Groups exist for a variety of reasons. Some of those groups are worth joining. For example, professional organizations can be beneficial. Professional organizations charge membership fees. It happens. They are forever searching for funding. That barrier to entry limits the number of members. People are only willing to pay a certain amount. That amount is spread out over all the organizations they join. A few years ago, I elected to pay for a Project Management Institute (PMI) membership. PMI membership includes several publications. I receive PMI Today, the Project Management Journal, and PM Network in print form. They have always been great reads on airplanes. This next year I want to get more from my membership. I’m going to try to figure out how to really learn about project management.
Reading journal articles has always been a solitary activity. Journal articles are mostly written and consumed along. The only real exception happens to be a classroom setting. Even at conferences reading directly from a paper is highly frowned upon. During the course of the last decade, I have really only seen one person read directly from a paper. They stood in front of a room and read from a pile of papers that was being held directly in front of them. The audience was not amused.
The PMI community has all sorts of events. My plan for next year is to attend more of them. Project management is in an interesting area of the academy. It is ripe with research opportunities. Those opportunities help make the cost of the membership worth it. They provide a definable return on investment. The plan is to get a larger return on my investment. I think the plan is reasonable.