Your Personal Continual Development Plan
Readings: Lecture, Online articles
What you will learn in lesson 5:
- To develop your own continual learning plan
- Social Media resources
- Industry Experts to follow
- Online resources
- Essential Technology and Tools
One of the biggest challenges a Web Project Manager faces is how to stay current with a field that changes so quickly. It is easy to spend an hour a day on trying to read blogs, tweets, post tweets, read through emails, etc. Here is my plan for staying up to date on Web Project Management ideas, articles, tools, etc.
A Sample Continual Learning Plan
Yearly: 2-3 days
Once a year attend a conference. Prior to this year there were no Web Project Management conferences , however, this year there are two. One is The Digital PM conference in Philadelphia, PA from October 13-14. You can find more information at [http://dpm2013.com/]
The second is a Web Project Management conference that will be held in April, 2014 in Washington, D.C This conference grew out of a number of people on LinkedIn’s Web Project Management group saying, “Gee, I wish there was a conference for Web Project Managers!” Organizers are looking for volunteers to help with the organizational efforts. This is a great way to grow your network of Web Project Managers. (Disclosure note: I am one of the organizers for this conference.)
Attending a conference once a year allows you to come back with fresh ideas and a renewed enthusiasm for your job and career. You extend your network, you learn new things and the excitement of the conference reminds you how much satisfaction your career can be.
Monthly – one evening a week
Look for networking groups for Project Managers and for Web Professionals. Most design firms and in-house Web teams have one Web Project Manager. Your team is composed of smart web professionals but it is not unusual for an organization to have just one Web Project Manager. Association chapter meetings allow you to meet with people who are struggling with the same team issues, stakeholder issues, Web governance issues, etc that you are encountering. Getting the perspective of someone who has been there/done that is very helpful. Even if no one has faced the same problem that you do it is nice to have someone who is doing your job give you their take on your problems.
One option is to attend a local PMI chapter meeting once a month. You don’t need to be a PMP to join the Project Management Institute and attend chapter meetings. You still get to network with Project managers (not all will be doing web projects), listen to their guest speakers and attend training classes. (Note, unless your organization demands you have a PMP certificate or pays you substantially more to have the three letters after your name, there is no reason to take the expensive test. You can learn a great deal by studying for the test. One of the best books is “The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try,” by Andy Crowe.[http://www.amazon.com/PMP-Exam-Pass-Your-First/dp/098276085X/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367610164&sr=1-9&keywords=the+pmp+exam,+andy+crowe Even though you will probably never mange projects according to the strict recommendations of the Project Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge, understanding their principles will be valuable.
Attend a Web Professionals or Web Project Managers MeetUp group. If you don’t find one that is convenient for you, start one. Meetup groups are an excellent way to network with other Web Professionals, find mentors, and learn about the profession.
Limit yourself to one meeting a month. You can find yourself spending all your free time attending meetings if you don’t limit yourself.
Check out the one hour #PMChat which is a twitter chat of Web Project Managers. Once you attend and comment you will find yourself part of a close knit community that is a wealth of information. (Many people drop in and out depending on their availability.) Also, if you make a good point, your comment will get retweeted and you will pick up more followers.
Here is a daily schedule for spending 15 minutes a day on social media reading:
Monday: Check your LinkedIn Web Project Managers group posts
Tuesday: Check gmail alerts
Wednesday: Skim on-line Content Curated magazines (ScoopIt) Thursday: Read a Web PM blog post
Friday: Attend #pmChat
Weekends: Read longer articles at your leisure.
This is not an on-line marketing schedule, this is a schedule for just keeping up with what is going on in the world with Web Project Management. If you see something that will take longer to read than 15 minutes, bookmark it to read later or send it as an email to yourself to read in the evening or the weekends.
Everyone needs to create their own sustainable schedule, but remember, even if you can only do 15 minutes a day 3 times a week you are still ahead of never taking the time to keep up with these information sources.
There are some things you can do to capture information on Web Project Management for later reading. These include periodically checking the following:
Set a Google Alert for Web Project Management.
Skim the feed for articles that look interesting. If you don’t have time to read these during the work week create an email folder entitled, “General Reading.” The filter directs Web Project Management articles to this folder. Spend about 30 ? 60 minutes a weekend skimming these alerts and read a couple at your leisure.
Follow these Social Media Resources:
LinkedIn – Web Project Managers group
#PMChat – Every Friday at noon on TwitterChat
Industry Experts to follow:
Blogs: Don’t feel compelled to read every one of these every day. Most bloggers don’t post every day. Hit a blog a week if time is pressing. You’ll keep some interesting info without stressing out. You don’t have to be searching for the latest articles every day either.
You can get a quick daily overview of the latest Web Project management news at Tonya Price’s Web Project Management On-line magazine on Scoop-It. She collects the latest Web Project Management news so her followers don’t have to spend time looking for articles.
Link to latest current news: Google web project management news search:
http://www.netmagazine.com (especially regarding design)
Here are some of my favorite Tweeters:
Nancy Lyons @Nylons
Elizabeth Harrin @pm4girls
Breandán Knowlton @bfk
PMI’s blog team @PMvoices
Tonya Price @tdprice
Staying Current with Essential Technology and Tools
Project Management Institute PMI.org
Top Project Management News: http://project-management.alltop.com
LifeHacker- Project Management: http://lifehacker.com/tag/project-management
- Create a 15 minute a day checklist for staying current with the latest Web Project Management trends/techniques/tools
- Create a plan you can stick to for keeping up with the field of Web Project Management
- Write up an evaluation of this course, highlighting what you found helpful and suggestions for improving the course.
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