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Get to Know Dr Andrea Behrends

alp vesikalik  

Author: Alp Camci, PMP

Get to Know our members - an interview with Dr Andrea Behrends 

In the first of a new series of extended Get to Know articles, Alp Camci interviews Dr Andrea Behrends, president and chair of AB&P who was also the founder and first president of PMI Switzerland.

Could you please tell the readers about yourself like your specialized fields, current role, your motivation in being a member of the Swiss Chapter or any other relevant information about yourself which you would like to share?  

Dr Behrends

I am leading my company AB&P, with headquarters in Switzerland and offices in major business areas around the world. AB&P specializes in Project Management Training, Coaching and Consulting. In addition, I am president of the board of directors of FKC Switzerland AG. FKC is one of the biggest e-learning providers in Germany.  As founder of PMI Switzerland and president for the first 4 years I am deeply attached to the Chapter. I broadened my knowledge, developed business ideas and gained friends in the Chapter.  

Could you please tell us your previous and current participation in the PMI-CH Chapter?

I am the first president of the PMI Switzerland Chapter, from the year 2001, when it was founded, until 2005. I continued to participate as speaker or volunteer in Basel. Often I simply join interesting Chapter events and meet friends.

As the first president of the Swiss Chapter, could you please tell us your experiences in setting up the chapter?

We started the PMI Chapter in Basel with a group of my friends who were also working as project managers or project management instructors. A friend of mine came from Freiburg im Breisgau and shared his experiences from Germany. At the first meeting to constitute the provisional Chapter board we needed a quorum of 24 people. A very cautious friend predicted that we would not get this through our network. But (!) we received a quorum of 36 participants voting for us. After a year of work with PMI we were able to do the first elections and founded the Chapter with all necessary legal and regulatory details. Our work is voluntary and we enjoyed our success and ever since I contribute to the Chapter.

Could you share your thoughts about the development of the Swiss Chapter since 2002 until today and your vision about the future of PMI-CH?

There were several milestones we mastered, one I would like to highlight here: In the early years, the idea came up to split the Switzerland Chapter in several smaller Chapters, at least 2, one for the German speaking region and one for the French part of Switzerland. We discussed this and finally voted against it. I believe that this was a wise move. We have a vivid exchange between the local groups at the moment and still are big enough to compare ourselves with the biggest PMI Chapters in Europe. That gives us the advantage of having the recourses to organize big events and to be seen in Europe.

Furthermore, the community becomes more and more international and that is also my vision for the future of PMI-CH. We can give a home to all those project managers who come from abroad to Switzerland and at the same time provide an international experience for those who are Swiss and work locally.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a Project Manager?

Stakeholder management tops all other challenges, I believe. The communication with the team, the sponsors, all other effected by the project and those you forgot to speak to. That is something I always push a bit to the side, as my personal strength is in risk management, high level planning and steering committee meetings, i.e. high level problem analysis and solving.

How do you see the Project Management role evolving over the coming years?

I think it is becoming even more important. In big projects, I face often the situation that a full IT team, for example an Oracle team, is integrated into a business project team, for example inclusion or merger with an external business unit. The IT project team and the business project team sometimes don’t speak the same language. IT teams have the tendency to split off and do their own thing which sooner or later creates problems. The future project manager should be able to speak the many languages of the project world, such as Prince, Scrum or company own methodologies.

How do you see PMI in terms of participating in the development of the “project management” profession?

PMI is doing a very professional job providing solutions from local to global level

Any other thoughts and information you would like to share with our readers?

Being a project manager certifies that you are a creative problem solver and leader who seeks a new challenge with every new project.

Message from the board August 2018

Karolina Letkowska 100x100  

Author: Karolina Letowska, PMP

Dear colleagues,

As you might already have heard,  2018 is a year of changes in PMI Global. It is also a time for changes in the PMI Switzerland Financial Department. A new VP Finance has been elected, we are currently building a new team and will be looking at the processes to align them with the PMI Global Financial Guide.

Looking back over the past few months, when I had the chance to contact Finance VPs from other Chapters,  I am really positive that the planned changes within controlling and reporting are going to be in profit for our members and volunteers.

As with the previous year, the budget was planned accurately which is a clear indication that the current process has been firmly established. Nevertherless we need to look at the PMI Global guides and make sure we are close to their requeirements.  A number of improvements worthy of mention will take place in the second half of the year. For instance, the monthly payment reports sent to the board members and auditors, collaboration with events team, reserves policy and annual information for members.  For this to be made a reality, new volunteers have joined the Finance Team and the members of the Board have been actively participating in the controlling process.

The path for improvement has been laid out, hence the second half of 2018 will find PMI standards on a sounder foundation.


Best regards
Karolina
VP Finance

Project Managaging a Journey Back to Health

Elena Milusheva  

Author: Elena Milusheva, PMP

Event Report: Project Managing a journey back to health - Prof. Dave Snowden, Basel 4th September 2018

Thursday after work, a fancy hotel in the center of Basel, lively conversations and laughter, finger food and drinks. The topic? Very inspirational with a lot of take-aways – how our speaker – Prof Dave Snowden – managed to reverse Diabetes. Here is his very personal story:

After a successful career at IBM, Prof Dave Snowden started a busy life of giving conferences all around the world. And when you travel all of the time, your personal health doesn't always comes first. After 250+ overnight stays in hotels and 100'000 + flight miles per year, and keeping up with such a schedule for the past 20 years, he was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2. As you might know, this is no good news.

What to do from here? By putting himself on a strict diet combined with endurance training, self-discipline and determination, eventually he was able to defeat the Diabetes. Key for successes were a good team to help him (a dietitian, a podiatrist and his doctor), his family support and getting public about it. By blogging about his disease, but also on his journey to reverse it, Prof Dave Snowden received the support and encouragement of thousands of people following his blog. In just 4 months he lost 35kg and some time later, the doctors confirmed that he successfully reversed his Diabetes. Now Prof Dave Snowden started a new journey to kick-off a global program on Diabetes reversion. After successfully healing himself, his goal is to help others to do so too.

What are the analogies for Project Managers?

Team Spirit and communication are key to everything
There is always light at the end of the tunnel and you can turn things around
Preventing is easier than treating
Data alone (e.g. a facts, graphs, survey results) does not tell a story. The interpretation of the narrator does and makes it so powerful that it gets stuck in one’s mind.
There are two more chances to experience Prof. Dave Snowden live – check our website https://pmi-switzerland.ch/index.php/events

To help you stay fit and healthy and make physical exercises also enjoyable, we have set up the PMI Swiss chapter running team and we will be taking up the Lausanne Marathon/Halfmarathon or 10 km run challenge (https://pmi-switzerland.ch/index.php/news-archive-rss/960-pmi-ch-lausanne-marathon-on-28th-october-2018)

 

Get to Know our volunteer, Daiva

Elena Milusheva  

Author: Elena Milusheva, PMP

Get to Know our volunteers - an interview with Daiva Sadauskiene

Continuing our "Extended Get to Know" series, Elena interviews chapter volunteer Daiva Sadauskiene.

Why have you decided to become a volunteer? 

Daiva

Since I moved to Switzerland I decided to move my career towards IT project management. After taking CAPM courses, one of the colleagues told me about the volunteering program and I thought it would be an exciting experience to see the organisation from within and support others with industry specific education.

How long have you been volunteering within the chapter and what is your responsibility?

I have been part of the Volunteer Engagement team for the past 6 months. I am the first contact person for PMs interested in volunteering and make sure we assign a volunteers to positions they will enjoy on one hand and where they will acquire skills relevant for their future career, on the other hand.

How do you find it so far?

It has been great! I have met new, interesting people. I have also been a part of our mentoring program which helped me with my goals and direction.

What do you do outside of the chapter and how to you manage both responsibilities?

I have been studying German every day in a local language school and I am starting my first year of Computer Science studies in September. There is no magic in managing several things at the same time. It just takes some good old planning.

What advice do you have to those who consider some sort of engagement with the chapter, amongst others also volunteering?

Focus on networking and building relationships, as well as prioritising teamwork and most importantly have fun!

What kind of initiatives is the Volunteer Engagement team working on right now?

Next to the Mentoring Program, the annual Volunteer Training and the Christmas Dinner, this year, we invite our chapter members to join us in a running event in Lausanne on October 28th (https://pmi-switzerland.ch/index.php/news-archive-rss/960-pmi-ch-lausanne-marathon-on-28th-october-2018), where we will have an opportunity to get closer as a community. The PMI Swiss Chapter Running Team will meet the challenge of running 10 km, half marathon or a full marahon. See you there.

 

 

Event Report - Managing Stress and Emotions @ Work

David Fowler

Author: David Fowler, PMP

Event Report - Managing Stress and Emotions @ Work: Concrete Tools

Tuesday 4th April

"We are going to explore our minds, let go, be cool !"

Anyone who thought they were going to just sit back and listen to Frédéric Kerautret talking about stress management was in for a surprise: “Everybody stand up for our first exercise”. And there we were, staring into the eyes of our neighbour for an uncomfortably long period of time.

It was an excellent icebreaker and introduction to a highly interactive event. The key message was that we connect with many different groups of people in our daily work. How do we cooperate and behave with these people? In order to understand each other better, we must first work on ourselves.

 

Frederic 1

 

Frédéric guided the audience through tools and techniques to manage emotions, increase self-awareness and improve behaviour towards others.  Several  excercises kept the audience fully focused, concluding with a “Lion” and “Tiger” workout to shake off the stress of the day and prepare for the apéro.  

Whilst not all the answers could be provided in a short presentation, there were plenty of topics to whet the appetite and leave the audience eager for more.

 

Frederic 2