PMI® Switzerland Chapter


Chapter Communications Blog

Be the first to know about upcoming PMI events

Be the first to know about upcoming PMI events!

PMI Switzerland has the pleasure to inform you that you can now be directly informed of upcoming PMI events in your area, as well as of National events!

For each location, 2 lists are available to you (obviously, you only need to subscribe to one list). After subscribing, you will be requested to confirm your email address.


1.- Be informed when the event is posted


2.- Be informed when the event is posted and get a reminder approximatively 2 weeks before the event


So make your choice to be informed for:

National events: 

  1. National Events
  2. National events + reminders



  1. Events in Basle
  2. Events in Basle + reminders



  1. Events in Romandie
  2. Events in Romandie + reminders



  1. Events in Zurich
  2. Events in Zurich + reminders


Select your favorite notifications and do not miss any event!

Serge Garazzi



Event report. Understand complexity, playing the Cynefin Playing Cards

Carlos Martinez Arteaga 100x100

Author: Carlos Martinez, PMP

Event Report –Understand complexity and how to navigate it: playing the Cynefin playing cards 


On the 24th of August, Bernhard Sterchi presented at the Stücki Hotel in Basel “Understand Complexity. Playing the Cynefin Playing Cards”.

Bernhard is a Management and Leadership expert at As trainer, consultant and coach he has been working with family businesses, corporations and government organizations. For over 13 years he has been accompanying leaders from middle managers to CEOs and owners in essential transformations of their personal and institutional maturity.

To start, he put the example of avocados and how this fruit (yes, avocados are classified as a fruit) came from being an unknown to the world, to becoming and highly desired fruit, with a sudden increase demand that affected the supply chain in ways never seen before, along with environmental issues such as the amount of water required to grow this fruit. The complexity related to this “discovery” could have been approached using the Cynefin framework.

Cynefin enables managers to identify how they perceive situations, and to make sense of their own and other people's behaviour.

We as humans can solve very complex situations, but to become more effective in dealing with these we have to learn how to manage them, Cynefin, pronounced kun-EV-in, is a methodology developed by Dave Snowden in 1999, when he worked at IBM, that enables managers to identify how they perceive situations, and to make sense of their own and other people's behaviour.

Cynefin offers five contexts or "domains" of decision-making: complex, complicated, chaotic, obvious and disorder (the center).


The obvious domain represents the "known knowns". With tight constraints, no degree of freedom whatsoever and solved with best practices. Obvious problems are first sensed, the categorized and finally responded. You typically do that when you apply a standard solution to a standard problem.

The complicated domain consists of the "known unknowns". With governing constraints tightly coupled, and with good practice. Complicated subjects are first sensed, then analyzed and finally responded. This is typically done when a project includes analysis, concept, and implementation.

The complex domain represents the "unknown unknowns". With enabling constraints loosely coupled and with an emergent practice. In complex situations you have to start by probing, or experimenting, then sensing what works and what doesn’t and finally responded to by amplifying what works, and dampening what doesn’t, until you meet the next shift of pattern.

In the chaotic domain, cause and effect are unclear, here the events are too confusing to wait for a knowledge based response. These lack any constraint, are de-coupled and require a novel practice. In chaotic situations you are forced to act immediately, then you may sense how successful you are, and hopefully respond by improving your action.

The dark disorder domain in the center represents situations where there is no clarity about which of the other domains apply.

The presentation was set up as a workshop, to get the full flavor of what Cynefin really was all about.

The attendants were grouped in tables, with a set of cards and a dashboard to work with, the dashboard is called “Complexity Manager’s Compass”

As it is usual in the PMI events, the pace was fast, very fast, as the groups rallied to the set of cards, discussing within the groups the answers to later write down in the compass the agreed answer/s.

The cards took the attendants through questions about common and day to day situations.

The cards were grouped into chapters, starting very simple, and becoming more complex over time.

The first chapter was about exploring the difference between complex and ordered environments.

Then we moved to understanding the need to keep order within an industrial production context, and different ways to bridge the gap towards the customer’s expectations, which are most often complex.

From there, we started exploring different concepts with which to describe complex systems, some of which were little familiar to most of us. But since we did so discussing a situation which each of us could imagine, we were able to apply the concepts quickly.

Next, we explored the use of the Cynefin framework, and its application, in this case, to shopping experiences.

To conclude our learning journey, we explored several principles of how to behave in complex environments, and applied them to all the situations we had discussed in the previous chapters.

The key take ways from the workshop were:

-We cannot control everything and should focus on what is really important to solve.

-When dealing with complexity we should try to see the complete picture

-Solutions should be thought through

-Understand and verify pre-assumptions

I must say I really enjoyed the event, and I think most of the attendants did. I found it very eye opening, and would strongly recommend others to try it and to dig deeper into the application of this framework in solving complex situations.




Carlos Martinez





Managing Newsletter content during Summer period


Daniel Rodellar

Managing Newsletter content during Summer period

Author: Daniel Rodellar, PMP 


Summer period is a challenging period for the Newsletter team because PMI events are paused during summer, so it means less articles are available, and the team takes some days off, which decreases availability. We are missing content and resources, so it creates a very complicated situation to publish, on the usual first Monday of the month.

This is what happened to our August newsletter, and it is like what happens in almost all organizations during summer period. In our case, we are not obliged to deliver on a specific date, so we could just delay it to get enough content and the right people on board. We have this flexibility and that has saved us.


Summer is a less stressful period, if it is well planned. Everybody knows that during this period most of us are scheduling holidays, so it would not be realistic to think we can things done like when everyone is available. So, everything slows down. It may be a good period to get things done, these tasks that are only depending on us can be done now more efficiently and get less interruptions.

I have personally also that there is also a good opportunity to review the different newsletters that I received. I usually filter newsletters on a special folder. When I have some free time or while commuting I try to read them, to be updated on the products, shops and services I like. During summer period is a great opportunity to read them all, in a fast reading spirit, and if something catches my eyes, I'll search or click forward. Recently I have subscribed to a Beta Tester trial because I learnt it via the product newsletter. I will be happy to help customize the future products based on my feedback and usage.

Probably you have some other habits during summer (apart from relaxing and enjoying vacations!) and I would be curious to know what else do you do specially during summer period? (this article is also going to be posted on Linkedin PMI Switzerland page, so that we can get your feedback).

Best regards, and enjoy the summer!

Daniel Rodellar
PMI Switzerland Publications Director

Event Report - "Are you curious about Design Thinking?"

Carlos Martinez Arteaga 100x100

Author: Carlos Martinez, PMP

Are you curious about Design Thinking?

Dear Readers,

On Thursday 18th of May, PMI Switzerland brought to Basel, in Building 67 of Roche, a great event, facilitated by three speakers from Roche that really knew what they were talking about. I was truly impressed by the event and the subject, and I think all of the attendants were as well.

I must say that the event was sold out, given the interest in the subject,  and once again PMI Switzerland managed to impress the audience with a subject that many were not familiar with.

As said, all speakers work for Roche. These were Larisa Aragon Castro who works as Organizational Change Management Lead, Cihan Gedik, who is a Customer Experience Expert with a Chemical Engineering background, and Alain Bindels, who is Patient Centric Design Expert.

The subject of the event was related to Design Thinking, a proven problem-solving protocol that can be easily used by any business and profession to discover new opportunities. Design Thinking is often referred to as ‘outside the box thinking’, as designers are attempting to develop new ways of thinking that do not abide by the dominant or more common problem-solving methods.

1a Crop

Many companies from different industries make use of this tool to develop new products; even most probably many of the products we use on a daily basis were “born” thanks to design thinking.

The process essentially consists of 5 looping steps, Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test.

Once completed the team decides if the idea is mature enough to present it – Storytelling – to those involved in the company’s decision-making, so called upper management.

Essential these 5 steps are:

  • Empathize with your users
  • Define the users’ needs, their problem and what you know
  • Ideate by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions
  • Prototype and start creating possible solutions
  • Test the solutions



Also in this link there is a short introduction to design thinking, what is it.


2a Crop

The event was addressed as a 5 act workshop, where each attendant tried and experienced the process, once they were presented with the actual process to be carried out in groups.

The workshop was very very fast paced, as the facilitators wanted the invitees to feel and understand the complete protocol.

For this each group was presented with a posters with pictures of the Project Manager they were going to work with by identifying her/his needs and therefore come up with a solution to these.

Act 1. Empathize with the Project Manager. Teams were asked to complete information regarding the Project Manager they were given, although some of the information may seem irrelevant, in Design Thinking all the available data can be used at some point of time.

3a Crop

Act 2. Define the Project Manager needs. Each group had to identify the 3 biggest challenges the Project Manager faced at work, this would be the focus of the actual exercise, as we would later have to find a solution to this.

Act 3. Ideate how to solve the challenges just identified. At this stage Larisa, Cihan and Alain indicated that at this point, when thinking of solutions it was important to understand that all solutions should be thought of, no matter how expensive they may seem, or how unrealistic ,as ideas can later be polished and optimized.

That is when the attendants really became creative :) and started to brainstorm ideas that could possibly solve the Project Manager’s challenges.

Act 4. Prototype the solutions, each group member was asked for a couple of ways to carry out the solutions recently identified. The ideas suddenly had to become more tangible, realistic and logical as later during the act they were going to be presented and defended within each group.

5a Crop

Act 5. Test the solutions. In this final stage of the protocol, groups were asked to decide which of the prototypes would be taken a step forward and proposed as the solution to the problem. Once chosen, the solution was optimized and improved within the team.

The last part of the workshop was the Storytelling, here a representative of each group was asked to present the group’s solution to another group, and this could be considered as selling the idea.

Obviously depending on how mature the idea is, there will be more or less questions that can trigger the loop to start again, or maybe to go onto development of the idea as it is...

6a Crop

At the end, as it was a nice day, the event was taken to the terrace of the building, were Cihan wrapped up the workshop and gave start to the traditional Apero that follows every PMI Switzerland Event.

Here is the link to the presentation of the event.

See you at the next PMI Switezerland evet.



Event report - “Cultivating Your Creative Confidence”

Chiara Nenci
Author: Chiara Nenci, PMP

Cultivating Your Creative Confidence, Basel, 21st March 2017

What is creativity, can it be developed and are we all capable of being creative?

We explored answers to these questions, and more, during a highly interactive session with our speaker Eli Fumoto - coach, facilitator and PMP.

Creativity typically leads to something original, meaningful and useful. Literally anything intangible or object-like satisfying those qualities can be claimed to be creative. As such, creativity is deeply embedded in our everyday life and as human beings we continuously use it, often unconsciously, to pursue our personal and professional ventures.

Creativity is also highly complex and hard to quantify. And even though we are all able to be creative, we are not automatically so.

Creativity is in fact a “habit” that can and must be exercised in order to flourish. The brain is quite obviously the “muscle” that must work out to develop capabilities such as diagnosing gaps and difficulties and seeking solutions.  So if you think you are not creative, you may simply not be training your brain enough. But how can we change ourselves from being lazy practitioners to creativity advocates and habitués? 

Eli Fumoto explains how to make creativity a daily habit.

An exploration of our personal attitude to creativity, our learning style and our own preferences could be used to identify a set of individual creative habits, which should be practised daily in order to build our confidence in being able to increase our creativity.

In order to develop what Eli defined as “our own creative device”, we must:

1) Have a deep level of self-awareness;

2) Observe what happens around us;

3) Use enough time and the appropriate space to reflect;

4) Be committed to change and learn.

Creativity is thus a high expression of our truest, most authentic self. It seems in fact that human beings become fully engaged, efficient and resourceful, only when they think on their own and have complete control over their decision power: as an example Eli mentioned that people often read self-help books but never implement this written advice, possibly because it originates from the authors’ individual habits, not from those of their readers.

Following the sharing of these ideas and guidelines, Eli paused and gave the opportunity to each attendant to identify and write down 3 creative habits to be implemented in one’s daily routine. 

IMG 5603

The attendants writing down their creative habits.

Further into the evening, we were introduced to the concept of “thinking environment” – a high quality communication flow happening between two persons. Working in couples, one person listened with sustained attention and without interrupting the other’s speech; then the roles of listener-thinker vs. speaker were switched and eventually both expressed appreciation for each other.  While practising this little exercise, we directly experienced how the creative engagement of the listener increases as he/she must listen without distraction, emitting a sound or turning away from the speaker. In essence, it is a “think before speaking” approach which limits the expression of insecurities and fosters better collaboration. While sharing afterwards experiences and challenges encountered during this exercise with the rest of the audience, many were highly appreciative of having been listened to, or found it very challenging having had to remain silent; some used their creativity to find about what to say, while others used it to break the rules established for each role!

At the end of Eli’s highly engaging presentation, we were all left with the following closing remarks:

- Everybody is creative, each in his/her own unique way, and at any age

- Creativity must be constantly exercised

- Project management is a highly creative profession. The PMBOK offers standardized guidance but it is up to the project manager and the team members to find the best way to drive their unique project. By showing the most creative and committed self in an environment where the quality of communication is high, a project manager can establish strong collaborative ties and truly set the team on the path to success.

IMG 5914

Lucy Osoegawa, the host of the event, thanking Eli for the inspirational talk.

IMG 5612

The conversation on creativity continued during the networking aperitif.

For additional questions on the event or other inquiries, please feel free to contact Eli via:
Mail:         This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Link to the presentation here.