With COVID-19 quarantines in effect around the world, the Project Management Institute (PMI) is making a wide range of project management training materials available online for free to help at-home workers add to and bolster their skills as companies rethink work processes and procedures. The resources offerings are listed in a COVID-19 Resource Hub that will continue to be updated with additional services as needed.
The free online resources, which include a Project Management for Beginners course, an Agile in the Project Management Office course, a Business Continuity course, a project management community discussion board, and more, have been gathered to answer requests from the group's members as workers seek ways to keep their skills sharp during the pandemic, said Mike DePrisco, the vice president of global experience and solutions for PMI.
"COVID-19 has caused many companies to require employees to work from home, and industry events are going virtual," said DePrisco. "We've heard from our community that they are interested in finding ways to continue to develop professionally during this difficult time. We responded by extending no-cost virtual learning options and customizable digital services to them and their organizations."
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This is the first time that the group has offered these online training and consulting resources at no charge, said DePrisco.
The Project Management for Beginners course introduces participants to the foundational knowledge necessary to join a project team and provides insights into taking steps on the path to a project management career. The Agile in the Project Management course walks participants through their role as a project management office director and introduces a series of scenarios designed to improve their project management office's performance using agile principles and processes. The Business Continuity course offers information and lessons on rethinking work processes, which may be particularly helpful today as companies and their leaders and workers seek ways to cope with continuing their operations during the pandemic.
Other free offerings on the PMI resource hub include:
- ProjectManagement.com, an online PMI project management community where project managers from around the world can communicate, participate in discussions, play games, and access a variety of related resources.
- Standards+ (Beta), the online version of the group's Project Management Body of Knowledge guide and standards book, which provides information, digitized tools, templates, and case studies.
- Snippets (Beta), a resource for small, bite-sized chunks of information about project management for busy professionals.
- Navigator (Beta), the group's portal for its career development platform for project professionals. Included are opportunities for comprehensive self-assessment of skills, interests, and goals, while offering action plans to achieve objectives.
- Projectified Podcast series, which offers conversations about hot topics and emerging trends impacting the world of project managers, from digital transformation to artificial intelligence to career development.
- Tower Game, a project management exercise offered through the PMI Educational Foundation, the Tower Game teaches participants to consider time, cost, quality, and risk as they explore project management.
- PMI Study Hall (Beta), which provides sneak peeks into new Project Management Professional (PMP) exam resources, including outlines of exam content, daily practice questions, tips from experts, and resources for preparing for the exam.
- PMXPO, a link to PMI's recent annual virtual conference event, which will remain available for on-demand viewing until June 26.
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DePrisco said his organization hopes that the resources it is providing can help businesses, managers, and employees as they continue to navigate their work and operations in the times of COVID-19.
"The unprecedented workplace complexity and unique challenges organizations are facing require us to re-tool how talent is deployed and activated both locally and globally," he said. "As many teams are now working remotely, organizations and individuals are establishing new ways of working and developing different power skills--like greater communication, more emotional intelligence, and empathy. The recent rapid switch to virtual work is surely going to impact how work gets done in the future, and we will need to apply the best practices of project management to shape how we manage work."
Project management skills can be extremely beneficial during times of emergency such as the pandemic, he said. "Project management initiatives play an important role in preparing for these types of disruptions. All work is accomplished through programs and projects, and project managers are used to changing methods and approaches."
By learning processes to adapt to change, business leaders and workers can be ready to pivot as needed in any situation, he said. "One of PMI's main areas of focus has been and will continue to be helping enterprises and individuals navigate big change and disruption, as well as new ways of working. We are seeing our network take steps now to adapt to work as remote and virtual teams, but also prepare for what is ahead. We know that projects will help be a catalyst to the ultimate recovery."
For business leaders, learning and practicing and collaborative leadership skills is essential amid the current crisis, said DePrisco. "Practice emotional intelligence and empathy--it will go a long way in keeping virtual teams connected and productive during this transitional period."
PMI offers eight certifications in project management, including the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
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