March 2018 Report from Italy

The People of Project Management in Italy; The Istituto Italiano di Project Management (ISIPM)


By Massimo Pirozzi

International Correspondent

Rome, Italy



This first Regional Report includes an overview about the people of Project Management in Italy, which has been derived from the analysis of the relevant certifications, and, in its second part, a description of the major Italian Association of Project Management, the “Istituto Italiano di Project Management” (Italian Institute of Project Management, ISIPM for short) by its President, Enrico Mastrofini.


The major Project Management Associations that operate in Italy are the Italian independent Istituto Italiano di Project Management (Italian Institute of Project Management, ISIPM for short), the International Project Management Institute, which is structured in three Chapters (PMI Northern Italy Chapter, PMI Central Italy Chapter, PMI Southern Italy Chapter), and the International Project Management Association (IPMA), through its Member Association IPMA Italy. Each of these three organizations offers its own certification path in Project management, both at Basic and Advanced Levels: it can be interesting to notice that, in all Europe, in terms of Advanced Certifications, ISIPM, together with the largest National Association, the British APM – Association for Project Management, are the only National Project Management Associations that provide a “National Certification Path”, just as much as, in terms of National Basic Certifications, only the German GPM – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Projektmanagement, and the Austrian PMA – Projekt Management Austria, are in addition to the above two Associations.

The total number of Project Management certifications, including both basic and advanced, that have been issued in Italy by the three above-mentioned organizations until 31 December 2017, is more than 18000¹: about 48% of these certifications have been released by ISIPM, 42% by PMI, and 10% by IPMA, respectively. From the historical point of view, we can assume that Project Management, in Italy, started twenty years ago: in fact, first PMI certifications were in 1998, while IPMA and ISIPM certifications started in 2001 and 2008, respectively. In Italy, we are witnessing a steadily increasing positive trend in the dissemination of Project Management discipline, which follows a somewhat slow start: in fact, almost 2/3 of total PM certifications have been issued in the last five years, and about 17% in 2017 only; in this last year, ISIPM released about 63% of certificates, PMI 31%, and IPMA 5%, respectively. Basic Certifications (ISIPM-Base, IPMA D, and CAPM) represent about the 55% of the total, while Advanced Certifications (PMP, IPMA A-B-C, ISIPM-Av) represent about the 45%, but the two contexts are actually very different.

The framework of Basic Certifications, which, in Italy, are more than 10000, is dominated by the ISIPM–Base Certification, which represents about 85% of the total, versus about the 10% of IPMA D, and the 5% of PMI’s CAPM: last year percentages were about 90%, 4%, and 6%, respectively. One of the main reasons of the success of ISIPM–Base Certification is that it is very well acknowledged, and it is considered beneficial, also outside the project manager community, in particular by students, and by professionals of different sectors (e.g. small entrepreneurs, consultants, business development and marketing specialists, accountants, doctors, dentists, lawyers, criminologists, principals, officials in cultural heritage, etc.) who do not necessarily want to proceed towards an advanced certification, but who do consider both project management a useful support to their work, and ISIPM-Base Certification a good reference for themselves.

On the other hand, the framework of Advanced Certifications, which, in Italy, are more than 8000, is dominated by the PMI’s PMP Certification, which represents about 86% of the total, versus about the 11% of IPMA A-B-C, and the 3% of the recent ISIPM-Av (Av stands for “Avanzata”, which means “advanced” in Italian): last year percentages were about 79%, 8%, and 13%, respectively. It is then remarkable that national ISIPM–Av Certification, although it was born less than three years ago, already gained a very good position, and it has a still increasing trend.


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About the Author

Massimo Pirozzi

Rome, Italy

Massimo Pirozzi, 
MSc cum laude, Electronic Engineering, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Principal Consultant, Project Manager, and Educator. He is a Member and the Secretary of the Executive Board, a Member of the Scientific Committee, and an accredited Master Teacher, of the Istituto Italiano di Project Management (Italian Institute of Project Management). He is certified as a Professional Project Manager, as an Information Security Management Systems Lead Auditor, and as an International Mediator. He is a Researcher, a Lecturer, and an Author about Stakeholder Identification and Management, Relationship Management, Complex Projects Management, and Project Management X.0.

Massimo has a wide experience in managing large and complex projects in national and international contexts, and in managing relations with public and private organizations, including multinational companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, research institutes, and non-profit organizations. He worked successfully in several sectors, including Defense, Security, Health, Education, Cultural Heritage, Transport, Gaming, and Services to Citizens. He was also, for many years, a Top Manager in ICT Industry, and an Adjunct Professor in Organizational Psychology. He is registered as an Expert of the European Commission, and as an Expert of the Italian Public Administrations.

Massimo Pirozzi serves as an international Correspondent in Italy for the PM World Journal. He can be contacted at [email protected]

To see other works by Massimo Pirozzi, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/massimo-pirozzi/