Project Management Institute

In action


The Latin America congress lets you attend courses, network— and get an inside look at Mexico's massive beach restoration project. by Jeffrey Bouley


The PMI Global Congress 2007—Latin America in Cancún, Mexico, certainly offers all of the usual opportunities to catch up on the latest project management trends and network with your peers. But this year, attendees can enjoy all this in a tropical paradise—and get up close and personal with a mega-project success story.

In October 2005, Hurricane Wilma roared through the area, ripping apart roads and buildings and stripping away beaches that had already undergone significant erosion over the years. Cancún's legendary 8-mile (13 kilometer) stretch of white sand beaches became an outcropping of jagged rocks.

It was a clear threat to the city, with the local tourism industry losing an estimated US$15 million each day after the storm. In 2006, the Mexican government, working with Belgian maritime engineering company Jan de Nul, began a US$24 million project to re-establish the lost beach line. “If the beach is not restored, Cancún will die,” Marc Verhaert, project manager at Jan De Nul, told a Copley News Service reporter at the time.

The company vacuumed up offshore sand roughly 20 miles from the coast of Cancún and pumped it back to the resort-front beaches. Crews worked through the nights to ensure the project was completed quickly— and that tourists would return.

In the end, the beaches were not only rebuilt, they're now larger than they were before Wilma. Although there has been some re-erosion in isolated spots, the beachfront is now 140 feet (43 meters), roughly twice as wide as it was before Wilma hit.

Raising the Standards

Congress attendees can also learn about one of PMI‘s own mega-projects: updating four of its standards at the same time. In 2008, PMI will mark 25 years of standards development by concurrently releasing:


WHAT: PMI Global Congress 2007—Latin America

WHERE: Hilton Cancún Golf and Spa Resort, Cancún, Mexico

WHEN: 12-14 November 2007

NOTE: Registration is limited. Visit for more information.

  • A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Fourth Edition
  • The Standard for Program Management—Second Edition
  • The Standard for Portfolio Management—Second Edition
  • Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®)—Second Edition.

Those attending the PMI Standards Program Working Session on Monday, 12 November can learn about progress made toward these deliverables.

Also at the working session, attendees can provide input on the project to create the Practice Standard for Project Estimation. During this interactive session, attendees can receive progress updates and offer feedback to the project team.

Another standard-related session, “Bringing the PMBOK® [Guide] To Life,” is intended to dispel the notion that the PMBOK® Guide is rigid and its processes difficult to apply. Other sessions will cover combining Capability Maturity Model Integration with the PMBOK® Guide and using the Construction Extension to the PMBOK® Guide, with a focus on a Peruvian project.

But it's not all about PMI standards.

Ruben Navarrette Jr. from San Joaquin Valley, California, USA, will open the congress. An author, commentator and newspaper columnist, he was named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business.

In total, some 40 presentations—a mix of 75-minute and three-hour sessions presented in Spanish, English or Portuguese— are planned in 12 areas of focus:

  1. Advanced Project Management Skills
  2. Communications
  3. Consulting Skills
  4. General Business Skills
  5. Industry Specific Issues
  6. New Project Management Trends
  7. Professional Development
  8. Project Management Foundation Skills
  9. Project Management Issues
  10. Project Management Tools
  11. Sales and Marketing Skills
  12. Teaming.

The day before the congress, a PMI Research Working Session will focus on regional project management challenges and needs. During this session, a panel of academics, consultants and practitioners from Latin America will address the issue of project management implementation in small and medium-sized businesses. A portion of each session will feature research papers designed to offer useful, tactical information that can be applied to real situations.

And as always, the congress offers up excellent networking and socializing opportunities, including the first-time attendee's orientation, a grand opening reception at the exhibit hall and a Taste of Mexico reception. PM

Jeffrey Bouley is a freelance writer based in Saco, Maine, USA. He has contributed to Tech News and Mainebiz.

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.




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