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

Past Contributers:

Carrie Dunn
Kenneth A. Asbury
Rebecca Braglio

Recent Posts

Did You Know? Content is Available in Other Languages!

Initial Speakers Announced For the PMI Talent & Technology Symposium 2018

Registration For PMIĀ® Global Conference 2018 is Now Open!

May Community News You Can Use

Follow the Community Team at PMI EMEA Congress!

Celebrating Giving Back with the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) is proud to be working hand-in-hand with the PMI Educational Foundation to celebrate #GivingTuesday and making a difference in your community!

The mission of the PMIEF, a charitable nonprofit organization, is to inspire and empower people to realize their potential and transform their lives and their communities through the use of project management knowledge. Their vision is that all people worldwide have a better tomorrow by applying project management skills in their daily lives.

Learn more about the PMIEF and how they are empowering people to become leaders and effective problem-solvers in order to help them reach their full potential and change the future.

In support of #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration,PMIEF volunteers from the Board of Directors and Community Engagement Committee have contributed #unselfies, unselfish selfies, explaining why they give back through PMIEF. To learn more and participate with us, visit


Posted by Kristin Jones on: November 28, 2016 11:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (12)

Tips and Tricks for Giving Back: Navigating the PMIEF Learning Resources Library

Volunteers have used project management knowledge and skills for social good in a variety of settings, ranging from spending a few hours training nonprofit or civic group members on the basics of project management, to creating intensive project management training programs for youth lasting for a semester of more. Many people are interested in using their project management skills to give back to their communities, but it can be extremely overwhelming to know where to start. 

How do I get started?

One tip given by experienced volunteers is to start by connecting with PMIEF and taking advantage of the resources in the Learning Resources Library. PMIEF staff can help make connections with others who have started similar programs to provide support and lessons learned, and PMIEF resources provide tested content.

The Learning Resources Library includes 31 no-cost resources directed at a variety of target audiences with varying depths of information, many of which have been translated into a number of different languages. This allows volunteers to focus on making connections with partners and working through the logistics that allow programs to succeed. Read on to learn how others have leveraged PMIEF resources to provide project management programming for social good in their communities.

How do I develop a program and choose an organization?

Experienced volunteers recommend starting small when trying to develop programming. One of the hardest parts of starting a program using project management for social good can be finding an organization to work with. Many people who are interested in developing programs find that the best place to start is with an organization that they already have a connection to, and many larger programs develop from shorter sessions of only an hour or two that helped to raise awareness and interest in further training.

Tools for developing a short program:

Individuals who are interested in this kind of short programming might follow the examples of Øyvind Johnsen or members of the PMI Heartland Chapter.

  • Øyvind Johnsen, a PMIEF Chapter Liaison from Norway, who had the opportunity to present on project management to a local civic organization, turned to The Tower Game™ as a way to make his presentation engaging and interactive. This resource, which is available in eighteen languages, provides a fun and interactive introduction to project management by challenging participants to a tower building competition, which is scored on factors critical to project management. Many volunteers have found that this activity provides an engaging way to raise people's awareness of project management and make them interested in learning more, and Øyvind found that participants were enthusiastic about the success of his talk.
  • Volunteers from the PMI Heartland Chapter have found success using Careers in Project Management™, available in four languages, in career day presentations. This resource is designed to help raise student awareness of project management as a viable career path by providing information such as an overview of the profession, how a student would prepare for a career in the field, and wage information for the field of project management. For individuals interested in partnering with schools, career days can be a great way to begin engaging with students. Many individuals have also had success combining The Tower Game and Careers in Project Management to provide a fun, interactive, and informative introduction to the idea of project management as a career, both at career days and in other settings.

How can I develop an education program for youth in my community?

Volunteers who are interested in providing project management education and training beyond the awareness provided by The Tower Game and Careers in Project Management have turned to Project Management Skills for Life®, available in eight languages. Volunteers have found that Skills for Life, which generally takes about 4-6 hours to complete, is extremely flexible and can easily be matched with any number of projects to create a customized experience. 

  • Talibah Adenouga, a classroom teacher and PMIEF Chapter Liaison from Dallas has used Skills for Life in the classroom. She uses the resource as a basis for providing project management training to her high school Business and Technology students, then combines this learning with a project in which students plan and implement a craft day for patients at a local children's hospital. This approach provides students with foundational knowledge in project management, hands on experience in managing a project, and an opportunity to give back to their community.
  • Volunteers from the PMI Honduras Chapter have used a similar program structure. In their workshops, youth go through the Skills for Life training, then complete a project to benefit their community, requiring no travel and no cost. Projects have included a community clean up, tutoring, and planting a garden with local plants. 

How can I develop project management training/education for adults?

While Skills for Life has been used as a part of many youth programs, volunteers have found it to be equally appropriate for work with adults, and a number of volunteers have used Project Management Skills for Life® as the basis for presentations and trainings for staff at nonprofit/NGO organizations.

  • In Georgia, PMI member Frederick Griffin worked with Megiddo Dream Station, a nonprofit organization working with unemployed individuals, to provide project management training as a part of the organization's multi-dimensional training program. In Argentina, volunteers from the PMI Buenos Aires Chapter used Skills for Life as a part of their program to provide project management skills and training to their local Emmanuel Foundation, with an ultimate goal of supporting the organization in establishing a new community center. 

In-depth project management youth education

Many volunteers who are interested in providing in depth project management education to youth have turned to Projects from the Future™ and the Project Management Toolkit for Teachers™.

  • In Italy, volunteers from the PMI Northern Italy Chapter used Projects from the Future™ to support a group of fourth grade students at a local primary school. Projects from the Future™ is designed for teaching project management as a life skill to primary school youth as young as six and uses simplified vocabulary and structured activities to help younger children learn to start thinking like project managers. It uses a partnership between a classroom teacher and a mentor in the field of project management, and includes guides for both the teacher and the mentor, in addition to the program materials. In Italy, the volunteers used this model to work with fourth grade students and their teachers on a project in which the students were able to create games that could safely be played indoors during break times. 
  • In Napa CA teachers used the Project Management Toolkit for Teachers™ to support their students in projects such as investigating a crime scene, developing board games, and more. Many teachers are eager to have project managers help them embed project management into existing classroom projects. The Toolkit is designed for use by classroom teachers, but volunteers have found that its frameworks can be applicable in other circumstances as well. In Brazil, the PMI Amazonas Chapter used this resource to train representatives from Junior Achievement Amazonas on project management and the benefits of teaching these skills to children. 

Ready to get started?

If you're ready to get started volunteering to leverage project management skills and knowledge for social good, one of the best places to start is in the Learning Resources Library at, where you can download all of the PMIEF Learning Resources at no cost. The full library includes case studies on how other organizations have implemented social good programming, short presentations targeted at a variety of audiences, curricula for use by secondary school teachers, and more.

Posted by Kristin Jones on: November 28, 2016 11:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Making a Difference - Giving Back to Your Community Through Project Management

Welcome to our open house! All day long, in celebration of #GivingTuesday, along with the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF), we're celebrating using project management to make a difference.

We're thrilled to open up our community today to all project professionals around the world to talk about making a difference through the use of project management. We have two LIVE webinars along with articles, blogs, and discussions focused on how people just like you are utilizing their project management skills to make a difference in their communities. Here's a full listing of today's content!

Content Type Title
Download November 2016 Open House Content Guide
Article Never Too Young for Project Management
Article My Venture into Pro Bono Project Management
Article Shadow Time - A Volunteer Success Story
Article PMI Belgium Chapter Helps the Unemployed
Article Why Bother? The Importance of Bringing Project Management from the Boardroom to the Classroom
Webinar 11AM ET Chapters Impacting Communities: Project Managers Make a Big Difference for Social Good
Webinar 1PM ET Caterpillar Inc - Building Better Communities with Pro Bono Project Management 
Blog Tips and Tricks for Giving Back: Navigating the PMIEF Learning Resources Library
Blog Celebrating Giving Back with the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF)
Discussion How did you get started giving back in your community?
Discussion Success stories! How have you given back using project management?

We hope that you become inspired to give back to your community and make a difference no matter how big or how small. In the spirit of celebration and togetherness today's content is open to anyone and everyone so invite your friends and colleagues to join in on the fun!

Guess what?! We're handing out badges today to everyone who participates in our event! Download the content guide to validate your participation and earn the badge below.

Thank you for celebrating with us and the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation! Enjoy!

Posted by Kristin Jones on: November 28, 2016 11:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)

November Book Club

Categories: book club, community

We are excited to announce the November 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 November is Project Management Simplified: A Step-by-Step Process by Barbara Karten

Barbara Karten, PMP, has over 20 years of management, project/product/program management, and consulting/training experience.  Since 2003, she has been an independent consultant and trainer delivering project management and business systems analysis training, PMP (Project Management Professional) Exam Preparation, general project management courses for PDU (professional development unit) accumulation, PMI (Project Management Institute) Chapter sponsored study groups and project management courses both on line and on ground for graduate and undergraduate programs at local universities.

During her career, Barbara worked with nonprofit organizations (focused on human service systems development and operations), government agencies (including employment and training systems), consulting organizations, and technology companies. 

In addition to her work with nonprofit human service agencies and for-profit technology companies, Barbara taught project management at local universities.  She developed and updated PMP curricula and course materials for academia and local project management training providers. She has presented at industry conferences as a panelist and a presenter. 

Barbara is the past president of the Central Mass PMI Chapter, and is the Central Mass PMI Chapter liaison to the PMIEF (Project Management Institute Education Foundation), which addresses the project management needs of nonprofit organization, educational organizations, and NGO’s.

Barbara supports project management skills as core competencies for life, education, career, and personal projects. People with project management capabilities are competitively positioned to succeed.

About the book:

There are a number of structured approaches that guide the successful completion of projects in business environments. This book translates these processes and techniques such that non-project managers can easily use these proven approaches in a nonbusiness context for their own projects. It removes technical jargon, the need for computer software and hardware, and complicated organizational environments, describing the essential project management processes in a simple, straightforward manner.

As you progress through the book, you connect the dots necessary to complete your personal projects. A sample project in the text and a case study in the appendices further illustrate the concepts explained in the text. The author challenges you to select a project and, working along with the book, be the project manager and develop a project plan. By working with customers and funders of the project, defining the project, identifying how long it will take, and determining its cost, you will develop the expertise to define project goals and create a plan to reach them.

Our 2016 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: November 17, 2016 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Last call! Share your story at PMI EMEA Congress 2017!

You have the experience. You have the knowledge. You have a story that the community needs to hear. Project managers want to hear from you!

Last call to submit your proposal on or before 14 November 2016 to be considered for an education session speaking spot at PMI EMEA Congress, 1—3 May 2017 in Rome, Italy.

Congress attendees have expressed specific interest in practical to practice learning exchanges which can be applied immediately, and case studies of completed and ongoing projects. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Technologies
  • Agile and Hybrid Approaches to Managing Projects
  • Business Analysis
  • Case Studies and Real-Life Experiences
  • Effective Communication
  • Disruptive Trends and Megaprojects
  • Strategy Development and Implementation

Additional details and instructions can be found here. We look forward to hearing from you!

Can’t submit a proposal? You can still participate in the process – comment below with the top three topics you are most excited to hear about at EMEA Congress 2017!

Posted by Kristin Jones on: November 11, 2016 05:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Solutions are not the answer.

- Richard M. Nixon