Project Management Institute

2020 Year End Message

Reflecting on the resilience and impact of our community in 2020 while looking ahead to a fulfilling 2021.

Sunil Prashara Headshot

Dear PMI Community,

As 2020 draws to a close, I have been reflecting on what can only be described as an intensely trying and anxious year for all. Thankfully, through the combined efforts of our volunteers, chapters, members, staff, and Board of Directors, we have been able to continue our focus to enable project professionals around the globe to keep turning ideas into reality.

A few key themes from the year stand out to me as we look back on 2020 and ahead to the future:

Enabling Change Makers

As organizations grappled with unprecedented change this year (as seen in our list of the 50 Most Influential Projects of 2020), we can see how the skills and abilities of our community are more relevant than ever.

In fact, many more professionals will need to draw upon a greater breadth of project management skills as the world grows increasingly projectized. Leveraging both traditional and new ways of working to get things done; that’s why PMI has an enormous opportunity. To enable a broader pool of change makers across sectors, industries, and professionals and in doing so, have a 10x greater impact as an association. So a heavy focus in 2021 will be efforts to connect with a much larger group of stakeholders across the globe, many who may not, today, realize the value that PMI can bring.

Moving Forward on Our Journey to PMI 4.0

I could not be prouder of how PMI has continued to move forward despite considerable obstacles arising from the COVID pandemic. We faced unique challenges—the desire to continue to deliver value to our global community whilst in a virtual/lockdown environment, moving forward on landing a major digital transformation, again virtually, and ensuring our staff and partners remained safe and not over burdened with the stresses of our situation. A huge thanks to the incredible work ethic and positive attitude of our PMI teams across the globe.

Some of the ways we enabled our community to continue honing their professional development include launching an online proctored testing option for the PMP exam in mid-April. By the end of the year, we are on track to administer more than 80,000 online proctored PMP exams. We also offered certification holders more than 557,000 free PDUs, and between April and October alone, PMI saw more than 175,000 enrollments in our digital course offerings. Additionally, we launched the PMI Virtual Experience Series, which inspired, educated, and engaged 23,000 virtual audience members from 146 countries.

After 18 months of transformation work upgrading and modernizing our foundations, PMI is well positioned to amplify our message and build towards becoming “the go to place for all things Project.” The “digital encyclopedia” of all things Project.

PMI will continue to explore and unveil a range of new products, services, and channels to enhance the relevancy of the project management community. Our new offerings—such as the Organizational Transformation: Foundation online course and micro-credential, new agile certifications with Disciplined Agile, Citizen Developer, and Wicked Problem Solving—are all key additions to our portfolio.

Landing Our Regional Model

One of my top priorities has been to establish a regional operating model so that we can really represent the Project Management community at a regional level. We have started to make some strides in that direction thanks to the leadership of our Regional Managing Directors, helping us to sense and respond to the unique market situations in their regions and helping us to tailor our responses to needs at the local level.

Commitment to Equity

This year I pledged to make PMI and our community more inclusive, and we established a Diversity Equity & Inclusion core team led by Otema Yirenkyi, Vice President, Global Engagement, to ensure this is put into action. So far, we created timely and relevant resources for our employees and are using their input to drive strategic action planning. We also used our global platform to contribute to this discussion, including Otema representing PMI on an equity and inclusion panel during the United Nations Global Compact’s Uniting Business Live event. In 2021, I look forward to continuing our mission to ensure our culture represents our employees, volunteers, and members’ diverse cultural and social groups.

Recognizing our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors played an invaluable role in supporting our leadership team, shaping our strategy for the future, and serving as a constant source of guidance and expertise. I especially want to recognize three dedicated members of our board who are completing their tenures. Cathy La Tona and Jennifer Tharpe both served two terms 2015 to 2020; J. Davidson Frame also served from 2015 to 2020, following several earlier terms on the Board (1990-1995; 1997-1998; 2000-2002).

I want to personally thank each of them for their service, giving up countless hours in service to help set a concrete future for the Association. Their insight and counsel has made us stronger as an organization. All three Board Directors supported the creation of our PMI 2.0 and PMI 4.0 strategies. I recently sat down with the three departing directors for a “Straight Talk” chat on their reflections, which I encourage you to check out.

I will be forever grateful for their faith in choosing me to lead the Institute into the future. I look forward to working with them again in the future.

It has been quite a year, and I could not be more appreciative of the positive mindset this community brought in the midst of tough challenges—balancing heavy responsibilities with caring for loved ones and staying mentally resilient through an unprecedented global event.

I hope you all carve out some very well-deserved time over the holiday season for reflection and time with loved ones. I know the year ahead will be hectic, but fulfilling, as we continue to advance our goal of making PMI the place where humanity goes when they want to get things done; the single one-stop place for professionals seeking to drive change and turn their biggest ideas into reality.

Best Wishes,

Sunil