Report from the Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards

Workshop #15, Pretoria, South Africa



Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE, MScPM, MRICS

Jakarta, Indonesia



I am back in Jakarta from a hectic, but very productive Workshop #15 for the Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS), http://www.globalpmstandards.org/  held at the beautiful Pretoria University Campus, http://web.up.ac.za/  Pretoria, South Africa, from 21 – 23 Feb, 2009.

Despite the global recession, attendance was good and as always, the camaraderie and commitment were outstanding, as was the food!!

During this working session, 4 streams were being developed:

  • Mapping of the GAPPS Competency Standards
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Endorsement Process
  • Program Manager Performance Standards


One of the primary objectives of GAPPS is to map the competency standards GAPPS has developed to serve as a baseline or “common denominator” against which to compare the bodies of knowledge and methodologies offered by professional organizations, individual companies or government agencies. In this workshop, we compared IPMA’s competency-based credentials vs. the GAPPS standards and we started mapping AACE’s Total Cost Management Framework against GAPPS.  As I am most familiar with AACE, let me use them as an example and start by explaining that what GAPPS offers is NOT a competing credential, product or service, but a BENCHMARK or BASELINE.

When comparing the GAPPS standards against AACE’s Total Cost Management Framework (TCMF), http://www.aacei.org/tcm/  we learned that while in many areas the AACE methodology exceeds the GAPPS standards, there were some areas (particularly in the soft or human aspects) where the TCMF was below the minimum standards set by GAPPS.  So how is AACE using this information? In the upcoming revisions to the TCMF, AACE Technical Committees http://www.aacei.org/technical/ are working to address these areas of weakness.  This is not perceived to be a threat, but, consistent with the fundamental concepts of quality management, an opportunity to benchmark against an independent standard.

Marketing and Communication-

GAPPS BoD voted to create a standing Marketing and Communications Committee, charged with the responsibility to help the community of practice understand that GAPPS is NOT in the training or consulting business. We do not compete or offer alternative credentials. The only thing GAPPS offers is a baseline standard, which enables any professional organization, company or government agency to compare their standards against the GAPPS standard, understanding that maybe they exceed the GAPPS standard and maybe not.

In particular, GAPPS Marketing and Communications has been charged with reaching out to companies wishing to benchmark their in-house project and program management methodologies against GAPPS.


Contrary to mistaken belief, GAPPS is NOT a competitor to organizations such as PMI, AACE, IPMA etc. GAPPS does NOT offer professional certifications.

One of the services GAPPS does offer is to function in a role similar to  the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Housekeeping or the Consumer Reports “Best Buy” http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm  or the Underwriter’s Laboratory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwriters_Laboratories for project/program management competencies.  That is, GAPPS serves as an INDEPENDENT third party that ENDORSES project and program bodies of knowledge and methodologies as having met or exceeded the MINIMUM competencies identified by GAPPS. What GAPPS does is to MAP the bodies of knowledge and methodologies against our independent third party standards and ENDORSES these bodies of knowledge or methodologies as having met the GAPPS standards, and if they do not meet the standards, where the weaknesses lie.

There are three sets or categories of stakeholders GAPPS is serving in our capacity as an independent third-party standard:


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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally published in PM World Today, March 2009 (Vol XI, Issue III).

How to cite this paper: Giammalvo, P. D. (2009). Report from the Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards, Workshop #15, Pretoria, South Africa; PM World Today, Vol XI, Issue III, March 2009. Republished as Second Edition; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue III (April 2019). Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/pmwj80-Apr2019-Giammalvo-report-from-GAAPS-2009-workshop-in-Pretoria.pdf



About the Author

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE, MScPM, MRICS

Jakarta, Indonesia



 Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE (#1240), MScPM, MRICS, is a Senior Technical Advisor (Project Management) to PT Mitratata Citragraha. (PTMC), Jakarta, Indonesia. www.build-project-management-competency.com. He is noted for the development and delivery of graduate level, blended learning curricula designed for the mid-career path, English as Second Language (ESL) professionals to develop competency in the local practitioner and build capacity for the local organizations. For 25+ years, he has been developing and delivering Project Management training and consulting throughout South and Eastern Asia Pacific, the Middle East, West Africa, and Europe.

He is also active in the Global Project Management Community, by playing a “thought leadership” role for the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International, (AACEI) http://www.aacei.org/ since 1991; He has also been active in two IPMA member organizations: The Green Project Management Association (GPM) http://www.greenprojectmanagement.org/ where he served on the Certification Board of Directors for two years and the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management http://www.asapm.org/ for which he served for four years on the BoD as Director of Marketing. He also sat on the Board of Directors of the Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS), www.globalpmstandards.org, Sydney, Australia and is active as a regional leader. Currently, he is a compensated consultant to the International Guild of Project Controls. http://www.planningplanet.com/guild  as the primary author of their “Compendium and Reference” as well as the chief architect of their competency-based credentialing program. http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/certification

He has spent 35 of the last 50 years working on large, highly technical international projects, including such prestigious projects as the Alyeska Pipeline and the Distant Early Warning Site (DEW Line), upgrades in Alaska and the Negev Airbase Constructors, Ovda, Israel and the Minas Oil Field in Rumbai, Sumatra. His current client list includes Fortune 500 major telecommunications, oil, gas and mining companies plus the UN Projects Office and many other multi-national companies, NGO organizations and Indonesian Government Agencies.

In addition to 45+ years of hands-on field experience, Dr. Giammalvo holds an undergraduate degree in Construction Management, his Master of Science in Project Management through the George Washington University and was awarded his PhD in Project and Program Management through the Institute Superieur De Gestion Industrielle (ISGI) and Ecole Superieure De Commerce De Lille (ESC-Lille) under the supervision of Professor Christophe Bredillet.  “Dr. PDG” can be contacted at pauldgphd@gmail.com.

To view other original work by Paul Giammalvo, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-paul-d-giammalvo/