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Author: Stefan Vesenmeier, PMPStefan vesenmeier - VP Events

Open Space 20th April – Project Management Tools

Patryk Nosalik

Author: Patryk Nosalik, PMP

Note: this article has two parts - about the facilitation format itself and about the theme of the Open Space event.

Facilitation format
In line with the agile format of Open Spaces (OS), we take feedback from participants and from within the team during our retrospectives. And by how we feel the last Open Space went, we think we’ve got the format working well for our community. Therefore, we shall generally keep to the proposed format I last shared here , though in light of the continuous improvement and reaction to participant needs, we shall try to implement the following changes:

1. Introductions in main room by all participants:
We aim to allow 15 seconds per person which is enough to share: name / position/ company or industry / what you’re coming with; in one sentence. This helps everyone to know who is who.

2. In every breakout room, we really want to ensure everyone in the room gets a chance to provide some brief input into the question or issue at hand before the discussion goes completely freeform. The peers of yours who play the role of facilitator will have this as an explicit goal. Why? So that there is more inclusion especially for the more introverted, more active listening, and elicitation, which should lead to a greater elicited collective intelligence.

3. After the last breakout room, we’d really like everyone to offer at least one bit of feedback live; in one sentence. Why? We really want to address the needs of the community and also the last chance for eliciting participation. We’ll also use the same slido tool that we use for capturing the backlog of ideas, at the very end of the meeting to find out what themes we should have for future sessions. (I have a dozen ideas myself, but that’s not the point - we want to hear yours!)

4. To allow for more networking and chatting after the event, just like at a physical event, you can hang on for a short while. After the official ending (where we share the PDU code), the Zoom session will be open for 15 more minutes to allow a continuation or finalisation of certain topics, contact exchange, etc.
Want to learn experience or get involved with Open Spaces? Come on the 20th April to find out more!

Last year we covered agile topics, and whilst this was perhaps attractive or aspirational, it seemed most participants found this not in line with their actual experience. At a webinar, everyone can come uninformed and come out a bit wiser. At an Open Space, diversity works better, so that while some people can come purely to ask and learn, you really should share your experience for the session to be valuable. Now there may appear a risk if everyone were to come ‘uninformed’ (which I doubt in our community) that no-one will be there to answer with a solution, but at least you’ll come out with an action plan on how to solve the issue. 

Our first OS this year was around the PMBOK knowledge areas and we did not run out of discussion! 

Following on from this, we’d like to look at the tool project managers use. It should be especially relevant for PMO’s who in a ‘projectified’ economy, are all the more central to their organisations success, and whilst “only a poor workman blames his tools”, the converse “you are only as sharp as your knife” is certainly true too. Thus, to be competitive, PMOs should be very clear on the benefits of the tools they invest in.

What is the approach your organisation has? Do you have a dedicated PM/PMIS/PPMS tool or is it an extension of an ITSM product? What impact does this have on the way you run your portfolio and programs?

At the other, sometimes personally touching, end of the spectrum, if you have been out of work perhaps due to COVID, could it be that organisations have moved ahead with digitalisation of their tools to such an extent that It could be daunting to re-enter the workplace? Just think, have you used Slack? A few months ago I didn’t know anyone that was an active user. Yet Teams was behind Slack in 2018. Then from Nov 2019 it went from 20 million users to 115 million users by the end of 2020. If you weren’t in work, you wouldn’t have had much chance to use this and the rich integration it offers with Office 365. How do you use Teams for project management?

Of course, the joy of Open Spaces comes not from a pre-planned agenda, but what you the participants really come with. We look forward to hearing your questions and issues around the choice and use of project management tools on the 20th April. Register here


Disciplined Agile – Interactive Live Online Workshop

Adi Muslic

Author: Adi Muslic, PMP

 The workshop prepared by the Alvission team, Frank, Antje, Frederic, and Philipp, was divided into the 5 different sections :

1. Disciplined Agile Introduction
2. Implementation Practice Example
3. 5 steps on how to chose your WoW
4. Certifications
5. Q&A

The 20 minutes DA introduction was well presented by Antje. She used many real-life examples, to demonstrate how the DA toolkit could be used to make better decisions inside of our organizations, and how it helps us to chose our WoW – Way of Working.Screenshot 2021 03 19 at 22.11.21 Adi Muslic


Antje also presented how we could better optimize our teams – not only IT teams but all teams in an organization, such as Finance, Sales, Marketing, Legal, etc. Every team should have its own WoW. She also explained that each organization was a Complex Adaptive System (CAS) and how important it was to understand interactions among teams.
The following section was about business agility.

Screenshot 2021 03 19 at 22.14.02 Adi MuslicThe DA tool kit also enables us to extend agility beyond teams to the entire organization. This we can achieve by using the DA four levels model :

1. Foundation
2. Disciplined DevOps
3. Value Stream
4. Disciplined Agile Enterprise

The DA tool kit lets you accelerate value delivery in scaled agile situations. Antje briefly presented the DA Mindset. She ended her presentation with a quick introduction to Process Goals.

Screenshot 2021 03 19 at 22.27.04 Adi Muslic
Philip started his presentation with a «Hyperspeed overview of DA», which highlighted some of the key advantages of the Disciplined Agile toolkit over other Agile frameworks that decide our WoW for us even before we start. Philip made it very clear that «One Size» does not fit all process decisions.

He continued with «Process Tailoring Decisions» with the DA Toolkit. He demonstrated how we could easily choose our WoW by crossing all process elements that do not fit our WoW.

Screenshot 2021 03 19 at 22.37.27 Adi Muslic

The following section was about DA Lightweight Governance, demonstrating how Outcome-oriented gates align well with PMO practices.

In the last section, Philip explained how to move from strategy to implementation and use the GQM - Goal Question Metric.

Screenshot 2021 03 19 at 22.34.24 Adi Muslic
Philip concluded his presentation by telling us why we should use the DA Toolkit: It contains everything yet prescribes nothing.

Frederic walked us through 5 steps on how to chose our WoW that was a very easy-to-use practical example. I use this opportunity to invite you to see it in the recorded session:

Frank presented the DA certifications and compared them to the PMI – ACP certification. He also explained different levels of DA certifications and related requirements. He finished with a short presentation of the Alvisson training team.

In the Q&A session, the Alvisson team explained the Flex value stream and differences between SAFe and DA.

Volunteers Wanted

Larisa Aragon

Author: Larisa Aragon, PMP, PMIi-ACP 

Volunteering is a great way to meet enthusiastic fellow project professionals and give something back to to the project management profession. Experience volunteering for yourself by joining our team of PMI CH volunteers. 

In this Link there are the current volunteering opportunities available within the PMI CH Chapter. Click on the title of each opportunity for more information. Please note that you need to become a member of the PMI and the Switzerland Chapter if you want to apply for any of these positions.

Newsletter Editorial April 2021

Shalini Krishnan 

Author: Shalini Krishnan, PMP

Dear Members and Newsletter Subscribers!

“Spring is the time of plans and projects” – Leo Tolstoy 

Happy Easter!  Spring is in the air, with the last week of the ski season in full swing, and those not on the slopes enjoying sunshine with increasing temperatures.  Let’s hope that the renewed life that spring inevitably brings leads to a new celebration of life in Switzerland and around the world soon.  

It’s hard not to notice the negative impact of the pandemic everywhere, but let’s look at it with positivity and hope.  Anywhere you turn, you can see project management practices at work, in the development and testing of vaccines, in the logistics of vaccine delivery and in its administration to hundreds of millions of people. The project management practices are also at work in planning  the return to operations of all the institutions that had to shut down or curtail their services as part of the battle to “flatten the curve” which continues. While we can all agree that this past year has been challenging, there are lots of exciting innovations and positive outcomes if you look close enough, thanks to agile management of projects. 

I am excited to deliver my first ever editorial as one of your new copy editors. I received my PMP credentials in December 2020 and have joined the PMI Switzerland Chapter, hoping to interact with and meet like-minded project professionals such as yourself, in Switzerland. I encourage you to reach out with any ideas and suggestions you have for the newsletter, or if you’d just like to have a chat and meet someone new. I also invite your ideas for how we can further help our PMI members, and the larger community we live in.