IPMA International Project Management Association
30 January 2019 / 9:00

Projects and project management in Italy

Italy is a country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. It shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved states San Marino and Vatican City. Due to its central geographic location in the Mediterranean, the region has historically been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. Especially known is the time of the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which eventually became a republic, conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, and eventually expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Near East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as dominant power in the region and became the leading cultural, political and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy flourished. The Imperial Crisis during the 3rd Century led to the separation of the Eastern Roman Empire from the Western Roman Empire. The latter collapsed in 476 AD, but the legacy of the Roman Empireendured its fall. By the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics, mainly in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping, commerce and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism. Some of them served as trading hubs with Asia and the Near East, often enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe.

The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Galileo or Machiavelli. During Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World. Nowadays, Italy is considered to be one of the world’s most culturally and economically developed countries, with its economy ranking eighth largest by nominal GDP in the world and third in the Eurozone. The Economy of Italy is renowned as manufacturer and exporter of a variety of products including but not limited to machinery, vehicles, pharmaceuticals, furniture, food, clothing, and robots. Furthermore, Italy is well known for its agricultural sector (Italy is the world’s largest wine producer), and for its automobile, naval, industrial, appliance and fashion design.

In 2017, Italy’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (MIT) approved an ambitious plan called “Connecting Italy: needs and infrastructural projects“. The plan outlines its vision for the transportation and infrastructure system up to 2030. It´s scope of work includes the renewal of the public transport fleet, the upgrade of existing, and the development of new, metro and tram lines, and extension of the mass transportation network. MIT aims to meet the mobility demand of passengers and freight as well as connect the various areas of the country (in particular, cities, industrial centres and tourist places). The objectives and strategies aim at establishing adequate transport and logistics connections and services to serve Europe and the Mediterranean region for full mobility of passengers and goods. Projects include the completion of the Alpines railway crossing and connection with port and high-speed rail (HSR) network, the development of integrated rail systems, renewal and improvement of the vehicle fleet as well as strengthening and enhancement of metro, tram and suburban lines in various cities.

Renewable energy has developed rapidly in Italy over the past decade and provided the country a means of diversifying from its historical dependency on imported fuels. Essentially, hydroelectric power being the leading renewable energy source in terms of production. Bio energy, wind power and geothermal power also make important contributions to national energy demands together with solar energy. Italy´s National Energy Strategy 2017 is the ten-year plan that the Italian Government drew up to anticipate and manage the change of the national energy system: a document looking beyond 2030, laying the groundwork for building an advanced and innovative energy model through projects and programmes across the country. Italian companies are heavily engaged in the Oil & Gas Sector in Africa, the Middle and Far East as well as in Latin America, performing multi-billion EPC projects.

IPMA Italy is the leading Italian organization for the development of project, programme and portfolio management in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. It developed in 1986 from the PM Division of the Association of Industrial Plant Engineering (ANIMP), which was founded in 1974. The goal of ANIMP is to stimulate and favor meeting and sharing of know-how to improve quality, efficiency and competitiveness, thus giving institutional representation to the whole industrial plant world. Interestingly, IPMA Italy is among a few which have organized two World Congresses for IPMA: Florence, 1992 and Rome, 2008. It offers a range of education and training activities based on the IPMA Competence Standards together with the IPMA 4-Level-Certification, aimed at improving competences of people in the field of project management. The association offers a range of events, national and international awards, Young Crew activities, publications and other professional services to the members in the region. IPMA Italy is well connected to key industries, public institutions as well as universities in the country. Just recently it has conducted a research on the importance and share of project-related work in the country and the developments in project management. IPMA Italy is part of IPMA LATNET, a network of PM Associations from the Mediterranean via the Iberian Peninsula to the Americas.

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Reinhard Wagner

Author of this post

Reinhard Wagner has been active for more than 30 years in the field of project- related leadership, in such diverse sectors as Air Defense, Automotive Engineering, and Machinery, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. As a Certified Projects Director (IPMA Level A), he has proven experience in managing projects, programmes and project portfolios in complex and dynamic contexts. He is also an IPMA Certified Programme and Portfolio Management Consultant, and as such supports senior executives in developing and improving their organizational competence in managing projects. For more than 15 years, he has been actively involved in the development of project, programme and portfolio management standards, for example as Convenor of the ISO 21500 “Guidance on Project Management” and the ISO 21503 “Guidance on Programme Management”. Reinhard Wagner is Past President of IPMA and Chairman of the Council, Honorary Chairman of GPM (the German Project Management Association), as well as Managing Director of Tiba Managementberatung GmbH.