PMP PDU and the talent triangle – what should you know?


In 2013* PMI in the publication: The Competitive Advantage of Effective Talent Management, presented its idea of the talent triangle – the ideal skill set of a project manager, a  combination of technical, leadership, and strategic  and business management expertise.

PMI’s research shows how to approach to get the right skillset, it is the most difficult to find people with technical project skills, however, these and strategic and business expertise is believed to be teachable.

That leaves us with the leadership skills, that perceived by organizations as these that are most important of the three areas for a success of project management, however, organizations believe that they are hardest to teach. Organizations will rather focus on finding people with good leadership skills and develop them in the other two, rather than vice versa.

As PMI wanted to keep its certifications relevant (to constantly show the added value of PMPs), and ‘encourage’ PMP certified project managers to develop themselves in all the areas, in which ‘Professional Project Manager’ shall have appropriate competencies. PMI came up with the requirement, that each PMP certificate holder will be obliged to earn PMP PDUs from training, courses or just by self-learning in  the three talent triangle areas.

Now on, it is important for PMPs to know basic about the talent triangle, and how to qualify earned PDUs. If you are doing a training or a course provided by PMI’s Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) you do not have to worry, it has been already done by the R.E.P. If you get education PDUs from the other sources,  you will need to classify them by yourself (at this moment I do not know how and if PMI will be auditing these classifications, however, you still are obliged by PMP code of ethics). So, please be familiar with the following definitions and examples.

  • Technical Project Management – “Knowledge, skills, and behaviors related to specific domains of project, program, and portfolio management. The technical aspects of performing one’s job/role”

Examples of topics: Risk management, scope management, scheduling techniques, requirements management,  software supporting project management, earned value management,…

  • Leadership – “Knowledge, skills, and behaviors specific to leadership. Skills that help an organization achieve its business goals.”

Examples of topics: motivation, negotiation, team building, conflict management,…

  • Strategic and Business Management – “Knowledge of and expertise in the industry/ organization that enhances performance and better delivers business outcomes.”

Examples of topics: contract management, knowledge of specific industry (e.g. specifics of IT industry, software development methodologies, ITIL, …), strategic analysis, understanding operational functions: marketing, finance, legal,…

It will take some time for some training providers to develop their offering in the all three areas, especially one can see lack of training provided by R.E.P.s in the leadership area. But the whole ‘talent triangle’ thing shall be treated as a strong signal from PMI that Project Managers shall develop in other areas than just ‘technical project management’ – you can still use the PDU4FREE site to find relevant education opportunities to earn PMP PDU in all the talent triangle areas.

  • Does anyone know why in copyright there is 2010?


January 28, 2016

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