IPMA International Project Management Association
13 August 2015 / 7:52

Roland W. Gutsch – One of the founders of IPMA (formerly INTERNET)

Roland W. Gutsch was a German engineer who very early dived into the at that time miraculous world of computing. When he entered DORNIER (at that time a famous German aerospace company, now part of AIRBUS) he was immediately confronted with Project Management and what support computers could offer for planning and control of complex aerospace projects. He developed at that time famous PPS (Project Planning and Control System) based on network technology (PERT, CPM) and which was then used in the German industry.

With his widened view on how to manage projects he substantially contributed to the development of the modern Project Management concept as we know it nowadays.

His vision was not only focused on Project Management Systems but he very early in the 1960ies recognized that Project Management had an international dimension. In close contact and co-operation with other PM experts in Europe and the world he founded the INTERNET association (now IPMA) and was with the support of his company DORNIER one of the most important drivers for the development and dissemination of international Project Management.

One of the major milestones was the 6th INTERNET Congress held 1979 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) where the window for comprehensive PM was pushed open and the international discussion proceeded from up till then planning techniques to the concept of overall and holistic PM. The conference was designed and organized by Roland Gutsch together with Prof. Dr. Heinz Schelle and Prof. Dr. Hasso Reschke. In the course of the conference the German Project Management Association GPM was founded which is now one of the largest in Europe.

Roland Gutsch served in various functions in INTERNET, e.g. as President from 1976 to 1982 and again from 1988 to 1991. Further he was the President of the GPM from 1979 to 1991. For his outstanding work and engagement he received several recognitions. In 1991 he was awarded the order of the Federal Republic of Germany.

One of his major merits was from the early days of INTERNET to have established close contacts in the world of PM around the world and created a worldwide network of PM experts (sometimes called: “GIA = Gutsch International Activities”). It must be particularly stressed that already in the times of the cold war and Western and Eastern block dominating the world he developed close connexions also to experts of the Eastern European countries. This substantially helped to overcome the opposition between the blocks and to create our nowadays worldwide community of Project Management.

Roland Gutsch was born in 1925 as son of a famous medical doctor at Karlsruhe (Germany). He was four times severely wounded in World War II. After his employment with DORNIER he retired near Bremen (Germany) and died in 2009 in the age of 84 years.

roland g roland

INTERNET and GPM owe him everlasting gratitude for all the efforts and achievements in the world of Project Management and for the outstanding development of these organizations.

(Prof. Dr. Hasso Reschke, former Vice President of IPMA and chairman of the board of GPM)

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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.