Projects & Project Management in Germany


By Reinhard Wagner

International Correspondent for PM World Journal

Munich, Germany

October is a quite busy month for the PM community in Germany. Usually the biggest national conference “PM Forum” takes place, organized by GPM, the German Project Management Association. GPM was founded in 1979, so this annual conference has a very long tradition, this year it was the 29th PM Forum and it took place in Nuremberg.

Since last year there is a pre-congress to the PM Forum, specialized in PMO Project Management Offices. The “PMO Tag” brings together more than 350 specialists out of all sectors and sizes of organisations in Germany. This years pre-congress was opened by Prof. Dr. Böhm, Vice President Quality Management of Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars. He emphasized the importance of integrating Project and Quality Management in industry. Especially for globally active organisations like Daimler it is crucial to have an integrated management approach, the PMO is playing a decisive role in that. Whether it is setting standards, offering support to the practitioners or all management levels, or continuously developing the methodology in the various business units. Daimler has a global network of PMOs, connecting the development activities across continents.

The second keynote speech was from an executive in the construction department of a state owned public organisation. Scarce resources and complex regulations make it necessary to have a focal point for multiple projects control. The PMO´s main task is to select and prioritite projects in order to achieve the results better than in the past.

The pre-congress was full of presentations, workshops and networking. In the end, a fishbowl session highlighted the main questions for success in a PMO (see picture 1).


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About the Author

Reinhard Wagner

International Correspondent – Germany

Based near Munich

Reinhard Wagner is an International Correspondent for PM World Journal in Germany. He is also CEO of Shift Consulting AG, a service provider specialized in the field of project management. He studied Electrical Engineering and Business Administration in Germany and the USA and looks back to more than 25 years of project related work and leadership experience. His career started in the German Air Force, where he served as Air Surveillance Officer in NATO Air Defense performing projects like the establishment of a Systems Operations Center. 1995 he entered the Automotive Industry and managed several major design projects and programmes, developed specific methodology for Automotive Engineering activities and published the first book on Project Management in Automotive Industry. In 2002 he founded a Special Interest Group for Automotive Project Management within GPM German Project Management Association and leads these activities since then. In 2006 he entered the board of GPM and is responsible for all R&E activities as well as the International affairs. As chairman of the respective DIN committee for the development of PM standards he is responsible for several standardization projects in Germany. From 2007 until 2012 he acted as working group Convenor in ISO for the development of ISO 21500 Guidance on Project Management. Within GPM and IPMA, he developed tools for the assessment and certification of organisations (e.g. GPM3 and IPMA Delta) and acts as Lead Assessor for PM-ZERT and IPMA in this field. Reinhard Wagner teaches project management” in the “Master of Engineering” program at the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg. He has published more than 100 books and articles, speaks to national and international audiences (e.g. IPMA World Congresses), and is a member of the IPMA Council of Delegates. Reinhard is living close to Munich, Bavaria and can be contacted via [email protected].