New The Crowd Training Website!

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So excited to announce the launch of my new website! The URL for The Crowd Training’s website is https://www.thecrowdtraining.com

I created the site to share my project management games, drawings, apps, videos, and upcoming Project Management Professional PMP certification exam prep course. The Project Management Professional course – which I will just refer to as PM6 because it is based on the upcoming rollout of the PMBOK 6th edition from the Project Management Institute – is an fully interactive online training course. This course will fulfill your 35 hour project management training requirement for the PMI application. I am quite excited about it because it will truly be interactive and self paced. Too many of the online training courses I have had to sit thru have been either people reading PowerPoint slides or actors standing in front of a green screen reading cue cards or PowerPoint slides. Trying to endure that mundane monotony for hours upon hours is too much. It is no surprise students do not finish their online courses. My goal is to shake that up. Make it more concise and navigable. Put the power in the learner’s hands. Let the learner control the learning and be successful.

That PM6 project has been in the works for months and still has a couple more months of work to go. That full PMP interactive online prep course is currently slated for a September 2017 release. Ergo, the site currently offers a series of games that have been concurrently created for PMBOK 5th edition and 6th edition. I wanted to get the PMBOK 5th edition learning games out there to assist anyone planning to sit for the 5th edition of the PMP exam before the changeover at the start of 2018.

The project management games based on the 5th edition of the PMBOK are available for download or as a subscription. A subscription gives you full access to the entire library of project management games I have created… as well as any new games I develop! Any game published before and during your subscription period is made available to you. This is really a great option for those unsure if you want to sit for the 5th edition version of the PMP exam or the 6th edition. Subscribing to a $49 lifetime access gives you all the games now and in the future. At this moment, there are approximately 16 games available. More are being finalized and uploaded in the coming weeks. Once the games surpass the 30 game mark, the $49 lifetime subscription price will increase. Anyone claiming the current price will be granted that price forever. The 30 day and 90 day access fees will also shift accordingly. More about the games and pricing can be found here: http://www.thecrowdtraining.com/games

Building Matrix Game Example of one of The Crowd Training games for the PMP exam. In this game, you must select the correct location on the building for the randomly presented process before the taxi drives across the road in front of the building! It is only a few seconds. A prepared PMP exam candidate should be able to do this. Are you fully prepared?

There are other games currently available with many more in the pipeline. If you have ideas or suggestions of possible new games you would like to see or topics to be covered in a learning game, post them in the comments below! We would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

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Switching from Wunderlist to To-Do

I have been using Microsoft To-Do for about 2 months now. I migrated my Wunderlist content over to To-Do. Microsoft stated that the plan is to take what worked in Wunderlist and make it a part of To-Do. With Wunderlist sunsetting, I thought I would test the waters with To-Do.

So far, I have liked most of it. I do miss some of the features of Wunderlist – for example being able to share a list with others and enable them to view/edit/add to that list.  Also miss having subtasks for a task like a checklist. (MSFT has stated that these features are in the works to be released soon – not sure what ‘soon’ is, but I am anxious :))

I do like a new feature that was not in Wunderlist – My Day Review. Wunderlist has an “inbox”, but the “My Day” is better. I use the “To-Do” list as the equivalent to the Wunderlist Inbox. Then try to move just a handful of items at the start of the day to the My Day list (if I get those done, I will move more onto the list). What also is nice is at the start of the day, the My Day section lets you review what was and was not done yesterday. In the review, you can hit a button to add it to today’s My Day. Or check it off as done, in case you did not check it off when it was done. You can obviously also change/update the item details and due dates, as needed. But beyond that, My Day then pulls from your lists to suggest what you might want to work on today! Clicking the + icon adds it to today’s My Day, in addition to being able to manually add new To Do items.

When you add tasks in Outlook, they are also added to To-Do. This is helpful when you flag an email for follow up.

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This product will get better as they put more resources into it. For now, it is still worth relying on it for daily organization and productivity tracking. I would love to see Kanban type boards or ability to sort the items by weight – either priority or effort. And as a visual person, it would be mighty cool to see graphical representation of what I have completed or my history or what ‘piles’ of work still await me. I will also need to update my Windows Phone 8 to a 10 phone or some other OS to take advantage of the mobility of the tool.

That is a 2 month view. I shall loop back in another 6 months to let you know if I feel any different or if I have learned anything else to make myself more productive. And if there if no post in 6 months, that means I am NOT any more productive or organized!

The 6th edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PBMoK 6)

The Project Management Institute (PMI) updates their Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) every few years – give or take. This is a wonderful thing. It would be arrogant to think that every best practice of project management was captured precisely in the first try and thinking that practices and the profession does not change over time. Taking a look at the latest draft of the upcoming edition of the PMBOK, I am thinking that they are on the right track.

Personally, I have experienced the changeover from 3rd to 4th and 4th to the 5th. I was a full time project management instructor, developer, and author during those transitions. I was also one of the contributors to the 4th edition. Not that influences my impressions, but I do declare that move from the 3rd edition to the 4th edition was the most radical and beneficial. This was primarily due to the standardization of naming and structure. The process nomenclature was all over the board in third edition. The fourth edition set out to uniformly establish all processes with a VERB – NOUN structure. For instance Scope Planning became Plan Scope Management. Does not sound to drastic or earth-shattering, but as instructor attempting to get all my students to understand, memorize, and internalize all the vast amounts of content and exact naming, this was a major improvement.

Reading thru the sixth edition, there is not the major structural changes like those just mentioned. Nevertheless, there is obvious recognition of how our industry is maturing and expanding. There appears to be more attention given to all the various industries where our project management skills and methodologies are used and applied. This is most noticeable in terms of agile project management practices. As one certified in PMI’s Agile certification called the PMI-ACP, I welcome the inclusion of agile considerations in with the more traditional methods of project management. Naturally this demands more of project managers and those seeking the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, but it is not out of line to ask for our PMPs to be more well rounded and obtain a broader knowledge base and tool bank in which to lead projects with. I equate everything contained in any edition of the PMBOK and the broader collective of what we expect a certified PMP to know is like a toolbox. A carpenter has his or her own toolbox that enables them to tackle various projects. Every project he or she works on is not going to require the same exact tools or strategies to meet the project’s objectives. Same with project managers. We need to have a toolbox. The more it contains, the more we have available to us. The more we comprehend the tools contained within, the more we are able to make the most appropriate decisions. Project management, like carpentry, requires skills, knowledge, and practice. And like any trade, we should expect the industry, the knowledge bank, and the technologies used to grow and evolve in hand.

So I fully embrace the upcoming changes to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. I am excited to train future and current project managers and PMP seekers on the 6th edition of the PMBOK. The PMBOK 6th edition is expected to be released later this year (2017) in the 3rd or 4th quarter.

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.

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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

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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!