Project Management

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
Heather McLarnon

Past Contributors:

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

Recent Posts

October Community News You Can Use

Ask the Expert Webinar Series – “Agile for Rest of Us” - is Now On-Demand!

September 2020 Community News You Can Use

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Project Management

August 2020 Community News You Can Use

Viewing Posts by Kimberly Whitby

October Community News You Can Use

Categories: community events


Hello my fellow community members! I don’t know about you, but I had to pinch myself to accept the fact that it’s already October 2020! I still remember posting the March 2020 blog in which I encouraged you to “March On” and Remain Strong! Wow, it’s now been seven months since that blog posting, and my plea remains the same. We have come this far and I implore you to keep the faith and not lose hope in continuing our journey while we live in this “new normal.” I’ve been reminiscing a lot during these times, mainly upon our live in-person PMI events that I so dearly miss. Can you believe it’s been one year since we celebrated PMI’s 50th Anniversary during the North American Conference right here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, revealing the new PMI logo?  What a great three days we shared! I truly miss getting together with our fellow PMI volunteers and community members (all of you!) during these isolated times. Our memories; however, from past events can offer so much for us to cling hold to – creating even more great memories for years to come!  So, what was your most favorite memory while attending any PMI sponsored event? Please enter your answers in the comments section below. As you ponder this question, take a moment to read the exciting activities happening here at PMI. I can’t wait to read your responses!

Join us virtually for our 2020 Annual Membership Meeting on Tuesday, 27 October 2020 at 9:30am ET. PMI Board of Directors Chair Tony Appleby, will preside. Come and hear about our work over the past year and help us welcome new and returning Directors and Committee members. Click here for more information and registration details.

Listen to PMI CEO, Sunil Prashara’s latest Unplugged Episode 22: Join us for Brightline Initiative’s Strategy@Work Conference. In this episode, executives and senior leaders are at the forefront of leading their organizations into the unknown future. Join us for Brightline Initiative’s Strategy@Work conference to unlock the truth about transformation.

Did you know that the PMI Project Management Ready is our newest certification that introduces high school and post-secondary students to the concepts and skillsets of project management? What a great initiative!! The PMI Project Management Ready certification presents the tools needed to apply this knowledge to a wide range of career paths, and to the student’s day to day activities. Click here to read more about this exciting offering.

Join us on 28 October at 12PM EDT for the inaugural Center Stage Podcast Club webinar, “Projects Disrupted: Innovation=Knowledge + Unlearning.” Thought leaders Larry Prusak, Barry O’Reilly, and Peter Temes will engage in a provocative exchange around the value of knowledge, the importance of learning continuously, and whether we sometimes need to unlearn existing mindsets or behaviors that may be limiting our ability to move forward through innovation. This webinar will challenge attendees to

  • Further explore the concepts of knowledge, unlearning and innovation through a “future of work” lens.
  • Explore the implications of these concepts for project work, project teams and project leaders.
  • Consider how these concepts apply to how you will make reality through projects in the future.

Register now for the webinar, available at no cost and open to faculty and students. Prior to the event, attendees can listen to the Center Stage podcast episodes featuring Larry Prusak, Barry O’Reilly, and Peter Temes.

Our next “Discover PMI - Ask Us Anything!” webinar, Agile Insights: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Agile is scheduled for 30 October 2020 - 12:00 PM EDT. This series includes guest speakers, Alicia Burke, John Munro, Scott Ambler and Mark Lines discussing what’s happening in different industries and around the globe with respect to agile approaches and practices, successes and challenges. This webinar is open to both PMI members and non-members, translation, FREE to ALL! Folks can register at You definitely don’t want to miss this informative session!

That’s all for now, and we encourage you to check back for future updates within the Critical Path blog. Also, please remember to post your answer to the question posed above, I’m so looking forward to reading your comments! Thank you for all of your feedback and engagement, and keep up the good work!

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: October 11, 2020 06:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Ask the Expert Webinar Series – “Agile for Rest of Us” - is Now On-Demand!

Categories: Ask the Experts, webinar


We would like to extend a big thank you to all who were able to join us on Friday, 18 September 2020 for our Ask the Expert Webinar Series - Agile for Rest of Us! We had an astounding record of 963 attendees that joined and engaged in such a lively discussion that it could have continued for another hour or two! So if you missed the live session, no worries, you can now watch it On-Demand at Ask the Expert Webinar Series – “Agile for Rest of Us”!

As a bonus, our presenters David Maynard and Kiron Bondale were gracious to answer the many questions during this hour-long session that could not be answered. This article contains a list of questions which were not answered during the live session along with feedback on each from Dave and Kiron.

Please reach out to to either Dave or Kiron should you have any additional questions that may not have been posted during the live session.

Thank you Dave and Kiron for such a wonderful and lively discussion!

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: September 22, 2020 07:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

August 2020 Community News You Can Use

Time is flying by and we’ve certainly been buzzing with activity around the community!  We hope those in the Northern Hemisphere have enjoyed the unseasonably hot summer we’ve had; and those in the Southern Hemisphere have enjoyed a cool winter! However, we do hope you and your families are faring well during this stressful time worldwide. I myself, could have never imagined living during a global pandemic in my lifetime. However, what brings me comfort, and hopefully you as well, is the recognition that WE are ALL in this together, and we will continue to thrive. Hope is the force to dispel all worries and apprehensions we face each and every day, so please keep the faith. Now, let’s see what circulating around the “virtual watercooler” here in our very own community!

Together We Rise – The second installment of the new Virtual Experience Series (VES)!  Learn what it takes to galvanize a community, practice agility daily and lead a global team from Trevor Noah, comedian, host of "The Daily Show", and the manager of many projects. Connect, collaborate and celebrate the impact of our industry. Hosted by journalist, talk show host, and Executive Producer Tamron HallAdditional information and registration here!  

PMIEF: Outcomes and Efficacy of PM Knowledgeable Youth Grant Making, 2012 – 2017 - The Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) at Stanford University led a year-long external evaluation for the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) to examine the foundation's work on behalf of youth-related initiatives from 2012 – 2017.  Join PMIEF to learn the findings of the SCOPE research and the recommendations it generated, especially as these data have helped support the foundation's current strategy and grant investments to strengthen the capacity and programming of youth-serving nonprofits worldwide. Register here for this free webinar!

Have you read the latest Pulse In-Depth: The Innovation Imperative report? PMI research reveals how organizations promote innovative practices that lead to investment in new ideas. Read the full report here.

Take advantage of the latest Unplugged videos with our very own CEO, Sunil Prashara? In addition to providing information about PMI’s ongoing efforts to provide value to its various stakeholders, this space enables you to contact Sunil directly with comments and suggestions. We encourage you to check back frequently for updates and additional information. Sunil’s communications are available in various formats based on the most expedient way to tell the story and share the content with you. Check out the latest episode here.  

Success Story: "Disciplined Agile Changes Everything" - See how Karen Lewis, Vice President, IT at global investment firm Franklin Templeton used Disciplined Agile to increase quality, speed to market AND customer satisfaction.

Interested in Volunteering? There are volunteer opportunities available for everyone no matter how much time you have or whether you want to be involved at a local, national, or global level. Get Involved with these PMI Opportunities!

Types of volunteer opportunities include:

  • Contribute to the development of professional standards that shape the future of the profession
  • Manage local PMI chapters
  • Influence the profession by writing and publishing white papers and reviewing project management manuals, books and periodicals
  • Help younger professionals build experience and grow their careers

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

Also, if you feel so inclined, tell us what new skills or hobbies you’ve developed while the majority of us are indefinitely working from home. We would love to hear all about the creative side you may never knew you had!

Be well my friends!

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: August 19, 2020 12:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

What Background Makes a Good DPO?

Categories: communication

By Yunique Demann, Associate Director Risk – Data Privacy

The enactment of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) formalized the role of the Data Protection Officer (DPO) role to ensure there was senior leader in the organization who was responsible and accountable for driving the privacy program and upholding the rights of data subjects and their data.

The role of the DPO is to implement a data protection strategy that aligns with GDPR and other privacy laws that supports business objectives and reduces risk. The DPO oversees the development, implementation and maintenance of data privacy and data protection policies and ensures the organization processes personal data of data subjects (employees, customers, and other individuals) in a compliant way that reduces the potential for data breaches and protects the data throughout its lifecycle with that business. DPOs should operate independently, with full support from executive management all the way through to the board.

As the need for privacy professionals increases, the pool of qualified individuals with the knowledge and capabilities comes largely from two groups: privacy lawyers/legal privacy professionals and the IT privacy professional from an IT and/or security background. The privacy lawyer focuses on privacy laws and provides legal guidance and direction on compliance with those laws. IT/security privacy professionals have a good understanding of the law and can also provide guidance on implementation of privacy requirements. They usually have a deeper understanding of the security and risks factors associated with compliance based on their closeness with the business and can provide guidance on technologies, process and procedures that support the security of processing.

Both roles are effective and approach privacy from a different perspective, and both can function in the role as a Data Protection Officer (DPO). An effective DPO does not need to come from a legal background but a good understanding of law is a mandatory requirement for understanding privacy requirements.

There is another role that can become a DPO – compliance officer – but he or she must demonstrate independence when overseeing the privacy function. Under GDPR, the DPO must be free from conflicts of interest. In a recent case, the Belgian Data Protection Authority fined an organization €50,000 for failing to ensure the DPO was free from a conflict of interest. Therefore, in meeting requirements specific to GDPR, although the DPO may fulfill other tasks, the tasks related to compliance must not result in a conflict of interest.

The career trajectory for a privacy professional also can evolve into becoming Chief Privacy Officer (CPO). The person in this role should be comfortable with owning the privacy program as it pertains to developing policies and liaising with IT/security and vendor management. In this role, the IT privacy professional may have a head start, but this in no way excludes the privacy lawyer from creating these relationships and gaining the necessary knowledge.

With the introduction of ISACA’s new Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE) certification, privacy professionals have a new opportunity to assess their privacy-related skills against a new globally recognized standard. CDPSE is the latest credential from ISACA for those who participate in the design, implementation and management of technology solutions that store, process and transport personally identifiable information (PII).

Having a formal certification provides the external validation that those performing in the function as a DPO are qualified and meet a recognized criterion for managing a privacy program. IAPP and now ISACA are leading the way in developing internationally recognized certifications in this area, although there are multiple country regulation-specific certifications for privacy around the world.

As someone who has come from a security background, I have found my background has been a complement to my current role as a DPO and has helped me collaborate with the IT and security teams in supporting the privacy program. I choose to pursue additional post-graduate qualifications for navigating the different privacy laws and gaining legal skills. The certifications available now can better equip privacy professionals with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their DPO roles.

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the ISACA Now blog. For more on ISACA’s new technical privacy certification, visit

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: July 30, 2020 03:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Virtual Experience Series Delivering Value, Creating Change & Advancing the World™

We are navigating a present and a future defined by challenge and change. As we step forward, we embrace the great potential and opportunity ahead of us. As project professionals, we cultivate and activate teams, we foster action and progress, and we catalyze innovation.

We make reality.

Let's. Get. To Work.
Hosted by journalist, television host, and Executive Producer TAMRON HALL— join us
for a groundbreaking new series, created to deliver you the tools, ideas, and inspiration
you need to drive your project career forward.

Members, you’ll find a new PMI experience designed for your personal growth and connection to each other (and yes, you’ll earn plenty of PDUs)!  

For those new to our community, welcome to the innovative, rewarding project world—creating impact and transformation across industries. These events are crafted to help you boost your career. Or pivot to a new one. 

Single Event Pass: $99
Series Pass: $359  

Single Event Pass: $149 
Series Pass: $899

Consider a PMI Membership and save $400 on a Series Pass! 

Our monthly virtual events begin in July and continue through December 2020. They are crafted to:

Hear from unexpected (but familiar) voices on the power and influence of project management.

Gain insights from project pros around the world.

Connect with peers and mentors and meet renowned authors. Amp up your personal brand, polish up your professional profile, and visit our job board.

Watch incredible stories of project impact and experience a few surprises that we have up our virtual sleeve!

Pleases click here to register for this newly created virtual event experience!

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: July 15, 2020 07:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

"Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to."

- Mark Twain



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