Chapter Communications Blog

Invitation to the Playing Strategy Planning workshop

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Author: Adi Muslic, PMP - VP Sponsors & Partners

I first met Pierre NEIS in April 2022, in Lausanne, where he presented 12 steps of transition to an Agile Organization. I was impressed how he made it look easy to transform an organization. 

Our collaboration continued and Pierre presented the 59 minutes Agile (simulation game) at the PM Conference in September, in Zurich.

It was a simulation game or serious game that was developed twenty years ago to explain how Scrum works. During the 90 minutes long workshop, participants divided into several groups,  played a project and developed a product. The product was nothing less than a Travel to Mars tourist offering. I witnessed idea generation, several iterations of product development, and at the end the results were breathtaking. 

Many participants specifically mentioned this game as one of the conference highlights.

Pierre uses this game in all his projects as a kick-off to first experiment with the new way of working before engaging. You can too.

Initially I wanted Pierre to present this game in our event in March. But he convinced me that we will have much more fun with “Playing Strategy Planning”. 

As Pierre explained, the project planning part is always complicated and painful: it takes time. In order to make everyone happy, you have many one-on-one meetings to be sure that nothing has been left.

In short, it is a long run.

Now, imagine you can do this in less than two hours, and have fun. Imagine that everyone has time to raise their voice, be heard, and be aligned on what to do.

That's how we do in agile: sooner, smarter, faster.

About Pierre: 

Fifteen years ago, coming from Lean Thinking and Portfolio Management, he jumped into the agile world with his entire body.

He went through more than 200 agile projects and contributed to several communities. Ten years ago, as a member of the PMI, he contributed to creating the PMI ACP Certification, which left considerable space for improvement. Five years ago, he was asked by Mike Beedle to join his project on Enterprise Scrum. Unfortunately, Mike passed away, and Pierre used his org development and behavioral analysis research to write his first book in 2020, "The New Normal: AO concepts and patterns of 21-st century agile organizations," and "Swarming X4" in 2021. Pierre is a certified agile master coach with several agile certifications levels, still interacting with many initiatives on the evolution of work.

Pierre does not distinguish between development and an executive committee of a global organization. In 2014, he created Play14 with two colleagues, a global initiative on facilitation and serious games. Even though he is a full-time consultant, he is still involved in Disciplined Agile with the PMI, with Open Eyes on the evolution of leadership, and with the ICF on agile coaching. He is an alumni of Boston Consulting Group and MIT.

My personal observation is that Pierre is very easy to talk to and happy to share his knowledge while having fun.

If you are ready to get onboard of another exciting agile game, do not wait, register now:

The number of places is limited!

Looking forward to seeing you and playing the game with you.


Effective Communication, the Key to Successful Project Management


Author: Damien Gauthier

As project managers, we all know that effective communication is crucial to the success of any

project. But what exactly does that mean? And how can we improve our communication skills to

ensure our projects are successful? In this article, I’ll be giving you my top 9 advices on what to

work on to improve your skill in public speaking and present a training I’ll be offering to PMI

members in April.

My top advices to gain an unfair advantage in communication

According to Tim Stobierski from Harvard, communication and presentation skills are the top

skills to acquire in the 2020s. Effective communication rallies your team around a shared vision,

empowers employees, builds trust, and seeds successful projects.

But let's be honest: public speaking can be challenging. In fact, studies show that 90% of people

experience some level of anxiety when it comes to public speaking. And while there are plenty

of tips and tricks out there, such as "don't point your finger" or "don't say 'um,'" the truth is that

these tips won't help you if you don't have a strong foundation in the fundamentals of speaking.

My top advices are:

1. Perform a warm-up each day you'll speak in public: it's essential to take a few minutes to

warm up your voice and get your body and mind ready to talk. This could be as simple as doing

deep breaths, stretches, or vocal exercises.

2. Actively seek speaking opportunities: Even if you're scared, it's important to push yourself

out of your comfort zone and seek out opportunities to speak in public. The more you do it, the

easier it will become and the more confident you'll become in your ability to engage and

persuade your audience.

3. Work on your slides: One key to effective presentations is to have clear, concise slides that

support your message. Aim for only one key message per slide and ensure it's clear and

relevant to your audience.

4. Structure your arguments: When presenting an opinion or idea, it's important to

make it mutually exclusive (no overlap with other ideas) and collectively exhaustive (covering all

aspects of the topic). This helps to ensure that you're presenting a well-rounded and thorough


5. Tell stories: People love stories, and incorporating them into your presentations can be a

powerful way to engage your audience and make your message more memorable. Start with

examples or use cases and then present data (such as graphs or tables) with a narrative to help

illustrate your points.

6. Vary your delivery: Don't be afraid to mix things up and try different approaches to your

storytelling and presentation style. This could include using different tones of voice, varying your

pace, and incorporating visual aids or multimedia.

7. Use body language to your advantage: Your body language can say just as much as your

words, so make sure you're using it to your advantage. Practice good posture, make eye

contact, and use hand gestures and facial expressions to reinforce your message.

8. Engage your audience: Don't just lecture or present to your audience; engage them in the

conversation. This could mean asking for their input, posing questions, or involving them in

activities or demonstrations.

9. Get feedback: After each presentation or storytelling session, seek out inputs from others to

see what worked well and what could be improved. This will help you continue to grow and

develop your skills.


Damien Gauthier, actor, director, and TEDx speaker coach

Invitation to the Master Project's Communication - 2 days workshop

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Author: Adi Muslic, PMP - VP Sponsors & Partners

To understand what drives project value delivery and success, PMI analyzed data from nearly 3,500 project professionals who responded to the Annual PMI Global Survey on Project Management. PMI has published the results of the research in the Pulse of the Profession® 2023 report.

Power skills (also known as interpersonal skills or soft skills) such as communication, problem-solving and collaborative leadership, are essential for project professionals. They are the key to leading the teams, actively engaging stakeholders and delivering projects successfully.

The number 1 power skill is communication as being effective in explanation, writing, and public speaking.

At PMI Switzerland, we recognized the importance of excellent communication skills. We started our collaboration with Damien in 2022 when he delivered the Impactful Speaking workshop to our volunteers. We all were very impressed by how quickly we could change some behaviors that were preventing us from speaking with impact and clarity while being relaxed.

Listen to Thando Dube’s post-training feedback:

Following this first experience, Damien designed a special training targeting specifically project professionals. This training goes beyond the typical tips and tricks and instead focuses on the fundamentals of speaking, including enunciating with presence, structuring a clear argument, and being relaxed and aware.

You will receive 

  • professional-level warm-up exercises to start on top, 
  • actionable frameworks and templates to bring your presentation structures to the next level, 
  • exclusive techniques for a powerful delivery. 

In addition, you’ll get immersive, hands-on training with personal coaching to anchor your knowledge and practice.

Outcomes include:

  • eliminating anxiety and stage fright, 
  • boosting your presence and charisma, 
  • building convincing arguments to win over your audience.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your speaking skills to the next level.

Click here to see more details:

We have chosen Lausanne, Damien’s home city, to launch this offer in English. The training could be also delivered in French. Should you be interested in having this training in French or in another location, please let us know through the feedback form

Looking forward to seeing you in our next training.


Editorial PMI Switzerland Newsletter January 2023

Shalini Krishnan

Author: Shalini Krishnan, PMP


Dear Members and Subscribers,

2023 is shaping up to be a busy and exciting year with the first two weeks already flying by - whether that's due to a whirlwind trip around the world for family weddings, recovering from that fabulous New Year’s party, or diving headfirst into 2023 goals and new tasks.

However your new year has started, what is guaranteed are several exciting opportunities for your project management development; from exciting events to courses you can take, to ways you can volunteer your time within our community.

Read on below for some of the upcoming opportunities, and before that, I'd like to wish you a successful, healthy and happy start to the new year!

As success coach Michael Altshuler puts it "The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot."

Bye, bye Project Manager - Is Agile Disrupting Project Management?


Authors: Stephan Adler, SPC & Christoph Wolf, PMP


Bye, bye Project Manager - Is Agile Disrupting Project Management?

What happens if the world is changing faster than your project plans, if by then time a product is released, the market has made a 180-degree turn? Make the projects shorter, more releases? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
So we embrace a digital transformation, implement Agile and self-organising teams, fire everyone with the role “Something-manager” and live happily ever after? Well, it turns out it is not quite that simple either.


The reality of many organisations, products and markets is very complex with a multitude of constraints and dependencies. Our experience shows that larger scale developments require a significant amount of coordination, change management, decision making, and other competencies that a project manager usually has - regardless of what type of development approach is. 


Focusing on the people behind the role “project manager”, here are a few insights from our experience.

  • All industries are facing a digital transformation - some earlier and faster (e.g. retail), some later and slower (e.g. construction). With that we mean a shift towards the digitalisation of processes and tools (e.g. online forms and self-service), the shift towards (partly) digital products (e.g. computer guided farming equipment) and lastly a shift in the business models (e.g. monthly subscription to digital books).
    These digital products usually have a much higher pace and complexity, compared to the original product.
    Companies facing such a digital transformation in their industry must be able to continuously develop or deploy products at the pace of the market or face a loss of market share. 
  • Whether you want to adopt an “agile” approach and any of the many frameworks that carry that label is secondary - the key elements that have to be in place to sustain in the evolving market are
    • Functioning fast feedback loops to understand the evolving needs of the customer
    • A high cadence to release products of the appropriate quality that can handle changing priorities
    • A motivated, qualified and empowered workforce to attract the required talent.
  • Usually this leads to a shift from thinking about projects to a focus on continuous product development with decentralised decision making. Smaller projects usually have too much overhead and not enough decentralised decision making and continuity to deliver the same results.


So, what does that mean for project managers?

  • Products of some complexity still require a lot of coordination between modules, hardware and software, vendors, support, … This work is now mostly done as part of a product team, technically inclined project managers usually find their skills in high demand as a member of such a team.
  • Project managers that have a strong focus on the content can move into a product role, focussing only on what is to be developed, not the delivery itself. This role requires a lot of decision-making competencies and the ability to take responsibility.
  • Frameworks such as the Scaled Agile Framework are designed to deliver large scale software with many teams working together. Various roles, such as the Release Train Engineer, focus on the coordination of the setup, rather than the product development.


So, nothing changes, just new roles? No - working in an agile product organisation requires lateral leadership, real delegation of decision making and lateral leadership. This is a major shift compared to the often very centralised power and responsibility in a classic project.

In our talk at the Annual Members Meeting of PMI Switzerland Chapter on 2nd February 2023 we will elaborate on these points and share examples, good practices and pitfalls to avoid.