Defence hosts inaugral project management symposium

Acute shortage by 2020

In a bid to upskill its project managers and address continuing skills shortages, the Defence Material Organization (DMO) hosted a symposium in Canberra today which will be followed by a four day simulation exercise next week.

Participants from industry, government and international agencies converged on Australia's capital for the inaugural International Project Management Symposium.

Officially opened by the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, the keynote was delivered by Boeing vice president Jeffery Worley.

He talked about international leadership in a complex project management environment following his experience as project leader for the international space station.

DMO's deputy CEO, Kim Gillis said DMO is investing heavily in the continuous skilling of project managers who manage complex projects for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Gillis said 40 DMO project managers will be involved in a four and a half day simulation (assessment centre) exercise hosted by Boeing USA in Canberra next week.

The simulation exercise will be interspersed with classroom sessions, and will provide project managers with exposure to external and international environments.

Participants will be assessed and receive feedback from internationally recognised colleagues who work in the field of complex project management.

After the symposium, DMO will also host the inaugural meeting of the College of Complex Project Managers whose fellows include the top 10 internationally recognised leaders in complex project management.

According to the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), a third of the organization's membership base will leave the profession in the next 10 years.

With nearly 50 percent of AIPM's membership falling within the 40 to 54-year age bracket, Australia faces an acute shortage of project management skills by 2020.

Another 10 percent of the industry body's membership base is in the 55 to 60-year age bracket, well on their way to retirement.

Last year the AIPM partnered with Charles Sturt University (CSU) to develop a world-first, industry-based, qualification for project managers.

The Graduate Diploma of Project Management includes the project management industry certification - PMI's Project Management Professional (PMP) - as an integral part of completing the course.

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