Project Management

The Critical Path

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

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View Posts By:

Marjorie Anderson
Kimberly Whitby
Laura Schofield

Past Contributers:

Carrie Dunn
Danielle Ritter
Kenneth A. Asbury
Craig Dalrymple
Rebecca Braglio
Kristin Jones

Recent Posts

Changes Coming to the Online Community!

Apply Now for a PMI Sponsored Research Grant

Project Teams—The Whole is Greater than the Parts

4 Ways to Earn PDUs—and Reach Your 2020 Career Goals

Uncertainty. Really?

Nominate Your Colleagues for a 2020 PMI Academic Award

The annual PMI Academic Awards recognize and honor outstanding members of the profession who contribute in exemplary ways to research, teaching, and literature in project management and related professions.

You can nominate your colleagues now for the 2020 Awards! The call for nominations is open now through 1 March 2020. You can nominate your colleagues for the following awards:

PMI Research Achievement Award

The PMI Research Achievement Award recognizes and honors an individual or group of individuals whose work has significantly advanced the concepts, knowledge, and practices of project management through a published body of academic research.

PMI Linn Stuckenbruck Teaching Excellence Award

The PMI Linn Stuckenbruck Teaching Excellence Award recognizes and honors an individual faculty member for excellence in teaching project management, and/or for their strong commitment to improving and enhancing project management curricula in higher education. 

PMI David I. Cleland Project Management Literature Award

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.

For more information and submission guidelines for the 2020 PMI Academic Awards, visit https://www.pmi.org/about/awards/research-academic or email academicprograms@pmi.org.

The PMI Scholar Practitioner Award will not be offered in 2020. You can nominate colleagues for this award during the 2021 Awards cycle beginning in January 2021.

Posted by Laura Schofield on: January 17, 2020 11:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

The Standard for Project Management is Open for Comment

Categories: standards

by: Cynthia Dionisio, Co-leader PMBOK® Guide–Seventh Edition Development Team

Over the past few years we’ve seen the emergence of a broad range of approaches to project and product delivery with a stronger focus on outcomes rather than deliverables. These changes and more have created an opportunity to reconsider perspectives to help support the continued evolution of The Standard for Project Management.*

As part of the evolution of project and product delivery we have realized that a process-based approach to the Standard is not as useful as a principle-based approach. Thus, you will see a different standard than you have in previous editions. Rather than presenting Process Groups with processes, inputs, and outputs, this edition focuses on the core principles associated with project delivery.

In several workshops conducted around the world over the last year, the global project management community explored and identified underlying guiding principles for the practice of project delivery. A global community of over 70 practitioners used the results from these workshops and other sources to develop and/or provide feedback on drafts of the Standard as it evolved for this edition. Several development team members also posted to The Critical Path their reflections as the work progressed. The principle statements that emerged capture and summarize the generally accepted actions and behaviors of project management practice, as well as provide broad parameters within which project teams can operate and remain aligned with their intent.

The Standard also takes a systems view of project management. The new Value Delivery System section changes the perspective from one of simply managing projects, programs, and portfolios to one focused on the value chain that links those and other business capabilities to advancing organizational strategy, value, and business objectives. Projects enable realization of benefits to drive outcomes that ultimately deliver value to organizations and their stakeholders.

Help shape the next edition of The Standard for Project Management by providing feedback on the draft. The draft of the Standard will be available for comment 15 January – 14 February. Follow this link to contribute to this exciting update of the Standard.

*The Standard for Project Management is part of, but not the whole of, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). Only the Standard is being exposed for public comment in alignment with PMI’s standards development procedures.

Posted by Laura Schofield on: January 15, 2020 08:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Navigation Changes Across PMI brands

Categories: communication, content

To better serve the ProjectManagement.com community as well as the PMI community as a whole, our Digital Experience team has launched a navigation change that is across all PMI branded sites.  This change gives a more streamlined navigation experience with access to all PMI brands via the 9 dot menu in the top left hand side of the navigation bar.  With this change the sites are now what we call “responsive”. We have done away with the standalone mobile version of the site and the desktop version will now transform to a mobile version, depending on the size of your browser window.  This responsiveness of the site will still allow you access to all aspects of the site regardless of the size of the window; nothing should be hidden off screen.  As with any changes, if you find anything that doesn’t look quite right, let us know!  CommunitySupport@pmi.org

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: January 11, 2020 12:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)

The Value of a Principle-based Standard for Project Management

by Dave Violette, PMP

Those engaged in the discipline of managing projects can attest to rapid changes in approaches, methods, and techniques being introduced. The global evolution of how project management (PM) is tackled has been significant, and the pace of change continues at a head-spinning rate. These changes have made it difficult to keep up with developments; and even more, challenges efforts to link existing PM standards to new approaches. No sooner is a standard updated than some new subsuming approach or technique is developed.

Standard setting organizations are now starting to embrace the concept of defining Principles to guide the fundamentals involved in the practice of managing projects and delivering outcomes. Unlike process or approach-centered standards, which lists a series of process recommendations to meet the challenges of effective PM, focusing on Principles provides broader and more adaptable delivery guidance.

My view of PM Principles is that they represent the fundamental essence or norms that guide behavior and thinking at all levels of managing projects. Adhering to Principles helps project managers deliver better outcomes. Principles provide guidance, without imposing uniform adherence to a set of prescriptive processes or approaches.

So, where does the value of following these Principles arise? A set of Principles are used for guidance, rather than dictating how decisions are made or appropriate approaches adopted. Principles remain solid, provide stability, and focus on adapting behavior and thinking in the rapidly changing world of PM. Principles capture and summarize concept(s), action(s), condition(s), or consideration(s) generally recognized as necessary for guiding or influencing PM delivery success.

An example of using a fundamental Principle could be around the proactive engagement with stakeholders. This type of Principle would guide the selection of the specific approach for effective identification of stakeholders—those who have significant influence on project delivery outcomes. It would also provide guidance for the selection of processes to allow for stakeholder interests, rights, and expectations to be understood at a level where stakeholders are effectively engaged. The approach or processes to use needs to be flexible and adaptable to the specific delivery/business environment, so as to effectively engage the stakeholders. Following a stakeholder engagement Principle versus being tied to specific processes, techniques, or tools outlined in process-centered standards would help to ensure effective stakeholder engagement happens. Principle-based decisions can allow for varying situational or environmental adjustments needed for that project.

A second example could be around a fundamental Principle of maintaining a focus on value. Realizing value is a key determinant for project delivery success, the organization either realizes intended value or it does not. An underlying tenet of this focus is continuous evaluation during project delivery considering both the benefits and the costs to realize them—this is Benefits Realization Management. Adhering to a value-focused principle helps the project team ensure alignment with the business objectives and intended outcomes rather than a specific deliverable or result. This sets up an approach where the outcomes help assure the expected benefits from the project work are realized and the intended value to the organization is achieved. In setting up the metrics for tracking project progress, the focus on the value principle requires a means to measure and evaluate whether the project remains on track to deliver the intended value. Each project is unique so no prescriptive metric or evaluation process can work in all cases. Following a value-focused principle though allows the project team to craft metrics and processes that work in their specific environment.

Principle-based standards offer greater flexibility within and adaptability to the project delivery environment. PM Principles guide the thinking and behavior of those engaged in the delivery of a project’s outcomes. Those involved in selecting and following an approach, method, or technique for delivering a specific type of project result can look at agnostic Principles to guide their thinking and behavior versus following a set of prescriptive approaches or processes that may not satisfy the unique challenges of a given project.

Appropriate Principles provide guidance without imposing uniform adherence to a set of prescriptive processes or approaches, whilst embracing differing organizational, cultural, and industrial environments. I firmly believe that standards based on Principles remain solid, provide stability, and focus on adapting behavior and thinking in the rapidly changing world of project management, and is the best approach for the future.

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: January 08, 2020 08:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (16)

Meet the ProjectManagement.com Community Ambassadors!

Categories: Ambassadors, community

Today marks the launch of the ProjectManagement.com Community Ambassadors Program! This initiative will provide community members with additional support resources who facilitate and encourage constructive conversations as well as assist members in navigating the community. To learn more, read the initial program announcement here.

 

Emily Luijbregts and Andrew Craig will serve as ProjectManagement.com’s first Ambassadors! As active members of the community, Emily and Andrew have demonstrated great knowledge, professionalism, passion, and willingness to help fellow community members. Learn more about Emily & Andrew below - please connect with them and feel free to ask them for assistance in all things community and project management.

 

Emily has been working in Project Management for over 10 years. In this time, she has worked in a variety of project management methodologies, including waterfall, scrum, and agile, and she has been a strategic Project Manager, Coordinator, Facilitator, and Scrum Master. With a specialization in Communications, she ensures the team can remain on target and focused regardless of location and culture. She has worked extensively with colleagues on almost every continent and loves learning about other cultures and how we all communicate with each other.

Emily greatly enjoys being a part of PMI’s online community, as her busy schedule makes it difficult to stay active in her local Chapter. Offering opportunities for connection and a sense of community, ProjectManagement.com provides Project Managers with access to a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. Emily loves that global viewpoints are represented within the community, and there is a diversity of experience and opinions. As a Community Ambassador, Emily hopes to help other Project Managers to learn and develop by encouraging collaboration and discussion and making everyone feel comfortable participating – whether they are new to the community or experienced professionals. 

Andrew Craig is a Consultant for North Highland Worldwide Consulting. As an Expert Practitioner in the Program and Project Management Office, he supports transformation initiatives and Community of Excellence development engagements. Andrew is a consummate professional and student of the profession with a passion for learning and bringing the best out of others.

Andrew’s style has largely been centered around inclusivity and collaboration, understanding that project management moves at the speed of decisions and without getting people together to have conversations, progress will be limited or veer off into an unexpected direction. Andrew has been successful in leading organizations to collectively, and effectively, make decisions and drive solutions forward to success.

ProjectManagement.com is a part of Andrew’s daily routine, as he starts his day browsing the site with a cup of coffee. Possessing the mindset that there is always something new to learn, Andrew enjoys interacting with fellow community members, sharing his thoughts, and gaining different insights. He loves that ProjectManagement.com exposes professionals to unique ideas and perspectives across a variety of industries and experience levels. As a Community Ambassador, Andrew seeks to encourage people to put themselves out there and become more engaged within the community. He is excited to continue learning about community members’ different ways of working and approaches to projects!

Posted by Laura Schofield on: January 02, 2020 09:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (16)
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