Dinner Speech at PMAF Congress, Helsinki, part 2

PM Commentary by Stacy Goff.

We suggest that you begin with Part 1 of this post, a summary of points made at the Dinner meeting of the PMAF (Project Management Association Finland) national congress.

3. Highlights of IPMA Services and Product
The IPMA Competence Baseline, ICB®, is the foundation for advanced application of the practice of project management. It is our profession’s key to moving beyond tested knowledge, to demonstrate competence and produce business results. And it uniquely focuses not just on technical aspects of project management, but the essential interpersonal skills and contextual savvy it takes to achieve project success.

That said, our 4-L-C, advanced Four-Level Certification system, assesses and recognizes the demonstrated competences at increasingly higher levels or roles, from Certified Project Manager, to Certified Senior Project Manager, Program Manager, Senior Program Manager and Projects Director (depending on the member association—not all certify all levels).

While recognizing individuals who produce results is smart, we don’t stop there. Successful project teams are the most valuable talent in any project oriented organization, and our Project Excellence Awards program recognizes the world’s most effective project teams. Participating in a rigorous evaluation, where independent, professional assessors evaluate both PM processes and business results, successful teams can benchmark their performance against other winners, and further improve their results.

At the overall organization level, IPMA Delta offers the unique opportunity to assess the strengths and areas for improvement of the entire organization. This helps Member Associations to grow stronger relationships with their corporate members, and attract new ones, as they see the value in smarter use of their performance improvement funds. And, IPMA Delta helps participating enterprises in their marketing, offering a unique certification of the enterprise’s level of project maturity.

These three services or products, targeting individuals, project teams, and entire organizations, all apply the same concepts and approaches; and they are just part of our services; we also offer an academic journal, the International Journal of Project Management, our Project Perspectives magazine (paper and online) a variety of opportunities in education and training, in research, and for young project managers, such as with our Young Crew program. You can learn more about these at the IPMA website, ipma.ch.

4. The Importance of International Networks to PMAF and its Members
This was an insightful point, we have thinned already-mentioned portions, and summarize the list:

  • Global perspective and reach
  • Global contacts
  • Rich cross-cultural experiences
  • Benchmarking, gaining insights from others
  • Increased visibility for your achievements
  • And for some, an opportunity to be become an ambassador to the World of PM (this a reference to Matti Ahvenharju, who was immediately enroute to Beijing for the PMRC, IPMA-China Congress).

5. PMAF’s Role in the IPMA Family Network
Here we made some bold, yet truthful assertions. We pointed out that PMAF enjoys some of the greatest Thought Leaders in PM, both within IPMA family, and in the world of PM. Your work with Corporate Memberships, the stellar Project Perspectives magazine (thank you Kalle!), and the strategic thinking your leadership team brings to IPMA are just a few examples.

We mentioned the way PMAF leads by example, including some of IPMA’s best-managed events. This national congress had over 1000 participants, and the 2009 IPMA World Congress organized by PMAF has been one of our best in recent years. Your dedicated and expert certification assessors and exemplary certification program. Your membership strength is increasing, even in a difficult economy, a shining example to us all; and of course, PMAF brings a unique Nordic culture and style to IPMA.

6. What IPMA Would Like To Be in the Future
Here we began with a play on words, caused by something we thought PMAF President Heikki said over our welcome-to-Finland dinner. We heard, as he was discussing his vision for IPMA, “that IPMA can be greater than some of our parts.” Blame it on jet-lag, but when we pressed for clarification, it was clear that he meant that his vision is for us to “be greater than the sum of our parts.” An interesting insight from this discussion is that many other organizations are more the former than the latter.

To achieve Heikki’s and our own vision, we cited the following role for IPMA, today and in the future:

  • Key resource in organizational and societal change for the better
  • The Executive and Manager’s force for implementation of strategy
  • Recognized as the performance competence thought leader of PM
  • The clear leader in advanced professional PM qualifications

All of this in one 15 minute, spirited dinner speech. Thank you PMAF! As a closing comment, we congratulated the PMAF Dinner audience as belonging to the only organization in IPMA that can truthfully say you successfully Finnish your projects!

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