PMI® Switzerland Chapter


Chapter Communications Blog

Volunteer of the year 2022

Author: Joachim Dehais

VP Volunteers

Joachim Dehais 100px

Old habits die hard, and volunteers are undefeated. We have voted once more for our top volunteers this year, and I sure hope you were a contender.

Coming hot in the top 4 is Daniel Rodellar, who's been instrumental in our communications and particularly the newsletter. Next is our very own Martin Härri, who has kept the engine on high RPM for the conference and the Swiss Corporate Networking Group. Finally shines Valérie Pierre, who has grabbed the Zurich events team and run with it to new heights.

Each of them will receive a book, you know me, and having had our AMM in Bern, they could not avoid receiving Mandelbärli, either. Thank you, Daniel, Martin, and Valérie, for your engagement and company, it has been a pleasure, and I hope it will continue.

The volunteer of the year for 2022 is Leandro Benda! Leandro has shot up since he joined and has found a place in the heart of others with his great efforts and disposition. Leandro first gets this negotiation & supply game, to strengthen his skills while beating his friends. Second, a book on using your voice for good, a discussion we had when he arrived. Finally, I received access to an experimental tool from Rutgers business school. Leandro can now help us survive the geopolitical climate by training us on competitive supply chain management.

The President’s Award went to Prasanth Nair who was recognized for his long service to the Zurich events team, where he has been the event director from 2014 to 2022 after joining the chapter in 2009! “Prasanth made a difference for the Chapter and especially for the event region Zurich, which he led over the last 8 years,” said Stefan Vesenmeier, Chapter President 2022.

We also thank Thierry Altenhoven, Gessami Sanchez Olle and Benoîte Bargeton Grisouard who have contributed enormously before moving on last year. May your path be as bright and sweet as having you here was pleasant and productive.

Finally, we extend our thanks and gratitude to the board members who stepped down this year, Agnieszka Skalska, VP Brand Management & Development, Claudia Rassalski VP Finance and Pia Henzelmann, VP Events & PMIEF.

And with shameless self-promotion in mind, I hope you will be tempted to join us as a volunteer and participate in this grand adventure too.


Editorial PMI Switzerland Newsletter February 2023

 Author: Philip Springuel, PMP 

Philip Springuel NEW 100x100 

Dear friends,

This February, we begin your PMI Switzerland Chapter’s newsletter by reminding you of the many networking opportunities available in different parts of Switzerland: Truly, I have never seen another professional organisation offer so many opportunities to connect and grow! As highlighted here, PMI Switzerland offers pure networking lunches and many workshops to build your skills. Do check out our coming event links and sign up early to ensure you benefit from irreplaceable in-person connections.

In this newsletter, we’re delighted with Martin Härri and Adi Muslic’s summary of the Chapter’s corporate networking meeting of 25 January at RUAG’s premises in Thun. The talk was about data driven projects and the feeling that AI has so far mostly failed to live up to expectations.

We also bring you reasons why you will want to sign up to upcoming events on developing modern project communication skills and how to creatively approach strategic planning inside project teams. Other upcoming events include ‘Women in Project Management’ and ‘How to foster and build teams to solve complex problems.’

Volunteering has never been more rewarding at PMI Switzerland: Read Marco Chiletti’s article about our Chapter’s Positive Impact program, where your help contributes to partnerships with non-profit organizations to impact society worldwide.

With best regards,


PMI Switzerland Newsletter Copy Editor

Data driven projects & AI in project management

Martin Harri NEW 2023


Martin Härri, PMP, PMI-SP, PMI-ACP, DASSM, Director Corporate Relationships

Adi Muslic NEW 100x100

Co-author: Adi Muslic, PMP, VP Sponsors & Partners

On 25th of January, over 30 senior project professionals from 20 organizations gathered at RUAG’s premises in Thun, to talk about data driven projects and the application of AI in project management.

It was the 35th meeting of the Swiss Corporate Networking Group. This network, created back in 2010, is bringing together representatives of 25 organizations based in Switzerland that are sharing best practices and experiences about project management topics of relevance to their companies. More about the PMI SCNG can be found here.

Five presentations looked at the topic from various angles. First, PwC talked about how AI has been hyped, and is being hyped as a disruptor of almost everything, but has so far mostly failed to live up to the expectations. There are however a few niches where AI is successfully applied, and these niches are growing bigger. One of them was then presented by INAIT, which has developed an application which scans contracts for meeting specific clauses, a use case which is certainly very relevant for large organizations. IBM also presented an interesting use case where they applied AI to monitor the health of their projects, and a case where they had used the technology in a customer project, predicting the right moment to do maintenance on electricity generators.We could see that there was some progress in implementation of Machine Learning technologies, helping to better track and deliver projects. But we also learned that for efficient use of AI, we need a lot of well structured and consistent data.

So two further presentations then focused on data quality. A speaker from Procter & Gamble presented how he keeps track of the status of a huge program which involves 2,000 people at the company, and Holcim talked about how they managed to get the accuracy of their project estimates to within +/- 5%, a very impressive number!

While data driven projects exist, making use of detailed measurements and automation to drive project execution and ensure high predictability, the story about AI in project management is not that bright yet. It seems that there is very little use of AI in project management yet. So, to round off the day, the participants brainstormed about ideas how AI could be applied in projects, the result was a very fascinating list. We are very curious about what might be put into practice in the next few years.

At the end of the day, it was clear to everyone  that AI will not replace humans, or if you like, project managers. But, it will help them maximize their efficiency by augmenting their capabilities.

If you are interested in this topic we invite you to read Marc Lahman’s interview given in October 2022 in the chapter newsletter.

And to quote a statement which is currently widely used:: “Do not forget, AI will not replace you, a person using AI will.”

Worried? Would you like to know more? How do you surmount the obstacles to implementing AI in project management? .

Martin Härri & Adi Muslic

Invitation to the Playing Strategy Planning workshop

Adi Muslic NEW 100x100

Author: Adi Muslic, PMP - VP Sponsors & Partners

I first met Pierre NEIS in April 2022, in Lausanne, where he presented 12 steps of transition to an Agile Organization. I was impressed how he made it look easy to transform an organization. 

Our collaboration continued and Pierre presented the 59 minutes Agile (simulation game) at the PM Conference in September, in Zurich.

It was a simulation game or serious game that was developed twenty years ago to explain how Scrum works. During the 90 minutes long workshop, participants divided into several groups,  played a project and developed a product. The product was nothing less than a Travel to Mars tourist offering. I witnessed idea generation, several iterations of product development, and at the end the results were breathtaking. 

Many participants specifically mentioned this game as one of the conference highlights.

Pierre uses this game in all his projects as a kick-off to first experiment with the new way of working before engaging. You can too.

Initially I wanted Pierre to present this game in our event in March. But he convinced me that we will have much more fun with “Playing Strategy Planning”. 

As Pierre explained, the project planning part is always complicated and painful: it takes time. In order to make everyone happy, you have many one-on-one meetings to be sure that nothing has been left.

In short, it is a long run.

Now, imagine you can do this in less than two hours, and have fun. Imagine that everyone has time to raise their voice, be heard, and be aligned on what to do.

That's how we do in agile: sooner, smarter, faster.

About Pierre: 

Fifteen years ago, coming from Lean Thinking and Portfolio Management, he jumped into the agile world with his entire body.

He went through more than 200 agile projects and contributed to several communities. Ten years ago, as a member of the PMI, he contributed to creating the PMI ACP Certification, which left considerable space for improvement. Five years ago, he was asked by Mike Beedle to join his project on Enterprise Scrum. Unfortunately, Mike passed away, and Pierre used his org development and behavioral analysis research to write his first book in 2020, "The New Normal: AO concepts and patterns of 21-st century agile organizations," and "Swarming X4" in 2021. Pierre is a certified agile master coach with several agile certifications levels, still interacting with many initiatives on the evolution of work.

Pierre does not distinguish between development and an executive committee of a global organization. In 2014, he created Play14 with two colleagues, a global initiative on facilitation and serious games. Even though he is a full-time consultant, he is still involved in Disciplined Agile with the PMI, with Open Eyes on the evolution of leadership, and with the ICF on agile coaching. He is an alumni of Boston Consulting Group and MIT.

My personal observation is that Pierre is very easy to talk to and happy to share his knowledge while having fun.

If you are ready to get onboard of another exciting agile game, do not wait, register now:

The number of places is limited!

Looking forward to seeing you and playing the game with you.


Effective Communication, the Key to Successful Project Management


Author: Damien Gauthier

As project managers, we all know that effective communication is crucial to the success of any

project. But what exactly does that mean? And how can we improve our communication skills to

ensure our projects are successful? In this article, I’ll be giving you my top 9 advices on what to

work on to improve your skill in public speaking and present a training I’ll be offering to PMI

members in April.

My top advices to gain an unfair advantage in communication

According to Tim Stobierski from Harvard, communication and presentation skills are the top

skills to acquire in the 2020s. Effective communication rallies your team around a shared vision,

empowers employees, builds trust, and seeds successful projects.

But let's be honest: public speaking can be challenging. In fact, studies show that 90% of people

experience some level of anxiety when it comes to public speaking. And while there are plenty

of tips and tricks out there, such as "don't point your finger" or "don't say 'um,'" the truth is that

these tips won't help you if you don't have a strong foundation in the fundamentals of speaking.

My top advices are:

1. Perform a warm-up each day you'll speak in public: it's essential to take a few minutes to

warm up your voice and get your body and mind ready to talk. This could be as simple as doing

deep breaths, stretches, or vocal exercises.

2. Actively seek speaking opportunities: Even if you're scared, it's important to push yourself

out of your comfort zone and seek out opportunities to speak in public. The more you do it, the

easier it will become and the more confident you'll become in your ability to engage and

persuade your audience.

3. Work on your slides: One key to effective presentations is to have clear, concise slides that

support your message. Aim for only one key message per slide and ensure it's clear and

relevant to your audience.

4. Structure your arguments: When presenting an opinion or idea, it's important to

make it mutually exclusive (no overlap with other ideas) and collectively exhaustive (covering all

aspects of the topic). This helps to ensure that you're presenting a well-rounded and thorough


5. Tell stories: People love stories, and incorporating them into your presentations can be a

powerful way to engage your audience and make your message more memorable. Start with

examples or use cases and then present data (such as graphs or tables) with a narrative to help

illustrate your points.

6. Vary your delivery: Don't be afraid to mix things up and try different approaches to your

storytelling and presentation style. This could include using different tones of voice, varying your

pace, and incorporating visual aids or multimedia.

7. Use body language to your advantage: Your body language can say just as much as your

words, so make sure you're using it to your advantage. Practice good posture, make eye

contact, and use hand gestures and facial expressions to reinforce your message.

8. Engage your audience: Don't just lecture or present to your audience; engage them in the

conversation. This could mean asking for their input, posing questions, or involving them in

activities or demonstrations.

9. Get feedback: After each presentation or storytelling session, seek out inputs from others to

see what worked well and what could be improved. This will help you continue to grow and

develop your skills.


Damien Gauthier, actor, director, and TEDx speaker coach

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