Interview with David L. Pells


By Petek Kabakci

PMI Turkey Chapter

Istanbul, Turkey

David L. Pells is Managing Editor of the PM World Journal and Executive Director of the PM World Library. David is an internationally recognized leader in the field of professional project management with more than 35 years of experience on a variety of programs and projects, including energy, engineering, construction, defense, transit, high technology and nuclear security, and project sizes ranging from several thousand to ten billion dollars. He has been an active professional leader in the United States since the 1980s, serving on the board of directors of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) twice. He was founder and chair of the Global Project Management Forum (1995-2000), an annual meeting of leaders of PM associations from around the world.

David was awarded PMI’s Person of the Year award in 1998 and Fellow Award, PMI’s highest honor, in 1999. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK; Project Management Associates (PMA – India); and Russian Project Management Association. He is an honorary member of the Project Management Association of Nepal since 2010. From June 2006 until March 2012, he was the managing editor of the globally acclaimed PM World Today eJournal. He occasionally provides high level advisory support for major U.S. government programs and global organizations. David has published widely, spoken at conferences and events worldwide, and can be contacted at [email protected].

This interview was conducted via email in late January 2015 by Petek Kabakci, PMP,  PMI TR Communications Director and Editor of PMI TR E-Newsletter.

Before answering questions, David offered a few introductory comments:

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you. I have had four occasions in the past to visit Turkey. In 1994, I returned to the USA from a business trip to Russia via Sochi and Istanbul. I had an opportunity to spend a few days in Istanbul at that time, acting as a tourist and visiting some of the most famous sites, meeting my friend Ahmet Taspinar for lunch and a walk along the Bosporus, and falling in love with the city.

I returned three more times over the years to speak at conferences, the most recent during the IPMA World Congress in Istanbul in 2010. Having a little knowledge about and a lot of interest in Istanbul and Turkey, I have followed economic, political and professional developments there over the years. Based on Turkey’s location, size, history, economic trends and other factors, I expect Turkey to be one of the most influential countries in the world during the 21st Century.

Now to your questions,

Petek Kabakci:        How do you see future trends in project management?

David Pells:              Thank you for this question, which is actually not so easy to answer. First, there is the obvious trend of continued growth of the project management (PM) field as more programs and projects are launched, more organizations recognize the benefits and implement modern PM, and the visibility of the PM profession continues to increase worldwide. Programs and projects exist in every organization now, so the increased adoption of enterprise project management and project portfolio management is also both natural and widespread. More organizations, and entire industries, are being recognized and labeled as project-based, project-oriented or project-focused. The demand for project managers and project management professionals will continue to grow everywhere.

Secondly, the topics within the PM field will continue to increase. Just as PM has been recognized as very similar to general (executive) management, so will the range of responsibilities and requirements continue to expand to reflect that perspective. For example, the team responsible for a greenfield project of any kind must act as general manager for that enterprise, developing and implementing administrative, financial, human resources, operational and other systems, all while planning and implementing the project. In a similar context, project managers and entrepreneurs are engaged in similar activities, those associated with the launch of a project or the launch of a new product or business.


To read entire interview (click here)

Editor’s note: This interview was conducted via email by Ms. Petek Kabakci on behalf of the PMI Turkey chapter (PMI TR) in January 2015, and subsequently published in the PMI TR eNewsletter in February. The interview was coordinated by İpek Sahra Özgüler, PMWJ correspondent in Turkey. More about the PMI Turkey chapter can be found at http://www.pmi.org.tr/c7/.   The interview is republished here with approval of the PMI Turkey chapter.