Chapter Communications Blog

PMI Leadership Institute Meeting - European Region

Nikola Goran Cutura 100

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!

IPM Day Zurich - Retrospective

Saahiti Prayaga

Author: Saahiti Prayaga


As the newly cold air welcomes the grace of winter time, another long-awaited IPM event arrives! On November 3rd, thirty-two participants of different backgrounds spilled into the brightly lit halls of the Credit Suisse towers, eager to learn the secrets that run the office life from within, as summarized by the event's promising title: "Agile is simple - It just isn't easy". 

The event opened with a surprising speech by Sangamitra Prayaga, who is part of the Switzerland chapter Zurich events team and working as Scrum Master at Credit Suisse in Payments domain. She announced that not only one, but two high-profile speakers would take the stage that night: Stephanie Hoogenbergen, a Managing Director of Credit Suisse and COO of Global Technology Operations, and Hans Martin Graf, Managing director of Credit Suisse and head of Corporate Products and Operations IT. They would be answering questions from the audience together in a fireside chat, which made this event unprecedented and exciting. 

Stephanie first walked us through the transformative journey that Credit Suisse underwent, which accelerated the implementation of agile across the organization. This included making agile principles, which are usually accredited to the IT sector, work on every level: Enterprise, Organizational, and Team. Concretely, this means moving from program organization to product organization, by having IT and Business work together on challenging issues. It requires bringing work to the people - instead of bringing the people to work, dissolving roles that were previously there, and going from being told what to do to being empowered. Restructuring the chain of management to adapt to these principles was the leap that Credit Suisse dared to take, which wasn't easy ( ;) ), but resulted in pioneering success. 

With colorful metaphors, Stephanie then explained the Agile Manifesto to us: It is often misunderstood that agility equals speed, but agility was created to give you a steering wheel, not a gas pedal. Its core values are about swiftly steering to adjust to the clients' needs, and to not be afraid of embarking on unknown paths.    

After Stephanie's speech, a fireside discussion with Hans Martin Graf opened, who is a passionate leader in the Agile- and People-skills domain, and contributed to changing the mindset of people towards agile - a unique opportunity for an audience to pose challenging questions to two high-ranking executives of a company. Kudos to the PMI Switzerland team for managing to put this together! 

The discussion was moderated by the charismatic Patrick Taylor, and it wasn't long before the audience got in on the fun. It was refreshing to see that the PMI Switzerland team created an atmosphere where people were not afraid to ask hard questions. The speakers were peppered with valid questions about the possible limitations of an agile approach, which they both answered honestly and frankly. Past failures were positively reframed as an opportunity to learn, and yet another agile principle was put in the spotlight: 

The fact that impediments aren’t in your way, they are your way. As Stephanie put it, “if you can move the stones on your road, you can be faster!”

As Hans Martin and Stephanie spoke with calm and eloquent encouragement, one could notice that they were practicing what they preached: They had the mentality of humble leaders, someone who knows that knowing it all isn't what matters, but rather the readiness to constantly learn and evolve. This is exactly the difference between doing agile - which can easily be learned through training - and being agile, which is a lifelong practice, since it requires constant reminders to be aligned on a vision and strategy, and to not fall into your old ways of acting. 

The discussion was wrapped up with some advice to current and future Project Managers:  

"Make sure your business is sustainable, help us broaden the movement, become an interested party, and try to adapt your own thinking and own way instead of just taking historical principles per se”.

All in all, the agile program can be summarized with the following sentiment: Skip the search for the guilty, the punishment of the innocent, and the praise and honors for the non-participants. 

Finally, the audience was invited to get to know each other over an Apéro - a perfect networking opportunity accompanied by delicious food and pleasant ambience.

On a personal note, when I first took my seat in the front row and watched the room fill up with project managers and high ranking executives, I couldn't help but wonder if I, being a simple Computer Science student, was a bit out of place. Little did I know that merely 12 hours later, I would be recounting all the facts I learned at a job interview the next day! I find that a nice testimony to how agile principles can be found anywhere.

Furthermore, as a first-time volunteer at the event, I was impressed by how welcoming and reassuring the PMI Switzerland team was towards new members. I was taken seriously and encouraged to join, experiment, and most importantly, fail! So if anyone is still on the fence about volunteering for PMI, I can highly recommend trying it out, as it is an incredibly supportive platform to expand your comfort zone :)

Looking back, I can attest that the evening was full of pleasant surprises and inspiring people. What a truly exciting way to celebrate International Project Management Day!

P.S: For anyone who would like more information about how Agile and Data Science could go hand in hand, this article by Malou Ockenfels could be an interesting read:

For further inquiries, I can be contacted on Linkedin

Editorial PMI Switzerland Newsletter December 2022

Author: Philip Springuel, PMP 

Philip Springuel NEW 100x100 

Dear friends, colleagues, volunteers and devoted Swiss Chapter newsletter readers,

For this 2022 year-end newsletter, we’re delighted with Chapter president Stefan Vesenmeier’s Message from the Board, which highlights his key takeaways from the PMI Leadership Meeting in Prague this past October, including his impressions confirming the Swiss Chapter’s leadership among its peers in Europe.

In this December’s newsletter, also find many reasons for attending the upcoming event featuring Chris Croft, when interactive sessions will help you improve team efficiency and management. To celebrate our strong 2022 events line-up throughout this year, we invite you to participate in developing another impactful year, with a survey that will support events planning for 2023.

Our December newsletter invites you to get to know two new members this month. Among the many benefits of membership and volunteering at PMI Switzerland, our newsletter also reminds you to cast your votes in our Chapter Elections.

Stay connected with your PMI Switzerland Chapter news, when upcoming newsletter articles promise to bring you more insights about our leadership among 35 PMI Chapters worldwide. As always, be sure to follow our social media channels to stay ahead in your career by attending our events and, why not? Join the fun as a volunteer!

With best regards,

Philip SPRINGUEL, PMI Switzerland Newsletter Copy Editor

2022 Events Recap Survey

Author: Pia Henzelmann, 

PMI Switzerland VP Events

Pia Henzelmann

Dear PMI CH Member, 

Soon we approach the end of the year 2022 where the new generation of events post pandemic have emerged. With the community getting used to having in-person events again and reconnecting with peers, the PMI Switzerland Events team have created innovative approaches to engage the PM community. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for attending and supporting our events - we are closing this year with over 60 events!

We would like to know what are your thoughts on our 2022 events and appreciate any feedback you can share to shape our future events and programs. Please note that all feedback is anonymous. 

Click here to fill in the 2022 Events Recap Survey form.

In addition, I would like to invite you all to our last event of the year with a special speaker, Chris Croft, on a interactive online workshop on Efficiency and Remote Team Management on Dec 12, 2022. Register here while slots are available.

Don’t also miss out on our PMI Networking events this December by checking out our website.

Thank you for your continued support and participation in our events for the year 2022. I wish you all a happy holiday season!

Best regards,

Pia Henzelmann, PMI Switzerland VP of Events and Professional Development

Interactive Sessions with Chris Croft

Author: Leandro Benda, PMP

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How could we end this year of project management better than with the one and only Chris Croft?

Are you looking for ways to get more time and how to fit more in? Are you asking yourself about what is the best leadership style option for remote workers and teams, and how to keep them inspired, involved and motivated when they are working remotely? Whether they are at home or working from offices around the world? This is the future of work. This interactive virtual event is a two part double, something for everyone and will give you some elements of answers for these topics that are more and more key in our daily business. 

Spots are limited so register now!

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Time and Location

On Monday, December 12, the Interactive Sessions with Chris Croft will take place in a virtual event through the Zoom platform from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The topics will be Efficiency and Remote Team Management. 

About the event

Come join us to this exciting virtual event with trainer and speaker Chris Croft. In the first part, Chris will show you how to efficiently manage your time and how to get an extra month per year. In the second part, he will talk about effective remote working by showing a practical 3x3 matrix. The two sessions will be followed by a Q&A session where Chris will be happy to answer your questions.

His trainings and presentations are profound, practical and amusing.

We are thrilled to have this as our closing event for the year 2022. Spots are limited so register now!

About Chris Croft

Chris Croft has come from an Engineering background with a masters degree from Cambridge University, qualifying as a Chartered Engineer, and working as a senior manager in manufacturing for 10 years. He gained an MBA and worked as a university lecturer for four years before starting his own training company 25 years ago. He has 130,000 followers on Linkedin and is one of the most viewed authors in the world on and on Linkedin Learning (previously, with 39 video courses recorded during 11 visits to Los Angeles. His Project Management Simplified course alone has 2,000 views per day and over three million views in total.

Chris Croft provides a wide variety of courses designed to involve, inspire and motivate people of all levels. To date Chris has trained some 87 000 people and enjoys a 94% rate of repeat business. Chris is also a successful author, and his first book ‘Time Management ‘was published in 1996 to wide acclaim and has since been followed by ‘Being A Good Boss‘ and 15 books on amazon kindle. On Linkedin Learning he has over 35 courses, 20,000 views a day and a total of eleven million views.

Chris has 130,000 followers on Linkedin and is one of the most viewed authors in the world on and on Linkedin Learning (previously, with 39 video courses recorded during 11 visits to Los Angeles.  


Non-PMI Member: 20 CHF

Early bird: 15 CHF until 5th of December.

PMI® Switzerland Chapter Member price: Free

We look forward to having you at this event - register here:

Other events

All our events can be found via the link below: