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Empowering Each Other When Working Remotely

The workshop was prepared and conducted by Luisa Colombo from InsideOut People consulting and María Cortés Astudillo from Agile For Life consulting. 

 We started by defining the challenges in working remotely. To do so we were divided into several breakout rooms of 3-4 people and wrote our findings on the sticky notes on a Miro board. Some of the main challenges were : building trust, lack of social interactions, active collaboration, isolation.

 Next step was discussion on competences to develop to face remote working. Again we went into breakout rooms and placed our sticky notes on another Miro board. Some of the competences that were noted are : respect, discipline, moderation skills, patience.

 With these findings we moved to the next activity, self-regulation.. Luisa explained the brain in the hand model for Self Regulation and Emotional intelligence. It is in fact a hand model of the brain that helps us to see how the brain functions. When we can see what the brain does only then we can change what it does.

Empowering Pictures 1 Adi Muslic

Picture 1

Next to come was the Listening activity. The context was a Team Lead who is announcing the problem to the project manager. There were 3 different role plays – not listening, listening and effective listening. It was easy to see the difference between effective and ineffective listening. While effective listening was full of empathy, providing options of working together, ineffective listening was quite opposite. 

Empowering Pictures 2 Adi Muslic

Picture 2


The last activity was the Feedback activity. The context was a 1-2-1 conversation in a work environment where your project manager / manager was going to give you some feedback. Maria facilitated role plays showing the difference between empowering and discouraging feedback. We could see what it looked like not receiving any support or when no solution was offered as opposed to supportive, encouraging feedback.

Empowering Pictures 3 Adi Muslic

Picture 3

Empowering People with respect and dignity, through:

  • connection and self-regulation
  • listening and compassion
  • respect in relationships and empowering feedback

Important components are self awareness, awareness of others and ability to cooperate. Become a servant leader by being firm and kind.

We ended the session by placing our sticky notes on the Takeaways board. Here are some examples :

  • Make time in meetings to talk about other things than work.
  • Make myself more available/supportive to my teammates.
  • Be aware of people’s emotional state.
  • Take distance to observe.

I personally liked the rôle plays as they made the differences so obvious making an immediate effect on all participants. If you have a chance, I suggest you attend one of the workshops that Luisa and Maria are facilitating. 

Community of Practice

Are you a seasoned project manager and want to share your experience with others?

Or are you less experienced and have questions you are looking for answers?

Then our Community of Practice could be the right place for you.

What is a Community of Practice anyways?

Communities have been around for thousands of years and they’ve always been paramount to problem-solving and human evolution. People who share a problem or a passion for something get together regularly and learn how to do it better.

What’s in it for me?

Communities of practice are a great place to find pertinent answers quickly and solve issues in a matter of minutes. Most of our problems are not unique and chances are somebody has already dealt with the same problem and can provide some help.

Every discipline has its own depth, vocabulary and culture. And jokes! A community of practice is a tribe where like-minded people network and exchange ideas. It is a great place to test ideas, get some peer review and experiment. It’s real and it’s unbiased.

As corny as it sounds, true fulfillment comes with helping others. Community members feel proud and accomplished because of the help they provide hence making a direct impact in somebody’s life.

How you can help, are you asking?

Does all that sound great? Yes, it does but there’s a small investment needed to turn it into reality. For this to work everybody needs to contribute with their own experience, knowledge, expertise and most importantly, time! This investment can range from a couple of minutes to a few hours a week. It can be answering questions, solving problems or simply just saying something comforting to someone who needs to hear something nice.

Help us help you!

We welcome your input. Please complete this short questionnaire to let us know what sort of information you will find beneficial.

Your opinion matters to us!

We are excited to hear your brilliant ideas. The survey will be open until May 21st . The result  and the next step will be published in the June Newsletter. Thank you for your immense contribution.  We are looking forward to working with you on this initiative. 



Author: Agnieszka Skalska, PMP® 
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.


 All around the world there is a lot of buzz about the need for agility. Most of the organizational structures and processes that have been developed more than a century ago, now seems to be outdated. They were built for control and stability, not for innovation and speed. Of course, there is no one standard solution that works for every company and for sure agile is also not a cure for every disease. Every team should explore what works the best for them and decide on their way of working. As a global economy has started to evolve rapidly, one thing is certain, the project management techniques must be adjusted, combined, and/or tailored. PMI is responding to these needs by incorporating all Agile Practices into one approach, called Disciplined Agile

Agile at PMI

Picture 1. Disciplined Agile Concept. (Source 1) 

Disciplined Agile a tool kit that harnesses hundreds of Agile practices to guide you to the best way of working for your team or organization. (Source 2) Disciplined Agile is not a framework, but rather a toolkit that focuses on the decisions you need to consider, the options available to you, and the trade-offs associated with these options. It shows you how to effectively combine strategies from Scrum, Kanban, SAFe®, and many other approaches in a tailorable and scalable manner. Organizations that adopt Disciplined Agile go to market sooner, deliver value faster and make their customers happier. (Source 3) 

PMI offers five types of Agile certifications:

  • Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM)

  • Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master (DASSM) 

  • Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC) 

  • Disciplined Agile Coach (DAC) 

  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® 

Agile at PMI 2

Picture 2. PMI Agile Certifications. (Source 1) 

Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM) certification will help you to understand the DA mindset and its underlying principles, such as pragmatism, the power of choice, and adapting to context. It gives an opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of agile and lean, and how to use both approaches to produce business value. It presents multiple agile and lean techniques from methods such as Scrum, Kanban, SAFe®, and more. You will learn how to put these techniques into action and ensure effective implementation. (Source 4)

Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master (DASSM) certification takes a deep dive into the DA tool kit to develop a comprehensive understanding of the hundreds of practices and strategies it contains and the trade-offs of applying them. It shows how to apply the DA tool kit to guide teams in choosing and evolving your best way of working (WoW) in any situation. After the course you will feel comfortable with using the DA tool kit to solve complex challenges commonly encountered in both software and operational business teams. You will learn how to lead agile teams through key enterprise activities, such as planning, coordinating, and reporting, and be ready to show your improvements in areas where your organization is struggling. You will get a deep understanding of how to improve value delivery for your customers by empowering others in your organization, nurturing emotional intelligence, and resolving conflicts. (Source 5)

Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant (DAVSC) certification gives an opportunity to determine the best place for an organization to start – portfolio management, product management or development area. As a DAVSC, you will be equipped with a tool kit to tailor an organization’s improvement plan based on the unique needs. It gives an ability to train an organization to continue to improve on their own and get know how to accelerate value delivery at scale. (Source 6)

Disciplined Agile Coach (DAC) certification helps to understand how to align teams with organizational strategies and goals to enable agile transformation. It provides guidance how to facilitate culture change/ transformation and how to accelerate process improvement. It teaches how to master the Disciplined Agile tool kit and show teams the best Way of Working (Choose Your Wow) in the situation they currently face. (Source 7)

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification is created by agilists for agilists. The PMI-ACP spans many approaches to agile such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, extreme programming (XP) and test-driven development (TDD.) It will increase your versatility, wherever your projects may take you. (Source 8)


               ⇒ Building True Agility Across Your Business Starts at PMI!               


To sum up, here are 3 Top Reasons for Attaining a Disciplined Agile Certification:

  • Increase your knowledge. DA certification requires a comprehensive understanding of Disciplined Agile Delivery, which in turn describes how all aspects of agile principles and practices fit together in an enterprise-class environment.

  • Demonstrate your professionalism. DA certification indicates to employers your dedication to improving your knowledge and skills.

  • Advance your career. As you demonstrate your increased knowledge base and leadership, DA certification can help you attain that new position or role.

 Video 1 : The Business Agility Starts Here (Source 2) 

List of Sources:

2. Foundation for Business Agility | Disciplined Agile (
3. Agile Certifications (
4. Disciplined Agile Scrum Master DASM (
5. Disciplined Agile Senior Scrum Master Certification | PMI
6. Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant Certification | PMI
7. Disciplined Agile Coach (DAC) Certification | PMI
8. Agile Certified Practitioner | PMI-ACP

Become a certified Disciplined Agile Professional and save some money.

Author: Stefan Vesenmeier, PMPStefan vesenmeier - VP Events

Open Space 20th April – Project Management Tools

Patryk Nosalik

Author: Patryk Nosalik, PMP

Note: this article has two parts - about the facilitation format itself and about the theme of the Open Space event.

Facilitation format
In line with the agile format of Open Spaces (OS), we take feedback from participants and from within the team during our retrospectives. And by how we feel the last Open Space went, we think we’ve got the format working well for our community. Therefore, we shall generally keep to the proposed format I last shared here , though in light of the continuous improvement and reaction to participant needs, we shall try to implement the following changes:

1. Introductions in main room by all participants:
We aim to allow 15 seconds per person which is enough to share: name / position/ company or industry / what you’re coming with; in one sentence. This helps everyone to know who is who.

2. In every breakout room, we really want to ensure everyone in the room gets a chance to provide some brief input into the question or issue at hand before the discussion goes completely freeform. The peers of yours who play the role of facilitator will have this as an explicit goal. Why? So that there is more inclusion especially for the more introverted, more active listening, and elicitation, which should lead to a greater elicited collective intelligence.

3. After the last breakout room, we’d really like everyone to offer at least one bit of feedback live; in one sentence. Why? We really want to address the needs of the community and also the last chance for eliciting participation. We’ll also use the same slido tool that we use for capturing the backlog of ideas, at the very end of the meeting to find out what themes we should have for future sessions. (I have a dozen ideas myself, but that’s not the point - we want to hear yours!)

4. To allow for more networking and chatting after the event, just like at a physical event, you can hang on for a short while. After the official ending (where we share the PDU code), the Zoom session will be open for 15 more minutes to allow a continuation or finalisation of certain topics, contact exchange, etc.
Want to learn experience or get involved with Open Spaces? Come on the 20th April to find out more!

Last year we covered agile topics, and whilst this was perhaps attractive or aspirational, it seemed most participants found this not in line with their actual experience. At a webinar, everyone can come uninformed and come out a bit wiser. At an Open Space, diversity works better, so that while some people can come purely to ask and learn, you really should share your experience for the session to be valuable. Now there may appear a risk if everyone were to come ‘uninformed’ (which I doubt in our community) that no-one will be there to answer with a solution, but at least you’ll come out with an action plan on how to solve the issue. 

Our first OS this year was around the PMBOK knowledge areas and we did not run out of discussion! 

Following on from this, we’d like to look at the tool project managers use. It should be especially relevant for PMO’s who in a ‘projectified’ economy, are all the more central to their organisations success, and whilst “only a poor workman blames his tools”, the converse “you are only as sharp as your knife” is certainly true too. Thus, to be competitive, PMOs should be very clear on the benefits of the tools they invest in.

What is the approach your organisation has? Do you have a dedicated PM/PMIS/PPMS tool or is it an extension of an ITSM product? What impact does this have on the way you run your portfolio and programs?

At the other, sometimes personally touching, end of the spectrum, if you have been out of work perhaps due to COVID, could it be that organisations have moved ahead with digitalisation of their tools to such an extent that It could be daunting to re-enter the workplace? Just think, have you used Slack? A few months ago I didn’t know anyone that was an active user. Yet Teams was behind Slack in 2018. Then from Nov 2019 it went from 20 million users to 115 million users by the end of 2020. If you weren’t in work, you wouldn’t have had much chance to use this and the rich integration it offers with Office 365. How do you use Teams for project management?

Of course, the joy of Open Spaces comes not from a pre-planned agenda, but what you the participants really come with. We look forward to hearing your questions and issues around the choice and use of project management tools on the 20th April. Register here