Project Management

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PM Network is the award-winning professional magazine published monthly for members of the Project Management Institute. This blog will highlight some of the publication's valuable information and insights, keeping you up to date on industry trends.

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Aaron Smith

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Recent Posts

Inspiration from Civil Rights Giant John Lewis

Women in the Room

Future 50: A New Generation of Leaders

Get Informed—and Inspired

Letter from the Publisher

Viewing Posts by Aaron Smith

Inspiration from Civil Rights Giant John Lewis

In our latest PM Network Digital Exclusive, PMI Knowledge Coordinator Shari Rathet found inspiration from John Lewis, the U.S. Congressman and civil rights giant who died July 17 at the age of 80.

She also shared some project management-related insights from the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-56 that had inspired Lewis himself—and many others—to join the civil rights movement.

“A glancing knowledge of the bus boycott might leave us with the idea that it was spontaneous … [but] a great deal of planning had led to that moment,” Shari notes. “We can see that the leaders of the boycott did a lot of things we now consider essential to good project management.”

Indeed, the civil rights movement can be viewed as a portfolio of projects that required heroic sacrifice from its participants but also planning and goal-setting, resource management, strategic alignment and risk management.

In their pursuit of justice and equality, civil rights leaders like Lewis understood the heavy resistance to change they faced, and the very real threats they would encounter along the journey. They weighed the risk and reward. They managed expectations. And they provided a vision for the future that lots of people could rally around.

That’s project leadership we can all learn from!

Posted by Aaron Smith on: July 29, 2020 12:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Women in the Room

“It’s normal right now to be the only woman in the room, but we have to change that to create diversity in the new products we develop.”

Women make up less than 30 percent of the workforce in three critical tech clusters: data and AI, engineering and cloud computing, according to a 2020 World Economic Forum report. That doesn’t sit right with Julissa Mateo Abad — one of 50 young standout project leaders highlighted in PM Network’s special Future 50 issue this month.

“If women don’t participate in creating these solutions, we probably end up with a solution that doesn’t fit for us,” Abad says. “It’s normal right now to be the only woman in the room, but we have to change that to create diversity in the new products we develop.” 

Along with forging her own path in tech as a project leader at a digitization firm, Abad founded Mujeres TICs RD (Women in ICT Dominican Republic) in 2016. With 250 volunteers and more than 500 members, it encourages girls across the Dominican Republic to study engineering and learn coding.

“We want to make it as normal for girls to study tech as it is for boys,” she says. “We want them to know they can become creators rather than just tech users.” 

Abad is out to double the number of women in tech from the Dominican Republic by 2030—and she leads by example. In 2017, she was part of a team that won the first hackathon for women in Central America and the Caribbean. The challenge: generate empathy for trash collectors in Costa Rica. Within 48 hours, she and her team had created a virtual reality program that simulated the working conditions at garbage dump sites. 

The project exemplifies her belief that focusing on humanity can inspire teams to create new technologies—and transform society.

You can read more about Abad here. And you can search, sort and explore the stories of all Future 50 honorees here.

Posted by Aaron Smith on: July 21, 2020 12:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Future 50: A New Generation of Leaders

Project Management Institute and PM Network have recognized 50 ‘next generation’ leaders transforming our world through inspiring projects.

Project Management Institute has announced its first annual Future 50 list, which features 50 next generation leaders who are creating, building, and transforming the world through notable projects.

The 50 young standout project leaders highlighted in the specially dedicated July/August issue of PM Network® magazine represent a wave of change and talent around the globe—a “youthquake” that will reshape the future and accelerate innovation in the here and now.

Honorees include groundbreaking achievements from people across a variety of industries and countries, including director Greta Gerwig, Laura Jones from the Special Olympics, and Miishe Addy from Jetstream Africa.

According to PMI’s recent Pulse of the Profession® report, only 40 percent of organizations say they prioritize attracting and hiring the young generation of project professionals. But what the Future 50 list highlights is that this next generation will be crucial to driving value for businesses and society now and in the future.

“As a new generation of leaders rise around the world we are seeing them have additional guiding principles and motivations when compared to earlier generations,” said Sunil Prashara, president and CEO of PMI. “Organizations are already rethinking how they can attract, retain and help foster this generation of talent. This next generation of project leaders are deeply committed to driving change across the world—from having a deep sense of social responsibility and improving the environment to driving diversity and inclusion.

“The 50 individuals featured on this list are some of the biggest change makers of their generation. They exemplify the power and transformative change that can happen through projects.”

As part of the July/August issue of PM Network, PMI interviewed this year’s Future 50 winners and other seasoned professionals around the globe to uncover ways to encourage this next generation of talent. The issue also outlines six rules to harness the power of these future-focused professionals, including igniting a learning culture; picking up the pace of development; a flatter, more communicative leadership team; more purpose-driven work; and constant, iterative feedback.

To identify this year’s Future 50 honorees, PMI reached out to hundreds of experts and stakeholders across the globe for nominations. A special committee vetted the rising project professionals and narrowed the options. Finalists were then individually researched and/or interviewed to create a list that represents the full spectrum of regions, industries and achievements in The Project Economy – where work increasingly centers around executing projects both large and small. While some honorees are Project Management Professional (PMP) credential holders, others would not even describe themselves as project managers.

What unites the Future 50 is a commitment to project work as the foundation of positive impact, for today and tomorrow. Get to know these 50 young leaders and their amazing work at

Posted by Aaron Smith on: July 13, 2020 04:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Get Informed—and Inspired

The 2020 evolution of PM Network continues this month with the launch of expanded, exclusive digital content on

In times of crisis, we need art more than ever to connect and inspire us. How timely that the world’s largest digital art space opened last month in Bordeaux, France—a 2020 project that even COVID-19 couldn’t shut down, though it certainly dictated some additional requirements and innovations.

Known as Les Bassins de Lumières (The Pools of Light), this impressive project offers an encouraging example of what the future of immersive public art experience can be. Read more at PM Network’s new and improved home for digital content, where this success story is our current Project of the Week.

While you’re there, check out other exclusive digital content from the PM Network team, including “Pandemic Pivots”—a quick look at five 2020 projects that are helping people navigate our new global reality, from drones that disinfect, to no-frills ventilators, to the Premier League’s Project Restart. Goooooaaaaallll

We could all use some inspiration in our information, and it's this kind of content that offers a much-needed reminder: project teams throughout history have delivered strategic solutions to difficult problems. The pandemic is no exception.

On that note, how about that other (not unrelated) existential global challenge in need of exceptional project management? Next to all this exclusive content, you will also find the digital edition of PM Network’s “The Climate for Change” issue from May/June. It presents a number of “bold projects for a better planet” and engages the project professionals who are leading them. Talk about essential work!

So stay safe. Stay informed. And stay in touch for the latest inspiration from the project management front lines.

Posted by Aaron Smith on: July 06, 2020 07:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

"It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head."

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