IPMA International Project Management Association
11 March 2019 / 9:00

Medical sector and cancer treatment communities along with IPMA

The 14th International Project Management Conference was held on February 24th, 2019 in Razi International Convention Center in Tehran. During this conference, more than 500 topics were presented in the form of different lectures, workshops, research papers and case studies.

MAHAK- the Society to Support Children Suffering from Cancer, in collaboration with the International Project Management Association (IPMA), had a panel discussion – with the presence of Arasb Ahmadian, CEO of MAHAK; Martin Sedlmayer, IPMA Vice President Products and Services; Gholamreza Safakish, IPMA Vice President Young Crew; and Farid Bidgoli, Country Manager of Roche Ltd. In a dedicated workshop Ms Marjan Rezvani, the PMO Manager of MAHAK, presented the recent achievement of Mahak – as a Gold Winner of IPMA’s Achievement Award 2018. She also shared the feedback report outcomes with the audience.

MAHAK has achieved IPMA Achievement Award twice and both as Gold Winner
At the beginning of the panel discussion, Gholamreza Safakish mentioned that one of the objectives of arranging such a panel is to declare that project management is not only restricted to industrial projects. This competency can also be applied in many other areas such as humanitarian projects, medical sector and cancer treatment. Applying the project management concept, Safakish stated that MAHAK is ready to facilitate a huge improvement in the cancer control program, in close collaboration with UICC (Union for International Cancer Control) and IPMA. For sure, a decent orientation over project management competencies is going to turn to a “MUST” – in the near future for such managers in that sector. He also addressed that we are missing the representative of UICC due to some logistic problems, but still feeling their support on board, and as a must in such collaboration. Gholamreza Safakish also forecasted a successful future for the cancer control plan program which MAHAK has initiated. He also underlined all positive signs of forming a SIG (Special Interest Group) in IPMA – to bring more buy-in of specialists and communities such as UICC.

Dr Ahmadian looks forward to devising a Cancer Control Program with the collaboration of UICC and IPMA
Arasb Ahmadian, the CEO of MAHAK, stated the background, history and evolution of applying the PM competencies into the project. He also described how challenging this was in a charity organization, with a different mindset in comparison to P&L organizations. We learned that if we manage properly our operations, based on well-defined projects, as well as boost the PM mindset through the organization – better results and optimal use of resources and a higher level of personal achievement and self-actualization will be our reward. The CEO of MAHAK elaborated the case of MAHAK’s HLA Typing Bank Project (which has been recently awarded with Golden Award by IPMA) – where the jury clearly addressed the existence of a clear vision, execution strategy, documentation, report availability, smooth communication through project/organization – all delivered with the use of Project Management knowledge and skills. Mahak has recently asked and supported, its project managers to apply for IPMA 4LC exam – as a personal improvement program in Project Management within the organisation.

Align with Mr Safakish statement, Arasb Ahmadian addressed that: “We are ready to employ the project management knowledge, skill and our experiences for preparing a practical and Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan, with the collaboration of IPMA. We are quite optimistic to have the collaboration of UICC and other non-for-profit communities in this field, and embrace their buy-in.” The CEO of MAHAK declared that he looks forward to submitting this plan to the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran and making positive changes in the field of cancer treatment.

IPMA supports project management competencies all over the world
Dr Martin Sedlmayer, IPMA Vice President Products and Services, classified IPMA awards in three different categories: PE Awards, Achievement Awards and Individual Awards. Sedlmayer emphasized the importance of such assessments and awards as a result of which the profession of project management evolves. Regarding the project management in NGOs, he asserted: “We also offer Coaching for Development (C4D) program for NGOs, which are struggling to implement their projects”. IPMA representative announced that this enables better use of limited resources within NGOs. In another part of his speech, Martin Sedlmayer appreciated MAHAK’s clear strategy, mission and vision as a result of which it has won the prestigious international Award and has become a role model for NGOs.

Business entities support trustworthy NGO
Farid Bidgoli, country manager of Roche Ltd., expressed the common process and decision stage gates which drive Roche to donate and sponsor an NGO: “The main driving criteria and symptoms we are looking for our credibility, clear processes and procedures, as well as reporting mechanism and finally – transparency and accountability. If we feel that the request is going to have a big impact on patients’ lives, and it is in-line with our strategies, we will support it.” Bidgoli considered that trustworthiness is the key factor for receiving support and donations, and also positioning an NGO into success circle. He addressed MAHAK as an outstanding NGO in Iran, which is well-trusted and works transparently.

Holding such sessions can result in many learned lessons for the eager participants
In MAHAK and IPMA’s joint panel discussion, different representatives from charities and NGOs from all over Iran were present, as well as members of the Iranian National Cancer Network and also young Project Managers, who had participated to learn about a new sector of project management. After having Q&A with the panel members, the participants expressed their interest in attending more sessions of this type – to understand about this new field and utilize their cluster (cancer control) with project management knowledge.

At the end of the discussion, the representatives of MAHAK and IPMA expressed their hope towards cooperating with UICC and forecast forming a dedicated SIG as the outcome of such cooperation and make a conspicuous success as a result.

Gholamreza (Kami) Safakish
IPMA Vice President Young Crew


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