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
Dave Garrett
Craig Dalrymple
Kimberly Whitby

Recent Posts

August Book Club Announced!

August Community News You Can Use

Recognizing Excellence in Project Management Academia

It’s Time for Difference Makers

July Community News You Can Use

August Book Club Announced!

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 Reaching Your Next Summit! by Manley Feinberg II.

Manley Feinberg II is the founder of Vertical Lessons, Inc.  He is an award winning international keynote speaker, business leader and author.  Leveraging more than twenty years of business, professional speaking and adventure experience, his insight and energy will inspire and equip you to step up and reach your next summit. Manley’s 11 years of leadership influence contributed to a workplace culture that landed Build-A-Bear Workshop on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® List four years in a row. Manley served two terms as the president of the St. Louis chapter of the National Speakers Association. On a personal note, Manley likes to sleep on the side of mountains.  Even more shocking is that his wife has been putting up with that for more than two decades, and he has two teens that still kiss him on the cheek in front of their friends.


About the book:

“When anchors fail, people die.”

Your climb to excellence is never easy. The human drive within calls us to what is possible. In Reaching Your Next Summit!, Manley Feinberg II, world-class mountain climber, shares nine Vertical Lessons and one essential question. These principles will renew your commitment and inspire your quest for excellence. You will realize more of your potential as you sharpen your focus, act with courage, and generate momentum in reaching your next summit—and beyond.

Our August 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, 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 Marjorie Anderson on: August 22, 2017 06:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

August Community News You Can Use

It's August, which means the end of summer is near in North America! Time for pumpkin scented everything and back to school for students. As we prepare to close out summer, we hope that your return from vacation is putting you in a position to tackle pending tasks with ease! If you find that you need a bit of assistance, we hope these updates help set you on the right path.

PMI Organizational Agility Conference 2017: Have you thought about what Agile means for your organization? Do you know how to be Agile when processes are not? Attend the PMI Organizational Agility Conference 2017 to set your organization up for success! This is an exclusive PMI member-only event and there's still time to register! JUST ANNOUNCED: Dave Gunner, PMP, PfMP will be the keynote speaker for this event. Don't miss the opportunity to learn skills that will help you and your organization define what agility means to you. Register today!

Speaking of Agility...: Did you miss the recent webinar with Afterburner's Joel Neeb? You can watch it on-demand! In "The Final Step to Agility for Your Project," Joel teaches you how to conduct a structured Debrief to assure your team can scale successes and eliminate the failures that may have occurred during the project. Check it out!

Project Naysayers?: All projects have proponents—but also those who don’t want the project to move forward for various reasons. In his recent article, Michael Zekser offers some practical techniques to address and resolve tense situations so your project can move ahead.

Is PM company specific?: Meredith Perpetua works in the Pharma industry and posed a great question to the forums this week: is project management company specific? Is it any different for the pharma industry than for any other? Join the discussion and let her know what you think!

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, 2017 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Recognizing Excellence in Project Management Academia

Each year PMI recognizes leaders and community members by awarding the top individuals making a difference in the world of project management academia. This year, the 2017 PMI Academic Awards ceremony took place on 14 June at the International Research Network on Organizing by Projects (IRNOP) Conference in Boston, MA, USA. Winners from around the globe attended to accept the 2017 PMI Research Achievement Award, Scholar-Practitioner Award, Project Management Journal Paper of the Year Award, and the inaugural Teaching Excellence Award.

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. Dr. Svetlana Cicmil, University of the West of England, Bristol, Dr. Damian Hodgson, The University of Manchester, Dr. Monica Lindgren and Dr. Johann Packendorff of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, received this year’s prestigious award for founding the Making Projects Critical (MPC) network and workshops. The four researchers have transformed MPC into an impactful movement of ongoing research that opens up project management and project-based organizations to critical examination. These scholars took a more social science-oriented perspective on PM than had been traditional in PM research groups, and their ideas and thoughts have been highly influential.

Svetlana Cicmil is Director of Doctoral Research in Business and Law at UWE, Bristol, where her professorship is in the studies of project-based work and management in a global context, informed by critical phenomenological approaches, phronesis and complexity thinking. Damian Hodgson is Chair of Organizational Analysis at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK and convenor of the Manchester Projects, Programmes and Portfolios (MP3) Research Network, and has published widely on critical project studies. Johann Packendorff and Monica Lindgren  are Professors of Industrial Economics and Management at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Industrial Engineering and Management, Stockholm, Sweden. Their research interests include leadership, entrepreneurship and project management, often studied from perspectives such as gender, identity construction and social constructionism.

Dr. Svetlana Cicmil Dr. Damian Hodgson Dr. Monica Lindgren Dr. Johann Packendorff

The PMI Scholar-Practitioner Award recognizes individuals for excellence in the conduct or advancement of academic research and the adoption or adaptation of research into practice. This year’s winner, Dr. Raymond Levitt, Kumagai Professor of Engineering at Stanford University, has authored very influential articles and books on project management and is known for his simulation studies on projects building a formalized theory of projects teams. As a scholar, Dr. Levitt founded and direct Stanford’s Global Projects Center, which conducts research on financing, organization and governance of large, complex, global infrastructure projects. Dr. Levitt also founded and served as the Academic Director of the Stanford Advanced Project Management executive education program which taught more than 10,000 enrollees from multiple industry, government and nonprofit sectors. As a practitioner, Dr. Levitt founded and served on the boards of three companies: Design Power, Inc., that developed methods and tools to automate many kinds of semi-custom engineering design; Vité Corporation, that provided new insights about cost, schedule and quality risks for managers of fast-track, complex projects and programs; and RackWise, that automated the configuration and operation of large data centers.

Dr. Raymond Levitt

The Project Management Journal Paper of the Year Award recognizes the best paper published in the Project Management Journal in the previous year. This year there were two winning papers, the first of which was “Floating in Space? On the Strangeness of Exploratory Projects” (April/May 2016) by Dr. Sylvain Lenfle of Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Métiers in Paris and École Polytechnique. His winning paper presents a case of a “strange project” that did not fit in the standard model of project management in the space industry, and tries to bridge recent advances in design theory and project management to analyze the novel logic of these types of projects as well as demonstrating that project management can be a powerful structure in exploration processes. His research deals with the links between innovation and project management in various industrial settings and in historical projects, and currently focuses on the management of exploratory projects and the links between design theory and exploratory project management.

The second winning paper, “The Projectification of Everything: Projects as a Human Condition” (June/July 2016), was written by Dr. Anders Jensen (, Dr. Christian Thuesen, (Technical University of Denmark), and Dr. Joana Geraldi (Technical University of Denmark). Their article describes an alternative understanding of projects that goes beyond organizational practices. In their work projects are conceptualized as part of the human condition, suggesting that we are defined by the projects we work on. Dr. Jensen is an independent philosopher and script writer, and the author of seven books and numerous articles on metaphors, epidemics, and working life. Dr. Thuesen is associate professor in construction and project management at the Technical University of Denmark and has worked with projects for more than fifteen years as lecture, researcher, and consultant in various engineering settings, including construction and IT. Dr. Geraldi is associate professor in project organizing at the Technical University of Denmark and honorary senior research fellow at the University College London where she studies human behaviour in projects and behavioural understanding of organizing and its impact on organizations and society.

Dr. Sylvain Lenfle Dr. Anders Jensen Dr. Christian Thuesen Dr. Joana Geraldi

Dr. Vijay Kanabar, PMP, of Boston University received the inaugural PMI Teaching Excellence Award, which recognizes and honors an individual faculty member for excellence in teaching project management, and to their strong commitment to improving and enhancing project management curricula in higher education. Over the years, Dr. Kanabar has designed, developed and delivered market leading project management courses and programs at the graduate level, both on-campus and online, has led PMP boot camps for hundreds of Boston University PM students, and was the chief faculty advisor of the current initiative by PMI to make available standard curriculum guidelines for teaching of PM programs at the undergraduate level. Dr. Vijay Kanabar is Director and founding professor of project Management programs at Boston University, Metropolitan College, and has authored five books and more than seventy-five research papers in the domains of computer information systems, project management, and higher education. 

Dr. Vijay Kanabar

Congratulations to the 2017 PMI Academic Award winners! The call for nominations for 2018 PMI Academic Awards will open on 1 November at


Posted by Kristin Jones on: August 07, 2017 10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

It’s Time for Difference Makers

Categories: community events

Calling all Idea Generators!

Tell us below how you make a difference through project management by filling in the blank: I'm a _____.

It's no secret to our community that you, the project, program and portfolio professionals out there RIGHT NOW, are leading organizations to success. We know that you and your peers are continuing to influence change in a constantly evolving global environment. You are true project management difference makers making an impact day in and day out and we want to know how.

We're celebrating #DifferenceMakers at this year's PMI Global Conference, something that we talk about often here on Our time together in Chicago will be spent with thousands of project and program managers, chapter leaders and business professionals from around the world sharing knowledge, strengthening community and leading the evolution of the profession.

Here's how you can make an impact on the event today: We're planning an onsite activity in celebration of using project management to make a difference and we may use your response below at PMI Global Conference so take a moment and fill in the blank: I'm a ______.

Thinking about joining us in Chicago? Early-bird rates are available through 9 August! Find out more here:





Posted by Kristin Jones on: July 26, 2017 10:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (17)

July Community News You Can Use

It's summer here in North America and, while some are taking a break, we're still here giving you all the project management goods you can handle. We hope that you are taking a mid-year pause to reflect on the success that the first half of 2017 has brought you. We also hope that you have had the chance to catch up on a few things happening here in the community and in the profession. If not, we're here to give you a quick rundown of some things you might want to know about: 

PMI Organizational Agility Conference 2017: Registration is open for the virtual PMI Organizational Agility Conference 2017! With sudden market shifts and new priorities by the minute, agile transformation is an organizational imperative. You need to understand what agility means for your organization—and how to help lead it through change. This event is FREE for PMI members. Register today!

June Book Club: The book for the June Book Club is Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering by Eric Rebentisch. Exclusive to the June Book Club, we are opening the closing webinar to all registered users! You can find more information about June's book club (including how to get the book and where to join the discussion) by visiting this page.

Join us in Chicago 28-30 October: PMI Global Conference will be heading to Chicago! Project, program and portfolio professionals are leading their organizations to better outcomes while influencing change in an ever-changing global environment. Join us to connect with like-minded individuals to learn new ideas and approaches, form new relationships or strengthen existing ones while investing in your own growth. For information regarding sessions and to register, visit the PMI Global Conference event page.

Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017–2027: Demand over the next 10 years for project managers is growing faster than demand for workers in other occupations. Organizations, however, face risks from this talent gap. Read more about PMI's latest commissioned talent gap analysis by Anderson Economic Group (AEG) which points to outstanding opportunities in jobs and career growth for project managers within the 11 countries studied.

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: July 05, 2017 09:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Information is not knowledge,
Knowledge is not wisdom,
Wisdom is not truth,
Truth is not beauty,
Beauty is not love,
Love is not music
and Music is THE BEST

- Frank Zappa