IPMA International Project Management Association
11 June 2018 / 7:19

Projects and project management in Denmark

Denmark is a Nordic country, south-west of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island.

The kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark, Sweden and Norway were ruled together under the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523. Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until outside forces dissolved the union in 1814. The union with Norway made it possible for Denmark to inherit the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several sessions of territory to Sweden. In the 19th century, there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. The Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660. It establishes a constitutional monarchy organized as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation’s capital, largest city and main commercial center.

With nearly 6 Million inhabitants, Denmark has the 39th largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP). It has a mixed economy based on services and manufacturing, relying heavily on human resources, but not exclusively, as there are a few significant and valuable natural resources available, including mature oil and gas wells in the North Sea. Cooperatives form a large part of some sectors, including housing, agriculture and retail. Foundations play a large role as owners of private sector companies. Denmark has one of the world’s lowest levels of income inequality, according to the World Bank. Top export products are machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, pharmaceuticals, fashion apparel, furniture, and windmills.

The construction industry has recently been dominated by a wide range of public projects, such as the construction and renovation of a large number of hospitals throughout Denmark, the building of the metro system and other large projects in Denmark’s bigger cities. The most notable being the construction of the Fehmarn Belt fixed link which is by far the biggest construction project in the pipeline. Also in the area of energy, especially renewable energy, many projects are performed in Denmark. As the home country of the most important wind energy solution providers, the Danish offshore industry is busy shifting over from oil and gas to offshore wind. Ten thousand wind turbines are planned to be installed in the North Sea in the years ahead.

In 1975 the first National Project Management Association was founded, nowadays called “Dansk Projekt Ledelse”. During the first 10 years period it was called “Association of Project Planning”, later “Network of Project Management”, it joined IPMA and organized the World Congress in 1982. The Danish Association is very active in conducting meetings, e.g. the “on the way home” meetings, an annual symposium (since 1985), a research conference, also publishing papers, books, a practice-oriented journal with four issues. Certainly, in Denmark project managers are certified according to the IPMA-4-Level-Certification-System, the best candidates are handed an award during the symposium. During the last years, the strategy, the Corporate Design and the website have been updated, main focus is now value-generation and attracting the young generation. Denmark is also instrumental for the IPMA Advances Courses, Expert Seminars and is part of the NORDNET of IPMA, a network of Scandinavian PM Associations…




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Author of this post

Dr. Reinhard Wagner has been active for more than 35 years in the field of project-related leadership, in such diverse sectors as Automotive, Engineering, and Consultancy, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. As Managing Director of Tiba Managementberatung GmbH, a leading PM Consultancy in Munich/Germany, he supports executives of industrial clients in transforming their companies towards a project-oriented, adaptive and sustainably successful organization. He has published more than 40 books as well as several hundred articles and blog posts in the field of project management. In more than 20 years of voluntary engagement he served the German Project Management Association (GPM) as well as the IPMA in various roles and was granted for his international commitment with the Honorary Fellowship of IPMA and several of its member associations. He received his doctorate in the field of projectification of society and continues to be active in it through his research and lectures.