This weekend I passed the PMP exam. That means I'm certified. Some people would say crazy, because I dream up wild ideas and tend to think differently from the crowd. Sure, I learned some things by preparing for the exam, and the knowledge provides a base for program management. Still, I think this kind of linear, left-brain training is an anachronism -- out of place, out of time, out of touch.
Let's get in touch with today's twenty-something learners. Business schools are starting to deliver an integrated approach to learning (business, design and engineering classes are blended together), and many schools are using advanced training methods -- multi-media, games, stories. Even if a company requires new hires to become PMP certified, they may not drink in enough of the understanding to become adept at the craft.
I credit my ability to see patterns and my software engineering experience as the keys to driving projects to success. In short order, I'm able to discern if a company has a Bermuda Triangle of software development from which software ships into a sea of defects. You find the root cause of the problem and strangle the life out of the cause. Finding the root cause is one of the guiding tenets of the PMBOK guide. Instead of talking about Ishikawa Diagrams, what if we explored the threat in stories and how the threat causes the problem. And then provided an example from a popular movie -- the asteroid in Armageddon.
To overcome the plethora of problems we face today, our education in all fields needs to be more in line with the training that helped produce Thomas Jefferson and other great minds from his time. Jefferson studied many disciplines, including the stories of the classics, and integrated the knowledge from multiple disciplines into coherent thoughts and actions. His education was integrated, whole, complete. A renaissance education!