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How to rescue a troubled project

CarmeloDimotta
Author: Carmello Dimotta, PMP
 
Tuesday, 21st of March, 2017, 18:30
Location: PwC Zurich, Birchstrasse 160, 8050 Zurich.

How to rescue a troubled project

Interesting topic, that raised my interest already when I came to know about this event. And Marc Lahmann, director of the Transformation Assurance Division, and Manuel Probst, senior project manager at PwC Switzerland, have definitely met my expectations. You find so many whitepapers and articles about problem solving. The PMI also teaches various techniques to analyze and resolve problems. But I was happy to have the opportunity to attend this event and enrich my project management tool set.

That many projects - or even most of them - face a failure during their lifecycle, is well known. Project failure can happen and it does especially nowadays, that the definition of success has changed. The standard project management triangle of scope, time and cost is not enough to define key performance indicators. The so-called "added value" and "stakeholders expectations management" have become even of more importance. The overall project context has become more complex and, with this, also the ways to handle difficult situations.

In the today's environment, the project can be in one of the following stages:
- challenged, normal project management zone. Each project, per definition, can be considered a challenge
- struggling, when the project shows first signals of deviation from baselines
- troubled, it's clear that the project shows signals that something can go wrong
- critical, the project is close to fail
- failure, no options or ways to bring the project back to normal.

The bad news is that projects can quickly go from challenged to troubled. The good news is that troubled projects can be rescued. Key is to have a clear strategy, a structured way to assess the situation and apply the recovery process. A process that, basically, consists of four steps:
1. Direct report of the emergency, answering the what, when, where questions and informing the stakeholders about the issue
2. Anamnese, initial high-level pre-assessment, that helps to bring the project back to trackable
3. Diagnosis, going deeper to the fundamental layer to identify the root cause and plan the recovery
4. Therapy, inform the stakeholders about the recovery and execute it.

After the interactive presentation, at the apero, I could also share my experience with my colleagues and learn from theirs. We were discussing on how to practice the learnings and I had the feeling that we all were looking for ways to develop new issue management techniques. Risk management can be used as mitigation and reduce the likelihood that project issues can arise. However, it's quite normal to face troubled situations in a project and each project manager should have a clear strategy to bring the project back on track. Many thanks to Mr. Lahmann and Mr. Probst for sharing a solid technique to keep available and use when necessary.

Kind regards,
Carmelo Dimotta

Event Report – Ethical Leadership and Decision Making: The Business Case

David Fowler

Author: David Fowler, PMP

Event Report – Ethical Leadership and Decision Making: The Business Case

Thursday 24 August 2017

"Today is a good day"

It was indeed a good day for those who attended the first PMI event in Lausanne after the summer break. The speaker, Olivier Lazar, needed no introduction as a former president of the PMI Switzerland Chapter and well known presenter at distinguished PMI events worldwide.

The evening kicked off with an open question to the packed audience: “do you work for an ethical employer”? This thought-provoking introduction set the scene for an enlightening journey along the theme of ethical leadership and decision making.

Why is ethical leadership a key differentiator in today’s competitive workplace? Why is it so important for the employer to be trusted by its employees (a significant reduction in both staff turnover and absenteeism were among some of the reasons according to latest research). Why are more and more companies creating a Code of Ethics and how does shared accountability bring greater rewards? These were some of the many questions addressed by Olivier during the evening, with entertaining videos and an absorbing group exercise to support his business case.

There were plenty of questions from the audience and a positive vibe during the apéro, clearly demonstrating the high level of interest in the subject of the talk and appreciation for the eloquent way in which it was presented.

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Message from the board - June 2019

David Fowler  

David Fowler, PMP

Dear colleagues,

Warm, summer greetings from the Communications team, where we are delighted to introduce our new-look newsletter. Based on valuable feedback from you, our readers and the painstaking efforts of the publications team, a simpler, more flexible format has been created, allowing us to focus on what’s most important: content.  And here, once again, our thanks go to you. Since reaching out for contributions to the newsletter, we have been overwhelmed by your response. This makes our newsletter a truly collaborative experience, so please continue to share articles which you believe would be of interest to our community.

As we switch into the vacation period, I would urge you to take note of the exciting events planned from September, by consulting the Events page of our website and browsing through our social media channels: LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. 

Finally, please do give us constructive feedback on our newsletter, as we remain committed to continual improvement.

Wishing you all an enjoyable and hopefully not too warm(!) summer season.

Sincerely,

David 

Member Journalist article

David Fowler   Daniel Rodellar 100x100

Authors: David Fowler, PMP, and Daniel Rodellar, PMP

Calling All Writers!

Do you enjoy writing?  If so, here is something which may be of interest to you.  In the spirit of the Switzerland chapter's "2018 Year of Diversity and Inclusion", the Publications team would like to invite chapter members who are not already volunteers, to contribute articles to the monthly newsletter. 

 PMI Journalist

This is a great opportunity to share your thoughts on a topic of interest with your fellow members.  You will also earn PDUs for any articles which are published.  Publication guidelines are available on request, as well as some suggested topics (but you are also free to choose your own).  Please use the following email address to submit your article for review or to request further info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We're looking forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Your Communications Team 

Message from the board - June 2018

David Fowler  

David Fowler, PMP

Dear colleagues,

It’s a real pleasure to have the opportunity to write my first message to you, having joined the board in February. During this time, I have met many of you at various events and through volunteering activities. The commitment, spirit and enthusiasm in our Swiss Chapter is really impressive.

Communication is something very close to my heart: how we exchange information with each other is a major factor for success and happiness in our personal and professional lives. Here in the Communications team, we are launching a few initiatives to stimulate communication and exchange of ideas between members. Firstly, we encourage anyone to submit an article for the newsletter, sharing your work experiences or any content which you believe would be of interest to the community. You may have seen the article in last month’s newsletter giving more details. You can also look for “Member Journalist” under “Get Involved – Become a Volunteer” on our website. As an alternative approach, if you do not want to write an article yourself, then one of our journalists could interview you on a topic of your choice and write the article for you. If you are interested, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Secondly, please do make use of our social media communications channels (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) to start a new discussion, join an existing one or to simply share something about yourself. Our social media team is at hand to promote your contributions.

At the beginning of May, some of us attended the PMI Leadership Institute Meeting EMEA (LIM) in Berlin. Here we had a great opportunity to meet with other chapters, listen to some inspiring keynote speakers and share ideas between ourselves. Here’s some feedback from a few colleagues:

It was a great pleasure, and great fun, to have such a large group of PMI-Switzerland leaders at this year's LIM! So often we have talked about the benefits of being able to attend and I am really happy - and proud! - that finally other members in our chapter could see and partake of the great energy and ideas that the LIM generates. It was also so nice to enjoy the company of our team members in a different way. I hope next year's LIM (in Dublin) is at least as popular as this year's was.” (Paul Selwold, President)

It's always a pleasure to meet so many like minded people and feel part of such a vibrant PM community!” (Loïc Hascher, VP Membership)

Finally, I have just returned from a project kick-off event with a very large global customer and multiple suppliers. Despite the intensity and high expectations during those few days, we all managed to find time to relax in the evenings and have some fun. This reminded me of the importance of perspective and the famous quote from Charlie Chaplin: “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”  Enjoy these warmer, summer months and spread some happiness!

David Fowler

VP Communications