photoAuthor: Mr. Paul William Selwold, PMP

Subject: EVENT REPORT: Before the handshake... Negotiation (September 1st, Basel)

Categories: Event Report; Newsletter Content

Keywords: Basel

URL: http://www.pmi-switzerland.ch/regional/index.php?show=162

Published: Fri 30-Sep-2011 12:02:23


For my first time at a PMI-CH event in Basel, the first impression was a good one (and they do say first impressions are lasting). The spirit of the event and its participants from the beginning of my visit to the end was casual, informative, and positive.

Following the easy-to-follow instructions I was provided, the location of the event was easy to find. Since I was one of the first attendees to arrive, I had a quick opportunity to chat with the door team; three gents whose jobs were to make sure attendees arrived, paid the appropriate fee, and knew where next to go. None, I quickly learned, was new at his job. Despite the indications on the A4 sheets posted along the way directing all arrivals to the first Basel event, this was, in fact, the third event in 2011 for Basel. (Points are scored for the Basel team's environmental friendlinessJim Greene stated, We are recycling the banners from our previous events!)

Sascha Wyss was the first to answer some of my questions. How did the number of registrants compare to expectations? We had a really good response, he said. We set the limit to sixty, and at one point we had that many registrants. It really met our highest expectations. The number later dropped, but this is a normal experience.

We have really good participation at our events, Julia Schoenberg, the event coordinator, said to me. We expect some changes in our numbers during the registration period, but the people in Basel who attend ask good questions and we generally see good dialog following the speaker. I had to admit, I looked forward to being a part of this, and was eager for the speaker and exchange of ideas to begin.

As new arrivals came and helped themselves to the beverages, there was some discussion before the event about how three events in PMI-CH were occurring simultaneously across Switzerland. It introduces a note of competition, which is preferably avoided. After all, should the event coordinator be persuaded to announce the fact that the venue can promise air-conditioning or a terrace with a great view (which this did, by the way)? I'm just saying...

Despite the possible competition for attendees' attention, this event's audience numbered fifty-something, and, true to what I was told, there were questions, and contributions offered from the audience at pretty lively intervals. After the introduction and orientation from Julia, and a quick presentation of Roche and project management, by Marcel Borner, the main speaker, Christof Hausammann, went on to do an excellent job of presenting the types of negotiations, advised on how to plan and prepare for effective negotiations, and, in the end, even offered tips to project managers to ensure that negotiations can proceed unencumbered. As he indicated from the very start of his speech, negotiations are a part of our daily lives, from the moment we are born we start negotiating with our parents and those around us! This comment elicited much chuckling and head-nodding from the audience and started the event in a good frame of mind. Mr. Hausammann went on to speak from the point of view of his professional experience as the Head of Production Equipment Purchasing for Roche. He provided many good and interesting points, and illustrated his message with humorous anecdotes. But extensive note taking turned out not to be necessary. As a pleasant surprise in the end, Mr. Hausammann offered to provide a summarized version of his materials as a Mindmap document, to be made available as a download from the PMI-CH website (here).

In terms of organization, this was, according to Julia, a pretty easy event to arrange. The coordinator, the venue, and the speaker all came from Roche. The next Basel event (date still tbd) will concern itself with project management of building construction. Plans are progressing nicely, and the topic is certainly an interesting one. One need only look around Switzerland'ss major skylines to see that this is about as current a topic as there can be. The speakers and venue are already set up, but, as always, Julia said, we need more sponsors and hosts.

Anyone willing and able, please take note!

Report by Paul Selwold, PMP

More information about this Special Evening Event is available here