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Celebrating 20 years of PMI Switzerland! Memories and a milestone

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Karolina Letowska, PMP

Welcome everyone to this special edition of the PMI Switzerland Chapter Newsletter.

As we are celebrating a big milestone of the chapter – 20 years, we would like to share some memories and anecdotes with our readers. 

Many things have happened in the past two decades. We started in the times when there were no Zoom calls, and when our first Chapter Charter was faxed to the PMI Headquarters in Philadelphia.

We hope you will enjoy the memory lane that we share today and in future newsletters this year.

But before… I would like to say a Big Thank You! to all our current and past: Volunteers, Members and Partners for making this Chapter such an amazing community. We can make this happen thanks to all of you!

All the best,

Karolina Letowska

Why Stakeholders Regularly Ignore Your Project Reports and How to Fix That

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Author: Edul Nakra, PMP


Speaker: Peter Taylor
Co-speaker: Tim Stumbles, co-founder of Office Timeline

In this very interactive online event, Peter Taylor, the author of the bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’ led participants through the practical aspects of Project Reporting and getting the most benefit out of Reports.

As many of us can relate to, there are so many different reports: Status Reports, Risk Reports, Board/Executive Reports, Resource Reports, Variance Reports.. and the list goes on. It is sometimes hard to cut through the “noise” in the midst of this.

At the heart of what we do as Project Managers is communicate, and Peter emphasized that the key to this is getting the right information, to the right person, in the right way, at the right time! These are the building blocks. Reporting in itself is NOT Communicating – in order to communicate well, we need to get these key elements right!

Peter also highlighted the 5 top problems with Project Reporting. Keeping these in mind will help you to “get through” to your stakeholders.

“The key to the success probability of your project is to nail stakeholder buy-in..” and “the #1 way is to give them uncomplicated visual project updates...”

Tim Stumbles, co-founder and CEO of Office Timeline then led us through a demonstration of how this can be done with a tool he has helped develop “Office Timeline” – creating standard waterfall, swim-lane, and sub-swim-lane slides.

For a free trial for PMI members visit: https://www.officetimeline.com/pm-trial

Finally, Peter left us with an example of “Picture Visualization” to stress the importance of the visual aspect. If someone said the word “circle”, only 10% of us would remember what we were talking about in 72 hours time. In contrast 65% would remember if the circle were drawn!

After a fascinating presentation, Peter concluded by taking questions, and leaving us all with plenty of practical tips to take away!

Newsletter Editorial September 2021

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Author: Philip Springuel, PMP


Welcome back in September! Let’s meet at PMI Switzerland events

Dear PMI Switzerland members and supporters,

We're very grateful that you faithfully follow PMI Switzerland! This month’s newsletter welcomes you back to work in September with can’t-miss articles to get you re-charged; and invites you to attend key events that promise to empower you to live your life and work to their fullest potential.

Take a few minutes to read inspiring articles on a variety of topics: Edul Nakra provides us with a retrospective on "Why Stakeholders Regularly Ignore Your Project Reports and How to Fix That", and Ka Yi Hui shares an exceptional interview with Anne-Sophie Scharff, Chief Happiness Officer of Girls in Tech Switzerland.

This month your newsletter also reminds you of important upcoming events:

Please rapidly investigate your availability to attend the 10th PMI Switzerland Conference, on 29 September. This in-person event in Zurich features the theme “Innovation in Project Management" and will include a special focus on tools, practices and methods for changing times. A fresh perspective, first-hand insights and countless connections are just some of the things you will walk away with. Register NOW.

If the value of networking needed reminding, the newsletter highlights five new members of the PMI Switzerland Chapter. 

We offer an enlightening summary of the Hermes Master Class event held recently and highlight the upcoming Master Class on 25 September that teaches you to be your own Chairperson! Sign up today to attend. Also look forward to both our 8 October PMI Coffee break and 16 October PMI Volunteer Day, when you can learn all there is about the joys and benefits of lending your valuable skills to your Swiss PMI Chapter.

Do take a few minutes to read your September newsletter, comment on our social media and offer us any feedback you may have.

Happy reading and remember to register for events today!

Innovation & Expertise for Changing Times – Key Topics of the 10th PMI CH Conference

Authors:

  MartinHaerri

Martin Härri

30+ years of experience in project management in consulting and financial services, having led more than a dozen project and program offices. Founding member of the PMI Switzerland Chapter, having held had various volunteer roles, such as event and conference organizer, board member, and Chapter president. Besides organizing the Conference, he currently manages the organization network of the Chapter

  Agnieszka Skalska square

Agnieszka Skalska

11+ years of experience in global business transformations, project and program management. Executed over 20 projects for financial services, management consulting and manufacturing industries. Solid business acumen in Operational Excellence, Project Management, Change Management, and Information Technology. Always following the fundamental values of integrity, innovation, and collaboration. Growth Mindset. PMI Board Member, responsible for Brand Management and Development.

 

 


Introduction

Martin Härri and Agnieszka Skalska, Project Managers of the 10th PMI Switzerland Conference, exchange their views on how it is to organize an event on a large scale, finding interesting topics and current industry challenges.   


 

Discussion

 

Agnieszka: Martin, could you please tell me what is the leading topic of the PMI CH Conference in 2021 and why we decided to repeat it?

Martin: In 2019, the Chapter contacted me to ask if I knew a company that could host a conference. Just 2 days prior, I had seen a presentation by Nestlé on their very innovative way on how to plan their project portfolio. In that presentation, the entire audience was fascinated, and everybody said things such as “that’s so inspiring” and “I would like to do this as well in my organization”. This resonated with me and so I thought, “let’s create an entire conference with that purpose: inspire the audience with ideas that they can apply in their projects and organizations.” Hence the sub-motto of the last conference “Apply Inspiration!”. Btw: Nestlé also presented at the 2019 conference, and later, even won a global award for innovation in portfolio management with their approach.


Martin: Agnieszka, last time the theme was “Apply Inspiration”, and I wanted to use the same again, but you proposed “Expertise for Changing Times”. Why?

Agnieszka: The year 2020 was extremely world-shaking. The global pandemic had disrupted the lives of most people on the planet, but also created new types of demand in the economy, for example the demand for digitalization of our products and services. Advanced digital solutions started to develop at the speed of light. From one day to the next, our way of living and working changed. The 4th Industrial Revolution accelerated and nothing will be as before. That is why I proposed `Expertise for Changing Times`. As Charles Darwin once famously said, “It’s not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”


Agnieszka: Martin, do you think that PMI has any credibility when it comes to innovation? Project Managers are rather perceived as “executers”, than “innovators”.

Martin: Well, there are certainly projects which are mostly about executing according to defined rules. That is typically the case in engineering projects; who wants a power plant to be built by artists? And it was certainly the predominant way of doing projects 20 years ago when I did my PMP certification. But many projects these days are different, just look at the plethora of tools for team collaboration that have emerged in the last few years. PMI has been responding to that by extending their activities into new capabilities which project people need these days, such as Organizational Transformation, Citizen Developer, Wicked Problem Solving, etc. it is also a big topic on ProjectManagement.com, PMI’s knowledge platform. A search for the word “Innovation” results in almost 2,400 hits! So, yes, absolutely, PMI is definitely innovative!


Martin: Agnieszka, why would you recommend your colleagues to come to the Conference?

Agnieszka: A big reason to come to the conference is to meet your peers that you wouldn`t have a chance to meet while sitting behind your desk. These kind of events bring people together and suddenly your `big bosses` may become your friends. We also cannot underestimate the value of the networking that is essential in the career development. Furthermore, the conferences help to stay on top of the latest industry trends and gain knowledge. For me personally, the biggest benefit of attending any conference is getting new perspectives and lots of inspiration. These types of events spark my creativity and the need for innovation. It is like opening the window to get some fresh air. I sharpen my saw (Agnieszka is laughing). I mean that sometimes you have to take a break from the “work” to sharpen your skills. A dull axe won’t cut a tree nearly as effectively as a sharp one.


Agnieszka: Martin, last time you organized some funny games during the evening, such as robot racing and drone flying. What did the team come up with this year?

Martin: This time we will be a bit more business-focused, but no less entertaining. The SIX building has an entire office floor designed for innovation work, and we will offer several tours explaining it. Not a focus not on the architecture itself, but on the concepts behind it and how the design was deliberately chosen to support innovative thinking. Microsoft is bringing some brand-new hardware which can be tried out, and we will actively foster the networking among the participants in innovative ways. But I am especially proud of how we will close the conference – with a piano concert by a SIX employee who has the hidden talent of being a one-man band. He wowed the audience at this year’s SIX-internal TEDx conference…


Martin:
Agnieszka, 2021 is a special year for the Chapter, can you say something about it?”

Agnieszka: Indeed! It’s been 20 years since the PMI Switzerland Chapter was founded. It is a year of celebration of our achievements, collaboration, and determination. Thanks to the passion, commitment and motivation of many people across 20 years, we have created a community for like-minded people with over 1 and a half thousand members and dozens of volunteers in Switzerland. I believe that every year we are becoming stronger and stronger as an association. I would say “watch us” because there are still many innovative things to come. We create history and the strong fundations for further Project Manager generations every day.


Agnieszka: Martin, I heard that this is not the first conference that you are organizing.

Martin: Yes, I organized the very first conference back in 2005, a completely crazy endeavor which almost ruined the Chapter! In the end, it was very successful, and even made a small profit. Then in 2008, I managed the second one, which was much bigger, and also very successful. I was also involved in one way or the other in the next 6 conferences. And since 2019 I am back in business!


Martin: Agnieszka, PMI conferences are nothing new to you either, right?

Agnieszka: I like to say that the project topic doesn’t matter if you are a good Project Manager. During my career, I managed projects in almost all business areas in different industries and I will tell you that I don’t see any difference. Once you know the basic rules of project management, know when and how to use pm tools, are pragmatic, know how to work with people, listen actively and have an analytical mind, there is no project that you cannot manage. I used to be on the other side of the conference organization, in the role of speaker. After receiving the award `PMI PC Project of the Year` for the Implementation of PM Standard for Commercial Projects, I started to receive invitations to speak at conferences. Now I organize one of them.

Getting this ticket is not so hard, according to Serge Schiltz, our speaker and the President of eco-HERMES - community of HERMES practitioners.

Nikola Goran Cutura 100

Nikola Goran Čutura PMP, DASSM

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is also the former Board Member of the PMI Switzerland Chapter and the holder of the PMP certificate. With his certification in Agile methodologies (Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Scrum Master) and his experience and deep knowledge in business process management, he is the founder and the CEO of “processCentric GmbH” (https://www.processcentric.ch/en/home/), company that offers training and consultancy in this domain.

After a brief introduction and explanation of the origin and the name of the method (Handbuch für Elektronischen Rechenzentren des Bundes, eine Methode zur Entwicklung von Systemen), Serge went into some detail about its elements. Those of us who had the opportunity to work in administration bodies, have seen some familiar diagrams and flowcharts. Indeed, HERMES is the project management framework for all Swiss administrative bodies - from Confederation, through Cantons, down to Municipalities. This is why mastering HERMES opens the door to all public tenders as they are all managed according to this method.


Other HERMES products (program management, process management)

HERMES does not end at project management, program management is also standardized. A guide for managers also exists that describes their roles and responsibilities (sponsors, stakeholders). All of this information is available on-line for free at “hermes.admin.ch”.


Finally, a certification scheme was presented. The entry level certification, HERMES Foundation, requires knowledge of the method even without experience. HERMES Advanced requires some practice and is liable to periodical recertification (much like PMP).

This was just a summary of the event - for the full event recording, please visit our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/PMISwitzerlandChannel.

For more information about HERMES itself, visit hermes.admin.ch or contact Serge directly at www.processcentric.ch.

 

Looking forward to seeing you at our future events!