2019 Annual Report
To OurValued Global Stakeholders
By nearly every measure, 2019 was a year packed with change and progress for PMI.
We welcomed and on-boarded a new global CEO; celebrated 50 years of building and advancing the profession of project management; launched an energetic and forward-looking new brand; refreshed our strategy; and accelerated our transformation.
We made two ground-breaking acquisitions in the Agile space; developed a host of exciting new products and platforms to support members, partners, chapters, volunteers and the organizations they serve; implemented a powerful new regional model; and proudly crossed the threshold of one million active PMPs around the world.
Early in 2019, the Board undertook a comprehensive global search for PMI’s new President and CEO. The Board was committed to finding a new leader for PMI with proven global experience, a robust background in digital transformation, and an ability to honor PMI’s past while taking the organization boldly into the future.
Most important, this new leader needed to be passionate about PMI’s global not-for-profit mission and purpose – to advance the profession worldwide and to prepare more than three million project, program and portfolio professionals for a world in which work and individuals are organized around projects.
Sunil Prashara, President & CEO of PMI introduces the 2019 Annual Report.
There is no doubt that project leaders specialize in turning strategic visions into reality. Today's project leaders need a strong understanding of technology, the ability to determine the best project management methodology for projects, AND the new “power skills” like empathy, creativity and inspirational leadership. But they must also maintain an understanding of the major business, technological, economic and geopolitical trends shaping the world. And a global pandemic has highlighted something that project managers have known for years: you must be able to effectively lead, manage and inspire individuals and teams – frequently remotely and with increasing complexity.
As part of our work in 2019, PMI conducted an assessment of the most pressing, long-term trends around the globe—from climate change to shifting demographics to technological breakthroughs—and explored how these trends are influencing the work of project leaders. We evaluated research, news reports and industry data; conducted interviews with project professionals; and analyzed information extracted from political, economic, scientific and demographic databases—all to gain a greater understanding of where these critical areas are heading and how industry project leaders can prepare.
Just a handful of those insights informed our work in 2019, and set the stage for PMI’s work going forward when excerpts of this research were published in early 2020:
- Africa and most of the developing world will be home to a new generation of talent ready to tackle a new generation of projects.
- Climate change ranks as one of the biggest existential threats to civilization, but project professionals can play a pivotal role in avoiding the point of no return.
- As artificial intelligence truly moves into the mainstream, it brings harsh realities — and immense opportunities for project leaders with the right blend of people and tech skills.
- Rampant protectionism is forcing a rethink of the once unstoppable force of globalization. But for many project teams, it's cross-border business as usual (with a few tweaks).
- The global infrastructure gap between needs and investment is wide. To close it, project leaders are relying on data-driven innovation — and good old-fashioned people skills.
- Keeping information safe requires a united front, backed by a cross-disciplinary, enterprise-wide cybersecurity culture.
These insights won’t make the world any less complex, but they do provide context to help us shape the priorities and work of PMI going forward. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors and the global PMI team, we thank all of you for helping to make 2019’s progress possible.
We’d also like to take a moment here to offer two special shout-outs. First, our thanks to the legendary Jim Snyder, one of PMI’s founding members who traveled the world with us in 2019 and helped to mark the 50th anniversary of this great organization. His guiding hand and wise counsel have been invaluable to us as individuals – and as a Board – for decades. And second, we offer special thanks to devoted PMI staff members around the world. 2019 was rich with challenges and opportunities – and this group of professionals rose to the occasion to deliver unprecedented results for our stakeholders. We simply cannot thank you enough.
Every single day, we work to ensure that we are providing value and relevance for stakeholders and partners like you. Without your feedback and challenges and ideas and creativity and commitment, none of this would be possible.
We are humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve you and your profession – every day, all over the world.
Looking Back, Looking Forward & Sporting a Fresh New Look
From humble beginnings around a dining room table in 1969, PMI has grown into a truly global enterprise—and helped to establish project management as a formal, recognized profession. Even as we looked back with pride on our first 50 years, 2019 was a year for PMI to map out a bold new future.
Together, we are building an organization that:
- Delivers the products, services, training, supports, insights and skills how and when our stakeholders need them.
- Forges unprecedented new partnerships to expand our relevance for people and organizations operating in a complex and fast-moving global economy.
- Provides value along the full arc of an individual’s life and career from age 5 to 75.
PMI 50th Anniversary
Throughout 2019, we celebrated our 50th anniversary through an exciting series of events and activities held with thousands of participants in every corner of the world -- culminating at our Global Conference in the heart of Philadelphia in October. It was there that we officially unveiled the new PMI brand identity in front of an audience of more than 3,000 attendees, and simultaneously announced it to the world through our website and social media.
Sunil joined PMI chapters, members, and stakeholders around the globe in celebrating PMI's 50th annviversary.
Launching Our New Brand
PMI’s new brand identity serves as our cue to the world that PMI – 50+ years on -- continues to lead the way for a fast-changing profession. The new brand is about more than flashy new colors and logos; it reflects our evolving identity. We’re helping individuals and organizations around the world to better understand how the nature and pace of work are changing, how they can ensure their relevance and thrive in the midst of this change, and how PMI is uniquely “Powering The Project Economy™.”
The icons in the graphic below are visual representations of our brand.
Jim Snyder - 50 years with PMI
Jim Snyder - A Half Century of Service to PMI
PMI co-founder Jim Snyder helped PMI commemorate its 50th anniversary, playing a prominent role at Global Conference and anniversary celebrations throughout the year.
Jim and his colleagues began PMI in 1969 with a vision of a forum where professionals could come together to discuss emerging concepts and practices in project management – ultimately helping to establish project management as a formal profession.
Among his numerous accolades, Jim was the recipient of the PMI Man of the Year award, an Honorary Life Member of the Institute and one of the first three individuals to be named as a Fellow of the Institute in 1982. Jim was also a founding member of the Delaware Valley Chapter of PMI and Chairman Emeritus of the PMI Education Foundation Board of Directors, where he tirelessly advocated for the importance of youth gaining project management skills.
Jim even personally served as the project manager for the construction of PMI’s global headquarters in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA, where the PMI James R. Snyder Center for Project Management Knowledge and Wisdom is named in his honor.
PMI and TED - Making Ideas a Reality and Ideas Worth Spreading
This year PMI launched a partnership with TED, the globally renowned non-profit organization known for sharing “ideas worth spreading” through high quality.
Our two brands worked together to bring inspiring ideas and powerful voices to the world of project, program and portfolio management, empowering people to make ideas a reality. Activations included bringing TED speakers to PMI events with future plans for TED@PMI, a collaboration that will showcases the wide spectrum of innovative, inspiring and talented people across the PMI universe.
Welcome to The Project Economy
The Project Economy™
In 2019, PMI further established itself as a preeminent thought leader in the global discussion around the future of work. Today, organizations and people are centered around a portfolio of projects to deliver outcomes. We call this new way of working “The Project Economy™” - in which people have the skills and capabilities they need to turn ideas into reality.
For individuals, this means having the right skills and mindset to move seamlessly from project to project in order to help their organizations deliver strategic outcomes. For organizations, this means delivering value to stakeholders through successful completion of projects, delivery of products, and alignment to value streams. All of these initiatives deliver financial and societal value.
Most Influential Projects
To mark our 50th Anniversary, PMI announced the first-of-its-kind rankings of the top 50 projects of the past 50 years on our list of Most Influential Projects. The list recognizes projects that have transformed their sectors and, in some cases, the entire business landscape — from technology to healthcare, infrastructure to architecture, finance to entertainment. The wide-ranging honorees include iconic achievements such as Apollo 11, the Boeing 747® airplane, and the #1-ranked project: creation of the World Wide Web.
Honorees were chosen from among more than 1,000 high-impact projects identified by 400 leaders in the global project management community, including PMI chapter leaders and members, as well as academics and industry experts. The list stimulated exciting engagement and debate around the world, highlighting the important role that projects have played in driving landmark achievements for the past five decades.
Counting Down the 50 Most Influential Projects
When we dream about the future, the possibilities are endless.
Building PMI's Leadership in Agile
While PMI built its reputation and expertise primarily in the arena of traditional project management, individuals and organizations around the world are working in an increasingly “agile” world. In order to strengthen our position in the agile marketplace and provide even more value for its members, PMI acquired Disciplined Agile (DA) and FLEX in 2019. Regardless of approach, whether it be traditional or agile, project or product, PMI is now uniquely positioned to deliver value for individuals and the organizations they serve.
Together, Disciplined Agile and FLEX have combined under PMI’s banner to offer solutions to address organizations’ major pain points – allowing them to realize stronger business outcomes, faster. During 2019, the teams became fully integrated and have worked to develop an exciting new suite of course offerings and certifications designed to meet practitioners “where they are” and allow them to tailor solutions for the way each organization works. This will further cement PMI’s global leadership in the agile space – whilst remaining loyal to the traditional project management approaches that have put our profession on the map.
Brightline - Connecting Strategy with Implementation
For several years, PMI’s Brightline Initiative has joined together with leading global organizations to help executives bridge the expensive and unproductive gap between strategy design and delivery. Brightline expanded its scope during 2019 and developed a trademarked “transformation compass” as a practical tool for executives.
Brightline now provides organizations with three key benefits:
- Thought & Practice Leadership that gives organizations the cutting-edge research and solutions they need to better implement transformation
- Networking for leaders to exchange experiences and advance ideas and practices related to strategy and transformation
- Capacity Building to enable organizations to further develop knowledge within their own ranks
During the year, Brightline convened and supported a host of engaging events around the world and published its new “Transformation Framework” and “The Transformation Playbook” to Chief Strategy Officers (CSOs), Senior VPs, and Executive Directors at large enterprises regardless of industry or geographic location. They also launched development of a Brightline Transformation certification that is expected to be available in 2020.
To survive and thrive in The Project Economy™, project professionals can’t operate in a vacuum. In addition to the practical skills, training and certifications PMI has long been known for, today’s practitioners need access to the most important insights and trends impacting projects around the globe. They need help to see around the corners ahead, and to understand how work is changing.
Throughout the year, PMI conducts extensive research and publishes thought leadership to keep our members informed of the latest trends in the profession -- including notable projects and programs, and the people who drive them to success. 2019 was no exception.
Giving Back Through Service & Improving Society
An important part of PMI’s DNA has been shaped by our not-for-profit purpose to improve society through projects, so this golden anniversary was a fitting time to put a unique capstone on 50 years of giving back. We didn’t just celebrate around the globe; we used the occasion as a time to rally together in service, to contribute our collective skills and passion, and to make a difference in the world together.
To accomplish this, the PMI community came together in the Global Celebration of Service – a call to support the United Nations’ mission to advance societal goals like fighting poverty and climate change. PMI stakeholders put their expertise in project management into action in order to enable local organizations and help fulfill the promise of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
We initially set a goal of 50,000 volunteer service hours pledged by our members and partners. In typical fashion, the PMI family overachieved – ultimately TRIPLING the original goal by pledging to contribute more than 150,000 volunteer service hours to advance causes aligned with the SDGs. This Global Celebration of Service was part of our Made Possible by a Project Manager campaign -- harnessing the passion of project professionals around the world to drive societal change.
As part of the 18th Annual American Business Awards, PMI won a SILVER STEVIE AWARD for its Global Celebration of Service in the category of “Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year - Organizations Up to 2,500 Employees.”