IPMA International Project Management Association
6 June 2017 / 10:21

IPMA Agile Leadership

By digital disruption we face the greatest revolution in corporate organization since 1800. It is unknown what will happen, no one will be prepared. Digital disruption is the disruptive effect of new technologies on the market. It provides newcomers to compete with established organizations.

A famous example of digital disruption is Uber, which changes the transport world. Airbnb has totally changed the hotel industry, and Spotify and Netflix have introduced disruptive business models for the music and film industry.

The most important trend in Project Management at this moment is ‘Projectification of Societies’. Projectification of Societies is defined as the degree of diffusion of project management in all sectors of societies. The implication of this trend is that project management will become a basic competence for everybody. In Europe, time and money spent in projects is already more than 35 % and increasing.

So, we keep on managing all kind of project in all sectors of societies. However, the way we are managing projects is changing.

The company-wide scaling of Agile and Lean methods is a trend has become a reality. In recent years, Agile and Scrum supplanted the traditional project management in many sectors in industry, started in Finance and ICT.

  • 75 % of the Dutch and Belgian companies are using Agile
  • 60 % of them thinks that Agile is the best way for Project Management
  • 85 % of them believes in a hybrid solution

(Source: KPMG 2016)

Agile is widespread. This means that our profession, Project Management is changing. To be successful we must become more agile and innovative. We must be aware of market and technical changes. IPMA has started the initiative to develop a certification program, based on competences, for professionals with a leadership role within an Agile environment. The certificate focus on the establishment and acknowledgement of the individual competences of the professional and is for example additional to other agile certificates like Scrum and SAFe.

For this Agile Leadership Certification, the professional should work on a tactical level between several Agile teams and management with proven impact. Agile Leadership Certification is with respect to the IPMA regulations such as experience and complexity and based on the ICB4 competences.

With this Certification IPMA has made a successful step in moving forward and align into the future of our profession


  • Bob Youker says:

    Is not agile just for projects where you do not know what you are doing before you start??? If you know what you are doing, you need a detailed complete plan with areas identified where you may need to do some testing.

  • Dear Bob, I always hope that everyone knows what they’re doing before they start a project. Agile is only a different way of working together, to achieve results.

  • Peter Jetter says:

    IME Agile is about dealing with emergence (which is one quality of complex systems/environments). Coping with emergence requires emergent practices. You need to continuously integrate unexpected information into your actions to maintain your “fitness for survival”. It´s for the same reasons, that you can´t play soccer by executing a detailed project plan, which prescribes each players action at predefined points in time. You cannot predict, what the constellation on the field will be at minute 83, nor what the score will be.

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Joop Schefferlie

Author of this post

Joop Schefferlie is Vice President Certification of IPMA International. Joop is managing director of the IPMA Certification Body of the Netherlands. He possesses more than 15 years’ experience in leading, building and changing of complex organizations with more than 800 employees based on a clear vision and objectives. Joop was board member and president for more than seven years for IPMA Netherlands till 2014.