Report: 3rd Annual UT Dallas PM Symposium

PM Commentary, by Stacy Goff, ProjectExperts CEO.
IPMA-USA and IPMA were well-represented at the 3rd Annual University of Texas at Dallas PM Symposium August 13-14. With the theme Managing in a Changing World, and sponsored by the UT Dallas, the Dallas Chapter of PMI®, and by PM World Journal, this was the most interesting US conference we have participated in this year. We presented twice, and IPMA Secretary General Veikko Välilä also presented twice. One of our presentations was in a PM Career Management track, and the other was with Veikko in a Panel discussion about The Future of PM.

In the PM Career Management track, our paper, Essential Insights in Meeting the Rising Demand for PM Performance, was embraced by the audience. They resonated with the theme of moving beyond PM knowledge, to actions needed to increase skills, improve behavioral attributes, increase PM competence and ultimately, PM Performance. A now-familiar theme to most of our IPMA-USA members and friends, this was new perspective for some in this audience, and as a credit to their experience, they were excited by the prospects.

The Panel, The Future of PM, was expertly chaired by David Pells of PMForum. The panel included Veikko Välilä, Goff, and José Carlos Machicao Valencia, who traveled from Peru, and also presented in a separate stream. A highlight of the panel was the open questions from the audience, after each panelist’s opening statement. The questions and dialogue could have gone on for hours. The perspective of the future of PM from this panel, representing Europe, North America and South America, with Veikko also representing the viewpoint of Africa and Asia through his global experience, was both diverse and fascinating. Key points by each participant were greeted with applause from the eager audience. We especially appreciated the insights of José, who made key counterpoints. For example, “developing countries need not make the same PM mistakes developed countries have made, as they are quick to observe and learn.” This reminds us of the visions of Seymour Papert from the 1970’s, about the wise societies’ ability to leapfrog those who have gone before.

Our own Future Vision for the panel was based on our chapter in a book published by PMI in time for the 2009 Orlando Congress: PM Circa 2025. Approximately forty authors, including panel moderator David Pells, contributed to chapters for the book. Our chapter, Visions of the 2025 PM Software Industry, deals with the innovations to come over the next 16+ years, and the implications for practitioners, vendors, organizations, and the practice of Project Management.

To Summarize
As we mentioned in a post-Symposium thank you to hosts Jim Joiner and Debbie Samac, the participants in this program were more engaged, and operate at a higher level of grasp and tenacity than at most events we encounter. Our takeaway: One reason for this could be that many of the participants are graduates of your (UTD) program. This should be something for IPMA-USA (IPMA-USA) to take note of, because it is truly the type of Advancement of Project Management IPMA-USA is working to institutionalize.

About UTD
The Project Management program at UT Dallas provides application-oriented education for professionals with significant project, program or general management responsibilities. Established in the Executive Education Center in the UT Dallas’ School of Management, students have the option of earning a Certificate in Project Management, a Master of Science degree with an emphasis in project management, or a Master of Business Administration degree with project management emphasis.

The UT Dallas PM program, originally developed in 1997, is taught by a world-class faculty with a blend of industrial project management, consulting and teaching experience. The UT Dallas pm program is delivered both on campus and online, and attracts students from across the USA and worldwide.

About PM World Journal
PM World Journal operates, the world’s oldest website devoted to professional project management and is one of the world’s most popular sources of project management news and information. PM World Journal’s monthly online magazine includes articles, case studies, papers and stories by leading PM authorities from around the world can be found; free subscriptions are available at


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