Project Management Institute

In Memoriam

James J. O'Brien

James O'Brien, PMI Fellow

We are saddened to share the passing of one of our PMI Fellows, James "Jim" O'Brien.

Jim served in many roles with PMI from the early days of the organization, including serving as PMI's National Secretary in 1971, Vice President in 1972, President in 1973 and Chairman from 1974 to 1975. In addition to being a member of PMI's first certification group, Jim shared his knowledge and insights as a regular attendee of PMI Seminars and Symposia.

Among his many honors, Jim received PMI's Distinguished Contribution Award in 1983 and won the Project Team of the Year Award in 1988 from the PMI Delaware Valley Chapter for his work as project executive on the Camden County Municipal Utility Authority Regional Waste Pollution Treatment Systems in New Jersey, USA.

Jim was a well-respected innovator in the construction and engineering industry. He founded the nationally renowned construction consulting firm, O'Brien-Kreitzberg & Associates, Inc. and wrote 12 textbooks on various construction management topics, including the first Critical Path Method (CPM) textbook in 1965, which went on to become a best-seller and is still a well-respected title for academic study now in its eighth edition.

Jim used CPM as the basis for a Management Information System (MIS) he built, which supported the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as they constructed ground facilities for the Saturn rocket program at Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. Jim’s system was so useful in speeding project delivery at the Cape Canaveral project that NASA used it as inspiration to create a similar system for all aspects of the Apollo space travel program.

In addition to being a PMI Fellow, Jim was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, and was a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Construction Management Association of America.

He is survived by his three loving children, his three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.