IPMA International Project Management Association
27 November 2019 / 9:00

2020 IPMA Special Interest Groups Await You!

As we prepare to enter a new year, the role of the project manager could not be more important. With just 19% of organizations delivering projects on time, most of the time, our work is crucial. Effective project/program/portfolio is at the heart of effective change. Nearly all large companies and governments rely on project management to design, develop and implement their most critical priorities.

The stakes keep getting higher for project managers – we must become experts in the tactics of running projects and strategists in implementing a new ways of doing business. We are bridge builders, firefighters, lion tamers and business makers. We build the new systems, while maintaining the old, outmoded ways of doing business. In one recent survey, the role of the project manager was summed up like this:

The truly successful future Project Manager (PM) will be more strategic than tactical with an increased focus on working with business leaders to rapidly and incrementally deploy benefits to support the overall business strategy. They will have well-rounded business skills and be well-versed in change management, negotiating and presenting clear communications to their stakeholders. They will be connected and understand how projects impact the wider business they serve.

KPMG, AIPM and IPMA
Project Management Survey 2019

In other words: there has never been a better time to grow and expand your career. IPMA Special Interest Groups (SIGs) offer a fresh and exciting way to contribute to the field of project management while staying ahead of the curve on the key drivers of Global Change. Here is a quick look at IPMA’s four key Special Interest Groups and how they are making an impact!

Artificial Intelligence SIG
Artificial Intelligence has arrived and these technologies are changing everyday experiences around the world. From customer service and robotic production to predictive medicine and autonomous driving, AI is shifting whole industries in new directions. In 2020, we can expect AI-As-A-Service, which means that powerful new platforms will be available to small and mid-sized companies. Project management plays a key role in the successful launch of AI.

Mega Projects
In 2020, mega-project construction projects will continue to get larger and more complex. From urban expansion and the next generation of trains and planes to building and decommissioning nuclear power plants, mega-projects are truly defying our imagination. Recent research demonstrates that stakeholder trust is one of the key factors in advancing mega-projects. This unconventional wisdom is driving new methods of stakeholder engagement.

Smart Cities
From Seoul to Shanghai to New York, Smart Cities are coming of age. Smart Cities bring together urban planning, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and construction to design and implement new solutions for urban living. In 2020, we can expect to see interesting new innovations in the areas of digital transformation, municipal operations, energy grid and lighting, waste management, multi-modal transportation and parking.  Project management is at the forefront of this work and developing the next generation project/program/portfolio managers is key to the success of these major initiatives. Learn more from our 2019 Smart Cities Insights.

Smart Rural
The 2019 IPMA World Congress, held in Merida Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula featured sustainability as a theme. Project managers will continue to lead major climate remediation efforts including wind and solar installations, sea-level protections, and global food supply challenges. IPMA is working closely with a group of advisors to develop new approaches for building a smart rural practice that supports rural communities.


Here are some of the ways that IPMA SIGS will engage this year:

  • Events. Do you have something to say? IPMA SIGs are going global and we want you to be a part of our ongoing discussions. Our events are smaller, more intimate by design. We move fast and seek to build iteratively. Be a part of something great by leading or attending a SIG event.
  • Surveys. IPMA partners with a number of organizations each year to conduct surveys on various aspects of project management. Come help us gather the data our stakeholders need to make informed decisions.
  • Networking. The goal of the IPMA SIGs is to support project managers in developing their competence, industry expertise, and networks. Come help us support our local Member Associations as we co-host networking events.
  • Publishing.  IPMA SIGs are a great place to develop ideas, find collaborators, publish, and reach a target audience.  We partner with universities and consultancies around the globe to create insights that matter.

Come join us in 2020! Check it out, here: https://www.ipma.world/sig/

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Tim Jaques

Author of this post

For more than twenty years, Tim Jaques has been exploring, thinking, speaking, and writing on the topics of project management, organizational change, culture, and human performance. Tim is an avid writer, presenter, and facilitator. As the IPMA Global Director for Special Interest Group (SIG), Tim supports the IPMA vision of promoting competence throughout society to enable a world in which all projects succeed. Tim’s work in IPMA focuses on connecting global experts to solve some of the world’s most important and complex challenges through the development of special interest groups around topics as diverse as Innovation, Smart Cities, Smart Rural, Artificial Intelligence and Mega Projects to name a few.

In business, Tim’s work today focuses on business transformation and workplace performance through his company Teaming Worldwide. Tim has worked with a variety of private and public sector clients including General Electric, Toshiba, Tufts University, the US Army, US Postal Service. Teaming Worldwide delivers professional development and performance consulting, re-imagined using the latest science in adult learning, motivation and performance.

Tim’s core capabilities include project and program management, performance improvement, execution and operations, organizational change management, IT transformation, and business strategy. Tim co-authored the International Project Management Association (IPMA) Individual Competence Baseline, version 4, an international project, program and portfolio competence standard. He has published two books on US Federal government PM practices; and written numerous articles on project management, organizational change and transformation.

Tim is a past vice-president of IPMA-USA and has held numerous board positions.

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