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Newsletter Editorial October 2019


Carlos Martinez Arteaga 100x100

Author: Carlos Martinez Arteaga, PMP

Dear members and newsletter subscribers,

How do you feel about business travel? How do you tackle the absence of the family warmth?

I recently read a post in social media, which I immediately identified with. I love my family and I really love my job. I also like travelling, even if it is just for business which leaves very little time (if not none) to explore the surroundings. If your job also requires extense travelling, then there is a conflict as you cannot spend time after work with the ones you care most about.

There was a colleague of ours who suggested to stick as much as possible to the technologies that are readily available for us today, like video conferencing, and only travel when strictly necessary. I think this works perfectly, especially if everyone has their camera on. Sometimes, because of the different accents, it is also useful to read lips :)

I am still of the thinking that it is always very possitive to meet face to face with those you regularly work with, this creates a bond that video conferencing cannot match, but after having met people face to face at least once, it is normally sufficient to then carry on the working relationship using the mentioned technologies. What do you think?

When you meet face to face, it allows time for discussing things aside from work, which reinforces the working relationship, something which on video conferencing is not typically possible due to the fact that the meetings are usually subject to a schedule, and when the time is over people usually hang-up.

F2F meetings can be subject to a schedule, but these usually afford the possibility to have a coffee, lunch or even dinner, where topics differ from the business and can become more personal. Here is where the value of F2F can come in - once again, enhancing the working relationship.

I am willing, and most probably others also, to understand how you do it and what your point of view here!

I hope you are all prepared for the cold weather (it will come some day).

Enjoy the newsletter!





Listening to Lead by Annie Bordeleu

Geetanjali Bhat

Author: Geetanjali Bhat, PMP


Listening to Lead


Project Managers thrive to lead people and projects. Need I say more how schedules, priorities and deadlines are the most important part of Project Manager’s life. Today “listening” to a great workshop made me and many other project managers out there to analyze one question “Are we listening???” An eye opener session on “Listen to Lead” for all of us by Annie Bordeleu.

 listening author


Biggest and best way to transfer the ownership is by listening

Quality of listening enhances quality of thinking

As we moved forward in the session, it became more and more interactive by getting involved in some exercises like we needed to think about a project decision good or bad and analyze like when you listen, you investigate things:

  • Listening for opportunities
  • Noticing Energy
  • Leading with Questions
  • Starting Slow

If a person comes up with a conversation given below:

“I have so many conflicting priorities. I don’t know how to manage anymore. You’re good at this . What do you suggest? It’s crazy, I have to do something to reduce my heartburn.

At this moment there can be many questions that would arise but are we really listening??? There is a huge difference in Listening FOR and Listening TO. With right questions in place, we do get the right answers.

How can I Ask the Right Question??? When we Analyze Listening, we hear this palate of colors:

 listening to lead

At the end of session, we had ourselves thinking “If we get a little better at listening, what difference we could make to the people we interact” As Nancy Kline puts in “Quality of your attention determines the quality of other people’s thinking”.

listening chart

In today’s digital age, we are on the lookout of new information or new techniques to work and solve many challenges at workplace, this session was eyeopener for me and many of us with a great message “ Whether you are a coach or mentor, a manager or leader, a colleague or peer, a partner or friend, the quality of your listening can truly help bring a new clarity of understanding that ordinary conversations will miss”.


Project Management – Skills for Life - The Football Foundation for Africa

An unforgettable experience during “Project Management – Skills for Life” in Nairobi

Joachim Dehais





Author: Karolina Letowska, PMP

The Project Management profession is changing; as a practice Project Management is evolving and as a specified role it will merge and grow with other roles with the diverse nature of responsibilities associated with it.

Project Management knowledge and skills are (and will remain to be) in demand, but they are slowly moving into the direction of general knowledge and skills for the next generation, a self-reliant and self-managed workforce. At the same time, Project Management as a profession will move more towards a people centric and leadership practice, where collaboration and co-creation will become the norm.

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The Football Foundation for Africa is leading the way to a world where Project Management knowledge and skills can be applied and taught regardless of social, economic or hierarchical status.

Born out of the Obama Cup, The Football Foundation for Africa (FFA) is an international social enterprise seeking to drive investments into the development of grassroots football in Africa. The ultimate goal is to create employment opportunities while at the same time enhancing the employability of young adults in Africa through football. The organization works with 3 key pillars: Education, Infrastructure and Governance.

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They are transforming the landscape through social good and educational foundation initiatives, where Project Management knowledge has been applied to support communities to help them overcome challenges rising from inequality or economical restraints by organizing a football tournament in Nairobi, Kenya. The tournament was preceded by a two day workshop where they were introduced to different project management principles and how to apply these techniques to help them succeed and reach their goals as volunteers.

As a football, adventure, volunteering and project management enthusiasts I couldn’t say NO to the Football Foundation for Africa when I was asked to lead the two day Project Management workshop in Nairobi by Brian Wesaala (Founder and CEO of FFA). The “Project Management – Skills for Life” workshop was facilitated by Ms. Janet Mbula from PMI Kenya and myself (representing PMI Switzerland). The initiative was positively received by participants as a welcome initiative by the organizers.

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Furthermore, workshops such as these are seen as a way of injecting further professionalism into the football industry from a grassroots level. The 19 participants were chosen from the tournament’s community of stakeholders including the organizing committee, participating teams, partners and sponsors. The workshop was opened by PMI Kenya president, Mr. Clement Kitetu, who was keen to collaborate further and create more strategic engagements between sport and the project management practice. This is a sure way of promoting growth in the industry and ultimately creating opportunities for young adults in Africa.

The FFA is exploring collaboration with other Project Management associations and non-government organizations / associations to adapt and change the project management profession to keep the Project Management relevant.

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To find out more about Football Foundation for Africa you can visit the page:

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A journey into innovation: how to navigate through the R&D environment

Joachim Dehais





Author: Joachim Dehais, PMP

Space dust into precious metal: managing research and development for the big and small

Thursday night’s PMI event was an exercise in perspective. One of those event where the macro meets the micro at the horizon.

Our two speakers, former colleagues and longtime friends, prepared and delivered a joint presentation on what Research and Development can look like in a nascent star (DBS System, medical devices, Lausanne), and a dwarfing red giant (Nestlé).

With such different constraints, one needs no telescope to see that making your own space requires a different set of skills, processes, and people than maintaining internal fusion in a massive reactor. But just how does that happen in practice?

To channel the need for innovation, our two speakers showed the way in which time-tested management wisdom had its place, but how continuous adaptation and agility shaped their lives. In doing so, they could draw a parallel across scales and fill the vacuum that separates their position with precious insight.

This insight triggered robust discussion late into the evening between new and regular attendees alike, making me look forward to the coming programme of events.

Newsletter Editorial September 2019

Adi Muslic 100x100

Author: Adi Muslic, PMP

The portal, launched this month, brings together various Swiss institutions offering digital transformation courses in 4 languages. Project management courses are on the list as well. How far have we come in transforming our profession?

September's PM Network features use of AI and Machine Learning in Project Management. We can read that we need good data to have good outputs, keep learning to make good use of new technologies and we do still do not want let machines decide alone for us. There are some obvious use cases such as resource, risk or capacity management. However we are still in the early days compared to HR digital sourcing. In a globalized world where everyone can apply to any posted position anywhere in the world one way of dealing with thousands of applications is the use of the digital tools to select certain number of candidates. Another is to use the digital tools to proactively find new talents. Next stage are resourcing platforms that will be proactively sending notifications to HR professionals with profiles that may interest them. But what about exceptions and special cases?

Digital tools depend on data quality and quantity and exceptions will never be accounted nor there will be enough of them  we could use for machine learning. These will still need human interaction and intervention. There will be time that our projects will be all planned and set proactively by the digital tools. Our role will be to audit them making sure that all elements have been taken into account. Human interaction will be even more important as well as managing exceptions and special cases. With the tools to take care of the activities that can be automated, we will have more time to be with those who will need our help and guidance and focus on the activities that will require our attention. Let’s make good use of these tools and move into the digital future.

Best regards,