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!

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Marjorie Anderson
Kristin Jones
Danielle Ritter
Dave Garrett
Craig Dalrymple
Kimberly Whitby

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Don't Miss These Unique Opportunities at PMI Global Conference 2017 - Ask the Experts & PM Wars!

PM Wars Tournament, 28 - 31 October, PMI Global Conference

Where the Gurus Are!

October Community News You Can Use

Ask the Expert Returns to PMI Global Conference!

Viewing Posts by Marjorie Anderson

Where the Gurus Are!

Categories: events, PMI, PMO

Access to project management's thought leaders: PMO Symposium 2017

Transition. Transformation. Conversion. Change. These words are chiseled into today’s Project Management lexicon, but so is the word, “success” – the end goal for every project. As adaptive PM methods become more ubiquitous in organizations around the world, we recognize that no one approach will do. Rather, project leaders embrace and apply multiple approaches—predictive, Agile, or some hybrid thereof—to get their project across the proverbial finish line, all while trying to build sustainable benefits and agility. As one colleague commented after a project meeting last week, “It would be nice to just climb to the top of the mountain and ask the guru how to achieve project management nirvana!”

Ok, so let’s go with that concept for a second. Where do we find the guru, or gurus? How do we get an audience with them, pick their brain, learn from and apply their wisdom? Dr. Rita McGrath, a keynote speaker at this year’s PMO Symposium, might suggest that the ability and willingness to seek out actual information, confront bad news, learn fast from failure and design appropriate approaches is critical; that rapidly changing, volatile environments require us to adopt an entrepreneurial mind-set, what we need to learn even if we can’t visualize the outcome at the onset. This may sound like more uncertainty at a time when the quest is to seek more clarity. There is, however, a method to this perceived madness. McGrath’s talk on transient advantage is just one of the many mind-opening presentations on the agenda at the 2017 PMO Symposium (#PMOSym), November 5-8, in Houston, TX.

Nearly 80 industry thought leaders will share their perspectives, relevant strategies, and in-depth case studies at the Symposium, and will also give their insights on the future of project management and how the PMO—a change agent now more than ever—can build a rock-solid foundation for successful outcomes, leadership, and lasting value in a rapidly-evolving environment. The 2017 agenda allows for peer-to-peer interaction throughout the 4-day event, and is stacked with multiple breakout sessions and essential Knowledge Hubs. This year’s speakers and panelists span the globe and represent a wide swath of industries, organizations, and government agencies.

The Symposium’s host city of Houston is, by recent events, emblematic of change and transition as it now deals with the aftermath of last month’s Hurricane Harvey damages. Projects like the City’s reconstruction of a 38 mile stretch of US Highway 290 is one that has required an adaptive approach to manage the project. This timely and highly relevant case study has now been added the Symposium’s Learning Excursion series. The professional trip to The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) offices will illustrate how the agency has faced numerous challenges with the project’s reallocation of inter-agency responsibilities and evolving funding sources. PMOs from various organizations will be able to see and evaluate the project’s evolution that has resulted in implementation adjustments during construction.

Coupled with topics on successful, transformative project management are talks on the qualities that change-driven leaders possess. According to Adrian Gostick, a leadership guru and #1 best-selling leadership author, it is culture that drives innovation and execution. Strong cultures encourage leadership from everyone in the organization and as the project leader, you are the core influencer of the kind of culture at play in your team, division, or whole company.  Gostick will deliver a keynote address at the Symposium that focuses on developing a “Culture of Belief” to drive results, especially within a dynamic work environment. Each of the Symposium’s four keynote speakers not only bring recognized expertise, but will also elicit thought-provoking discussions on Agile Transformation and The Evolving PMO, as well as the practical application skills needed to help lead an organization’s transition to a more adaptive culture.

Project management nirvana? Perhaps this is an oxymoron. But, finding one’s own sense of PMO competency and assuredness in today’s climate is achievable, as the Symposium’s many gurus will attest. So in a sense, mission accomplished: access to the project management gurus and PM enlightenment – and, no exhaustive mountain climbing required.

PMO Symposium  |  Houston, TX  |  November 5-8, 2017

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: October 10, 2017 08:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Students Come Together for the PMI® Virtual Student Summit!

Categories: education, events, news, students


Live keynote presentation on Next Gen Leadership by Seth Mattison.

Join us for user experience and design thinking, the global impact of project management, career trajectories of rising leaders in project management, global challenges facing projects sessions as well as networking and collaborative opportunities for the emerging professional.

Gain insight into making the transition from student to professional.

Participate in Learning Sessions!

Trends in project management.

Work in Collab Sessions

With PMI resources and sponsors.

Rendezvous Point

Network and interact with your peers.

Join us for this free virtual event! This day is full of opportunities for students interested in project management or an allied discipline to learn and network.

Unable to attend this event live? You can view the content on-demand after the event!

For more information, and to register for the event, visit the registration page or contact

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: September 06, 2017 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

August Book Club Announced!

We are excited to announce the August 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. 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. 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 August is Reaching Your Next Summit! by Manley Feinberg II.

Manley Feinberg II is the founder of Vertical Lessons, Inc.  He is an award winning international keynote speaker, business leader and author.  Leveraging more than twenty years of business, professional speaking and adventure experience, his insight and energy will inspire and equip you to step up and reach your next summit. Manley’s 11 years of leadership influence contributed to a workplace culture that landed Build-A-Bear Workshop on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® List four years in a row. Manley served two terms as the president of the St. Louis chapter of the National Speakers Association. On a personal note, Manley likes to sleep on the side of mountains.  Even more shocking is that his wife has been putting up with that for more than two decades, and he has two teens that still kiss him on the cheek in front of their friends.


About the book:

“When anchors fail, people die.”

Your climb to excellence is never easy. The human drive within calls us to what is possible. In Reaching Your Next Summit!, Manley Feinberg II, world-class mountain climber, shares nine Vertical Lessons and one essential question. These principles will renew your commitment and inspire your quest for excellence. You will realize more of your potential as you sharpen your focus, act with courage, and generate momentum in reaching your next summit—and beyond.

Our August 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 Marjorie Anderson on: August 22, 2017 06:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

August Community News You Can Use

It's August, which means the end of summer is near in North America! Time for pumpkin scented everything and back to school for students. As we prepare to close out summer, we hope that your return from vacation is putting you in a position to tackle pending tasks with ease! If you find that you need a bit of assistance, we hope these updates help set you on the right path.

PMI Organizational Agility Conference 2017: Have you thought about what Agile means for your organization? Do you know how to be Agile when processes are not? Attend the PMI Organizational Agility Conference 2017 to set your organization up for success! This is an exclusive PMI member-only event and there's still time to register! JUST ANNOUNCED: Dave Gunner, PMP, PfMP will be the keynote speaker for this event. Don't miss the opportunity to learn skills that will help you and your organization define what agility means to you. Register today!

Speaking of Agility...: Did you miss the recent webinar with Afterburner's Joel Neeb? You can watch it on-demand! In "The Final Step to Agility for Your Project," Joel teaches you how to conduct a structured Debrief to assure your team can scale successes and eliminate the failures that may have occurred during the project. Check it out!

Project Naysayers?: All projects have proponents—but also those who don’t want the project to move forward for various reasons. In his recent article, Michael Zekser offers some practical techniques to address and resolve tense situations so your project can move ahead.

Is PM company specific?: Meredith Perpetua works in the Pharma industry and posed a great question to the forums this week: is project management company specific? Is it any different for the pharma industry than for any other? Join the discussion and let her know what you think!

That's all for now! If you have any questions about community events, user guidelines, or any other community happenings, feel free to reach out to any member of the Community Engagement team. We're happy to help!

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: August 15, 2017 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

July Community News You Can Use

It's summer here in North America and, while some are taking a break, we're still here giving you all the project management goods you can handle. We hope that you are taking a mid-year pause to reflect on the success that the first half of 2017 has brought you. We also hope that you have had the chance to catch up on a few things happening here in the community and in the profession. If not, we're here to give you a quick rundown of some things you might want to know about: 

PMI Organizational Agility Conference 2017: Registration is open for the virtual PMI Organizational Agility Conference 2017! With sudden market shifts and new priorities by the minute, agile transformation is an organizational imperative. You need to understand what agility means for your organization—and how to help lead it through change. This event is FREE for PMI members. Register today!

June Book Club: The book for the June Book Club is Integrating Program Management and Systems Engineering by Eric Rebentisch. Exclusive to the June Book Club, we are opening the closing webinar to all registered users! You can find more information about June's book club (including how to get the book and where to join the discussion) by visiting this page.

Join us in Chicago 28-30 October: PMI Global Conference will be heading to Chicago! Project, program and portfolio professionals are leading their organizations to better outcomes while influencing change in an ever-changing global environment. Join us to connect with like-minded individuals to learn new ideas and approaches, form new relationships or strengthen existing ones while investing in your own growth. For information regarding sessions and to register, visit the PMI Global Conference event page.

Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017–2027: Demand over the next 10 years for project managers is growing faster than demand for workers in other occupations. Organizations, however, face risks from this talent gap. Read more about PMI's latest commissioned talent gap analysis by Anderson Economic Group (AEG) which points to outstanding opportunities in jobs and career growth for project managers within the 11 countries studied.

That's all for now! If you have any questions about community events, user guidelines, or any other community happenings, feel free to reach out to any member of the Community Engagement team. We're happy to help!

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: July 05, 2017 09:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils."

- Berlioz