Dinner Speech at PMAF Congress, Helsinki, part 1

PM Commentary by Stacy Goff.

In November, we traveled to Helsinki, Finland, to represent IPMA, International Project Management Association, to “wave our flag,” at the PMAF (Project Management Association Finland) national congress. Leveraging our presence, hosts Heikki Lonka, President, Jouko Vaskimo, Certification Chair, and Jyry Louhisto, General Manager, signed us up for meetings with their organizational and certification leadership teams, added two presentations, two panel sessions, and the most challenging one, a dinner meeting presentation that was to address six areas of interest to PMAF members.

Most dinner meeting participants are usually more interested in visiting with friends they have not seen for months or longer, rather than listening to some dignitary from afar, droning on about topics of little interest. But Jyry 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
The topics to address were:

  1. IPMA’s basic principles
  2. The role of IPMA in support of member associations such as PMAF
  3. Highlights of IPMA’s services and products
  4. The importance of international networks to PMAF and its members
  5. PMAF’s role in the IPMA Family network
  6. What IPMA would like to be in the future

An interesting list of topics, and when asked how much time to take, Jyry 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 Project Management Association of Finland, most of the comments are accurate and useful for our other Member Associations in the IPMA Family—including IPMA-USA, IPMA-USA.

So you now have the benefit of a second helping 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, with over 55 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.

We are PM practitioner driven, and volunteer staffed. Almost all of our leadership team, boards and working groups are practitioners in the disciplines of project management. Same with most of our Member Associations. So, we are able not just to support our market, we lead it.

We are performance-competence oriented. We are not limited to bodies of knowledge, with possible application; instead, all our programmes reflect the need to embrace knowledge, and extend it, to demonstrated skills, behaviors and attitudes, and competence in the workplace.

With these principles, our mission is to help our profession to improve the business results of our project teams, 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, providing a richer environment for leadership in PM research.

We coordinate the development of Standards that improve PM practice, while coordinating our contributions to global standards, such as the new Project Management standard, ISO 21500.

We help boost the global identity and impact of our member associations and your members. For example, our advanced PM certifications from Finland are recognized in all member nations.

To Be Continued
We understand that our posts occasionally contain too much information. This post has reached our target length of our blog posts; if you are interested in reading on, watch for and read part 2 of this post.

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