Chapter Communications Blog

Message from the Board - November 2017

Manju Bohra

Author: Manju Bohra, VP Sponsoring

Dear Friends,

As I write this message I look out from my window in the train. The sky is bright crimson red, the trees have beautiful autumn colors and the leaves are falling … the year end is coming closer, much faster than I imagined. As VP of Sponsoring and PMIEF I think it is a good time to share our success with you and tell you what exciting things our volunteer’s team has been working on.

I am delighted to tell you that our sponsors feel proud and are enthusiastic to be a part of the PMI family. We have been warmly welcome by an increasing number of sponsors who are interested in our chapter. On behalf of the board and the chapter I recognize and appreciate our Sponsors participation to enable us to come this far.

At PMIEF we champion project management for educational and social good in Switzerland. Our aim is to inspire and transform lives of Young people through the use of Project management knowledge. We have been working closely with Teachers and APE (Association Parent d’élèves) in Romandie area. We are honored to be recognized and elected in the Parent’s Council of a local school in Zurich.

For plan for the next year:


  1. Joint events we have done with our sponsors where they share their methodology and their hands on experience with their clients, had great success. We will design more of it. 
  2. We will strive hard to sponsor cutting edge topics and engaging speakers for our events.
  3. In terms of giving back to the society, we will continue to advance our support to local school and NGOs by means of  providing Project management skill for life. We are elaborating further our 4C (and not 4P) plan (Creativity, Critical thinking, Communication and Collaboration) for school teachers and students to manage their own projects.More to come on our website about it.

I’d like to thank again our new and loyal sponsors and our members whose support has enabled our chapter to come this far. I look forward to meeting you again at our events.



Election Commitee announcement - November 2017

 Marina Satapathy  Carlos Martinez Arteaga 100x100

Marina Satapathy, PMP and Carlos Martinez, PMP - Election Committee


Dear Members and Newsletter subscribers,

This year we have received many valid candidates, it has not been like this for a few years.

We would like to thank all of them for taking that step forward and for their will to be the visible part of our chapter.

As a member you will soon receive an email notification asking you to place your vote.

Please do so as this is your opportunity to elect the person that will represent the chapter over the next years.



Editorial November 2017

Carlos Martinez Arteaga 100x100

Carlos Martinez Arteaga, Copy Editor

Dear Members and Newsletter Subscribers, 

Elections are here, and many members of PMI Switzerland have decided to step forward and would like to become part of the Chapter’s Board of Directors, would like to manage the elections process or offer their services as Financial Auditors, all without a remuneration, as a volunteer.

In the past, I always thought that volunteering was linked to humanitarian issues, this was my skewed view about volunteering, as I had never been a volunteer myself in the past.

One never really understands what volunteering really is until she or he becomes one…

Talking from personal experience, volunteering is very self-gratifying, I do not know what made me decide to volunteer, but the company I work for has a yearly event where co-workers offer their hands, brains and of course time to give something back to the society, this was my first volunteering experience ever, and from them it is all history…

For some people, volunteering is a way, as just mentioned, to give and share with the community a skill that they are good at. For others it is an opportunity to develop new skills, for others it is just for fun or to disconnect from routine.

Our chapter is run and works thanks to the effort of all those volunteers, who have decided at some point, that they would like to commit to a work for free.

PMI offers many possibilities to volunteer, but there is an enormous amount of organizations that are run thanks to volunteers, so not necessarily do volunteering opportunities end here.

To end, I strongly recommend that if you are good at something and think that others can benefit from this, that you share it, the pay back one gets from this cannot be paid for.

Enjoy the newsletter, and please vote! it is for the benefit of all



Message from the Board - October 2017

Author: Mark Veraguth

Dear Friends,

As VP of Special Projects, I am excited to speak about our second Master Class of 2017 on “negotiation”.

On this full day course, you will learn how to negotiate with your customers, service providers, stakeholders, managers and project team members as well with your personal business partner”. More information can be found at

Project managers need to be flexible in this fast-changing environment. The PMI Switzerland Chapter organises magnificent events with diverse topics that help you not only in your daily business life, but also in your private life.

For the new members, this is also a fantastic opportunity to meet people from similar fields and share ideas via our social events: PM lunch and events.

Looking forward to meeting you at our next PMI events.

Best regards,


Mark Veraguth

VP Special projects

Event Report - Knowledge Management - a guided core competency

Carlos Martinez Arteaga 100x100

Author: Carlos Martinez - PMP


Event Report “Knowledge Management- a core competency”

On Thursday 28th of September, PMI Switzerland brought to Basel, a great event, presented by Etzard Stolte from Roche. Etzard joined Roche a little over 2 years ago and is Global Head Knowledge Management at Roche Pharma Technical Development. I must say that Etzard was a great speaker and gave a good understanding on the Roche journey to deal with all the knowledge been generated by its workers.

There was a reflection made regarding the investment made by Pharma companies in R&D which needs to be mentioned, and that is that this investment can also be considered as an investment in knowledge, which needs to be correctly used and transmitted.

The amount of information generated today by any type of organization is quite considerable, without taking into consideration if it is all worth sharing or not, to handle this Roche invested in creating its own set of tools for storing and also to later make it available within the organization.

What to do to make the most of all this knowledge?

Well, through Knowledge Management and by increasing the communication and collaboration within the organization it can be possible to make a systematic exchange of knowledge. Afterwards, Knowledge Management should embed the processes in the organization by connecting people with people and then to the content. Finally there has to be systems, which will help to retain and grow the organizational knowledge.

Explained here this may seem simple, but it is not, for this Etzard presented what he and his team have been working for the last couple of years, and showed some of the initiatives, such as a single document management process across the organization, that is enabled by traditional semantic tools as well as state of the art AI tools.

According to Etzard, there are 2 types of knowledge within and organization:

·         Structure documents: SharePoint, Document Sharing

·         Un-structured documents: fileshares, g-drive

Then these can either be numerical or text data.

A Single Integration Platform was developed, with semantics and focus on quality of the data, also a search engine was developed within the organization (SmartSearch), as it was identified that if the common search engines where to be used then the data would also be available outside of the organization, as everything these engines search for is also read by these, and therefore is then available outside the organization.

Also there were other tools developed to support the knowledge sharing these were to cover the areas of: 

  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Processes

  • Systems

 The path is not easy, and this at Roche is still on the way on its final 3rd, this can be broken into 3 major yearly steps.

 1st. Develop the processes and integrate them within the closest organization

 2nd. Migration of the all the organizational knowledge to the developed Platform following the processes

 3rd. Complete organizational integration.

 Roche solved the problem regarding how the information should be stored by creating a standard folder structure for each product they own. This came as a result of gathering all folder structures from the different departments and scrutinizing which folders were required and which not and at the same time if these were relevant to all departments. The task was not easy, as each department had its very own folder structure, but was totally necessary in order a storing process could be developed, that could serve the complete organization. Later, another greater effort was needed, which was to implement the standard folder structure and to ensure that this was followed.

 When users are storing their files, for them it seems that all folders are available in the same place, so called EasyDrive, but this is not the case, given restrictions with access rights and confidentiality levels.

 In the background folders are held in different systems, also to facilitate the operation of all other tools that Roche has created to facilitate Knowledge sharing and search (e.g. TubeMaps, for document finding)

 Finally if a user cannot find a document, Roche created a tool called UberMinds, which helps users get in contact with experts. This is possible by

 So far, as Etzard explained, the work has given very good results, with a great percentage of the organization making use of the tools that he and his team have developed.

 The access to the data was done based on the HR database, which structured the levels of confidentiality each user could access to, for this a re-structuring of the organizations levels was required.

Take away:

  • Data needs to be owned, it requires internal systems for this.
  • Facilitate knowledge so that this can be re-used

  • Centralize Information/Knowledge, for this if there are existing systems, keep them, but change the processes

  • Access to date should be fair and easy

  • For a better cross-cultural implementation of a process, hire as many people from as many different cultural backgrounds for this, as this will ease internally the process implementation.


Attached is the presentation. Part 1  Part 2