How Project Start-up occurred internationally as a key issue of Project Management


By Morten Fangel

Copenhagen, Denmark

As project manager for the IPMA World Congress in Copenhagen in 1982, I had the privilege to be exposed to impulses from project management environments:

  • From a Dutch consultant, Gert P. Groote we received a proposal for a paper using the label start-up.
  • As part of the preparation for the Congress a study tour was organised to North America. In Montreal at the Canadian Pacific, I had the chance to meet Robert Gilles who presented the concept of using a facilitator when planning projects – and applying an interactive method with cards and graphical presentation on walls.
  • Personally I had recently published a book describing a method for situational planning of projects. For the application of this method I found it expedient that some kind of “time out” in the beginning of projects was needed.

Altogether, this inspired to include a half-day seminar in the Congress Programme with focus on Project Start-up Planning. In the programme the seminar was introduced as follows:

“The project start-up is a key challenge to project management. The start-up planning of the strategies and organisation will decisively affect the success of the project. The seminar will present various approaches to and tools for this project start-up planning. Also, the team-building aspect will be dealt with”.

According to my knowledge, this was the first event internationally that introduced project start-up as a key issue of project management.

Inspired by the good response from the participants of the seminar, we arranged a meeting during the Congress where Peter Morris and Michael Wright from the United Kingdom and I planned additional activities on promoting the concept of project start-up:

  • The first activities were a series of short Seminars on Project Start-up in Scandinavia.
  • The second was an IPMA Expert Seminar on Project Start-up organised in Oxford in 1984.

These activities verified the increasing interest in the issue…


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About the Author

pmwj15-oct2013-fangel-AUTHOR IMAGE 1Morten Fangel flag-denmark
Fangel Consultants Ltd.
Copenhagen, Denmark

Morten Fangel is Managing Director and Chief Consultant of Fangel Consultants Ltd. and one of the founders of the Danish Project Management Association, (IPMA Denmark) of which he today is the Managing Director. Morten is also a member of four other Nordic PM Associations, the International Project Management Association (IPMA), the Project Management Institute (PMI ®) and the Association of Certified Management Consultants (CMC).   He is former president, past Chair and an Honorary Fellow of IPMA, and an honorary member of the Icelandic Project Management Association. Morten is also a global advisor for the PM World Journal.

Morten Fangel holds a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering, and Ph.D. in industrial research from the Technical University of Denmark and a Diploma in Economics degree from the Copenhagen Business School. After years in consulting Engineering companies, he founded Fangel Consultants Ltd., from where he has more than three decades of experience in management consulting.

Morten Fangel has introduced and is a specialist in methodologies for project preparation and start-up, and for planning and evaluation of project management. He is the author of the book Proactive Project Management: How to Make Common Sense Common Practice, published in 2013. He organizes and teaches the annual IPMA Advanced Courses. Morten can be contacted at [email protected]

To view other works by Morten Fangel, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/morten-fangel/