PM Commentary by Stacy Goff.
In November, we traveled to Helsinki, Finland, to represent IPMA, International Project Management Association, to “wave our flag.” The occasion: the PMAF (Project Management Association Finland) national congress. Hosts Heikki Lonka, President, and Jouko Vaskimo, Certification Chair, leveraged our visit. They signed us up for meetings with their organizational and certification leadership teams, added two presentations, and two panel sessions. The most challenging addition: a dinner meeting presentation to address six areas of special interest to PMAF members.
Most dinner meeting participants are usually more interested in visiting with friends they have not seen for months or longer. They tend not to want to listen to some dignitary from afar, droning on about topics of little interest. But Heikki was adamant that it was important to “wave the IPMA flag,” so we accommodated him. PMAF expected around 250 people for this dinner meeting, and there was to be no projector, and no Powerpoint slides. Naked-mic speaking, as it were!
The topics to address were:
- IPMA’s basic principles
- The role of IPMA in support of member associations such as PMAF
- Highlights of IPMA’s services and products
- The importance of international networks to PMAF and its members
- PMAF’s role in the IPMA Family network
- What IPMA would like to be in the future
An interesting list of topics, and when asked how much time to take, Heikki said, 15 minutes. A lot of ground to cover in a short time! To prepare, we used IPMA-USA co-founder Lew Ireland’s technique of posting the key thoughts on a series of note cards. Reviewing the notes afterwards, we realized that, while targeted for PMAF, most of the comments are universal. They are appropriate and useful for all our other Member Associations in the IPMA Family.
So you now have the benefit of the starter course for the November 2012 PMAF dinner presentation (an excellent meal, by the way).
1. IPMA’s basic principles
IPMA is an unusual organization. Rather than being a top-down international monolith, we are an umbrella organization. This innovative approach includes over 55 (as of 2012) of the world’s strongest national project management associations. As such, we are Member-Association led. Uniquely, IPMA’s Executive Board reports to our council of member nations. We are a true member-driven association.
PM practitioner driven, and volunteer staffed; this too, is unique for professional associations. Most all of our leadership team, boards and working groups are practitioners in the disciplines of project management. Same with the leaders of most of our Member Associations. So, we are able not just to support our market, we lead it.
Our focus in certification is performance-competence. We move beyond bodies of knowledge, with a focus on application. Our programs reflect the need to embrace knowledge, and extend it. How far? To demonstrated skills, behaviors and attitudes, and competence in the workplace.
Our mission is to help our profession to improve the business results of our project teams, our organizations, nations, and society.
2. The role of IPMA in support of member associations such as PMAF
As an umbrella organization, IPMA drives the exchange of experiences from autonomous professional associations around the world. This improves each member association’s ability to serve locally, while collaborating globally.
We share innovations, adaptations, and ideas, as well as less-successful attempts to move the profession forward. As well, we provide a richer environment for leadership in PM research.
IPMA also coordinates the development of Standards that improve PM practice. For example, we coordinate our contributions to global standards, such as the new Project Management standard, ISO 21500.
Finally, IPMA helps boost the global identity and impact of our member associations and your members. For example, all member nations recognize the IPMA suite of our advanced PM certifications.
We understand that our posts occasionally contain too much information. This post reached our target length for our blog posts; if you are interested in reading on, see part 2 of this post.