This semester afforded another reminder of the need for differentiation. In addition to other articles and online resources, I use two texts for my ed tech project management course:
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)
Scrappy Guide to Project Management
The PMBOK Guide is the widely accepted industry standard for project management and at least a few students have thanked me for including it as they were asked about their familiarity with it during job interviews. It’s not an exciting read by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a comprehensive approach to the process.
The Scrappy Guide is part of a series and take a seriously light-hearted approach to the process of project management, revealing the sometimes chaotic underbelly that PMBOK mostly ignores. She includes some excellent exercise ideas for team building and planning along with ways to avoid some of the well-known pitfalls of project management.
So, two books that cover the same topic in much different ways and for much different purposes. I think they complement each other and I wouldn’t give up either one of them. Students tend to either love them or hate them. This semester, one student told me how much he disliked the Scrappy guide: too messy for him. Another student told me PMBOK gave him a headache. I wondered if their personal preferences have any bearing on how they might function as a project manager.
But, it was also a reminder that differentiation is essential at all levels. I also include a “video of the week” in the course and take advantage of videos created by ProjectManager.com.
In her book Passionate Learners: How to Engage and Empower Your Students, Pernille Ripp provides some valuable advice for getting involved in Twitter. She recommends starting small and making quality connections with those you follow. That means having some criteria for what you are looking for in your Twitter feed.
I am putting together some resources for my ed tech project management class this semester and wanted to recommend some good Twitter accounts that could help them connect with and learn from the active online project management community. I started with a list from 2014. Tim Walker, who curated the original list, listed his criteria in making the selections. He was looking for relevant information, conversational quality, steady activity and plenty of followers (at least 2000). These criteria make a good starting point for curating a Twitter list and I’d recommend reading through Tim’s introduction to his list.
I’d add one more criteria that comes to mind after spending the past hour checking out the 14 folks on Tim’s list: I’m looking for evidence of a personal touch. One of the accounts posted a link to an automated daily digest and the few I looked at didn’t seem specifically related to project management. Another account was mostly retweets without providing any comments or conversation. Finally, at least a couple accounts seemed to mostly advertise upcoming workshops and meetups, and while these might be of interest to active project managers, I didn’t think they were right for my students. I skipped adding all of the above to my own list.
I don’t want to have to weed through a dump of your content to find useful resources. And, if you retweet a link, I would like to know that you reviewed the material rather than just working through your Twitter feed and retweeting stuff from others. A quick comment or observation can provide some context and help me decide if it’s a resource or article worth pursuing. Quality over quantity is the theme here, an important point for all of us to consider in our social media lives.
For what it’s worth, here are the five Twitter accounts I chose to share with my students. I’m going to add Holly Davis as she is fun and has an interesting way of including a pertinent quote in her links and Natalie Semczuk because she shared this fabulous collection of project management gifs. I can’t wait to share these with my students.