Interview with Joop Schefferlie


The Impact of Projects and Project Management Will Increase

Interview with Joop Schefferlie

International Project Management Association

Interviewed by Yu Yanjuan
Journalist, Project Management Review: PMR (China)
International Correspondent, PM World Journal

Introduction to the interviewee

Joop Schefferlie is Vice President Certification of the International Project Management Association (IPMA) and President-elect. His mandate as president of IPMA starts in January 2021. Joop is director of IPMA Certification B.V. He has over 15 years of experience in building and changing complex organizations up to over 800 employees based on a clear vision and objective. His passion is to develop and improve project management.

Joop is a decisive and results-oriented entrepreneur with a focus on the future and possible improvements. He is able to realize complex changes, recognize opportunities and steer others in such a way that a translation is made from vision to reality. He is competent in starting projects in which the intended purpose of the change, expertise and professional development are central. He communicates honestly and to the point, is independent and has preponderance.


Part I Adaptive leadership is the new normal for the future

Q1.      Based on your observation, what is the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the PM profession?

Joop Schefferlie (Schefferlie):   The impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the PM profession is huge but also gives us an opportunity. On the one hand, many projects are postponed at the moment because it is almost impossible to see each other or we have to work in difficult circumstances like working from home. But on the other hand, this also gives us the opportunity to learn, study and improve our professionalism.

Q2.      What will project management be like in 2021 and in the future?

Schefferlie: The impact of projects and project management on our society will increase. Almost 40% in every we do (in time and money) is project management related. But the way we’re executing our projects is changing; there’s a different view on (project management) leadership. Adaptive leadership is the new normal for the future.

The world is rapidly transforming and a new breed of leaders is required to meet its needs. The world needs individuals that are competent in many emerging new areas so that they can respond swiftly to technological innovation, changing social relations, new divisions of labour and new approaches of working.

The challenges that humanity faces are more complex than the those that previous generations had to endure. Adaptation to climate change, large-scale conflict, inequality, poverty, food and water scarcity are just a few examples and all of them impact the way we work. In order to succeed in this age of disruption and rapid change, organizations must assess, react, and adapt to change faster than ever. There is a perspective that the tried and tested application of what we in the project management world see as “best practices” are losing significance and a more agile approach to change is viewed as the way forward. Agility, however, is not the goal in and of itself, but rather as a means to an end. Agility is about focusing on what is valuable to customers using an iterative approach to planning and guiding project processes.

The complexity and uncertainty that the world is facing also calls for a different form of control. Greater responsibilities will now be held across all levels within the organization. Decision-makers will increasingly entrust responsibility to those with expertise and we will see a shift from pure management towards greater levels of leadership embedded vertically and horizontally across all levels of the organization.

Q3.      What you said triggers me to recall the theme of 2020 IPMA Research Conference: self-organization. How do you view the necessity and importance of self-organization?


To read entire interview, click here

Editor’s note: This interview was first published in PMR, Project Management Review magazine, China.  It is republished here with the permission of PMR. The PM World Journal maintains a cooperative relationship with PMR, periodically republishing works from each other’s publications. To see the original interview with Chinese introduction, visit PMR at http://www.pmreview.com.cn/english/

How to cite this interview: PMR (2020). The Impact of Projects and Project Management Will Increase: Interview with Joop Schefferlie; Project Management Review; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/pmwj101-Jan2021-Yanjuan-Interview-with-Joop-Schefferlie.pdf



About the Interviewer

Yu Yanjuan

Beijing, China


Yu Yanjuan (English name: Spring), Bachelor’s Degree, graduated from the English Department of Beijing International Studies University (BISU) in China. She is now an English-language journalist and editor working for Project Management Review (PMR) Magazine and website. She has interviewed over sixty top experts in the field of project management. Before joining PMR, she once worked as a journalist and editor for other media platforms in China. She has also worked part-time as an English teacher in training centers in Beijing. Beginning in January 2020, Spring also serves as an international correspondent for the PM World Journal.

For work contact, she can be reached via email yuyanjuan2005@163.com  or LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/yanjuanyu-76b280151/.

To view other works by Spring, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/yu-yanjuan/