The Critical Path

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Welcome to The Critical Path--the home for community happenings and events on ProjectManagement.com! This is where you'll find community news, updates, upcoming events, featured member posts and more. We'll also be showcasing hot topics in the project management arena and bringing you interviews with industry experts. The Critical Path is our primary way of getting news out to members, so be sure to check back for updates!

About this Blog

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View Posts By:

Marjorie Anderson
Kristin Jones
Danielle Ritter
Kimberly Whitby

Past Contributers:

Carrie Dunn
Kenneth A. Asbury
Craig Dalrymple
Rebecca Braglio

Recent Posts

PMJ Call for Papers: Special Issue on Project Transitions

October Community News You Can Use

PMI® Business Analysis Virtual Conference 2018

October Book Club

PMO Symposium® 2018

PMJ Call for Papers: Special Issue on Project Transitions

Categories: content, education, project management

PMI’s Project Management Journal (PMJ) is now accepting papers for a special issue on Project Transitions. While a great deal of research focuses on the specificities of various project phases, there are a number of technical, organizational, economic, and managerial challenges relating to the transitions across the phases. Transitional issue examples include, but are far from limited to, challenges such as the handover of data and knowhow, change in the workforce, and scope management.

Surprisingly, transition-related project phenomena remain remarkably under-investigated. Addressing transitional issues in projects is important not only for creating projects that deliver value to their respective organizations, users, and operators but also to maintain a more effective delivery while moving from one phase to the next.

Contributions to this special issue can be theoretical or empirical, based on any project-related topic concerning transitions. Authors may choose to focus on transitions across the temporal phases of the system’s life as the main conceptual framework. However, the special issue editors strongly encourage contributions addressing project transitions under new or different conceptual lenses.

Editors for this special issue are:

  • Giorgio Locatelli, School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds
  • Vedran Zerjav, The Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management, University College London
  • Gary Klein, College of Business, University of Colorado

The deadline for papers is 31 January 2019. For more information on the special issue, visit https://www.pmi.org/learning/publications/project-management-journal/special-issue-project-transitions.

General submission guidelines are available from the journal publisher, SAGE, at https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/project-management-journal/journal203528#submission-guidelines.

To submit a paper, visit the journal submission site at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/pmj.

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: October 10, 2018 02:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

October Community News You Can Use

Categories: business analysis, community, community events, news

It's October! Here at PMI GHQ, the morning air is starting to turn nice and crisp with autumn's arrival a few weeks ago, but the afternoons are still holding on to summer for just a while longer. Also, we completely forgot to post a September Community News. Sorry about that. We promise to do better.

We hope you're excited about something in your work! Maybe it's a new project, a new role, some incredible professional development opportunities, or just the fact that you're wrapping up a really long project. Whatever it is, we want to know about it! Tell us what's going on in your world in the comments below or in this discussion thread.

On with this month's news!

PMI® Business Analysis Virtual Conference 2018 - Our research has shown that many business analyst professionals spend more than 80% of their time applying business analysis to projects and programs – underscoring just how important this competency is to ensure successful project management. This event will enable you to focus your efforts on becoming an expert not only for yourself but also your organization as well. Don’t miss the Business Analysis event of the year by registering today!

Trends, Trends, Trends – There are no shortage of articles presenting trends in project management, as IBM Systems Magazine contributor Joseph Gulla points out in this blog post linked from PM Port. Some are based on research, some are based on opinion. Mr. Gulla is basing his on whether these trends really matter—do they reinforce good project management or help focus alignment with the business? Scroll to the bottom of his post to see his “trendy” picks. And keep checking PM Port for the latest news and opinion on project management.

PMI® Annual Virtual Student Summit - Students and entry-level professionals are invited to join PMI for a free virtual event to network with colleagues, learn at educational sessions, and find resources in the virtual exhibit hall. Sessions will include using project management to climb Mt. Everest, branding yourself for career success, artificial intelligence and the user experience, and more! You don't want to miss out. Register today!

Prepare to be the Project Manager of the Future - The future of project management will require organizations and individuals alike to embrace a full spectrum of competencies and approaches. Businesses must be agile and quick to adapt in our rapidly evolving and highly competitive environment. Take a look at PMI's latest Pulse of the Profession in-depth report to find out what skills it will take to be the project manager of the future!

Global Insights from Los Angeles - Did you miss out on PMI Global Conference this year? If so, never fear! Your friendly community experts have your back. Read the PMI Global Insights blog to see what they were up to and their reflections as they represented PMI's online community at Global Conference in Los Angeles, California, USA! Connect with Emily, Dave M., Dan, Priya, Gina, and Dave D. right here within the community to find out what they learned from attendees and each other as they served up expert advice to Conference attendees!

That's all for now! As always, if you have any questions regarding this month's news (or any questions in general) feel free to reach out to any of the Community Engagement Specialists. We're here to help!

See you next month!

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: October 09, 2018 06:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (14)

PMI® Business Analysis Virtual Conference 2018

Categories: business analysis, community events, content, events, virtual events

Registration is open for the PMI® Business Analysis Virtual Conference 2018! This virtual event is open to everyone and will take place on 7 November from 9am - 5pm EST. 

This year's event kicks off with our keynote speaker, Laura Brandenburg, who will give you information that you need to know to create a successful business analysis career path. 

Why are BAs important to an organization?

Over the years business analysis has continued to grow at a rapid rate and is often seen as a critical leadership competency for Projects, Programs, and Portfolios. Business Analysis provides important value by reducing project costs and increasing the potential return, or benefits.

Remain ahead in your career by learning the skills of today and tomorrow. This event will enable you to focus your efforts on becoming an expert not only for yourself but also your organization as well. Additionally, PMI credential holders can earn up to 6 PDUs toward their Continuing Certification Requirements!

Register today to gain insights on just how critical of a role business analysis plays in the overall success of projects and get the tools you need for total project and career success!

We hope to see you there!

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: October 02, 2018 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

October Book Club

October Book Club

We are excited to announce the ProjectManagement.com October book club! The book club provides an opportunity to participate in webinars and discussions around selected books relevant to the overall practice of project management. The book club occurs in three parts:

  1. Opening pre-recorded webinar which will be used to introduce the book. During this 30 minute pre-recorded webinar, the author will provide a high level overview of the concepts in his/her book, familiarizing participants with the information.
  2. Discussion thread on ProjectManagement.com with input from the book club host and author. During the last week of the discussion, questions will be collected to present to the author in the closing webinar.
  3. Closing Q&A live webinar with the author responding to questions submitted both through the online book club discussion thread and during the webinar. The webinar will be a panel style discussion with open dialogue between the moderator and the author.

The first 25 PMI members registered for the closing book club webinar will receive a complimentary copy of the book and will be notified via email. Additional participants will have the opportunity to purchase a copy of the book at their own expense. 

All community members will be able to view the book club opening webinar and participate in the discussion forum. We will evaluate the content of each opening and closing book club webinar to determine the eligibility and breakdown for PDUs.   

Our book club book for October is The Practitioner's Guide to Project Management: Simple, Effective Techniques That Deliver Business Value by Lynda Carter

Lynda Carter is the founder and President of Competitive Edge Consulting. Inc. Lynda has extensive project management experience, which includes designing and delivering project management training programs as well as consulting with senior project management leaders in various industries in all aspects of project management.

Lynda is a lecturer in the both Math and Computer Science Department and the MBA program at Baldwin Wallace University.

Lynda has published articles and white papers, including: 

Gerri Hura and Lynda Carter. "71. Project Management." Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management. Vol. 1. N.p.: Wiley, 2012. 363-69. Print. Key Topics and Issues.

Lynda published: "The Practitioner's Guide to Project Management: Simple, Effective Techniques that Deliver Business Value". The book is currently being used in undergraduate classes and businesses to increase their practical knowledge of Project Management.

Lynda's most recent publication is "The Essential Guide to Facilitating Project Management Workshops". This is a must have guide to anyone doing collaborative planning.

About the book:

The Practitioner's Guide to Project Management provides simple, effective techniques in a way that encourages collaborative conversations with key resources and delivers business value. Book highlights include:

  • Foundational techniques - the value they provide and the questions they help answer
  • Role and responsibility clarity for key project players across the life of a project
  • Explanation of project management deliverables - their purpose, content and tips on how to create them
  • Recommendations for collaborative planning workshops
  • Answers to common questions about applying project management techniques

Our October book club host is Tolitha Lewis, PMP. Tolitha has been a PMI Volunteer Leader since 2008.  She was elected as a Director to the PMI Information Systems Specific Interest Group (PMI-ISSIG) in 2008 and served until the completion of the transition to a Community of Practice (CoP) in 2011. In 2012, Tolitha was appointed to the Leadership Team of the Consulting CoP, now referred to as the Consulting practice area, and has been a leader in the webinar program ever since. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Tolitha is a Sr. Project Manager.

To register for the closing live book club webinar, please visit the webinar page on ProjectManagement.com, find the book club closing webinar and click on the “Register for this webinar” link.

Please visit the book club information and discussion on the Project Management.com books page

For additional questions, please visit the ProjectManagement.com Book Club FAQ page.

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: October 01, 2018 10:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

PMO Symposium® 2018

Categories: development, events, PMO

PMO Symposium® 2018

PMO Symposium brings together PMO leaders and senior decision makers from leading global organizations across various industries and government sectors. They attend both as speakers and as participants. PMO Symposium takes place from 11-14 November 2018 at the Marriott Marquis, Washington D.C.

The event’s core theme, Mastering Value Delivery, has two areas of focus:

The Resilient PMO: how you can develop new capabilities and incorporate tools and techniques to accelerate value delivery for your organization in the long term.

Harnessing Disruptive Forces to Evolve Best Practices to Next Practices: how to leverage and adapt project management methods and technologies to address ongoing disruption from new technology, market shifts, and social change.

Attendees share experiences, build valuable connections, develop practical solutions, and gain a deep understanding of the focus areas and a broad view of how other organizations manage their projects. In addition, attendees are the first to receive a hard-copy edition of the 2018 PMI® Thought Leadership Series, a comprehensive set of five research reports exploring disruptive technologies and how organizations are using them to achieve their goals in these changing times.

Benefits to attendees include:

• Learning actionable insights

• Modernizing approaches and maximizing resilient PMO capabilities

• Bringing concepts to life in meaningful ways through leader-to-leader discussions

• Making valuable connections and expanding professional networks

• Learning from speakers to stimulate new thinking and activate PMO excellence

  PMO Symposium Speaker Morten Sorensen, PMP, PgMP, PfMP, Vice President, PMO, Peraton, shares his insights.

What are a few key takeaways from your presentations?

Leading PMOs are uniquely positioned to play a critical role in ensuring that all initiatives undertaken by the organization are aligned with strategic goals and geared to deliver benefits and value while maintaining overall portfolio balance in terms of risks and investments.

We will look at practical examples of how we can identify and illustrate gaps, risks or other sources of imbalance in our portfolios. We will look at key elements and process steps in a balanced intake analysis and importantly examine what some of the typical process risks are.

Solid practices around benefit analysis, risks assessments and deep engagement with portfolio sponsors and business leaders are key. PMOs can provide game-changing data and insight to allow the best possible portfolio planning as well as value delivery.

What is the biggest challenge in PMOs right now?

The seemingly ever-increasing rate of change is a significant challenge for most organizations, including PMOs. Keeping up with internally driven change, like reorganizations, M&A and strategic initiatives, new opportunities for better process tools, need for new skills, experimentation and adoption of new processes and delivery frameworks as well as externally originated demands all make for challenges that must be addressed effectively and timely.

With the breadth of activities most PMOs support or lead, many struggle to maintain an effective focus on driving benefits planning and benefits realization management. Solid benefits realization planning also enable much more effective overall portfolio management, which also is a very common challenge. Many organizations develop proper business cases but fall short in benefit realization planning and delivery management/follow-up.

What is a trend you see in PMOs?

I see trends at multiple levels and in multiple areas:

Need for subject matter knowledgeable PMs as well as skilled project leaders able to handle large transformational initiatives with depth and sensitivity to related organizational change dependencies.

In addition, PMOs must continue to demonstrate how they add value within the organization. They must remain agile and be able to successfully pivot to drive potentially rapid changes in strategy or lead new critical organizational initiatives. M&A and market opportunities remain large areas of value-add for PMOs.

New technology and business intelligence tools enable increasing use of continuous analytics of key project processes and related performance indicators, and they provide critical insight and decision support.

What effect has new technology had on PMOs and organizations?

All organizations face increasing demands to innovate, grow and lead change on a continuous basis. Since new technology is everywhere and changing tomorrow's products and services - and facilitating increasing competition - organizations need to stay educated, involved and drive innovation and change to maintain their own competitive advantage. Organizations and their PMOs must consistently dedicate skills, resources, and management attention to innovation initiatives and look to innovate at multiple levels simultaneously - for example, short-term efficiency gains, midterm enhancements to existing products and services and innovate to drive longer-term expansion into completely new products or markets. Given the pervasive presence of new technology no organization is immune or will stay relevant in the long term if they do not learn to master innovation and change – the competitive advantage of many leading firms is their ability to change effectively.

Regarding the technology we use across the organization, PMOs must devote enough time and resources to evaluate and experiment with PMO relevant tools and services on an ongoing basis. The options to collaborate, share and leverage critical analytics across disperse teams, organizations and business processes have never been better and improved technology solutions let us focus more time in high-value areas and interactions with clients and stakeholders.

Morten Sorensen’s sessions include:

Managing Your Innovation Project Portfolio

How PMOs Drive Value in Effective and Strategy-Aligned Project Portfolio Management

PMO Symposium is a unique event for PMO leaders and those who direct an organization’s portfolio of projects, programs, and initiatives.

See the full program schedule today. https://www.pmi.org/pmo-symposium/program-schedule

 

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: September 26, 2018 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)
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