Advance Your Career in Project Management with Business Acumen Skills

Business Acumen for Project Management

The Project Management Institute (PMI)® designed the PMI Talent Triangle® to include “business acumen” as one of three pillars to earn Professional Development Unit (PDU) credits towards PMI certifications.

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Earn PDUs for Business Acumen Skills

Business Acumen is a skill area within The PMI Talent Triangle. All PMI-certified professionals are required to earn at least 8 PDUs within the Business Acumen category to renew their PMI Certification. There are a variety of ways that PMI-certified professionals can earn Business Acumen skill PDUs. Courses that cover these topics are eligible for Business Acumen PDUs:

  • Benefits Management and Realization
  • Business Models and Structures
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Customer Relationships and Satisfaction
  • Industry Domain Knowledge
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance
  • Market Awareness
  • Function-Specific Knowledge
  • Strategic Planning, Analysis, Alignment

For all PDU credits, the measurement of the learning, training others, and/or volunteering is measured as 1 PDU = 1 Hour. To earn a PDU credit, it must fit within the PMI Talent Triangle’s three categories: Check the PMI certification PDU requirements for how many PDU to earn for which certificate.

After earning at least 8 PDUs that can be aligned with Business Acumen skills, PMI certified professionals can then focus on earning PDUs for Power Skills and Ways of Working to complete the rest of PMI’s PDU requirements.

PMI Talent Triangle: Business Acumen for Project Management

Business Acumen Skills Within The PMI Talent Triangle
The PMI Talent Triangle

The PMI Talent Triangle categories encompass the skills for project success: power skills, ways of working, and business acumen.

  1. Power Skills: competency in guiding and motivation
  2. Ways of Working: domain expertise, certification-specific training
  3. Business Acumen: business-oriented skills

Each category addresses a business need and when combined, the bundle of skills positions the professional for consistent, positive outcomes. When you earn PDU credits, you are also part of the project management leadership community. 

How can learning business acumen skills advance your career?

The PMI Talent Triangle bundle of Power Skills, Ways of Working, and Business Acumen is a powerful differentiator for positions in project management. Within the PMI Talent Triangle, the Business Acumen skills help project managers connect project work to organizational value through an enhanced understanding of business goals, industry trends, and market shifts. Obtaining and maintaining a PMI certification indicates your leadership within the project management profession.

Whether you are working in a predictive, agile, or hybrid organization, the main result project teams look for is creating value for the organization. PMP credential holders can use their PDU requirement as an opportunity to learn skills ensuring that they and their teams are always working toward creating value.

Business Acumen PDU

PMI classifies Business Acumen PDUs based off whether the training and education is centered around business-oriented skills. Acquiring Business Acumen skills is necessary for completing the requirements PMI has set forth within the Talent Triangle. This proves your knowledge and expertise in the industry, which enhances performance and better delivers business outcomes. The PMI Talent Triangle flyer provides these Business Acumen PDU topics.

How many Business Acumen PDUs can be earned within a 3-year cycle?

You can earn as many PDUs as you’d like. However, PMI requires a minimum number of those PDUs to be aligned with the PMI Talent Triangle. For example, a certified PMP will need at least 60 total PDUs to renew their certification. PMI requires a minimum of 8 PDUs within the following Talent Triangle categories:

  • Ways of Working, 8 PDU credits minimum
  • Power Skills, 8 PDU credits minimum
  • Business Acumen, 8 PDU credits minimum

The table below shows the required PDUs for Talent Triangle alignment.

Certification and Education Minimum PDUsWays of Working PDUs RequiredPower Skills PDUs RequiredBusiness Acumen PDUs RequiredRemaining PDUs In Any Area of Talent Triangle
PMP → 3588811
PgMP → 3588811
PfMP → 3588811
PMI-PBA → 3588811
PMI-ACP → 184446
PMI-RMP → 184446
PMI-SP → 184446
CAPM → 92223
Education PDUs – Minimum Talent Triangle Requirements

Can Business Acumen PDUs overlap with other Talent Triangle categories?

PDU categories do not overlap. For instance, you may earn 25 Power Skills PDU credits in a cycle. Exceeding the Power Skills  PDU minimum does not remove the need to earn 8-hour business acumen PDU credits in that cycle. Reference the PMI’s CCR Handbook on page 5 for information on which type of PDU to earn to stay certified.

If a professional earns more than the required number of PDUs within a cycle, a maximum of 20 PDUs can be transferred over to the next CCR cycle.

How do I claim PDU credits?

For any potential PDU activity, follow the steps in the PMI CCR Handbook to submit the PDU claim.

How to earn business acumen PDU credits

You can earn education PDUs, including Business Acumen PDU credits, with activities that deepen and broaden your project expertise. To earn PDU credit for a training course, find out how the instructor is qualified, if the provider is authorized by the PMI, and if the content aligns with the PMI Talent Triangle. PDU activities can include:

  • course or training in a business acumen topic
  • online or digital media related to business
  • reading books, articles, conference papers

As there is not a “free PMP books for PDU” area on, kick start your reading for PDU credits with GoodReads’ Books for PMI PDUs. Remember via your PMI membership, you have access to free PMI reading materials including conference white papers and reports.


For Business Acumen PDU activities, focus on topic areas that allow you to grow in skills critical to realizing value at the organizational level, including program and/or portfolio management, gaining organizational efficiency through process improvement initiatives, organizational change management, and business analysis skills. Earn PDU credits to enhance your professional value and maintain your credentials.

Provides You With 24 of Your 60 Required PDUs to Renew Your PMP

With this $690 discount, you can get all three courses to meet the minimum required PDUs for PMI Talent Triangle®.

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Erin Aldridge, PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSPO
Director of Product Development at
Erin Aldridge, PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSPO