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Association of International Project Management Officers - AIPMO®

Project Leader Professional from AIPMO

The Project Leader Professional (PLP®) international certification from AIPMO is based on the latest research on project leadership competency areas.

IPMO-PLP certification focuses on the most important areas a project leader professional must understand and excel to so as to greatly increase the probability of project and program management success.

AIPMO has purposely used the term ‘Project Leader’ rather than ‘Project Manager’ because research shows the importance of leadership to drive projects whereas management is more associated in today’s world with running operational environments. This may be part of the reason why project success rates are so low because of the perception and reality of projects being managed and not being lead. The Figure below shows that the majority of international project management certifications focus on project management rather than project leadership.

Today’s world is very different to the last century where the complexity associated with outsourcing, partnership, cross charging and the internet has made and empowered project stakeholders who have multiple perspectives and objectives.

The IPMO-PLP certification is a 21st century designed certification encompassing such complexities and provides a path to success.


Project Leader Professionals

Certified IPMO-PLPs have demonstrated, through a combination of formal training and competency assessment, that they have an in-depth understanding of national and/or international project leadership/management principles and practices including how to identify, select, initiate, plan, execute and close a project including all aspects of monitoring and controlling to achieve successful project management and project outcomes.



Project Leader Professional Course Overview

A fast paced and engaging training program, focusing on a pragmatic approach to deliver a series of principles, concepts, frameworks, competencies, processes, tools and techniques that are regarded as good practices for project leading national and international projects which is complemented by the latest academic research in project leadership.

This certification course seeks to equip the participants with a clear method to understand strategic selection process and to lead and through which to establish and drive complex projects, with practical tools and techniques designed to increase the chances of project and project management success. The course content has an underlying theme of strategy, leadership, technical, behavioral and contextual competencies.

Throughout the program, references will be made to the participant’s environment to encourage discussions that can help to address and/or put perspective to participants’ daily challenges.

The course is a mixture of instructor lead and participative where the participants carryout exercises as part of a detailed five-day case study, work in a team based case study that utilizes role play and personal coaching which gives them the opportunity to apply the theory blocks and really reinforces learning.

Our intensive programme is for candidates wishing to build on their knowledge of project management but with a leadership focus which will help to understand the differences of how project management is done typically within their organization today versus the IPMO-PLP project leadership approach. Discussions are encouraged during the seminar so participants can explore and access knowledge of running national and international projects how these project fits into programs and portfolios management which helps in contextual understanding for preparing themselves for the IPMO-PLP exam.

This programme is builds on aspects of the knowledge areas of PMI’s PMBOK® 6th edition, with references to current and upcoming versions of the Standard for Program Management and the Standard for Portfolio Management.  The underlying competencies in this seminar are based on IPMA’s competency framework 4.0, plus research findings from top international professors in project management giving the IPMO-PLP course attendees a truly unique foundation for driving and leading successful national and international projects.



Who Should Attend the IPMO-PLP?

  • Project leaders, PMO Managers and Project managers wishing to formalize and extend their existing knowledge from a project competency perspective whilst building on best international practices based on principles, practices, knowledge areas and processes
  • Any senior project stakeholder moving into an international environment wishing to understand the challenges around achieving successful international projects and programs
  • Senior managers/directors who would like to develop their strategic skills for the selection and successful management of projects
  • Team leaders, consultants, working in an international project environment that would like to broaden their understanding of the different perspectives of project management including theories/eponymous laws such as agency theory, stewardship theory, Parkinson’s law and student syndrome and how these impact project success
  • Team members looking to develop their awareness of international project management and how they can best support their project managers
  • Sponsors of projects, who would like to learn more about how international projects are managed as well many tips on their role and how to be an excellent and supportive sponsor

Project Leader Professional Course Objectives

  • To understand why project leadership is so important in project success and not just project management
  • To understand how to select national and international projects and programs using management tools and techniques
  • Understand modern national and international project and program management based on global management foundational standards including PMI’s PMBOK, Standard for Program Management, and IPMA competency based methodology
  • To understand tips and tricks on how practically to setup and lead a project from Project Management and PMO perspectives including advice based on a proven Information Structuring Methodology
  • To understand how to establish a successful international project using a detailed 5-day case study based on a real project with over 30 exercises and 10 management presentations
  • To provide an integrated view of projects, programs and portfolios
  • To share tips, experience and best practice guidelines that relate also to projects and programs
  • To prepare for the multiple-choice IPMO-PLP exam format
  • Also, preparation for the PMI PMP exam (for interested attendees – key PMP learning material – Excel and large diagrams will be provided)
  • Understand what is the latest in academic research in project leadership and how it impacts the practitioner world
  • What comes next in your career – options

Project Leader Professional Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the structure and approach of successful national and international project leadership
  • Understand and have confidence on how to setup a PMI compliant complex national and international project through real-life case study and examples
  • Gain a broader perspective by understand how projects fit into portfolios and programs perspectives – the famous eagle view
  • Gain tips and tricks from an internationally experienced project, program and portfolio manager/trainer/consultant
  • Knowledge of how to plan your career in the senior international project leadership arena
  • Understand theories, eponymous laws, and the most used tools & techniques that impact and therefore help or hinder in achieving project success.
  • Understand what is being researched in the field of project leadership and the findings that can help you in your position

What You Need to Know


Classroom training: 5 days:


The training approach includes:

  • Lecture
  • Team exercises
  • Group discussions on pertinent topics
  • Detailed five-day Simulation Case Study
  • Presentations and role play
  • Personal coaching (if time allows)
  • Exam – 2 hours with 100 multiple choise questions
  • Discussing the exam answers


  • 3 years’ plus experience in project and/or program management
  • Ideally a formal PM certification such as PMI’s CAPM, PMP, or Axelos’s Prince 2 Practitioner, or IPMA (Levels C or D)
  • Working with Excel and basic understanding of finance, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), KRIs (Key Risk Indicators)
  • Educated at degree level or similar
  • Attendees should have a good working knowledge of project management processes, tools and techniques

Certification Exam

  • Exam given at the end of the course moderated by the instructor
  • Open book exam 100 multiple choice questions
  • Duration 2 hour.


The exam will be marked in class. If there are any borderline attendees – the instructors will review their case study exercise work to determine if they understand how to meet exercise and case-building requirements. If the instructor judges that borderline attendees understand sufficiently, then they will receive their certification(s)

Detailed Course Outline

  • The need for effective (inter)national stakeholder management
  • Identification and mapping of stakeholders according to different classifications
  • Challenges of meeting stakeholder expectations in changing environments
  • Importance of project leadership in (inter)national Stakeholder management
  • Example on how to classify and proactively manage international stakeholders
  • Exercise in international stakeholder engagement

  • Project, Project Management, Program management, Portfolio management vs. Operations
  • Strategic alignment
  • Project/Program success and project/program management success/failure how they are measured
  • Consequences of poor project/program management
  • Success Factors, Success Criteria
  • Organizational structures and their influence on project performance
  • Evolving role and types of the PMO at the project, program and portfolio levels
  • Project management and its constraints
  • The importance of adopting project life cycles International trends in project management
  • Organizational impact on projects including governance, stakeholders

  • What is a Vision, Mission and Strategy and why are they important
  • Developing program/portfolio strategies to maximize benefits to international organizations based on the ‘strategy under uncertainty’ framework
  • Tools for strategic development including PESTLIED, Gap Analysis, SWOT, GE Matrix
  • International project selection and criteria of choice including KPI correlation
  • Analysis of uncertainty and risk on international projects – ‘Risk Assessment Room’
  • Challenges of selecting international projects; alignment with organizational strategy

  • Special leadership demands
  • Leadership styles depending on levels of organizational change
  • Managing your emotional intelligence
  • Using IQ, EQ, MQ and TQ competencies to understand the differences between a senior (inter)national project leader, a project manager and a functional manager
  • Selecting and developing the senior international project leader
  • Addressing cultural differences and organizational challenges
  • Scenario review – Lessons learned from the accidental profession
  • Leadership Assessment

  • Challenges of initiating (complex) projects
  • Great project management leaders
  • Risk of creating too much hype in meeting expectation – Program/project hype cycle
  • Importance of a international documentation plan
  • Feasibility analysis and the business cases
  • Role of the portfolio in project selection
  • Establishing a project charter
  • The role of the kick off meeting and the importance of showing leadership competencies

  • Challenges of defining the scope in complex projects
  • Using multiple creative techniques to gather requirements whilst building stakeholder consensus
  • Requirements gathering with dispersed stakeholders
  • Techniques to prioritize requirements
  • Requirements traceability
  • Building the scope statement
  • Avoiding scope ambivalence
  • Using a product breakdown structure to build a common understanding Setting up the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • WBS development best practices in projects

  • Challenges of scheduling projects
  • Working with dependencies
  • Estimating durations
  • Team consensus techniques to estimate durations
  • Creative technique to quickly estimate durations
  • Estimating under uncertainty
  • Critical path and critical chain methods
  • Understanding different schedule types compressing and optimizing the schedule
  • Schedule vertical and horizontal traceability on projects
  • Schedule development best practices
  • Presenting formats to management
  • The perception of leadership ability to achieve a project approval

  • Challenges of budgeting projects
  • Understanding cost types
  • Estimating costs Life cycle costing
  • Understanding the how to create a (risk based) contingency reserve
  • Cost budgeting, "S Curve" and the performance measurement baseline Reconciling funds
  • Working with control accounts
  • Tracing and authorizing costs in projects

  • Challenges of meeting project quality requirements
  • Understanding the stakeholders' product, process and project quality expectations
  • Translating expectations into quality standards and metrics
  • Auditing quality both quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC)
  • Organizing the team for process improvement activities
  • Controlling quality
  • Leadership aspects of Quality Management

  • Importance of Leadership in project teams
  • Planning resource management
  • Tools and techniques used in HR management
  • Managing group dynamics throughout the project
  • Dealing with potential sources of conflict throughout the project life-cycle
  • Advanced recruitment skills for international project leaders
  • Plan – Acquire and management teams
  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  • Motivation – Herzberg’s Motivation/ Hygiene Theory
  • Understanding what motivates team members and analyzing personal value systems.

  • Challenges of meeting project quality requirements
  • Understanding the stakeholders' product, process and project quality expectations
  • Translating expectations into quality standards and metrics
  • Auditing quality both quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC)
  • Organizing the team for process improvement activities
  • Controlling quality
  • Leadership aspects of Quality Management

  • Importance of Leadership in project teams
  • Planning resource management
  • Tools and techniques used in HR management
  • Managing group dynamics throughout the project
  • Dealing with potential sources of conflict throughout the project life-cycle
  • Advanced recruitment skills for international project leaders
  • Plan – Acquire and management teams
  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  • Motivation – Herzberg’s Motivation/ Hygiene Theory
  • Understanding what motivates team members and analyzing personal value systems.

  • Establishing a communications management plan
  • Communications tools and techniques
  • Communication processes
  • Communications technology
  • Multi-cultural communications and appropriate behavior by the senior international project manager
  • Advanced presentation skills for project managers
  • Preparing and presenting project reports
  • Scenario review – The skillful / savvy senior inter)national project leader
  • Interpersonal Communications Based on Leadership Style

  • Addressing cultural and process related issues while managing risks
  • Establishing a risk management approach and understanding risk tolerance and appetite
  • Conducting workshops and using creative techniques to identify risks
  • Formulating risks
  • Understanding risks scores and generating consensus over risks' criticality
  • Assessing overall project risk Assessing risks quantitatively
  • Responding to project risks
  • Establishing and managing the contingency reserve
  • Reassessing project risks, auditing risks and reporting risk metric
  • Creating a risk managing culture and selling risk management to senior management
  • Leadership aspects of Risk Management

  • Need for structured procurement
  • Importance of planning
  • Types of procurement documents
  • Types of contracts and associated risks
  • Importance of managing contracts and outsourcing partners
  • Understanding the value of goodwill in contracts and the potential conflict with procurement
  • Using system modelling in proposed contracts to see if they support or hinder projects and programs
  • Leadership aspects of Procurement Management

  • “Green to Red” reporting what happened to Yellow?
  • Need for active monitoring and controlling
  • Processes involved
  • Tools and techniques used for monitoring and controlling
  • Concept of baselines and forecasting variance against a base line
  • Need for integrated Change Control
  • Earned Value Management as a new concept to determine where you are in the program/project
  • Change vs. Configuration management
  • Auditing
  • Leadership Aspects of Monitor and Controlling international projects

  • What is conflict management?
  • Source of conflicts
  • Principles of dealing with conflicts
  • Conflict & negotiation techniques
  • Managing conflicts in and across teams
  • Leadership aspects of Conflict Management

  • Understanding Behavior
  • What is decision making?
  • Who makes decisions - governance structures
  • Types of decisions
  • Decision making with imperfect information
  • The knowledge triangle - helping to understand the facts
  • Leadership aspects of Decision Making

  • Attributes of individual types and how the attributes changed under pressure within a project
  • Detailed process to close the phase or project
  • Tools to support the closing processes
  • Facilitation of Lessons Learned Discussions
  • Leadership aspects of project termination and closure

  • Definitions of an eponymous law, theory and phenomenon
  • Examples of eponymous laws that apply to project management
  • Use of theories in academic research
  • Single and Double Loop learning systems
  • Applying system dynamics to model processes, contracts etc. to understand throughput and constraints before they happen
  • What comes after IPMO-PLP certification in your career development

5-day Project Leadership Case study Depending on participant/team preference one of several detailed case studies can be selected. Each case study has been designed to allow the participants to enact out an international project as a project leader throughout its project lifecycle within an industry. The participants will work in teams during to the week and follow a structure that models the types of leadership decisions and issue of a project. As part of the case study the teams will produce key project document deliverables (artifacts) and manage the types of internal and external influences on a project. There will be role play and coaching throughout the week. The case study builds on the knowledge gained throughout the course and embeds the knowledge through the 30 plus exercises. The case study is an excellent preparation for PMI’s PMP exam as well as how to actually run and lead a project.

Further Information on IPMO-PLP


Find out more about AIPMO

Delivery Partners

Find out how to attend the course with partner, Causal Capital

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