IPMA Education & Training Board Series: Guatemala Embraces the IPMA Way 


By Bernhard Haidacher


Guatemala is a tiny country in Central America. Its business community is heavily influenced by the rest of the world.    In Guatemala we tend to say that if USA sneezes, Guatemala gets a cold. Globalization is changing the world and the world’s monetary policy of the last ten years has caused not the prices to rise, but the purchasing power of currencies to decline. The good old times have also changed in this corner of the world and PM is emerging as an important component of our future competitiveness strategy.

PM was virtually non-existent in Guatemala before 2009. Our new generation of business leaders, successful, intelligent and detail oriented, understand the value of preparation.  It is perfectly clear that if a project fails wealth is destroyed, but even though we do not list our companies in the stock market, the pressure of short term results is paramount.

Many still succumb to the temptation of waving a wand expecting to solve a particular problem. I am talking about business trends supposed to perform magic: reengineering processes, ERP systems, balanced scorecard, ISO 9001, customer relationship systems, “the cloud”, innovation blueprints, etc., etc. Unimaginable amounts of money have been squandered on spells like these.  Please do not get me wrong.  Initiatives like the ones mentioned are very good and do work, but only when well-choreographed within a carefully thought program, a set of interrelated projects to achieve a strategic objective.

PM has been regarded as a methodology to perform time constrained initiatives – mono-projects – like building a house, remodeling a branch or replacing servers, etc.  PM has been coined as an accounting like discipline, register centered and an exact procedure.  Only until this century we find books like “Obstacles to Effective Strategy Implementation” from Lawrence G. Hrebiniak, or “Executing Your Strategy: How to Break It Down and Get It Done” from Mark Morgan et al published by Harvard Business Review Press.


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Editor’s note: This series of articles is provided by the IPMA Education and Training (E&T) Board on the subject of project management education, training, careers and related topics.  More information about the IPMA E&T can be found at http://ipma.ch/education.

About the Author 

pmwj22-may2014-Haidacher-AUTHOR IMAGEBernhard Haidacher flag-guatemala


Bernhard Haidacher, E.Eng, MBA, IPMA-D, an active advocate of the PM profession, is the founder and current President of Asociación Project Management de Guatemala or IPMA Guatemala, the leading authority on the PM profession in Guatemala.  He is also founder of Facultare a consulting firm based in Guatemala dedicated to strategic and tactical project management activities ranging from strategic planning, M&A, feasibility analysis through to selection and implementation of ERP systems.  In the recent past also actively involved with the German Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala. He has been professor at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Universidad Rafaél Landivar and Universidad Galileo.  Currently also appointed as Guatemala’s representative on the IPMA Council of Delegates.  He holds IPMA Level D®, IPMA® FFA, IPMA Delta® International Assessor Certificates.