Straight Talk on Project Management

Box of chocolates

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On International Project Management Day – Life is like a box of chocolates

Every year, on the 1st Thursday of November, International Project Management (IPM) Day celebrates the millions of project managers and their teams busily delivering projects across the planet.

We’re talking big numbers here, it’s estimated that there are between 15 and 20 million project managers (and members of project teams), working on projects worldwide! To put that into context, that’s roughly the population of the Netherlands or Los Angeles.

International Project Management Day was created back in 2004, this year (2022) IPM day falls on November the 3rd, which means, at the time of writing, you have a little time to decide how your organisation will celebrate. Or, if you’re reading this at a later date – you can start planning next year!

At Stoneseed, to celebrate IPM day, we buy a selection of those big plastic tubs of chocolates (that are often on offer at this time of year). Roses, Quality Street, Heroes, Celebrations – whatever we can lay our hands-on.

We told our bosses that the multi-mix of chocolates signifies the importance of the right project talent in the right job – and knowing where to find them. It works like this; If you want a taste of coconut then you need a mini Bounty from the Celebrations tub; if your soft caramel simply has to come in a chocolate shaped like a barrel then you need to head to the Roses; and if it’s Turkish Delight you’re after, then what’s wrong with you? Honestly, get a grip!! (I’m joking – we have mini Turkish Delights too!!)

Finding the right IT Project talent can be challenging. Many new clients, describe talent searches being similar to looking for a Double Decker in the Quality Street tub – that’s not where the Double Deckers hang out! You might end up having to make do with one of those hazelnut noisette green triangles!

Not every project is the same and not every project has the same technical skill requirements.  With Stoneseed’s PMaaS( Project Management as a Service), you can access a selection box of Project professionals!

We have a team of project professionals across Business Analysis, Project Management, Technical Advisory and PMO competencies who have worked within multiple industries and technologies.

We use a skill matrix, like the menu card in a selection box to continuously monitor the type of project experience and skillsets available within our team.

By selecting a resource from the Stoneseed chocolate box, you’re able to flex or switch out a resource for another type of resource needed to suit whichever stage of the project you’re at.

Engaging with a PMaaS (Project Management as a Service), means you can inject external skills and update methodologies when and where you need them (for as long as you need them), all the while, upskilling your team!

Selection boxes of chocolate, therefore, are the perfect IT Project Team metaphor, and that’s why we NEED them to mark IPM Day! That’s what we tell our bosses and they buy it! In reality, if I’m being honest, we just REALLY like chocolate!!

Other IT Project organisations tell us of celebratory team breakfasts and lunches, awards ceremonies to reward best in class and presentations to the wider business about the value of project management. I remember one year when all project team members globally were encouraged to wear blue to show the world that all project managers were connected. We love all of these, just not as much as chocolate!


Whichever way you celebrate IPM Day, it is something that should be marked, especially if you have the perfect team in place right now!! That’s something worth celebrating! And, if you don’t, it can be a day to reflect upon and address this.

Use IPM Day to take a helicopter view of your project portfolio and identify any gaps that you have. Then, create a measurable plan to fix your skills shortages.

IPM Day is used by several clients as a litmus test day for the efficiency of their project delivery operation, a real chance to improve an already well-oiled machine, or grease the wheels of one that is struggling!!


For many, IPM Day is less a day of celebration, more a day of recognition – a chance to acknowledge project managers and project teams.

Many also see it as a day to raise awareness about the value that a professional project manager brings to your wider business or organisation. Some in the profession believe that project management is an “unappreciated profession” and they use the day to challenge this.

This notion that project management is an “unappreciated profession” may be more than just insecurity and paranoia! Think about it, even in your own friend group, most people outside of project management have little idea, if any, what a project manager actually does! If you are a project manager, how many blank stares have you encountered when telling people at a party what you do?! So, IPM Day is used as a vehicle to give project managers at least some of the recognition and respect that they deserve.

While it’s true that every day should be seen as an opportunity to recognise and thank people who do great work within IT Projects, and shout from the rooftops about the profession – not just a single day, it is great that there is an opportunity to come together. We should make the most of it.

What a chance to educate others within your business about the great things your project talent does!

Consider IPM Day as an opportunity to offer huge thanks to the project managers of your organisation and to take the time to showcase the things that are accomplished through strong leadership and teamwork.

So, celebration, recognition, a chance to reflect or just an excuse to eat chocolate. Spread the word about International Project Management Day and mark it in your own special way.

Happy IPM Day.