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  • Four Ways to Make More of a Difference as a PMP

    Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, CAL, CPD, RYT

    Since 2001, we have been helping people get and stay Project Management Professional (PMP) certified.  Many of these folks stay in touch with us – especially those who continue to take Cheetah Learning professional development courses to maintain their PMP certification or earn new PM certs through Cheetah Learning.

    Sometimes we hear from folks who are not yet PMP certified who are disillusioned with the PMP certification overall as they don’t see PMP’s around them making that much of a difference as Project Managers.  While I can’t speak for other’s experiences,  what I have noticed is there are two camps of people who become PMP certified:

    Those who see becoming a PMP as an endpoint and they then rest on their laurels.


    Those who see becoming a PMP as a starting point where they then start to up the ante on their impact as a project manager.

    At Cheetah Learning, naturally, we tend to stay in touch with the PMP’s who fit the latter category.  So we don’t have the same experience as people who are disillusioned with the PMP certification.  Cheetah students are the Project Managers making a huge difference in their worlds.

    Here is what we’ve seen helps people who do become Project Management Professional (PMP) make a much bigger difference in their careers (they are often rewarded for the increased value they create as well with promotions, better project opportunities, and enhanced career satisfaction).

    1. Be an inspiring role model

    People notice far more what you do and how you are than what you say, or however many credentials you hold.  There are three critical elements to being a good role model our Cheetah students master taking other Cheetah courses:

    A. Fix the problem rather than fix the blame.  Having a solutions-oriented approach makes you a go-to person.  Complaining and tossing problems onto others makes you a run from person.   Which would you rather be and which type would you rather have on your team?
    B. Consistently follow a simple process for launching and doing your projects.  Running projects is actually a process.  Having a well-defined process you improve over time with how you lead your projects is the mark of a professional.   This is what Cheetah Project Management is all about – it’s a simple process. It’s easy to use to launch and do projects. It helps you develop consistent results with the projects you lead.
    C. Focus and finish. It isn’t the projects you start that will get you the type of notice you want.  It is the projects that you FINISH. Make sure you set up yourself so that you FINISH what you start.  To do this requires diligence and leadership in the projects you agree to take on.  In the Cheetah Certified Project Manager program,  besides learning how to improve focus, Cheetah’s master how to make sure they pursue those projects they are best qualified to finish.

    Register for Cheetah’s free webinar – Finish Projects Faster – Three Crucial Steps to learn how to finish your projects faster.

    2. Keep improving as a PM

    In all of Cheetah’s Project Management professional development courses, Cheetah students learn how to routinely reflect on their experiences.  It is in this reflective practice, where Cheetah students self-correct to ensure they stay on the right side of the bell-shaped performance curve.  Adopt this reflective practice and make it a habit –  daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, at the completion of project milestones, when you experience project risk events, and during project scope changes.  Ask yourself four questions:

    A. What happened?

    B. How did I feel?

    C. What did I learn?

    D. What am I going to do differently?

    When you create this as your habit, you strengthen your neural networks for consistent performance improvements as a project manager.  You do this by enhancing your brain’s executive functioning capabilities and reduce the chances of getting stuck in time and energy sucking stress and worry that activates the flight or fight part of your brain.

    3.  Find and develop yours and others strengths

    In the Cheetah Certified Project Manager program,  Cheetah students master how to develop theirs and others strengths as part of leading projects.  Can you imagine a world where you help bring out the best of everyone, including yourself?   Think about this – are you the type of project manager where people are lining up to work on your project teams?  Do others know that you will help them best leverage what makes them fantastic?  How will you help your team become the best version of themselves by working on your project?  Even if you aren’t working with people day in and day out – how can you engage with others in ways that help them best shine?

    4. Leverage all sources of capital to create more value with your projects.  

    Strategic stakeholders are often measured on the “Return on Investment” (ROI) of the projects they sponsor.  As a Project Manager, it helps to understand how your project sponsors are being evaluated based on the end result of your efforts.  Cheetah students who take Project Return on Investment learn how to increase project “ROI.” Measuring ROI extends far beyond just the financial return on investment. There are five significant sources of capital your project efforts can impact:

    A. Financial Capital

    B. Social Capital

    C. Knowledge Capital

    D. Brand Capital

    E. Infrastructure Capital

    When you learn how to leverage all five sources of capital for doing your projects, and ensure you create a significant return on investment in each of these dimensions, you create a much bigger impact as a project manager.

    Watch the free webinar – Improving ROI as a Project Manager – from Talk to Action to see how you can improve the ROI of your projects.

    Follow these four steps to move onto the cheetah fast track of career success.

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