Projects and Project Management in Germany


Reinhard Wagner

International Correspondent

Munich, Germany

Last month the IPMA Expert Seminar 2014 with fifty participants from about sixteen countries happened in Zurich, Switzerland. I was happy to chair that Expert Seminar, because it was dedicated to the “Future Trends in Project, Programme and Portfolio Management”, which is something that is important to me and obviously also to the participants.

In my opening speech I shared my observations about developments in the field of projects, programmes and portfolios (PP&P). Organisations are more and more using projects as a means to develop new products, implement change or realize strategies. Therefore, more roles than the professionals we in the PM community typically consider are involved. Top management, senior executives, line functions, educators, coaches, trainers, consultants, to mention only a few are interested in the topic of PP&P, to learn which role they could or should fill. Standards must address that needs, professional associations have focused too long on project practitioners and also the literature needs to address these new people as target audiences. This is the rationale behind IPMA publishing the IPMA Organisational Competence Baseline (IPMA OCB) to address the needs of those people. The new version of IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB) will also address more clearly the roles of project, programme and portfolio managers. In parallel IPMA intends to publish another ICB for PM Trainers, Coaches and Consultants, as support functions. Later the ICB could cover a wider spectrum of roles, such as PMO Heads or Support Functions.

Another key trend which I addressed in Zurich is the network we are typically working in. A project manager is involved in forming a network, facilitating that network and at the end of a project or programme dissolving that network again. A project network could be formed out of a divers set of people, groups of people or even organisations. In Automotive Industry for example, more than 500 companies are involved developing a car and bringing it into mass production. Typically, those companies are spread all over the globe. To form such a network is a huge undertaking, firstly regarding the legal framework, secondly regarding the alignment of strategies, processes, structures and cultures, and thirdly also in respect to the way of leading all stakeholders towards the common goal of a project or programme. 


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About the Author 

flag-germanypmwj17-dec2013-wagner-IMAGE2 AUTHORReinhard Wagner

International Correspondent – Germany

Based near Munich

Reinhard Wagner is an International Correspondent for PM World Journal in Germany. He is also CEO of Projektivisten GmbH, 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 27 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 Executive Board of GPM being responsible for all R&E activities as well as the International affairs. Today he is Chairman of the Executive Board. 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 at different Universities in Germany. He has published more than 150 books and articles, speaks to national and international audiences and is elected as IPMA Vice President for R&D / Awards. Reinhard is living close to Munich, Bavaria and can be contacted via [email protected]. 

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