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
Dave Garrett
Carrie Dunn
Craig Dalrymple

Recent Posts

Our Upcoming Webinar Changes Will Make You Happy

Top 3 Reasons To Attend PMI EMEA Congress!

March Book Club

March Community News You Can Use

Deadlines for Nominations & Application for PMIEF Awards & Scholarships

March Community News You Can Use

Can you believe we're already nearing the end of the first week of March? Where has the time gone? Hopefully, the first quarter of 2017 has been productive and you've been able to do some really exciting work. And we hope the community has helped you get it done! 

To that respect, here are some updates (and upcoming events) you'll want to be aware of that can help take your work - and expertise - to the next level.

PMXPO 2017 - 10th Anniversary - That's right, it's the 10th anniversary of PMXPO and it's going to be amazing! This year's keynote is Alison Levine, First American women's Everest expedition Team Captain. You won't want to miss this annual virtual conference and exhibition, which gives you the opportunity to learn, network, earn 6 PDUs and gain valuable knowledge. The event is FREE and will take place on 27 April.  Sign up today and be a part of the excitement!

Your expertise is needed -  The Standard for Business Analysis and the PMI Guide to Business Analysis is now open for public review and comment! Lend your voice to the development of these standards. They will be open for review and comment until 28 March 2017. You can find more information here.

PMI Global Conference 2017: Call for Presentations -  Does anyone want to go to Chicago, IL USA? Better yet, if you have content that you believe will benefit other practitioners, we want to know! The call for presentations for PMI Global Conference 2017 is open! The deadline to submit your proposal is 23 March (that's only 2 weeks away), so get those submissions in today! 

When is Agile the right approach? - Most people know Agile is ideal for software development projects, since software functionality can be released in increments, but when else is Agile ideal? Eric Simms wants to know your thoughts! Join the discussion and give your opinion.

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!

P.S. Registration for the virtual PMI Scheduling Conference 2017 is still open! The event takes place on 30 March so if you're a PMI member and you're not registered, get to it!

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: March 09, 2017 08:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Deadlines for Nominations & Application for PMIEF Awards & Scholarships

Categories: awards, community

Hard work goes into effective project management and those who excel have the opportunity to be recognized with awards and training scholarships. Nominate a colleague (or yourself!) based on their professional achievement, development, dedication, and contributions to organizations. Deadlines are approaching for a variety of awards; don’t miss out on the opportunity to be considered!

Professional Development and Training Scholarships

Applications due 1 September

The PMIEF Professional Development and Training Scholarships assist project managers, non-profit staff, school administrators and teachers.  These scholarships support the recipients’ professional development to obtain or maintain project management-related certification, credentials, course credits or substantive knowledge.

Visit the PMIEF Professional Development Scholarship Information Page to learn more about these global scholarship opportunities to help support your professional development.

PMIEF Awards Program

The Project Management Institute Educational Foundation honors individuals who demonstrate dedication, original concepts and leadership in academic and professional development in project management.

The Community Advancement Through Project Management Award

Applications due 20 May

The Community Advancement Through Project Management award recognizes pro bono/skilled volunteer project management contributions that transfer project management skills to a nonprofit or nongovernmental organization (NGO) and thus increase their capacity to accomplish their mission. The award is separated into three different categories: Corporations/Government Agencies, Individual Project Managers and PMI Chapters. Those in each category completing projects since 01 January 2014 to 20 May 2017 are eligible. The PMI Chapter Category is sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The application deadline is 20 May 2017.

The Kerzner Award for Excellence in Project Management

Applications due 15 May

The Kerzner Award for Excellence in Project Management is sponsored by the International Institute for Learning, Inc. (IIL) to recognize a project manager who most emulates the professional dedication and excellence of Harold Kerzner, MS, MBA, PhD. In addition to public recognition of his or her professional dedication and excellence, the recipient of the Kerzner Award will receive IIL training. The total value of the training, US $2500 cash prize and trip to PMI © Global Conference 2017—North America is up to US$13,000. The application deadline is 15 May 2017.

To apply now or learn more about PMIEF Awards, please visit the PMIEF Awards Page for more information.

Posted by Craig Dalrymple on: March 02, 2017 03:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Call for Presentations at Global Conference to Open Thursday, 2 March.

Do you have experience and knowledge to share with project managers from all over the world? Here's your chance to share! The call for presentations for Global Conference will open tomorrow Thursday, 2 March and will close Thursday, 23 March.

Key areas of focus include, but are not limited to:

  • Communications
  • Teamwork
  • Decision making
  • Problem solving
  • Business strategy
  • Process improvement
  • Enhancing PM skills

Selected presentations will be featured at PMI Global Conference 2017, to be held in Chicago, Illinois, from 28 - 30 October 2017. 

Additional details and instructions can be found here. We look forward to hearing from you!

Can’t submit a proposal? You can still participate in the process – comment below with the top three topics you are most excited to hear about at

Posted by Craig Dalrymple on: March 01, 2017 04:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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)

February Community News You Can Use

It's February and love is in the air! We want to embrace all of the positive vibes floating around so we have some updates to help you remember what made you fall in love with project management!

#PMLoveStories 2017 - Do you love project management? Do you have a particular project that you loved working on? Do you love being a project manager? If so, we want to hear from you! Tell us your #PMLoveStory by submitting a video or contributing to the conversation here on ProjectManagement.com! For more details, check out this blog post that tells you all about how to share the project management love!

PMI Scheduling Conference 2017 - Speaking of your love of projects, we have a virtual conference that will show you how to make more of your schedules in a changing profession. Registration for the virtual PMI Scheduling Conference 2017 is open! The event takes place on 29 March 2017 from 9am-5pm ET and is exclusive (and FREE) to PMI members. Make sure you register today!

New Homepage! - We listened to your feedback and worked hard to redesign the ProjectManagement.com homepage around your needs. We've made it easier to find the most recent discussions, active members, and newest content posted to the site. Look around and tell us what you think!

Not feeling the love? - Conflict on your project can arise from many sources, but how do you deal with it? How do you manage those conflicts without derailing the project? Simon Lange is looking for your feedback in his most recent discussion post. Let him know how you would handle conflict!

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: February 10, 2017 08:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)
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