PMI has created a brief course for project managers to help them start adopting Generative AI.
On a practical level, this course is a great primer for using Generative AI, whether you are a Project Manager or, honestly, any kind of professional.
On a deeper level, this course feels very much like PMI’s response to the increasingly pressing question, “Will AI replace Project Managers?”
PMIs Evolving Strategy
Ever since PMI started their Agile Hybrid Project Pro micro cert, they have been doing exciting things with shorter-form, more accessible training. This is a great evolution, and I hope they continue to do so.
It did seem to take some time for PMI to address Agile ways of working in the PMBOK and the PMP. With the rapid proliferation of Generative AI and questions about how to use it as a PM (and if it would eventually take our jobs), it was great to see PMI be proactive in getting the Generative AI content out quickly. A “microlearning” course like this seems to be the most effective way to address these questions and concerns.
Generative AI for PMs
PMI says this course is a “hands-on learning experience for project professionals that will empower you with practical knowledge of AI in project management that you can apply right away to your project management approaches.” It hits the mark on this. They start by providing some background on what Generative AI can do and cannot do, then offer some very pragmatic advice on its limitations. It then provides some very specific examples of using Generative AI to perform common project management actions.
And, hey, cool – 5 PDU’s!
The Uncomfortable Question
Something that most of us in the PM community have heard over and over is the question, “Is AI going to take over my PM job?” Typical answers in the industry range from,
- “Yup, get ready for it,” to;
- “If you’re a PM who uses AI, you are going to take the job of a PM who doesn’t,” to;
- “Nope, AI is just the latest shiny thing like Agile.”
PMI seem to have heard these questions and concerns. And this course seems to be a very clear statement of PMI’s position on that question. The course says, literally:
“Having a project manager in charge [of a project] is attractive to executives because they have a single person they can look to for results. Project Managers personify the ‘A’ in their RACI charts, Accountable for their own actions, actions taken by the team and for project performance. Whereas, AI will always be ‘C’ for Consulted… “
Here’s a walk-through of my experience taking the course. It was a little bit of a challenge to get started, but really easy to do once I got started.
To sign up for the course, log into your PMI account and go to:
As of the publication of this post, the course was free.
After signing up, I received a confirmation email with a link that took me to my.pmi.org – my profile page. Once I got here, though, I had a hard time finding where to actually take the course. It wasn’t listed in my in-progress certifications, my micro-credentials, or products and subscriptions. I finally found it under Course Library. Hopefully they will update the link in the email to drop you right into Course Library – or, better yet, right into the course.
The course is self-paced and very easy to navigate. The first part of the course consists primarily of short-format videos from 2-3 minutes. If you’re like me and prefer to consume your video and audio content at a faster playback speed, they have settings which allow this.
The content starts with a solid primer on Generative AI. It acknowledges AI biases and limitations and mentions the place of your Infosec organization in evaluating these tools before use, and other pragmatic guidance.
They mention a “Human in the Loop” approach, which recommends that any process that incorporates AI involves a human to ensure that any Generative AI feedback goes through a human filter before it is acted on. It also recommends training to team members on the time and place for AI and for human decision-making. This all makes very good sense right now, as many people are confused about where they fit in and where AI output fits into the process.
The course then goes into some basics around prompt engineering – probably the most useful part of the course for those new to AI. The course also describes a Pyramid Principle for prompt engineering:
“Ask the AI to structure content based on the Pyramid Principle. Provide raw content or main points. AI can help prioritize and structure them from the main takeaway down to the supporting details.”
I also liked the recommendation to use AI as “SME guidance” when performing a project in a new subject matter guidance. In their example, if you are experienced with solar energy and are now doing a project involving wind power, you can get “real-time” guidance and information on this other industry easily through AI. While this is true, I honestly think you are much better off also engaging with your project’s subject matter experts. Not only will they likely be more informative, but engaging with them will also help build your relationship with them. That said, Generative AI may be a good primer prior to your SME conversation, so you can come into that talk with at least a little background knowledge and maybe some good questions to start off with.
Though the course does reference Google’s Bard and Anthropic’s Calude, the examples provided are all using ChatGPT. This does make sense, considering that it is the biggest player at the moment.
The course provides a downloadable list of Generative AI resources, but many very notable tools are missing from this guide, including RAIDLOG.com 😉 . This is a challenge inherent in providing content in a rapidly evolving field. Hopefully, PMI will start updating this or remove it altogether to keep it from getting any more stale than it already is.
The course provides two downloadable resources:
- Tailoring Project Management Prompts for ChatGPT provides examples for creating prompts to help with specific project management tasks.
- GenAI Tools for PMs lists some AI tools for project managers. As described above, it misses many more good tools than it provides, so you are best off doing some Google searches after reviewing the list.
Here’s a quick summary of what’s in the course:
- Introduction to GenAI – 3 videos of about 2-3 minutes each
- Solving Problems with GenAI – 3 videos of about 2-3 minutes each
- Voice of the PM – 3 videos of about 2-3 minutes each
- ChatGPT Lab – 11 examples of ChatGPT prompts for common project management tasks
- AI Tool Library – a list of some Generative AI tools (far from complete or up to date)
- Knowledge Check – 15-question quiz
Then, hooray! 5 PDUs. You can probably knock this whole thing out in just a couple of hours.
Worth the Time?
Is this course worth the time? Definitely! I highly recommend it.
- If you are new to Generative AI or have been putting off giving it a try, this is a great primer to get you started.
- If you have been actively using Generative AI, it may still be worthwhile. I’ve been doing a lot of work with it over the last few months, and I did find a couple of good, useful nuggets in here. And, hey, 5 PDU in just a couple of hours – heck yeah!
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