The Elephant in the Room

In the World of Project Management, any discussion about PM Societies must consider what we call The Other Organization. That’s the elephant in the room. Many IPMA-USA members are also members of the other organization. In fact, a handful of our members can take credit for helping make it the success it is today.

Why Do We Need IPMA?

If it is a great, successful organization, why does the USA need IPMA? We are often asked that when we staff booths at major Conferences. There are several answers. First, any discipline that is dominated by just one strong provider is a discipline that is in decline. Part of the reason we started IPMA-USA was to increase the rate of advancements in Project Management that slowed during the 1990’s.

Second, we saw the need for Advanced PM certifications, that actually assess and certify Project and Program competences. This initiative has taken our volunteers three years to deliver. The good news: by the end of 2009, our suite of Advanced, Performance-Competence-based certifications will be complete. Certifications for Project Manager, Senior Project Manager and Program Manager will be available. There are more reasons why the USA needs IPMA. But they will be the subject for some later posting.

IPMA’s initiatives are positioned in our areas of greatest opportunity, while being always-aware of the “elephant in the room.” If we are truly to be Change Agents, we must not just seek the “low apples”. Instead, we will pursue the tough challenges, that clearly make a difference, both for individuals and their organizations.

Our Initiatives

Many of our initiatives will be continuations of our long-serving, previous President, Lew Ireland. Those, together with several new ones, include:

  • Continuing to develop PM as a practice that enhances all other professions. This is in keeping with our philosophy that PM is not a profession, but a set of practices that can benefit all professions.
  • Expanding the reach of competent PM practice beyond its current boundaries. We intend to include the 98% of the USA that does not yet benefit from better PM practice. This includes potential stakeholders and beneficiaries ranging from elementary education students through Enterprise Executives.
  • Increase the competence, effectiveness and performance of those exposed to PM, but do not consistently practice it well.
  • Engage Government and Industry and their range of stakeholders in enlightened practices. This, together with formal assessment and certification of those organizations that demonstrate PM Performance.
  • Assist individuals in their career progression, in both PM-related, and PM-affected disciplines. Our tools include Competence Assessment and Competence Development Planning.
  • Help willing industry providers transition to Competence Development and PM Performance Improvement.

All while collaborating and cooperating with the elephant in the room.