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Editorial September 2018 Newsletter

Author: Adi Muslic, PMP

Dear all,

September, to me, is always about new projects. In many organizations, the budget for next year is discussed and in others, the budget that was agreed in June is being now turned into new projects.

This is also the time when project managers should be very active in sharing their view and insights on how these new projects should be set up and run. This aspect of the business analysis is often ignored and project managers are just simply assigned to projects without a deeper understanding of the environment or required resources and with an estimated project budget. Project managers may even find themselves looking for the project sponsors in the organizations with weak project management governance.

It is a big challenge to meet business expectations of delivering on agreed business objectives in terms of cost or time without committed resources and motivated stakeholders.

This can be mitigated if project managers are consulted in the initiation phase as they can, using their experience, highlight potential risks, help in establishing realistic business targets, engage stakeholders and influence business decisions.

Early engagement in future projects is often the key to their success.

 

I hope you will like the newsletter and sign up for one of the Chapter’s events.

Best regards,

Adi Muslic

Copy editor

About leadership and projects: from the Banhn2000 project to European Football Championships 2008

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Author: Daniel Rodellar, PMP

At the end of August, we had a great event in Geneva with a well known Swiss top Manager: Benedikt Weibel.

He excellently described how he turned the Swiss railway (SBB-CFF-FFS) around and the lessons learnt on big projects like Rail 2000, the Euro2008 football project and the WESTBahn.

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He faced many disasters during his CEO years at the Swiss railways, including dead and injured people, large chemical incidents, and that put safety as a priority. KPI number of accidents per 100 employees dropped from 11.4 to 4.8 along his years as CEO. Do you know which day of the week are these accidents more frequent? Mondays! Attention is a key aspect to prevent accidents.

Benedikt created a Tour de Suisse to engage into a dialogue with the ten thousand employees. The result was the reduction of the power distance (the authority as CEO versus employees) and it was his way to better understand the "morale of the troops". His advice is to eliminate the filters as bad communications are always filtered by middle management.

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He talked about poor leadership (leadership by anxiety and fear, using the boss authority), also about management principles, and eleven points on lessons learnt. He illustrated all those lessons with concrete examples from the Rail 2000 flagship project (On December 12, 2004, a magic moment, a big bang with a new timetable during the first phase of Bahn2000), from Euro2008, and from WESTBahn.

We learnt how much anticipation is key, and undoubtedly it is as well valid for our own projects, for every risk they had though a mitigation. But sometimes, bad luck, the risk that materializes is not on the risk register. On June 22, 2005, a short circuit on a long-distance power transmission line in central Switzerland led to a chain reaction. The entire Swiss Federal Railways network was out of service during rush hour.

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We learnt how important is to define a last point of return, because you must be able to stop projects. And to install reserves in the business plans, that are always wrong, simply because it is about the future (that we do not know!) and there are too many parameters and complexity (sensitivities in these parameters can change the case completely).

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It was a great event, very well organized and we had the opportunity to appreciate lively thoughts during the networking session that followed.

 

 

Webinar training on PMI Social Media Guidelines

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Authors: Diana Lagalante, PMP, and Daniel Rodellar, PMP

Today’s communications are mainly performed through Social Networks. Most of us are users of these networks to communicate to our friends, family, colleagues and business partners. These communication tools require, as any other tool, some training and get to know the best practices.

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Members and volunteers of the PMI Switzerland chapter can attend the dedicated upcoming Social Media Guidelines online training webinar that was put in place by the Marketing & Social Media team.

We target September for the webinar to be available!

The goals of the free-of-charge webinar are to inform members and volunteers on PMI Digital & Social Media Channels, to train them on how to communicate and post correctly all PMI related events, news, workshops, etc respecting our new social media guidelines.

The registration link will be available soon on our social media channels. Stay tuned!

Extended G2K - August 2018

Dear Members and Newsletter Subscribers,

In July edition you may have noticed a new section for extended Get to Know articles in our monthly newsletter, presenting an interview with Dr. Andrea Behrends, our first president in the PMI Switzerland Chapter.

I would like to take this chance to explain the idea behind this new initiative and ask for candidates who would like to be presented in this new section in the upcoming newsletters.

Most of you are aware of the Get to Know concept where we welcome our new members and new certificate holders and give them a chance to introduce themselves to the PMI Switzerland Chapter community.

Nevertheless, this is only a start for a long journey in the chapter and as time passes, valuable experiences are build up differently for each of us. With the extended version of the Get to Know, we would like to give the opportunity to our members to speak about their challenges in the Project Management profession, ideas about the evolution of the Project Management role over the coming years, their experiences in the PMI Switzerland Chapter and foresights for the further development of the PMI and Swiss Chapter.

The volunteers to participate in this section will be either interviewed face to face during the chapter events or remotely by telephone or e-mail depending on the availability and personal preferences.

If you are interested to participate in Extended- Get to Know , please send me an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Managing Newsletter content during Summer periods - 2018

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Author: Daniel Rodellar, PMP

Like the previous years, summer period is a challenging period for the Newsletter team because PMI events are paused during summer, so it means less articles are available, and the team takes some days off, which decreases availability. We are missing content and resources, so it creates a very complicated situation to publish, on the usual first Monday of the month.

All the points I stated already last year in an article published in August 2017 newsletter are still valid!

We got the article published in the Linkedin page and got some likes and a comment. Laure Kaelin was sharing that during summer she likes to organize some cleaning routine: “Tidy desk + tidy mailbox = tidy mind”. Definitively, I cannot agree more!


In fact, for the Inbox, I try this method the whole year. My tools are labels / Categories and also filters. With these two I ensure that most on my incoming emails are correctly labeled, so I can prioritize on what I want to focus, and that for some of them, they do not even appear on my Inbox, I just see them if I go to their folder. Same kind of implementation on my Gmail and on the Outlook client, for my different email accounts.


Summer is a good period to read all these extra emails that are classified as not urgent, not critical, by my automatic filtering. And the good news is that I succeeded multiple times to get an inbox to zero. It does not mean there are no tasks to do or emails to respond, it means all the important ones were read and will be treated, and it means it is time to concentrate on the ones labeled IMPORTANT.


As we did last year, I will also publish this article on the PMI group to get some feedback, and see what your favorite summer activities are, and why not, how do you handle your emails to get a tidy mind!


Enjoy the summer!
Daniel