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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Marjorie Anderson
Kristin Jones
Danielle Ritter
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Craig Dalrymple

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Ask the Experts at PMI Global Congress 2016 - North America

Categories: community, congress

Would you like expert advice about a specific project management practice or program? Did you know you can meet with a subject matter expert one-on-one and gain the insights needed to solve your unique challenges as a part of your PMI Global Congress experience?

ProjectManagement.com will be connecting attendees with community experts to discuss project issues, career moves, brainstorm for ideas, and much more! Attendees will have the opportunity to schedule 15 minute sessions with our top community subject matter experts, to seek project management career advice.

Who can you speak with? A distinguished list of experienced experts from multiple fields including Dr. Deepa Bhide (PMP), Karen Chovan (PMP), Lawrence Cooper (PMP, PMI-ACP), Dr. Dan Furlong (PMP, PMI-ACP), Gary Hamilton (PMP, PgMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP), Sandra MacGillivray (PMP, PMI-RMP), Dave Maynard (PMP), Michael O'Brochta (PMP, PMI-ACP), Michelle Stronach (PMP), Sherri Thomas (PMP), Mario Trentim (PMP, PMI-RMP, PfMP), and Nadia Vincent. 

Are you going to Congress and want to lock up time with one of the experts? Sign up on the Congress website today and ensure you have time with an expert before arrival in San Diego! You can view the availability by date on the Congress website:

If you can't go, or your favorite expert is all booked up you can still gain access to their insights and experience on the PMI Congress Insights blog today!

Posted by Craig Dalrymple on: September 16, 2016 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Just Released: The PMI Organizational Agility Conference Agenda!

Categories: community events

The complete Organizational Agility Conference Agenda is now available for download on the event page. If you’ve signed up for this PMI Member-Only virtual event you can use agenda to get a timeline of all the events and presentations and plan out your day.

If you haven’t yet signed up, it’s not too late! You can register directly on the event page and earn PDUs while participating in these sessions. Don’t miss out on your chance to better understand why your agile transformation might fail, gain tips on how to accelerate your transformation, how people and connections are key to Agile 2.0, how to develop leaders into transformation agents, and more!

If you would like further information, each of the session abstracts are available below, as well as in the agenda on the event page.

Session Abstracts from the Org Agility Conference Agenda

Keynote Address — Why Your Agile Transformation Might Fail with Doug Rose.

Many agile transformations fail. It’s not because of lack of effort but because organizations underestimate the radical changes needed for a more agile mindset.

During this session, Doug Rose goes over three problem areas to watch for when starting your agile transformation.

  1. Does your organization has a solid understanding of the agile mindset? There needs to be a consensus on how your organization will operate after the changes.

  2. Does your organization has to have a frank assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your corporate culture? There are several different kinds of corporate cultures and you need to find out where your organization falls.

  3. Does your organization have a realistic change management plan for how to adapt your culture to embrace a more agile mindset? Some organizations will have a more difficult time accepting agile than others. If you understand your organizational culture and how to make the changes then you have a better chance for success.

Rapid Experimentation in Value Streams - Tips for Accelerating Your Transformation with Horia Slușanschi.

How do you transform your organization into a better version of itself?

This session will share the journey of transformation and highlight some effective techniques that helped accelerate the rate of learning and improvement across the enterprise. 

It will cover:

  • Benefits of identifying “Value Streams” and then structuring work around them.

  • Tips on ways to use the A3 thinking process to discover and guide the experiments most worthy to be run

  • A simple, easy-to-understand explanation of advanced (and highly beneficial from an economic standpoint) backlog ordering techniques involving calculations of “Cost of Delay” and CD3 (Cost of Delay divided by duration).

Plus, it's all organizational agility focused - it's not IT-centric.

Agile 2.0 – It’s About People and Connections! It’s Not About Scaling with Todd Kamens.

What does Bloat, the Puffer fish (played by Brad Garret) in the movie Finding Nemo, have to do with Agile? Find out in this session. 

  • How do we move beyond training on the methodology and focus on the behavior and people interactions?

  • How can we be more aware of ourselves, our surroundings and our situations to remember what’s important, leading us to deliver greatness?

  • Could the use of mindfulness help people be more focused on the present and thus devote more of their attention to their immediate situation?

Agile 2.0 moves past training on the methodology and focuses on the people and connections we make that will deliver an amazing product. 

A Transformation Path to the Strategic and Agile Project Portfolio Management Office. With Sara Nunez.

Changes in today’s market place, technology, digital business, new regulations and people expectations (just to name a few)— are all challenging the way we do business. They have created an accelerated environment where we need to be more strategic and agile in order to deliver with excellence.  PMO leaders need to bring “to the table” extensive knowledge and experience transforming their functions and aligning with the business during this critical time.  PMO is the critical function that enables excellence and agile execution to accelerate business results. 

During this session, learn the characteristics of the Agile and High Performing PMO and a transformation approach to support the business.

Servant Catalysts: Developing Your Leaders to be Transformation Agents. With Skip Angel.

Are your leaders actively involved and engaged in your transformation towards greater organizational agility?  The success or failure of your transformation could be determined on how you answer that question.

This session will focus on how to shift your leaders from having a passive “checkbook commitment” mindset to actively providing guidance and direction as part of the change efforts.  We will talk about how to get greater leadership engagement:

  • Why should your leaders be involved?  What could happen if they are not?

  • What do (executive) leaders really care about?  (hint: it’s not learning what Agile is)

  • What mindset is needed by leaders and how will that affect their behaviors and actions?

  • What are some known patterns (good and bad) that have been seen with Agile transformations and what do we do about them?

  • What’s the future of management in an organization that has transformed and matured in their capabilities towards greater agility?

Connect the Dots: Linking Strategy to Execution. With Dr. Gail Ferreira.

During this session, we will discuss the connection between strategy and execution to create portfolios for enterprise agile projects.

Enterprise portfolio management is a tool-supported process for selecting initiatives and managing project portfolios for generating the greatest value. Value is measured by finding what results each project will generate, with executives selecting projects that will produce optimal results.

For enterprise portfolio selection in agile projects, strategic tools can be used to help formulate vision and strategy, which in turn can generate strategic themes that move into a funnel for prioritization and selection.

We’ll cover:

  • Overview of Strategic Planning Tools (Hoshin X, Balanced Scorecard)

  • The role of strategic tools to help select strategic themes for enterprise projects

  • Linking strategy to execution.

  • Overview of Scaled Agile Framework (4.0) portfolio layer.

As you can see, you'll have access to fantastic speakers and many great sessions as a part of the Organizational Agility Conference. Head over to the event page to learn more and register!

Posted by Craig Dalrymple on: September 09, 2016 05:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Upcoming Changes to ProjectManagement.com!

Categories: community

Over the next few weeks you'll see a few changes on ProjectManagement.com. We are excited about the changes and would like to share a few things you can look forward to finding!

Website Navigation

We are making changes in the website navigation to make it easier for you to find what you are looking for. We’re also going to be refreshing the look and feel of the site. That way you can spend less time hunting for what you want and more time interacting with it!

Webinars

We are making multiple updates to the webinar page to enhance your experience. These include the addition of a “My Certifications” box that will show you your individual certifications and PDU requirements. You will also notice recommended webinars for you based on your individual certification needs!

Additionally, all accounts linked to PMI.org credentials will display webinar recommendations based on the PDUs you need to satisfy your Talent Triangle requirements. 

These changes should make it far easier to know exactly which webinars can help your development. 

Discussions 

Our current discussions show you lots of boards and that can make it hard to find what you're looking for. We will be streamlining this list to make it easier for everyone to get right into the discussions. Don't worry, we are keeping Project Management Central and incorporating some new, helpful boards to help the discussions stay current and fresh!

Keep an eye out over the next few days for the first of these changes. They will roll out individually, and we look forward to sharing them with you!

Posted by Craig Dalrymple on: August 18, 2016 04:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Is There a Best or Worst Day of the Week to Send Email?

Categories: community

From the PM perspective, is there a best or worst day of the week to send out project related emails? George Lewis asked the community this question regarding their communications management, risk management, and scheduling concerns and has received a plethora of quality responses.

The discussion has ranged to cover the context of the message, it’s relevance in the project communication plan, and the urgency of the audience’s need to receive the information. Nurlan Yelmuratov shared his views with the following insight:

“I personally think the best day to send a regular e-mail is the one that precedes the major scope of work for the week or after that (Monday, Friday).

The worse moment for it is in the middle of the intensive team work, which might distract the team.”

What are your views on this? Does the day of the week an email is sent impact the overall reception of the email for your projects? Is there a time you focus on for critical messages?

Join the discussion and share your thoughts and connect with experienced PM's in our community!

Posted by Craig Dalrymple on: July 08, 2016 01:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Increase Your Influence While Helping Your Peers!

Categories: community, content

Have you developed content that would help other Project Manager's thrive? With a community numbering in the hundreds of thousands, there are many PMI members who are eager to learn from you! ProjectManagement.com thrives on the participation of our membership, and we are always on the lookout for great new content to share.

What are we looking for? Everything from articles, white papers, blogs, webinars, and more. If you've ever wanted to share your thoughts, experiences, or expertise with other project managers, we want to hear from you!

Read our Submission Guidelines to better understand what we are looking for. Have an Idea but not sure where to start? Post your idea in the Project Management Central discussion board to get feedback, support, or potential collaborators! You can find all of the details, including submission forms on the How to Contribute Content to Project Management page.

A New Engagement Specialist

Have you ever wondered who the people running the behind-the-scenes action here in the community are? Our Community Engagement team members focus on keeping the community "always open." for members on ProjectManagement.com and beyond. As we head into summer we've added a new Engagement Specialist to the team - Craig Dalrymple.

Craig joined PMI at the end of the spring, after working with multiple startups and leaders in Silicon Valley and Detroit. He's been actively involved in online communities for 26 years and working professionally in the field for over a decade. Craig likes to invest himself deeply in the communities he supports, with the goal of facilitating a strong connection between online communities and the professional teams who serve them.

He's a father of three children, native resident of Michigan, and avid game player with friends and family. Craig is also a plant-based eater and dedicated vegan home-baker who enjoys surprising and delighting his friends and family with vegetable based comfort foods. You can get to know the rest of the team here.

Posted by Craig Dalrymple on: June 20, 2016 03:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
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