Report from IRNOP XIII

Report from IRNOP XIII 2017 Project Management Research Conference in Boston

By Dr Jouko Vaskimo

International Correspondent & Senior Contributing Editor

Espoo, Finland


IRNOP (The International Research Network on Organizing by Projects) XIII
conference was held in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 11 … 14, 2017. The conference, a biennial series started in Sweden in 1994, took place at the Boston University Metropolitan College Charles River Campus, and was organized by Associate Professor Dr Vijay Kanabar, Assistant Professor Dr Stephen A. Leybourne, and Associate Professor Dr Roger D. H. Warburton. The conference theme was The Modern Project: Mindsets, Toolsets, and Theoretical Frameworks. The Boston University Metropolitan College provided an excellent venue for the event, which the participants found appropriately informal and collegial, encouraging active exchange and networking.

Boston University Questrom School of Business (photos courtesy Jouko Vaskimo)

The conference program included plenary sessions with state-of-the-art keynotes, and several parallel tracks with a total of over 80 keynote and paper presentations. The conference was attended by over 170 participants from more than 30 countries, and by some of the most renowned scholars in the field of project management. The conference was organized for faculty and students from universities from all over the world having an interest in projects, temporary organizations, project organizing and project-based organizations. In addition to the official program, the conference offered a social program of dinners and receptions, and a doctoral workshop for PhD students.

The conference was sponsored by Project Management Institute (PMI), International Project Management Association (IPMA) and Boston University Metropolitan College.

In his opening presentation Professor Leybourne welcomed everyone sincerely to the Boston University, and to Metropolitan College Charles River Campus. Professor Leybourne has been involved with the PM academic community since his first PMI Research Conference in Seattle in 2002, and considers at least 50 of the attendees to be friends as well as academic colleagues. Indeed, he mentioned that at his first PM research conference, he had just submitted his PhD, and that the list of 2002 attendees was like ‘walking through the bibliography’ of his dissertation.

Subsequent to the three-day event Professor Dr Leybourne was very happy with the way that the conference progressed. He thanked the participants, the presenters, the keynote speakers, and the Boston University organizing committee – especially the volunteers who made the conference possible. He concluded: “I would like to thank my co-Chairs, the volunteers, and the project team, and would also like to acknowledge the support of our department – Metropolitan College – who allowed us to spend significant time on making this conference a success.”

Professor Dr Leybourne can be contacted at [email protected] .

Professor Dr Stephen Leybourne opening the IRNOP XIII conference

The third IRNOP Doctoral Workshop, in which doctoral candidates presented their research to an audience of peers and senior international scholars in a friendly and constructive atmosphere, took place the day before the main conference. On the same day, a welcome reception was organized at the Boston University Questrom School of Business Atrium to welcome the conference participants.


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About the Author

Dr Jouko Vaskimo

Espoo, Finland




Jouko Vaskimo is an International Correspondent and Senior Contributing Editor for PM World in Finland. Jouko graduated M.Sc. (Tech.) from Helsinki University of Technology in 1992, and D.Sc. (Tech.) from Aalto University in 2016. He has held several project management related positions with increasing levels for responsibility. Jouko holds a number of professional certificates in the field of project management, such as the IPMA Level C (Project Manager), IPMA Level B (Senior Project Manager), PMP, PRINCE2 Foundation, and PRINCE2 Practitioner. Jouko is also a Certified Scrum Master and SAFe Agilist.

Jouko is a member of the Project Management Association Finland, a founding member of PMI Finland Chapter, and the immediate past chairman of the Finnish IPMA Certification Body operating IPMA certification in Finland. Since October 2007, he has been heading the Finnish delegation to ISO/TC 258.

Jouko resides in Espoo, Finland and can be best contacted at [email protected]. For more information please navigate to www.linkedin.com/in/jouko-vaskimo-6285b51.

To view other works by Jouko Vaskimo, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/jouko-vaskimo/