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
Kimberly Whitby
Laura Schofield

Past Contributers:

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

Recent Posts

Speakers Announced for PMI® Business Analysis Virtual Conference 2019!

Change is a Given. How we Respond is the Issue.

To Tailor or Not to Tailor: A Foregone Conclusion?

September Community News You Can Use

Adaptation and Value Creation for All Projects: An Exploration of Principles

The Continuing Evolution of the PMBOK® Guide

by Brian Grafsgaard, Standards Member Advisory Group

Whether you are new to the profession or a seasoned veteran, you have probably been aware of not only the growth in the application of project management across industries and organizations, but the rapid pace of change we have seen within the profession, especially over the last few years. On larger initiatives it is not unusual to see a mix of value delivery approaches, from prescriptive, plan-driven approaches to more adaptive approaches.

We as practitioners are often required to integrate these approaches in order to realize the intended outcomes, at the right time, and for the right price. The balancing act of simultaneously managing scope, schedule, and cost has now extended to finding the right balance between approaches, based on the profile of the project(s) and expected outcomes.

For decades now—since its inception as the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) in 1987—A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) has served as a reference to effectively manage “most projects most of the time”. The PMBOK® Guide has provided the foundation for the science of project management, enabling us as practitioners to practice the art. The PMBOK® Guide—which was always intended to be adapted to the project and situation at hand—has evolved and adapted over the years to include advances in core processes.

The associated Standard for Project Management provided the underpinning “fundamentals” of project management and how the processes could be applied. The art of project management is, in part, based on the application of these fundamentals and the particular value delivery approach being taken. It could be said that the art is based on the principles of project management that we all carry with us and continue to adapt and apply each day (and continue to learn as well).

This continuous learning has allowed both The Standard for Project Management and the PMBOK® Guide to evolve and adapt to support the growth of project management as a discipline, as well as changes in how project management is applied. Like previous editions of the PMBOK® Guide, the upcoming seventh edition recognizes that the project delivery landscape continues to evolve and adapt and that the pace of change is accelerating. New technologies as well as the need for organizational agility have introduced new project team structures and project/product delivery methods with a stronger focus on outcomes rather than deliverables.

These changes, as well as other factors, have created the opportunity—and even the imperative—to update the resources we rely upon as practitioners of project management. Consequently, several teams of volunteers and PMI staff have formed to define and develop the next generation of The Standard for Project Management and associated PMBOK® Guide.

The seventh edition will be developed with the following questions in mind:

  1. How can The Standard for Project Management evolve to reflect the foundational concepts applicable to all projects, regardless of the type of project or delivery approach selected? The standards team has begun by engaging members around the world to identify the fundamental principles of managing projects that form the essential elements of project management.

  2. How can A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge capture and summarize the knowledge relevant to overseeing the work of the project? The standards team is also focusing on defining the “spheres” or domains that influence overall project performance.

The standards teams, with your help, will continue to explore the answers to these questions as they develop the next edition of the PMBOK® Guide and continue the rich history of providing value to practitioners and their organizations. We hope you will join us for the journey!

Brian Grafsgaard is a member of the Standards Member Advisory Group. He possesses over 20 years of experience leading the development and integration of complex, enterprise-class solutions as a Program and Project Manager in multiple industries.

Stay tuned to the Critical Path blog for updates and opportunities to share your thoughts and reactions around how we are progressing on our Standards journey. Learn more here.

Posted by Laura Schofield on: August 02, 2019 10:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (14)

Next Set of Community Offerings Are Here!

Categories: community, webinar

Back in May 2019, we informed you of a few new initiatives being launched to help you connect and engage with each other in more meaningful ways, by creating discussions and forums for you to ask questions, share work experiences, and learn about exciting offerings at PMI. 

Well, we are pleased to welcome you to our new discussion forum, Community Central! This is THE place for all things Community! Featuring site news, announcements and more, this is the place to ask questions regarding the Community! A new interactive piece of this forum is our “Hot Topics” thread. Posted bi-weekly (1st & 15th) and based on the site theme of the month. Please keep an eye on this thread as we’ll be updating throughout the year with new offerings to the site!

And next, get excited for our next “Discover PMI - Ask Us Anything!” webinar, scheduled for Thursday, 19 September 2019 at 12:00PM EDT. As previously posted, the format, which is executed through non-PDU bearing webinars, is meant to encourage conversation with various PMI departments. Simply put, members having a one hour Q&A session with a particular PMI department. We're thrilled to have guest speaker, Ansley Stauffer, highlight the benefits of the PMI Career Center to our members. PMI Members can register at the following link: We hope you will join us!

As always, Our project is YOU. Your successes and setbacks, your passions and peeves—we want to hear about them all, and help you get to where you're going today and tomorrow. We hope these four initiatives are solid steps in that direction. As always, your feedback and ideas are most welcome!

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: August 01, 2019 05:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Speakers Announced for PMI® Organizational Agility Conference 2019

This year, the PMI® Organizational Agility Conference will explore Evolving Approaches to Resilient Value Delivery during an exciting day of networking, professional development, and learning. The members-only virtual event will be held on September 12th from 9am to 5pm ET, offering the opportunity to earn 6 PDUs.

Join us as we examine the concept of change resilience with professionals who are driving it within their organizations—and those who are living it as part of their own development. We are excited to welcome the following speakers:

  • Josh SeidenSense & Respond: Principles for the Next Century of Work

  • Tony MaughanAdopting New Ways of Working: ANZ's Delivery Transformation

  • Johanna RothmanThe 3 Principles of Organizational Agility

  • Mike GriffithsThe Change Resilient Professional

  • Michel BiedermannLessons Learned in Hybrid Agile/Waterfall Delivery

  • John MedcofReinventing the Playbook: Driving Change in the Canadian Federal Government

Register for PMI® Organizational Agility Conference 2019 today!

Posted by Laura Schofield on: July 31, 2019 11:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)

NEW Discussion Threads for Industry Content

We're pleased to announce that as part of our overall content approach, PMI will launch a new initiative focusing on four industry segments this year, particularly in the fields of IT, Finance, Government and Construction. And as part of that focus, we want to highlight some existing PM Network content on to engage the community, and to learn more about their specific industry needs.

The idea is for ProjectManagement to create, highlight, and maintain four dynamic, active threads for the community — one for each industry: IT, Government, Finance and Construction.

To start, we have selected three pieces of content from the IT sector to help launch the first discussion thread posted within the following links within Project Management Central:

1. How Do You Help Define Data’s Role in your Organization’s Strategy?

2. Digital Acceleration through a Global PMO

3. How do you determine if an Agile, Waterfall or hybrid approach is best for your project?

We welcome you to engage in these discussions, and please stay tuned for forthcoming postings!


Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: July 26, 2019 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

PMI Project Management Journal Paper of the Year Award Announced

Categories: news, project management

On 27 June, three members of the academic community were recognized for their contributions to research in the profession with the 2019 PMI Project Management Journal Paper of the Year Award.

The Project Management Journal Paper of the Year Award honors the best paper published in the Project Management Journal in the previous year. The award recognizes the significance of academic research and the importance of refereed journal articles to the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the field of project management.

The winning paper was “Coordinating Knowledge Work in Multiteam Programs: Findings From a Large-Scale Agile Development Program,” appearing in the November/December 2018 issue (Volume 49, number 6).

The paper was authored by Professor Torgier Dingsøyr, chief scientist at the SINTEF research foundation in Trondheim, Norway, and adjunct professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Nils Brede Moe, senior scientist at SINTEF; and Eva Amdahl Seim, a senior research manager at SINTEF.

“I think this award is a sign of the growing interest in project management practices which have developed in software development, and which become increasingly relevant also for other domains with the current importance of digitalization,” said Dingsøyr.

“As the study is understood as a significant contribution to the field of large-scale agile and agile transformation, the award will motivate for more studies within the same topic,” explained Moe.

Seim added, “We have been researching coordination in work and particularly software work for two decades. To me, this award is recognition of years of hard and gratifying work.”

This recognition took place during the European Academy of Management (EURAM) Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, at the ISCTE-IUL University. The award was presented to Professor Dingsøyr on the evening of 27 June at a reception for the EURAM Project Organising Strategic Interest Group, sponsored by PMI.


Posted by Laura Schofield on: July 23, 2019 03:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)

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