As an experienced project manager, you might be tempted to rely on the knowledge that you’ve accumulated over the course of your project management career. However, it’s important for even the most successful project managers to continue to grow and acquire new skills and updated information.
Read and Research
There are many resources available for project managers who are looking to supplement their knowledge. Simply reading about and researching project management can yield valuable information. Blogs, podcasts, magazines, books, and other resources will keep you up to date on the project management community. Make it a point to add reading time into your schedule. Even if you only do it once a week, you won’t fall behind.
Try: Steve McConnell’s Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art. This book has been a key inspiration for LiquidPlanner, and Steve now sits on our Advisory Board. It’s also good to stay informed with project management blogs:
- Herding Cats
- Project Shrink
- LiquidPlanner Blog (had to do it!)
Further Your Education and Keep Track of What You Learned
There is an array of courses and certifications you can use to further your education. You should save relevant articles, posts, or other materials from your certification classes so that you can reference them later. This can be done electronically or with physical copies of material. Building a library of reference material can help generate new ideas while refreshing things you already know. Continuing education is also important as it can be applied towards the professional development required to keep many project management certifications current.
Try: Thinking about signing up for your certification? “Like” The Project Management Institute Facebook Page, an incredibly active hub of information with over 58,000 likes and a very lively community. Ready to take the plunge? Pick one of the various certifications offered by the Project Management Institute here.
Reach Out to the Community
You can also reach out to the project management community by networking with other project managers using social media or by joining a project management group. If you’re an experienced project manager, you may want to consider starting a project management blog (like the ones mentioned above) or mentoring someone new to the field. Interacting with your peers can be educational and rewarding and there is truth to the saying that teaching someone else is the best way to master the material yourself.
Try: Following some of our favorite PM tweeps:
- Bernardo Tirado (@thePMObox) – Bernardo describes himself as a “Project Management Executive, Industrial Psychologist, Adjunct Professor, and Six Sigma Blackbelt.” He’s also the voice behind the The Project Box website and provides frequent and informative tweets.
- Elizabeth Harrin (@pm4girls) – Voted the Computer Weekly Blogger of the Year in 2010, Elizabeth represents the females in project management on her blog, The Girl’s Guide to Project Management.
- Michael Krigsman (@mkrigsman) – Michael is the author of the IT Project Failures blog, and does his best to explain why so many IT projects fall flat.
And while you’re over on Twitter, don’t forget to check out our tweets at @liquidplanner to get the latest product updates and project management information.
This was a guest post by Claudia Vandermilt and submitted on behalf of Villanova University. Villanova provides several project management courses including several project management certificate programs. For more information please visit http://www.villanovau.com.