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PM Master Class: Become your own chairperson and set boundaries (How to influence your own situation in a positive way)

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Author: Daniel von Niederhausern, PMP

 

After 2 years, we are very happy to offer you again an In-person live Classroom Training

In this 1-day classroom training You will learn:

  • how to deal with stress to prevent a burnout
  • how to improve your self-management skills to achieve a better work-life balance
  • methods to better reflect yourself, communicate your needs, and set boundaries
  • from peers by discussing real PM challenges in small groups

And by the way; earn 7 PDUs for this full day training.

Come to our PM Master Class 1-day training session on 25. September 2021 and get the right answers. Seats are still available.

 shutterstock 706296535 Daniel von Niederhausern min

Social Good Project: “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion”- How you can contribute, an interview with Anne-Sophie Scharff, the Chief Happiness Officer of Girls in Tech Switzerland

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Author: Ka Yi Hui, PMP

 

The Global PMI recently launched a new social good initiative, “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion”. The mission of this initiative is to foster a global work culture that celebrates individuals with diverse backgrounds, such as race, gender, and age. In alignment with this initiative, the PMI Switzerland Social good team collaborates with local non-profit organizations and communities that share the same mission. We would like to 1) showcase their work with our PMI community to raise awareness and 2) promote project management education to that organization and their community. 

We are happy to announce our first collaboration of this kind with Girls in Tech Switzerland. In September, we will hold a series of workshops to help students and young professionals take their project management skills to the next level. 

In this article, we are excited to interview Anne-Sophie Scharff, the Chief Happiness Officer of GirlsInTech Switzerland. She will share her journey working with GirlsInTech. We hope it will inspire you to dig deeper into this topic and take action in supporting gender equity.

Girls in Tech is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 aiming to eliminate the gender gap in the tech industry. There are more than 60,000 members in 50+ chapters around the world. The Switzerland chapter was founded in 2016 with over 1’100 members. Its mission is to build a diverse and inclusive community by empowering women across industries and inspiring women through learning and networking opportunities. 

“Hey, I would love to get involved” - the journey begins.

Anne-Sophie Scharff is originally from Belgium and started her career in the fashion industry. It has been 4 years since she moved to Geneva, Switzerland. Professionally, she is the Social Media Practice Lead at Digital Luxury Group, a digital marketing agency active in the luxury industry. In her spare time, she works on a project called The Independent Brand Guide to support independent fashion brands to shift the consumption habits in the fashion industry.

The story begins in early 2020; after settling down a bit in the Swiss work life, she was keen to join some local community and connect with like-minded people. It is a bit of serendipity; she came across the Instagram account of the GirlsInTech Switzerland chapter. Anne-Sophie, being passionate about gender equity, was immediately impressed. So, with her direct message to the team in GiT, “ Hey, I would love to get involved in your organisation,” she started her journey with GiT. She first started as an event manager and then joined the board as the Chief Happiness Officer and head of events. 

“I have no idea how tall you are” - making the virtual team works!

As the name “Chief Happiness Officer” suggests, she is responsible for the GiT team’s happiness, a team of 13 women across Zurich and Geneva. “I make sure the team has everything they need to do the job properly, and also they are happy to be part of the organization because we are non-profit, so it’s really important people enjoy working within the organization.” 

Under the current pandemic situation, the one question lingering in the board’s mind was, “Would it work if we completely rely on working virtually? There will be new team members, and we haven’t even met each other in person!” Last summer, the new GirlsInTech team spent a weekend together in a 2-day online team-building event. Before kicking off a year’s events, the team members got a chance to get to know each other via games and breakout room sessions. “It’s very important that each member’s voice is being heard.” They brainstormed, aligned with the vision of the board, and planned the events for the year. “It’s really impressive that it worked out very well even if we’ve never met each other in-person. I was amazed after spending 2 days online, everyone still had a lot of energy, enthusiasm. We laughed and had a lot of fun. I think it’s because we are a group of passionate women who want to work together to achieve something bigger than ourselves.”

Finally, in July 2021 the Girls in Tech team has a chance to meet each other in-person in Fribourg

One objective, different ways

GirlsInTech Switzerland promotes its mission with events, blog and social media content. They offer events and workshops related to tech and career at least once per month, for example, building a personal online CV, customer service chatbot, using the design thinking framework for personal goals. They also have advanced topics such as women in the startup world. In June, they invited several role models locally to share the challenges and opportunities women face in the startup world. Usually, they also organize networking events; however, that’s happening less right now due to the pandemic restrictions. “It’s really fulfilling and rewarding to see how useful the events are for our community and the value they create. For example, we had an event on cryptocurrency in April and afterwards we received a message from a participant thanking us for giving her the opportunity to learn about this very critical skill.” As their events are always relevant and appeal to everyone, not just women, they often get asked whether men can join their events. The answer is Yes; they always welcome men to be a part of the conversation.

Another big part of GiT’s work is to raise awareness through social media and blog content. There are three main blog series. The “Women who inspire us” series shares interviews with women leaders in the field. The “Decoding tech” series explains and introduces concepts in the tech industry. The “Her story” series features their members where they can tell their life stories, career paths with the community. Anne-Sophie recalled a memorable post from one of the members, Taisha who shared her story about imposter syndrome which resonated very well within the community. At the beginning of the pandemic, they also curated a series on lockdown resources.

“no action is too small”

Finally, Anne-Sophie shares how you can engage in gender equality. “If you have the time and energy, I encourage everyone to volunteer with an organization that resonates with your values and passion. It’s an amazing experience to meet and connect with like-minded people. No one is too small to help change the status quo, and no action is too small. We can do many things for gender equality and diversity to promote female empowerment; whether you are a man or a woman, you can always question the standard practices where you work in your social environment. You can also encourage people to speak up when they are not doing so in meetings. Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting with your career, we can all contribute by mentoring other women, help them, give them advice; no matter your age, experience, or background, we all have some knowledge and experience to share with others, support one another and enabling the community to do the same.”

 

Learn more about the PMI “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” initiative 
https://www.pmi.org/membership/volunteer/pmimpact/diversity-equity-and-inclusion

Join our upcoming project management workshop!
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/take-your-project-management-skills-to-the-next-level-tickets-165393254677

GirlsInTech Global
https://girlsintech.org

Follow GirlsInTech Switzerland on their social media:
https://switzerland.girlsintech.org

https://www.linkedin.com/company/girls-in-tech-switzerland/

https://www.instagram.com/girlsintechswitzerland/

PMI Swiss Chapter Elections Announcement

 

 

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Elena Milusheva, PMP              Alp Camci, PMP

 

In the PMI world, everything starts with our volunteers. And this is valid not only for the newsletter, the website and the events, but also for the chapter strategy and leadership. For the upcoming 2022-2023 election term, we are looking for active PMI Swiss chapter members who:

  • live and breathe the PMI values;
  • have practical ideas how to elevate our chapter to the next level;
  • have a hands-on attitude to co-lead various committees, workstreams and initiatives;
  • can manage complex programs and demanding stakeholders;
  • are willing to stand for the upcoming PMI Swiss chapter elections;
  • can dedicate to a 2 years Board of Directors and Election Committee Member role;
  • are ready for action, collaboration with great people and a lot of fun!

If we have just described you, please reach out to one of our Board of Directors members or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to indicate your interest in standing for election.

The application process will start in August.

Let’s empowers people to make ideas a reality.

Your Election Committee

Elena Milusheva, PMP and Alp Camci, PMP

PM Master Class: Become your own chairperson and set boundaries (How to influence your own situation in a positive way)

 

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Daniel von Niederhaeusern, PMP

 

Are you constantly stressed and have no time for anything? 

Would you like to learn how to become your own chairperson and take responsibility for yourself?

 

Come to our PM Master Class 1-day training session on the 25th of September 2021 and get the right answers.

COVID-19 impact on 10th PMI Switzerland Conference Organization

Authors:

Martin Härri, PMP®, PMI-SP®, PMI-ACP®, PMI-DASSM®

Agnieszka Skalska, PMP®, SAFe® RTE

 MartinHaerri

Martin Härri

30+ years of experience in project management in consulting and financial services, having led more than a dozen project and program offices. Founding member of the PMI Switzerland Chapter, having held had various volunteer roles, such as event and conference organizer, board member, and Chapter president. Besides organizing the Conference, he currently manages the organization network of the Chapter

 

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Agnieszka Skalska
11+ years of experience in global business transformations, project and program management. Executed over 20 projects for financial services, management consulting and manufacturing industries. Solid business acumen in Operational Excellence, Project Management, Change Management, and Information Technology. Always following the fundamental values of integrity, innovation, and collaboration. Growth Mindset.

 

Introduction

COVID-19 has had an impact on almost all aspects of life. In March 2020, the virus had spread to over 100 countries, forcing the World Health Organization to declare a global pandemic. Unprecedented lockdowns, strict travel bans and “social distancing” measures shortly followed. Naturally, one of the worst affected by the pandemic was the events industry(1). COVID-19 had a huge impact on the organization of the 10th PMI Switzerland Conference. From one day to the next, we had to make difficult decisions, consider different scenarios, and finally stop the event preparations. Now, one year later, we mobilized the team again and hope that on 29th September 2021 we will be able to meet again in person and share our knowledge and experience.

Martin Härri and Agnieszka Skalska, Project Managers of the 10th PMI Switzerland Conference exchange their views on the challenges they had to face and share some tips on how to keep a highly motivated virtual team of volunteers together. We hope that you will enjoy reading what they have to say.   

 

Discussion

Martin: Agnieszka, as a member of the PMI Switzerland Chapter Board, how do you feel now that we can finally announce that we will have another Swiss PM Conference this year?

Agnieszka: Relief…. We have put so much effort in 2020 to mobilize a team, to create a promotion strategy and to reach out potential speakers, that if we had to announce to the team once again that the event is on hold, it would be devastating for me. There is a significant difference between leading a team of volunteers in a non-profit organization and leading a team in your `paid job`. The motivators are completely different. Unlocking people’s intrinsic motivation is a key. We volunteer because we love to create new things, test our ideas, and we have a natural need to feel achievement. Without these `soft motivators` it would be extremely difficult to keep the team together for another year.

 

Agnieszka: And you, Martin, having organized several conferences before, what is your feeling?

Martin: It was very frustrating to first cancel the planned date in the fall of 2020, and then postpone the date several times. So now I am incredibly happy that all the effort that went into the preparation of the conference is now finally paying off. You know, I was surprised myself about the success we had in 2019. The spirit at this conference was amazing. It was an immensely proud contribution of Switzerland to PMIs’ 50th anniversary. And now we can repeat that success, and hopefully even surpass it.

 

Martin: But Agnieszka, tell me, what was the hardest thing for you during this time?

Agnieszka: I think re-doing the business case repeatedly to check if new conference scenarios are profitable. We considered many of them; full audience scenario, limited audience scenario, virtual event, hybrid event, face to face event with the webcast and many more variants. We wanted to organize the event for Project Managers at all costs. Every time the Federal Council announced new regulations, we were looking into the Business Case and checked their impact on the cost vs income. I think that now, after creating ca. 20 versions of Business Cases, I am a proper Business Case expert and cost cutting strategist (Agnieszka is laughing). 

 

Agnieszka: And what was the hardest part for you?

Martin: I made it my mission to keep the team together. We had an excellent, though relatively small team in 2019. Some team members stayed for 2020 and we managed to find a good number of additional members, so the new team was larger. I felt it was a good size and we developed a good team spirit. I did not want to lose them, so I continued organizing monthly calls where we discussed when we might finally be able to have the next conference, but mostly we talked about private things. I am enormously proud to say that we managed to keep the team together. Only one person left due to professional reasons, but she was so motivated that she organized a replacement from her company. And now we are all super-excited that we can continue!

 

Martin: Agnieszka, what do you think, could we have organized the conference as an online version instead?

Agnieszka: It was one of the options that we were considering. In the end we decided that this form is not attractive for our audience because of the limited interactions and networking possibilities with such a format. Moreover, studies have shown that attendees have a short attention span for online events, so running a full day virtual event wasn’t appealing. As a Chapter, we are also gaining an experience in running virtual events and the technology risk was deemed to be at an unacceptable level. I normally say `never say never`, which is why I am convinced that the future of events lies in hybrid events. Events that combine a "live" in-person event with a "virtual" online component.

 

Agnieszka: Martin, do you think that the Covid situation will have an impact on the conference?

Martin: Well, luckily now the allowed number of participants at such events has been increased, so we are aiming again at about 200 people. Maybe we will have to take some precautionary measures, but with the SIX ConventionPoint, we have an experienced partner so I have no doubt that we will meet all obligations.

 

Martin: But let us talk about the topics of the conference: do you think that the pandemic has an impact here?

Agnieszka: Of course! Our business problems have changed over last year. We have learned to work in virtual teams, and we all started to work at home. The world has sped up the digitalization processes and we can notice a downward trend for business travel. Now everyone is asking one question: How the future of our work will look like after the pandemic? I would say join us at the 10th PMI Switzerland Conference on 29th September 2021 and get some Expertise for Changing Times. Meet many inspirational speakers and exchange views with other participants. Hurry up! We only have a limited number of tickets available for sale!

 

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