30.09.2020 Author: IPMA Awards

IPMA Young Project Manager of the Year 2020 Winners

Young Project Manager of the Year 2020

It was 01:30 in the morning of Tuesday 22 September 2020 when my alarm went off.  Why would I want to get up and get dressed in a suit at this crazy hour?  Because the IPMA Young Project Manager of the Year online Gala Event began at 18:00 St Petersburg time (21 September 2020), which unfortunately is 02:00 on the east coast of Australia, but I was not going to miss the opportunity to participate and share in the excitement of seeing the finalists receive their awards.

2020 has been a year of significant change.  When the YPMY Award team began planning for this event in November 2019 we had expected to be in St Petersburg, Russia.  Instead, we were all meeting on Zoom from the comfort of our own homes or offices.  Participants from all over the globe were excitedly preparing to hear the presentations from the finalists and see them rewarded for innovation and excellence in project management.

This Gala Event is the culmination of nearly 12 months of activity by a team of highly dedicated volunteers who give their time willingly to advance the global reputation of young project managers and recognize “the best of the best.”  The year began with the Project Sponsor, Filipe Figueiredo, Project Manager, Andreia Henriques and judges reviewing last year’s awards to determine how we could improve yet further.  Our first task is always to assist the Awards Manager to update the IPMA Global Awards 2020 Submission Guidelines and templates, but who would have thought that in organizing the early video teleconferences for the judges we were actually planning for every meeting for 2020!!

By the time COVID-19 had impacted the globe, Andreia was well on the way to finalising our judging teams.  The heightened innovation that she was going to apply to the 2020 awards was evident when we received an invitation to the first online coffee meeting to brainstorm ideas.  In addition, we were working hard to introduce five new nations into the awards.

By April our 11 selected judges were organised into their respective teams and we updated the Judging Scoresheet to improve the quality and consistency of judging and ensure our judging is characterized by excellence. Monthly Judges Status meetings followed.

Our first application arrived on 30 May to commence the next phase of the awards year.  It was quickly followed by 11 submissions by the closing date of 15 June.

Our judges had completed their work by 1 August when I was given the opportunity to review the scoring and confirm the three finalists.  The finalists were then advised of their success and had to endure the long wait until the results were announced at the online Gala Event. On 2 September.

And so it was that I found myself sitting excitedly at 02:00 on a warm Spring morning in Brisbane eager to see the three finalists receive their awards.  As you would expect, each of them was nervous as they completed their 10 minute presentations.  Our ExBo VP, Gholamreza (Kami) Safakish and myself were given the opportunity to say a few words.  Then it was time to announce the winners:

  • Bronze: Andrea Blomerus from South Africa
  • Silver: Akshay Dhar from India
  • Gold: Rosanna Sibora from Germany

What a year we have had!! On behalf of the IPMA Young Project Manager of the Year team I would like to congratulate all those who submitted an application in what was truly an exceptional year, our team members who gave so unselfishly of their time and expertise, our VP Kami and our Sponsor Felipe for their strong support.  I must however conclude by thanking our brilliant project manager Andreia for her commitment, innovation, boundless energy and exuberant character who led from the front in a year where both changes and opportunities were ever present.

Mark Patch

YPMY 2020 Chief Judge


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