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!

About this Blog

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View Posts By:

Marjorie Anderson
Kristin Jones
Danielle Ritter
Kimberly Whitby
Laura Schofield

Past Contributers:

Carrie Dunn
Kenneth A. Asbury
Craig Dalrymple
Rebecca Braglio

Recent Posts

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Viewing Posts by Rebecca Braglio

Community Updates and News

Categories: community news

Community Features and Functionality

We’re excited to bring you some new functionality to the community. You may have noticed the new badge page that displays all of the badges you've been awarded for participating int he community, plus additional badges that you can earn.

badge page

To view your badge page, just go to your profile and click on "View all badges."

view all badgesYou may be wondering how you can earn the badges that are not yet posted on your page. Finding out is easy - simply click on the faded badge icon and a pop-up will tell you exactly what actions you'll need to take to earn the badge:

how to earn a badge

We hope you are enjoying this new feature and are exploring all of the great ways you can add to your badge earnings!

Discussion Board Round-Up

Check out the Project Management Central forum board and find out what the community is saying on a variety of hot topics!

Have an opinion of your own? Help out a fellow project manager and weigh in on these posts that need answers:

Stay tuned for more updates and featured community activity!

Posted by Rebecca Braglio on: April 22, 2016 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Member of the Month - Rami Kaibni

Categories: community news

Rami KaibniThis month we're pleased to highlight one of our most active members, Rami Kaibni. Even if you're new to the community, chances are Rami has answered your question or provided you with ideas on how to get an answer.  

How did you get involved in project management?

I graduated from Birzeit University in West Bank, Palestine with a degree in Civil Engineering with honors and emphasis on structures. I was employed by the civil engineering department as a research and teaching assistant for one year before I joined an international company (Consolidated Contractors International Company) that specializes in Project & Construction Management. Since Civil Engineering is a wide field, part of my job (besides design) was to manage projects. That is where the adventure started and it’s been more than 10 years now. I really enjoy doing project management because every project is unique; you always keep learning and the limit is the sky.

Who or what inspires you to be the best project manager you can be?

Project management is a very innovative and creative field. At the same time, it is a very competitive field. If you do not make sure you are doing things right in terms of coping with the changes in managing projects, attitude, and so on, then you can’t sustain in this industry and you also can’t survive in this world. Everything is dependent on how efficiently you manage things - even on a personal level. I always believed in a saying which inspired me a lot: What’s more important than reaching the top of the pile is staying there.”

What is one thing you wished you'd known when you first started out in project management?

I wish there were more sources of education in the Project Management Field. Practical PM is great and the best teacher but educational programs and mentoring are also important and plays a major role in development. We had to learn project management the hard way but I personally believe it was a great way.

It's Friday at 4 pm and your boss just told you that you've been assigned to work on a project - on a different continent! You leave 9 am tomorrow. What are the next five (5) things that you do?

It is somehow unusual for a project director to request that a PM relocates to a different continent within few hours, it is not practical. To be able to answer this properly, I will assume that this is an emergency and that I will be going there for one week so set things up and go back to finalize all pending issues.

The next five things would be:

  • Informing the deputy PM of the decision and have her/him take over immediately until I return.
  • Ensure accommodation, transportation and ticket are all reserved.
  • Get an idea from my boss about the nature of the client, client.
  • Read about the country I am going to and the nature of doing business there.
  • Prepare my suit bag and necessary documents.

You’ve come to the realization that an important project you are currently managing is going to be a massive failure. Somehow, every red flag has been missed or ignored and it’s far too late in the game to turn things around. Maybe you inherited the mess, maybe you’re the cause of the failure, or maybe it’s just the way things turned out and there’s nothing you could have done to prevent it. What 3 types of things will you do, mentally, physically, or even spiritually, to cope until the project is over?

Personally, I’ve worked on projects where we ran over budget, were behind schedule at some point or had many issues but at the end of the project, it ended up with a success. I’ve never experienced a total failure project because the project is always as good as the PM is unless there were severe uncontrollable issues. I imagine if I was put in a situation like the one addressed above, I would do the following:

  • Allocate more time to communicate with the client to make sure they do not lose trust in our company and to always keep them alert of our loyalty and commitment to the job.
  • Boost the morale of the project team as much as I possibly could because blaming others would never solve the problem and try to sort out the problem and initiate mitigation plans in order to minimize the level of failure. 
  • Make sure to record all lessons learned properly to make sure we do not face similar failures in future projects.

In summary, even though the situation assumes that the project will be a massive failure, a project manager should never give up and in such situations, he should think about how to resolve as much issues as possible and at the same time think about future projects and how not to have them affected by the failure of this project and change the failure of one project to a success on another project.

Please introduce yourself to Rami in the comments below and take some time to add him to your network as a connection. 

Is there a community member who you think deserves some recognition for their contributions to the community? Let us know! Email the member’s name and a brief explanation as to why you think he/she should be featured in our Member of the Month to communitysupport@pmi.org.

Posted by Rebecca Braglio on: April 07, 2016 01:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (31)

February Community Updates and News

Categories: community news

The new year has really started out with a bang! This month we launched two new campaigns on our YouTube channel:  Social Project Management with community member and subject matter expert, Peter Taylor (creator of The Lazy Project Manager) and our #pmlovestories challenge.

So, what exactly does "Social Project Management" entail? In his first episode of the series, Peter Taylor (pictured below) explores the meaning and journey of o project management - from the past, the present, and the possible future.

Peter Taylor Social Project Manager video

To watch and subscribe to this new series, please visit our YouTube channel for the Social Project Management playlist.

Meanwhile, we've gotten some amazing responses for our #pmlovestories challenge. So many of you have shared with the community why you love project management and/or being a project manager. Have you had the chance to post yet? It's not too late! Just head over to this discussion thread and share your #pmlovestories.

Better yet - take a video of yourself with your smart phone and share your story! We're looking for short, simple, and real. Your video doesn't have to be fancy at all - in fact, the more basic, the better. We've already gotten some fantastic videos - so be sure to check them out and send your video submission here before February 15th! Share the love!

 

 

Posted by Rebecca Braglio on: February 12, 2016 11:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Meet the Community Engagement Specialist Team

Categories: community news

This week's blog is dedicated to introducing you to the people who are running the behind-the-scenes action here in the community. By now I'm sure you've seen us out and about in the community forum boards, chiming in on threads and keeping the community a productive, safe space for members to convene.

I thought it would be a good idea to start off 2016 by giving a "behind the scenes" look at the Community Engagement team members who are keeping the community "always open."

I've (Rebecca) had the opportunity to personally speak with many of you in the community, but what you may not know is that for 12 years I practiced as a criminal defense attorney. Going from law to community management was a big leap. It was partly inspired by becoming a part of the dog owner community in Philadelphia where I learned about the value of connectivity and benefit of a close-knit community. When I'm not obsessing about online communities, I'm hanging out with my two dogs, Imogene and Dash, and volunteering my time with various pet rescue groups. If you haven't already reached out to connect, please do so and tell me a little bit about yourself!

Marjorie started with PMI in 2008, making this her 8th year with the organization (has it really been that long already?). She is a proud ISTJ and thinks she’s really got a handle on the introvert piece of that personality type. She enjoys a good bottle of wine and she has been told that she’s pretty good at impressions; however, she shouldn’t quit her day job!  She believes in the saying “early to bed, early to rise” and can usually be found in the office way earlier than anyone should be allowed. One day, Marjorie hopes to finally find the answer to the age-old question: who let the dogs out? Be sure to connect with her here on ProjectManagement.com so you can be the first one to know when she finds out!

Kristin is extremely passionate about people, learning, family and fun. Although she is from the Philadelphia area, she considers herself a citizen of the world. She has been lucky enough to travel to 16 countries outside of her home country, the United States, and spent extended time in Jena, Germany completing her college degree. She speaks English and German and enjoys learning about languages and cultures at every opportunity.

Kristin is the proud mother of two children, a 2 ½ year old boy and a 4 month old girl. Her children have given her an energy and drive to live life in the present for which she is incredibly grateful.

Kristin lives by three mottos:

  1. “Live life to the fullest”
  2. “Everything happens for a reason”
  3. “Life is too short to buy cheap olive oil”

Be sure to connect with her here and share your words to live by!

Carrie is the newest member of the engagement team, joining PMI in October of 2015. Prior to joining PMI, Carrie served as a Content Lead with Drug Information Association (DIA). In that role she was responsible for developing content strategy, as well as development and design of educational programs. This included providing input to the content strategy process regarding performance of content activity and collaborating with content teams to identify/discuss content opportunities and delivery methods.

Carrie is a relatively new mom to a furry baby, Bella, who she adores. She loves reading and prefers a paper book to the electronic version. She hopes to someday have a library in her house. She’s a huge fan of Billy Joel and has lost count of how many times she’s seen his shows. She’s also a big fan of ice hockey (Philadelphia Flyers)! She’s a big believer in the saying that “Life is a Journey, Not a Destination.” Be sure to check out her profile and connect with Carrie today.

Posted by Rebecca Braglio on: January 14, 2016 04:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Looking Forward to 2016

Categories: community news

I must admit, I'm not a fan of New Year's Eve. For as long as I can remember, I have always felt a sense of dread when I think of the evening festivities. Maybe it's because there is a lot of social pressure to have plans, maybe it's because it's the close of the year, or maybe it's because I just don't like staying up past 9:00 pm.

And, when it comes to the actual New Year, I've always been bothered when I'm asked, "What are your New Year resolutions?" I find it odd that this tradition exists - why do we only think about what we want to achieve at the end of the year. Shouldn't we be thinking about our goals throughout the year? Isn't there always room to grow?

But, to cave into social tradition, I have come up with a few New Year's Resolutions. Resolutions on what I'm not going to do. Instead of putting pressure on myself to achieve goals, I'm going to focus on what I can do to remove the barriers that keep me from achieving goals in the first place. So, here are a few of my What I'm Not Going to Do Resolutions for 2016:

  1. I am not going to become frustrated when I experience a road block in a project. Getting frustrated only causes my blood pressure to rise and isn't healthy. It also doesn't help to solve any problems.
  2. I am not going to check my email from my phone incessantly.
  3. I am going to let people finish their sentences during conversations and not interrupt.

Do you make New Year Resolutions? Why or why not? If so, what are your resolutions for 2016?

Posted by Rebecca Braglio on: December 18, 2015 12:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (21)
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