Project Management

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
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

Hybrid PM and Other News You Can Use

Categories: community news, events, news

Hello Project Superheroes!

This month we have brought you some pretty great information on hybrid project management. In case you missed it, here's what we've talked about so far:

Kevin Coleman shared his experience working on a hybrid project and gave some recommendations on how to move forward and prepare yourself should you ever find yourself assigned to one. Kevin states that "given the number of emerging technologies and the magnitude of their markets, now estimated at topping $19 trillion by 2020, hybrid projects are not just a possibility, they are a high probability." Read more regarding The Best of Both Worlds from his 2 May post.

Not sure what Hybrid PM really is? Andy Jordan sheds some light on the topic. In his most recent post, Andy shares some information that might help to cut away at some of the confusion and provide a bit more clarity. Hopefully the next time you hear the term 'hybrid PM," you'll have a better understanding if you didn't already. Read more about it here.

Since we're on the topic...

If you are, in some way, responsible for the operation of a PMO in your organization and you need help, the wait is over. Mark Price Perry, Andy Jordan, and Jesse Fewell are here to help! We're offering 6 more face-to-face sessions this year to help you build the hybrid PMO. You'll be given the opportunity to spend 2 days gaining valuable insight and talking to other professionals -- and our facilitators -- to find solutions to challenges you may be facing within your PMO. Our first workshop is in Chicago, followed by Seattle and Boston. Full workshop information and registration is listed here. Space is limited so sign up soon!

From the Project Management Central Discussion Board

One of our members needs your help! She wants to know if you can provide some examples of program management methodologies. If you can share some insight, hop into the discussion thread and give your feedback.

As always, we're here to help. if you have questions, want to submit content, or need help connecting with someone who might be able to help you with a question, let us know!

 

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: May 17, 2016 08:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April Book Club

Categories: community news

We are excited to announce the ProjectManagement.com April 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. **Premium and 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 and ProjectManagement.com premium 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 April is What to Do When You're New: How to Be Comfortable, Confident, and Successful in New Situations by Keith Rollag.  Keith Rollag is Associate Professor and Chair of the Management Division at Babson College.  His new book “What to Do When You’re New:  How to Be Comfortable, Confident and Successful in New Situations” (published by AMACOM) was named by Success Magazine as one of the “10 Best Books of 2015.”  His research and insights have been featured in the New York Times, National Public Radio, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., Success Magazine, Cosmopolitan, New England Journal of Medicine and many other outlets. 

About the book

What to Do When You’re New combines the author’s research with that of leading scientists to explain why we are so uneasy in new situations—and how we can learn to become more confident and successful newcomers. With practice, anyone can get better at being new. This original book opens your eyes to the necessary skills and teaches you how to:

• Overcome fears

• Make great first impressions

• Talk to strangers with ease

• Get up to speed quickly

• Connect with people wherever you go

Blending stories and insights with simple techniques and exercises, this one-of-a-kind guide will get you out of your comfort zone and trying new things in no time.

Our April 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 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.

We are very excited about offering the book club program to our community!

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: May 02, 2016 09:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Career Development - How Have You Helped Someone Else?

Categories: community news, content

 

The theme of this month's content has been focused on career development. We've seen a lot of great information from contributors that has addressed ongoing skills development, reinventing yourself as a practitioner, and even content challenging you to think about why you chose the profession.

As you go through your professional journey, remember who helped you along the way and then ask yourself if you've paid it forward. Have you had the opportunity to mentor or guide someone as they go through their professional journey? If not, what has held you back - opportunity or apprehension? No matter where you are in your career, you will always have something valuable to lend to someone else's development. We don't always know what we don't know, but you should certainly be confident in what you DO know and don't be afraid to allow someone else the benefit of knowledge sharing. 

Additionally, make sure that you visit the Career Development practice area here within the community for additional resources to help you get the most out of your career journey.

What information or advice do you have for others who are seeking ways to develop their career in project management?

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: April 27, 2016 10:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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 (6)

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)
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