Project Management

The Critical Path

by , , ,
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
Heather McLarnon

Past Contributers:

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

Recent Posts

Principles and Performance Domains: The Foundation for Project Management Practitioners

May 2020 Community News You Can Use

Careers in project management – what does the latest research say?

Virtual Learning Opportunity from PMI

New PMI Volunteer Initiative: PMImpact

Viewing Posts by Heather McLarnon

Principles and Performance Domains: The Foundation for Project Management Practitioners

Categories: standards

By Giampaolo MarucciPMBOK® Guide–Seventh Edition Development Team member

Activities executed inside a project are about project management: planning, estimating, measuring, realizing, communicating, integrating, coaching, motivating, tailoring, etc. These activities are guided by the principles in The Standard for Project Management. Principles can provide a cultural framework of behaviors that lead to a common mindset useful for performing the work inside the context of the project.

Principles guide behavior within the Project Performance Domains of the seventh edition of the PMBOK® Guide. Performance domains describe the collection of activities or functions that influence project performance. They provide guidance for decision making with a focus on enabling desired project outcomes. Together, the principles and performance domains serve all of the people involved in project activities.

The project team, one of the critical stakeholder groups in a project, executes the work of the project tailoring the development approach and the selection of models and methods.

In the past, it has been common thinking that project management knowledge needed to be owned by project management practitioners. But who is a project management practitioner inside a project? We could say that a project management practitioner is anyone who executes some project management activity and who has some responsibility for some result of the project. From this point of view, any team member of a project performs some portion of the project management activities.

The type of project management activities, and the level of details of those activities, that any team member can do depends on several factors, such as the framework of project management practices selected; the organization’s policies, requirements, and processes; or regulatory requirements. For example:

  • In an Agile Scrum project, a development team has the responsibility to plan the tasks to execute during the next iteration (Sprint), selecting work items from the product backlog where the product owner has prioritized the User Stories during the Sprint Planning event. The team estimates the effort to implement the User Story. Decide what story components can be included in the work of the Sprint and commit to achieving the Sprint Goal. Therefore, the development team members have a high degree of project management responsibility.
  • For a high performing project team that has been stabilized over time, is composed of the same members who have done several projects together, and are experienced and cross-functional, management can decide to let them self-organize. Further, the team can be empowered with a lot of autonomy and responsibility in the execution of the project management activities, such as deciding and implementing the most appropriate workflow or processes to get to the expected project outcome.
  • In a traditional, functional organization composed of different siloes of specialized competencies, projects are started only if needed. People working inside the functions are temporarily allocated to the project. The time of these people is contested by the line managers and the project facilitators. People on the project team have to manage the conflicting requests coming from the different management lines and project facilitators, and they have to manage such conflicts while doing project management activities they often are not aware of.
  • In some organizations, the roles of the people are defined in detail and documented as part of or in addition to the organizational chart. In such documentation project management activities might be assigned to specialized roles like project manager, team leader, project coordinator, etc. In such cases, a project manager would be assigned to do most of the project management activities as part of his or her responsibility.

Therefore, project management activities can be executed by different people in different organizational roles, including members of the project team.

In projects where the project team can be much more self-organized and empowered, people in the project team need to know what models, methods, processes, and practices can be considered, to which project performance domain they are related, and how the team can be effective in delivering project outputs that enable realization of intended outcomes. On the other hand, in a project where the project team needs to be guided in the details of the work, the project team members need to know why they are following the indicated models, methods, practices, and processes, and have a common vision upon which to tailor the work across all of the performance domains. In all of this, the principles of project management enable a common mindset that guides behavior and decisions.

For these reasons, independent of role titles, organizational structure, or a particular project development approach, the project management principles serve all people in a project as a foundation upon which the work of the project proceeds. The Project Performance Domains serve all people in a project as a structured system for areas of focus for the work of the project, decisions, and actions guided by the overarching principles. So, it is important that the members of the project team are coached or trained on the Project Management Principles and Project Performance Domains. I believe these Principles and Performance Domains can serve as the foundation for all members of the project team and can lead to improved project outcomes.

Posted by Heather McLarnon on: May 12, 2020 11:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

May 2020 Community News You Can Use

April showers bring May flowers! We hope the blooming month ahead, filled with exciting tidbits going on at PMI, keep you smiling and engaged during these unprecedented times. We thrive on such dedicated community members like you, so be sure to give yourselves a pat on the back and know how much you are deeply appreciated! Be well and continue playing a vital role in this Community. Enjoy!


PMXPO 2020: This year’s PMXPO was a HUGE success, all thanks to YOU!  If you missed the live event or wish to view a session again, the on-demand is currently available until 26 June 2020. PMXPO provides an excellent opportunity to learn, earn PDUs, and broaden your perspective on project management. Learn more, and view the on-demand here!

Introducing the New PMP® Online Exam: In case you haven’t heard, you may now take the PMP exam ONLINE!  Administered on a secure platform using proven exam delivery technology, the online exam is exactly the same as the version administered at a test center: the same quality, the same questions, and there’s even a live proctor.  The only difference? You can take it in your pajamas.  With 24/7 testing options to accommodate your schedule, you can take the exam day or night.  Check it out!

Peerspective Blog: In this edition of Peerspective, Let’s meet Mayte Mata-Sivera!  Learn more about Mayte’s exciting project management journey here!

Meet Agile Reimagined:  What exactly IS Disciplined Agile?  Take a few minutes to discover our breakthrough agile solution. Disciplined Agile is a straightforward, agnostic toolkit that harnesses a world of agile practices and guides you to the best way of working for your team or organization.  In this fast-paced introduction, get a glimpse of what you’ll learn in the full online course, Basics of Disciplined Agile, – and just how it can help you, your team and your organization. Check out this complimentary session!

REMINDER: Discover PMI – Ask Us Anything Series:  We will provide an overview of’s new Community Ambassador Program. The community’s first Ambassadors, Emily Luijbregts and Andrew Craig, will be on hand to answer any questions. Whether you are new to the online community or are looking to become more involved, the Ambassadors can certainly help you to maximize your experience – Register now!

PMI Talent & Technology Symposium 2020:  Mark your calendars!  10 June 2020, will hold its 3rd annual PMI Talent & Technology Virtual Symposium which will equip participants with the skills to address current challenges and the roadmap to guide them through the constant change of the future. The lineup of speakers will examine the ways in which project professionals have responded to crisis and share lessons to evolve beyond it. Register now!


That’s all for now, and we encourage you to check back for future updates within the Critical Path blog. Thank you for all of your feedback and engagement, and keep up the good work!

Posted by Heather McLarnon on: May 07, 2020 03:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Virtual Learning Opportunity from PMI

SeminarsWorld is not your typical virtual meeting

Let’s face it, we all need career boost every once in a while. Now more than ever it’s important to grow personally and professionally, building skills in leadership, communication, agile methodology, and beyond. Well here’s your chance. You have an opportunity to attend a highly intensive immersion in learning, offering significant PDUs, and rich interactions with your instructor and classmates all from home. You can take part in small group classes online and gain the capabilities and skills you need to turn ideas into reality.  

Join us for PMI® SeminarsWorld® Virtual which will be held 18 - 21 May 2020 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. EDT. 

Why attend?  

Our real-time virtual meetings are available to support professional development at all levels for anyone managing projects, programs, or portfolios. Not only is it a hub of creative, passionate individuals but you are able to learn in a casual, collaborative virtual environment. It’s a space where you can share insights with other professionals and learn from their experiences and accomplishments. You’ll be able to connect in real time to your instructors and your classmates while you discuss your current challenges. 

What will you learn at SeminarsWorld? 

Seminars include topics in advanced leadership, portfolio management, program leadership, how to think strategically, and team member engagement. Choose from a wide selection of online training classes. See the full schedule here

Join our talented industry professionals for live, highly interactive, one-to-four day small group online workshops and gain insight into today’s hottest topics and toughest challenges. 

Register Now!

Can’t make in May? No problem, view our upcoming SeminarsWorld events

SeminarsWorld is open to both PMI members and nonmembers, although members receive significant discounts on registration. Group discounts and government rates also are available. 

If you have questions, or need assistance with an existing registration, please contact us at

Thank you all, and we wish you well!

Posted by Heather McLarnon on: May 05, 2020 01:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

"I am not young enough to know everything."

- Oscar Wilde