Report: 3rd Annual UT Dallas PM Symposium

IPMA was well-represented at the 3rd Annual UT Dallas PM Symposium, August 13-14. The theme was Managing in a Changing World. Organizers and sponsors are UT Dallas, the Dallas Chapter of PMI®, and PM World Journal. This was the most interesting US conference I have participated in this year. I presented twice, and IPMA Secretary General Veikko Välilä also presented twice. One of our presentations was in a PM Career Management track, and the other was with Veikko in a Panel discussion about The Future of PM.

In the PM Career Management track, our paper, Essential Insights in Meeting the Rising Demand for PM Performance, was embraced by the audience. They resonated with the theme of moving beyond PM knowledge, to actions needed to increase skills, improve behavioral attributes, and align with enterprise strategy. The intended result, increased PM competence and ultimately, measurably improved PM Performance. A now-familiar theme to most of our members and friends, this was new perspective for many in this audience, and as a credit to their experience, they were excited by the prospects.

UT Dallas PM Symposium Panel

A unique Panel, The Future of PM, was expertly chaired by David Pells of PM World Journal. The panel included Veikko Välilä, Goff, and José Carlos Machicao Valencia, who traveled from Peru, and also presented in a separate stream. A highlight of the panel was the open questions from the audience, after each panelist’s opening statement. The questions and dialogue could have gone on for hours. The perspective of the future of PM from this panel was both globally diverse and fascinating. We represented Europe, North America and South America, with Veikko also representing the viewpoint of Africa and Asia through his global experience.

The eager and engaged audience greeted with applause the key points by each participant. We especially appreciated the insights of José, who made great counterpoints. For example, “developing countries need not make the same PM mistakes developed countries made, as they are quick to observe and learn.” This reminds us of the visions of Seymour Papert from the 1970’s, about the emerging wise societies’ ability to leapfrog those who have gone before.

Our own Future Vision for the panel was based on our chapter in a book published by PMI in time for the 2009 Orlando Congress: PM Circa 2025. Approximately forty authors, including panel moderator David Pells, contributed to chapters for the book. Our chapter, Visions of the 2025 PM Software Industry, deals with the innovations to come over the next 16+ years. We made predictions and their implications for practitioners, vendors, organizations, and the practice of Project Management.

To Summarize

As we mentioned in a post-Symposium thank you to UT Dallas PM Symposium hosts Jim Joiner and Debbie Samac, I seldom see participants this engaged. They operated at a higher level of grasp and tenacity than those in most events we encounter. Our takeaway: One reason for this could be that many of the participants are graduates of the (UTD) program. This should be something for IPMA to take note of. This is truly the type of Advancement of Project Management that IPMA is working to institutionalize.

About UTD

The Project Management program at UT Dallas provides application-oriented education. It targets professionals or practitioners who have significant project, program or general management responsibilities. Established in the Executive Education Center in the UT Dallas’ School of Management, students have a selection of learning options. They can select from three levels of project management learning. Those include: a PM Certificate; a Master of Science degree with PM emphasis; or a PM-related Master of Business Administration.

The UT Dallas PM program has a world-class faculty with a blend of industrial project management, consulting and teaching experience. The program offers delivery both on campus and online, and attracts students from across the USA and worldwide.

About PM World Journal

PM World Journal, the third partner in this conference, operates, the world’s oldest website devoted to professional project management. Managed by David Pells, it is one of the world’s most popular sources of project management news and information. PM World Journal’s monthly online magazine features articles, case studies, and papers by leading PM authorities from around the world. Free subscriptions are available at


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