Project Management Institute
PMWT: How and when did you get involved with the Project Management Institute?
Max: In late 1973 I joined a vertically integrated forest products company. "Vertically integrated" means that they sold their own products to themselves down through the manufacturing chain until the products finally came out at the end as retail consumer goods. That is, from raw logs cut from the woodlands, through the pulp and paper mills, to finished paper and on to final retail products like copy and printing paper, wall paper, paper cups, paper hand towels and the like. The company was planning on going on a project development binge in the heady days of 1974 and decided to install a project management group responsible for identifying and developing major upgrades and new production facilities.
So, these were exciting times, but the first job was to figure out how to do project management and develop some policies and procedures. We hired a project management consultant of the day to do this task, but in order for us to understand what he was talking about he recommended that several of us join the Project Management Institute ("PMI"). So, I joined PMI in 1974 only to discover that they, too, were still learning the business. So, I brought my previous construction experience to bear to help the whole show along.
In those days, a majority of the PMI membership was from the engineer, procure, and construct industries, although there was a healthy pharmaceutical group who generally kept aloof from the construction gang. But interestingly enough, I was probably one of the first to recognize the wider applicability of the techniques that we were identifying and their range of coverage in terms of knowledge areas. In short I could see the broader applicability to administration, finance and systems engineering projects, now more popularly referred to these days as "information technology".
And the rest, as they say, is history.