Chapter Communications Blog

Call for PMI Switzerland Newsletter and website contributions


Daniel Rodellar, PMP

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Shalini Krishnan, PMP

Shalini Krishnan

Philip Springuel, PMP

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We are collecting articles, pictures, audio and video submissions for upcoming PMI Switzerland Newsletters and the website. Content we favour must be original, relevant to the PMI community, ideally addressing the Swiss context, and should be authored by recognised project management practitioners commenting on their own behalf or authorised to publish for the organisations they represent.

Newsletters are published at the start of each month (typically the first Monday of each month). The deadline for submissions is 10 days before pubication. Contributions may be sent and will be reviewed for potential publication on a rolling basis.

This is a great opportunity to share your thoughts on a topic of interest with the chapter community and earn up to 1.5PDUs for any articles which are published.

To submit a contribution, please fill out the following form at this link.

Here are a few categories and ideas that may help you determine what subjects you could write about:

1) Your Project Management case studies relevant to PMI Switzerland

2) Relevant Swiss Project Management news and critical implementations

3) PMI Switzerland events

- Announcements for future PMI Switzerland events (proposals also welcome)

- Summary retrospectives of past PMI Switzerland events

4) Social Good news, events, case studies relevant to Switzerland

5) PMI Swiss Corporate Networking Group activity reports and announcements

6) PMI global and affiliate chapter news, with relevance for Switzerland

7) Focus on statistics and data trends

- Your research

- Your comments, criticisms, predictions on any data sets you have a passion for, that are relevant to the PMI community

- Links to active data visualisations of relevance to the PMI Switzerland community

8) About Current Events

- Your commentary, opinion about current events affecting Project Management generally and/or Switzerland specifically.

PMI Switzerland is your connection to 20 years of working together, bringing you events, training, networking and knowledge sharing. Your PMI Switzerland Newsletter is the link that keeps you connected and informed. Join the well established tradition dating nearly 20 years of exchanges by becoming a newsletter and website contributor too.

We will be glad to answer any questions and assist you in any way we can to help you produce high quality knowledge to share through your PMI Switzerland newsletter.


Daniel Rodellar, PMP, Shalini Krishnan, PMP, Philip Springuel, PMP

Newsletter editors, PMI Switzerland Chapter

Retrospective for Open Space 7 and invitation to Open Space 8

Author: Leandro Benda, PMP

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On Tuesday 17 August 2021, our 7th PMI Switzerland Open Space took place on Zoom. In Open Spaces, each participant is able to freely ask questions and/or share his or her expertise and opinion.

The topic of this online event was "Planning for success in Agile delivery". The topic was presented with great talent by our volunteer Pia Henzelmann. On this occasion, 20 project managers joined from different sectors such as banking, food processing, IT consulting and more.

Different "virtual rooms" of 10 minutes each were created during the event in order to have various exchanges on themes of the participants’ choice. These virtual rooms were each managed by a facilitator to encourage engagement and ensure the best experience for everyone.

The questions selected for discussion on this broader topic announced for this Open Space included:

  1. How to introduce Agile planning even if the company methodology essentially expects waterfall?
  2. How to deal with small local initiatives, how to prioritize them?
  3. How to respect project budgets in Agile?

Each participant was able to freely ask questions and share his or her expertise and opinion and interesting answers were provided on these topics.

We invite you all to register to our next Open Space which will take place online via Zoom on Tuesday, November 9th on the theme "PMBOK 7 Initiation". You will have the opportunity to share and learn more on the numerous and important changes that this new edition proposes.

All our events can be consulted via the PMI Switzerland events page.

Leandro Benda, PMP

Open Spaces offer free knowledge sharing about infinite questions

Author: Marco Chiletti, PMP


In 2020, the PMI Switzerland Chapter launched a new series of virtual events called ‘Open Spaces’ with the aim to connect Project Managers and allow them to share their knowledge and experience around Project Management.

‘Planning for success in Agile delivery’, ‘Stakeholder and Team management’, ‘Conversation around the theme of Project Management tools’ are just a few of the Open Spaces topics that took place to date.

After having joined a number of Open Spaces, I am happy to share my experience hoping you can find valuable insights and maybe inspiring you to join the next Open Space. If so, we are certainly going to meet there.

Open Space is a virtual, safe and non-recorded event that takes place on Zoom, where project managers connect and discuss a topic shared beforehand.  The main principles of the event are:

  1. Whoever come are the right people
  2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  3. Whenever the given discussion starts is the right time
  4. When it’s over, it’s over, and
  5. If any participant finds themselves in a situation where they are neither learning nor contributing, they can go to another breakout room

At the beginning of Open Space, every participant introduces him/herself - a wonderful and easy way to break the ice.

Shortly after introductions, every participant can pose questions to which he or she is looking for answers. Of course, these questions revolve around the main topic of the event. After questions are listed,, the moderator opens the first 3 breakout rooms with the first 3 questions. The breakout rooms last around 10 minutes and each participant is free to join the room he or she desires

Here is where the magic happens!

In each breakout room an open discussion starts, to help find the best answer to the question of the room. Each professional shares experience, ideas and possible solutions to solve the issue or to give hints which will ultimately be helpful to find the answer to the question. 

It’s a collaborative and enriching experience for both speakers and participants. You find people with diverse backgrounds, from a variety of industries, who implement different project management methodologies, each with their own style.

It’s the right environment to get to know each other and to work together towards a common goal. Here you can start professional relationships, network or even make new friends.

After the time of the first 3 breakout rooms expires, 3 new breakout rooms with next questions from the list are opened. This process is repeated until all questions are properly explored.

As you can imagine, the number of topics and questions that can be covered are infinite. And the more participants there are, the more enriching the experience is.

If you joined PMI Switzerland Chapter to network and to know more about how other Project Managers work and face challenges, you definitely need to join Open Spaces!

Open Spaces take place on a bi-monthly basis and are announced on the PMI Switzerland Chapter webpage, via Social Networks, and via email as event notification to the ones who subscribe to the Event notification email list. Open Spaces are free to join for all PMI Switzerland Chapter members and are eligible to issue PDUs for the renewal of PMP and other PMI Certifications. The organisers of Open Spaces also warmly encourage people from outside the chapter to participate, as diversity only benefits the experience.

About me: 6+ years of project management experience in organizational improvement and development of industrial projects to enlarge company sites throughout different geographies. Emotional intelligence to understand and lead others, Customer-focus, Accountability, Respect and Curiosity are the principles that guide my action.

Marco Chiletti, PMP

The Case for the Project Status Report

Author: Claudia Rassalski, CA, PMP, PMO-CP

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The status report is crucial to the successful governance of any project. Done right, the status report is written with the purpose of engaging the audience. It not only describes progress, it supports informed decision making and urges action. More importantly, this is an opportunity to control the narrative around the project, ensuring the status report is the “go-to”/central source for key project information.

At a basic level, it seems easy to jot down the facts, variances, analysis and next steps. Then again, in the midst of busy meticulous day to day project work, it can be difficult to pause, take a broader view, and articulate a meaningful status. Sometimes it helps to remember why the status report is important. Read on for a few of my chosen reasons.

Often, it is the only record summarizing the ongoing work of the team

When a project begins, stakeholders and team members are introduced, roles and responsibilities are assigned, the purpose, objectives and approach to work are agreed upon. Work begins, setbacks are overcome and challenges are creatively worked through as progress is made. As the weeks draw on, it becomes more difficult to recount the precise detail of the effort to achieve the hard-won results delivered at each milestone. So why not record the challenges encountered and celebrate the wins of the team throughout the project?​​ As a bonus, by project closure there will exist a neat historical record of the life of the project with invaluable information to contribute to “Lessons Learned” and trend analysis.

Serves to keep stakeholders focused on the “end game”

Project distractions abound. It is the job of the project manager to sift through the “noise” and identify the facts that do - or might - impact project objectives, and clearly communicate these to the team and stakeholders. The status report brings attention to tangible progress made, as well as risks and issues that could derail progress. Remembering the agreed purpose of the project is central to giving due consideration to the probability and impact of perceived risks, along with assessing the severity of issues.

Proactive and pragmatic communication with stakeholders

Stakeholder engagement is imperative to project success. The status report is just one tool that can be used consistently to communicate with stakeholders. However, the information must be relevant, complete and current. If not, the report is meaningless. To that end, align the purpose of the status report with the audience and their respective roles and responsibilities to the project. There should be no ambiguity about progress, issues, risks, their impact, and respective mitigation strategies in place. Further, each respective action required must have accountability assigned. It should be clear which actions and/or decisions are required, why, by whom and by when. Further, it may be tempting to omit seemingly minor concerns from the status report. Yet, how many times have you worked on a project when a seemingly small concern, identified quite early on, unexpectedly manifests itself at the most inconvenient time? This usually results in “fire-drills”, overtime for the team and far too many uncomfortable, unpleasant discussions with stakeholders. A well-considered status report will go a long way to avoid such scenarios.

The above and many other reasons for status reporting have been extensively written about, including contributing to internal project portfolio and risk management. 


To communicate the crucial and most relevant facts about a project, without diluting the message with superfluous information or worse, omitting or underplaying real concerns or overstating success, is a fine art. However, the potential rewards of doing so consistently throughout a project far outweigh the inconvenience of preparation. Ensuring that the project team and stakeholders remain focused on the purpose, the key message and immediate priorities, is paramount to spurring action, when required, to help overcome challenges and achieve overall project success.  I trust the reasons described inspire us to persevere towards reaching a higher standard in the quality of project reporting. 

Claudia Rassalski, CA, PMP, PMO-CP

Retrospective of the Basel event Agility: What's really behind the buzzword?

Author: Florian Puschmann, PMP

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After attending virtual events for more than a year, I was very excited when I saw the invitation to the in-person event held 31 August in Basel.

Agile - and how to make it work in different company environments, certainly relates to many project management professionals. One pain point was addressed straight at the beginning with a fitting Dilbert comic; Agile has become a hip business buzzword, but typically, not everyone involved is aware of its philosophy and methodology.

Presenters Anna Nestorova, PhD, PMP and Steffen Keller, PMP have hands-on experience at LIVEsciences AG, which focuses on helping organizations define if - and where, agile methodology implementation makes sense, followed by aiding its implementation in a tailored fashion.

Everyone very much enjoyed the interaction that followed:

  • Where does Agile make sense on the Cynefin framework background that segments the work environment in clear, complicated, complex, chaotic, and confused areas?
  • What does it take to build an environment that enables people to work at the intersection of autonomy, mastery, and purpose to tackle the "impossible" through intrinsically driven teams?
  • What's the difference between "doing" (method) and "being" (mindset) agile?

The challenges of such self-organizing organizations were then further put in perspective with two case studies:

  • Semco Partners – where a self-organized company was built in Brazil under the "leadership" of Ricardo Semler even long before the Agile Manifesto was born
  • Burtzoorg – A low-cost, high profitability home nurse service that is organized through fully independent self-organized teams of nurses

Overall, I deeply enjoyed the content of this event and the vivid discussion and human connection that I was craving after the prolonged period of virtual events only. 

The best part was still to come though: A very enjoyable late summer apero with all participants! The apero was so much fun that I missed two train connections until I finally made it back to Zurich rather late. The only regret I had was not having stayed even longer.

Florian Puschmann, PhD, PMP

BS in person event 31 08 21