Vladimir Voropajev: 1936-2015



Project management leader instrumental in developing modern project management profession in Russia and many other countries

Reported by Managing Editor David Pells

28 December 2015 – Moscow, Russia and Dallas, TX, USA – PM World has learned that Vladimir Voropajev has passed away in Moscow. He was 79 years old. Vladimir has founder and long-time president of the Russian Project Management Association SOVNET based in Moscow. He was also a global advisor for the PM World Journal and PM World Library; he authored or co-authored many scientific papers related to project management, several of which were published in the PMWJ.

151228-pmwj42-voropajev-PHOTOI first met Vladimir in Moscow in 1992 during my first trip to Russia. It was memorable for many reasons, as were my many subsequent travels in Russia with Vladimir and other Russian project management leaders. We traveled the country speaking with and lecturing to Russian regional industry and government leaders about modern project management. Those were exhilarating times. I was honored as SOVNET’s first international member in 1993 and later to be named an honorary SOVNET Fellow.

Since the mid-nineties, Vladimir continued to serve as SOVNET president (and honorary president after retirement), served on the IPMA Executive Board, lectured and supported the launch of PM professional societies in many countries, led Russian delegations to annual PMI conferences in North America and IPMA congresses in Europe, participated in other PM conferences and meetings worldwide, published books and academic papers on program and project management, and provided personal support to professional leaders worldwide.

The last time I saw Vladimir in Croatia in 2012; he was in good spirits and seemed in good health. He was a professional colleague, a mentor and a great friend; he will be very badly missed by those of us who knew him.

Prof Voropajev’s background summary

Professor Vladimir I. Voropajev, PhD was Founder and former President and Chairman of the Board of the Russian Association of Project Management, SOVNET. Dr. Voropajev was professor of Project Management at the State University of Management, Moscow, Russia.  He was also Head of the Program and Project Management Faculty for the Russian State Academy’s Program for Professional Retraining and Professional Skill Development for Executives and Specialists in Investment Fields.  He was a full member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences on Information Science and Cybernetics, and of the International Academy of Investments and Economy in Construction.

From 1991 to 2001, he was Vice-president and a member of the Executive Board of the International Project Management Association (IPMA), the global federation of national PM associations based in Zurich, Switzerland. He was a First Assessor for several IPMA certification bodies. In 2005 he was awarded IPMA Honorary Fellowship Award. He is also an honorary Fellow of the Indian Project Management Association and a past member of the Global Project Management Forum Steering Committee.  During his 50 years of engineering, scientific, teaching and consulting activities, he published over 250 scientific research works including 7 monographs and 5 textbooks about the organization and planning of construction, information systems, and project management.

Vladimir served on the editorial boards of several international project management journals, was a frequent participant in PM conferences worldwide, and provided ongoing counsel and support to PM professional leaders in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Yugoslavia and several other countries.

To read some of his recent works now in the PM World Library, click here.

According to Miles Shepherd in UK: “My memories of Vladimir are not so extensive as yours and do not go back quite so far.  However, his was the first technical paper I read in the International Journal back in the mid-1990s.  It was on merge points in large networks and the mathematics were well beyond my understanding.  However, I met him at an IPMA Council meeting in Zurich a few months later and he tried to explain the background computations; sadly my understanding of the theory and his command of the language ensured I remained in ignorance of the detail but well informed of the result!

Vladimir was an indefatigable champion of project management, not just for its usefulness in managing complex tasks but for its ability to bring nations together.  He felt that the professional societies had a role to play and so he bounced Debbie O’Bray and me into ‘drafting’ a communique to world leaders on behalf of our respective societies (Debbie as PMI Chair and me as IPMA President) in the opening ceremony of the 2003 Congress in Moscow.  Neither Debbie nor I had any idea this was planned so you can imagine our surprise when we were asked to sign the communique on stage!

Like you, I have many happy memories of Vladimir, as mathematician, PM theorist, unifier of Member Associations and good friend.  He will be much missed.”

Editor’s further note: A more extensive tribute to Vladimir Voropajev will be prepared for publication in the PM World Journal. If you have a personal story, memory or photo of your time or meetings with Vladimir, please send to [email protected] to be included in the tribute.