-ed

Mixed Reality in Training

I recently gave a presentation at the Training Conference 2017 in San Diego on the use of various devices that could be used for learning and development. The objective was to share with fellow educators and other leaders and professionals in the Learning and Development industry some of the soon-to-be realities that we are experimenting with for delivering Just-In-Time (JIT) training to our learners.

Just in Time Training via Safety Glasses.png

There were a few technologies and tools that we are currently experimenting with at Plex Systems (an ERP company based in the Detroit area). I showcased the Microsoft HoloLens and Daqri helmets to illustrate the delivery of training to manufacturing employees. Our thinking is that shop floor employees must wear safety glasses, why not make them more dynamic and useful beyond just eye protection. Ergo, when an employee is standing at a workcenter or on the assembly line attempting to recall their training from weeks back, they do not need to rely completely on their own memories. If already equipped with augmented or mixed reality glasses, they should be able to access training content straightaway. Whether that content be training documentation, training videos, checklists, or a live person, the employee needs that material at the point where he or she must apply it more than weeks prior while they were sitting passively in a training session.

The Microsoft HoloLens and Darqi devices are not the only cutting edge technologies we are exploring. I shall discuss more of those other devices and our strategies behind them in a future blog. For now, I simply wanted to bring up the discussion and get the virtual ball rolling [pun intended!].

As I prepare my next presentation on the topic – which includes the Online Training Conference in New Orleans and PowerPlex 2017 in Atlanta – I am curious to hear what other people are doing or considering doing. Would love to dialog and share thoughts!

Published a Quick Course About the PMP Exam Questions

udemy-pmp-course-cover

Over the 10+ years I have been instructing Project Management Professional PMP certification training courses, the majority of the attendees are there for one primary reason – get certified.  No matter how much experience or reading one does, there is one major hurdle all candidates must overcome – the exam.  I built an inexpensive course on Udemy.com that helps.

As a side project to test out the Udemy platform, I decided to take my collection of difficult, more thought provoking PMP questions across all the knowledge areas and offer them as part of the course.  But the questions are only a piece of the value creation.  The more valuable part, I believe, is the debriefing of the questions.  Not just those sparse one liners I often see in other training materials, but a real in depth, comprehensive debrief of the questions and their answers.  And not just the correct answer, but why the incorrect answers are in fact incorrect.  The PMP exam is a very difficult test.  I wanted to help those attempting to sit for this exam get in the PMP testing mindset and build confidence.

I only had space to submit and debrief ten questions for each knowledge area.  I choose or wrote new questions that went beyond the memorization or simple response type questions.  These questions should force you to think about them a little more and give me much to talk about in the debrief.

I look forward to hearing your feedback and results on the real PMP exam.  The course is called Success! Answers for the Project Management Professional Exam  https://www.udemy.com/pmpanswers/?couponCode=answers  It is priced at only $30.  The link gives you the course for only $21.  Pretty good value for what you get.

Best of luck on your exam and in your preparation!