Volume IX - Issue V - May 2007

Featured Interviews



A Conversation with Veikko Valila, IPMA President

Interview By PMF Managing Editor David L. Pells

Editor’s Note:  Veikko Valila, President of IPMA, was in Dallas during April 9-10, 2007 for meetings with David Pells, Managing Editor of PM World Today and www.pmforum.org.  David took the liberty of conducting an interview of Mr. Valila with a set of questions related to IPMA and the future of project management. The interview was conducted over coffees at a Starbucks and at an office in downtown Dallas, Texas, USA.


PMWT:  What is IPMA, in your words?  What kind of organization is it?

Veikko Valila

Valila:   The International Project Management Association, or IPMA, is a federation of independent member organizations.  The independent member associations really hold the power.  So IPMA is an association of local project management associations, and very decentralized by nature.  IPMA serves its member associations and their local members. They both are IPMA’s customers.  The question we have to address among IPMA leaders is, How to serve the member associations better?

PMWT:  How many member societies are currently included?  And how many individuals does that represent?

Valila:   IPMA has today 45 member associations, located in 41 countries.  Our newest member association is in Turkey, which is growing rapidly.  As for the number of individuals, that is harder to answer.  Each national association has its own membership model, for example, with individual and corporate members.  In Finland, for instance, Nokia has a corporate membership with which they nominate 100 individuals to represent the company in the Finnish PM Society.  Assuming that each corporate member represents 5-10 individuals within each national member association, IPMA reaches around 50 to 60,000 persons.


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Life After Motorola

An Interview with Pat Lucey on the Importance of Project Management
and the future after shutdown of Motorola Ireland.

Interview By Ed Naughton


PMWT - Pat what is your view on what makes a good Project Manager?
Pat Lucey

Lucey - I think that good communication skills are absolutely essential.  Many projects now require multi-site teams, separated by thousands of miles - and that separation can easily magnify any differences or misunderstands within the team.  I see a strong Project Manager as being someone who can drive good communication throughout the team, someone who drives accountability within the team, and who can build a team that pulls together when the going gets tough. 

PMWT - What's your view on using Certified Project Managers?

Lucey -I see certification as a "necessary but not sufficient" condition to be a good Project Manager.  You can have a person who is great at passing certification exams, but struggles with the hands-on project work - the interpersonal skills, the multitasking, the flexibility that's required to be a great Project Manager.  However, Professional Certification brings some huge advantages - it ensures familiarity with industry best practice and the extensive Body of Knowledge that's out there.  For any large scale or complex projects, I will only consider using proven and certified project managers.  What I like about the IPMA 4-level certification model is that it gives you immediate insight into a Project Managers level of experience and capability - I think it gets a good balance between theoretical knowledge and practical application, and it provides a progression path for project management professionals.


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