The Critical Path

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Welcome to The Critical Path--the home for community happenings and events on! 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


View Posts By:

Marjorie Anderson
Kristin Jones
Danielle Ritter
Kimberly Whitby

Past Contributers:

Carrie Dunn
Kenneth A. Asbury
Craig Dalrymple
Rebecca Braglio

Recent Posts

August Community News You Can Use

August Book Club

Project Management Scholars Receive 2018 PMI Academic Awards

July Community News You Can Use

Community News - Summer 2018 Edition!

August Community News You Can Use

Happy August...even though we're already halfway through the month! My how time flies! Soon we'll be saying goodbye to summer here in North America and cooler weather will be settling in. That also means that we've got some great programming coming up for you over the next couple of months. For now, here's a look at what's coming up in the immediate future and a question that one of your fellow community members needs help with:

PMI® Organizational Agility Conference 2018: For project managers, it is imperative to remain agile in an ever-changing business landscape and all organizations, whether small or large, need individuals who understand how important and impactful adaptability and agility are to overall success. That's why we're bringing you the PMI Organizational Agility Conference on 12 September 2018 from 9am-5pm EDT. This a virtual event and is FREE to PMI members. Register now and allow us to provide you with the tools and knowledge you need in order to lead through transformation. You won't want to miss this event!

Be a Champion of Change: Join us for PMI Global Conference, 6-8 October 2018 in beautiful Los Angeles, CA, USA! You'll join thousands of other Change Champions for three days of learning and fun! You'll also have the opportunity to schedule time with experts from right here in the community for a one-on-one session! For more information, or to register for the conference, visit We hope to see you there!

Project Management for Social Good®: As a practitioner, you are no doubt committed to continuing your project management education in both formal and informal ways. But did you know that PMI’s philanthropic arm, the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF), also focuses on project management education? Find out some of the ways you can leverage PMIEF resources and programs for your personal use—or to give back in your community.

Evaluating Project Management Tools: Fellow community member, Dinah Young, is currently evaluating PM tools and needs your help! If you've had any experience with any of the tools she has shortlisted, join the conversation and provide your feedback!

That's all for now! If you have any questions about community events, user guidelines, or any other community happenings, feel free to reach out to any member of the Community Engagement team. We're happy to help!

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: August 15, 2018 01:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

August Book Club

Categories: book club.

August Book Club

We are excited to announce the August 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 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 August is Project Risk Management: A Practical Implementation Approach by Michael M. Bissonette

Mike Bissonette is a seasoned business executive, entrepreneur, adjunct professor, training consultant and author.  He has over 37 years of research and development experience within several industries (i.e., Aerospace, Commercial Electronics, Industrial Equipment and Services, Clean Technology, IT and SaaS), and has led the development of a myriad of products and services.  Mike began his professional career as a radar system engineer and progressed into several technical and project/program/portfolio manager roles.  His experience spans Fortune 500 companies and small start-up companies.  He has held executive level positions over many functional disciplines, including: Project Management Offices, Engineering, Operations, Procurement, Product Management, and Quality Assurance.  He has also held the position of division General Manager (SVP and Officer) of a public company.

Mike co-founded RTConfidence, Inc. (a company that is developing and innovative cloud-based management system which contains specialized IP, including Machine Learning technology), and Build2Scale, Inc. (a company that works with start-ups and young companies seeking investment and accelerated growth).

Mike is a certified PfMP® (Portfolio Management Professional), an EIR (Expert in Residence) at UC Irvine’s Applied Innovation Center, and currently teaches a blended (both in-person and on-line) class in Clarkson University’s MS in Engineering Management curriculum, entitled “Strategic Project Management.”

Mike is considered a thought leader in certain industries, has spoken at numerous events, and has taught many project management and product development related courses.  His unique professional experience has afforded Mike a broad and diverse perspective of project management and what it takes to be a successful project manager, not to mention, what it takes to be a successful company in this ever-changing, highly competitive, global marketplace.  He published a text book “Project Risk Management: A Practical Implementation Approach” through the Project Management Institute (PMI®) and has contributed to PMI’s recently released PMBOK® (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide, Sixth Edition, and The Standard for Portfolio Management, Fourth Edition. 

Mike holds a BSEE degree from Clarkson University, a MSEE from CSU, Long Beach, and an MBA from UC, Irvine.   

Mike is a volunteer in probation at juvenile detention facilities (in Orange County, CA), is a sports enthusiast, enjoys oil-painting, is married, has four children, and lives in Southern California.

About the book:

It’s not exactly news that putting the concepts of risk management into action can help make a project more successful. In fact, a solid understanding of risk management is a vital component of any project management professional’s training, regardless of the industry in which he or she might work. In today’s fast-paced, constantly changing, and extremely competitive environment, risk management is more important than ever for businesses hoping to find their footing in the global market.

In Project Risk Management: A Practical Implementation Approach, author Michael M. Bissonette not only provides insights into the best ways to implement the traditional techniques of risk management, but also explores innovative new methods that can help modern organizations build their culture, improve financial performance, and ultimately achieve greater success in all of their projects.

Our August book club host is David Maynard, PMP. Dave is a native New Yorker who after graduation from engineering school from the State University of New York, traveled to Houston to work for NASA at the Johnson Spacecraft Center for many years.

He gradually gained responsibilities and participated in the Shuttle avionics architecture design, the “glass cockpit” development and in crew training. Incrementally David’s level of responsibility increased, and he became a Senior Engineer, Project Engineer, a Project Manager and Program Manager. David then moved to the Space Operations and Planning Complex (SOPC) where he again participating in overall technical design efforts.

After leaving NASA, Mr. Maynard was asked to become the General Manager of Systems Management Inc. (SMI) in Orlando whose mission was to turn-around troubled projects, programs or operations. Mr. Maynard left SMI for another attempt at retirement.

David now teaches at Purdue University in Indiana, is active the PMI-Northeast Indiana Chapter and volunteers for PMI in various capacities.

To register for the closing live book club webinar, please visit the webinar page on, 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 books page

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

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: July 30, 2018 10:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

Project Management Scholars Receive 2018 PMI Academic Awards

Categories: education

Professor Avraham Shtub of Technion Israel Institute of Technology receives the 2018 PMI Teaching Excellence Award from PMI Academic Programs Manager Heather Ramsey at a presentation at the EURAM Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 21 June.

Dr. Mark Keil of Georgia State University with PMI Academic Programs Manager Heather Ramsey. Dr. Keil received the 2018 PMI Research Achievement Award at a presentation at the EURAM Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, on 21 June.

On 21 June, three members of the project management academic community were honored for their contributions to education and research. These international scholars and teachers accepted PMI Academic Awards during a ceremony in Reykjavik, Iceland, at the 2018 EURAM Conference at the University of Iceland.

The PMI Teaching Excellence Award recognizes and honors an individual faculty member for excellence in teaching project management, and for their strong commitment to improving and enhancing project management curricula in higher education. The 2018 Teaching Excellence Award recipient is Professor Avraham Shtub, PhD, PMP, Head of the Project Management Research Center, and Stephen and Sharon Seiden Professor of Project Management at Technion Israel Institute of Technology.

Prof. Shtub teaches project management, integrating traditional lectures and textbooks with advanced methodologies at several leading universities around the world. He has also developed a new curriculum for teaching project management; it is based on the flipped classroom approach and simulation-based training, and uses the award-winning Project Team Builder, a project management training simulator that Prof. Shtub and his team developed. He has tested this new curriculum in a controlled study with positive results, and recently published a book on this engaging new approach.

Professor Ofer Zwaikel, PhD, PMP, who nominated Prof. Shtub for the award, praised him for his engaging style, use of rich content, and sharing of anecdotes and observations from his professional experience. "Prof. Shtub’s teaching philosophy is to integrate traditional lectures and textbooks with advanced methodologies,” Prof. Zwaikel explained. Further, the results of the research on Prof. Shtub’s curriculum “indicate that the integration of the flipped classroom concept with simulation based training has a strong positive effect on the students compared to traditional teaching based on lectures and textbooks.”

The Project Management Journal Paper of the Year Award recognizes the best paper published in the Project Management Journal in the previous year. The winning paper was “The Multivocality of Symbols: A Longitudinal Study of the Symbolic Dimensions of the High-Speed Train Megaproject (1995-2015)” (Dec. 2017/Jan. 2018) by Prof. Dr. Alfons van Marrewijk. The paper provides an anthropological look at megaprojects as symbols in society, with a focus on the Dutch High-speed train megaproject.

“The paper depicts how megaprojects are used as symbols for strategic and political reasons and how they cause issues and power struggles,” explained Dr. Ralf Müller, co-Editor in Chief of the Project Management Journal. “The paper provided new insights into megaprojects as cultural and societal phenomena and the implications stemming from different perceptions of megaprojects by different stakeholder groups.”

Prof. Dr. van Marrewijk is Professor of Business Anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. After beginning his career as a project manager, he moved to the field of anthropology as an academic. Today he integrates both of these fields, researching project management through an anthropological lens.

The PMI Research Achievement Award recognizes individuals whose work has significantly advanced the concepts, knowledge, and practices of project management through a published body of academic research. The 2018 Research Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Mark Keil, Distinguished University Professor and John B. Zellars Professor of Computer Information Systems at Georgia State University.

Dr. Keil has been conducting research on information technology project management for over 26 years. With more than 17,000 citations on Google Scholar, he was the most cited researcher for IT project management. “Dr. Keil is world-renowned for his work on escalation of commitment in IT projects - the continued commitment to a failing course of action despite negative feedback,” said Maheshwar Boodraj, PMP, Past President of the PMI Jamaica Chapter, who nominated Dr. Keil for the award. “His research has both illuminated our understanding of the causes of escalation of commitment and provided practical advice on how to de-escalate troubled IT projects. He has also made significant contributions to the literature on project status and bad news reporting and managing project risks.”

In addition to his prolific research career, Dr. Keil generously shares his knowledge in the classroom, having taught at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. He has also published a number of teaching cases, and has received multiple awards from Georgia State University for his achievements in scholarship, teaching, and service.

The PMI David I. Cleland Project Management Literature Award recognizes the author(s) of a published book that significantly advances project management knowledge, concepts, and practice. The 2018 Cleland Award will be announced on 6 October 2018 at the PMI Awards Gala during the 2018 PMI Global Conference in Los Angeles, California.

Congratulations to these 2018 PMI Academic Award winners! The call for nominations for 2019 PMI Academic Awards will open on 1 November 2018. Find more information and submissions guidelines at

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: July 26, 2018 06:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

July Community News You Can Use

Can you believe 2018 has surpassed the half-year mark! I don’t know about you, but I’m still in shock! PMI has been busier than ever….rolling out exam changes, publishing new books and articles, travelling the world producing fabulous events, all of which could not have happened without each and every one of you! So give yourselves a pat on the back, because there’s only more in the pipeline about to set sail. The Critical Path provides a sneak peek of wants happening and what’s yet to come, as we trek into 2019. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!


Project Management Saves the Day—At Creative Agencies – Project management shows its value in so many fields (software development, construction, pharma, etc.), but one that does not immediately come to mind is creative agencies. Yet project management is invaluable there as well, according to this article linked from PM Port. The creative process, and the business, suffer when budgets or schedules are unrealistic and talent is stretched too far. Check PM Port frequently for news of what’s happening in project management.


What’s New in Project Resource Management (pt 3: Acquire Resources)? – Elizabeth Harrin will fill you in on the wealth of knowledge useful to practitioners in various project management fields.  Check out the The Money Files blog which may be benefit you in the long run!  


Are you aware of the 5 Words That Strike Fear?” – If not, delve into Andy Jordan’s article in which Andy claims “have signaled more sleepless nights than I care to remember. I would still have a full head of hair if not for that question, and I wouldn’t hide behind the couch when there are sudden loud noises.” If this doesn’t pique your interest to unlock those 5 words, I don’t know what willJ  


Only 15 more days to register for the early bird discount for PMI® Global Conference, 6 – 8 October in Los Angeles, CA! Join Thousands of Other Change Champions For Three Days of Learning and Fun! Register by 25 July and save $300! Click here for details. We hope to see you there!

That's all for now! If you have any questions about community events, user guidelines, or any other community happenings, feel free to reach out to any member of the Community Engagement team. We are always here to help! Have a great month, fellow Community Friends!


Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: July 10, 2018 11:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (15)

Community News - Summer 2018 Edition!

Learn the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition Online

Try the new self-paced online course, Introduction to Project Management. This course is ideal for starting or growing your project management career. This online, self-paced series provides entry-level information on each Knowledge Area of the PMBOK Guide®—Sixth Edition and will enable you to effectively put project management principles to work at your own organizations. Each module features a pre- and post-assessment, allowing you to measure your progress.

PMI Talent & Technology Symposium 2018: Did you miss the 13 June 2018 virtual event? If so, no worries, you can now watch it on-demand! During these six separate presentations you will learn How to Adapt Your Career to Anticipate and Stay Viable in an Environment of Rapid Technological Change. Check it out!

                                                                                                                                                                                 Do you want to know how organizations are impacted by agility? Then be sure to register for PMI® Organizational Agility Conference 2018 on September 12, 2018! Our research has found that 92% of business executives believe that organizational agility is critical to business success. Also, an organization’s agility level can be a larger factor in overall success than project approach. Register now and allow us to provide you with the tools and knowledge you need in order to lead through transformation.

PMI® Global Conference will be here before you know it! Register by 25 July and save $300! Join Thousands of Other Change Champions For Three Days of Learning and Fun. This is our flagship event, attracting thousands of like-minded professionals for three days of top-notch learning, networking and fun. You’ll build instantly applicable skills, hear from high-energy speakers and form lasting friendships. All while celebrating being part of a global community of change champions.

Not able Join Us For PMI® Global Conference 2018?  Then why not consider PMO Symposium® 2018? Register by 15 August and save $300!

As the leading association for project, program, or portfolio management professionals, we understand that it’s important for PMO leaders to demonstrate the value their teams bring. That’s why the theme of PMO Symposium® 2018 is Mastering Value Delivery. Over four days in Washington, D.C., you’ll hear from the world’s PMO leaders, attend advanced workshops, and network with your peers. You’ll come away with insights you can use to build a resilient PMO. And you’ll have practical approaches to harnessing the disruptive forces that shape your business—so you can innovate and deliver better results.

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: June 26, 2018 02:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

"When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us."

- Alexander Graham Bell