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History of Project Management Institute (PMI)

Project Management Institute, or PMI, is a non-profit organisation that serves as a platform for individuals working in Project Management to share their experiences, learn, and grow. By hosting over 2.9 million professionals, PMI has around 208 branches all over the globe.  

The significance of Project Management has increased significantly in the past decade. According to The State of the Project Management Report 2020, 89% of organisations have a minimum of one Project Management Office (PMO). The popularity of Project Management increased due to PMI. This blog elaborates on the History of the Project Management Institute (PMI), tracing its journey from its inception to becoming a globally recognised standard. 

Table of Contents 

1) History of PMI 

     a) Founders of PMI 

2) PMI certifications 

3) Events in PMI 

4) Awards in PMI 

5) Conclusion 

History of PMI 

A year before the conception of PMI, the International Project Management Association (IPMA) came into existence, which can be considered the first Project Management association in the world. PMI was founded by five individuals – James R. Snyder, Eric Jenett, Gordon Davis, E.A. "Ned" Engman, and Susan Gallagher – in 1969.  

The idea for forming the institute arose from the need to provide a collaborative space where the concept of Project Management can be discussed at length among its professionals. The institute formulated a list of goals it wished to achieve, which were decided upon and released in 1975. Here are some of the goals of PMI: 

a) To keep improving: PMI believes in promoting high-quality work consistently. Thus, they aim for a collaborative environment where Project Management Professionals can discuss their work and contribute to better methods of Project Management.  

b) To maintain curiosity: Staying curious about matters helps put individuals on a path with multiple opportunities to learn, improve, and grow. The PMI community welcomes doubts of all kinds and is open to suggestions to improve.   

c) To induce professionalism: Another goal of PMI is to encapsulate the concept of professionalism in the Project Management industry.   

d) To improve communication: Clear communication is necessary for steady business growth. PMI aims to generate a common terminology for all users to perform tasks efficiently. It also develops techniques for the same.  

e) To promote career growth: PMI provides information and guidelines about attaining jobs and certifications in Project Management, which helps further your career.   

f) To create industry standards: PMI collaborated with technology, research policy and education committees via a professional liaison committee to develop standards for the Project Management industry.   

Enhance your career opportunities by signing up for our PMP® Training courses now! 

Founders of PMI 

Although five members founded PMI, the decision to develop the organisation was finalised between Jim Snyder and Gordon Davis. The institute was developed due to its first official meeting at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Soon after, the five founders filed and signed its articles of incorporation. Let's look at the founders and their credentials in detail: 

1) James R. Snyder: Commonly known as the "Father of PMI", is he one of its founders. He used to reside as the Volunteer Executive Director, President, and Board Chairman.

He has held various positions, including the Treasurer of the Delaware Valley Chapter and is a member of Project Management Journal's editorial review board, among many others. One of his most significant professional achievements includes acquiring the PMI Man of the Year award. 

2) Eric Jennett: He is another founder of PMI who became the first Project Management Professional (PMP). He has held several positions and titles in the field of Project Management. Some of the positions and awards he obtained were as follows: 

1971 – PMI President 

1972 – PMI Chairman 

1975 - 1976 – PMI Secretary 

1975 – Won the “Distinguished Contribution to the Institute” award

He has contributed a lot to the world of Project Management via his reports and literature based on the industry. The fellow founder of PMI has donated a lot to the field in the form of more than 30 publications and presentations. 

3) Gordon Davis: He has helped enrich the concept of Project Management through his generous contributions to the organisation and industry. He was heavily involved in linking PMI with academic partners during its early stages.

The institute's former Vice-President is known for his undying support to those who wish to push the boundaries and strive to improve as Project Management professionals. Mr Davis and the PMI Fellow have received multiple high honours from the organisation.  

4) E.A. “Ned” Engman: He played a significant part in spreading the word about the institute and increasing its membership. In 1968, he sent letters to multiple people inviting them to join the organisation before its official opening.   

5) Susan Gallagher: Ms. Gallagher was James Snyder's fellow worker at the SmithKline and French laboratories in Philadelphia and was a part of the first official meeting in Atlanta. She was Treasurer, Vice President and Director of technical services and is well known for her contributions to developing PMI Seminars and Symposiums. 

PMI Certifications

Certifications from PMI

Since the primary objective of PMI was to create a space for continuous learning and promote career advancement in Project Management, they vouched for their certification program – Project Management Professional (PMP).  

PMP is a Project Management certification launched by PMI in 1984. Since its accreditation by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the PMP certification has been considered the benchmark for Project Management.  

There are other certifications offered by PMI, which also cater to providing jobs at various levels of the Project Management industry. Here are some of the certifications they provide other than PMP: 

a) Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) 

b) Program Management Professional (PgMP) 

c) Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) 

d) PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) 

e) PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) 

f) PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) 

g) PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) 

h) Organisational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3)

PMP® Certification Training Course

PMP certification: Eligibility 

PMP offers the knowledge and skills required to be a proficient Project Manager. PMP certified professionals enjoy a multitude of benefits like standing out from fellow candidates, higher pay, more job opportunities, and more.  

You can attain a PMP certification if you meet certain requirements. If you carry a four-year degree, then you must meet the following criteria: 

a) Minimum three years' experience in professional Project Management  

b) 4,500 hours of work must be recorded in leading or directing projects  

c) Minimum of 35 hours of Project Management education 

If you carry a high-school diploma, then the following criteria must be met to attain a PMP certification: 

a) Minimum five years’ experience in professional Project Management 

b) 7,500 hours of Project Management work experience 

c) Minimum 35 hours of Project Management education 

Sign up for our PMP® Certification Training Course today, and don't miss the opportunity to become a certified PMP professional.   

Events in PMI 

PMI hosts numerous events aimed at furthering the Project Management industry. One of the key events is the PMI EMEA Congress. It is a common platform to meet like-minded professionals and seniors and to learn from them. Let's look at some of the other events hosted by them: 

a) SeminarsWorld event (Regional): The regional SeminarsWorld events are conducted more than once a year and focus on offering training on a certain topic. It is the perfect opportunity to learn about Project Management in detail from experienced professionals.  

b) Mega SeminarsWorld event: The Mega SeminarsWorld event is merely a large-scale version of the regional event. While it provides an extended list of SeminarsWorld courses to choose from, it is also known for its keynote speeches in the morning and bigger receptions.  

c) PMI global conference: This is a three-day event that aims at discussing all the new processes, tools, etc., in the industry, amongst the best Project Management Professionals around the globe.   

d) PMO Symposium: Another cardinal event is the PMO Symposium. While acting as a common meeting ground for professionals to exchange ideas and information regarding Project Management, it is also perfect for forging helpful connections.   

Awards in PMI

Awards in PMI

PMI values the recognition of Project Management professionals who contribute to the betterment of the industry. The following are some of the prestigious professional awards from PMI that are viewed as a testament to determination, hard work, and passion: 

a) PMI Project of the Year Award: It is presented to well-organised and operated complex projects. It is a recognition of elite project execution and creating a positive impact on society.  

b) PMI PMO of the Year Award: This award is earned by those recognised for their exceptional Project Management abilities. They are evaluated for their effective Project Management strategies while meeting organisational goals.  

c) PMI Fellow Award: The PMI Fellow Award is the highest form of recognition offered by PMI. It is awarded to the individual who has consistently contributed to the industry and the institute via their professional activities.  

d) PMI Eric Jenett Person of the Year Award: Leadership qualities and efficient business management are two essential qualities that qualify for this award.   

e) PMI Rising Leader: The Rising Leader award is presented to promising young individuals who have contributed to the Project Management industry to complement their efforts and to encourage them to do more. 


Today, the Project Management Institute (PMI) is a globally recognised organisation that helps over 2.9 million Project Management professionals and hosts more than 500,000 members. We hope this blog has helped you learn about the History of PMI, its awards, events, and more. 

Learn more about Project Management with our CAPM® Certification Training course now! 

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