IPMA International Project Management Association

IPMA Standards

IPMA’s vision is “Promoting competence throughout society to enable a world in which all projects succeed.” Therefore, IPMA has defined a worldwide standard for competences in the areas of Project-, Programme- and Portfolio Management. For Individuals, we have defined the Individual Competence Baseline®, ICB version 4 (for free download click here); We have defined the standard for excellent projects, the Project Excellence Baseline® or PEB (for free download click here), and we have defined the standard for organisations, the IPMA Organisational Competence Baseline® or OCB (for free download click here). Based on the ICB4, we have also defined a competence baseline for coaches, trainers and consultants in the field of projects, programmes and portfolios, the ICB4CCT (for free download click here).

IPMA standards – Project Excellence Baseline (PEB)

What defines whether a project or programme is “good” or “bad”? When we’re striving for excellence in the execution of our projects and programmes, what do we mean? IPMA has given its extended definition in the PEB, the Project Excellence Baseline. This model is based on the well-known EFQM model, but is adapted to the field of project- and programme management and after over 10 years of use has been adapted to the model we’re using now.

Excellent Projects (or programmes)

When looking for quality of projects or programmes, we are looking at quality in 3 areas:

  • People & Purpose – this area is considered to be the foundation of project excellence. The right people, led and supported by excellent leaders, all sharing a common vision for success, are crucial to drive project improvements and help the project to go beyond the established standards.
  • Processes & Resources – this area represents practices necessary to reinforce excellence through sound processes and adequate resources used in an efficient and sustainable way. It also serves as a basis for securing the outcome of innovation, turning it into a solid starting point for another wave of improvements.
  • Project Results – the project management approach can only be excellent if it leads to outstanding, sustainable results for all key stakeholders. This area complements the first two with necessary proof of excellent results as defined by the project stakeholders.

Project excellence is defined by excellence in these three areas, but also in the alignment of these three areas. The PEB describes how excellence in these areas can be measured and assessed, and based on that assessment how to continue on the journey of successful projects and programmes.

Application of the PEB

The PEB can be used for self assessment, for analysis of the current situation of a project or programme (when it has delivered results but also before this). The PEB as international standard can also be used to benchmark projects against each other within your organisation, as a basis for further learning and development of organisational competencies. For Consultants and Trainers, the PEB provides a comprehensive definition of what it means to run projects and programmes well.

You can use the Project Excellence Baseline in any organisational context. The model is not related to the usage of specific methods, methodologies, tools. Moreover the model is not related to a specific field (like ICT or investment or government or research). Also, the PEB is the basis for IPMA’s Project Excellence Awards, IPMA’s yearly international competition for best projects in the world. More information here.

You can read the PEB online, download the pdf for free or order a book here. So YOU can become part of creating a society in which all projects succeed.


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