IPMA International Project Management Association
2 December 2016 / 9:09

Projects and project management in Poland

The Republic of Poland, or in Polish language: Polska, is a country in Europe located between the Baltic Sea in the north and the Sudetes as well as the Carpathian Mountains in the south. Already back in 966 a Polish state was founded and in 1025 transformed into the Kingdom of Poland. More than 500 years later Poland established a longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe. It ceased to exist when its territory was partitioned among Prussia, the Russian Empire, and Austria in the late 18th century. Poland regained its independence at the end of World War I, in 1918, but lost it again during World War II. After the war the borders of Poland were shifted westwards and Poland became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, but during the revolution of 1989 Poland’s Communist government was overthrown and the country turned itself into a democratic state. Today, Poland is member of the European Union and NATO.


Privatization and liberalization of the economy helped Poland to grow significantly between 1990 and 2008. During that period it became the largest economy in Central Europe. However, the global economic down-swing between 2008 and 2010 affected also Poland to a great extent. Many people, especially the young and well educated used the freedom of movement in the European Union during that period and applied for jobs in Great Britain or Germany. This is certainly one of the big challenges for Poland to bring back those people and grow the economy with their expertise. The main economic sectors in Poland are the service sector (62.3.%), followed by the industry (34.2%) and agriculture (3.5%). Especially the business services sector, comprising sub-sectors such as BPO (business processes outsourcing), SSC (shared services centers), ITO (information technology outsourcing) and R&D (research and development), is growing at a high pace . But also the industrial sector is growing, including but not limited to cars and related products, machinery, iron and steel, mining coal, chemicals, ship building and food processing.


Projects and programmes are performed in many areas, e.g. the waterways and riverbanks are being renewed. Poland is connecting to the gas pipelines of its neighbor Lithuania and the Ministry of Economy called the “Polish Energy until 2050”  that enables investments in renewable energy in Poland in order to fulfil the aims of the UNFCCC COP 21 climate change conference in December 2015. Furthermore, huge investments in the infrastructure drives the project business in Poland, partly funded by the European Union. For example, the Polish Railway is investing significantly into its network and many PPP projects are conducted in order to enhance motorways, residential buildings and waste treatment.

IPMA is represented in Poland by IPMA Polska which kicked-off in 1999. IPMA Polska connects individual and corporate members with the academia of major universities and public institutions. Several thousand project managers achieved their certificate in the IPMA 4-Level-System. The 10 regional groups help to spread the idea of project management all over the country. A Special Interest Group for PMOs started this year to elaborate on the popular concepts of Project Management Offices and the Young Crew is very active through a series of workshops. IPMA Polska conducts an annual congress, which was attended by more than 400 people this year. Together with the congress the prestigious national Project Excellence Awards are handed over to the winners, this year it was jointly held with the International Project Excellence Award Ceremony of IPMA in Warsaw. In 2007, IPMA Polska organised the IPMA World Congress in Cracow with more than 800 participants from 50+ countries. One of the strategic goals of IPMA Polska is to advocate the concept of project management to national leaders in industry and government.




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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.