Sunday, April 19, 2009

It all started with a tweet...PDUs for blogs!

Well, it's not official yet. But, the discussion has begun, and what better place than the Project Managers on Twitter (#PMOT) group. This has become my new favorite go-to place for the latest ideas, thoughts, and link sharing of all things project management. The group is growing, tweets becoming more frequent. If you're not sure what this hashtag thing is all about, at least for the project management scene, I recommend checking out this post over at Raven's Brain: Project Management Hash Tags on Twitter.

So, anyway, it all started one day when Vincent Birlouez said this:

And then Kelvin Zhao replied with this:

And that's when I saw the tweet and got in on the conversation. I won't continue to paste the screenshots of how the discussion continued, but it seems that there is a good handful of social media savvy project managers who would like to earn PDUs for their project management related blogs.

And why not? We enjoy what we do, we enjoy reading and learning about what we do and how to do it better, and if we want to invest the time into maintaining a project management related blog, why not get some credit for it?! I have to admit, my own blog posts have slowed down in the last couple months, I've started to contribute to a non project management blog (gasp!), which requires me to post twice a month. I also try to post on my company's blog every so often, so my blogging energy gets diverted somewhat. But anyway, if it's on your mind and you enjoy participating in the discussion of all things project management, only makes sense to get some PDUs out of it.

The PMP handbook describes a PDU as this:

" The professional development units (PDUs) is the measuring unit used to quantify approved learning and professional service activities. Typically, one PDU is earned for every one hour spent in a planned, strcutured learning experience or activity. "

And there are 5 categories under which PDUs can be claimed:

1. Formal Academic Education
2. Professional Activities and Self-directed Learning
3. Courses offered by PMI Registered Education Providers/PMI Components
4. Courses offered by Other Education Providers
5. Volunteer Service to Professional or Community Organizations

So, after some research and twitter discussion, seems like the category that PM blogs fits into is category 2, Professional Activities and Self-directed Learning. Within this category are two areas that seem the most relevant:

2B - Author or coauthor of an article pertaining to project and/or program management published in a non-referreed journal (e.g., PM Network)

- Self directed learning activities are individualized learning events involving personally conducted research or study. Learning may include informal activites such as discussions or coaching sessions with colleagues, coworkers, clients or consultants. It may include articles, books, instructional manuals, videos...etc.

Thanks to some PMOT friends (@andystitt829, @GKonProjMgt, @pm4girls ) who are helping me connect to the right PMI people, the movement to get blog posts to formally qualify for PDUs has begun! The initial response from a Certification Standards Associate at PMI was that while there are no current plans to create a separate category for PM blogs,

"PMPs can report the research done for the blogs under Category 2SDL - Self Directed Learning. Under this category, 15 PDUs can be reported per cycle for any personally conducted self study or research regarding project management. Since blogs often required research on the subject matter, any research that would apply to this categories requirements could be reported."

I doubt that I could use this post to claim PDUs, but the idea has been planted. Looks like there's a way to get PDUs within the current system, and I would just love to see the word 'blog' added to the PMP handbook in that category 2 area. I mean, I'm sure blogs didn't even exist at the time the handbook was written, much less being used by so many of us PMs to share ideas about project management.

So, if/when PDUs for blogs becomes should it work?

Should we submit our blog post to PMI for review and approval? Can we have a peer review system and earn the PDUs that way? Can we earn 1 PDU for each qualifying post, or cap at 15 each year the same way PMI does currently?

If we're going to nudge PMI into the social media world, than shouldn't we also be able to earn PDUs from participating in discussions on Project Management social networking sites like PPMNG, Gantthead, or LinkedIn? And of course, you must not forget Twitter. I have no idea how it would be quantified, but makes perfect sense to me that participating in the PMOT discussion should earn PDUs.

Stay tuned, I'm going to go onto the PMI website and register my 2SDL PDUs for my blog and the reading/research I've done in making my posts. We'll see how it goes, and meantime, it would be great to start the discussion of how we can move PMI into the web 2.o world.


Elizabeth said...

Good luck - it would be trailblazing for PMI to acknowledge this form of self-directed learning for PDUs! I don't know of any other professional organisations that do this.

Anonymous said...


I have read couple of books and would like to utilize them to claim PDU's . What is the procedure ? Do I need to write transcript of my learning from the book ? Do I need to get it peer reviewed ? If I took 2 hrs to read the book , does it mean I can claim 2 PDU's ?

Appriciate your help for above .


Dina said...

Hi Anjatali
Sorry for the delay in response. When I filled out the form, I claimed under that area 2SDL (Self Directed Learning) and listed all of the books I read over the time period. Yes, I think if you've spent 2 hrs reading it than you should be able to earn 2 PDU's. I don't think a write up is necessary. I claimed 15 PDU's for a list of books and blogging I did over a year of time and was not questioned for the work done. Good luck!