Touched By Lew;
May 2, 2012: Rest In Peace, Dr. Lewis R. Ireland
Dr. Lewis R. Ireland: Parent, friend, mentor, IPMA-USA co-founder, an inspiration to all who encountered him, and a gift to the practice of integrity in project management, passed away Wednesday, May 2, 2012.
We grieve his passing, while celebrating his massive contributions to ourselves, members and friends, our practice, and to society.
Please see our acclaim for Lew and his achievements, written when we named Lew as our first IPMA-USA Distinguished Fellow, just two months before his untimely departure.
Below, we provide testimony from those who know and love Lew.
Ginger Levin Cites Lew as Leader, Mentor and Coach
Lew Ireland was instrumental in getting me involved with the practice of Project Management, when I was working for Martin Marietta (now part of Lockheed-Martin). He encouraged us all to learn this discipline, and to get certified in it. Later, after Greg Haugan and I had developed our PM consulting firm, this business decision was smart. When William Duncan produced the original PMBOK® Guide, it was clear that it was important to develop the new curriculum requirements that PMI® needed to support it. We bid on the contract that PMI® needed filling, and won.
Among Lew’s greatest contributions to PM practice was his focus on Project Quality. His book, Quality Management for Projects and Programs, published by PMI in 1991, remains one of the best books on the subject. Another contribution has been his focus on establishing Project Management as a distinct discipline.
Lew was an outstanding friend, mentor and consultant. He was a person of extremely high integrity and ethics, with an unmatched sense of professional responsibility.
Bill Duncan, IPMA-USA co-founder, Certification Chair
If you knew Lew, you will know the truth of these adjectives: unassuming, self-deprecating, self-sacrificing, insightful, hard-working.
I had the pleasure of meeting much of his immediate family. The love in all directions was palpable.
I hope his daughter Dee can survive the loss. If she is half as tough as Lew, she will.
Greg Haugann says: Inspiring Professional PM, Service to People, Neighbor and Friend
Note: Greg and Ginger (see above) worked with Lew for years in their consulting firm, GLH, Inc. During that time, Lew served as mentor, friend, trainer, coach and advisor.
In addition to all Lew’s PM contributions that Ginger has cited, there is another side of Lew that is important. Starting with a story may be the best way to describe the type of person Lew Ireland was. As a neighbor of Lew’s over 20 years ago, I was having trouble with my car. I went next door to ask him, in general, if he had any ideas about how I could solve it. He came over, looked at it, and immediately went to work on it. He removed the generator, cleaned it out, reassembled it, and put it all back together again. And it worked. That is just one example of one experience with Lew. He was a great friend and coach in our practice of Project Management.
Roberto Mori, IPMA President
It's sad to hear about Lew's passing away. Even if I didn't have the pleasure of meeting him, his name and reputation have been very much known in all the PM community. Please accept, along with all asapm members, Animp's, Tenova's and my heartfelt sympathies and forward our deep condolences to the Family.
Lewis Ireland was my uncle and was a phenomenal individual. He cared about everyone he came in contact with and if you ever had a problem he was there with good advise, an ear to listen and a hug if needed. He will be remembered by me for all the laughs, conversations, and love. R.I.P. Uncle Lewis and we will see each other again. Love you, Lore
R. Max Wideman
It does not seem to be generally well known that Dr. Lew Ireland was the father of the PMP® accreditation exam, on which the financial foundation of the Project Management Institute ("PMI") and its worldwide success is now based. I was elected to the PMI Board in 1983 at a time when the idea of a professional designation was being mooted and a suitable name being considered. (It took several meetings to arrive at the label "Project Management Professional" now recognized by the initials "PMP".)
At the same time, Lew undertook to research the emerging body of knowledge associated specifically with the "art and science" of project management and to extract appropriate questions in a multiple choice format and assemble them in a secret database. I cannot imagine how much work this must have taken. At any rate, at the following Board meeting a year later, Lew tested the validity of his database questions by subjecting all Board members to the very first PMP certification test. Fortunately I passed, but as the Board members were seen as being in a privileged position and therefore in a potential conflict of interest, the designation of PMP for those present was not recognized.
From this one instance alone it can be seen that Lew was an incredibly hard and selfless worker and he went on to serve his love of project management in many different ways. As others have testified, he was a good friend and mentor. He will be sorely missed.
I am so devastated by this news. I didn't meet Lew until far too late, 2004. On the numerous occasions I have been lucky enough to work with him since, he has been been an amazing inspiration. He was quiet and engaging, witty and charming. He restored your faith in the human soul. Lew was special, and always had a funny story to tell.
I will treasure my memories of him and miss him greatly. It is indeed a sad occasion. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Lew, the world is a better place for you having been here.
Glen Farnham, LT/Col USAF (Ret)
LT/Col Lew Ireland was the Army representative while I was the Air Force representative for Electronic Warfare matters for CINCLANT Headquarters in Norfolk, VA 1974-1978. I never met a finer officer than Lew. We spent our lunch hour trying to stay in shape by running. We solved many of the current problems while we exercised.; We got in good enough shape to compete in some local 5K and 10K races. Lew was always quick to acknowledge outstanding achievement and document it.; He had an exceptional ability to remember peoples names. Our deepest sympathy to Sandy, Mona & Dee and his many friends. I will miss his frequent E-mails.
Rose Johnston, past IPMA-USA Secretary-Treasurer
I first met Lew in 2000-2001 when asapm was conceived. Now, a dozen years later I am bidding him "God speed" with his other admirers.
Over the years Lew trusted me to help edit his Prez Sez articles, and to work with him on a PM curriculum targeted to MBAs. No matter how intense, indignant, discouraged, or out-of-sorts I became during the writing process, Lew was *unflappable.*
No doubt his steady hand and kind heart are already soothing the egos and calming the tantrums of tortured PMs and Stakeholders on the other side. And Ouida is still standing behind him, supporting him in his efforts.
With love — Rose
I knew Lew for over 30 years. He was one of the primary drivers in the development and implementation of the PMI PMP Certification program. Lew was everything you could be as a professional, a friend and a mentor. Our face-to-face meetings had become rare, but he was in my mind constantly and if I ever had a difficult question or situation I always turned to Lew for advice. He will be sorely missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Timothy Jaques, Chief Executive Officer Line of Sight, LLC.
It is a sad day indeed. Having worked with Lew on a book, I have known him as a curious, kind, and wise man. He was quiet, preferring to be understated in his deep well of knowledge, always allowing me to try out some approach before bringing his sharp knowledge to bear. asapm has lost a past president, dear friend and supporter.
Ed Naughton, Director General IPMI, IPMA-Ireland.
Lew's passing means that an integral part of the international project management community has been lost. I recall that during his tenure on the board of PMI he was always very welcoming and supportive of new, emerging organizations from smaller countries such as Ireland. He treated us with respect and offered invaluable advice from time to time.
When he became involved with asapm he was instrumental in establishing a special relationship with the Institute of Project Management of Ireland — a relationship that has endured and recently brought one our assessors to asapm to work on their IPMA certification validation. That relationship still thrives today through our close links and personal friendships with Stacy Goff and Bill Duncan.
Lew had a "good innings" but it was the quality of his efforts and outputs rather than the duration of his tenure that will be his abiding contribution to the world of project management. We would like to extend our condolences to his family and friends and as we say of our departed in Ireland:
"Ar Dhis Dei go raibh a anam! (On the right hand side of God may his soul rest)"
Dr Bill Young, President, Asia Pacific Federation of Project Management
Unfortunately I did not have the privilege of knowing Lew personally, but certainly knew of him over many years through various sources, and of his contribution to the global development of Project Management. He has no doubt left a great legacy for others.
Our best wishes to all of Lew’s family, and his extended global PM family.
Jouko Vaskimo, IPMA-Finland
I am extremely sad to hear this news. Understanding the facts of life, this kind of news is something one would never want to receive. Our warmest sympathies are with the Ireland family, friends, and naturally asapm. Please find attached a photograph I took of Lew when I met him at the IPMA 2007 World Congress in Cracow.
(Those who knew Lew will recognize the note cards, always with him.)
Jesus Mtnez-Almela 1st VP AEIPRO (IPMA Spain)
The big men always leave fingerprints, thank you Lew for everything that you did for the advancement of PPPM proffesionalism. Personally I had few occasions to enjoy you, but you as good Teacher I always seek to read and to learn from your excellent contributions. We will bear in our minds and prayers today evening, official presentation of 8th IPMA MA's in Latin America, in Bogota, Colombia.
Rest in peace and thank you very much for all your legacy, was an honor.
Lew was a charismatic gentleman that I held a lot of respect for. Not only for his professional and methodical approach to matters but also for his ability to make light of a situation and be a charming host and entertainer. My condolences go out to his family and friends alike.
Grant Kerr (APMC-PMAC, IPMA-Canada)
I only met Lew a couple of times, but was deeply impressed by his friendship, his giving of himself - his knowledge and experience, by his support to me as a person and to the PMAC organization. Thanks Lew!
Leanthia Pacquette Lewis
To Lew's family, friends, colleagues and asapm members, please accept my sympathy. May his family mourn in peace and his soul rest in peace. Special thanks for his conscious contribution to asapm development. He is gone but will not be forgotten.
Lew Ireland: Selfless Relationship Builder; by Stacy Goff
I first encountered Lew at registration at one of the PMI Seminar and Symposium events in the 1990s (today called Congresses). I had not met him before, but he was friendly and helpful. At that time, he was not yet PMI President. We struck up a conversation, and he asked me about my interests, and why I was there. I explained that, as a PM consultant, I was interested in the experiences and success stories of others in project and program management. And so we talked about a wide range of subjects.
The content of our discussion was interesting, but every few steps, Lew would stop and introduce me to someone new. We’d visit with this new person for a while, then continue another few steps, and repeat the process.
This was not just a matter of how well-connected Lew was. It is a matter of connecting people to people, something I observed as one of Lew’s many strengths.
Observing Lew’s conversations in that Symposium setting, they were always focused on those he was speaking with — i.e., their interests, their experiences, their families, their challenges—and never about himself. Clearly, Lew was helping me by introducing me to his circle of friends, and by helping me to achieve my goal of hearing the experiences and successes of others in project and program management.
Some years later, as Lew began helping to form asapm, he invited me to participate. During the long meetings and late evenings, his consistent focus was on the needs of the industry, the interests of our stakeholders, and the selfless approaches that he instilled, by example. An instance of that was, when it came time to select a new President, Lew was reluctant to move from Director of Research to the role of President. Quiet, humble, brave, smart, dedicated and supportive.
In an era when others in Project Management are only beginning to understand the importance of interpersonal, or behavioral skills in successful projects, Lew has demonstrated those skills consistently. For decades. And he has done so in multiple contexts: In service to his family, and his daughter, Dee; to his friends and associates in asapm and other professional organizations; to his clients and consulting partners around the world; and to all those who share with him this discipline of beneficial societal change, Project Management. (This testimony is from our naming of Dr. Lew Ireland as our first asapm Fellow, March 2012.)
Rest in Peace Lew and may God guide the steps and thoughts of those you leave behind for a time.
I met Lew when he came to Jamaica to coach the first batch of asapm students in a programme developed in conjunction with the University of Technology's School of Architecture where I was a part-time Lecturer at the time.
I had the great fortune to chauffeur Lew from classes to/from the hotel on occasion and had many interesting conversations. He made friends easily and in his usual mentoring role gifted me with one of his books when he was leaving. The many valuable lessons learnt in class and in the car remain with me always and I am constantly reminded of him favourably whenever I use his book.
May the Great Architect of the Universe continue to bless all those who hold him dear!
This is so sad to hear, but we know this is a way for us all. My condolences to his family and associates. May his soul rest in peace.
I was touched by Lew. From a personal perspective... Lew above all was the perfect gentleman. He never hesitated to provide a helping hand and guidance on request. His style was a soft-spoken man of great intellect. Yet the common man and a man of compassion and quick wit.
Lew's impact and contribution to the field and discipline of project management in his leadership and his content development has been substantial and will remain long lasting.
A very warm and heart felt "thank you" Lew!
Jack Ching-Wen Ma, Taiwan
I am very sad over the passing of Dr. Lew Ireland - a globally known project management guru. My solidarity goes to Dr. Ireland's loved ones and wish them back to their normal life soon so as to comfort the spirit of Dr. Ireland.
Seven or eight years ago, through the help of the incumbent President of asapm - Stacy Goff, I had a chance of chatting about enterprise project management (EPM) via email exchanges in which I also asked for his courtesy for putting an article of Lew's. He not only gave me the permission but also offered some quick and short and yet very profound insights to EPM. So beyond my high respect to him as a PM guru, I was highly impressed by his generosity and strong will of sharing what he dedicated most of his life to the arena of project management. Dr. Ireland may or may not forgotten his short encounter with me before, I regret not having told him earlier how much I appreciate his teachings in his publications that have influenced me very much in my career as a PM professional.
Today, I join everyone around the world mourning Dr. Lew Ireland. His great contributions to project management knowledge and practices along with his personal image will stay in my memory always.
Lew was the most humble GIANT I ever knew. As a founding member (of asapm), I was always in awe of Lew's knowledge and gentle way of mentoring. The PM field will certainly miss his leadership, along with asapm.
Clyde Ireland, Nephew
Of all his accomplishments, I believe Lew's unconditional love of his family stands out the most to me. Uncle Lew not only gave dedicated love to his wife and daughters, he shared that love and care with his family no matter where they were. I remember how he quietly took charge of all the details of the arrangements when his mother passed in 1996.
I remember seeing him at the service eulogizing grandma, breaking down for a few seconds while he was telling a story about her. When my father passed away in 2007, Uncle Lew paid for me to fly from Minnesota to California so that I could grieve with my family and see my father (his brother) for the last time.
This is the Lewis Ireland I remember, and it is the Lewis Ireland that so many others, I've learned, had the pleasure of knowing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He will be surely missed.
Harvey Levine, PMI Fellow & Past Chair
Why am I not surprised at the outpouring of tributes to Lew. He was everyone's model of the true dedicated leader of the PM profession and its professional organization, PMI. Very few have devoted as much as this fine gentleman and anyone who has celebrated the benefits of PM certification and professionalism owes Lew a debt of gratitude.
On a personal note, I salute Lew for standing up for ethical leadership in all aspects of the PM profession.
I sadly say goodby to a champion of all that we cherish in a leader and friend.
Gilles Caupin (France), past president and past chair of IPMA.
Lew's passing away is sad news for the PM Community.
I first met Lew many years ago when I chaired IPMA, and again later when asapm was founded. We worked together on establishing the foundations of the asapm certification scheme. In this complex situation when we endeavoured to match the IPMA approach to competence assessment with the specifities of the US approach and business constraints, his contribution was essential in finding the best solutions for everyone.
I miss now a real professional who had become a friend.
While I never got to meet Mr. Ireland personally, his daughter Sandy is a former co-worker and good friend. She often shared very funny stories about her dad from when she was a little girl, and he was on active duty in the military! Reading through these memories, he definitely touched many lives including those of his daughters, and my prayers are with them during this difficult time! Sandy has a lot of qualities as her dad, and looking at this photo I see a lot of him in her.
I first met Lew in 1956 at Camp Carson, Colorado. He was just one of many recruits there for army basic training. After basic was complete, Lew was transferred to a different unit.
Many years passed, when those who had spent time with the original unit and been in Germany, started to have reunions. Although Lew had not been in that group, somehow one of us still had the original roster and was able to locate him. He said he wanted to be on a contact list. I did not remember Lew from Carson, but when he came to a reunion, I felt that he was the most interesting person there. We talked at some length- I saw him one more time, at another reunion. Still much discussion about world events and what he was doing.
We exchanged holiday cards in subsequent years, including 2012. His son called me to tell me of his passing - I shall pass on this site to others of the army group.
Thank you for your thoughts about Lew. We cited many of your comments in our eulogy for Lew at his funeral on Monday, May 7.
His friends and family were very much comforted by your words. Thank you!