Reasons behind the success of YPMY award in Iran
Participation in the Young Project Manager of the Year Award brings great achievements for young project managers and their organizations. In such a way that it can be a stimulus to step forward and shine in national and international competitions. In this regard, the Iran Young Project Manager of the Year Committee (Iran YPMY), on behalf of the Iran Project Management Association (Iran PMY) and Iran Young Crew, created an event for the presence and competition of young Iranian project managers at the national and international levels, by creating an infrastructure and providing the necessary and strategic plans.
Among the achievements of attending the Young Project Manager of the Year award in Iran, the following can be mentioned which are the root causes of success in such an event:
- Evaluation of individual and technical knowledge and skills by global standards
- Discovering strengths and weaknesses to improve project management capabilities
- The opportunity to share experiences, abilities, and project management skills
- The opportunity to compete with the best project managers in the national and international events
The Young Project Manager of the Year award has been held in Iran since 2019, 4 times so far, and the last period was held in 2022. According to the mission of the Iran Project Management Association (Iran PMA), as one of the branches of the International Project Management Association (IPMA), the process of identifying, investing, coaching and introducing the best and most talented young project managers of Iran is the responsibility of Iran Young Project Manager of the Year Committee (Iran YPMY), which is under the supervision of Iran Young Crew, is held annually.
In 2019, this award was held in Iran with 4 participants, and in 2020, it had 3 participants.
In 2021, the 8 participants partook in the event, causing it to grow at the national level, and as a result, two Iranian representatives managed to reach the finals of the IPMA Global Individual Award in the category of Young Project Manager of the Year 2021 and won the first and third places of this award.
In 2022, the number of participants of this award in Iran became doubled with the presence of 11 participants from different industries, including oil and gas, road and construction, digital banking, pharmaceuticals, education, and IT; it succeeded in introducing this award to different industries in Iran and participation of the young project managers of different organizations. Finally, by retaining the pride of last year and enhancing the maturity of this award, 2 representatives from Iran were once again among the finalists of the IPMA Global Individual Award in the category of Young Project Manager of the Year 2022.
The purpose of this article is to present the reasons for the success and strong presence of young Iranian project managers in the IPMA Global Individual Award competition in the category of Young Project Manager of the year in the last 2 years. In this article, I have tried to take into account the factors that have been effective in achieving this success from the point of view of the members of the team implementing the award, the jury, the applicants for participation in the award and the members of the Iranian Project Management Association based on interviews, surveys and lessons learned.
National Award for Young Project Manager of the Year in Iran
- The purpose of establishing the National Committee for the Young Project Manager of the Year Award
As we know, participation in the IPMA Global Individual Award in the category of Young Project Manager of the Year is open to the public, and there is no requirement to filter applicants for the award in terms of scientific, experimental and professional levels, except for cases mentioned in the instructions for completing the application form by the applicants. However, the Iranian Project Management Association, considering its mission to promote the culture of project management and emphasise the need to play the role of project managers in various industries, presented this award annually according to the practical case of the standard being implemented by IPMA and by preparing and compiling the necessary procedures. As the owner of this event, the Iran Young Crew pursues the following goals by holding the award:
- Identification and introduction of young project managers under the age of 35 in various industries
- Creating a community and a club of young and competent project managers with the aim of networking and expanding communication
- Evaluating individual competencies and creating a professional-level audit system for young project managers based on the ICB standard.
- The combination of coaching and award judging to grow, train and educating the next generation of project managers
- Creating hope in young people and encouraging them to be professional in the role of project manager
- Investigating the fact in which industries have the role of the project manager has been given more attention and has been addressed, and in which industries this profession can be promoted and cause economic and cultural growth.
- Strategic targets and implementation plan of the Young Project Manager of the Year Award Committee
Considering the voluntary nature of all actions and activities in holding this award, accepting the responsibility of implementing such an event requires teamwork and professional motivation. Therefore, by creating the necessary infrastructure and consulting with well-known professors in Iran, an attempt was made to establish a 5-year strategic plan for holding this event so that this award reaches the required level of maturity. Among the measures and implementation plans that have been implemented in the last 2 years in an attempt to deploy strategic goals and achieve significant targets for the young project manager of the year award, the following can be mentioned:
- Preparing the project charter for the Young Project Manager of the Year award
- Preparing the Annual Time Schedule for holding the Young Project Manager of the Year Award
- Signing an agreement with the sponsor with the aim of coaching and financial support in honouring the best applicants and the jury
- Estimating the required budget and cost management plan
- Preparation of the necessary procedures, instructions and forms, including the preparation of a guide for completing the IPMA application form in Persian, preparation and compilation of the award judgement procedure, preparation and compilation of the division of work and summary of judges’ points and vote, the procedure for handling complaints and objections, preparation of Registration form and Application form of IPMA in Persian language, preparation of Feedback Report form in Persian, preparation of lesson learned and idea registration form
- Holding weekly task management meetings and periodic workshops to identify risks and plan to respond to them
- Conducting effective marketing from the time of the registration announcement to the time of the recognition ceremony for the national winners.
- Conducting negotiations with various governmental and private organizations in various industries, where young project managers under 35 years of age are responsible for these organisations’ projects.
- Creating a database of judges members of the Iranian Project Management Association and inviting professors and experts in this field to be part of the jury.
- Holding a Kick-off Meeting with the selected judges in each course to familiarize them with the scoring guidelines approved by IPMA.
- Holding a briefing meeting with the participants before the start of the competition to introduce the event for the award of the best young project manager and tips for writing an application form.
- Holding an ICB standard training workshop with the assistance of the sponsor of the award for participants to master the field of IPMA competence eye, including Practical Competencies, Behavioral Competencies and Perspective Competencies.
- Submitting monthly performance reports to Iran Young Crow Central Council and Iran Project Management Association
- Considering the presence of the head of the National Award Committee for the YPMY Award in the YPMY executive team in IPMA, the necessary coordination needs to be made regarding the protocols being developed and the latest decisions regarding the award and IPMA regulations with Executive team members of this award inside Iran
- Defining the necessary KPIs to measure periodic performance to reach the defined goals
- Holding Lives related to the award and introducing the best people and achievements of the award to the audience
- Holding an appreciation ceremony and awarding prizes to the finalist of YPMY and the jury
- Benefits of holding the Young Project Manager of the Year award in Iran
If we return to the definition of NGOs, non-profit organizations and scientific associations are formed for non-political and non-commercial purposes. Therefore, they are formed and managed with a social approach and voluntarily. With the help of these organizations, young people, during their studies or after graduation, can make connections and apply the skills they have learned academically before and with the same approach. If linking the university with the industry is one of the goals of such organizations, we may not have gone the wrong way. The first step that a young person takes to enter the industry and become a professional in the field of project management is to attend such meetings to get acquainted with the best national and international models, learn from them and apply them to get a job. If the mission of the network of Iran’s young crew and all the working sub-groups is prepared and compiled under the title of a unified document, then the benefits of all Young Crew events will not only be competitive to win coloured medals but also by spending their energy, time and skills in such professional fields, young people will find their way.
Therefore, the added value of holding these events in developing societies such as Iran can include the following:
- Networking and experience in working with professional professors in the field of project management
- Professional challenge and motivating young people towards excellence and progress
- Introducing and defining the individual competencies of project managers to business owners
- Being included in the database of Iran’s top young project managers of the year
- Joining the IPMA Individual Awards Finalists Club
- Introduction of young project managers to different organizations and projects can lead to career promotion
- Sharing experiences and recording lessons learned
- Receive a comprehensive feedback report from the award judges, who are project management professors themselves, to improve and promote project management techniques.
- Creating the necessary infrastructure for coaching culture, performance evaluation and project management fundamentals in organizations
- Creating national and international work and professional networks
- An opportunity to be seen and promoted in presenting the brilliant and pure work done by the youth.
- Acknowledging and awarding certificates to young project managers in recognition of their valuable actions and encouraging them.
- Reasons behind the success of young project managers in Iran
After announcing the winners of Iran’s national young project manager of the year 2022, among 61 of the award’s stakeholders in 4 groups as below, a survey was conducted:
- Award applicants
- The jury
- YPMY executive team
- Sponsors and consultants
The questions were classified in 3 groups:
- Assessing the award host team’s performance (YPMY committee)
- Recommendations regarding enhancing the performance
- Motivation to attend and succeed in the award
According to this survey, the following factors had the greatest effect on the success of young Iranian project managers in the motivation for participation and success in the award:
- Personal/career development
- Gaining fame
- Individual assessment
- Performing an organizational task
Because the members of the executive committee of the Iran YPMY award, the panel of judges and applicants change annually, if the lessons learned in each award course are the experience of future award courses, each course will be better than the last one. On the other hand, even though such activities are voluntary work, if a national team decides to lead an event of the award and carries out this process responsibly and with the utmost commitment and spirit of volunteer work, we will be witnessing the continuous improvement and success of the team organizing the YPMY award.
Lack of attention to topics such as professional attitude, underestimating individual competencies and depreciating soft skills has made entrusting the management of a project to young people a hard decision. As the elite population of Iran society is leaving the country for different reasons, and when human and knowledge capital goes out, saving, conveying and enhancing knowledge for future generations will be more challenging every year. Therefore, discovering and deepening the project management culture at different professional levels is very time-consuming and expensive, which requires political, economic and cultural pathology. Therefore, by holding such events, a practical step can be taken in developing and promoting project management knowledge and training the next generation of Iranian project managers.
Samin Delfi Ahwazi,
Member of YPMY-2022 IPMA
Head of the Iran Young Project Manager of the Year Award Committee