PD Your Way: Curated Courses that Support YOUR Career Dreams

    Keith Bower, VP of Professional Development

    A lot of new and exciting things are about to launch here at PMI Houston in the area of Professional Development. We sat down with Keith Bower, our VP of Professional Development, to find out more.

    PMI Houston: There has been a lot of excitement the past few months on the PMI Houston Board - and at some recent venue meetings - about some upcoming changes in Professional Development. What’s happening?

    Keith: Yes, it’s been exciting – and the changes that are coming are huge. For a long time, PMI Houston has offered, basically, two courses: our excellent PMP Prep course and a Fundamentals of PM course. These are solid courses. But the fact is that most of our almost 4,500 members don’t need them. The vast majority of our members already have the PMP certification, so we’re offering them nothing. And those members who don’t yet have the PMP find that the more basic courses and certifications they need are almost never offered.

    PMI Houston: So, what’s changing?

    Keith: A lot!Imagine a curated selection of professional development options that fit your personal career goals. Imagine not one course a month, but lots of courses offered in multiple formats and locations, including live in-person, live-online and self-paced online. Imagine visiting our website and seeing a full page or more of curated course options and opportunities from a wide range of providers, most of which of offer significant discounts to our members. And best of all, imagine having a personal career plan that guides you in what courses to take and when to take them so that you’ll stay on track.

    PMI Houston: You mentioned personal career plans. What’s that about?

    Keith: That’s really the key to the whole thing. We are going to help our members think ahead about their professional development so that they’ll know what training they want and need. Most of our members – most people – are focused on today or maybe tomorrow. Long term career plans don’t get a lot of attention. So, when a training and development opportunity comes along – maybe we get an email or see something on a website – we don’t really know if it’s something we need. We ignore it or tell ourselves, “maybe later”. This initiative is going to help our PMI Houston members become more strategic in planning their careers. We’re developing a facilitated process to help our members identify and define their professional development goals – their career goals – in a way that helps us to help them. We will use that information to drive curriculum development and our members will use it to guide them in selecting the right courses at the right time.

    PMI Houston: That’s a lot! When is all of this going to happen? When will our members start to see something?

    Keith: End of March – that’s the plan. We’ll go live with that new page of courses by the end of March. Our PD Team is working now with several educational providers to identify our initial offering of courses. And we’re working with our amazing PMI Houston eBusiness Team to get the website set up. Our members can start exploring these new opportunities very soon. The career planning piece – that’s going to take a little longer. But we will have that up and running by Conference, June 4-5.

    PMI Houston: Speaking of Conference, everything you’ve been describing fits right in with this year’s Conference theme.

    Keith: Yes! Project YOU: Managing Your Career as a Project Professional. The whole idea is transforming professional development into a personal priority. When you think about it, the most important project any of us will ever manage is our own career. So, the Conference this year will help our members focus their mad project management skills on taking ownership of and driving their own careers. And how PMI Houston will walk beside them as, we hope, their trusted career advisor and partner. Oh, and Early Registration for the Conference is now open. Check it out.

    PMI Houston: I’m already hearing about one big new course coming up in April.

    Keith: Absolutely, and it’s a good one! Agile is the biggest thing in project management. In April, our longtime star trainer, Eddie Merla, PMP, PMI-ACP, will be offering a live, in-person Prep Course for PMI’s Agile certification. Eddie is also developing an introductory course in Agile for those of us who’d like to learn more about it. Watch for these on our website.

    PMI Houston: The PD Team has been very busy! How can our members find out more about these new developments?

    Keith: Watch the website. Monitor your emails and Twitter. Important information is coming, so start looking. And if they have any questions, I would be happy to hear from them. They can contact me at vppd@pmihouston.org.