IPMA: Communique for September 25th, 2021 virtual Council of Delegates

Building a new reality in a sustainable manner in the era of digital transformation

CoD Communique 25 09 2021This is the third time in the 57 years of IPMA that we have held our Council of Delegates in a virtual way, still conditioned by the global pandemic. A situation that has lead to all of us continuing to learn how to adapt to these circumstances of necessary change and transformation.

As we shared throughout this year at various IPMA events worldwide dealing with this pandemic period, resilience—the ability to respond to the crisis—has helped many organisations survive a turbulent year, but resilience is as much about reconnaissance as it is about recovery. During the days preceding our Council meeting we have made a great effort together with our Russian Association delivering our 32nd World Congress. It was postponed from last year and will this year take place in a blended format, on-line as well as face-to-face in the City of Saint Petersburg. The motto of the congress is “Project Management in the Digital Transformation Era”.

Digital transformation goes much further than IT modernization, from cloud computing to digital optimization and to the invention of new digital business models. In general, it refers to the use and management of digital technology to evolve or create new PM and business processes and consequently whole project portfolio practices, applied methods and methodologies, tools, techniques and associated competences. Digital transformation of our profession means the process of assessing customer needs and leveraging technology to improve project deliverables as well as end-user experience and satisfaction. End users being our customers, employees as well as other relevant stakeholders such as the society as a whole. IPMA thinks it is important that this transformation should also take place in a sustainable manner.

Digital transformation management is about evolving businesses by experimenting with new technology and rethinking the current approach to common issues. Because it’s an evolution, a transformation doesn’t necessarily have a clear end point. It’s a continuous process where management continuously adapts to a constantly changing environment. For this a clear strategy, programmes and projects are needed for any organisation that means to continually seek out ways to improve the end user experience.

Sustainable digital transformation is crucial because it allows Organisations to adapt to ever-changing environments and continually improve how they operate. I am convinced that the strategy to improve and sustain digital transformation in an organisation consists of addressing three pillars: 1. customer experience/satisfaction; 2. operational processes (focusing on PPPM evolution) and 3. business models.
An effective digital transformation approach will create a framework to follow throughout this ever-evolving process, taking into account knowing what the organisation hopes to achieve in terms of monitoring, controlling and tracking along the way.

The IPMA ICB4© (Individual Competence Baseline) addresses Change and Transformation in the Competence Area of Practices as follows:

Newly developed capabilities only deliver benefits when they are put to use, and when they are supported by the organisations and people receiving them. Change (as improvement of a current situation, keeping the past in mind) and transformation (the emerging development of new situations, based on a vision of the future) provides the process, tools and techniques that can be utilised to help individuals and organisations make successful personal and organisational transitions resulting in the adoption and realisation of change.

IPMA Chairman Dr. Jesus Martinez Almela highlights that the most important thing now addressing the level of change and transformation management required by a portfolio will largely depend on the amount of disruption created in individuals’ and groups’ day-to-day lives, plus attributes such as culture, value systems and history with past changes. Change and transformation do not primarily happen ‘by design’, and are not usually a linear process. The individual needs to regularly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the changes and adapt the change or transformation strategy. The individual also needs to take into account the change capacity and capabilities of people, groups or organisations in order to help them successfully adapt or transform.


We will continue our work worldwide and see the future in a much more transformed, digitalized and sustainable way, addressing our new reality.

Jesus Martinez Almela, IPMA Council of Delegates Chairman