Dear Members and Newsletter Subscribers,
In July edition you may have noticed a new section for extended Get to Know articles in our monthly newsletter, presenting an interview with Dr. Andrea Behrends, our first president in the PMI Switzerland Chapter.
I would like to take this chance to explain the idea behind this new initiative and ask for candidates who would like to be presented in this new section in the upcoming newsletters.
Most of you are aware of the Get to Know concept where we welcome our new members and new certificate holders and give them a chance to introduce themselves to the PMI Switzerland Chapter community.
Nevertheless, this is only a start for a long journey in the chapter and as time passes, valuable experiences are build up differently for each of us. With the extended version of the Get to Know, we would like to give the opportunity to our members to speak about their challenges in the Project Management profession, ideas about the evolution of the Project Management role over the coming years, their experiences in the PMI Switzerland Chapter and foresights for the further development of the PMI and Swiss Chapter.
The volunteers to participate in this section will be either interviewed face to face during the chapter events or remotely by telephone or e-mail depending on the availability and personal preferences.
Author: Daniel Rodellar, PMP
Like the previous years, summer period is a challenging period for the Newsletter team because PMI events are paused during summer, so it means less articles are available, and the team takes some days off, which decreases availability. We are missing content and resources, so it creates a very complicated situation to publish, on the usual first Monday of the month.
All the points I stated already last year in an article published in August 2017 newsletter are still valid!
We got the article published in the Linkedin page and got some likes and a comment. Laure Kaelin was sharing that during summer she likes to organize some cleaning routine: “Tidy desk + tidy mailbox = tidy mind”. Definitively, I cannot agree more!
In fact, for the Inbox, I try this method the whole year. My tools are labels / Categories and also filters. With these two I ensure that most on my incoming emails are correctly labeled, so I can prioritize on what I want to focus, and that for some of them, they do not even appear on my Inbox, I just see them if I go to their folder. Same kind of implementation on my Gmail and on the Outlook client, for my different email accounts.
Summer is a good period to read all these extra emails that are classified as not urgent, not critical, by my automatic filtering. And the good news is that I succeeded multiple times to get an inbox to zero. It does not mean there are no tasks to do or emails to respond, it means all the important ones were read and will be treated, and it means it is time to concentrate on the ones labeled IMPORTANT.
As we did last year, I will also publish this article on the PMI group to get some feedback, and see what your favorite summer activities are, and why not, how do you handle your emails to get a tidy mind!
Enjoy the summer!
Author: Carlos Martinez Arteaga, PMP
Dear Members and Newsletter subscribers,
Are you on vacations? They have already finished? They have not yet started? How important is it to take vacations?
Work is something that never ends, at least I have the feeling that no matter how organized I try to be, how much I delegate or how many extra hours I spend working, the list of task seems to grow instead of shrink!
My personal experience is that vacations are needed, they are good for mental and physical health! and in most cases we come back with the batteries charged and willing to actually go back to work.
Taking vacations is good for the worker and the employer, it is a win-win situation. I cannot remember where I read it, but it said that before and after vacations, workers are way more productive than during the rest of the year... before we go on vacations we try to leave as much as possible clarified and tied, so that things can be done whilst we are away, and then when we return there are again so many things that have been solved that again our productivity increases exponentially. Sounds familiar to you?
Vacations are there for something, it is not just a contractual term, taking time off from work for longer periods than a weekend has many possitive effects
1.-Employees will be less likely to burn out
2.-Employees are more productive
3.-Less employee turnaround
4.-More committed workers
5.-Increases company culture
6.-and a long long list of positive points.
To end, and talking from experience, vacations should be taken regularly, on the running year, that is what they are for, again, work will never end, trust me!
Now I leave you to it, enjoy the break and take some sun rays, they are also good for your health.
Author: Carlos Martinez Arteaga, PMP
Dear Members and Newsletter subscribers,
The 2018 Football World Cup is here once more. It has been 4 years since the last one, and this year all eyes are set on Russia.
So far the event has run perfectly. I have friends who have attended and all come back saying wonderful things about it. They all agree that it is extremely well organized. An event of these dimensions measures the capacity of a country's ability to create from nothing a show that will be viewed in every single corner of the world during one month. I think we can call this a project portfolio, right?
Every single project that is related to this year's Football World Cup is geared towards this single event. I am sure there have been hundreds of projects, if not thousands, which in most cases have been successfully accomplished - becasue like I said, it is extremely well organized and is running very smoothly.
Then there are other projects that we should not forget about. These are the teams' projects. It may seem that all teams would have the same objective, which is to win the competition, but this is not realistic. Not all have the same capabilities, although all have the same chance.
A project has to have objectives that are realistic, therefore the team should thoroughly think through what to aim for.
As I write this, I am aware that many of the projects have already ended. In some cases these have been successfull, but in many others not so. Some teams have had to stop before they wanted to, but...
I wish you all a good time watching this single event come to an end, and may the best and luckiest team win...
Also enjoy the summer vacations!
Author: Brandon Satre, PMP
On Thursday, 14 June, our chapter hosted an event on how project managers can help organizations become more agile. Timm Urschinger, CEO and co-founder of LIVEsciences AG presented on the topic at the Schützenhaus in Basel, which followed up with a very enjoyable networking apéro outside.
One thing that surprised me a bit, but perhaps not surprising to others, is that there is actually nothing new in such an approach to project management. This was Timm’s mantra throughout the presentation, so I thought it must be important enough to say here as well – Agile, it’s nothing new!
Some of the top challenges to adopting an agile method according to the 12th Annual State of Agile are organizational culture, general organizational resistance and inadequate management support. Hence, we have people like Timm driving the PM community to embrace agile concepts into their project management approach.
We saw first hand how well agility fits in an environment filled with uncertainty. For example, we had a couple of live poll questions via our smartphones, and one in which we were asked what we thought the biggest challenge would be to leading an organization in agile methods? After the answers started coming in, it was clear that most people just had no idea where to start. Then Timm announced that he would be adapting part of what he would talk about based on the top result. But suddenly the top result became “my leadership will never endorse agile.” And when the poll had ended (or so we thought), the top result switched yet again! Now either Timm planted people to purposely ensure a certain result would be at the top so that he could only make it seem like he would be adapting to the poll, or we were witnessing a truly agile phenomenon and an equally agile Timm.
In the end, we learned that the best way to get started with leading agile in an organization is to just start where you are. There is no magic formula. It helps to do some research on success stories, of course, such as Spotify’s agile “tribe” framework. Timm recommends having a north star to start with. Define the project purpose with your team and have a clear line of sight on your north star. Check out Patagonia’s success story in switching to sustainable cotton back in the 90’s. Consider assigning project roles with clearly defined responsibilities rather than limiting project responsibilities based on job title. Or why not draft up a project constitution so everyone is clear on expectations of each other? This can be tailored between specific individuals too. Finally…just try different approaches out (if you are in a position to do so). And don’t be afraid to fail.
“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” - Robert T. Kiyosaki