The 14th International Project Management Conference was held on 24 February 2019 in Razi International Convention Center in Tehran. In this conference more than 500 topics were presented under different lectures, workshops, research papers and case studies.
MAHAK- the Society to Support Children Suffering from Cancer in collaboration with the International Project Management Association (IPMA) had a panel discussion with the presence of Arasb Ahmadian, CEO of MAHAK; Martin Sedlmayer, IPMA Vice President Products and Services; Gholamreza Safakish, IPMA Vice President Young Crew; and Farid Bidgoli, Country Manager of Roche Ltd. Simultaneously Marjan Rezvani, the PMO manager of MAHAK presented recent achievement of MAHAK in IPMA’s Achievement Award of 2018 as Gold Winner in another workshop and shared the feedback report outcomes with audience.
MAHAK has achieved IPMA Achievement Award twice and both as Gold Winner
At the beginning of the panel discussion, Gholamreza Safakish mentioned that one of the objectives of arranging such a panel is to declare that project management is not only restricted to industrial projects, but this competency can also be applied in many other arenas such as humanitarian projects, medical sector, cancer treatment, and etc.
Applying the project management concept, Safakish stated that MAHAK is ready to facilitate a huge improvement in cancer control program in close collaboration with UICC (Union for International Cancer Control) and IPMA. For sure, a decent orientation over project management competencies is going to turn to a “MUST” in near future for such managers in that sector. He also addressed that we are missing the representative of UICC due to some logistic problems, but still feeling their support on board and as a must in such collaboration.
Gholamreza Safakish, in the same vain, forecast a successful future for this program (cancer control plan) which MAHAK has initiated and positive signs to form a GIG (Special Interest Group) in IPMA to bring more buy-in of specialists and communities such as UICC.
Arasb Ahmadian looks forward to devising a Cancer Control Program with the collaboration of UICC and IPMA
Arasb Ahmadian, the CEO of MAHAK stated the background, history and evolution of applying the PM competencies and how challenging this was in a charity organization with different mindset in comparison to P&L organizations. We learned if we manage our operation based on well-defined projects and boost the PM mindset through the organization, better results, optimum use of resources and higher level of personal achievement and self-actualization will be our reward.
The CEO of MAHAK elaborated the case of MAHAK's HLA Typing Bank Project (which has been recently awarded at Golden stage by IPMA) in which jury clearly addressed the existence of a clear vision, execution strategy, documentation, report availability, smooth communication though project/organization all realized through Project Management knowledge and skills.
Even MAHAK has recently asked and supported its project managers to apply for IPMA 4LC exam as a personal improvement program in Project Management.
Align with Mr. Safakish statement, Arasb Ahmadian addressed that: "We are ready to employ the project management knowledge, skill and our experiences for preparing a practical and comprehensive Cancer Control Plan with the collaboration of IPMA. We are quite optimistic to have the collaboration of UICC and other non-for-profit communities in this field and embrace their buy-in. The CEO of MAHAK declared that he looks forward to submitting this plan to the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran and making positive changes in the field of cancer treatment."
IPMA supports project management competencies all over the world
Martin Sedlmayer, IPMA Vice President of Products and Services categorized IPMA awards in three divisions: team-work project awards, individual-work project awards and research-based project awards and stated: "We have project excellence baseline as a model for projects under assessment which is a good practice for team-work projects."
Sedlemayer emphasized the importance of such assessments and awards as a result of which the profession of project management evolves.
Regarding the project management in NGOs Martin Sedlmayer asserted: "We offer coaches to NGOS which have problems with their projects in addition to offering them finance for free through fundraising." IPMA representative announced that they are interested in assisting NGOs in developing countries to better use their resources.
Sedlemayer in another part of his speech praised MAHAK for having clear strategy, mission and vision as a result of which it has won precious international awards and has become well-trusted.
Business entities support trustworthy NGOs
Farid Bidgoli, country manager of Roche Ltd. expressed the common process and decision stage gates which drive Roche to donate and sponsor an NGO.
The main driving criteria and symptoms we are looking for are: credibility, clear processes and procedures, reporting mechanism and finally transparency and accountability. Therefor if we feel that the request is going to have a big impact on patients’ lives, and it is in-line with our strategies, we will support it."
Mr. Bidgoli considered that trustworthiness is the key factor for receiving support and donations and also positioning an NGO into success circle. He addressed MAHAK as an outstanding NGO in Iran which is well-trusted and works transparently.
Holding such sessions can result in many learned lessons for the eager participants
In MAHAK and IPMA's joint panel discussion different representatives from charities and NGOs from all over Iran were present as well as members of the Iranian National Cancer Network and also young project managers who had participated to learn about a new sector of project management. After having Q&A with the panel members, the participants expressed their interest in attending more sessions of this type to understand about this new field and utilize their cluster (cancer control) with project management knowledge.
At the end of the discussion the representatives of MAHAK and IPMA expressed their hope toward cooperating with UICC and forecast forming a dedicated SIG as the outcome of such cooperation and making a conspicuous success as a result.