The Elephant in the Room

PM Commentary, by Stacy Goff.

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

If it is a great, successful organization, why does the USA need IPMA-USA? 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 Program and 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 Performance. This initiative has taken our volunteers three years to deliver. The good news, by the end of 2009, the entire suite of Advanced, Performance-Competence-based certifications of Project Manager, Senior Project Manager and Program Manager will be available. There are more reasons why the USA needed IPMA-USA. But they will be the subject for some later posting.

IPMA-USA’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,” but instead, pursue the tough challenges, that clearly make a difference, both for individuals and their organizations.

Many of those 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 have the potential to benefit all professions.
  • Expanding the reach of competent PM practice beyond its current boundaries, to include the 98% of the USA that does not yet benefit from it. This includes potential stakeholders and beneficiaries ranging from elementary education students through Enterprise Executives.
  • Increase the competence, effectiveness and performance of those who have been exposed to PM, but do not consistently practice it well.
  • Engage Government and Industry and their range of stakeholders in enlightened practices, 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, using 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.

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