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

Past Contributers:

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

Recent Posts

November Community News You Can Use

A Story of Monks, Trees, and New Horizons for the Evolution of the PMBOK® Guide

Navigating Complexity in Project Management

Register for our next “Discover PMI - Ask Us Anything! Webinar

The Communication Net: Navigating Project Teams with an Active Listening Approach

Change is a Given. How we Respond is the Issue.

Categories: content, PMI, standards

Nick Clemens, PMBOK® Guide–Seventh Edition Development Team member

As a project manager I find myself immersed in uncertainties and change. People roll on and off my program teams, my management chain changes frequently, and my customer base is in flux. I am a contractor for a larger US Federal Department and even within the US Federal bureaucracy change comes quick and often. I think for large bureaucracies the problem is not change, it’s here and must be dealt with. The problem is adaption and response

The same is true for projects. Project leaders must adapt and overcome. Our response as project leaders must insure the on-time delivery of our products and services within project constraints. This is how we deliver benefits that create value for our customers and companies alike. And for those who like to deliver incrementally, I’m also talking to you. Implicit in the idea of a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is the delivery of a benefit that creates inherent value for both the user and the supplying enterprise. 

So how do we keep track of where we are going with everything changing around us? To paraphrase the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, If you don't know where you're going, any road can take you there. The answer is to go back to basics. Basic project management principles provide us with a framework to guide us when our projects are troubled. The PMBOK® Guide–Seventh Edition development team is taking just that approach in updating The Standard for Project Management. We are looking at a better way to guide project leaders using a principles-based approach that will allow flexible responses to an environment fraught with change and uncertainty.

So, what’s a project management principle that could help us to navigate our complex environments and keep track of where we are going? It has to do with “systems thinking” and is related to a management principle from the risk area, “work to balance threats and opportunities.” The principle I am thinking of is around the idea of Think Holistically. 

Holistic thinking tells us to get out of the weeds, to see the forest for the trees. In other words, as a project leader have a vision for your project. That vision should include your project’s purpose, value to be delivered, impact to the business environment, and its effect on the people involved. Holistic thinking also includes understanding the trade-off space to ensure the team delivers outputs that will drive outcomes. It allows self-organization of work but keeps the pieces integrated. Holistic thinking challenges assumptions and mental models to broaden the possible solution space.

Whether managing a group of work packages to a project plan or integrating a couple of scrum teams to deliver a MVP according to a release plan, the challenge to the project leader is the same—keeping on track to meet our customer’s vision and expectations and delivering outcomes, even if the precise end goal is not fully defined at present. I didn’t say it would be easy. In most cases the days of the practically perfect project plans went out with the departure of Mary Poppins, not in the most recent Disney sequel, but in the original 1964 movie! To say the least, a principles-based approach to project management has been a long time coming. 

So, think holistically to keep the focus of your project 100% aligned with your customer’s vision and expectations. Remember as the project leader your job is to deliver and create value for your customers and company. Everything else is in the weeds. The key is to recognize, evaluate, and respond to the dynamic circumstances within and surrounding the project delivery systems as the systems interact and react with each other.

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: October 08, 2019 11:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)

September Community News You Can Use

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at PMI! Global Conference is just around the corner, and with this year’s exciting 50th anniversary celebrations, we are certainly counting down the days! If you will be in Philadelphia for the conference, please stop by the ProjectManagement.com Community booth and say hello. We would love to meet you!

In this month’s look at what’s currently happening around the community, we’ll let you know how to keep up with all of the excitement at Global Conference – from near and far – as well as the other great community activities occurring in the final months of 2019!

Register for PMI® Business Analysis Virtual Conference 2019: Registration is open for the PMI® Business Analysis Virtual Conference 2019 which will be held on Wednesday, November 13th. This virtual event will explore the latest trends in business analysis and provide you with the insights, resources, and tools to advance your career and enhance project success. Register today! This year, we welcome:

  • Bob Prentiss – Battle for the Planet of the Business Analysts: 5 Key Strategies to Prepare for Your Future
  • Anton Oosthuizen – Managing Requirement Risks: A Different Perspective

  • Joy Beatty – Curiosity Never Killed the Business Analyst

  • Frank Saladis – Managing Difficult Stakeholders

  • Barbee Davis – What Should I be doing as a BA in an Agile/Waterfall Hybrid World?

  • Joyce Onore – Importance of Communication in a Business Analysis Role

PMI® Organizational Agility Conference Available On-Demand: If you were unable to attend the recent PMI® Organizational Agility Conference on Evolving Approaches to Resilient Value Delivery, you can view all of the sessions on-demand here.

Ask the Expert at PMI® Global Conference: Ask the Expert is back by popular demand at PMI® Global Conference 2019! These one-on-one sessions allow you to discuss your project question or problem, get advice about navigating the project management career path, or talk through issues currently facing the profession from a trusted and established ProjectManagement.com expert. If you are attending Global Conference, sign-up for a session here.

For those who will not be in Philadelphia, you can follow our Experts at Conference through the PMI Global Insights blog where they will share their experiences and insights from the event.

Industry Discussion Threads: This year, PMI launched a new initiative focusing on four industry segments in the fields of IT, Finance, Government and Construction. As part of that focus, we have been highlighting some existing PM Network content on ProjectManagement.com in order to engage the community and learn more about specific industry needs. Check out the industry discussion threads in Project Management Central!

Discover PMI - Ask Us Anything! Series: Learn more about PMI’s Job Board by viewing the latest session on-demand - Powering Your Career with PMI: Explore the PMI Job Board to Power You Career - featuring Ansley Stauffer.

Project Health Framework: Join fellow community member, Uri Galimidi, as he discusses A Billion Dollar Project Health Framework in his eight part webinar series. You can now access Part 1 through Part 5 on-demand! Check the Live Webinars calendar for the remaining sessions.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to a member of the Community Engagement team – we’re happy to help you. As always, stay tuned to the Critical Path for your community news!  

Posted by Laura Schofield on: September 25, 2019 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)

June Community News You Can Use

With the arrival of longer days and warm weather, we’re embracing the unofficial start of summer here at PMI headquarters! Summer means our next virtual event, PMI Talent & Technology Symposium, will soon be here, and it marks the launch of some new community programming initiatives. Here’s a look at what’s happening in your June Community News You can Use:

Last Chance to Register for PMI Talent & Technology Symposium 2019: Our second virtual event of the year will take place on June 12th. Join us for an exciting day of learning and networking, as we explore the impact of rapidly changing technologies on the project management profession across industries. View the event agenda, and register for PMI Talent & Technology Symposium 2019 today!

Discover PMI - Ask Us Anything! Series: The quarterly series featuring various PMI experts will launch on June 17th. In the first Q&A session, Karl Best, PMI Standards Specialist, joins us to discuss “What’s up with Standards? – What they’re for, and Your Opportunity to participate in developing them.” The webinar will be posted on-demand for your viewing convenience.

Attend a PMI event: Take the opportunity to network with your fellow community members in person! Registration is open for PMI® Global Conference 2019 (5-7 October) as well as PMO Symposium® 2019 (3-6 November).

PMI 50th Anniversary and Global Celebration of Service: In May, PMI announced that its initial target of 50,000 volunteer hours was reached, and the goal has been raised to 100,000 hours! Thank you to everyone in the community who has volunteered their skills and knowledge in support of the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals. There is still time to have an impact – join in the Global Celebration of Service, and share your volunteer stories with us!

How to Plot the Next Step in Your Career: Community member and project management expert, Emily Luijbregts, provides advice for devising your career plan in her latest article. How do you define and work toward your goals?

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to a member of the Community Engagement team – we’re happy to help you. We look forward to sharing more community programming news throughout the year!

Posted by Laura Schofield on: June 04, 2019 03:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

April Community News You Can Use!

Can you believe we’re already in Q2 for 2019? The flowers are blooming and the pollen count is on overdrive. This can only mean that summer is on the way! This is an exciting year for PMI….we have a new leader, Sunil Prashara, traveling the world introducing himself to various global chapters and listening to what members have on their minds. We’re celebrating our 50th Anniversary, and furthering the advancement of the project management profession by partnering with TED, the non-profit dedicated to ideas worth spreading. The Critical Path provides a sneak peek of wants happening and what’s yet to come as we continue our journey throughout 2019. Sit back, relax and enjoy all the exciting happenings in our community!

PMXPO 2019 Virtual Event Now On-Demand! Our keynote, Derreck Kayongo, inspired us to give back; perfect timing for our 50th anniversary global celebration of service! He set the tone, and the rest of our speakers carried out a day of learning and loving life. If you were not able to join us live, you can catch our sessions on-demand here.  Putting on an event of this size is a huge effort, so on behalf of the event team, we want to thank you all for making this happen! If you’re thirsting for more, our second virtual event is right around the corner! The PMI Talent & Technology Symposium is back for the second year! This virtual event will explore the impact of rapidly changing technologies on the project management profession across industries. Join us on 12 June 2019 for another day filled with great speakers and intriguing topics!

PMI and TED Partner to Spread the Word of Project Management – To celebrate our 50th Anniversary and further advance the project management profession, PMI is partnering with TED, the non-profit dedicated to ideas worth spreading. Our two great brands will bring inspiring ideas and powerful voices to the world of project, program and portfolio management, empowering people to make ideas a reality. This partnership is an immersive and impactful experience that has the power to create change, to shift perspectives and connect cultures. Join us throughout the year to celebrate our 50th Anniversary as PMI and TED come together to create unique experiences for project professionals. We’re celebrating in a big way, so find out how you can get involved!

What If Your Project Ends Suddenly? How Do You Go About Searching For Your Next Project? – Chizzy Menkiti, MBA, PMP, CSM explains it all by applying PMBOK® guide principles to your next job search. Learn how these key details will guide you on the path to success!

How Much Time Do We Waste Thinking About, Avoiding, Or Worrying About Having a Hard Conversation and What Does That Do to Your Productivity? – Our community “communication” guru, Dana Bernstein, lays it all out in Part 1 of her webinar, Mastering the Art of Having Difficult Conversations – Part 1. Oh, and don’t miss Part 2, scheduled on 30 April 2019!

Are You Still On the Fence about Submitting A Proposal to PMI® PMO Symposium® 2019? – Well, the clock is ticking…….as the deadline to submit proposals is 3 May 2019! Showcase your thought leadership at the top-tier event for PMO leaders by joining fellow colleagues 3-6 November 2019 in Denver, CO! Click here for more details!

That's all for now! 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 always here to help! Have a great month, fellow Community Friends!

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: April 11, 2019 05:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (12)

Changes to Webinar Room Capacity for Live Webinars

Categories: community, content, webinar

We have recently discovered technical issues with our webinar platform that require that we temporarily reduce the room size for live webinars to allow us to address these concerns without interruption to the webinar program on ProjectManagement.com. Effective immediately, webinar attendance for live webinars will temporarily be limited to the first 1,000 attendees. After the attendance limit has been reached, members will not be able to login to the live webinar and must watch on-demand once the recorded webinar is available.

Please be assured that attendees who are not able to join the live webinar will be able to view the session on-demand as you always have. This change will not affect on-demand viewing or PDU reporting for these webinars.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this issue. We will update the community as soon as we have more information to share.

Thank you,

Marjorie

 

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: December 19, 2018 04:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)
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