The Project Management Academy Blog

Get the latest industry news, trends and insights you need to be the most effective Project Manager.

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Agile

Early Experimentation Is Key to Reducing Project Risk

Inspection and adaptation are two of the pillars of the Scrum framework but all agile methods recognize the wisdom of Deming’s Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle.

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Corporate Training

The Value of Group Training for Project Managers

While you may recognize that training for project managers is essential, you may not realize the benefits of training your project managers in a group setting. Many organizations facilitate and host group training sessions for their employees. Whether you have seasoned project management professionals on staff or you have employees interested in pursuing a profession in project management, group training could be the ideal option for your organization.

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The Complete PMP® Certification Guide Hero

Are you interested in earning your Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, but you’re unsure how to start the process?

Learn what steps you need to take to become a PMP certification holder and subscribe to our blog.

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Professional Development  |  Project Management

Don’t Be Like a Squirrel Hiding Nuts With Project Lessons!

 

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Professional Development  |  Project Management

Fine Tune Your Leadership and Nonverbal Communication

Today, project management is focusing more on the human element of organizational change management.  Fundamentally, PMI is placing a greater emphasis on leadership and communication.  In fact, leadership is one of three components making up PMI’s project manager competency model known as the PMI Talent Triangle®.  In fact, the word ‘manager’ is starting to develop a negative connotation.  For that reason, I believe in 10 years, we will be called project leaders and not project managers. 

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Professional Development  |  Project Management  |  Training and Development

Project Management Career Paths for Your Future

As you think about the trajectory of your career, do you wonder what options are in front of you?

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PMP Certification  |  PMP Exam Prep

The Top 7 Reasons Why People Fail the PMP® Exam

The biggest Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification problem is potential failure. Taking and preparing for the PMP exam is a major investment in terms of time, effort, and money. To ensure you receive a positive return on that investment, you want to complete the process having earned your PMP certification. 

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Business Analysis  |  Project Management

The Importance of Business Analysis Skills in Project Management

This blog originally appeared on our sister site Watermark Learning. 

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PMP Certification  |  PMP Exam Prep

The Top 3 Problems with Getting Your PMP® Certification

Taking any big step in your career can come with challenges. Earning your Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is no different. While each individual may face their own unique challenges as they navigate the certification process, there are three common problems that you’re likely to face:

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Professional Development  |  Project Management

8 Project Management Underperformance Problems

Every project manager faces worries about underperformance throughout their career. In fact, most projects present challenges that seasoned project managers must learn to overcome. In this article, we will look at some real-world examples of project management underperformance, how these experiences negatively impact the success of a project, and how Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential holders can overcome these challenges. 

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Agile  |  Project Management

Integrating Agile in a Waterfall Practice (Part 5): Helpful Tools in Implementing Your Agile Strategy

(This is the fifth in a five-part series on this topic where we will discuss how organizations can approach or refine their Agile delivery methods.) 

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PMP Certification  |  PMP Exam Prep

How Much Does a PMP Certification Cost?

Are you among the many professionals considering earning a PMP certification? Before you begin preparing for the Project Management Professional certification exam, you should know what you’re getting into in terms of cost. Learn more about the costs associated with the PMP exam, and how to plan for these expenses. 

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Agile

Integrating Agile in a Waterfall Practice (Part 4): Implementing Your Strategy

(This is the fourth in a five-part series on this topic where we will discuss how organizations can approach or refine their Agile delivery methods. Read parts 1, 2, and 3.) 

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PMP Certification  |  PMP Exam Prep

PMP® Certification Value (Salary & Career Opportunities)

Have you considered earning your Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification? This is the gold standard of project management certifications and comes with a number of benefits for those who pass the exam. Explore this article to learn more about these benefits and the steps you must take to earn your PMP certification.

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Agile

Integrating Agile in a Waterfall Practice (Part 3): Describing Your Integration Strategy

(This is the third in a five-part series on this topic where we will discuss how organizations can approach or refine their Agile delivery methods.)

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Agile

Integrating Agile in a Waterfall Practice (Part 2): What Do We Mean by “Agile?”

 (This is the second in a five-part series on this topic where we will discuss how organizations can approach or refine their Agile delivery methods.)

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Agile  |  PMI-ACP

PMI-ACP® vs CSM® Certification: Which One is Right for Me?

Earning a project management certification is a smart way to set yourself apart from your peers and increase your earning potential. Today, the Agile Methodology is being used worldwide to streamline projects in countless industries. In fact, according to the Project Management Institute, Agile organizations complete a higher percentage of projects – 75 percent versus 56 percent – than their non-Agile counterparts. 

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Agile  |  Project Management

Integrating Agile in a Waterfall Practice (Part 1): What Are We Talking About?

(This is the first article in a five-part series on this topic where we will discuss how organizations can approach or refine their Agile delivery methods.)

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PMP Certification  |  PMP Exam Prep

PMP® vs. CAPM® Certification: Which One is Right for Me?

Earning a project management certification is a great way to develop your skills and position yourself as a valuable asset to potential employers. When it comes to earning a certification, you have numerous options, with two of the most popular being the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification or the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification. 

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PMP Exam Prep  |  Project Management

6 Common Project Manager Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification holders face challenges each day. However, the mark of a successful PMP® certification holder is that you are able to overcome these challenges and still deliver successful projects. Find out more about some of the common challenges PMP credential holders face, and learn some strategies to help you overcome them.

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Project Management  |  Training and Development

4 Components of Effective Project Team Communication

Why is Communicating Effectively Important? You spend countless hours creating a Communications Plan for your stakeholders.  You identify and prioritize them and create an extensive strategy regarding what, when, and how often you’ll communicate with them.  But what about your project team members?  Do you know what Josh is working on, where Chrissy sees risk, and the fact Shannon hasn’t been to work for a few days?  The rigor you apply to project stakeholders should also be extended to the team.  In fact, I’ve found it is often more important to be thorough and strategic in communications planning and execution with team members than stakeholders outside the team.  Remember, without effective project team communication, what are you going to communicate with the other stakeholders?  Incorrect, incomplete, and possibly inappropriate messages? 

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Professional Development  |  Training and Development

The True Cost of Free PDUs

Earning PDUs, or Professional Development Units, is required if you want to become a Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holder and maintain your certification. You’ll find that there are many ways to earn PDUs, including options for earning free PDUs. However, free PDUs aren’t always the best choice for your career. 

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PMP Certification  |  PMP Exam Prep

PMI’s 2020 Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Change

PMP Exam Change Background

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Agile  |  Corporate Training

Fundamentals of Agile Coaching

I have been a project manager and instructor for many years and in this capacity, I have often had to coach and/or mentor team members, especially junior project managers. I had never actually been trained in either coaching or mentoring, so I provided the kind of insight I would have liked to have gotten when I was starting out.

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Corporate Training  |  PMP Certification

How the PMP® Certification Helps Businesses Win Bigger Projects

With more and more project managers entering the industry, it is important to stay ahead of the competition. When project managers complete the exam and earn the Project Management Professional® certification, their chances of winning bigger business drastically increases, because they’re expanding their skills. Earning Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification can give you the competitive advantage you need to win more clients, increase your earning potential, and regularly deliver successful projects. 

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PMP Exam Prep

What to Expect From Pearson VUE on Test Day

Taking the step to schedule your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam is a big part of your journey and one which can be confusing. Understanding where to start, who to contact, and what to expect on the day of the exam can help remove unnecessary stress from a potentially stressful undertaking. One of the most important names to know in the process is Pearson VUE Testing Centers, the exclusive electronic exam provider for the PMP® exam. Within this article, you'll learn about: i) the roles of Pearson VUE and the Project Management Institute (PMI) in relation to the PMP exam, ii) how to schedule your electronic exam at an approved testing center, iii) what to bring to your exam, and iv) what to expect at the actual testing center.

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Professional Development  |  Project Management

How to Get the Most Out of Team Meetings

As a project manager you know your primary responsibility and skill is communication.  And you know a lot of your communication is done through team meetings.  But, how can you be sure your team meetings are as effective as possible? Research shows most project managers believe their meetings are highly effective, yet most team participants rate meetings as less than effective.  Why the difference of opinion?  One thought is whoever is doing the most talking believes (disproportionately) they are being effective; the opposite is true. If you’re going over the project plan and asking for status updates, is this the best use of your team’s valuable time?  If you think your meetings are productive you probably aren’t soliciting feedback nor looking for opportunities to improve.  I’ve utilized a 4-part process to continually improve my meetings; Assess, Prepare, Facilitate and Reassess.

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PMI-ACP  |  PMP Certification

Project Management Professional (PMP)® vs. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Certification in Software Development

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® and the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certifications are two popular options for project managers who want to take their careers to the next level. While the PMP® certification and the PMI-ACP® certification are both earned after passing an exam, the primary difference between the two is the methods on which they focus. The PMP exam is focused on the Waterfall methodology, and subsequent project management approaches that support this methodology. In contrast, the PMI-ACP exam is entirely focused Agile practices.

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Project Management  |  Risk Management

How to Apply Risk Management in Your Projects

According to PMI's A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) - Sixth Edition, every project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.” It goes on to say, “the end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved …”1  Since the endeavor is unique and has, by definition, never been done before, there is an element of uncertainty, and in that uncertainty, there is risk. 

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Agile  |  Scaled Agile Framework

Common Problems with the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

With every project management approach, project managers will face some challenges. As with other Agile approaches like Scrum or Lean, the Scaled Agile Framework has its own unique uphill battles you will need to overcome if you use this approach for your team. Because SAFe was designed specifically for large organizations, challenges may be difficult to spot and even more difficult to remedy.

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Professional Development  |  Project Management

Project Communications and Stakeholder Engagement

While all facets of project management and leadership are important, the most important skill a project manager or leader can possess is communication. It is said a project manager spends 90% of their time communicating. I have seen the single greatest factor impacting project success is communication.  In fact, project communication is so vital, it really encompasses two entire knowledge areas in project management; “Project Communications Management” and “Project Stakeholder Management.” The two go hand-in-hand. You must communicate effectively to drive stakeholder engagement, which is critical to overall project success and adoption. 

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Agile  |  Scaled Agile Framework

Agile vs. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) vs. Scrum: How are they Different?

Agile, Scrum, SAFe. If you work in the project management industry, these are terms you’ve likely heard over the past few years as these approaches have gained popularity. However, you may not have a full understanding of how these concepts differ and where they overlap. Agile, Scrum, and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) are all popular methods of project development that can increase efficiency and improve your processes. Before you’re able to apply these concepts to your own organization, you need to know a little more about how they differ.

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Agile  |  PMI-ACP  |  Project Management

Leading an Agile Team

Agile methods and frameworks have existed for several decades. The V-model, Rapid Application Development (RAD), and the Spiral model are three such methodologies which predate the 2001 creation of the Agile Manifesto. Because agile methods have been around for quite some time in the technology sector they are often viewed as being exclusively for software development and Information Technology (IT) organizations. However, several companies now realize merely adopting agile methods and frameworks are not enough to sustain competitiveness in an unstable business climate. Agility requires a wholesale replacement of a management paradigm invented in the Industrial Era but has evolved very little since that time. Organizations need to rethink every aspect of their operating model. Agility requires more than process adoption. In this article, we’ll explore what this means to managers and leaders.

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Project Management

Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance

In today’s environment of being connected all the time, it can seem like a far-fetched goal of achieving the ever-elusive work-life balance.  There is no proven method, flow chart, or simple formula to reach a perfect work-life balance.  It is going to require you to understand why you work and live, and to define what a work-life balance means for you. 

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Training and Development

Behaviors to Master When Communicating with Senior Management

As a project management consultant, I frequently work with senior managers at the Director level and above. Currently, I am reporting to two C-level executives – the Chief Operating Officer of the consulting firm for whom I consult, and the Chief Technology Officer of the company where I am embedded. (Three, actually, if you count the VP who I am dotted-line reporting to on a particular cloud project.)

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PMP Certification  |  Training and Development

17 Best Corporate Training Courses for Project Management

Developing and improving your team’s project management skills is always a wise decision. This not only makes them more effective project managers, but it also helps you improve your organization, compete for bigger and better projects, and ultimately increases your bottom line revenue.

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Project Management  |  Risk Management

Top 10 Reasons Why Projects Fail

There is a myriad of reasons why projects fail but they often come down to certain repeatable issues which, left unsolved, will make it next-to-impossible to ever fully succeed. Here is a list of ten reasons we’ve found to recur in poorly run or failing projects. 

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Agile  |  PMI-ACP  |  PMI-SP  |  PMP Exam Prep  |  Professional Development  |  Scaled Agile Framework

6 Best Project Management Certifications of 2019

Are you thinking about earning a project management certification? Earning a certification can take your career to the next level and increase your earning potential. However, there are numerous options out there, each one with its own benefits. It can be difficult to determine what the right option could be for your future.

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Project Management

Balancing Project and Change Management: Obtaining Project Adoption

As a project manager, if you meet your scope, schedule and cost baselines, was your project successful?  If it takes a prolonged time period to achieve the business outcomes planned, is that your responsibility?  Does your involvement end when the project is finalized, or do you have some responsibility to ensure project adoption?  If you believe you’re responsible for meeting project baselines and ensuring project adoption you will need to look beyond project management.  Project adoption is about change management, so you must integrate change management into your project activities to ensure success.

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Agile  |  PMI-ACP  |  Project Management

2019 Reviews of Agile Software Platforms

Agile is a flexible, streamlined project management approach. Due to this flexibility, numerous Agile software solutions have emerged, each one ideal for a different type of business or team structure.

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Continuing Education  |  Professional Development  |  Training and Development

Keeping Your PMI® Certification Fresh: A Tutorial on PDUs

Project management is a complex, ever-evolving forum of methodologies, principles, and best practices. So, it’s little wonder why Project Management Institute (PMI) asserts that a continuing education is an essential part of a project manager’s professional development. Consequently, PMI requires certain post-exam educational standards be met in order to maintain certification status. These requirements, known as Professional Development Units (PDUs), may seem ill-defined at first glance. In this article we’ll attempt to answer your questions about the quantity, frequency, and availability of PDUs necessary to maintain your certification.

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Professional Development

When Team Members Clash: Managing Conflict in a Team Environment

In a perfect project management world, all projects would be done on time, within scope, and under budget. But any practicing project manager will tell you the sad reality: things are not always going as planned. In that sense, it’s plausible that conflict will occur at some point in your project’s development. Taking appropriate preventative and corrective action against this conflict will grant your project the highest probability of success. In this article, we’ll explain some tips to alleviate potential project conflict.

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Corporate Training  |  Professional Development  |  Project Management  |  Training and Development

Project Management as a Business Investment

In this article, we will briefly look at project management as an investment and provide some suggested approaches for turning an investment in project management into big dividends.

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Agile  |  PMI-ACP  |  Professional Development

PMI-ACP® Certification Eligibility Requirements: Everything You Should Know about the Exam

Becoming a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® credential holder takes some work, but the investment of your time and effort will have long-term positive results in your career. Because earning the PMI-ACP® certification requires so much time, you need to know exactly what you’re required to do to earn this certification, so you can plan according to your personal and professional schedule.

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Agile  |  Scaled Agile Framework

What is the Scaled Agile Framework?

Are you looking for a way to use Agile Methodologies in your business, but your worried your workforce might be too big or too small for some of the common Agile approaches? Fortunately, there’s an answer to finding an Agile framework that works well for any company: the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). SAFe is a popular Agile implementation that blends both Agile and Lean enterprise concepts for a scalable approach that enables rapid development of complex software solutions and systems, regardless of the size of your business.

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Continuing Education  |  PMI-ACP  |  Professional Development

How to Maintain Your PMI-ACP® Certification

Have you dedicated long hours of study and hard work to prepare for the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification exam? Successfully earning your PMI-ACP® credential is a major accomplishment. But if you want to continue reaping the benefits of holding your certification, passing the exam is not the end of your education. All PMI Agile Certified Practitioner® credential holders are required to meet specific certification renewal requirements every three years.

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Agile  |  PMI-ACP

4 Industries (Other Than Software) That Benefit From The PMI-ACP® Certification

When Agile Methodology was first developed, it made waves in the software development space. And, in many cases, Agile continues to be closely associated with the industry.

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Lean Six Sigma

Six Sigma Belts Explained

Lean Six Sigma is a widely used approach that enables teams to eliminate waste and maximize operational efficiency. Because this is a popular and beneficial approach, many professional seek a Six Sigma Certification to improve both their career prospects and their organization’s outcomes.

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Agile

8 Benefits of the Agile Methodology

Are you thinking about bringing Agile project management practices to your organization? Customers, vendors, and project managers alike all benefit from using the Agile Methodology. Traditional project implementation practices can be ineffective on complex projects with unclear requirements. This often lead to projects being completed late, ineffectively, or not at all. In these types of projects, Agile can lead to greater success.

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Professional Development  |  Project Management  |  Training and Development

The New World of Project Management

When it comes to project management, the future is now.

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Agile  |  Project Management

Agile vs. Scrum: What You Need to Know

Are you ready to take your project management approach to a new level? One of the most popular project management approaches today is commonly referred to as Agile. Agile is more of a mindset then a defined methodology and is purposefully lightweight and adaptable. In organizations that adopt agile and have projects with high complexity or ambiguous requirements, projects are completed at a rate of 75%, while companies that use more traditional project management approaches for this type of work only have a 56% project success rate.

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PMP Certification

4 Reasons Employers Want You to Have Your PMP® Certification

Over the past few years, you may have noticed more and more job postings for certified project managers popping up. Project management experts are in high demand, because it’s a role that can ensure major projects are executed successfully.

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Lean Six Sigma  |  PMP Certification

PMP® vs. Lean Six Sigma Certification: Which One is Right for Me?

Earning professional certifications is a wise career move for project managers. But, there are multiple certifications you can earn, each with their own set of benefits. Two of the most common certifications are the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification and the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) certification.

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Agile  |  PMI-ACP

Agile vs. Scrum: Is There a Difference?

For many in the project management industry, Agile and Scrum are terms you have likely heard for a while. And at first glance, it can feel like some people use the terms Agile and Scrum interchangeably. However, these terms have specific meanings, so it’s important to understand Agile vs. Scrum, and how they work together help you get your work done.

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PMP Exam Prep

Psychometric Assessments and the PMP® Exam

(This is meant to explain psychometrics in broad strokes, as there are plenty of articles that already exist on validity and reliability)

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Agile  |  PMI-ACP  |  Project Management

The Basics of Agile Project Management

For those that operate in the project management space, you’ve likely heard a lot about Agile Methodologies. And while you may have a vague idea of what Agile means, it’s hard to picture the real-world benefits of Agile without a comprehensive understanding to this project development approach.

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Continuing Education  |  Professional Development

What is The PMI Talent Triangle®?

The PMI Talent Triangle® combines technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise to focus competencies that are vital in professional development and continuing education for project and program managers. Traditionally, project managers have focused on the technical skills that they need to be successful in an organization. The PMI Talent Triangle ensures that project managers are well rounded professionals with the knowledge and skillsets necessary in a complex business environment.

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PMP Certification  |  PMP Exam Prep

13 Best PMP® Certification Study Guide Materials

It's no question that study guides are essential for passing the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification Exam. But, every aspiring PMP® credential holder has different schedules and learning styles, which means you need a PMP exam prep program that offers a wide variety of materials to meet everyone’s needs.

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PMP Certification  |  PMP Exam Prep

Which Project Management Training Course Is Right for Me?

Have you decided to take the  Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification exam? If so, congratulations! This is the first step to moving up in the field of project management. But, before you can sign up to take the exam, you should first take a project management training course to help you adequately prepare.

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PMP Certification

5 Sections of the PMP® Exam Explained

Are you preparing to take the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam and become a Project Management Professional® credential holder? If so, you’ll feel more comfortable taking the exam when you know what to expect.

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PMP Certification

How Do I Maintain My PMP® Certification?

Becoming a Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential holder is a huge accomplishment. If you have earned your PMP credential, you have joined the ranks of proven project management experts. And while this is an accomplishment you should certainly be proud of, there are more requirements to meet if you want to maintain your active PMP certification status.

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PMP Certification

4 Things to Know about the PMP® Exam

Are you planning to pursue a career as a Project Management Professional® credential holder? If so, you’re making an exciting decision! Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification holders have a much higher earning potential than their non-certified counterparts. A PMP® credential holder earns 20% more on average than project managers who haven’t earned their certification.

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PMP Certification  |  Project Management

3 Unknowns of the PMP® Certification Exam

There’s a lot you should know about the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification exam prior to taking it. In particular, you should know that passing this exam could have a huge impact on your salary. It’s estimated that if you’re a Project Management Professional® credential holder, you could make 23% on average than your peers.

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PMP Certification  |  Project Management

PMP® Certification Salary: Will I Earn More?

Are you considering earning the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification? Regardless of all the other motivations someone has when looking to obtain the PMP® certification, a salary increase is the most enticing. And, if you think earning your certification will come with a big salary jump, you’re probably right.

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