This is rather old news, but given that more and more people understand the importance of being certified by either the PMI or the IPMA, this should still be mentioned. In 2008 already, the Project Management Institute and the International Project Management Association signed an agreement that they will join forces in order to boost the project management profession. As a consequence, the PMI certification Project Management Professional and the IPMA certification Level C will be accepted by both parties as being equivalent. This is a huge step, given that both organisations were perceived as being two different religions that were not compatible to each other, despite the fact that some project managers have certifications from both.
Furthermore, the Project Management Institute and the International Project Management Association will work together building university programs and doing research. The agreement has been signed for three years so that we should see the outcome soon.
At the end of the day, there is no alternative than working together for the two big organisations. The project management profession is still very young, and too often project management is done by people who may have experience but lack a professional education. Compare this to the dentist profession: centuries ago, the barber was also the dentist. Obviously, there was not too much education available so that most barbers relied on experience which must not have been a bad thing in all cases. There was no alternative. Project Management in the early days was done by the “barbers”, and while more and more professional project managers are available, too many projects are still being managed by “barbers” because businesses have not seen the importance of professional project management by now; project management seems to be doable by everyone who has enough experience in another profession. The blame must not be put on these businesses: The PMI and the IPMA have failed to prove the value of professional project management by now, and they MUST work together in order to make sure project management is perceived as the art of improving the bottom line.
And while the barber comparison may sound odd: Centuries ago, a tooth was just pulled out by the barber, there was no way to save a tooth from being extracted. At the same time, teeth did not have the aesthetic value as they have today. Compared to today, often enough there is no alternative to loosing money due to unprofessional project management, and people believe that this may just be the way it is. It is not. It is time the attitude towards project management is changed. And this is the challenge the PMI and the IPMA must face together.