Looking for ways to earn Professional Development Units (PDUs) for your Project Management Professional (PMP) certification this month? Whether you got your PMP certification (or another PMI certification) a little more recently or you’re a PMP veteran, there’s something for you below that will fit your skill level and schedule.
If you’re looking to challenge yourself or just find a way to pick up an easy PDU (we won’t judge), there’s a webinar, project management course, or book for you here.
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What Are PDUs?
PDUs, or professional development units, are blocks of time that are dedicated to learning and expanding your knowledge in project management. You can earn Education PDUs and Giving Back PDUs.
Education PDUs include any formal or informal learning activity, and PMI defines three PDU categories for these, which make up the PMI Talent Triangle:
- Ways of Working: This includes learning about and practicing project management methodologies, strategies, techniques, and practices (previously known as Technical Project Management).
- Power Skills: This refers to bettering your soft skills and interpersonal skills, such as leadership, communication, and innovation (previously known as Leadership).
- Business Acumen: This covers things like industry or field specific knowledge, understanding your organization’s strategy, and global trends that affect decision-making and day to day work on your projects (previously known as Strategic and Business Management).
You can earn Giving Back PDUs by volunteering and dedicating your time to the profession by teaching and mentoring other project managers in the field.
If you hold a PMP credential, you are required to log 60 PDUs every 3 years in order to maintain your certification. PDUs are also required for certification renewal for other designations offered by PMI, such as:
- Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
- Program Management Professional (PgMP)
- Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)
- Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
Find out more about PDU requirements and how to report PDUs in PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Handbook.
3 Ways To Earn PDUs For PMP Certification Holders
Here are 3 vetted options for earning PMP PDUs, including a mix of both paid and free PDUs.
1. Mastering Digital Project Management | The Digital Project Manager
What: Course & Certificate Program
When: On demand
Cost: $950 USD
How it fits into the Talent Triangle: Ways of Working, Power Skills, Business Acumen
The Digital Project Manager is a Project Management Institute (PMI) Authorized Training Partner, and our self-paced, online course is now eligible for 12 pre-approved PDUs across all sides of the talent triangle:
- 4 PDUs for Ways of Working
- 6 PDUs for Power Skills
- 2 PDUs for Business Acumen
You may already be a project master in a less technology-focused area, but this is a great way to gain a deep understanding of how to deliver complex digital projects successfully and consistently—you know, projects that involve people, pixels, and code like website or app builds, digital marketing initiatives, or mixed reality experiences.
Our course takes you through the entire project life cycle in a digital context—from shaping scope and nailing your kickoff, to go-live day and project closure. You'll learn about how methodologies like waterfall, Scrum agile, and Kanban can be tailored and applied effectively in a digital space. And, perhaps more importantly, you’ll learn to hone the judgment, instinct, and leadership skills you need to succeed in a fast-paced digital world.
This comprehensive program covers the entire range of project management topics and is designed to provide ample opportunities to practice the concepts using real-world scenarios.
It includes hands-on assessments and assignments, and you'll participate in group discussions in our Slack community and get access to templates for each type of documentation covered. Participants who complete the course will receive our project management certification as well.
2. Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos | Darrell Rigby, Sarah Elk, Steve Berez
Cost: $19 USD at Amazon
How it fits into the Talent Triangle: Ways of Working
If you’re just starting to explore agile and how it can help your projects or your organization at large, this book is a huge boon in understanding the misconceptions about agile and how to scale it, once you’ve implemented it.
The chapter on agile leadership is particularly insightful, detailing how leaders can do their jobs better by acting as a coach or mentor rather than a micromanager. The book is aimed at business leaders who have the pull to implement agile in an organization, but project managers trying to get their teams onboard with agile (whether it’s coming from the organization or the project manager themself) can benefit as well.
The number of PDUs you can earn from books will depend on how long it is (i.e. how long it takes to read it), so keep a log of how long you spent reading and what you learned!
3. How Big Things Get Done | Bent Flyvbjerg, Dan Gardner
Cost: $24 USD at Amazon
How it fits into the Talent Triangle: Ways of Working
Those of us in the digital space often don’t frequently venture out to see what the worlds of construction or capital project management have to offer. But often, our digital projects have scopes or scales that are just as ‘big’ as projects in those worlds.
This book does a great job breaking down the reasons why projects are more likely to fail as they get bigger, pulling in examples from around the world, like Hong Kong’s XRL high-speed rail system. The book includes practical tips for avoiding “unique project” syndrome, estimating, and planning for and managing risks that apply to projects both digital and physical.
Why Are PDUs Important?
PDUs are important because, as mentioned, they are required for PMP certification renewal.
But PDUs are important for a variety of other reasons (as is continuing education in general), because they present opportunities to:
- Get high-quality training from experts in the project management space
- Learn something new
- Improve your practices and strategies
- Get better at your job and boost your career
Find more information about being a certified project manager here.
What Else Can You Do?
Webinars, podcasts, books, and courses aren’t the only ways to get your PDUs. If you want to earn some Giving Back PDUs, try mentoring others through creating content of your own or contributing to forums, such as our membership community.