IPMA History

IPMA’s History, compiled by Klaus Pannenbäcker and Sebastian Dworatschek for our 40th Anniversary, in 2005

Did you know that IPMA (International Project Management Association) is our third name in over 49 years? Our first name was IMSA (International Management Systems Association).

In 1964, a European aircraft project manager, Pierre Koch of France, invited Dick Vullinghs from The Netherlands and Roland Gutsch from Germany to discuss the benefits of the Critical Path Method (CPM) as a management approach. CPM showed a way to manage huge projects with international sponsors, uncertain results as well as with complex influences and dependencies from different technical disciplines. This group was chaired by Yves Eugene from AFIRO (Association Française d´Informatique et de Recherche Opérationnelle). Professor Arnold Kaufmann suggested an INTERnational NETwork-INTERNET.

1965 This group of people founded the IMSA, independent from companies and officially located in Switzerland, the most respected and politically neutral country in Western Europe in these days of the “ColdWar”. Insiders called this decision very beneficial for Roland Gutsch. He lived in Friedrichshafen at the North shore of the Lake of Constance so it was very convenient for him to take the ferry to Switzerland for chocolates and cigarettes.

1967 The Czechoslovak Project Management Science Group invited to join the first “all-state” conference on the “Methods of Network Analysis” in Prague. PhD Vladimira Machova was the host beside the political officials in these days.

Then, with the sponsorship of the International Computer Centre in Rome, managed by Professor Claude Berge, the first International World Congress took place in Vienna. From then on INTERNET was the official association name. A young organiser of the first World Congress was Gerold Patzak, who was the “driver” of the Austrian Member Association, and became a professor in Austria and the USA.


More Details of this 2005 Compilation

This compiled history was produced as a gift for IPMA´s 40 Years Anniversary; it was distributed to the IPMA family during the birthday dinner of the 19th IPMA World Congress in New Delhi. This first version 2005 shows a first documentation with the following chapters:

Chapter 0 Introduction
Chapter 1 Organization and Officers
Chapter 2 National Associations (incomplete)
Chapter 4 Symposia and World Congresses
Chapter 5 Expert Seminars & Workshops

Tribute to Roland Gutsch

A tribute to Roland Gutsch, one of IPMA’s founders, an outstanding contributor, and longtime president, shares much about his contributions, and the history of IPMA. Compiled by Klaus Pannenbäcker, and published in 2009 at PM World Today, see: The World of Project Management remembers a Pioneer!