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Design Thinking toolbox for Project Managers

Design Thinking toolbox for Project Managers

Author: Johana ten Hove, PMP

Johana ten Hove 100x100

Enhancing your Project Management skills by boosting ideation and collaboration

Do you feel like you're juggling competing expectations, priorities, and people?

Join the interactive session to learn and experiment in Design Thinking, and which simple tools can support you with delivering a project where your stakeholders feel engaged from start to end. The session is designed to teach you about the principles of human-centric problem finding and iterative solution creation. Sign up and walk away with concrete tips and tricks to bring back to your project work (both online and on-site)!

This will be the agenda for the day:

  • Introduction to Design Thinking principles
  • The 4 Key questions: Why, When, What, and How to use Design Thinking while managing and delivering your projects
  • Design Thinking in action: Let’s get practical and use some methods to experience and understand the benefits of Design Thinking
  • Experience Sharing and Key take aways
  • Apéro and networking time

Are you wondering if the topic is for you? 

Here are some additional insights that might help:

Design thinking methods originated from observing the way designers go about understanding their client's needs and creating products they truly love. As project managers, we deliver solutions and innovation to our clients or stakeholders hoping they value the results as much as the project team who designed them.

How do we make sure we understand needs and create something truly valuable?

There are many design thinking principles, methods and tools that can enhance your project delivery - be it classic or agile. Here are a few of the topics which will be covered by your speakers and facilitators both from theory and practice perspectives:

🡪 Breaking the ice and connecting

  • Facilitating open conversations about project objectives, scope and outcomes
  • Amplifying voices and sharing ideas in a safe space
  • Diffusing tension or disagreements

🡪 Improving Transparency and Alignment:

  • Reaching alignment and prioritization across stakeholders
  • Democratic and simple decision making
  • Running great project meetings and retrospectives

🡪 Problem finding and target framing:

  • Observing beyond the obvious
  • Identifying and agreeing on the right problems and objectives
  • Understanding the needs and goals of clients and stakeholders

🡪 Ideation and iterative solution generation:

  • Creative thinking and prototyping
  • User testing
  • Evaluation and improvements

The team of certified facilitators is looking forward to taking you on a Design Thinking journey around human-centered methods and, after the event, there will be an apéro and the opportunity to network with other Design Thinkers to share your perspectives. 

Join us on May 17th!

Retrospective to event - How to Tailor Your Project Based on PMBOK7

Author: Eric Jelenje, PMP

Eric Jelenje

In the March 2022 newsletter, we read how the launch of the PMBOK7 has heralded a revised approach to project management as a discipline, particularly in emphasizing the indispensability of “Tailoring” to projects and directing practitioners towards value delivery as the ultimate yardstick of project success.

These issues were at the heart of the conversation during the Chapter’s recent live event, “How to Tailor Your Project Based on PMBOK7 (An Opening to Hybridization)” held on April 7th, 2022 at the Hotel Montbrillant in Geneva.

Setting the backdrop for the discussions with his keynote presentation, hybridization expert Stéphane Derouin introduced PMBOK7’s “new vision”, a perspective driven by the view that projects, programmes and portfolios are part of an organisation’s ecosystem and their importance goes beyond the deliverables they initially create.

Referencing the shift in content to the Project Management Principles and Project Performance Domains, Stéphane directed the audience to the night’s primary theme of Tailoring. 

The presentation extended to defining and justifying tailoring, outlining the tailoring process, and the Waterfall, Agile and Hybrid approaches as the primary Tailoring options.

Using examples from past consulting assignments, Stéphane demonstrated how organisations use decision matrices to make tailoring choices; this helps bring clarity to an otherwise deep and quite complex process. 

The key takeaways of the night?

In a world filled with uncertainty, ambiguity, complexity, volatility and risk, Tailoring can provide the flexibility and agility organisations need to consistently deliver value through projects. 

Tailoring requires competent project leaders adept at both agile and waterfall methodologies, thus requiring priority within organizational learning and development planning. 

Concluding the discussions with a Q+A session, participants were then treated to a networking apéro. This was the perfect conclusion to what was a wonderful evening of food, drinks and memorable conversations.

If you are interested in any of PMI Switzerland Chapter events, please access the events listing page on the Chapter website and register for the event of your choice.

Retrospective to event - Data Driven Decision-making: Potential and Risks for Project Managers

Author: Lourenço Nunes, PMP

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In my experience, one of the most critical responsibilities of project managers is to facilitate decision-making. To avoid bias, good decision-making should remain as fact-based as possible, aiming to bring the right data, at the right moment and to the right people.

Needless to say that the increasing volume of data across the years has made the work of PMs more challenging. The development of data science, on the other hand, is bringing the project management community new means, as we saw in Rodolfe Dewarrat’s presentation, to apprehend this challenge.

Rodolphe Dewarrat is a mathematician, an expert in data science and owner of his own company During the online event organized by PMI Switzerland on 12th April 2022, he introduced the audience to the potential and limitations of data science applied to project management.

In fact, data science becomes critical in projects where the analysis of large and complex sets of data is a key success factor (think about airplane design, healthcare, online business, etc...).

As true as we want to focus decision-making on facts and data, the idea that impacted me the most during Rodolphe’s presentation, is that all our “rituals” around data analysis (tools, protocols, reports, presentations) could actually bring a fake sense of objectivity, leading deciders in the wrong direction.

Quality of data, data literacy within the organization or data contextualization are among the root causes to this loss of objectivity. In the corporate world in particular, processes, tools, as well as roles & responsibilities in collecting data influences its quality, and as a consequence, the quality of decisions.

A key take-away for project managers could be that when data science becomes critical in a project, the project manager’s awareness on data science turns equally important, to allow her or him to put the right effort and resources in managing data for the project, and hopefully avoid a loss of objectivity.

Rodolfe shared loads of situations he experienced in the field as a consultant, giving the attendees great insight into the daily life and struggles of data scientists in all kinds of organizations. And most importantly, it showed all the future or current PMP holders in the audience, including myself, the importance for PMs to get educated in the field of data science, to become data driven project managers and increase their chances of success.

Lourenço Nunes

Retrospective to event - Leading a Dynamic People-centered Transformation

Author: Leandro Benda, PMP

Leandro Benda

“Transformation” refers to an organization achieving a sustainable quantum-leap improvement in performance while transforming the mindsets of employees and thus the culture of the organization”  - Tahirou Assane, MASc, P. Eng., PMP

On Thursday, March 31, 2022 took place our virtual event “Leading a dynamic people-centered transformation” on the "Zoom" platform presented, with great talent, by our VP Sponsors & Partners, Adi Muslic and by our guest Tahirou Assane, MASc, P.Eng., PMP. The event gathered 35 project managers from different sectors such as banking, food processing, IT consulting and more.

Tahirou is the Director Brightline Initiative at PMI and has over 20 years of experience in leadership roles, civil engineering, strategy, transformation, and project management. 

As Director of Brightline at PMI, Tahirou oversees the activities under the three benefit pillars of thought and practice leadership, networking, and capability building.  Tahirou led the development of the Organizational Transformation Series and championed Brightline’s Strategy@Work event.

For having an idea as to how strategic the topic of transformation is, a Wall Street Journal survey found that transformation risk was the #1 concern in 2019 and that 70% of the transformations fail representing a waste of approximately $900 billion on digital transformation efforts. In the meantime, Covid has accelerated transformation generally in organizations.

One of the biggest challenges is to manage the resistance of people to change. Having a flat, adaptable, and cross-functional organizational structure that enables change, communication for having people on-board, empowerment and people engagement are some answers to it.

Positive and relevant roles are also important such as the transformation leader, other tough leaders from across the organization, next generation of leaders, etc., to drive transformation.

Having a clear vision shared with the organization and understanding deeply the customers are key for increasing the chances of success.

Last but not least, here is the tool kit for transformations:

  1. Foundation for understanding how organization’s transform properly
  2. Implementation for doing and getting the return
  3. Orchestration for leading transformation

You will find more information under this link

After the presentation, according to our poll, people felt mainly excited, convinced and challenged about transformation, so the participants gained some confidence with this presentation. Congratulations to Stefanie Walt for winning our quiz game.

In conclusion, we can say that transformation is exciting but it’s hard work and some key ingredients to succeed are empathy, passion, courage, and leadership.

Thank you for participating and don’t hesitate to take a look at our events via the link below: 

Kind regards,

Leandro Benda

10th annual WFUNA Human Rights Youth Program

Author: Enrico Bornisacci, PMP

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After a one year break due to pandemic issues, the PMI Switzerland Chapter for Social Good team supported for the second time the World Federation of Associations and took part in WFUNA’s 10th Human Rights Youth Program.

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations (UNAs) and their thousands of constituents.

WFUNA works to strengthen and improve the United Nations, through the engagement of people who share a global mindset and support international cooperation.

During 4 online sessions held between September and October 2021, our instructors (Benoîte Grisouard, Enrico Bornisacci, Johann Boucavel and Ka Yi Hui) coached students from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, introducing project management fundamentals aimed to implement a small-scale project in their country or communities.

Each participant submitted a project proposal, and the Social Good team assisted them in transforming their ideas in real life projects and in preparing the documentations required by WFUNA. Themes discussed ranged from human rights, education, hate speech, LGBTQ+ communities and refugees.


Together with theoretical explanations on Project Management methodology, PMIEF offered practical exercises especially tailored to the specific needs of the class.

The Social Good team offered support in analyzing and translating each single project into official proposal, which includes project goals, analysis, methodology and activities, to be implemented under the supervision of WFUNA.

The ideas proposed by students were great and their enthusiasm and vision for a better future for humankind inspiring. In such situations, volunteering can give back much more than expected.


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