Does DAMA need a revamp?

Last week, DAMA Johannesburg’s chapter meeting discussed the “Current State of DAMA”

In particular, the meeting focussed on proposed changes to DAMA-I, and the questions that have been asked by some members on social media.

Let me start by saying that sitting on the board of a volunteer,non-profit organisation can be a thankless task, and that largely I believe that the men and women that have stepped into roles on the board have done so with the best of intentions and deserve our gratitusde for their give aways.

Over the last few years, this board has been instrumental in the delivery of the revised DMBoK v2 along with a revised CDMP certification process.

These have been major efforts and, in an attempt to streamline future similar efforts, the board has also been working in changes to the DAMA bylaws

Amongst other changes we are informed that:

  1. The new bylaws would recognise central membership (i.e. member ship of DAMA-I) as a chapter with a vote on the President’s Council
  2. The new bylaws would hold the board to account with Board members that do not deliver subject to dismissal
  3. There are changes proposed to bring some paid staff into DAMA-i to manage some of the administrative work load associated with manaing the members, chapters and management of assets such as the DMBoK and CDMP

The Board had hoped to have these changes ratified prior to holding elections for a new board in late 2017.

Due to various delays, the so-called new bylaws were not completed and the decision was made to delay elections whilst these were finalised..

Calls for transparency

These various concerns raised seem at face value to be reasonable – in essence, the board are being asked to behave in a transparent manner that empowers individual members and chapters to make an informed decision.

This decision, and others related to the governance of DAMA-I have been brought into question by a number of past board members – many of whom have stepped away from the board due to governance concerns – the bulk of these are linked below

DAMA Needs Your Help (Part 1) | DAMA Needs Your Help (Part 2) | DAMA Needs Your Help (Part 3) | DAMA Needs Your Help (Part 4) via Peter Aiken | DAMA Bylaws Proposal Review via Susan Earley | DAMA Needs Your Help (Part 5) via Peter Aiken | DAMA Needs Your Help (Part 6) via Susan Earley | DAMA Presidents’ Council Overview


At issue here is not just the legal ramifications (if any) of the proposed changes, but also the issue of trust.

As a paid up member of a DAMA chapter I have a reasonable expectation to have confidence in to how my membership fee is being used, and to having a clear understanding of both the rationale and the implications of any proposed changes.

I wold suggest that DAMA would struggle to survive if the bulk of the US chapters were to walk away in protest over the approach followed in amending the bylaws – irrespective of legal opinion.

The board appear to have been making the classic mistake of solving the technical (legal) problems with out addressing the business change management problem.

In the process, trust has been eroded.

The DAMA International response


The DAMA PEG committee have responded here

Nominations for new DAMA International Board positions are open –

The initial questions asked were not so much with regard to the proposed changes to the bylaws, but rather to related to the approach that was taken.

I would hope that the new board would provide clarity on the decision making processes that have driven the proposed changes to the bylaws i.e. what is the problem that each change is attempting to address, and that the process going forward will be transparent to the members.