Author: Adi Muslic, PMP
The educationdigital.ch 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.
Author: Ka Yi Hui, PMP
On Saturday 27th April 2019, despite the wind and rain, more than 20 PhD students and post-docs from the Life Science Zurich Young Scientist Network(LSZYSN) participated in a 5-hour project management workshop organized by the PMI-Switzerland chapter social good team (Agata Czopek, Ph.D., PMP; Ana Zelaia, MBA, PMP, Ka Yi Hui, Ph.D., PMP and Veronika Galic) at ETH, Zurich.
Life Science Zurich Young Scientist Network(LSZYSN) is a non-profit organization created and run by a group of graduate students & post-docs of the University and the ETH Zurich. They aim to contribute to the local and global life science community by bridging the gap between academic research and industry. They host events like Zurich Life Science Day, Career chats, Company visits, and Life Science Week to allow young scientists to learn more about the biotechnology and pharma industry.
Managing their scientific research projects and the events at LSZYSN, they face numerous challenges in project management, such as leading the team, holding productive meetings, and giving feedback. Our workshop aims to equip the students with the essential tools and techniques for making their projects successful.
We first explained some key concepts in project management and then we focus in-depth on leadership and communication.
After we discussed the theory, the students had the chance to practice what they learned by doing some hand on exercises. One of the most striking activities is "Find the ball", where the students need to find a hidden ball according to different feedback styles, for example, the silence feedback, the only positive, the only negative and specific feedback. The feedback givers got to experience the effect they have upon the receiver. The take-home message was clear: only the student receiving specific feedback was successful in finding the hidden ball. This powerful illustration also showed the students, how feedback could affect performance and to never be shy to ask questions when they are at the receiving end.
Moving on, we have covered more on team dynamics, including personality, cultural influences and conflict resolutions. Finally, the students put into practice what they have learned by competing in the tower game (freely available on PMIEF website, pmief.org). We are always amazed by the creativity of students with simple materials like plastic cups, bamboo sticks. To conclude the day, we reflected on their ah-ha moments and things they would start implementing in their projects.
we have upgraded the Newsletter platform and would like to renew the subscribers list.
Would you like to continue receiving the Newsletter on your Inbox, please subscribe here:
The newsletter team.
PMI Switzerland Elections Committee Announcement.
Dear PMI Switzerland Chapter Members,
It's that time again in the year when we start preparing for our upcoming Chapter Elections. Are you an enthusiastic and engaged Chapter member wanting to take your PMI experience to the next level by leaping into a role as a volunteer within the Chapter Board? Or in the Auditor's Committee? Or also in the Election Committee?
If you are ready to take up an exciting new role, please speak to one of our Board Members to indicate your interest as you can already submit your candidature.
The deadline for submission is the 19th of October 2019, therefore be quick to present your candidature as there are several steps required before making it official.
Sascha and Carlos
Attracted by the prominent topic, we listened attentively to our speaker Dina Blanco-Ioannou - and received a truly passionate, dynamic and inspiring talk loaded with highly interesting and valuable insight. The interactive presentation was blended with exercises, in which we were invited to experiment and experience at various points.
Dina took us through the subject out of her own intense experience, having used burnout as an opportunity to re-evaluate, re-vision and re-ignite her life through ‘Lessons-in-Self’ her Education for Life programmes, which includes ‘Burnout to Brilliance’.
Dina started by providing information on burnout for context, then shortly outlined key concepts with a new theory of well-being from Positive Psychology which supported and linked to the last part focusing on practical applications: interactively sharing five strategies with tools that Dina implemented and is still using in her life.
Burnout, with various definitions presented, can be seen essentially as a state of exhaustion and can be heard as ‘that voice finally telling us what we are doing or being is no longer serving us – whether this is within our professional or personal life. It’s telling us to stop, to rethink and find a new way forward’. Nearly everyone can be affected, with those likely to be most prone to burnout who are driven to evolve, perform and achieve the most - and might expect and see it coming least.
It happens for a reason, with this reason lying (and hiding) within ourselves, and not seldomly it is about our beliefs, self-esteem and self-worth - with work as a coping strategy, an escape from our self. It does not happen overnight but develops over time, as illustrated by the 12 stages of burnout after H.J. Freudenberg (with the stages not necessarily happening sequentially and to the same extent, depending on the person):
Stage 1 - A compulsion to prove oneself (to others and oneself, doing whatever is needed to be acknowledged).
Stage 2 - Working harder (having high expectations of oneself, taking on more than one can do).
Stage 3 - Neglecting one’s needs (work comes first, own needs come second or are ‘non-existent’).
Stage 4 - Displacement of conflicts (something not right, but not listening to it, ignoring the signs).
Stage 5 - Revision of values (dismissing important things, self-worth determined by work only).
Stage 6 - Denial of emerging problems (viewing others as incapable, becoming intolerant, losing one’s temper easily, becoming quite cynical).
Stage 7 - Withdrawal (reducing social contact, personal relationships becoming a strain; escapism).
Stage 8 - Obvious behavioural changes (others noticing the change in one’s person, no longer being the person one once was).
Stage 9 - Depersonalization (losing contact with oneself, valuing oneself less and less).
Stage 10 - Inner emptiness (seeking other ways of filling the void that one feels, or rather ways to ignore the signs that one needs to stop and listen).
Stage 11 - Depression (becoming overwhelmed; becoming indifferent, hopeless and exhausted, not daring to think about the future; life loses meaning).
Stage 12 - Burnout syndrome (‘Almost all burnout victims now have suicidal thoughts to escape their situation. A few actually carry them out. Ultimately, they suffer total mental and physical collapse. Patients in this phase need immediate medical attention.’).
To counteract and prevent burnout in daily life, Dina presented the following strategies and tools as bringing numerous benefits and positive effects:
At the beginning, Dina had highlighted burnout as being an opportunity. In the end, she also said that we do not need to burn out before doing small changes. For projects, it is recommended best practice to consider existing lessons learned. How about our own lives?
Video of the session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYf2cA8cBEk&feature=youtu.be