PMI Leadership Institute Meeting - European Region
Author: Nikola Goran, PMP
Prague, Czechia! Rings a bell?
Charles The Great? - Uhhmmm… Dvoržak, polka? - Maybe… Beer? - Of course! Beer, what else!
Project management? - WTF?!?
Well, That Fits, too! During the last 4 days of October, Prague was the capital of European project management. More precisely, Prague was the host of the PMI’s Leadership Institute Meeting for the European region. Representatives from nearly all European chapters - from the UK on the west to Kazakhstan on the east, from Finland on the north to Spain on the south - gathered in Prague to exchange experiences and know-how in Chapter leadership, volunteering, event organization, and making social impact… Project management professionals from various walks of life, areas of engagement and levels of management joined in discussing common challenges we all have as professionals, citizens, consumers, members, volunteers… From chapters struggling with establishing and maintaining basic practices and processes to the highly performant with many volunteers contributing to activities at all levels, we could hear the true stories from the true people, engage with them, learn from them, advise or otherwise help them.
Some of the topics that attracted my attention were:
- Citizen development - many platforms that offer LC/NC allow efficient performance of simple tasks. This approach lends itself to small organizations or those that are starting their mission. Without the need of strong IT experience, some simple recurring tasks can be automated thus saving time and effort for essential challenges. And if you have IT/development experience, you will be able to resolve more complex issues, too.
- Inclusion & Diversity - most of the West European chapters have a high ratio of expats among their members. That is also reflected in the chapter leadership structures as well as in their presence in Prague. The Swiss chapter is no exception to this common fact.
- Volunteer engagement - Different chapters have different approaches to this hot topic and it was quite insightful to hear what other organizations do to attract and keep members and volunteers. Still, one thing emerged as common to all successful chapters - youth. It is no secret that we have more energy in the beginning of our (professional) life and exchange it for the experience and knowledge as we go. Besides attracting experienced PMs, strong chapters look at the academic institutions where they search for motivated students who carry on many important challenges in chapter activities. Very important insight and suggestion for our chapter, too!
- Public presence - chapter events are its primary interface with the public. It is an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences, to network with other professionals, to present the chapter to the big public and to connect with and install itself into the environment. The strength of a chapter is reflected in the variety of its events.
These and many other topics kept us all busy for a couple of days in the Prague Congress Centre - so I’ll need to go to Prague one more time to enjoy the city! But I’ve talked too much - time for a beer!