IPMA International Project Management Association
22 July 2015 / 9:36

Projects and project management in Spain

I have been many times in Spain, a beautiful country in the south-west of Europe. After a visit to Granada I try to wrap-up things and write this short report about projects and project management in Spain. The country [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain] covers the major part of the Iberian Peninsula and was influenced by various cultures, e.g. Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Germanic tribes and the Moors. Granada is a good example for the influence of the Moors, the Alhambra shows the rich heritage and architecture  [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhambra].In 1492, Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic and reached the Caribbean Islands, beginning the Spanish exploration and conquest of the Americas. Today, more than 500 Million people speak the Spanish language. All former colonies have reached independence, but maintain strong links to the motherland of Spain.

The Spanish economy is the 5th largest of the European Union and is mainly based on construction, infrastructure, engineering, agriculture, tourism and energy. During the world economic crisis in 2008 a long-lasting boom stopped and put Spain in a difficult position. Failed banks, a high increase in unemployment rates and political turmoil caused many troubles. Nowadays, the situation is getting better, still many high potential leave the country to start their careers in overseas or within European Union.


Many companies are engaged in projects world-wide, especially the construction sector works abroad, like for the Panama Canal extension[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal_expansion_project]. Two projects in Spain should be mentioned here: 1. the development of a high-speed railway system called Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVE], which will connect all major cities with each other and bridges Spain to Central Europe and 2. the Sagrada Família [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%Adlia]. This is a basilica building, which was based on plans of the by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoni_Gaud%C3%AD] and attracts millions of visitors every year to come and see the project to progress. Started in 1882, the construction is not yet finished, because of many challenges, the completion is anticipated to be in the year 2026, the centenary of Gaudí’s death.


Spain is also very much known for its agricultural products, the fruits, wines and the Jamón Ibérico, the Iberian ham [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam%C3%B3n_ib%C3%A9rico].


Since 1993, AEIPRO [http://aeipro.com/index.php/en/], the Spanish member of IPMA is active in regards to project management. Mainly based on activities of engineering and architectural schools in Spain, is constitutes of about 700 members, individual and corporates. Main activities are the annual conference (recently in Granada [http://aeipro.com/index.php/en/home-2015]), experience exchange through Special Interest Groups (Energy, water, sustainable food, research etc.), six regional chapters and a very active Young Crew. Through the website AEIPRO offers many project management related papers and proceedings for information. Certainly, the IPMA 4-Level-System for Certification is operated in the country. AEIPRO is an active member of IPMA´s LATNET, a regional network in Latin America which interacts very much with Spanish colleagues. No wonder, that Jesus Martinez-Almela, IPMA Vice President for Education & Training [http://ipma.ch/about/how/executive-board/] is one of the strongest supporters of LATNET and the development of the profession in a vibrant region. The next IPMA World Congress, held end of September in Panama [http://ipmawc2015.com/] will be an excellent occasion to get more insights in the work of LATNET the Spanish colleagues.


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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.