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
Carrie Dunn
Craig Dalrymple

Recent Posts

Happy New Year!

President Obama Signs Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act!

December Book Club

Community Update: News You Can Use

Improve Project Success While Earning Badges!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We hope that 2017 has greeted you with a renewed sense of enthusiasm that will set you up for success in the months to come. To get you started, we've got some updates and new content to share with you!

Updated User Guidelines! We have updated our community user guidelines. These guidelines were created to help ensure that your interactions within the community are as rewarding as possible. You can find the guidelines here and at the bottom of every page. Please make sure you read them thoroughly and reach out if you have any questions. 

New podcast! Did you know that we had podcasts available for you to listen at your convenience? Now you do! Listen in to our newest podcast addition, PM Debate with Philip Diab! Listen to Philip and Mary Elizabeth Diab debate topics that affect the profession and share your point of view in the comments! This is just in time content that you can take advantage of on your way to work or while taking a quick break from your daily tasks. You can find Philip's podcast, and others, by visiting the Podcasts page here in the community.

PMI Scheduling Conference 2017! Registration for the PMI Scheduling Conference 2017 is open! Join us on 29 March 2017 from 9am-5pm ET to hear leading experts explain what your CEO wants you to know about project scheduling, how to build a scheduling center of excellence into your PMO, and so much more! This is a FREE event for PMI members only and you can earn up to 6 PDUs for this event! You can find more information (and REGISTER) by visiting the Events page.

Don't forget you can gain influence within the community by contributing content, networking with one another, and lending your expertise by answering questions in the discussion forums.

We're thrilled that you chose to join us for another year that is sure to be filled with exciting new challenges and stories of success. Here's to a fantastic 2017!

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: January 12, 2017 03:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

President Obama Signs Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act!

From Tommy Goodwin, Government Relations Manager, PMI

Great news! On 14 December, President Barack Obama signed the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) into law!

As the global advocate for project managers and the project management profession, PMI supported this first-of-its-kind law in the United States to improve workforce development opportunities for project and program managers and improve the success rates and efficiencies of federal government projects and programs.

“PMIAA is an important step to improving the [U.S.] government’s ability to effectively manage its portfolio of projects and programs and will help ensure program managers are able to serve as stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said PMI President and Chief Executive Officer Mark A. Langley.

PMI led the charge on Capitol Hill to demonstrate that organizations that invest in project and program management talent and standards improve outcomes, accountability and efficiency. With PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® research showing that government entities globally waste $101 million for every $1 billion spent on project and programs, lawmakers from both political parties were eager to support legislation that would help improve project and program outcomes and increase the value that Americans receive for their tax dollars.

PMI is grateful for the support of the bipartisan, bicameral authors of the PMIAA legislation—Sen. Joni Ernst from Iowa, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota, Rep. Todd Young from Indiana, and Rep. Gerry Connolly from Virginia—as well as the following co-sponsors:

  • Sen. Bob Casey from Pennsylvania
  • Rep. Mike Bishop from Michigan
  • Rep. Susan Brooks from Indiana
  • Rep. Matt Cartwright from Pennsylvania
  • Rep. Steve Chabot from Ohio
  • Rep. Barbara Comstock from Virginia
  • Rep. Scott DesJarlais from Tennessee
  • Rep. Tammy Duckworth from Illinois
  • Rep. Sam Graves from Missouri
  • Rep. Richard Hanna from New York
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger from Illinois
  • Rep. Steven Palazzo from Mississippi
  • Rep. Steve Pearce from New Mexico
  • Rep. Hal Rogers from Kentucky
  • Rep. Pete Session from Texas
  • Rep. Jackie Walorski from Indiana

Now that the bill has been signed into law, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has one year to implement the new law… and PMI will be working with OMB and the federal agencies to ensure the U.S. government realizes the benefits of this landmark legislation.

See the news release for more information.

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: December 20, 2016 07:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)

December Book Club

Categories: , book club, community

We are excited to announce the December 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. **PMI-member exclusive** 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.  PMI members will be able to participate in the book club closing webinar.  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 December is The Social Project Manager by Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor is a PMO expert currently leading a Global PMO, with 200 project managers acting as custodians for nearly 5,000 projects around the world, for Kronos Inc. - a billion-dollar software organisation delivering Workforce Management Solutions.

Peter Taylor is also the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’, along with many other books on project leadership, PMO development, project marketing, project challenges and executive sponsorship.

In the last 4 years he has delivered over 200 lectures around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’.

His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance.

More information can be found at – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

About the book:

The Social Project Manager describes a non-traditional way of organising projects, managing project performance and progress. The aim being to deliver, at the enterprise level, a common goal for the business; one that harnesses the performance advantages of a collaborative community. Social elements help mitigate the constraints associated with the control aspect of project management, which is essential for governance. Team collaboration, problem solving and engagement in projects will never come from technology alone but require careful management.

Peter Taylor draws on research from projects and the worlds of social media and communication to paint a vivid and practical guide to the why and how of social project management. There is no simple template for you to follow; instead he provides an explanation of the benefits, the tools and the constraints so that readers can navigate through to an approach that is sensitive to the culture of their organization and the nature of the projects that they run. Alongside the author’s ideas, the text features advice and case examples from many of the leading technology providers.

The Social Project Manager is a very-readable and down-to-earth guide from one of the most highly-regarded practitioners and commentators on the world of project management.

Our 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 Carrie Dunn on: December 15, 2016 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Community Update: News You Can Use

Categories: community, news

Wow! 2016 has zoomed by and, while it has had its fair share of challenges, we had a lot of successes here in the community. As a community we have delivered over 900 pieces of content (you read that right), over 1,350 blog posts, and over 20,000 discussion posts and the year hasn't ended yet! Our community has LOTS to say and that's music to our ears because it tells us that you want to share. You care about helping your peers solve issues and you have a passion for sharing the knowledge you have with one another. This is only part of what makes our community so great.

With a little over 2 weeks left in the year, I wanted to share a few things you may have missed in the rush to wrap up year-end activities:

  • As some of you may have already heard, the United States Senate unanimously approved the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act. This is a major step forward for the future of project management. You can read more about this groundbreaking legislation, it's origin, and why it's important here. We will share more information about this bill as things develop.
  • Got something to say about ethics in the workplace? There's a survey for that. Click here to share your views on this important topic. Your participation matters!
  • Do you have colleagues who would benefit from being a part of the community? Do you want to earn a new badge? If the answer to either of those questions is a resounding "YES!" then read how you can earn badges and contribute to improving project success when someone you refer to the community completes registration on the site. 
  • Do you have experience with Bowtie methodology for Enterprise Risk Management? If so, one of your fellow community members could use your help! Take a look at James Chew's discussion post to see if you can help provide some solutions.

It's been an amazing year with all of you. On behalf of the Community Engagement team, thank you for being a part of our thriving community. Your participation and engagement is the reason why we are here.

Happy holidays to you and yours and best wishes for your success in 2017!

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: December 15, 2016 08:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Improve Project Success While Earning Badges!

Projects can be stressful. You are working on something that people in your organization care a lot about. Someone may have over-committed you or your team, and now they may be asking why you aren’t on time, within scope or under budget. You and your staff are working together to find solutions as best you can--but within your organization there is no one you can lean on for answers.

Luckily you already know that you can turn to to help with your project challenges. You know that is the largest community of project management professionals offering webinars, articles, templates, networking and more with one simple mission – to make you and your projects more successful.

But are your friends and colleagues aware that we're here to improve project success? Do they know that they have a network of peers available to help them with project challenges?

Click here to share with friends and colleagues. Let them know that we're here as a free resource AND earn badges for your profile while doing it! You can earn the badges below just for sharing our site with others.

Promoter – Refer 4 new members
Advocate – Refer 25 new members
Zealot – Refer 12 new members

We thank you for sharing our site and projects everywhere thank you for helping to improve their success rates!



Posted by Kristin Jones on: December 02, 2016 02:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

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