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

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.

Created Videos of My PMP Whiteboard Drawings

When I have instructed project management professional (PMP) certification exam prep courses over the last 10 years, an aspect all my students really appreciated were my illustrations of the concepts as I discussed them. I would at a minimum draw out the processes included in a knowledge area prior to my lesson on the topic.

The illustrations would be drawn on the whiteboard for every class.  Some students would take pictures of the board or attempt to sketch their own versions in their notepads.  I must have had drawn them hundreds of times over the 10+ years instructing the classes.  Starting with my own studying for the PMP exam.  As a visual learner, I prefer to ‘think in pictures’.  It helped me prepare and pass the exam, as well as helping many others in my training sessions, I thought they may be beneficial to more people.  And with YouTube, it is possible!

The videos of my whiteboard animations are only of my drawings at this point.  I did not care my voice as I was drawing.  Plus I would like to record my voiceover with a better quality microphone and get rid of any ums and ahs 🙂  Once I have the audio explaining the processes, inputs, outputs, and tool and techniques as I draw them, they will be uploaded to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZdjZVoQFYUOOFnLr2R3E4A

The series is called Drawn Out: Project Management

Currently there are only project management topics of knowledge areas, processes, ITTOs, and process groups according to the Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK (r) 5th edition.  As I complete the PMBOK concepts, I may recreate my illustrations for ITIL/ITSM and Agile project management and the PMI-ACP exam.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks.

My Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam Prep App

My Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam Prep App

The Crowd's PMP Exam prep app
Screenshot from my windows 8 PMP app

For Windows 8 computers, laptops, and tablets, I created – with the help of my C# programmer friend – an app with questions I have written.  These questions have been used in my PMP Exam Prep courses over the years.  They have been tweaked and updated per the feedback from my students and others.  Beyond trying to provide prospective PMP exam takers with good, relevant questions, I also wanted to provide them with the experience of taking the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam as it is administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

So those using my app will experience the PMP test taking experience as much as I could emulate.  The exam questions have the 4 answer choices.  There is ability to go back or forward; and even the option to jump to any question you like.  You can ‘Mark’ or ‘Skip’ questions.  There is a grid displaying which questions have been answered or marked (from there you can go directly to any question you feel).  Like the real PMP exam, you can change your answer as many times as you like until you submit.  Once you submit, your score is provided.  Then, unlike the real exam, I have written some rationale for every single question so that you can get some feedback and reason for why the answers are considered correct or incorrect.  The app displays the answer you selected, as well as the correct answer, if different.

Thank you for checking out my app.  I have an Agile Project Management Exam prep app (PMI-ACP) in the Windows Store as well.  I am working on an ITIL Foundation version.  If you have questions for other certification exams, we can plug those in as well.

Checked Out GoGogh Yet?

If you have not checked out GoGogh.com yet, then you should give a look.

Unlimited web based IT training for under $400.  Heck, I spent over $2800 for one project management class.  Then found that GoGogh’s $400 rate gives me that project management class AND any other one I want to take.

When you are not worried about additional costs, I took advantage of the freedom to explore other topics and material.  I would never take a C# or Oracle training class, but when it is included for Free, doesn’t hurt my curiosity to take a look around – and yes, still not too interested in those topics.

I did find some topics that I was very interested in.  Take Six Sigma for one.  Not too technical; yet very worthwhile and with diverse applications.  And while I was on it I thought, why not learn about Software Quality Assurance?  So I did.  And it still did not cost me anything extra!

Granted, the downside of not paying per usage, there is a little less ‘buy-in’ from you as the learner – shall we say.  It was easier for me to jump around the topics and take on another topic when it got too far over my head or I just lost interest.  Not issue for the topics that did interest me.  More an issue with my motivation.  But at least I can go back anytime I want.

Having the options of study has been really powerful in my quest for new employment.  On top of obtaining my ITIL V3 certifications, I know that in today’s workforce, having a diverse set of skills is important.  Even if I don’t know them fully, having basic comprehension is key. Especially in the interview.  Speaking the terms.  Knowing the terms when they are spoken to you.  Priceless.  A few GoGogh lessons gave me a quick brush up on SharePoint and Six Sigma.  Paving the way for a smooth interview.

In any case, explore GoGogh.com for what is worth.  They do have an option for taking just one class.  That is $195.  Still dirt cheap.  But why not go with unlimited for $395?  As their catalog expands,  I am certain their prices will to.  Catch the wave as it is just taking off and you could save yourself a bundle.

Happy Learning!

ITIL and Employment

A question that always emerges is “Does ITIL v3 certification get me a job?”

That question is a familiar one for any certification.  My PMP questions ask the same question.  I am sure it is on the minds and tongues of all certification seekers.  Well, the simple answer is, “What else do you have to offer?”

Ok, I answered a question with a question.  But, if I asked you, “Does getting a University degree get me a job?”  Certainly depends.  Depends on who you know, what industry, where you apply, what skills you possess, and numerous other factors.  It can certainly open doors.

I had a student who took my ITIL class.  Passed the Foundation exam.  Got an interview with Hotwire that week.  Was hired the week after.  Can the ITIL certification take credit for the landing of the job – doubt it.  That would be a stretch.  Although, it may have opened the door.  May have been the piece to squeeze her resume thru the pipeline and into the shortlist.  From there, it was up to her.

One thing we can be certain: holding the certification proves she posses some understanding of the IT Service Management principles.  That comprehension of the basic terms, concepts, and purpose of ITIL is the general goal of the Foundation exam.  By passing that exam, it is verification that she meant at least those minimum standards.

Gaining certifications help prove you have the skills and knowledge base that particular certification exam is seeking to verify.  Not much differ than a university degree does.  If anything, it provides evidence that you are motivated to prove your competency in a standardized format.  Gaining certification requires seekers to go out on a limb.  They must prove that they have learned the skills; and more importantly – learned them in the research backed, correct way.

Certifications are not easy.  Although, on a resume, they are a quick check mark to show with certainty you have skills and/or knowledge.  Bullet points on a resume can be manipulated and reflect so many perspectives.  Certifications at the bare minimum give some standardized recognition.

So to answer your question, “Yes – to a point.”  Get a certification to back up your claims.  Then fulfill them.