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Author: Adi Muslic, PMP

VP Sponsors & Partners

Adi Muslic NEW 100x100

 

Our aim is to enlarge the Swiss community of project managers and change makers. This is why we have been engaging with other professional associations and non profit organizations.


This time, I would like to tell you about our renewed collaboration with SMP - Société suisse de management de projet. While this collaboration is mostly related to the French speaking regions of Switzerland it can still generate benefits for all our members and volunteers. The knowledge and experience sharing are very enriching and as result our organizations can provide better services and more value to the whole community.


The next big SMP’s project management event will take place in April 2023 in Lausanne. As the event partner, we are calling all interested speakers (presentations in English are welcome too) to submit their applications by the end of November. For more information please click here.

On Change Management and Sponsoring

Author: Florian Puschmann, PMP

 

I recently came across one of the classic reads on change management: Switch – How to change things when change is hard by Chip & Dan Heath. Picking up the book was both enjoyable and instructive. 

The Heath brothers' framework consists of three elements: 

  1. The driver - the rational mind
  2. The elephant - the emotional side
  3. Shaping the path - providing explicit instructions on how to implement the change


This simple framework is highly instructive as it is a powerful reminder that providing facts alone won't convince anyone. It is even less likely to lead to the needed or desired change. As put by the author and entrepreneur Seth Godin:

"No spreadsheet, no bibliography, and no list of resources is sufficient proof to someone who chooses not to believe. The skeptic will always find a reason, even if it's one the rest of us don't think is a good one. Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission – which is emotional connection."

One of the many compelling examples provided by the Heath brothers is an executive at a large manufacturing company who identified a significant opportunity for cost saving through the procurement process harmonization of various items used by the company. 

Frustrated by not getting any traction by appealing to the driver only or, more explicitly, making the case with numbers, tables, and forecasts to his peers, he changes his approach. 

First, he tasks a summer intern to pick one item procured by all company sites, which turns out to be protective gloves.

Next, the student physically tracks down all 424 gloves procured from various suppliers. 

Finally, for every glove, the student tracks down the price paid and labels each glove with a price tag. 

As it turns out, many of them are the same glove, sometimes sold for $5 or $17 by different suppliers. 

The next time the executive makes the case to his peers, he invites them to the conference room. He covers the entire conference table with all 424 gloves informing his colleagues that, yes, these are all the different gloves at drastically different prices that the company is procuring. After he allowed his peers to wander around the table and pick up and evaluate this "glove shrine" in disbelief and shock, he finally engaged their emotional side, "the elephant." This enabled him to get commitment and buy-in for the path he shaped on how to initiate and realize a procurement change initiative to capitalize on the saving opportunity in front of their eyes. 


Personally, I experienced this effect of building an emotional connection to the change many times, driving innovation or improvement projects for customers. Although it typically always made sense “running the numbers”, the most effective way to get the project underway was to bring all key stakeholders into one physical place and let them hands-on experience the new innovation or problem to build an emotional connection. Only then did most projects get buy-in and traction.

However, what does this all have to do with sponsoring? In a world with fierce competition for attention, sponsoring opportunities big and small offer a great sponsor a great platform to emotionally engage project managers in various industries to initiate or drive change. 

Examples of such opportunities are the events scheduled throughout the year and the yearly hosted PMI Switzerland conference. And normally, the story would end here but … We realized that sponsoring was not only about events. It can be much more. 

Our sponsoring strategy, designed in 2021, is based on numbers, tables and forecasts. Making sure the “driver” is on board matters, of course. However, to drive engagement, we decided in 2022 to also focus on the elephant - the emotional side. We started developing relationships with other partners interested in project management and fueling change in line with our vision to build an engaged community. Today we are a team of 12 (and growing) working on developing engagement with for-profit corporations and non-profit organizations such as NGOs or universities, allowing communities to build their power skills further. 

Thus our 2023 sponsoring strategy will continue the focus on both the driver and the elephant to enable members to thrive in the environment of change at an ever-increasing rate.

If you are interested in getting involved either as a sponsor or a partner or as a member of the team supporting our various sponsors and partners, please reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

IPM Day 2022, Geneva

Author: Patryk Nosalik, PMP

Patryk Nosalik

 

IPM day is celebrated in PMI Switzerland with Agile centred events in both Geneva and Zurich. For more info about the event; click here

In Geneva, our speaker – no – this is an interactive event – so guru – no, don’t call him a guru – so guest facilitator, is Dr Serge Schiltz PMP. He is going to share some interesting knowhow and insights on agile project and business delivery. There is the misconception that Agile projects are wonderful: No scoping, no requirements analysis, no specifications, just evolutionary solution building and feedback. And as a client, you don't even need to know what you want! Well really..? So to explore Agility in project management, and to reach out to our networks on Linkedin, I ended up having a bit of a Q&A session with him under one of the posts promoting the event, which I share a version of here:

  • (Patryk Nosalik) if pure Agilists do away with PM's, why should a PM on IPM day come to an event promoting Agile methods? 
    (Dr Serge Schiltz) So-called pure agilists tend to ignore the fact that even the Agile Manifesto does not suggest to completely omit formal structures and documentation, the authors just “prefer” for example human interaction and working software over excessive structure. And the fact is that projects are financed by management or by clients who have a need to and are entitled to knowing how the project is progressing and what it is doing. This is a project manager’s job. His way of functioning may be different in an agile context as he must include flexibility in his management style, for example by allowing teams to self-organize and thus work with tolerances instead of clear and precise work package definitions. But this role is as important as ever.

  • (PN) in the event description it says "Changing an organization to become agile" in your experience what influence do PM's really have on this?
    (SS) Project managers can provide arguments for organizations to become agile. They have to make it clear that agile projects can be efficient and effective only if the organization is prepared in consequence. If an organization does not build and maintain the organizational knowledge such for example in the form of an enterprise architecture, each and every project will have to establish it’s subdomain knowledge by itself, which will prevent agility in these projects.

  • (PN) what were some of the reactions at the PMI Conference that make you want to repeat the experience in Geneva?
    (SS) I felt that for many of the participants at the PM Conference, the session was an eye opener, not just a theoretical exercise. They discovered the conclusions I was making through the case study even before I could express them. We had so many interesting discussions!

  • (PN) what will be different here?
    (SS) Kirsten’s and my experience for example. We did this for the first time in Zurich. A few adjustments, but no major changes. However, one should not underestimate cultural differences: Geneva is not Zurich. I expect development of discussions to be different.

  • (PN) if everyone's heard of agile, what could possibly be counterintuitive? /could you share a sneak preview of something that may be counterintuitive?
    (SS) Well intuitively, people think that agile is without structures or documentation. How could anyone think of building and maintaining such a big thing as an enterprise architecture in an agile environment? Well, it is a requirement! And that is very counterintuitive.
  • (PN) let me know a little of your background that should draw PM's to our event.
    (SS) Hm, I first studied mathematics and physics in Luxembourg, moved to Switzerland and changed my minor physics to information system to finally switch major and minor (smiles). So I first graduated in information systems, then mathematics, followed by a PhD in information systems in Fribourg. After a brief episode as a database expert for an international insurance company, I caught interest in the needs of business and moved to project management. After an MBA, I was able to change to the international business unit of the insurance company and specialized in project management. After the PMP and an MSc in Project Management, I fully specialized in this discipline.  After a number of years, I specialized even further in the business process management topic. Eight years ago, I founded my company processCentric, which – as the name says – is focused on BPM. I of course still do project management to deliver my client’s projects and somewhat for fun, I continue to teach project management courses: PMP, PRINCE2, PRINCE2 Agile, HERMES.

So if you’re in the Geneva environs on 3rd November,  come to this counterintuitive event where we’ll onboard you at our fictitious “creditCentric Bank'', which has recently started an agile project to digitize its mortgage approval process. It will be your responsibility to make this project a success, run by Dr. Serge Schiltz and Kirsten Hauck who've proved how good they were at the recent PMI Conference!

Looking for volunteers in the Newsletter team!

Author: Daniel Rodellar, PMP

Publications Director

Daniel Rodellar

Dear readers,

As seasons go by, also our team members get new challenges, new opportunities or just move. Change is a constant on our lives. Sometimes little changes, sometimes huge impactful ones, all of them are making each day different.

For the months to come we want to fill out new positions on the Newsletter team of the Project Management Institute Switzerland Chapter. Having new people onboarded on the team will help us in many ways, for example the external view of the ones discovering our processes, for example new skills on design or on writting, or for example energy and passion, or just by enabling the rest of the team to have time off.

We need an optimal in terms of resources and tasks to be done, not too little, not too much. Equilibrium is a vision that we never achieve on an always changing world. We will never get there, but that's OK. Nature shows us that when we are close to equilibrium, things get easier, and life gets "easier". So we will tend to it by increasing contributors to the Newsletter team.

We have several roles on the team, and the main ones are played by what we call Copy Editors (currently by Shalini Krishnan and Philip Springuel) and what we call Technical Editors (currently Thierry Altenhoven and Thando Dube). Historically, we called Technical Editors the ones that coded on HTML the newsletter edition, but we have evolved into a no-code version, and current tools are basically handling the technical part, while the Editors are concentrated into providing the best design and adjusting the content to make it beautiful!

We also have a special section called "get to know", where Alp Camci is managing the introduction of new members to all of us. We consistenly get new members joining and willing to present themselves to our comunity. And there are other sections, as you noticed, like Message from the Board, to keep you updated on the latest news and impactful decisions of the Chapter, and the Editorial, written by the Copy Editor of the month, because they collect and review all the content, so they can present you the menu of what comes next.

Here is the team

   Alp Camci  Shalini Krishnan  Philip Springuel  Thando Dube  Thierry Altenhoven 

They work hard every month for you to receive this newsletter, package all the content that may interest you, and format it on a digestible way to be as appealing as possible for you. Send them a note or a warm encouragement at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. !! They will love to hear from you!

We have many other roles inside the team, as graphical designers, proof reading reviewers, article authors,.... and journalists. Being both a volunteer and a journalist is a great opportunity to get to meet all the event participants, for free, and also get the PDUs on volunteering. Anyone can be a journalist, you just need the time to attend the events and the time to write the article. When writing, you also get PDUs on "sharing to other" category, even if you are not a volunteer.

Would you like to join us? Does these roles are something you would like to develop? Do you want to be famous as a journalist? Would you like to contribute as an Editor?

Let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Looking forward to enlarge our team to improve our dynamics and increase the value for all of you!

Daniel

 

 

 

 

Editorial PMI Switzerland Newsletter October 2022

Author: Philip Springuel, PMP

Philip Springuel NEW 100x100

Dear colleagues,

Your Chapter newsletter for October 2022 offers a retrospective on one of the year’s most important events: PMI Switzerland’s own 11th PM Conference, attended by 130 participants from many diverse sectors. In a related interview, Marc Lahmann, the Program & Project Portfolio Management and Core Platform Transformation Practice Lead at PwC Switzerland, explains how a new generation of data engineers will help companies get an edge in the future of AI-assisted project management.

Read from PMI Switzerland Vice President Adi Muslic who gives us an Introduction to the Organizational Transformation CoP. Also in your newsletter this month, an article from Agustin Diaz Salvadores reminds us that organizations with a high level of Project Management culture will define a future of significantly improved project success rates.

Read on to meet 8 new PMI Switzerland members, and don’t forget to follow and check our social media channels for all the latest news and events from PMI Switzerland.

Philip SPRINGUEL, PMI Switzerland Newsletter Copy Editor

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