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Potholes on the Critical Path


Potholes on the Critical Path

Lessons Learned in 25 Project Management Years

Maine Chapter, Project Management Institute

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Registration/Networking 5:30 p.m.; Presentation 6:15-7:30 p.m.

Portland Country Club

Route 88, Falmouth, Maine


              “Can there be more than one critical path?” That question floored Jim Milliken, newly minted Project Management consultant, in 1986. It was among the first of many mysteries, minor and major, that Jim would encounter over the next quarter-century in this fascinating field.

              Jim will explore the learnings of those years in an interactive presentation to PMI Maine on Thursday, February 17. Jim has read countless books, listened to dozens of experts, wrestled with project realities at many worksites and consulted for hundreds of project managers.

              He has concluded that nothing he has seen, heard or read about Project Management is really wrong . . . and very little of it is completely right. In this program, Jim Milliken organizes the conventional myths and essential questions of Project Management into 10 lessons learned.

              For example: What makes good Project Managers good?  Why do most projects fail or fall short? Why is project communication so inadequate? What’s all this we hear about impossible workloads? Is motivation possible? Worth the effort? Necessary? What’s the most critical project success factor?

              Jim’s presentations are not intended to be provocative, but they do seem to incite disagreement on occasion. He specializes in poking into the unmentioned realities that underlie team behavior, stakeholder relationships and expectations of project leaders. Some favorite convictions and establishment orthodoxies don’t always come off well.

              Attendees are urged to bring their own experiences, questions and convictions, and be prepared to engage Jim and each other for the benefit of all.


Organizations need frequent tune-ups to maintain effective workflow amid change. Jim has long experience – plus creative tools -- to help executives analyze their organizations, then design and implement better ways.
Project Management is the 21st-century model for managing complex, risky innovations to on-time outcomes within budget. Jim Milliken offers workplace-tested designs in customized formats for onsite implementation and classroom training.
Communication is the lifeblood of human organization, in small partnerships and large corporations – and the pipeline to their markets. Jim provides practical approaches to all the oral and written forms.
Personal Productivity is fundamental, and it consists of skills that can be examined, practiced and perfected. Likewise Leadership and Supervision. Jim has common-sense training designs for dozens of these essentials.



There is no obligation, financial or otherwise, arising from a preliminary discussion of consultation or training solutions.

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