The Project Management PodcastAuthor: OSP International LLC
21 May 2018

The Project Management Podcast

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Project Management for Beginners and Experts. Are you looking to improve your Project Management Skills? Then listen to The Project Management Podcast™, a weekly program that delivers best practices and new developments in the field of project management. The more companies understand the importance of sound Project Management, the more will your skills be in demand. Project Management is the means used by companies today to turn their vision and mission into reality. It is also the driver behind transforming a business need into a business process. The Project Management Podcast™ looks at how project management shapes the business world of today and tomorrow. Find us on the web at or send your emails to The Project Management Podcast™ is a trademark of OSP International LLC. All other trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2005 - 2017 OSP International LLC. All rights reserved.

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    Episode 413: When the Organization thinks they don't need Project Management (Free) #PMOT

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    Jen and Cornelius
    Jen Pfaff and Cornelius Fichtner

    When an organization has a structured PMO, using your project management skills can be easy.

    But, what if your organization doesn’t have a PMO or doesn’t even like the rigor of project management? What should an experienced project manager do?

    This interview with Jen Pfaff (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the dazzling Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Trust me... it was 2017 even though I say "2018" in the opening...)

    We’ll talk about how to execute your projects and grow your project management skills all while setting your business and IT customers up for success. We'll see how organizations without a PMO can be effective by tracking basic metrics, and how key templates in your project management toolbox will help your project managers be effective.

    Episode Transcript

    Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

    Podcast Introduction

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    Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

  • Posted on 13 May 2018

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    Episode 412: How to Integrate Risk Management into Agile Projects (Free)

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    Laszlo and Cornelius
    Laszlo Retfalvi and Cornelius Fichtner

    Agile has gained popularity in part due to its ability to effectively respond to issues as they arise, improve stakeholder satisfaction, and increase focus on value-driven delivery. A major challenge for many project managers is knowing how to effectively plan, identify, and manage risks when using agile approaches. This discussion addresses how to integrate proven risk management techniques with agile approaches to increase the probability of project and organizational success.

    This interview with Laszlo Retfalvi (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the exciting Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.

    We look at how to develop proper project risk management statements required to support agile approaches to project management and learn to apply proven risk management techniques, which every project manager should consider as part of any agile approach.

    Episode Transcript

    Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

    Podcast Introduction

    Coming Soon

    Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

  • Posted on 06 May 2018

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    Episode 411: The Future of Project Management (Free)

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    S. Maye
    Stephen Maye, Projectified host

    The Project Mangement Institute (PMI)® launched their new podcast "Projectified with PMI®" at their thought-provoking Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.

    And during the conference I had the opportunity to sit down with Stephen W. Maye (LinkedIn Profile) who is the Projectified host.

    We begin by looking at PMI's new podcast itself, but then quickly move on to a number of "futuristic" topics. Stephen has had the opportunity to interview some of the brightest project management thinkers from around the world. Anand Swaminathan, Dr. Michael Chui, and Jacqueline Van Pelt to name just a few. Stephen summarizes their thoughts and ideas for us.

    We also discuss what Stephen sees as the number one trend in project management, what this trend means for us project managers, and how digitalization, artificial intelligence and the internet of things will influence the way we manage projects going forward.

    You can find Projectified with PMI by visiting

    Episode Transcript

    Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

    Podcast Introduction

    Stephen Maye: In this episode of The Project Management Podcast™, we look into a crystal ball to see how project management is changing and how modern tools and emerging technologies impact the way you will manage your projects in the future.

    Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to The Project Management Podcast™ at I am Cornelius Fichtner.

    We are coming to you live from the thought-provoking 2018 PMI Global Conference in Chicago.

    Podcast Interview

    Cornelius Fichtner: And I have moved on to Room 474-B and I am sitting here opposite Stephen Maye from the Projectified with PMI podcast. Hello Stephen!

    Stephen Maye: Hello, Cornelius! Thanks for having me!

    Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, welcome to the program. Thank you so much for being here! Absolutely great! So you are the Host of Projectified with PMI, a new podcast that PMI is launching here at the Congress. Why has PMI finally, only after 12 years of me doing it, decided to start their own podcast?

    Stephen Maye: Well, it was important to make sure you had a large bank of material that we could rip off and republish. No, you know I think it was just time. When you look at what PMI’s mission is in the world and kind of where it fits and PMI paying in particular attention to responding to where the market is going, where people get their information, not only the current community of not just people who call themselves project managers. But people who get up every day and go to work and do something that’s significant in a project or multiple projects. Not just once a day but those coming up.

    And I think it became clear, and again I of course wasn’t in those conversations initially but I think it became clear that this was an important way to make information available to people on the go, on their schedule where they happen to be. Personally, I like to consume podcast when I run. So that’s the kind of thing that doesn’t work for a lot of formats but works well with this. I think it was about meeting people where they are.

    Cornelius Fichtner: What’s the focus of your podcast?

    Stephen Maye: It’s really around what’s next. It’s really focused on being forward looking on those subjects, those concepts, those ideas, those insights that are relevant to people doing important project work. So if you can imagine this kind of core space of what we think of as project management knowledge and skill and technique. And even if you were to take for example, the PMBOK® Guide, and the Agile Practice Guide, and if you were to say, well that’s a pretty good way of describing what’s in that core specs.

    Well around that, there are all these other disciplines and all these other ways of thinking and skills and techniques that make the person practicing those processes effective. So this could range from: Do I understand what’s coming in artificial intelligence? Do I understand the difference in leading or managing or structuring a digital transformation project? Even, do I understand the science and art of influence? So those are the kinds of topics where we go find people that have done deep research or are deep practitioners or have really studied these topics and are able to communicate here’s what’s coming and here’s how you as a project professional need to be prepared to deal with it.

    Cornelius Fichtner: And since PMI has chosen you to be the host of this forward-looking podcast, there has to be a story behind this. What is your personal interest in regards to where project management is heading?

    Stephen Maye: Yeah, so outside of the podcast and other media-related work that I do, I’m also a consultant. So my consulting firm is in the area of business transformation, of disruptive transformation, of strategic change. And in that space, you have to execute. So no matter how brilliant the insight, no matter how major or minor the change, no matter how important to the organization or the company, it all comes down to whether or not you’ll effectively execute. And you execute in the context of projects. So to me there is no execution without effective project management whether you call it that or something else.

    And when I look at that, I take kind of a broad view of: Okay, I include in there how do we identify risk? How do we track and manage risk? How do we escalate decisions? How do we structure governance in every site? How do we build portfolios of projects that can effectively move a change forward and then how do we manage them? So for me, that’s a critical component that relates not only to some of my own history around project management but in the consulting work that I do today.

    Cornelius Fichtner: When I look at my phone, I see that it has downloaded three episodes of Projectified with PMI, at least this morning unless you published one throughout the day. I’d like to take a look at what your guests had to say so far on your program.

    Please tell us, what do you think is the most surprising, interesting, stimulating prediction that you have taken away from the interviews beginning with Episode 1 of your podcast with Anand Swaminathan?

    Stephen Maye: Yeah, that is a brilliant guy! We talked with Anand Swaminathan about digital transformation and we covered a lot of ground. There’s no way of course we can include everything that was there but some of the things that really stood up to me was one of the facts that he brought. He said: You know 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last 2 years. And so when you start thinking about the implications of digital transformation and why the digital transformation space has been accelerating the way that it has. He said: “This is crazy. Is it possible that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last 2 years?” So that for me just in itself was kind of eye opening.

    Well he kind of booked into that later in the interview. He also said: “Look digital transformation is relevant to every industry.” He may even said, I have to go back, he may have even said: “…every organization”. So you could stand here today and say: Oh wait a second, I can see this in some specific industries particularly those that are traditionally very data-driven but he would use examples from industries that you would think, there’s no way that’s a digital transformation play. You know, heavy equipment, this kind of thing. So that to me was fascinating, this idea of this massive acceleration of data creation and then the idea that this is relevant to everybody. Now, you can debate it one way or the other, but he made a pretty compelling case.

    Cornelius Fichtner: Episode 2 was with Dr. Michael Chui. What did you takeaway from that?

    Stephen Maye: Yeah, you know, this is a guy not only is he brilliant but you kind of like him right away. So I really enjoyed talking to him. I have not met him before we talked in advance in the podcast when we did the recording.

    We talked with him about kind of broad area of automation, digitization, artificial intelligence. And one of the things that he brought forward was, he said: “Look in the research that we did…” He was involved in real research and he said: “In the research that we did,” he said “50 percent of the task being done today, we looked across a huge range of industries, a huge range of job types, a huge range of task being done, 50 percent of the task being done today can be automated by simply adapting currently available technology.” 50 percent, 50 percent! Now he doesn’t mean that that is already happening. But he is saying 50 percent can be automated with currently available technology.

    Well I thought that in itself is fantastic. Well that kind of moved in to this conversation around, so what does that mean? Is it one of those and you could decide, is it utopia and a dystopia and depending on which author you are reading, what is this, a vision of a place where everybody lays around on lounge chairs because all the work has been automated. But again he makes a fantastic case. No, it’s not that at all.

    He said: “Not only do we need robots working as hard as they can.” He said: “We need everybody working next to them.” And he went on to describe the simple change in global demographics has created a scenario where we absolutely not only have the opportunity for everyone to do many of the work. We really need for everybody to be working. So whether that’s good news to some or bad news to some, he paints this picture of rapidly accelerating automation and digitization but it doesn’t do away with the need for all of us to stay busy at work. Again, it was fascinating to me.

    Cornelius Fichtner: And then in Episode 3, you interviewed Jacqueline Van Pelt. What did she have to say?

    Stephen Maye: Yeah, so Jacqueline Van Pelt not to make this about age, but Jacqueline Van Pelt was one of the younger interviewees and one of the reasons that we wanted younger guests and one of the reasons we wanted to talk to her, we wanted to get a perspective from someone who is earlier in her career compared to many that we talked to and yet has done great things in the project and program space already.

    You know one of the things that was interesting coming from Jacque, Jacqueline Van Pelt, was this idea that as you are coming up, as a young person coming up companies full of smart people and she has worked in engineering-heavy environment, a lot of well–educated, really smart people, she said: “You have to got to first believe that you deserve a seat at the table. You’ve got to believe that. Before you expect someone else to listen to you, before you expect someone else to offer that invitation, you have to believe that you deserve a seat at the table.” Well she kind of doubled down on that and went on to talk about the fact that not only do you have to believe you deserve a seat at the table, you’ve got to be willing to bring the courage to say the awkward thing. You got to be willing to bring the awkward feedback to make the awkward observation, to say that this isn’t going to work out when the popular word is that this is going to be fine.

    And coming from someone, again, not to make so much about age but someone who is still earlier in her career and still younger person but has already gained these kinds of insights. Now when I pushed on her a bit, yes, it was impressive actually, the sort of depth of what she was bringing. One of the things that became clear was she lives in the space of an incredible gratitude toward people that have mentored her. She repeatedly would talk about those that have been able to guide her, to mentor her, to coach her, to set positive examples for her and I thought this is sort of very powerful story that came through. Someone that had done hard work of preparing; she had great education. She had taken great position. She had worked hard and the people that came around her and coached her and prepared her, mentored her and she is already showing a level of maturity and insight that’s just beyond what you would expect in just years of experience.

    Cornelius Fichtner: At this point, many of our listeners are probably going: Oh my God! This sounds great! Where on earth can I subscribe to this podcast?

    Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

  • Posted on 22 Apr 2018

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    Episode 410: How NASA Manages its Annual Plan and Portfolio (Free)

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    Darryl Hahn, Cornelius Fichtner
    Darryl Hahn and Cornelius Fichtner

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has worked with PMOs around the United States to define a "best practice" for creating and delivering an annual plan.

    This interview with Darryl Hahn (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the stimulating Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.

    Our interview presents both strategic and tactical approaches for uncovering your organizations' goals and objectives and for creating the prioritized list of achievable projects. We also examine ways of categorizing and classifying types of work, identifying and weighting priorities and adjusting the completed plan for when it collides with real life.

    Episode Transcript

    Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

    Podcast Introduction

    Male Voice:   In this episode of the Project Management Podcast™, we discuss how NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other top federally-funded research and development centers prioritize and monitor annual plan and portfolios.

    Podcast Interview

    Cornelius Fichtner:   Hello and welcome to the Project Management Podcast™ at I am Cornelius Fichtner. We are coming to you live from the stimulating 2017 PMI® Global Conference in Chicago where I am currently sitting in a completely empty presentation room—it’s Room W180 and the presenter who will be speaking here in about nineteen minutes is Darryl Hahn, sitting with me here. Hello Darryl.

    Darryl Hahn:   To a completely empty room.   

    Cornelius Fichtner:   We don’t know that. Oh, somebody just walked in the door so we have at least one person who will be listening to you, Darryl. How are you enjoying the conference so far?

    Darryl Hahn:   Oh, pretty well. We didn’t get a chance to see a whole lot of presentations yet. We flew in from California last night. We’re actually flying out tonight right after this one. It’s Halloween weekend so I got to get back to the kids so we can go trick or treating.

    Cornelius Fichtner:   Yeah, that’s also important. Is this your first conference?

    Darryl Hahn:   No, no. I’ve been to a couple of these. Went to the Gartner ones. I’ve been to a bunch of the other different conferences as well. We went to the PMI® one last year.

    Cornelius Fichtner:   And when you compare the PMI® to the others—this is specifically for project managers. Do you feel more at home here as a project manager, program manager than you feel at the others?

    Darryl Hahn:   I think that’s –that maybe a safe bet to say. It’s certainly more specialized to specifically project management stuff that people are interested in in that expertise so there’s usually a bit more specifics to do here than there are in some of the other ones maybe.

    Cornelius Fichtner:   Yeah, What prompted you to talk about and to speak about the topic of the methods and madness to strategic planning—it doesn’t sound like the sexiest of topics.

    Darryl Hahn:   No. One of the things that we do at JPL is we chair the Project Management working groups session of all the FFRDCs. FFRDCs are federally-funded research and development facility. We are a full NASA center. There are a bunch of other NASA centers—Ames, Kennedy, a bunch of other ones but we sit down with those folks on a continuing basis and for lack of a better phrase, we share our pain. “Hey what are the other issues that you guys are having today? How do you guys figure out how to attract resources better than anybody else? What are you guys doing when your annual planning blows up and what are the sort of methods that you guys employ to get back on track”—those types of things.

    We found a lot of value in collaborating with some of the other FFRDCs  and we decided that each of the FFRDCs do things a little bit differently but they all—since they’re all FFRDCs, they do  things kind of the same way as well. So we decided to sit down and work with some of the other guys and other teams and come up with basically consolidated version of how everybody does that and then be able to share that with everybody else.

    One of the key things that we do as an FFRDC is Education Outreach—it’s very important to NASA and all the other NASA centers so we want to make sure that we’re trying to push out as much information as we can.       

    Cornelius Fichtner:   Let’s take a step back. Everybody has heard about NASA and the JPL but not everybody may be completely familiar with what you’re doing. Give us sort of a 10,000 ft. overview. What does JPL do?

    Darryl Hahn:   JPL’s primary focus is unmanned deep space. So, satellites, rovers—those types of things. We don’t put a person on it—it’s you put your project together –for lack of a better phrase and you send it away realistically forever. Once it physically leaves the planet, you can’t get to it anymore and do stuff with it.  So, a lot of the Project Management sort of characteristics that people are really relying on need to be super fine-tuned because it’s not like we can just go re-do something after our product hits the market—for lack of a better phrase. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

    So we have to really refine a bunch of those things. And you know, like I said, unmanned deep space so all the Mars Rovers, the Mars Exploration—not Mars Exploration Rover, not this one. It’s the Rover, the MSL, the Mars Science Lab, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. We have a couple of earth-orbiting satellites as well –the two other and those kinds of things, but for the most part, it’s unmanned deep space..

    Cornelius Fichtner:   OK. You are in the PMO at JPL, right? What is your role in the PMO?

    Darryl Hahn:   I run the Project Management Office for the office of the CIO so it’s really the IT-PMO. The flight project side has another sort of PMO; it’s called the Project Support Office. The Project Support Office ones, basically PMO type stuff for the flight projects. They handle the reviews, you get called in front of Congress—that’s what those guys did to help you get through that sort of thing. I need to justify another $200M on my project—that’s those guys. I get the IT stuff. JPL is basically a line organization—excuse me—it’s a matrix organization where there’s flight projects and then there’s a line organization. The only reason JPL is there is for the missions—the flight side. All the line organizations support the flight side. My PMO does everything for the line organizations specifically in the IT area.

    Cornelius Fichtner:   OK. And you mentioned that you work with other PMOs from other federal agencies, right? How do you work together with them?

    Darryl Hahn:   We have at least quarterly either virtual sessions or we actually get together all. All the FFRDCs have a quarterly CIO gathering. So all of the CIOs tend to gather at one of the different centers whether it’s APL, Applied Physics Lab or MIT or Aerospace RAND, any of those other places.

    At the CIO’s gathering, we try and piggyback on to that because we know the relevant people are going to be available or at those sessions so we either try or visit at the same time. And either do a day before or a day after or just a virtual session. And that happens at least once every quarter. Every month we try and get together for calls just to share the pain –“What are you guys doing? You learned anything new? Anybody seeing presentations that they’re enjoying? What did you learn from that?” –those kinds of things.

    Cornelius Fichtner:   What is on your annual plan?

    Darryl Hahn:   We’ve got all kinds of stuff on our annual plan. Specifically I want to talk about today is the IT annual plan obviously so it’s things like networking, it’s things like cyber security enhancements. It’s things like that the business needs that IT can help with so we need to improve our hiring process. What does that mean? Once we define that, we extract the IT components out of that and we decide whether or not they are valuable IT projects that we can put on our annual plan that will help support the business’ needs.

    Cornelius Fichtner:   That actually brings out a very good point. We’re not just talking about space projects here that are on your annual plan. We’re talking about everything, right? Everything and anything that you may need to do as an organization is on your annual plan?

    Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

  • Posted on 06 Apr 2018

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    Episode 409: CCRS and PDUs (Free)

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    John Kleine
    John Kleine, Global Manager, Product Strategy & Delivery

    The Project Management Institute (PMI)® has made a number of changes to the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) in the past 18 months. These requirements define the policies and guidelines that certified project managers must follow in order to earn PDUs and renew their certification.

    In this interview we speak with John Kleine (LinkedIn Profile) who is the Global Manager, Product Strategy & Delivery, at Project Management Institute. One of John's responsibilities is overseeing the CCR and any changes made to it.

    We begin by discussing the recertification requirements for a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)® and walk you through many of the updated rules. Of course, the interview is also full with good ideas and suggestions on how to earn PDUs. For example, what would you expect are the most frequently used, and the most under-used PDUs earning activities?

    Episode Transcript

    Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

    Podcast Introduction

    Male Voice:   In this episode of the Project Management Podcast™, we talk about what’s new and coming regarding PDUs for all those who hold a PMI® certification.

    Podcast Interview

    Cornelius Fichtner:   Hello and welcome to the Project Management Podcast™ at I am Cornelius Fichtner. We are coming to you live from the thrilling 2017 PMI Global Conference in Chicago. With me right now, sitting on the other side of the table is John Kleine who is the Global Managers Certifications at PMI. Good afternoon, John.

    John Kleine:   Good afternoon, Cornelius.  

    Cornelius:   We’ve had you on before and every time we talk about the same thing—PDUs, CCRS [laughs]

    John:   Oh, well it’s a very important topic.

    Cornelius:   I was just going to say it’s an important topic and a lot of people need to know about it and want to know about it. Yeah. So, the CCR, the Continuing Certification Requirements Program has seen some major changes over the past 18 months. They have been widely publicized and every PMP should know about them by now yet I’m still being asked to explain the new guidelines again and again.

    So, to get us started, would you please give us a quick overview of what the requirements are for someone who has just passed their PMP exam maybe yesterday. What do they need to know in regards to PDUs?

    John:   Right. I can tell you somewhere in the world yesterday, someone did pass the PMP. Well, the first thing I would tell you if we were in a hotel lobby or something and we’re limited on time, would be go to, click on “Certifications” and then click on “Maintenance of Certifications” and that’ll have a much deeper dive than what I’m currently going to give you but I would tell that individual that within a three-year cycle to maintain this PMP certification that they’ve worked so hard for and had earned that over three years, they’re going have to earn 60 PDUs—60 Professional Development Units and those are broken out into two categories.

    We have Education and we have Giving Back to the Profession. Now within Education, PMI in the new changes stated that you have to have a minimum of 35 PDUs but you could have up to 60—which means in Giving Back to the Profession, you don’t have to have any but you can’t have more than 25 because the whole program’s emphasis is on professional development. And then within the Education, based on research and feedback from organizations, what we’ve done is we’ve now directed the learning into three areas—technical skills, the leadership skills and the business and strategic skills.

    So, skills and knowledge in all those areas are what we’ve learned from employers that they really want to see development within the project managers and their organizations. And so, from that, that’s the basic. The thing is getting them done within three years.                                                            

    Cornelius:   That seems to be the problem for some people.

    John:   Yes.

    Cornelius:   The new rules for the PDUs, they have been in effect for quite some time now—I’d like to hear what kind of feedback you have received from the three main stakeholder groups—yourself, first of all, then PMP certificate holders, as well as education providers. So, how does PMI feel that these rules are working out?  

    John:   Alright. First of all, the rules are working out great from PMI from doing this and this is going to sound a little conceited or whatever, coming back but I’m not surprised because of it because when we did this, we didn’t go into a conference room and go “Hey, this will be a cool idea. Let’s change it and do it”.

    There was a lot of research, resources and effort put into this so that when we roiled it out, we knew we were meeting what the market wanted to happen. And I think as we get into the other two groups, you can do it but from what I’ve seen so far, as we progress into this, it’s been very well received and it’s going—I have nothing but the highest regard for our certification holders on how they received it and how they are working through it.

    Cornelius:    OK. Well, let’s move on to the certification holders—what are they telling you? 

    John:   Again, based on the earlier question, I wouldn’t have said “great” if I did not think this but honestly, we’re hearing great feedback from them as well and this always takes me back to when we were researching this and the reason that I started having confidence we were doing the right thing and that it was the right thing to do for the profession was in the focus groups, I started seeing around the world, started seeing a common thing coming out of this—the practitioners we were interviewing—I was literally behind the glass looking and they were all talking about how much PMI did to create the PMP and what they had, you had to go through to attain the PMP but then all of a sudden, once it was bestowed, they kind of felt that we just left them alone.

    We didn’t provide them any more kind of direction of what was happening, what was in demand within the profession and it really fell upon them to try to learn what they didn’t know. So, once we rolled it out, the feedback has been very positive and when we do get a criticism, usually isn’t about the program—it maybe someone would go:” I think it should have been seven PDUs required in technical versus eight PDUs so the content is always not what this discussed but maybe a little bit of the process. So, it’s been well-received and it’s kudos to our—as I said, to our practitioners.  

    Cornelius:   What about the training companies—what do they tell you?

    Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

  • Posted on 16 Mar 2018


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