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Commonwealth Association for Project Managers?
I don't know how many of you are aware of the Commonwealth of Nations, an association of 56 sovereign nations which support each other and work together towards international goals. With their common heritage in language, culture, law, education, and democratic traditions, among other things, Commonwealth countries are able to work together in an atmosphere of greater trust and understanding than generally prevails among nations.

By the same token, there exists the Commonwealth Family is a network of associations, organizations, and charities affiliated with the Commonwealth of Nations. List here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_Family

All are designed to advance the principles and policies of the Commonwealth itself.

To that end would the establishment of a commonwealth association for project managers be valid and warranted? Or would it become redundant due to the already existing number of project management organizations?

Thoughts?
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Every community offers opportunities, Stephen.

The Commonwealth was the catalyst for colonial systems that crippled indigenous populations for the riches of the conquerors. As a result most of these countries, including mine, face untold issues with the colonial systems still in place.

Why do I bring it up? Because as project managers of the Commonwealth, we can learn from each other and help with reconciliation and system changes.
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1 reply by Stephen Robin
Aug 29, 2022 5:14 PM
Stephen Robin
...
Thanks for your input, Stephane.

I could see the introduction of a new community that would fill the gaps and makes the bridge to adequate systematic changes and reconciliation. Projects and programs will likely be conceptualized, ongoing, and completed as we speak in the Commonwealth of Nations and its related bodies.

Not only that but the prospect of an association that wears multiple hats. Not only as an advocate and champion for project management in commonwealth nations but can also act a council that provides consulting, training, and advisory services to those that need them. There are also opportunities to establish best practices and standards in countries with low PM maturity.

Most importantly through project management, the commonwealth can see better results in advancing its principles and policies.

What do you think?
Aug 29, 2022 2:57 PM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
Every community offers opportunities, Stephen.

The Commonwealth was the catalyst for colonial systems that crippled indigenous populations for the riches of the conquerors. As a result most of these countries, including mine, face untold issues with the colonial systems still in place.

Why do I bring it up? Because as project managers of the Commonwealth, we can learn from each other and help with reconciliation and system changes.
Thanks for your input, Stephane.

I could see the introduction of a new community that would fill the gaps and makes the bridge to adequate systematic changes and reconciliation. Projects and programs will likely be conceptualized, ongoing, and completed as we speak in the Commonwealth of Nations and its related bodies.

Not only that but the prospect of an association that wears multiple hats. Not only as an advocate and champion for project management in commonwealth nations but can also act a council that provides consulting, training, and advisory services to those that need them. There are also opportunities to establish best practices and standards in countries with low PM maturity.

Most importantly through project management, the commonwealth can see better results in advancing its principles and policies.

What do you think?
Stephen -

While such an organization could provide benefits to members, there would still be the need for it to generate funds for its programs and that would put it squarely in competition with international PM associations such as PMI.

What is the value proposition you'd see of such an entity over and above what PMI and similar associations provide?

Kiron
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1 reply by Stephen Robin
Aug 29, 2022 6:47 PM
Stephen Robin
...
Kiron -
It all depends on the approach. While a prospect of such an organization, many can see its benefits on the surface level eg, it is doomed due to redundancy if it emulates the PMI's model or other international PM associations.

My view on the generated funding while simplified, I can presume would be received through nations through government funding, private sponsors, and the Commonwealth itself.

Moreover, the value proposition, analyzed would have to be on strong differentiation and its areas of focus. Since commonwealth associations, directly and indirectly, deal with the affairs of the Commonwealth, they would align with as indicated the policies and principles which are various. The Charter of the Commonwealth is a prime example of what they target.

In the scenario where the Commonwealth is simply attempting to build its own PMI, is not likely to work in my opinion.

Whereas the scenario, where presents itself as a "working arm" of the project management movement with a core focus on partnerships and collaboration with recognized bodies such as the PMI. There is some sort of feasibility in my book.

The point of such an organization should be to complement, fill potential gaps, and enhance rather than become a dominant body like well-known international PM associations.

Thoughts?
Aug 29, 2022 5:59 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Stephen -

While such an organization could provide benefits to members, there would still be the need for it to generate funds for its programs and that would put it squarely in competition with international PM associations such as PMI.

What is the value proposition you'd see of such an entity over and above what PMI and similar associations provide?

Kiron
Kiron -
It all depends on the approach. While a prospect of such an organization, many can see its benefits on the surface level eg, it is doomed due to redundancy if it emulates the PMI's model or other international PM associations.

My view on the generated funding while simplified, I can presume would be received through nations through government funding, private sponsors, and the Commonwealth itself.

Moreover, the value proposition, analyzed would have to be on strong differentiation and its areas of focus. Since commonwealth associations, directly and indirectly, deal with the affairs of the Commonwealth, they would align with as indicated the policies and principles which are various. The Charter of the Commonwealth is a prime example of what they target.

In the scenario where the Commonwealth is simply attempting to build its own PMI, is not likely to work in my opinion.

Whereas the scenario, where presents itself as a "working arm" of the project management movement with a core focus on partnerships and collaboration with recognized bodies such as the PMI. There is some sort of feasibility in my book.

The point of such an organization should be to complement, fill potential gaps, and enhance rather than become a dominant body like well-known international PM associations.

Thoughts?
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Aug 30, 2022 8:12 AM
Kiron Bondale
...
I think the effort to stand up such an entity would be more than the incremental benefits realized when compared with what could be offered through existing associations.

Can you identify the specific gaps which you see such a body being able to address and what would prevent PMI or another international PM association from addressing those?

Kiron
I think, Stephen, that while many of your suggested goals are laudable, they are not sufficiently distinct and inimitable.
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1 reply by Stephen Robin
Aug 29, 2022 6:59 PM
Stephen Robin
...
I am aware of that. At this point, it is just loose speculation based on an organization that may never exist. Without providing the full context concerning the Commonwealth and tailoring it to suit. What I suggested can already be undertaken or done by already existing PM associations. This will call for more research and reading on the subject matter.
Aug 29, 2022 6:53 PM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
I think, Stephen, that while many of your suggested goals are laudable, they are not sufficiently distinct and inimitable.
I am aware of that. At this point, it is just loose speculation based on an organization that may never exist. Without providing the full context concerning the Commonwealth and tailoring it to suit. What I suggested can already be undertaken or done by already existing PM associations. This will call for more research and reading on the subject matter.
Aug 29, 2022 6:47 PM
Replying to Stephen Robin
...
Kiron -
It all depends on the approach. While a prospect of such an organization, many can see its benefits on the surface level eg, it is doomed due to redundancy if it emulates the PMI's model or other international PM associations.

My view on the generated funding while simplified, I can presume would be received through nations through government funding, private sponsors, and the Commonwealth itself.

Moreover, the value proposition, analyzed would have to be on strong differentiation and its areas of focus. Since commonwealth associations, directly and indirectly, deal with the affairs of the Commonwealth, they would align with as indicated the policies and principles which are various. The Charter of the Commonwealth is a prime example of what they target.

In the scenario where the Commonwealth is simply attempting to build its own PMI, is not likely to work in my opinion.

Whereas the scenario, where presents itself as a "working arm" of the project management movement with a core focus on partnerships and collaboration with recognized bodies such as the PMI. There is some sort of feasibility in my book.

The point of such an organization should be to complement, fill potential gaps, and enhance rather than become a dominant body like well-known international PM associations.

Thoughts?
I think the effort to stand up such an entity would be more than the incremental benefits realized when compared with what could be offered through existing associations.

Can you identify the specific gaps which you see such a body being able to address and what would prevent PMI or another international PM association from addressing those?

Kiron
...
1 reply by Stephen Robin
Aug 30, 2022 1:05 PM
Stephen Robin
...
The specific gaps addressed would be according to the Commonwealth's objectives and activities. As large as the organization is, there is a scope to what they focus on.

The Commonwealth areas of work are as follows: democracy, economics, education, gender, governance, human rights, law, small states, sport, sustainability, and youth.

The current highest priority aims are the promotion of democracy and development.

I can only assume that a commonwealth association of project managers would be one of the major units in designing projects, programs and portfolios focused on the areas of work mentioned.

Concerning the PMI and other international PM associations, it is not a matter of prevention but rather the willingness to. Organizations like the PMI are focused on the advancement of the profession and establishing best practices first and foremost.

Although there is the element of corporate social responsibility which usually comes in the form of charities, volunteerism, foundations, and sponsorship, there is no obligation for the associations to spread themselves as far as possible. It would be a plus but not a mandate.

The PMI has supposedly half a billion in revenue. At the end of the day, the internal stakeholders such as the PMI president, board, committees, and general membership have the final say in what they invest in, not the public.

What do you think?
Aug 30, 2022 8:12 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
I think the effort to stand up such an entity would be more than the incremental benefits realized when compared with what could be offered through existing associations.

Can you identify the specific gaps which you see such a body being able to address and what would prevent PMI or another international PM association from addressing those?

Kiron
The specific gaps addressed would be according to the Commonwealth's objectives and activities. As large as the organization is, there is a scope to what they focus on.

The Commonwealth areas of work are as follows: democracy, economics, education, gender, governance, human rights, law, small states, sport, sustainability, and youth.

The current highest priority aims are the promotion of democracy and development.

I can only assume that a commonwealth association of project managers would be one of the major units in designing projects, programs and portfolios focused on the areas of work mentioned.

Concerning the PMI and other international PM associations, it is not a matter of prevention but rather the willingness to. Organizations like the PMI are focused on the advancement of the profession and establishing best practices first and foremost.

Although there is the element of corporate social responsibility which usually comes in the form of charities, volunteerism, foundations, and sponsorship, there is no obligation for the associations to spread themselves as far as possible. It would be a plus but not a mandate.

The PMI has supposedly half a billion in revenue. At the end of the day, the internal stakeholders such as the PMI president, board, committees, and general membership have the final say in what they invest in, not the public.

What do you think?
...
2 replies by Kiron Bondale and Thomas Walenta
Aug 30, 2022 6:45 PM
Kiron Bondale
...
Sounds like you need to put a business case together and pitch it to the Commonwealth "powers that be"!

Kiron
Aug 31, 2022 8:58 AM
Thomas Walenta
...
As to PMI's financial report 2020 published on their website, revenue is 318 million, and more than half a billion are reserves. Expenses of 266 million in 2020.

I would not think Commonwealth is the best organisation to promote PM globally. For one it is a remnant if the late British empire with a unethical and predatory reputation, then the global coverage is limited, US based organizations like PMI are unlikely to embrace a UK centered initiative and the PM setup in UK (APM, IPA/MPA and chartered PMs) is unlikely to support an international buildup.

Your idea is worthwhile though, if attached to a truly global institution like the UN or ISO. On the other hand, making PM an accepted profession must be done by nations (all professions are based on national laws).
Aug 30, 2022 1:05 PM
Replying to Stephen Robin
...
The specific gaps addressed would be according to the Commonwealth's objectives and activities. As large as the organization is, there is a scope to what they focus on.

The Commonwealth areas of work are as follows: democracy, economics, education, gender, governance, human rights, law, small states, sport, sustainability, and youth.

The current highest priority aims are the promotion of democracy and development.

I can only assume that a commonwealth association of project managers would be one of the major units in designing projects, programs and portfolios focused on the areas of work mentioned.

Concerning the PMI and other international PM associations, it is not a matter of prevention but rather the willingness to. Organizations like the PMI are focused on the advancement of the profession and establishing best practices first and foremost.

Although there is the element of corporate social responsibility which usually comes in the form of charities, volunteerism, foundations, and sponsorship, there is no obligation for the associations to spread themselves as far as possible. It would be a plus but not a mandate.

The PMI has supposedly half a billion in revenue. At the end of the day, the internal stakeholders such as the PMI president, board, committees, and general membership have the final say in what they invest in, not the public.

What do you think?
Sounds like you need to put a business case together and pitch it to the Commonwealth "powers that be"!

Kiron
Aug 30, 2022 1:05 PM
Replying to Stephen Robin
...
The specific gaps addressed would be according to the Commonwealth's objectives and activities. As large as the organization is, there is a scope to what they focus on.

The Commonwealth areas of work are as follows: democracy, economics, education, gender, governance, human rights, law, small states, sport, sustainability, and youth.

The current highest priority aims are the promotion of democracy and development.

I can only assume that a commonwealth association of project managers would be one of the major units in designing projects, programs and portfolios focused on the areas of work mentioned.

Concerning the PMI and other international PM associations, it is not a matter of prevention but rather the willingness to. Organizations like the PMI are focused on the advancement of the profession and establishing best practices first and foremost.

Although there is the element of corporate social responsibility which usually comes in the form of charities, volunteerism, foundations, and sponsorship, there is no obligation for the associations to spread themselves as far as possible. It would be a plus but not a mandate.

The PMI has supposedly half a billion in revenue. At the end of the day, the internal stakeholders such as the PMI president, board, committees, and general membership have the final say in what they invest in, not the public.

What do you think?
As to PMI's financial report 2020 published on their website, revenue is 318 million, and more than half a billion are reserves. Expenses of 266 million in 2020.

I would not think Commonwealth is the best organisation to promote PM globally. For one it is a remnant if the late British empire with a unethical and predatory reputation, then the global coverage is limited, US based organizations like PMI are unlikely to embrace a UK centered initiative and the PM setup in UK (APM, IPA/MPA and chartered PMs) is unlikely to support an international buildup.

Your idea is worthwhile though, if attached to a truly global institution like the UN or ISO. On the other hand, making PM an accepted profession must be done by nations (all professions are based on national laws).
...
1 reply by Stephen Robin
Aug 31, 2022 11:30 AM
Stephen Robin
...
Thanks for the input and that tidbit about the PMI's financial report.

I would agree the Commonwealth is not the best organization to promote PM globally but rather in the nations that fall under them. The Commonwealth is not truly global but "pseudo international" in a sense as to where its influence lies which we already know are 56 nations.

Global institutions like the UN for example have their own like the United Nations Office of Project Services. While it's not an association per se but more of a unit under the UN.

The ISO on the other hand is truly global but is focused on standards across the board with some standards on project management.

Moreover, your point on making PM an accepted profession being done by nations is an outstanding point. As the phrase goes, the buck stops here. However, having an association be a guiding force to nations for much-needed change is vital through nudging, advocacy, outreach, and lobbying(Absolutely not a fan of this one but a common tactic by associations and can go south really quickly. Also contrarian to an organization that heavily promotes democracy).

Thoughts?
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