Project Management Institute

A toast to process




I have a confession to make. When I sit down to write this column, I usually “help along” the creative process with a couple glasses of a good wine. I've been a wine enthusiast for years, and I'm especially fond of Latin American labels.

One of the reasons drinking wine is such a particularly enjoyable activity is the unique blend of human and environmental factors that goes into each bottle. Wine is produced all over the world, yet each bottle represents a part of the culture of the region or country where it's produced.


imgThe use of project management standards is helping the region's vintners—big and small—uncork higher returns.

Latin America's wine industry can trace its origins back to the Spanish colonization in the 16th century. But only in the past 20 years has it caught the attention of the international wine cognoscenti.

Chile was the first to put Latin America on the world wine map, but Argentina has become the rising star of the region in recent years. Brazil, México, Perú and Uruguay also have smaller but growing industries that produce very interesting labels.

With increasing consumption rates in the biggest import markets of the world—chiefly the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan—wine producers in Latin America have been forced to implement changes in the centuries-old art to foster quality and boost production.

The never-ending flow of projects includes everything from preparing the land to implementing more eco-friendly production processes. And the use of project management standards is helping the region's vintners—big and small—uncork higher returns.

One particular initiative caught my attention a few months ago: Chañares de la Luna, a new wine and tourism project being launched by Raymond Schefer and Pablo Lledó, PMP. Set against the backdrop of the Andes Mountains, the nearly US$4 million project in Mendoza, Argentina includes 15 hectares (37 acres) of vineyards and 8 hectares (20 acres) for a hotel and villas.

A very good friend of mine, Pablo is founder of the PMI Buenos Aires, Argentina Chapter, as well as a prominent member of the local project management community. And he's relying on his project management skills to launch Chañares de la Luna, his most ambitious project so far. A detailed scope statement and comprehensive work breakdown structure were only some of the elements needed.

The project is now in its second stage, gathering investors who will own a stake in the vineyard. But according to Pablo, none of it would have been possible without thorough project management standards and structured planning and execution.

In today's competitive environment, even the most traditional industries recognize that adopting project management practices not only increases productivity—it may be the only way to survive. PM

Author's note: Completion of this month's column was fostered by a 2006 Malbec from Altos Las Hormigas, a personal favorite from the Mendoza region in Argentina. Salud!

Roberto Toledo, MBA, PMP, is managing director of Alpha Consultoría and a trainer and consultant who works across Latin America. He can be reached at

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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