Nepal was set to host the spring IPMA Council of Delegates meeting in the last weekend of March 2020 in Kathmandu. We were all prepared for it with the arrangement of the logistics and social events for delegates from more than 70 countries. It was going to be one of the few such ‘IPMA Family’ face-to-face meetings to be hosted by an Asian member association.
To mark this confluence of world thought and practice leaders of the project management profession, we had planned a festival of knowledge with a national seminar. In addition, practitioners in Nepal would have gained expert knowledge and skills with pre and post seminar workshops. The national event would have culminated with the launch of the national project excellence award ceremony honoring achievement and innovation in project management. With these events, we were aiming, to significantly impact the recognition of the profession of project management in the country and the region.
All this didn’t happen, of course. We were closely monitoring and considering all the risks of the spreading SARS-CoV-2 virus. We communicated our concerns and IPMA board rightly cancelled the meeting on time saving a lot of trouble for the delegates and those of us involved with the arrangements.
But not all was lost. Though there were setbacks in achieving what was planned, this COVID-19 pandemic has brought about opportunities as well. Upon reflection, we can reassess and now account for the sweeping changes that were made in the structures, operations, projects, regulations, events, certification scheme, relationships with member associations and key stakeholders within IPMA and the member associations. Very recently, in the last weekend of September, IPMA concluded the autumn Council of Delegates meeting – virtually.
In this timeframe of 6-months, we have been able to cement the collaboration with international certification bodies to offer Nepali project management practitioners with IPMA role-based certification as well as PM4NGOs certification in the development sector. We have continued to develop engagement of members with exchange of experiences and ideas at the fortnightly webinars. Likewise, many of our colleagues are supported to enhance their competences and networks by taking part in international collaborative engagements.
Needless to say, the past months have been very challenging in many fronts. These testing times have made us all humble and reflective. It has provided us with an opportunity to reassess ourselves and our social systems; our values, our priorities, and our resolve to make a positive contribution in our societies.