The Critical Path

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Welcome to The Critical Path--the home for community happenings and events on! 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

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Community Update: News You Can Use

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We hope that 2017 has greeted you with a renewed sense of enthusiasm that will set you up for success in the months to come. To get you started, we've got some updates and new content to share with you!

Updated User Guidelines! We have updated our community user guidelines. These guidelines were created to help ensure that your interactions within the community are as rewarding as possible. You can find the guidelines here and at the bottom of every page. Please make sure you read them thoroughly and reach out if you have any questions. 

New podcast! Did you know that we had podcasts available for you to listen at your convenience? Now you do! Listen in to our newest podcast addition, PM Debate with Philip Diab! Listen to Philip and Mary Elizabeth Diab debate topics that affect the profession and share your point of view in the comments! This is just in time content that you can take advantage of on your way to work or while taking a quick break from your daily tasks. You can find Philip's podcast, and others, by visiting the Podcasts page here in the community.

PMI Scheduling Conference 2017! Registration for the PMI Scheduling Conference 2017 is open! Join us on 29 March 2017 from 9am-5pm ET to hear leading experts explain what your CEO wants you to know about project scheduling, how to build a scheduling center of excellence into your PMO, and so much more! This is a FREE event for PMI members only and you can earn up to 6 PDUs for this event! You can find more information (and REGISTER) by visiting the Events page.

Don't forget you can gain influence within the community by contributing content, networking with one another, and lending your expertise by answering questions in the discussion forums.

We're thrilled that you chose to join us for another year that is sure to be filled with exciting new challenges and stories of success. Here's to a fantastic 2017!

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: January 12, 2017 03:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Celebrating Giving Back with the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) is proud to be working hand-in-hand with the PMI Educational Foundation to celebrate #GivingTuesday and making a difference in your community!

The mission of the PMIEF, a charitable nonprofit organization, is to inspire and empower people to realize their potential and transform their lives and their communities through the use of project management knowledge. Their vision is that all people worldwide have a better tomorrow by applying project management skills in their daily lives.

Learn more about the PMIEF and how they are empowering people to become leaders and effective problem-solvers in order to help them reach their full potential and change the future.

In support of #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration,PMIEF volunteers from the Board of Directors and Community Engagement Committee have contributed #unselfies, unselfish selfies, explaining why they give back through PMIEF. To learn more and participate with us, visit


Posted by Kristin Jones on: November 28, 2016 11:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

Tips and Tricks for Giving Back: Navigating the PMIEF Learning Resources Library

Volunteers have used project management knowledge and skills for social good in a variety of settings, ranging from spending a few hours training nonprofit or civic group members on the basics of project management, to creating intensive project management training programs for youth lasting for a semester of more. Many people are interested in using their project management skills to give back to their communities, but it can be extremely overwhelming to know where to start. 

How do I get started?

One tip given by experienced volunteers is to start by connecting with PMIEF and taking advantage of the resources in the Learning Resources Library. PMIEF staff can help make connections with others who have started similar programs to provide support and lessons learned, and PMIEF resources provide tested content.

The Learning Resources Library includes 31 no-cost resources directed at a variety of target audiences with varying depths of information, many of which have been translated into a number of different languages. This allows volunteers to focus on making connections with partners and working through the logistics that allow programs to succeed. Read on to learn how others have leveraged PMIEF resources to provide project management programming for social good in their communities.

How do I develop a program and choose an organization?

Experienced volunteers recommend starting small when trying to develop programming. One of the hardest parts of starting a program using project management for social good can be finding an organization to work with. Many people who are interested in developing programs find that the best place to start is with an organization that they already have a connection to, and many larger programs develop from shorter sessions of only an hour or two that helped to raise awareness and interest in further training.

Tools for developing a short program:

Individuals who are interested in this kind of short programming might follow the examples of Øyvind Johnsen or members of the PMI Heartland Chapter.

  • Øyvind Johnsen, a PMIEF Chapter Liaison from Norway, who had the opportunity to present on project management to a local civic organization, turned to The Tower Game™ as a way to make his presentation engaging and interactive. This resource, which is available in eighteen languages, provides a fun and interactive introduction to project management by challenging participants to a tower building competition, which is scored on factors critical to project management. Many volunteers have found that this activity provides an engaging way to raise people's awareness of project management and make them interested in learning more, and Øyvind found that participants were enthusiastic about the success of his talk.
  • Volunteers from the PMI Heartland Chapter have found success using Careers in Project Management™, available in four languages, in career day presentations. This resource is designed to help raise student awareness of project management as a viable career path by providing information such as an overview of the profession, how a student would prepare for a career in the field, and wage information for the field of project management. For individuals interested in partnering with schools, career days can be a great way to begin engaging with students. Many individuals have also had success combining The Tower Game and Careers in Project Management to provide a fun, interactive, and informative introduction to the idea of project management as a career, both at career days and in other settings.

How can I develop an education program for youth in my community?

Volunteers who are interested in providing project management education and training beyond the awareness provided by The Tower Game and Careers in Project Management have turned to Project Management Skills for Life®, available in eight languages. Volunteers have found that Skills for Life, which generally takes about 4-6 hours to complete, is extremely flexible and can easily be matched with any number of projects to create a customized experience. 

  • Talibah Adenouga, a classroom teacher and PMIEF Chapter Liaison from Dallas has used Skills for Life in the classroom. She uses the resource as a basis for providing project management training to her high school Business and Technology students, then combines this learning with a project in which students plan and implement a craft day for patients at a local children's hospital. This approach provides students with foundational knowledge in project management, hands on experience in managing a project, and an opportunity to give back to their community.
  • Volunteers from the PMI Honduras Chapter have used a similar program structure. In their workshops, youth go through the Skills for Life training, then complete a project to benefit their community, requiring no travel and no cost. Projects have included a community clean up, tutoring, and planting a garden with local plants. 

How can I develop project management training/education for adults?

While Skills for Life has been used as a part of many youth programs, volunteers have found it to be equally appropriate for work with adults, and a number of volunteers have used Project Management Skills for Life® as the basis for presentations and trainings for staff at nonprofit/NGO organizations.

  • In Georgia, PMI member Frederick Griffin worked with Megiddo Dream Station, a nonprofit organization working with unemployed individuals, to provide project management training as a part of the organization's multi-dimensional training program. In Argentina, volunteers from the PMI Buenos Aires Chapter used Skills for Life as a part of their program to provide project management skills and training to their local Emmanuel Foundation, with an ultimate goal of supporting the organization in establishing a new community center. 

In-depth project management youth education

Many volunteers who are interested in providing in depth project management education to youth have turned to Projects from the Future™ and the Project Management Toolkit for Teachers™.

  • In Italy, volunteers from the PMI Northern Italy Chapter used Projects from the Future™ to support a group of fourth grade students at a local primary school. Projects from the Future™ is designed for teaching project management as a life skill to primary school youth as young as six and uses simplified vocabulary and structured activities to help younger children learn to start thinking like project managers. It uses a partnership between a classroom teacher and a mentor in the field of project management, and includes guides for both the teacher and the mentor, in addition to the program materials. In Italy, the volunteers used this model to work with fourth grade students and their teachers on a project in which the students were able to create games that could safely be played indoors during break times. 
  • In Napa CA teachers used the Project Management Toolkit for Teachers™ to support their students in projects such as investigating a crime scene, developing board games, and more. Many teachers are eager to have project managers help them embed project management into existing classroom projects. The Toolkit is designed for use by classroom teachers, but volunteers have found that its frameworks can be applicable in other circumstances as well. In Brazil, the PMI Amazonas Chapter used this resource to train representatives from Junior Achievement Amazonas on project management and the benefits of teaching these skills to children. 

Ready to get started?

If you're ready to get started volunteering to leverage project management skills and knowledge for social good, one of the best places to start is in the Learning Resources Library at, where you can download all of the PMIEF Learning Resources at no cost. The full library includes case studies on how other organizations have implemented social good programming, short presentations targeted at a variety of audiences, curricula for use by secondary school teachers, and more.

Posted by Kristin Jones on: November 28, 2016 11:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Making a Difference - Giving Back to Your Community Through Project Management

Welcome to our open house! All day long, in celebration of #GivingTuesday, along with the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF), we're celebrating using project management to make a difference.

We're thrilled to open up our community today to all project professionals around the world to talk about making a difference through the use of project management. We have two LIVE webinars along with articles, blogs, and discussions focused on how people just like you are utilizing their project management skills to make a difference in their communities. Here's a full listing of today's content!

Content Type Title
Download November 2016 Open House Content Guide
Article Never Too Young for Project Management
Article My Venture into Pro Bono Project Management
Article Shadow Time - A Volunteer Success Story
Article PMI Belgium Chapter Helps the Unemployed
Article Why Bother? The Importance of Bringing Project Management from the Boardroom to the Classroom
Webinar 11AM ET Chapters Impacting Communities: Project Managers Make a Big Difference for Social Good
Webinar 1PM ET Caterpillar Inc - Building Better Communities with Pro Bono Project Management 
Blog Tips and Tricks for Giving Back: Navigating the PMIEF Learning Resources Library
Blog Celebrating Giving Back with the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF)
Discussion How did you get started giving back in your community?
Discussion Success stories! How have you given back using project management?

We hope that you become inspired to give back to your community and make a difference no matter how big or how small. In the spirit of celebration and togetherness today's content is open to anyone and everyone so invite your friends and colleagues to join in on the fun!

Guess what?! We're handing out badges today to everyone who participates in our event! Download the content guide to validate your participation and earn the badge below.

Thank you for celebrating with us and the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation! Enjoy!

Posted by Kristin Jones on: November 28, 2016 11:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)

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)

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