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!

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March Book Club

We are excited to announce the ProjectManagement.com March 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 ProjectManagement.com 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. **PMI-member exclusive** 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.  PMI members will be able to participate in the book club closing webinar.  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 March is How to Manage Complex Programs by Tom Kendrick.

Tom Kendrick, PMP, is the program director for Project Management and Agile Management for UC Berkeley Extension and a faculty member of the American Management Association. His professional experience includes 20 years with Hewlett-Packard and five years as an internal project management consultant for Visa Inc. He has also directed projects in the United States, Europe, and Asia for General Electric, DuPont, ADP Network Services, and as an independent consultant. He is the author of Results Without Authority, The Project Management Tool Kit, and Identifying and Managing Project Risk.

About the book:

Large-scale programs involve many projects and countless jobs. As program manager, you’re charged with coordinating the thousands of distinct actions this requires—managing the deliverables, workflow, and staff that comprise all the interconnected projects (possibly spread across the globe!)

Whether you’re already managing a program—or looking ahead to filling that role—you need a repertoire of practical, dependable approaches to plan for and control the often competing demands you face every day.

How to Manage Complex Programs delivers exactly what it promises: high-impact techniques for handling project workflow, deliverables, and teams. These techniques will enable you and your program staff to convert large-scale undertakings into collections of smaller, well-managed projects. While the scope will remain complex and layered, the information and techniques presented here will allow you to manage them coherently and efficiently. These strategies can be applied to any program, and are especially well adapted to high-tech undertakings.

To every topic presented in this manual Tom Kendrick brings nearly 40 years’ experience practicing and teaching project and program management. In clear, accessible text, amplified by diagrams, graphs, and real-life examples, Kendrick reveals the fundamental concepts and proven approaches that will help you master program management.

Step by step this book will guide you through controlling the structures and hierarchies that make up a large-scale program, from initiation through execution and finally to successful closure.

  • Break complex deliverables into manageable chunks
  • Control program scope
  • Develop credible, workable plans that manage workflow dependencies
  • Conduct periodic in-depth plan reviews
  • Establish effective governance
  • Manage diverse stakeholder perspectives and priorities
  • Organize program staff and project leaders into a high-performing team
  • And much more

So much is riding on the vision, acuity, and ability of the program manager. Let How to Manage Complex Programs be your go-to resource for the broad understanding and tested, effective tactics that bring order to complexity and lead to flawless execution.

Our March book club host is Tara McCallum.  Tara A. McCallum is a CEO and founder of Tara A. McCallum Inc.; a minority woman owned business. As a strategic consultant she has partnered with such organizations as Bank of America, CHEP, VF Corporation, Accenture, and The Department of Defense.  Having worked as a consultant with various organizations Ms. McCallum has used her talents to complete projects in SAP, ERP, and OCM; often with a focus on Project Management. Ms. McCallum has also worked in Development, Training and Delivery, as well as Procurement. Additionally, she is a member of Project Management Institute, ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) and Scrum Alliance. Ms. Tara A. McCallum graduated from The University of Phoenix with a Master’s degree in Management with a specialization in Human Resources Management. She currently holds certifications from Purdue University in Lean/ Six Sigma, Instructional Design and is also a Certified Scrum Master.  In her spare time  Tara enjoys volunteering for The American Red Cross, The Boys and Girls club as a  big sister, Portamento’ of Hope – a homeless outreach kitchen, as well as her church.

To register for the closing live book club webinar, please visit the webinar page on ProjectManagement.com, 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 Management.com books page

For additional questions, please visit the ProjectManagement.com Book Club FAQ page.

Posted by Carrie Dunn on: March 17, 2017 01:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

February Book Club

Categories: book club, community

We are excited to announce the ProjectManagement.com February 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 ProjectManagement.com 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. **PMI-member exclusive** 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.  PMI members will be able to participate in the book club closing webinar.  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 February is Project and Program Turnaround by Thomas Pavelko.

Tom Pavelko worked 37 years for Lockheed Aircraft and now Lockheed Martin. He started as an engineer organizing and leading teams to develop onboard computer systems that performed critical flight controls and data reduction functions. He was promoted to the levels of System Engineering Manager, Program Manager and Program Director.

Tom reported to a wide variety of divisions including: Satellites, Missile, R&D, Electronics, Propulsion, Advanced Astronautics, Commercial Space, Human Spaceflight and Skunk Works.

He assisted large commercial and government programs in trouble.  These roles led Tom to eventually become the Program/Manager/Director for three large programs.  He led all assigned programs to successful application and accomplishment of the intended missions. In addition, he assisted other program managers with leading their faltering programs to success.

About the book:

The U.S. economy thrives on the development of new products, new systems, and new processes. Usually, these advances start as a flash of inspiration by highly creative individuals. It is complex and difficult to go from initial inspiration to a final product, process, or system. So it is not surprising that approximately one out of every four development programs fails. A development program or project in trouble is distinct from a program encountering typical development difficulties. Such a program or project can appear to be in free fall.

This book identifies the essential fundamentals for executing a program or project turnaround effectively. These fundamentals include:

  • Clearly identifying the next critical accomplishment needed for success
  • Assigning responsibility for each program task to one person
  • Capitalizing on colocation and face-to-face communication
  • Recruiting problem solvers
  • Wining commitment from team members
  • Using team accomplishments to propel high team morale

The guidance provided in this book is applicable to all program or project genres, including manufacturing, nonprofit work, education, medicine, investment management, and municipal management.

Software has become a great part of both providing product functionality and assisting with managing product development. A special chapter devoted to software development dispels common misconceptions and provides guidance for turning around this special type of project or program.

This book is a highly valuable source of insight for a wide range of readers, including management professionals, business students, and executive managers. Every member of a product or project development team will find its recommendations to be of high value.

Our February 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 ProjectManagement.com, 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 Management.com books page

For additional questions, please visit the ProjectManagement.com Book Club FAQ page.

Posted by Carrie Dunn on: February 27, 2017 04:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

January Book Club

Categories: book club, community

We are excited to announce the ProjectManagement.com January 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 ProjectManagement.com 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. **PMI-member exclusive** 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.  PMI members will be able to participate in the book club closing webinar.  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 January is Managing the PMO Lifecycle: 2nd Edition by Waffa Karkukly.

Dr. Waffa Karkukly, PMP, ACP, CMP is the Principal and Managing Director of Global PMO Solutions with over 20 years’ experience in IT, project management, and PMO establishments, Waffa has an extensive experience in establishing practical PMOs. Revitalizing and assessing the value propositions of existing PMOs to ensure alignment with organizational strategy. Waffa has helped fortune 100, midsize and small sized organizations improve their project management practices and PMOs establishments through building scalable standards and proven solutions that improved their delivery process.

Prior to establishing Global PMO Solutions, Waffa held many positions ranging from big 5 to small startups were she held the responsibility of establishing PMOs that included Portfolio, building governance models and benchmark process improvement. Waffa helped organizations achieve their value proposition through building and sustaining transformational change management to improve organizations’ delivery and performance.

Waffa holds a BSC in Information Systems from DePaul University, an MIT from Northwestern University, and a PhD from SKEMA School of Business. Waffa‘s dissertation was in the PMO realm an area of her expertise and passion. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), and Certified Change Management Practitioner (CMP).  Waffa is an author, coach, and active industry member who has many publications pertaining to project management, PMOs and change management.  She is a frequent speaker, presenter, and panelist at the international level of various PMI and other project management events and forums.

About the book:

Managing the PMO Lifecycle (PMOLC) is a collective effort to highlight what goes into the set-up, the build-out and the sustainability of the Project Management Offices (PMOs). It provides the drivers, the benefits and the know-how. The book’s main purpose is to be a reference and a practical guide for practitioners investing in setting up, building-out or supporting new or existing PMOs through providing a practical step by step guide and practical case studies.

In addition the book addresses various audiences on the corporate ladder to help them understand their roles and contributions to PMO success.

Last, the book is a guide for students seeking a career in the project management profession, allowing them to gain practical knowledge in the domain, and for those academics researching in this area leveraging the insights that the book offer through a detailed literature review, case studies, and surveys.

"Whether you are sustaining success with your PMO, starting up a new one, or even thinking about transforming one, the PMOLC clearly articulates that not one size fits all - what must bring the greatest value to your organization is key to your design principle and ultimate success. A wealth of insights that all leaders and practitioners will benefit from." Ian Laliberté ,Vice-President, PMO, IT Strategy and Change MBA, PMP, Prince2 Practitioner.

Our January 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 ProjectManagement.com, 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 Management.com books page

For additional questions, please visit the ProjectManagement.com Book Club FAQ page.

Posted by Carrie Dunn on: January 31, 2017 03:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

December Book Club

Categories: , book club, community

We are excited to announce the ProjectManagement.com December 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 ProjectManagement.com 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. **PMI-member exclusive** 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.  PMI members will be able to participate in the book club closing webinar.  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 December is The Social Project Manager by Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor is a PMO expert currently leading a Global PMO, with 200 project managers acting as custodians for nearly 5,000 projects around the world, for Kronos Inc. - a billion-dollar software organisation delivering Workforce Management Solutions.

Peter Taylor is also the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’, along with many other books on project leadership, PMO development, project marketing, project challenges and executive sponsorship.

In the last 4 years he has delivered over 200 lectures around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’.

His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance.

More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

About the book:

The Social Project Manager describes a non-traditional way of organising projects, managing project performance and progress. The aim being to deliver, at the enterprise level, a common goal for the business; one that harnesses the performance advantages of a collaborative community. Social elements help mitigate the constraints associated with the control aspect of project management, which is essential for governance. Team collaboration, problem solving and engagement in projects will never come from technology alone but require careful management.

Peter Taylor draws on research from projects and the worlds of social media and communication to paint a vivid and practical guide to the why and how of social project management. There is no simple template for you to follow; instead he provides an explanation of the benefits, the tools and the constraints so that readers can navigate through to an approach that is sensitive to the culture of their organization and the nature of the projects that they run. Alongside the author’s ideas, the text features advice and case examples from many of the leading technology providers.

The Social Project Manager is a very-readable and down-to-earth guide from one of the most highly-regarded practitioners and commentators on the world of project management.

Our 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 ProjectManagement.com, 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 Management.com books page

For additional questions, please visit the ProjectManagement.com Book Club FAQ page.

Posted by Carrie Dunn on: December 15, 2016 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

November Book Club

Categories: book club, community

We are excited to announce the ProjectManagement.com November 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 ProjectManagement.com 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. **PMI-member exclusive** 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.  PMI members will be able to participate in the book club closing webinar.  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 November is Project Management Simplified: A Step-by-Step Process by Barbara Karten

Barbara Karten, PMP, has over 20 years of management, project/product/program management, and consulting/training experience.  Since 2003, she has been an independent consultant and trainer delivering project management and business systems analysis training, PMP (Project Management Professional) Exam Preparation, general project management courses for PDU (professional development unit) accumulation, PMI (Project Management Institute) Chapter sponsored study groups and project management courses both on line and on ground for graduate and undergraduate programs at local universities.

During her career, Barbara worked with nonprofit organizations (focused on human service systems development and operations), government agencies (including employment and training systems), consulting organizations, and technology companies. 

In addition to her work with nonprofit human service agencies and for-profit technology companies, Barbara taught project management at local universities.  She developed and updated PMP curricula and course materials for academia and local project management training providers. She has presented at industry conferences as a panelist and a presenter. 

Barbara is the past president of the Central Mass PMI Chapter, and is the Central Mass PMI Chapter liaison to the PMIEF (Project Management Institute Education Foundation), which addresses the project management needs of nonprofit organization, educational organizations, and NGO’s.

Barbara supports project management skills as core competencies for life, education, career, and personal projects. People with project management capabilities are competitively positioned to succeed.

About the book:

There are a number of structured approaches that guide the successful completion of projects in business environments. This book translates these processes and techniques such that non-project managers can easily use these proven approaches in a nonbusiness context for their own projects. It removes technical jargon, the need for computer software and hardware, and complicated organizational environments, describing the essential project management processes in a simple, straightforward manner.

As you progress through the book, you connect the dots necessary to complete your personal projects. A sample project in the text and a case study in the appendices further illustrate the concepts explained in the text. The author challenges you to select a project and, working along with the book, be the project manager and develop a project plan. By working with customers and funders of the project, defining the project, identifying how long it will take, and determining its cost, you will develop the expertise to define project goals and create a plan to reach them.

Our 2016 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 ProjectManagement.com, 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 Management.com books page

For additional questions, please visit the ProjectManagement.com Book Club FAQ page.

Posted by Carrie Dunn on: November 17, 2016 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
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