Author: Stefan Vesenmeier, PMP
The past year was certainly not the easiest for all of us, and it was probably not the most beautiful either. But nevertheless we made the best of it.
Today I would like to share with you my very personal PMI-Year in review and above all show the positive that we achieved 2020 at PMI Switzerland despite or thanks to COVID-19.
Just as a great effort is required to move a rock, it sometimes needs external pressure in our lives (private as well as professional) to move us further.
My PMI year started in January with the notification that I was elected by the members to the board. After 10 years as a volunteer, a great wish has come true for me and I have taken on this opportunity with energy and a large list of visions. In addition to enhancing our successful live events, my agenda also included some innovations that I wanted to introduce together with the volunteer team.
But everything turned out differently!
Although we initially assumed a temporary and regionally limited impairment of our usual live events, we decided early on to offer online events as soon as possible. But what was initially intended to be more a supplement to our usual evening events, quickly became the only way to keep in touch with our community and to continue with sharing relevant knowledge for Project Management Professionals.
But after it started to become apparent at the beginning of March that there is a high chance of regional restrictions or even bans on live events due to Corona, I launched a call in mid-March to team interested members to help me realize my vision “PMI Switzerland goes Virtual”.
Two weeks later, I met 15 volunteers virtually to kick off the “online events” initiative. The great interest and the numerous positive responses to my appeal surprised and pleased me very much. But what followed was absolutely fantastic!
Based on the given vision and a few specifications, three teams were formed in the kickoff, each of which wanted to organize their own online event. From the beginning, each team had the freedom to work independently and open-endedly, which led to three resulting events each having a different topic and varied format.
It was really great to see how the first event was prepared, advertised and carried out within just four weeks. And I was overwhelmed by the incredible number of 250 registrations within 2 weeks.
Since this starting signal at the end of April, PMI Switzerland has now been offering an online event approximately every 2 to 3 weeks.
Also since the beginning of April, we have been offering our monthly “PMI Coffee Talks”. It is an open and freely accessible “online” coffee corner where we can meet to exchange information and ideas about current or desired topics in an informal and relaxed atmosphere (it usually takes place on the first Friday morning of the month).
The fact that, despite the general increasing Zoom-Fatigue, there is still great interest in our virtual events and that we are receiving many positive feedback, shows me that our offered events meet the needs of our community. And it also confirms to me that the way the event teams are planning and carrying out the online events is right and good.
And for that, the only ones to thank are the event volunteers! They are not only willing to take on responsibility and ownership, but also contribute to the success of the events with their high time commitment.
And it makes me very happy to see that a large part of the volunteers involved in the three initial projects stayed at PMI Switzerland as volunteers, and actually most of them are still organizing virtual events.
There is nothing good, unless you do it.
From today's perspective, it is clear to me that PMI Switzerland will keep the virtual events as an integral part of the event calendar. And that even then, when we can finally hold in-person events again and consider the chapter Corona as closed.
At last, I would like to give a brief outlook on the coming events year.
During the planning and implementation of the events last year, many new ideas emerged, which we unfortunately were not able to implement all in 2020. The good thing is that we now have a large backlog with lots of great ideas. In the TODO column, we can find for example formats such as: virtual panels, virtual workshops, regular virtual open space sessions, community of practice, introduction of PM tools, and more. As main topics we see among others: Disciplined Agile, Career and Job Seeker Support, Leadership Skills, Power Skills, etc.
And one thing is also firmly on the agenda - my promise - as soon as the situation allows again, we will organize in-person events to meet friends and do live networking with you again. We have already scheduled the PMI Conference, which was cancelled last year, as a live event in 2021.
So much for my review of 2020 that I will not be remembered as the “corona year”, but as the year of birth of our virtual events.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to making 2020 such a good PMI Switzerland year!
Don't look back, because that is where the past lies. Look ahead, because that is where the future lies!
VP Professional Development & Events