Interview with Zeynep Selen


Interview with Zeynep Selen

Chair, İstanbul Project Management Association, Turkey

Interviewed by Ömer Berkay Dağlı

Istanbul, Turkey

 Zeynep Selen is Chair of the Istanbul Project Management Association. She graduated in Computer Science and Engineering from Yıldız Technical University in 1987. During her nearly 30 years of professional career, she worked in the software projects of commercial banks’ IT departments that pioneered both the Turkish and European financial sectors. She took part in various software projects from programming to project and portfolio management. Respectively; She worked as a software developer, project analyst, project, program and portfolio manager at the IT departments of Imar Bank, Pamukbank and Yapı Kredi Bank. Between 2015 and 2016, she was in charge of portfolio management roles at Yapı Kredi Corporate and Commercial Banking Department and also managed IT projects of the department.

She became a member of the Istanbul Project Management Association (İPYD) in 2013 and started a Career Coaching program within the association. In 2014, she took part in the IPYD Board of Directors and supported Professional Development and Education Groups. In 2017, she coordinated the Mentoring Program she established within IPYD and in the same year she established a P3O (Project & Program & Portfolio) Interest Group. She is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of IPYD 2018-2020.


mer Berkay Dağlı (Dağlı): Dear Zeynep, first of all, thank you very much for accepting to make an interview. Please introduce yourself for PM World Journal readers, and firstly how did you get involved with Project Management?

Zeynep Selen (Zeynep): Hi, I also thank you for your interest. I started my career as a software developer in the finance sector. The bank I was working with in the 2000s was a leading bank that began to look at software developments from a project management perspective. At that time, they founded the first PMO in the sector with this new perspective and appointed a group of experienced software developers as project manager, which I was also appointed. I started project management in this way.

Dağlı:           What has been your most fulfilling experience as a project and program manager?

Zeynep:       As a software developer, I find myself fortunate to have worked as a team leader in one of the projects involved in the transition to the year 2000. However, I enjoyed the participation in the management team of historical projects such as the launch of the EURO currency, six zeros from the Turkish Lira and the transition to the YTL currency.

Dağlı:           Could you tell me more about the Istanbul Project Management Association (IPYD)?

Zeynep:       İPYD is an association that aims to bring together those interested in project management. Considering that the establishment year is 1997, I find it very impressive and important that today, our association is trying to develop and expand the profession and the management of the project management with the belief and perseverance on the first day. Taking part in the management of such a deep-rooted association brings us even greater responsibility. With this responsibility and excitement, we are trying to advance and develop what has been done by knowing the value of the steps taken in previous years. On the other hand, with our activities that are enriched by passing years and activities carried out by our special interest groups, we are trying to support team work within our organization.

Dağlı:           What makes IPYD different from the other PM organizations?

Zeynep:       What makes IPYD different is its being neutral and local. So; is a local professional organization which is equal to all institution and project management methodologies and is open to those who define themselves as project managers or who want to be.

Dağlı:           How did you get involved with the association?

Zeynep:       On the other hand, I became a member of IPYD in 2013. My motivation at that time was to work as a career coach for those who want to be a project manager. With the support of the Board of Directors, we started a specialized career coaching program. After the activities such as training coordination, activities in interest groups, mentoring program in addition to coaching, I have been started to work as the chairman of the association board of directors.

Dağlı:           As the Chair, what is your role?


To read entire interview, click here


How to cite this interview: Dağlı, Ö. (2018); Interview with Zeynep Selen; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue II (February). Available online at  https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/pmwj79-Feb2019-Dagli-Interview-with-Zeynep-Selen.pdf


About the Interviewer

Ömer Berkay Dağlı

Istanbul, Turkey




Ömer Berkay Dağlı is currently a Project Manager at Entech & Semar Engineering and Marine Solutions Company. He recently graduated with an MSc Management from Southampton Business School, University of Southampton. Previously, he served as an Officer on Watch for over 30 months on board chemical tankers, based in different routes around the world where he served as Third and Second Officer. He completed his graduation in Marine Transportation Management dual diploma with honours from both Istanbul Technical University, Turkey and State University of New York Maritime College, USA in 2014. His major fields of study are project management, logistics and inter-modal transportation. His research interests include global project management, leadership, uncertainty management, programme and portfolio management, strategic PM, IT Project Management, PM governance, stakeholders, project control and PM in the transportation and logistics industries.  Omer served as a research intern for the PM World Library during January 2018, completing the program in record time.  He can be contacted at [email protected]

To view other works by Ömer Berkay Dağlı, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/omer-berkay-dagli/