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!

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Take the 5th Edition Exam or Wait for the 6th?

I get the question regularly, “Should I rush and sit for the 5th edition of the PMP exam or should I wait for the 6th edition? Everyone is telling me to take the PMP exam now because it is changing.”

As this is a common inquiry, I decided to type up one of my responses here in this blog to hopefully help others with the same question.

In short, whether you obtain your PMP via the 5th edition or 6th you should be ok. The reason that a changeover gathers so much attention is that when the PMBOK changed from 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th they were relatively drastic. The exams also got more difficult – more situational, less memorization. And in terms of the 4th edition, the structure of the naming conventions got more logical and consistent, but drastically different for those who learned it in previous editions. Now the exam changes are more subtle. I would even argue that the changes are for the betterment of everyone and not overbearing. So now the rush to take an exam is more for those people who have been studying and want to test on the edition they have been working off of, as well as training companies wanting to capitalize on reason to push classes.

I have been thru many changeovers. I got my PMP on the 3rd edition. I started instructing with the 3rd edition. Was a contributor to the 4th and 5th editions of the PMBOK [so if you get a 5th edition, you will see my name on p501, but if you get a 6th you will not].  Have created courses for 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th editions. Now I am building a 6th edition online course in the way that I would have liked – interactive, visual, and engaging. Point being, whether you cram and take a weekday or weekend in person class (which is the way I got my PMP 13 years ago) or online or a combination of them in either 5th or 6th, you will be fine. My recommendation to people is to choose study options that fit your learning style and your timing. Are you better at reading… sitting in a class with an instructor… talking with others… going at your own pace or the pace of others… visual learner or prefer lectures… like to do a little each day or fully immersed days…etc.

Do you have a time crunch or just want to get it out of the way? The quickest way is to buckle down and do nothing but prepare and sit for the exam. If not able to afford the high costs, the time off work, and the hours of dedication in short order, then get online courses like mine and other resources and carve out a plan that is realistic AND hold yourself to it! Schedule your exam early and hold yourself to it. Having a deadline set and telling yourself you cannot move it makes you more focused and motivated. It is too easy to pushback something that is not rooted or set. Much harder to deprioritize the exam when you are committed to a date and time.

There are a lot of options out there. Many people use many options. Really it comes down to you. Are you disciplined to study on your own? Are you disciplined to focus for 2-5 days in a class and sit for exam soon after while everything is still jiggling around in your brain?

Let me know what you decide. I am curious about your story. You can enter your stories and thoughts in the comment section.

If you would like to take advantage of my training offering, snagging it now is definitely financially advantageous [only $99 if pre-order; $720 if post-launch in January]. If your plan is to time it for the 6th edition, then using The Crowd Training course on its own or in combination with any other type of course puts you in good hands. If you plan to go for the 5th edition, I do have some games that you could play to help you prepare!

Best of luck!

Kickstarter Fell Short But Project Continues

The Kickstarter campaign to help fund the PM City project fell short of its funding target. PM City is my interactive PMP certification course that incorporates animations, interactive lessons, videos, user controls, quizzes, discussion boards, games, and more. Gaining the funding would have made getting the course out to market easier. Nevertheless, the project is going forward!

The full release is slated for the end of January. One of the options I presented in the Kickstarter campaign was a beta version of the course for only $99. The full release of the course will have a list price of $720 USD. Even though the Kickstarter did not succeed, I did want to honor those who supported me by selecting the beta course pledge. As such, I am extending this offer to anyone that would like to get in early. To take advantage of this offer, go to The Crowd Training’s store and grab one of the limited beta spots here: https://www.thecrowdtraining.com/product-page/pmp-interactive-course-pre-order

Those able to grab the $99 beta offer get early access to the course. As additional thank you for supporting the PM City project, those beta users also receive a full 3 month subscription to PM City based on the 6th edition of the PMBOK post release.

Thanks again to everyone’s kind words and support. I have spent months on this project and there are only a couple more until release. I really think you will be impressed with PM City when it is finished. I am quite excited! I shall post some highlights of the final product in future blogs and on my YouTube page.

LavaCon Presentation – There Has Got to Be a Better Way for Project Management Training

Earlier this week I was asked to quickly put together a presentation at the LavaCon conference in Portland, Oregon.

I decided to speak about the need to view things from different perspectives and angles. I provided the examples of experiences with project management training and being a student in a very dry, boring PMP exam prep course about 13 years ago and how I set out to change it. There is no reason that more people out there should have to relive the mundane project management training I endured simply because that is the way it has always been done. So many people I have talked to said that they too sat through PMP prep classes that were boring, mind-numbing experiences. In many cases the instructor simply lectured or read the slides to the participants.

Sadly, the trend in online project management training is to take that same, ineffective method and transfer it to the online delivery.

Lavacon YouTube pic

I argue that video in this approach only makes things worse. If things were meh before, they are even worse now. Without any way to interactive with the content and the instructor and fellow students, all the onus of the learning and retention is placed solely on the student. Too often I hear and read stories of others who were forced to take on numerous modalities of learning – such as in person classes, audiobooks, books, flashcards, and many others – simply to get the PMP content to stick. Since so many had to rely on so many different methods tells me that their first plan of just watching videos in an elearning course to prepare for the PMP exam was insufficient.

There has got to be a better way.png

My goal is to disrupt the current PMP training options. I have a Kickstarter project launch in effort to create and offer something new. The Kickstarter project page is Http://kck.st/2hubLhS

At Http://kck.st/2hubLhS you can pre-order the PMP online interactive training course for only $99. Once the PMP exam prep course is fully launched, the course will retail for $720. Offering is so low at $99 is to thank the early supporters and to help the infrastructure costs that must be taken to make it possible.

Thanks in advance! You can find out more about The Crowd Training and the project management courses and learning opportunities offered at www.thecrowdtraining.com

In this video, I also reference the new book by Anthony Brandt and David Eagleman called “Runaway Species”. More about their book is at their book’s website https://runawayspecies.com/

The video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mkzlfFkabY&feature=youtu.be

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.

Another Project Management Game Added to The Crowd Training Game Pack

Designed, developed, and published another project management learning game on my The Crowd Training Games pack. This game is based on travelling to different locations and answering questions at each stop. The questions for the first set are all based on the Project Quality Management knowledge area of the 5th edition of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Now that I have the base structure and all the gameplay figured out, I can create multiple versions of the game for the other nine knowledge areas, as well as create updated versions of the game for the 6th edition of the PMBOK once that is formally released.

Currently, the 30 day access to The Crowd Training Games pack for $30.  This newest game release brings the number of games in the pack to 17 games. Since I am working on a full 6th edition project management professional PMP certification exam prep course in addition to more games to include in The Crowd Training Game pack, I am offering a 90 day access and a lifetime access for less than the 30 day access so you may get more games over time. The 90 day access is offered for a limited time for $23 and the lifetime is $25. Obviously, these won’t remain at that price for too long. But since I am just rolling out the new website and the new games, I thought I would extent generous pricing to my early adopters. Thanks and enjoy! Visit: https://www.thecrowdtraining.com/games to start playing!

Across the Quality Game.png

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.

todo.png

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!