Many of you already know that I am the co-founder and host of a weekly Twitter Chat (Tweetup) called #PMChat. Most experts will tell you that social media should not be a megaphone, but more of a listening tool. Unfortunately, not a lot of folks have heard that message and platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter have become a stream of advertisements and one-way sharing. As a result, my #PMChat co-host and I saw a real need for a more collaborative community…especially among a group, such as PMs, that depend on lessons learned and best practices. We couldn’t be more pleased! We have a full website, LinkedIn group, live radio show and most of all…an engaged, collaborative community.
While I have shared some great resources, you should add to your repertoire, in my guest post “Blogs, Twitter…Uggh! Where do I start?” for TalkingWork, I have recently learned of another tremendous platform that every project professional should invest some time…The PMBookclub. In this week’s post, I speak with Thomas Kennedy about this initiative.
What is PMBookClub.com?
PMBookClub.comis the online book club for project managers and project teams.
What is the premise behind PMBookClub.com?
The premise behind PMBookClub.com is to provide a place where project managers and project team members can come together to study and discuss books about project management. What makes PMBookClub.com different is that we study the books WITH the book authors!
How did you come up with the idea?
The idea came from my studies at University of Phoenix. I found that I learned a lot from the assigned reading material. But the real value came from the discussions with other students and with the professors. Since my passion is in the area of project management, I wanted to create a similar environment focused on studying and discussing books about project management. PMBookClub.com was born!
How long have you been doing this?
We launched PMBookClub.com in January of 2012 and selected “The Lazy Project Manager” as our first study (because of its commercial success). I contacted the author, Peter Taylor, to let him know that we were planning to study his book and asked if he wanted to participate. I was surprised to receive a response and even more surprised that he agreed to participate! We started the study in March with about 100 members. We are now starting our third study with about 600 members. But to be fair, only a portion of the 600 members will actively participate.
How do people connect and participate in the study?
We use a group on LinkedIn
as the primary tool to connect and discuss the books. At the start of the study I post an agenda and then each week post reading assignments and separate threads for discussion questions. Participants read the assigned material and then post answers to the discussion questions. We are raising the bar with our current study by adding Webex presentations, a Tweet-up through PMChat.net
, and video conference calls with the author.
What studies have you done so far?
What studies do you plan to do next?
We have some great book studies lined up including:
- Information Technology Project Management by Kathy Schwalbe.
- Green Project Management by Richard Maltzman and David Shirley.
- Project Management Communications Bible by William Dow.
- The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management by Eric Verzuh.
Our members decide which book we study next. About two weeks from the end of a study I post a poll listing four books. The members vote on the book they would like to read and the book with the most votes goes next. We keep a list of the books that are in the queue on the Upcoming Book Studies
section of PMBookClub.com.
What does it cost to participate in PMBookClub.com
Participants must set up a free account on LinkedIn in order to access the discussion forum and they must purchase (or obtain) a copy of the book. Otherwise, there is no membership fee or additional cost to participate. We might eventually look for ways to monetize PMBookClub.com, but that isn’t our focus right now. We are just trying to build a great place for people to come together to study and discuss books about project management WITH the book authors. So far we are heading in the right direction.
Thank you for the opportunity to share about PMBookClub.com. You readers are welcome to contact me
if they have additional questions.